Whether you're a bride doing your own makeup or a wedding guest looking for great products that last, finding the right tools can be intimidating. You obviously want to look amazing for the festivities and photos, but considering all the eating, drinking, and crying involved, avoiding a makeup meltdown seems impossible. Celebrities endure photoshoots and red carpet events all the time—so we interviewed several celebrity makeup artists to learn their secrets. They rely on their favorite products and expert tools to create makeup looks that won't budge, no matter what's going on around.
Meet the Expert
- Alexa Persico is a professional makeup artist and the founder of her own eponymous makeup line.
- Judi Gabbay is a celebrity makeup artist based in New York City. She regularly does makeup for brides as well.
- Allison Kaye is a celebrity makeup artist and owner of Allison Kaye Hair & Makeup, a luxury service beauty company servicing Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Miami, and Cleveland.
These artists shared their top products and application tips for long lasting makeup. With more than 50 shades, Estee Lauder Double Wear is a universally-flattering foundation that won't clog pores or fade. Even if you already have a favorite foundation or eyeshadow, a few drops of Make Up For Ever Aqua Seal will make it waterproof.
So bring on the tears and sweat—with these top long-lasting makeup products, your face will be ready for anything.
Best Primer: Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Oil Free
Price at time of publish: $42
"I highly recommend prepping the skin with an oil-free primer to ensure that makeup stays glued to the skin all day," says makeup artist Alexa Persico. "Laura Mercier Oil Free Primer is one that works great on all skin tones."
Best Foundation: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Liquid Foundation
Price at time of publish: $48
"Look for a foundation with a long lasting finish and one that will hold up to the long hours of dancing, photo taking hugging etc," says Persico. "Estee Lauder Double Wear has been a cult favorite among myself and many other makeup artists. It's comfortable to wear, never creases or settles into fine lines and, most importantly, is oil-free, so doesn't exacerbate any breakouts."
Best Waterproof Eyeliner: Clinique High Impact Easy Liquid Eyeliner
Price at time of publish: $23
Makeup artist Allison Kaye always has both the brown and black shade of this waterproof eyeliner to use on brides, depending on their preference. "This liner is appropriate for sensitive eyes, contact lens wearers, and is 24-hour smudge and budge-resistant wear," says Kaye. "For a thin line use the pen's narrow tip. For a thicker line, lay the pen flat."
Best Waterproof Mascara: L'Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara
Price at time of publish: $13
"This drugstore mascara is affordable and packed with over 200 bristles to ensure every lash is coated, making it a wedding day must-have," says Persico.
Best Lip Gloss: Doses of Colors Opposites Attract Lip
Price at time of publish: $22
"Dose of Colors has my absolute favorite longwear lip," says makeup artist Judi Gabbay. “Opposites Attract is a dual lip wand with a matte formula on one side and a shimmery gloss on the other."
Best Long-lasting Lipstick: Dior Rouge Dior Forever Transfer-Proof Lipstick
Price at time of publish: $42
"This new product is the first transfer-proof Dior lipstick in a bullet format and ensures up to 16 hours of wear," says Kaye. "Apply directly on lips and let dry for 3 minutes to optimally set the color. My favorite bridal shade is Forever Sensual."
Best Brow Gel: West Barn Co. Soap Brows
Price at time of publish: $18
A wedding will put your face through a lot of facial expressions, so you want to make sure your brows are on point. For brows that stay in place whether fluffed up or groomed and structured, Gabbay recommends Soap Brows. In case you haven't seen the trend on TikTok, the pomade fluffs up and fills your brows with a much stronger hold than your regular gel or eyebrow pencil.
Best Setting Powder: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder
Price at time of publish: $46
"This micro powder will smooth and blur the appearance of fine lines and imperfections while keeping your complexion even all day long," says Kaye. "Using a powder brush, apply the airbrush flawless finishing powder around the nose, T-zone and any other oily areas that need to be mattified."
Best Setting Spray: Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
Price at time of publish: $33
All the makeup artists agree that a good setting spray is a must. Kaye says it's like a raincoat for your skin, letting any droplets of water runoff your face rather than ruining your look. It also helps prevent transfer, color shifting, fading, and creasing. Persico recommends applying this formula over your makeup as the last step.
"This formula is a longtime favorite of mine and has always been a go-to for brides," says Persico. "The microfine mist lets you dance the night away without worrying about your foundation melting off or your shadow creasing. You'll seriously be set for 16 hours straight."
Best Waterproofer: Make Up For Ever Aqua Seal
IPrice at time of publish: $21
n case you already have a favorite foundation or blush that isn't waterproof, Kaye recommends using this magical product to make it waterproof. "Apply a drop of Aqua Seal to your makeup brush one at a time until your brush is saturated with liquid. Use the wet brush to apply any powder products," says Kaye. "For liquid products, put desired amount of product onto a separate pan, add one drop of Aqua seal directly into your product, and mix."
How do I prevent makeup from transferring to clothes?
When wearing a formal dress, especially one that's white, the last thing you want is for your makeup to smudge onto the fabric. According to Persico, preventing stains starts with skincare. "If your skin is dry or dehydrated or too moist or oily, foundation stains are far more likely to appear on your clothes," says Persico. "Proper cleansing, exfoliation, and moisturizing is key to a non-transfer application."
Once you've done all your steps in your skin and makeup routine, Kaye recommends locking the look with a setting spray like Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray.
What's the difference between waterproof and water resistant makeup?
You've probably seen "waterproof" or "water resistant" stamped on different makeup bottles and thought they are the same thing? Well that's not the case.
"Waterproof makeup, is formulated to withstand water and not break down or move, while a water-resistant formula can resist the touch of water up to a point, but will eventually break down," says Persico.
While water resistant might be enough coverage on the day to day, Kaye recommends going with waterproof formulas for a wedding since some tears will likely be shed.
Why Trust Brides
Emily Cieslak is an Assistant Commerce Editor and writes about all things beauty for Brides. For this article, she spoke to several professional makeup artist for their product picks and tricks, including Alexa Persico, Judi Gabbay, and Allison Kaye.