Party-Proof Your Makeup


Holiday parties: a lethal combination of drunk dancing, late nights, and inclement weather. By midnight, your makeup's gone all Tammy Faye Bakker, and then, there you are on your friend's/coworker's Instagram the next day, wobbling along to "Wrecking Ball" with Smirnoff Ice in your hand and mascara on your upper lip. Don't run away to live in the subway tunnels just yet, though—there's still hope! Even if you don’t sleep, don’t wash your face, and don’t care, you can still look OK. Follow our advice and you'll be able to roll into the office the morning after with your head held high-ish, secure in the knowledge that your makeup, unlike social media, will never betray you. Below, everything you need to withstand wind, snow, and random acts of office karaoke:

One Bottle To Rule Them All
Primer is for the weak; use Make Up For Ever Aqua Seal instead. Aqua Seal is a wonder of modern chemistry, like Teflon or crystal meth. It's specifically for eyes, but you can mix a drop into shadow, liner, blush, foundation—anything besides mascara, really, since its initial stickiness creates the worst spider lashes ever—and get immovable makeup. Do some swatching beforehand, though. Aqua Seal intensifies pigment, so you're going to want to test things out and avoid a situation in which your unexpectedly dramatic makeup is also impossible to remove.

Totally Tubular Mascara
Owning tubular fiber mascara is almost better than having friends. It's always there for you, it makes you look good, it's low-maintenance, and it never makes you watch any episode from a Real Housewives franchise. Also, unlike other mascaras, fiber mascara doesn't puddle under your eyes or take half a day and a deck sander to remove. It just coats your lashes in tiny, adorable rubber-like tubes that come off with warm water, then asks you about your day and brings you a mug of tea. The classic fiber mascara is Imju Fiberwig, which is great but more of a daytime-wear thing to us. For party lashes, we like Blinc Mascara. Blinc is tear-proof (ideal for weddings and bouts of tipsy self-pity!), highly buildable, and has a nice, thick formula that can get your lashes ready for primetime in a couple coats.

Get in Line
Unless you're the CEO of Hot Topic, you probably don't want huge, smudgy eyeliner circles. However, when living an Extremely Awesome Life™, the look can be hard to avoid. Which is why we have great affection for super-soft Urban Decay 24/7 pencils. They go on smoothly no matter how tragically uncoordinated we are, they last forever, and the colors are awesome. If you like a harder pencil, Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners are also great, although we soften them up a bit by holding the tip over a lighter flame. Don't burn yourself though, please?

For Your Makeout Session
We've already talked about how to make your lip color stick and road-tested every long wear lip thingamabob we could get our hands on, so there's plenty of great information around if you want options. For just plain not-ever-coming-off power, though, we have to go with Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge. It's a two-step formula, but it blows away everything else on the market. Pair it with OCC Lip Tar and you basically have an unstoppable lip juggernaut (as long as you use a straw and don't eat much).

Set It and Forget It
Once you've got all your products shellacked on, it's time for Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. It's like a classic refreshing mist, but made of amazing/terrifying polymers that seal cosmetics onto your face for many, many glorious hours. Now you can dance to Robyn with tiny LEDs attached to your fingers, or jump in a fountain, or flirt with Jake Gyllenhaal at SoulCycle. The world is your makeup oyster! If you want to pretend like maybe you're spritzing Evian instead of Sodium Cocamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, stick it in the fridge. It feels nice and cool going on, just...try not to inhale.

—Lacey Gattis

Photos by Mathea Millman.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • rachna sharma

    thanks for sharing!

  • Lauren Hamster

    Such a great post just in time for the party season. Thank you, this will help me out a lot! x

  • softy

    if you could only get one, do you go with make up for ever aqua seal or urban decay makeup setting spray?

    • ITGLacey

      Hmmmmmmm, it depends on what your day-to-day is like! For travel, Aqua Seal, because it's extremely portable. For time saving, the Setting Spray—it's super fast to use.

  • Leslie

    The UD Spray is my fave!


  • Karen Fleischman

    The Urban Decay 24/7 are the very best eyeliners I have ever used.They are so creamy and glide on but don,t come off till you take them off.I love Rockstar!

  • ThoughtsofGlam

    Love this! My go to is also Urban Decay's Primer Potion. I posted something earlier that had it on sale for $10. They sold out quick, but I'm glad I picked a couple up. They can be pricey otherwise.

  • Christine Stevens

    Laceyyyyyy!!!!! YES! I have been waiting for a new article from you! Again, you bring me the laughs with such gems as "Aqua Seal is a wonder of modern chemistry, like Teflon or crystal meth." Also, based on the anecdotes and how-to examples provided for each long-lasting item, you sound like a really fun person to party with - though I should have known (Extremely Awesome Life™).

    While I have a raging addiction to Mac Fix+ (I've gone through 8+ bottles and have 2 backups on hand at ALL times), I may have to give the UD All Nighter a spritz next time I'm in a Sephora. And those geniuses at Make Up For Ever just keep on coming with the hits - Aqua Seal? Really? I live in Florida and have combo/oily skin. This should be our new state flower and sold alongside

    As always, I look forward to reading your next post!

  • amelia

    i own Perversion and it definitely does NOT last all night... i still use it because it's super black and easy to apply, but its lasting power leaves a lot to be desired.


MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Rouge 19 Pomegranate Pink
MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Seal 0.4 oz
Urban Decay
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in Light Brown 19L
Imju Dejavu Fiberwig Lash Knockout Mascara Dynamite Black, 9.3g,
Blinc Mascara
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar – Matte Queen
Urban Decay Cosmetics
All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
Evian Facial Water Spray