'My foundation always lasts over 10 hours. Here are 9 things I do to stop it from going patchy.'

I often get asked variations of the same question when it comes to foundation. Read: Why is my foundation patchy? Why is my foundation separating and breaking down? How can I get my foundation to last the day? 

And I totally get it. Most people want something that's really going to last the distance. For me, my foundation HAS to last around 10 hours without any touch-ups (essentially because I am lazy). And it generally does.

For example, here's what my foundation looks like from 8 am to 6 pm:

Image: Supplied


And here it is on another day, after a 12-hour difference: 

Image: Supplied.

Pretty solid, right? If I do say so myself!

But if you're someone who is struggling to keep your foundation from looking patchy/separating/breaking down throughout the day, I'm here to help.


Here are nine things I always do (and don't do) to make my foundation last longer.

1. Use the right foundation for your skin type.

There are three different types of foundation bases — silicone, water and oil. The best way to tell what type you are using is to check out the first five items on the ingredient list. (However, just keep in mind that just because water is listed first, doesn’t mean its water-based).

If your foundation is a liquid, then it is mostly water and is usually the first ingredient. Silicones are usually listed with words ending in -cone or -oxane. It sounds very science-heavy, but words like dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, trimethicone are all silicones and will show up here. 

Watch: Speaking of foundations, here are Teresa's thoughts on the viral Westman Atelier foundation. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Now, silicone is great for most skin types. 

For dry skin, silicone locks in moisture and prevents it from escaping during the day. For oily skin, it helps prevent your natural oils from breaking through. 


Essentially, it works like a protective barrier but it's not really suitable for acne-prone skin as it can cause breakouts so you are more suited to the next type. 

Image: Supplied.

Water-based foundations are a lot thinner, and you quite often get them with a dropper. These type of formulas are not going to list any oils or silicones in the first lot of ingredients, meaning they are less comedogenic and less likely to block your pores. They are usually marketed as being 'water-based' or 'oil-free'. 


Oil-based foundations will have some form of oil listed in the first lot of ingredients. Ingredients like jojoba, argan, almond or grapeseed oils are common. You get the drift…oils are oils. 

These are fantastic for dry skin due to the additional hydration dry skin requires. However, if it's separating, you could be using the wrong base compared to your skin type. 

If you are super oily, you may want to consider swapping over to a powder foundation.

2. Prep your skin.

Probably the most important thing you need to understand is that no matter how expensive a product is, if you are not looking after your skin then chances are you are going to have issues and you will struggle to get a seamless, natural look. 

Learn what's going on with your skin and prep accordingly. Most skin types should exfoliate a couple of times a week to remove dead skin cells and prevent a textured look. 

Image: Supplied.


Also, make sure your skin is well hydrated. 

Do you need extra moisture? Are you using face oil? 

3. Use the right primer.

Refer back to step one. The same rule applies here for ingredients. 

Generally, I'd recommend sticking with like-for-like when it comes to primer and foundation formulas. In saying that, formulas such as a water-based primer will work with all foundations as it absorbs into the skin. 

However, formulas like silicone-based primers will not work with a water-based foundation as it will create a film between your skin and the foundation, and it will break down and slide off your face. We don’t want that, do we?

Image: Supplied


I keep it simple and use water-based illuminating primers. 

However, if you're using a silicone-based primer, just make sure your foundation is also silicone-based (the majority are).

4. Pick the right finish for your skin type.

When it comes to foundation, there are three main finishes — satin, matte and dewy. Brands are great at generally identifying this on the product or in the description. 

Keep in mind that formulas are different to finish and each formula can have any of these finishes. 


If your skin is dry, you really want a dewy finish — like NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, for example. For oily skin, obviously matte works best because you don't want to add extra shine. Something like Estée Lauder Double Wear shouldn't separate or make your skin look greasy by the end of the day. 

If you are someone with combo skin, then a satin finish is your friend. They walk that lovely line between dewy and matte. Look at formulas such as Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation.

5. Use the right tools for that type of foundation.

Now, normally you would think tools come down to a personal preference, but how you apply your makeup can actually affect the look of your foundation. The most common tools to use are sponges and brushes. 

With that in mind, the easiest way to explain it is if you put a pump of product on the back of your hand and raise it up vertically, does it run down? If so, then use a brush. 

Image: Supplied.


Thinner consistency can be easily absorbed by a sponge. Meaning? You will be wasting product, it won’t apply smoothly and can look patchy. 

If it's a thicker product that doesn’t drip, then a sponge will not absorb it and will give an even, smooth coverage. It means you won’t end up with brush marks all over your face. 

6. Don't use too much foundation. 

If you need to keep adding layers to get the coverage you want, then you need to look at the coverage of your product. 

Getting a foundation that is buildable is okay if you want medium coverage but if you keep adding layers then you need something more pigmented. If this is the case, you should look for full-coverage formulas as opposed to light or medium coverage. 

This will mean you can apply less foundation and you don’t run the risk of thick, cakey foundation.

7. Avoid using a foundation that is too thick.

A thick foundation is really not suitable for dry or combo skin and can make your base look cakey or patchy. Unless you have a lot of natural oils in your skin, it will make it hard to blend and look smooth. 


So if it doesn’t run at least slightly if testing on the back of your hand, then look at using something with a lighter viscosity.

8. Don't use too much powder.

Regardless of whether you have oily or dry skin you really want to set your foundation otherwise it can separate throughout the day as your natural oils appear.

Now, I'm not talking about baking like a YouTuber because…just no... rather, setting your T-zone lightly at least. We don’t need anything too heavy because it can become thick and cakey and it will separate. So just remember to use the thinnest layers possible when applying foundation.

9. Always use setting spray.

Quite simply, if you want your foundation to last, then you need to use a setting spray to extend the longevity of your makeup. It will help keep you looking fresh. You can use it to refresh your look throughout the day.

If you run more oily-prone, you can use a mattifying one. If you are combo to dry, then you can use a luminous or dewy finish. The point is, it helps prevent slippage, creasing and fading.

Image: Supplied


Now, if you really want to up your game with it, then check out my technique for a glowy, long-lasting base here.

If you have been having problems with your foundation, then I hope some of the tips in this article can help. Sometimes it really just takes a little tweak, an extra step or just knowing the right product to make a huge difference.

Want to hear more from Teresa? Follow her on Instagram.

What are your tips for long-lasting foundation? Do you have any tricks? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Supplied/Teresa McNamara.

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