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How To Keep Makeup From Rubbing Off: A Comprehensive Guide

  • Post category:Makeup
  • Post last modified:May 22, 2024
  • Reading time:14 mins read

Maintaining a flawless makeup look throughout the day can be challenging, especially when dealing with factors like heat, humidity, and natural skin oils. However, with the right techniques and products, you can significantly reduce the chances of your makeup rubbing off. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to keep your makeup intact from morning to night.

Start with a Clean and Moisturized Face

The foundation of long-lasting makeup is well-prepped skin. Begin by cleansing your face to remove any dirt, oil, or residual makeup. Follow up with a moisturizer suited to your skin type. Moisturizing is crucial as it helps create a smooth base for makeup application and prevents your skin from pulling moisture from your makeup, which can cause it to break down.

Use a Primer

Primer acts as a barrier between your skin and makeup, helping it adhere better and last longer. Choose a primer that addresses your specific skin concerns, such as oil control, hydration, or pore minimization. Apply a thin, even layer over your face and allow it to set before moving on to the foundation.

Apply Foundation in Thin Layers

When it comes to foundation, less is more. Apply your foundation in thin, buildable layers to avoid a cakey appearance. This technique helps the foundation adhere better to your skin and reduces the likelihood of it rubbing off. Opt for long-wearing or waterproof foundation formulas for added durability.

Set Your Makeup with Powder

Setting your makeup with a translucent powder helps lock it in place and control shine. Use a puff, makeup sponge, or brush to apply a light layer of powder across your face. For oily skin, consider applying an extra layer of powder on the T-zone or areas prone to shine.

Use Waterproof and Long-Wearing Products

Incorporate waterproof and long-wearing makeup products into your routine, especially for areas prone to smudging, such as eyes and lips. Waterproof mascara, eyeliner, and even foundation can withstand moisture, sweat, and tears, ensuring your makeup stays put throughout the day.

Layer Your Makeup

Layering your makeup can enhance its longevity. After applying primer and foundation, use a concealer to cover any blemishes or imperfections. Set each layer with a light dusting of translucent powder. This method helps create a more durable makeup base that is less likely to rub off.

Use Setting Spray

A setting spray is a must-have for long-lasting makeup. It creates a protective shield over your makeup, helping it withstand humidity, perspiration, and other environmental factors. Hold the spray about 6 to 8 inches away from your face and spritz a light mist. Allow it to dry naturally without fanning to avoid smudging.

Avoid Touching Your Face

One of the main reasons makeup rubs off is frequent touching of the face. Try to avoid touching your face throughout the day to minimize the transfer of oils and dirt, which can break down your makeup. If you need to touch up, use blotting papers or a clean tissue to gently dab away excess oil without disturbing your makeup.

Dress Smartly

Consider your clothing choices to minimize makeup transfer. Avoid wearing high-collared shirts or scarves that can rub against your face. Opt for clothing that doesn’t come into contact with your makeup, especially if you’re wearing a full face of makeup on a hot day.

Regular Touch-Ups

Even with the best products and techniques, a little maintenance is sometimes necessary. Keep blotting papers or a compact with translucent powder in your bag for quick touch-ups. Blotting papers help remove excess oil without adding more product, while a light dusting of powder can refresh your makeup.

Choose the Right Products for Your Skin Type

Selecting products that suit your skin type is essential for long-lasting makeup. For oily skin, opt for mattifying primers and foundations. For dry skin, choose hydrating and luminous products. Using the right products ensures that your makeup works with your skin rather than against it.

Exfoliate Regularly

Regular exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and creates a smoother surface for makeup application. This can prevent makeup from caking into fine lines and wrinkles, which can cause it to rub off more easily. Use a gentle exfoliator suited to your skin type to maintain a smooth and even complexion.

Use a Makeup Sponge or Brush

Applying makeup with a sponge or brush can help achieve a more even and long-lasting finish. Sponges and brushes allow for better blending and can help press the product into the skin, making it less likely to rub off. Ensure your tools are clean to avoid introducing bacteria to your skin.

Opt for Long-Wearing Lip Products

For long-lasting lip color, choose long-wearing or matte lipstick. These formulas are designed to stay put for hours without smudging or fading. You can also layer a lip liner underneath your lipstick for added staying power.

Set Eye Makeup with Powder

Just like your face, your eyes need a base to help makeup last longer. Use an eyeshadow primer to create a smooth canvas and set your eyeshadow with a matching powder. This helps the pigment adhere better and prevents creasing and smudging throughout the day.


Achieving long-lasting makeup that doesn’t rub off requires a combination of the right products and techniques. By starting with a clean and moisturized face, using a primer, applying makeup in thin layers, and setting it with powder and setting spray, you can significantly enhance the durability of your makeup. Additionally, choosing products suited to your skin type and avoiding frequent face touching can help maintain a flawless look throughout the day. With these tips, you can confidently wear your makeup from morning to night without worrying about it rubbing off.


How do I stop my makeup from rubbing off?

To prevent makeup from rubbing off, start with a clean, moisturized face and use a primer to create a smooth base. Apply makeup in thin layers and set it with a setting powder. Finish with a setting spray to lock everything in place. Avoid touching your face throughout the day and use blotting papers to manage oil without disturbing your makeup.

Why does my makeup wipe off so easily?

Makeup can be wiped off easily due to excess oil, sweat, or improper application. Not using a primer or setting products can also contribute. Ensure your skin is well-prepped with a cleanser and moisturizer suitable for your skin type. Applying makeup in thin layers and setting it with powder and spray can help it adhere better and last longer.

What spray keeps makeup from rubbing off?

Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray is highly recommended for keeping makeup from rubbing off. It features Temperature Control Technology to lower the temperature of your makeup, ensuring long-lasting, transfer-resistant wear. This spray is suitable for all skin types and provides a natural finish while keeping your makeup intact for up to 16 hours.

What are the best makeup primers for oily skin?

For oily skin, primers like Lancôme Prep & Matte Primer and Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation are excellent choices. These primers are oil-free, help blur imperfections, minimize pores, and control shine. They create a matte finish that helps makeup adhere better and last longer, reducing the likelihood of makeup sliding off due to excess oil.

How to choose the right setting spray for your skin type?

Choosing the right setting spray depends on your skin type and desired finish. For oily skin, opt for a mattifying spray like ONE/SIZE On ‘Til Dawn Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray. For dry skin, a hydrating spray like Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip Setting Spray is ideal. Sensitive skin types should look for alcohol-free and fragrance-free options to avoid irritation.