While we’re sweating our eyeliner off at an overcrowded bar at 1 a.m. on a Saturday, our bartenders’ makeup seems to stay put. Even though our lipstick is smeared off on our pint of beer, they can still sass-mouth with a perfect pout until they’re yelling last call.
We may rely on our friendly bartenders for a heavy hand when pouring our after-work cocktail, but after some thought — and a couple of drinks — we asked ourselves: Are they also untapped resources for the secrets of melt-proof makeup? We went right to the source to find out.
Name: Jane Danger
Where she pours: The NoMad Bar
Style: Vintage coy with a shot of spunk.
Tell me a bit about how you get ready for work. “I really just focus on defining my eyes, to be honest. My shifts are longer at the NoMad, so I have to use a gel eyeliner and a concealer that stays pretty set. The Studio Finish Concealer [from MAC] stays set, which is great because I don’t like to use powder on my face.
“I keep things pretty toned down at the NoMad. Some of the other bars I work at are more rock-‘n’-roll, so I’ll go all out and wear purple sparkles on my eyes. But, here, I need something that can kind of last. You can’t have your makeup slipping halfway through a long shift!”
What about your hair? How do you style that for work? “I almost always do a bun. I have a lot of sparkly barrettes and headbands that I accent it with. I also like to do little braids or twist it in an area — anything to really get it off my face. I’m growing my bangs out right now, so that’s a bit tough.
“I like to do my hair when it’s a little damp. It helps it hold the shape better. Then, the next day, I just throw some dry shampoo in it and reset it into the style I had the day before.”
Do you have any tips to keep your makeup staying great all night? “I don’t usually wear a lipstick, but when I do, I go for matte. Since matte tends to slip, I usually keep a similar color gloss on hand. So, when my lips need a little extra color, I just duck under the bar and dab a touch of the gloss into the center of my lips. It instantly revives the color without me having to totally redo my lips.
Any tips for women you see from behind the bar? Don’t over-powder yourself! And, layer your lipstick with a lip liner. It will help it stay in place after a few drinks.”
Where she pours: The Park
Style: Classically sophisticated.Tell me a bit about how you get ready for work.
“I always wash my face before I go to bed and after I wake up every morning. I always take my makeup off, no matter how much I’ve had to drink — not that I drink at work! I’ve had troubled skin, and working behind the bar didn’t help. You’re hot, you’re sweaty, you’re wearing makeup, your pores are clogged, so your skin can’t breathe. So, skin care is huge for me.”My mom works for Clinique on Long Island, so I get hooked up a lot. I use their foundation and a pressed powder on top of that. But, I always use concealer because my nights are so long. Sometimes, I only get four hours of sleep!”
Where she pours: This ‘N That
Style: Rock-‘n’-roll badass.Tell me a bit about how you get ready for work. “I don’t really do a lot by way of makeup. I use a moisturizer with SPF and then a little bit of eyeliner and eyeshadow. I also use a pencil to fill in my brows, and that’s about it.”
What about your hair? How do you style that for work? “I put a lot more effort into my hair, actually. I’ll wash it, like, once a week. I have a natural curl, but it curls the wrong way, so I use my flat iron to redirect it. I use Osis Rough Up to give it texture — I put it in my fingers and twist it through the curls.
“Then, I’ll throw in a ton of hairspray and rough it up. I use one by Garnier Fructis, but Aqua Net also works well. I feel like it has to be really cheap hairspray to work for the type of look I want to go for.”