6 Tips For Makeup That’ll Hold Up During Your Shift

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

How is it that you can start the day looking great, but by the time you glance in the mirror at the end of a shift, it seems you barely look like the same person?

If you’re thinking of ditching makeup altogether because you can’t keep it from becoming a smeared, unattractive mess, don’t despair. Today’s makeup is not only better than ever before, it’s affordable as well.

6 ways to keep your makeup looking terrific:


  • Start with a great foundation. Foundation or tinted moisturizer can even out your skin tone and cover up dark spots. Blending foundation into your skin is easier than ever; many high-end cosmetic lines and even drugstore brands offer “color match” goof-proof foundations. After applying the base, use a light powder to “set” your foundation. Choose a powder that feels silky when rubbed between your fingers.


  • Brighten your eyes. In the corner of your eyes, nearest your nose, lightly apply some concealer and blend in. As this is the darkest spot on the face for everyone, you’ll look more rested if it is lightened. If you need to use concealer under your eyes, again, lightly set it with powder applied with a velour puff.

  • Line ’em up. Eyeliner often smudges, but there are a couple of ways to avoid the problem. First, look for waterproof eyeliner. Second, use powder shadow, applied with an angled brush, over your eyeliner to set it. You can prevent any eye shadow from creasing by applying a waterproof eyelid cream first.


  • Add color with blush. If your skin is oily, powder blush has the best chance of staying put. If your skin is dry, you should probably go the cream blush route, but it may need to be reapplied during a long day. A light powder applied over the entire face will also help set your blush.


  • Go waterproof. There are some terrific waterproof, smudge-proof mascaras on the market, but they can be drying to your lashes if used every day. In order to avoid breakage, curl your eyelashes, then apply a coat of regular mascara, followed by waterproof mascara.


  • Pucker up. Many of the top cosmetic lines offer long-lasting lipstick that can be applied at the beginning of your day and will last for 12 hours or more. Pink is a hot color right now, and looks good on any age. If you’re not sure what shade to use, always go for a pink that’s darker than your gums.


My brand recommendations:

  • Foundation: L’Oreal and Revlon both have “color match” foundations, as does Bobbi Brown.
  • Long-wearing lipstick: CoverGirl, L’Oreal or Revlon
  • Concealer: Lancome, Almay, Neutrogena or Bobbi Brown
  • Waterproof creme for eyelids: Revlon, Sally Hansen or Lancome
  • Waterproof eyeliner: CoverGirl, Clarins, Lancome, Dior or Sephora

One caveat: Ask to test brands from makeup counters before making an expensive purchase. Wear the product all day before deciding if it’s right for you (no allergic reactions and does what it says it will).

And don’t be afraid to buy a drugstore brand and return it if you’re not satisfied. Ask the store manager for their specific return policy; stores like Walgreens and Target will usually let you return makeup that isn’t a good match as long as you have the receipt and return within the specified time.

Do you have any make-up tips? Share in the comments section below.


This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. Primers are great for keeping all of your makeup in place. There are foundation primers, with sunscreen. Eye shadow primers (these also help keep the color true). Lash primers to apply before your mascara (I am not a fan of water proof mascara, as it can dry out lashes and make them brittle). Lip primers can help you lipstick stay put. They are not as drying as using an all day lipstick (some even have anti-aging ingredients that help fight wrinkles around the lips). There is a finishing spray by Skindinavia that will keep your make up in place all day long. You will want to apply it before you apply your mascara.

  2. I’ve been a nurse 31 years I would have to say 80% of the nurses wear lipstick and makeup. My parents were recently in the hospital for 3 weeks. And their comments were that the nurses that looked put together and took care of themselves they had more confidence in then those that didn’t. I use a Marc Jacob liner on the waterline it’s awesome and also some of the lipstick stains and then you just reply a gloss or nice chapstick during the day.

  3. Double wear from Estee Lauder is well worth the price!! It has gotten me through my 12-16 hour ER shifts every time! Also, google “tight-lining” as way to use eye liner…it will decrease smudges under eyes and lasts much longer. I like tarte eye liner for long lasting all day wear.

  4. The Body Shop Hemp Hand cream is the best for nails and hands especially after 12 hours of antibacterial cleanser.


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