How to stop your makeup melting off at the races (and other Spring Racing tips)

Need to know.

Spring Racing season isn’t far off, so for all those gearing up for an extended period of drinking, high-heel wearing and money spending, it’s time to start getting prepared.

We all know that perfecting long-wearing makeup is difficult at the best of times. Add in a little sun and it’s near impossible. 

We asked Global Makeup Artist for Napoleon Perdis, Shev Kelly, for her tips on nailing your makeup this season.

First up, how do we stop our faces melting off?

For a face that stops the nation, your makeup really needs to last all day. It shouldn’t melt off your face but at the same time, you don’t want it to appear thick and heavy. If you find your makeup wears off easily, you may be using the wrong products. The best way to keep your look in place is to choose a formula that works with your skin type. 

Those with an oily/shiny skin type should opt for a mattifying primer and semi-matte/matte foundation. Setting your makeup with a pressed powder will not only finish your base but prevents excess shine throughout the day. Anything with too much shine can cause your makeup to wear off quicker than expected.

If your skin is more on the dry side, try hydrating primers and liquid foundation formulas to keep your skin looking fresher, for longer. Luminous or dewy options are great as they help to counteract dehydration and create a youthful glow. 

At what stage of our makeup routine should we be applying sunscreen? Can we reapply later in the day without ruining our makeup?

Wearing sunscreen is a must for outdoor events. The order of application should start with moisturiser, followed by sunscreen, primer and foundation. To boost your sun protection, apply a foundation that also contains a high SPF. 

There’s no easy way to re-apply sunscreen to the face after makeup application but the décolletage, shoulders, neck, arms and back should always get an extra coat every few hours.

Clutches are small af and only leave room for a couple of touch-up products. What should we take?

Keeping your base in place is key at the races, so a concealer and pressed powder will save multiple makeup mishaps and smudges through out the day. Concealer will revive the under-eye area, lipstick smudges and spot cover ups. A pressed powder keeps your skin flawless in photos, plus helps to keep sweat and shine at bay. To choose your extra essentials, think about the product that’s key to your look. If you have a bright pop of lippy, take your chosen lip combo. If it’s a smokey eye you’re rocking, take a black eyeliner pencil to re-line and define.

Do you have any tips for touching up your makeup in those tiny portable bathroom mirrors?

If you bring a pressed powder with an in-built mirror and sponge, it allows for touch ups in the taxi, bathroom and even in the grandstand. Where possible, I would strongly suggest touching up in natural sunlight, so you can see how your makeup is REALLY wearing. There’s nothing worse than overdoing your touch up at a day event.

What beauty looks will we be seeing a lot of trackside?

Orange is a huge trend, so expect to see wearable versions of copper, terracotta and bronze tones on the eyes and lips. Plus, skin is still in! Fresh bases with luminous natural finishes will be big. Gone are the days of that heavy chocolate bar contour, instead it’s more about creamy and radiant highlights.

Should we be looking at a coloured or nude lip?

On Derby Day a bold lip is a must, it works perfectly with the black and white dress code – think red, orange, plum or fuchsia pink.

Pretty neutrals and pastel lipsticks are perfect Melbourne Cup and Oaks day lip shades, as they flatter the floral theme.

Stakes Day has a more relaxed feel, so a nude gloss is the perfect option.

Any tips for making sure our lipstick doesn’t smudge throughout the day (especially when drinking)?

The best way to keep your lipstick on all day is to use a matte formula. They last longer than creamy lipsticks and provide a chic and elegant finish. I’m a big fan of the new addition to the lip family – the matte lip stain – it’s really lightweight, smudge proof and has incredible staying power.

In your lip application, always line lips last! It helps prevent the lipstick from moving and smudging. Plus it provides a crisp and clean edge.

Aaaand any tips to keep our makeup durable without looking too heavy?

Avoiding an OTT makeup look begins with the base. Less is more! Choose the right primers and base products to help you create complexion perfection without the need for layers of makeup.

Avoid applying strong contours which can look very unflattering, like a chocolate bar sitting on your face. Instead focus on using reflection to add more dimension to your face, using powder or cream highlighters to naturally sculpt and define. 

Lashes should also have a believable look. A heavy lash during the day can look a bit more night club than daytime glam. Great options are individual lashes or bar lashes with finer lash bed. 


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