Is 24-hour-wear makeup too good to be true?

These days, it seems like every cosmetics brand is trying to sell you a product with lofty beauty claims. “This foundation makes you look absolutely poreless”; “That mascara totally gives you lashes for days”; and while it certainly does feel nice to get glammed up and look your best, it often feels as though your face has completely melted off in just a matter of hours. While most of us can easily duck into the restroom to freshen up, what about those of us who have to face the public yet have no access to a mirror? Enter: 24-hour makeup!

What is 24-hour makeup?

When it comes to beauty habits, there are two main camps of people in the world. We’ve got those of you who look forward to washing your face at night. Your evening ritual is like treating yourself to a mini-spa experience before bed, and you swear by creams, balms, and sheet masks. You like to wake up clean, bare-faced, and with a fresh palette to start your day. Then we’ve got those of you who want to embody the “I woke up like this!” lifestyle, and you love waking up and feeling ready to face the day. And, if you were wearing 24-hour makeup, you really just might be able to do so!

Here’s the thing, though. With the market now suddenly saturated with an assortment of makeup brands, many of which are making these 24-hour claims, you have your choice of cosmetics from which you could choose. But the problem with all of these claims is that, just like the “all-natural” label, they have no real regulation. That means that anyone can slap this claim on the side of their tube of lipstick or eyeliner pencil, and nobody can call them out for it. Sure, these companies can spring for third-party testing from independent labs, but since nobody is forcing them to do it, who’s to say that these products are going to do what they claim to do?

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Does it live up to the hype?

That said, these brands (including popular labels such as Urban Decay and Dior) have a reputation to uphold. If, for instance, Urban Decay claims that their Eyeshadow Primer Potion keeps your eyeshadow firmly in place for 24 hours, then they really want to be confident that it’s going to actually withstand the test of time. If it wears off after six hours, who’s going to repurchase it? (For the record, though, Urban Decay actually put their Eyeshadow Primer Potion to the test. And according to the brand, the eyeshadow still looked fresh on their test subjects even after an entire day had passed. Not bad, right?)

So, what’s the secret to 24-hour makeup?

Most makeup brands are made out of a combination of pigments, base materials (such as oils, waxes, and silicone), and other top-secret proprietary cosmetic-grade ingredients. What makes 24-hour makeup stand out, however, is the stuff that they use in it. While many of these ingredients are closely guarded trade secrets, anyone can flip the bottle over and read what’s written on the back label. What will you find? A combination of silicone-based polymers and emulsifiers. These ingredients help create a durable layer on your skin, allowing the product to withstand hours of wear without looking smudged or faded.


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Should you buy 24-hour makeup?

Whether or not you invest in 24-hour makeup is absolutely a personal choice. While some experts don’t advise wearing makeup on your face for so long, as they claim your face needs some time to breathe and heal each night, other people may have different opinions on the subject. If you’re prone to acne breakouts, you may want to consider your own skin’s reaction to products and ask yourself if it’s worth it to you to wear your makeup for such long stretches of time. But if you have a big event coming up – like a wedding or an important business conference – then it may be worth it to you to invest in 24-hour makeup. At the end of the day, it’s ultimately your own decision. If you love the product and the convenience of only applying it once every 24 hours, then it just may be worth the hype!

More about Jael Josevich

“I’m an amateur baker with a passion for writing, scary movies, coffee and anything Kristen Bell related. Also secretly a huge Taylor Swift fan.”