4 Bartenders Spill Their Beauty Secrets

Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
Have you heard the one about the bartender whose makeup never seems to slip? It's our version of the riddle of the sphinx: 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. After some extensive bar research (hey, it's for science), we tracked down four lady bartenders with killer style across NYC. Then, we picked their brains for the stay-all-night makeup tips that put them in a league of their own. Turns out, it doesn't take a whole lot to look incredible while serving a bar full of booze-hungry patrons for 10 hours at a time (...ahem).
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Ahead, find some clever tips and tricks to keep your makeup in place, straight from the pros. And, remember to tip your bartenders — they may just tip you back.
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
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!"

Ecru Top; Valentine Gauthier Skirt; Guess Shoes.
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
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."
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
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."
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
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."
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Jane's favorite concealer is lightweight and blends seamlessly for a melt-proof finish.
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For a matte lip that isn't drying, give this deep-red shade from NARS a go.
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Kat Von D's liquid lipstick is perfect for on-the-go (or ducked-under-the-bar) touch-ups.
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Barrettes don't have to be cheesy! These ASOS clips prove it.
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
Name: Keitha Clarkson
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!"

J. Crew Earrings; Ambali Paris Blouse; Schai Pants; Guess Pumps.
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
What about your hair? How do you style that for work?
"I always like to keep my hair clean. I wash it more than I should, probably! I'll wear it in a bun, way at the top of my head. I call it my disco bun."
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
Do you have any tips to keep your makeup staying great all night?
"If my face gets a little greasy during work, I blot my T-zone area with Boscia Blotting Linens. They don't take off your makeup, but they keep you from looking greasy. I've been using them for a while, and I really like them.

"I also apply my pressed powder with a sponge instead of a brush. It sticks where I place it for a lot longer, so I don't get shiny so easily."
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
Any tips for women you see from behind the bar?
"Definitely stop using gel! Those really tight, pulled-back ponytails with a lot of gel — I see them a lot, and they never look good."
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Keitha's go-to cleanser is a classic for a reason: It actually works.
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Use these CoverGirl makeup sponges to press powder into your T-zone.
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You may not have a Clinique hookup like Keitha, but the brand's foundation is still worth the cash.
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Throw some blotting linens into your purse so you can stay grease-free, whether you're behind the bar or in front of it.
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
Name: Leslie Van Stelton
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."

Truly Madly Deeply Top; Valentine Gauthier Skirt; Margaux Lonnberg Jacket; Urban Outfitters Socks; Attilio Giusti Leombruni Boots; Realm Ring; One by Falling Whistles Necklace.
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
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."
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
Do you have any tips to keep your makeup staying great all night?
"I use MAC Paint Pots as a primer on my eyes. It keeps my shadow from sliding all over the place. I like MAC because their products keep me from breaking out."
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
Any tips for women you see from behind the bar?
"I work very high-volume on the weekends. I get sweaty, I am bumping into people, I'm in the trenches. After a while, you just kind of have to go with your look, no matter what it looks like. I think women who don't tend bar can learn a little from that attitude. I think a bit of 'I don't care' goes a long way."
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Prime your eyes with MAC's Paint Pots to keep your shadow from slipping and sliding.
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Don't be afraid of a styling wax — it's perfect for creating those rock-'n'-roll curls.
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Leslie's go-to hairspray keeps her strands in place without making them crunchy.
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When in doubt reach for a classic hairspray.

Aqua Net Professional Hairspray, $3.19, available at Walgreens.
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
Name: Sahar Baddar
Where she pours: Brother Jimmy's
Style: Laid-back glam.

Tell me a bit about how you get ready for work.
"I like my look to be a bit glam but also natural for work. Usually I just apply my Lancôme mascara, an eyeliner, and my Clinique lipstick. My favorite color is Bamboo Pink."

Valentine Gauthier Top; Heikejarick Pant; Realm Necklace; Ivanka Trump Shoes.
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
What about your hair? How do you style that for work?
"For work I usually wear my hair wavy. I use a curling iron from Hot Tools that I took the clamp off of with a screwdriver. Using the iron, I wrap my hair around it in loose sections to get my waves."
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
Do you have any tips to keep your makeup staying great all night?
"Tarte's concealer is my go-to. It works really well to hide those fussy imperfections and blemishes. Plus, it lasts all night!"
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Photographed by Atisha Paulson.
Any tips for women you see from behind the bar?
"I hate seeing women try to over-amplify their lips by using way too much lip liner. Embrace what you have!"
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Bedroom eyes that won't smudge all night? Sign us up.
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Sahar's cherished mascara gives you false-looking lashes without the headache.
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Slip-proof concealer is just a squeeze away.
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Bamboo Pink is Sahar's favorite for a reason: It's the perfect pop of color.
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