Apart from a smooth texture, skincare benefits and the easy-to-use factor, most women just want make-up that sticks.
Or rather, cosmetics that last on the skin for the entire day - and night - to suit their alpha-woman, hectic lifestyles.
While most brands offer make-up that promises to last at least six to eight hours, many are kicking it up a notch with 24-hour formulas.
They are churning out industrial-strength face paint that lasts and lasts, with names to match.
Take, for instance, the new brow product by American brand Too Faced. Called Bulletproof Brows, it claims to be a 24-hour waterproof brow definer (an all-in-one powder, gel, pencil and setting wax) that locks down colour once it sets in 60 seconds.
Sephora, too, recently launched its Glitterguard Eyeshadow Primer 24 HR. Apply a thin layer on the lids and it apparently grips onto the glitter, shimmer and pigments for a wear of up to 24 hours.
Japanese cosmetics brand Ettusais' new Cream Eyeliner WP 24 also promises to help your eyes look more defined from the 9am boardroom meeting to the 9pm cocktail.
South Korean brand Clio - known for its long-wearing liquid eyeliner - has even created an eyebrow tint aptly called the Tinted Kill Brow that lightly stains the skin for three to seven days.
"Consumers are constantly searching for products that can withstand any situation and weather and we know they'd appreciate having a fuss-free experience when wearing their favourite cosmetics," says Ms Jeong Ha-im, Clio's junior assistant brand manager.
As for foundations, most women expect them to be long-wearing, as they cover the entire face.
Maybelline rolled out its Super Mineral 24 Liquid Foundation SPF 25 PA+++ last July. Made with a micro-mineral perlite ingredient, it traps oil and sebum, so the foundation can last all day. It is also available in a two-way cake variant.
Lancome, too, launched its blockbuster foundation, the Mat Miracle 24H Longwear & Comfort Satin Light Creator foundation, last April.
It is formulated with a technology called the Eternalsoft Fix Complex to control shine with medium coverage.
The brand's best-selling Hypnose Star Waterproof Mascara is also made to last 24 hours.
"We are continuously trying to come up with long-wearing products that would be relevant to our consumers who lead busy lifestyles," says Ms Yanny Li, the brand's product manager.
MADE FOR MINIMAL TOUCH-UPS
Even if the other cosmetic brands do not specifically offer make-up that lasts 24 hours, their latest formulas are longer-wearing than before, or made to add longevity to existing products.
Some of Parfums Christian Dior's new make-up offerings were inspired by the frantic, marathon backstage sessions during fashion weeks.
The resulting products? The Backstage Eye Prime for brighter eyeshadow colours that last; and the Glow Maximizer Light Boosting Primer, to give foundation extra glow and wear.
Estee Lauder was one of the first to introduce the long-wearing make-up concept with its Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup SPF10 foundation in 1997 for the busy woman.
"With a range of roles and responsibilities - from wife and mother to professional and hostess - she needed make-up that would keep her looking beautiful and polished no matter how many twists and turns her day took," says the brand's spokesman.
Estee Lauder has since expanded its long-lasting make-up to an entire collection.
It is not known how long the first Stay-In-Place foundation was supposed to last, but the current version promises up to 15 hours of wear and is humidity-resistant.
Its Double Wear Extreme Zero-Smudge All-Effects Mascara lasts up to 16 hours and the Stay-In-Place Brow Lift Duo pencil apparently gives one defined brows for as long as 12 hours.
But there are other make-up brands that do not believe that cosmetics should be made to last more than 12 hours - simply for the sake of the skin's health.
One such brand is Shu Uemura, even though its new products, such as the waterproof Lasting Soft Gel Liner Pencil, contain rigid silicone resin for durability. Upon application, the silicone evaporates and the resin becomes a long-lasting film.
"Most women would be out and about for eight to 12 hours, so we do not think that it is necessary for a cosmetic product to last up to 24 hours on the skin," says Ms Tan Meng Fuan, the brand's senior product manager.
"We believe that keeping the skin clean, balanced and healthy is more important."
Dr Rachael Teo, a dermatologist at the Raffles Skin & Aesthetics clinic, thinks that having make-up on for more than 10 hours a day is not a good idea either.
"Wearing cosmetics on a daily basis for long hours may cause or aggravate acne problems. Sleeping with make-up on is definitely not encouraged," she says.
Cosmetic products may cause the blockage of the hair follicle, leading to the inflammation of the sebaceous gland, she cautioned.
Once you are home, remove make-up thoroughly with a water-based micellar cleanser if you have oily skin. If you have drier skin, use a cream-based one.
Dr Teo also recommends that one goes without make-up at least once a week. This lets the skin "breathe".
Here are some long-wearing formulas to keep you looking fresh throughout the festivities
Catrice Made To Stay Inside Eye Highlighter Pen$5.50, from selected Guardian stores
ZA Killer Volume Mascara Waterproof$18.50, from Watsons stores
Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup$58
Nars Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner$36
Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge Waterproof Liquid Lip Color$40, from Sephora stores
Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color$32
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick eye colour$42, from Sephora stores
Clio Lipnicure liquid lipstick$19.90, from selected Watsons stores
Shu Uemura Lasting Soft Gel Liner Pencil for eyes$36
Lancome Mat Miracle 24H Long Wear & Comfort Satin Light Creator foundation$66
Make-up made to last all day
Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 HR eye make-up$15.90, from Watsons stores
RMK Ingenious Cream & Powder Eyes$65
Diorshow Iconic Overcurl mascara
Bobbi Brown Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadow$38
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spra$48, from Sephora stores
Shu Uemura Porefinist Anti-Shine Fresh Cleansing Oil$115 for 450ml
Biore Aqua Jelly Makeup Remover$24.90 for 230ml, from selected Watsons stores
Laneige Perfect Pore Cleansing Oil$48 for 250ml
ZA Smooth Cleansing Oil $15.50 for 100ml
Bifesta Cleansing Lotion Moist$16.90, from selected Watsons stores
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micelle Solution Cleansing Water$15.90 for 100ml, from selected Guardian stores
Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil$33
Boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel$40 for 150ml
Cyber Colors Cyber C’kin Ex All-In-1 Moisturizing Cleansing Water$29.90 for 250ml, from Sasa stores
Sephora Express Cleansing Wipes$6, from Sephora stores