How To Make The Most Of Your Waterproof Make-Up

You might think waterproof make-up is pretty straightforward, but there’s a lot more to it than first meets the eye. From the best products worth the money to application tips to make your beauty look last longer, here make-up master Nilofar Mussa shares his advice.
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Understand How They Work

“Often, people are sceptical about waterproof or water-resistant formulas, but if you find the right ones, they do work well. Typically, they’re formed by using an alternative base to water – usually silicone or oil. These then work to repel water, which helps make-up last far longer in the face of sweat, tears, humidity and moisture – which would normally break down water-based products much quicker.”

Choose Waterproof Mascaras Wisely 

“Waterproof mascaras tend to be thicker than regular mascaras and they can definitely dry your lashes out. Look for a formulation infused with moisturising ingredients, like avocado or castor oil, like Byredo’s latest waterproof mascara. It’s a vegan formulation that gives you the most amazing wispy, fluttery effect. Also, make sure you’re investing in a good, oil-based make-up remover that can break down waterproof make-up gently and safely. This will avoid you ripping out your natural lashes or causing any damage. It’s a good idea to use a nourishing lash serum too, as these will force moisture back into your natural lashes – a non-negotiable if you’re wearing waterproof mascara more than a few times a week. Why? Because while oils and silicones are fantastic at withstanding moisture, they can block out hydration and create a suffocating barrier, which causes brittleness and breakage.”

Opt For Silicone-Based Shadows

“If you’re fed up with your eyeshadow smudging or creasing, try ones which are silicone-based – you’ll usually be able to tell by the ingredients list. They’re much more likely to resist water and heat, thanks to their ‘bouncy’ texture which hugs and flexes with the skin. A great option for summer when everything’s more humid and you don’t want to keep layering up lots of make-up.”

Stock Up On Gel-Based Liners

“Water-resistant gels are a great option for lining the eyes. They start off soft and creamy, then set firmly into place. Though they aren’t completely waterproof, they’re a brilliant option for those who struggle with eyeliner application. Waterproof liquid liners can be difficult to remove if you make a mistake or need to quickly correct a smudge. MAC’s Liquidlast Liners are great for anyone who loves a fierce cat eye, but Pat McGrath’s Permagel Pencil is also fantastic. The pencil itself is gel-based, so it glides on smoothly and then sets to a completely budge-proof finish. If you like a smokier or softer edge, just make sure you blend it fast before it sets.”

Remember, Waterproof Lipsticks Don’t Exist 

“Lipsticks will never be 100% ‘waterproof’ as they need to be safe to wear on your lips, which naturally, are moist. There are formulas available that claim to ‘set’ or stay ‘budge-proof’ for hours. Matte textures tend to be better if this is what you’re after, as they sit longer than creamy/satin textures which slip and slide when we talk, eat and drink. In addition, a lip primer is essential if you want to improve longevity. It will create a smooth barrier between your lips and the lipstick itself, which alone will make it less prone to bleed or fade.” 

Waterproof formulas are formed by using an alternative base to water – usually silicone or oil. These work to repel water, which helps make-up last far longer in the face of sweat, tears and humidity.

Know Your Options

“While waterproof make-up is great, many of us would rather adopt some simple hacks for longer-lasting make-up rather than go out and buy dedicated products. One age-old technique is to ‘sandwich’ your make-up between a primer and a powder. So, start by massaging on a good primer to your face before any make-up application – this will absorb excess oil and creates a protective barrier so make-up doesn’t seep into your pores and disappear. Oil-based products are better for longevity, too. They’ll stand up against the natural elements – like water, humidity and sweat. Once you’ve applied it, set everything into place with a translucent powder to lock it down. Trust me, your products will last much longer if you apply them this way.” 

Ignore A ‘More Is More’ Approach

“Something many people still get wrong is applying too much make-up. The thought process is usually: the more you put on, the less likely it is to disappear. This is counterproductive, as the more occlusive your make-up is, the more it’s likely to crack or appear cakey as your natural oils, sweat and body warmth penetrate through. Sheer, lightweight layers are much more effective as they flex and move with your skin.” 

Think About What You Actually Need

“Always think about the event or activity you’re planning on and figure out which elements of your make-up actually need to be waterproof. For example, if you’re going on holiday, maybe you only need a waterproof mascara to team with your tinted moisturiser and lip balm, instead of investing in a whole new kit. Something else to remember is that some waterproof formulas can have different ingredients – check them and make sure you’re not allergic or sensitive to anything before you apply.” 

Know The Difference Between Waterproof & Water-Resistant

“There’s a big difference here. Some products aren’t waterproof, but they will be resilient towards heat, sweat and humidity. I often opt for water-resistant instead as they will stay put but are more comfortable to wear and welcome off without any drying or flaking. This is especially true for eyeliners – there is nothing worse than irritating your eyes trying to remove it at the end of the day.” 

Mix & Match Your Products 

“Waterproof mixing gels are now widely available. Simply mix them with any powder products – think eyeshadows and blushers – to turn them into waterproof liquids. It’s a great option if you don’t want to buy a whole new waterproof kit as you can use just one product with the rest of your make-up. The sealing gel by Illamasqua is my favourite, as is the Mixing Medium by MAC. Aqua Seal by Make-Up Forever is worth a try, too.” 

 
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