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Katey Denno at work (Photo Credit: Jason Brownrigg for


If you’ve made the switch from mainstream makeup to natural brands like RMS Beauty or Vapour, you’re probably still admiring your new dewy, fresh-faced complexion.

But lots of converts also have a complaint: The pretty pots and sticks just don’t last as long as their conventional counterparts (because they’re missing the chemicals that make them cling).

“It’s just something that everyone will have to learn to expect,” says celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno, who gets stars like January Jones and Christy Turlington ready for the red carpet. “There are no crazy intense polymers in the natural world that will equal long-lasting color.” (Though some hyper-pigmented brands do stain well.)

Chelsea Handler
Denno used Vapour products to give Chelsea Handler her glow.

But, says Denno, while you may have to work a tiny bit harder and touch up your face during the day, it’s actually a good thing. Instead of feeding your skin endocrine-disrupting chemicals over and over, you’re nourishing your skin with hydrating bases like jojoba and coconut oil every time you reapply.

It will look better, too. “Instead of adding another layer onto old makeup, which creates a pancake-y look, you’re just adding a fresh glow,” she explains.

And while you’ll have to schedule a midday reach into your beauty bag, there are ways to maximize your natural makeup’s staying time. Here are Denno’s expert tips:

1. Moisturize first. Make sure your skin is properly hydrated. “If you put makeup on dry skin, it will be difficult to blend, and it will more likely disappear more quickly,” says Denno. “You don’t want your skin to absorb the cheek colors.”

2. Use a hydrating spritz. For midday touch-ups (when moisturizing before reapplying is not an option), opt for a hydrating spray like Tata Harper Floral Essence. Spritz, let it absorb, then touch up your face.

3. Dry your eyelids. Eyelids can be oily, in which case the creamy color will slide right off. “Make sure to wash or rinse your face and blot the eyelids dry before applying color,” Denno explains. “If your lids are on the dry side, it’s easier for the color to adhere.” —Lisa Elaine Held