11 Weird Reasons Why Your Makeup Doesn’t Last

There are mornings when I simply throw on some blush and a little concealer before running out the door. Other days, I put in a bit more work — maybe I do a winged eyeliner, or lovingly paint on dark lipstick. But regardless of my effort, I hate it when my makeup doesn't last all day.

It makes me wonder why I even bother when, come 11 a.m., it looks like I rolled out of bed and simply ran bare-faced out the door. I mean, if I'm going to take the time, I want it to look like I took the time. Besides, makeup makes me feel put-together and professional. So I'd like it to (at the very least) last me until I get home again.

This frustration is made even worse by the mystery of it all. Why does my makeup not last all day? I put it on. It was there. I saw it. But now it's gone. I don't remember showering, or washing my face. And I certainly didn't wipe it off. It definitely makes a girl wonder. If you can relate, then I bet you'd like to know some of the weird reasons your makeup doesn't last all day. Read on for some of the sneaky reasons why it fades away, and consider the mystery solved.

1. You Lean On Your Hands

When I'm scrolling through the interwebs, I tend to rest my chin on my hand. And wouldn't you know it? My makeup always melts off in that area. If you have the same habit, or others like it, then it may explain why your skin looks bare come 11 a.m. As beauty editor Bridget March said in Cosmopolitan UK, "You can spend the earth on high performance primers and makeup setting sprays, but if you're habitually picking your [zits] and rubbing your eyes you might as well not bother." Being aware, and keeping your hands off, will definitely help.

2. You Get Ready Too Quickly

It's a logical progression — wash your face, moisturize, and then apply makeup. But going about it too quickly can result in makeup that slides right off. "If you are putting your foundation on right after your moisturizer — stop," says Susan Posnick, makeup artist and founder of Susan Posnick Cosmetics, in an email to Bustle. "It is better to wait five to ten minutes, letting your moisturizer absorb into the skin." Doing so will help ensure makeup sticks around longer.

3. You Apply Lipstick Over Lip Balm

In the same way you don't want to put foundation over freshly-moisturized skin, you also don't want to put lipstick right on top of lip balm. "The oils in the balm create a slippery base for lipstick, meaning your shade is more likely to feather and smear," said beauty writer Jessica Cruel on SELF. Try blotting with a tissue first, or skipping the balm altogether.

4. Your Technique Is All Wrong

When it comes to foundation, how you apply it can make all the difference. "Some foundations apply best with fingers ... while with others you will be better off using a blending sponge or foundation brush," noted beauty expert Erin Laine on "You can ask for advice at the beauty counter or do your own research on what application method is best for your foundation."

5. The Weather Is Wreaking Havoc

Sure, you dashed from the subway to your office. But that quick exposure to the elements may be what did your makeup in. "Wintry winds, sleet, and snow can cause makeup meltdowns," said Amy Ahlberg on If this happens to you all too often, an umbrella might be in order.

6. You Are Secretly Sweating

It doesn't need to be said twice that hitting the gym will melt your makeup. But even the quickest of sweats can mess things up. I'm talking about a sweat-inducing jaunt up the stairs, or a heated sprint to the coffee shop. If you do these seemingly mundane "exercises" throughout the day, it could explain why your blush is always nowhere to be found.

7. Your Coat Is To Blame

Pay attention to how dramatically you remove coats, sweatshirts, or scarves. Do you yank them over your head, or smear them across your face? If so, it could be rubbing your makeup away, according to Ahlberg.

8. It's Time To Exfoliate

"Foundation will never look flawless on dry, patchy skin," said Laine. So do your face a favor, and give it a scrub. If your makeup can go onto a smoother resurface, it'll have a better chance of lookin' good throughout the day.

9. Your Skin Is Too Oily

Oily skin has its plusses and minuses. On the one hand, your face will always be moisturized. (Yay!) But on the other hand, an excess of oil means your makeup will wear away faster. "There are a few things you can do to help prevent this," Posnick says. "Exfoliate before applying anything to your skin. Use a water-based moisturizer or skip it altogether. [And] use a mattifying product under your foundation, [as] it will act as a primer." Done and done.

10. You Face Is Kinda Fuzzy

A peach fuzzy face can hinder perfect makeup application. If you think that's your deal, it may be worth considering giving the whole face shaving trend a try. Removing your errant hairs can help makeup go on smoother, according to beauty writer Kirbie Johnson on This is due to the hairlessness, as well as the excellent exfoliation factor.

11. You're Using Old Makeup

If your makeup bag has seen better days, it may be worth checking the expiration dates on all those dusty, crumbly products. As beauty writer Shannon Farrell said on Woman's Day, "... old makeup not only works less efficiently — it can do major damage to your skin." Use this as your excuse to update your essentials.

After all, if you're going to take the time to paint your face, you should do whatever it takes to make your efforts last all day.

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