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How To Melt-Proof Your Makeup, According To Women Who’ve “Been There”

The best parties are the ones that never end – even better if your makeup stays flawless from start to finish. THESE are the holy grails that deserve your attention.

If you want to know if a certain product is going to last all night long at that big party, the best person you can ask is someone with oily or combination skin. Chances are that if they think highly of a particular product, it is likely to work for you (though with a few small adjustments to suit your skin better). These people are the ones who have had to go through primer after primer, foundation after foundation, setting spray after setting to finally arrive at a combination of products that will stop their makeup from slip and sliding right off their faces. You think your quest was hard? They’ve been there – repeatedly.

The best parties are the ones that go on until morning, because no one wants to leave. But, long parties also mean you’ll need to party-proof the heck out of your makeup. Adjustments to current routines need to be made. No one wants to be that girl with the dark mascara rings under her eyes.

To help you with your quest to come up with the most formidable, melt-proof makeup combination, we roped in readers and our own Team KULALA members who have gone down the slick road and came back with victorious. We even got them to put it through a 12-hour test just to be super sure. These are their party holy grails.


The Go-To Products: I prep my skin with Hera’s White Program Radiance Water, DrGL’s Moisturiser for All Skin Types and Cle De Peau’s sunblock, then prime it with the Pore & Shine Control Primer from NARS. I have lots of BB cushions that I love so much. Currently, I’m loving Urban Decay’s because of its coverage. I usually avoid makeup that require brushes as they are more prone to giving me pimples. Spots are concealed with the Soft Matte Concealer from NARS. When I top off with Clio’s Compact Powder, I find that it delays the shine for an extra two hours. Having a spray mist for the last step is important as it puts off the excess sebum. I have tried a couple of setting mists, but always end up using the Thermal Spring Water Spray from Avene. I’m all for natural ingredients, because the more synthetic setting sprays may cause damage for your skin in a long run.

The 12-Hour Test: My skin will start to shine by the third or fourth hour, and when it does, I blot with the Oil Clear Sheet from Gatsby, but overall, I can do without a touch-up if I use my hero products listed above. I find that touch-ups actually clog the pores and cause more pimples. If I’m out for an important event and I need everything to look seamless, though, I bring along a BB cushion for a quick, light pat all over, then finish off with Avene’s Thermal Spring Water Spray.


The Go-To Products: As part of my prep process, I apply a few drops of the Estee Lauder Advance Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II which absorbs into my skin effortlessly, makes my skin look as though it drank a big glass of water, and leaves no oily residue. My choice weapon is the Revlon ColorStay Makeup For Combination/Oily Skin on most days. When I go to work, I usually don’t have the luxury of time for touch-ups, so I use the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in Place Makeup SPF 10. I lightly dust the L’OREAL Hydra Perfecte Loose Powder to set my foundation. The Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner – in Trooper – is the ONLY liquid eyeliner that my sensitive skin doesn’t react badly to. Oily skin = oily lids. This also happens to be the only eyeliner that stayed up for as long as I need it to. (A bonus product to share with y’all: SES Corrector Gel. I get this item from my beautician regularly, it’s not available in drugstores. It helps to prevent acne and speeds up healing process of blemished skin, keeping my skin clear from acne and comedones.)

The 12-Hour Test: I really put my combination to the test, starting with a spicy ma la hotpot lunch and an outdoor carnival. A light amount of oil starts to seep in by the fourth hour, but it’s the good kind that helps the makeup look settled in. Shine had begun to set in at the eighth hour on my forehead and nose, and this is when I blot lightly with a piece of facial tissue. I finally get home around midnight after being out and about for 12 hours – don’t forget, an outdoor carnival included – and I do a final check on my makeup. On a oiliness scale of 1 to 10, I started at a 0 and ended at a 6. My T-zone is oilier than the other parts, but it isn’t a mess. Personally, I find it very acceptable considering the long hours.



The Go-To Products: I start with an oil-free gel moisturiser like Belief’s True Cream Aqua Bomb. It has a matte finish and doubles as a primer, though I prime my skin further with Benefit’s Porefessional. This goes on all over my face except for the nose and the centre of my forehead. For these areas, I use Becca’s Ever-Matte Powerless Priming Perfector – it is super mattifying. My favourite foundation is Estee Lauder’s Double Wear. This one can last for a really long time when blended properly into the skin with a light hand. I also like Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation because it’s more lightweight, though shine will start to come in after six hours. I set it all with Dermablend’s Loose Setting Powder. Other powerful, long staying products include Heroine Make’s Long & Curl Mascara and Smooth Liquid Liner, and Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner. Finally, a setting spray in the form of either Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray or Gerard Cosmetic’s Slay All Day Setting Spray.

The 12-Hour Test: If I’m using the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, my makeup can last a good 10 hours before a light blot and dusting of Dermablend’s Loose Setting Powder is needed. A slight shine does start to come in at the eighth hour, but it is a shine that I actually like, because it looks more like a glow. With a single touch up, I think this combination can hold up for 12 hours, maybe even a little more.


The Go-To Products: I’ve tried about seven primers in my life and Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer is my ultimate favourite. I once forgot to put it on my lids – they oil up very quickly – and my eye makeup went to crap in a few hours. I’ve been using the Diorskin Forever Foundation for almost three years now. I’m telling you – this one holds. The difference between this and say, any given foundation cushion is so obvious. With oily skin, the area that gets the brunt of the meltdown are the eyes, but it’s also where the fun stuff goes on. Hence, wise choices need to be made. Tarte – I use the Tartelette In Bloom Clay Palette – has a knack for making very fine eyeshadow powders that really adhere to the lids. Kat Von D makes an incredible eyeliner that literally doesn’t budge, but I’ve recently made the switch to a much cheaper alternative in K-Palette’s 1-Day Tattoo Eyeliner Pen. Finally, Heroine Make’s Waterproof Long & Curl Mascara. I’ve tried all the cult-favourite mascaras and none are as smudge-proof as this. I then finish off with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray. It ties and seals everything in. When I’m on the go, I bring Hera’s UV Mist Cushion.

The 12-Hour Test: For starters, I don’t put any creams on my face before makeup. Only water-based stuff and serums. My first sign of shine appears at the third hour, most noticeably on my nose. It’s not bothersome, and as I have combination skin, a bit of shine helps the dry areas of my nose look less patchy. The nose does get quite shiny by the sixth hour and any foundation at the corners of my nose will have started to oxidise. I’ll blot the grease, then touch up the nose area with Hera’s UV Mist Cushion. I’m quite lazy, so I usually forget to blot by the ninth hour. If so, things won’t be as great by the twelfth hour, especially when I’m outdoors, but this only applies to foundation on the T-zone. The eye area and cheeks are still going strong. I like my combination, but I still do have to blot from time to time because I’m just that oily at the nose. Bah humbug.

What To Read Next: 5 Women in PR Talk Us Through Their Skincare Routines, Toners Are More Than An Extra Step In Your Skincare Routine and What A Jet Setter With Sensitive, Acne-Prone Skin Carries In Her Cabin Bag | Cover Image: Natalyn Chan

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