Do you often find yourself having to regularly reapply your makeup throughout the day? It can be incredibly frustrating when you take the time and put in the effort to do your makeup only for it to start rubbing off shortly afterwards.

But don’t worry, with a few simple tips and tricks – such as paying attention to your skincare routine, setting spray essentials, choosing long-wear products, and so on – you can make sure that your makeup looks flawless all day!

Read on to learn how to keep foundation from rubbing off.

Factors That Cause Makeup To Smudge

Factors That Cause Makeup To Smudge

Wearing makeup can be a defining element for any look. However, factors such as perspiration, oil secretion, and moisture can cause it to smudge and wear off quickly. Makeup smudging can also be caused by rubbing, touching, or friction against clothes or other surfaces.

Poorly Formulated Product

Another significant factor that causes makeup to smudge is a poorly formulated product. Low-quality makeup products may contain ingredients that do not bind well to the skin and are easily moved or wiped away.

Similarly, expired products or those that have been contaminated can cause makeup stains as well.

Skin Type

The type of skin is also an important factor to consider when discussing makeup smudging. Oily skin is often prone to makeup smudging and makeup transfer as oils can break down makeup and cause it to slide off the face. Dry skin, on the other hand, can cause makeup to crack and appear flaky.


Environmental factors such as humidity, heat, and wind can cause makeup to smudge or wear off. For instance, high humidity can cause makeup to melt and smudge, while windy weather can cause makeup particles to blow away.

How To Transfer-proof Your Foundation

How To Transfer-proof Your Foundation

The foundation is the base of your makeup, providing a flawless canvas on which to apply other products. However, it can be a challenge to maintain that perfection throughout the day. That's where transfer-proofing comes in.

By taking some extra steps in your beauty routine, you can ensure that your foundation stays in place, even if you sweat or come into contact with clothing or other surfaces.

Here are some key steps to follow for how to prevent makeup from rubbing off:

Start with a clean and moisturized face

Before applying any makeup, be sure to cleanse your skin thoroughly and moisturize with a product that suits your skin type. This will create a smooth base and help your foundation adhere better, reducing the risk of smudging or transferring.

Use a primer

Primer is an important step in any makeup routine, as it can help fill in fine lines and pores, smooth out texture, and create a barrier between your skin and your makeup. It is the best way to keep makeup from rubbing off.

Opt for a primer that is specifically designed to be transfer-resistant, or one that is silicone-based, which tends to be more long-lasting.

Choose a Long Wear Foundation

Look for a foundation that is designed to be long-wearing and transfer-resistant. This type of foundation will provide maximum coverage, while still staying in place throughout the day.

Apply foundation with a makeup brush or sponge

Using your fingers to apply foundation can create a lot of transfer, as the warmth of your skin can cause the product to melt and smudge. Instead, use a brush or sponge to apply your foundation, which will help you get a more even and precise application with less risk of transfer.

Set the foundation with translucent powder

Once you've applied your foundation, use a powder puff to set it in place. Look for a powder that is finely milled and translucent, which will help avoid any cakey or heavy look. Be sure to focus on areas that tend to get shiny or oily throughout the day, like the T-zone.

Consider a setting spray

If you want extra insurance against transfer, try a setting spray to extend the makeup wear. Look for a product that is specifically designed to resist transfer, and spritz it all over your face once you've finished your makeup.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that your foundation stays in place all day long, without smudging or transferring onto clothing or other surfaces.

Experiment with different products to find the right combination for your skin type and preferences, and enjoy a flawless, transfer-proof complexion that lasts.

Importance of Skin Care Routine to Prevent Makeup Smudging

Importance of Skin Care Routine to Prevent Makeup Smudging

Having a skincare routine is not only beneficial for the health of your skin, but it also plays a crucial role in preventing makeup smudging. Applying makeup products on a dirty or oily face can lead to smudging, clogged pores, and breakouts.

Thus, establishing a regular skincare routine can help in maintaining healthy skin while preventing makeup from smudging. If you are still thinking how to stop makeup from rubbing off, you can try the following tips as well.


One of the primary steps to include in your skincare routine is to cleanse your skin regularly. Cleansing can effectively remove dirt, oil, and impurities that build upon the skin.

If left unattended, they can cause makeup to smudge and settle in fine lines, leading to a cakey and patchy appearance. Using a gentle cleanser can help in keeping your face refreshed and clean.


Another essential step is to exfoliate your skin regularly to remove dead skin cells. Regular exfoliation can help in making your skin smoother and less prone to skin issues. It can also help in creating a smooth canvas for makeup application, reducing the chances of smudging.


It's crucial to moisturize your skin after cleansing and exfoliating. Providing your skin with the necessary hydration can help in keeping your skin clear and healthy, creating a perfect base for makeup application.

Dry skin can make makeup cling onto flaky skin patches, thereby smudging the makeup.


Including a good face primer in your skincare routine is also important as it creates a smooth and even surface for makeup application.

Primers can help to blur out imperfections and reduce the visibility of pores, leading to a flawless makeup finish that won't smudge easily.

Sun Protection

Finally, be sure to incorporate sun protection into your skincare routine. Exposure to the sun can lead to premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and damage to your skin.

Applying sunscreen can help in preventing these issues while also creating a protective barrier that will prevent makeup from smudging.

Best Longwear Foundation

Maybelline Super Stay Full Coverage Liquid Foundation

Maybelline's Super Stay full coverage formula boasts an impressive 30 hours of wear without budging, thanks to its quick-dry formula that's suitable for all skin types. Not only does it provide full coverage for your skin tone, but it also feels light as air on your skin. Plus, with its transfer, water, and sweat-resistant properties, you can rest assured that your flawless matte fresh makeup finish will stay put all day long.

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How to Keep Makeup From Rubbing Off - FAQ

It can be frustrating when you put so much effort into your makeup look and it just rubs off. You want to keep it looking fresh all day long and prevent foundation stains, but nothing seems to work.

Makeup can be expensive, and nobody wants their hard-earned cash to go down the drain. Regularly reapplying makeup products throughout the day can become a hassle that gets in the way of everyday life.

Thankfully, there are solutions! With these products, we make it easier than ever to keep your makeup looking fantastic from morning to night. These formulas are designed to stay put while still giving you the perfect look you’re after - no matter how active your day is.

How do I stop makeup from rubbing off?

You can stop makeup from rubbing off by using a long-wearing foundation with a non-greasy finish. Additionally, use a primer before the foundation to help it adhere better, and then finish with a makeup setting spray or powder to help set and protect the makeup.

Why does my makeup rub off so easily?

Makeup can rub off easily due to a number of factors, including excess oil on the skin, using too much product, rubbing your face throughout the day, or even not waiting long enough for products to dry before applying others.

Does setting spray keep foundation from rubbing off?

Yes, a setting spray can keep the foundation from rubbing off by locking it in place and creating a barrier between the skin and the makeup.

Additionally, finishing off with setting powder can help set the foundation and prevent it from sliding off, especially in warmer temperatures or humid conditions.

How do you make makeup stay all day?

To make your makeup stay all day, use a long-wearing foundation, an oil-free moisturizer, and primer. Apply your makeup in thin layers and use setting spray or powder to lock it in place.

Avoid touching your face as much as possible, and choose waterproof or smudge-proof formulas for eye makeup and lip color.

Can I use water as setting spray?

While you can use water as a makeshift setting spray, it won’t be as effective as a proper setting spray formula. Water may also cause your makeup to smudge or run.

It’s best to use a product specifically formulated for setting makeup, as they contain ingredients that create a barrier and help the makeup to adhere to your skin.


How to keep your makeup from rubbing off requires effort and strategy, but if done properly, it will yield stunning results. Taking the time to understand your unique skin needs and selecting the right products (e.g., primers, long-wear formulas, setting sprays) are essential steps that will prevent meltdowns and ensure a beautiful look for any occasion.

So, experiment with techniques and products that work best for you so that you can put your best face forward confidently. Finally, don’t forget to remove all of your makeup before going to bed at night - this helps keep your skin looking young and healthy.

All of these tips will help minimize the number of times you need to touch up your makeup during the day. You can also share your strategies of preventing makeup from rubbing off in the comment section below.

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Nisha Zahid
Author Nisha Zahid

A trusted PharmaD, she combines health expertise with style for honest reviews. Member of Belle Beauties since '22, she loves history and testing cosmetics off-duty.

A trusted PharmaD, she combines health expertise with style for honest reviews. Member of Belle Beauties since '22, she loves history and testing cosmetics off-duty.