When it comes down to how your makeup sits, looks and lasts, it's normally down to how you prep and prime your skin beforehand. This can be done in the form of a moisturiser, serum or primer, all of which help prep the skin and protect it.
Finding a moisturiser which has an SPF and a touch of colour can be a great option to use under foundation or to use alone on days you don't feel like wearing a tonne of makeup. Origins VitaZing (£29.00) is lovely option and also adds a bit of glow and colour back into the skin. This also contains an SPF of 15 which is essential to protect the skin from sun damage and slow down your skins ageing process. CC creams are also a lovely option and hold great skin benefits. Estee Lauder, Origins and Bourjois make some excellent ones!
Of course if you want your makeup to sit better and last longer then you will want to use a primer. If you want one that has highlighting properties the Dior Glow Maximiser Light Boosting Primer (£28.50) is my favourite. You only need about 1 pump of this and I tend to focus it down the centre on my face and on my cheeks which is where I want the most glow. It's a rosy shade with light reflecting particles and sits beautifully under makeup. If you are looking for something more budget friendly then try the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Primer (£9.99) which is has a very similar finish.
As for bog standard primers, loads of brands make decent ones which make your makeup last for the whole day or night. I'm really enjoying the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer (£20.00) at the moment and it's great for smoothing out the skin, but it doesn't have that silicone-y slippy feel that I find most primers have. Instead it's a lot more creamy which I think is down to the mineral base. Laura Mercier also make a great one and the Benefit Porefessional Primer (£24.50) is one to check out it you suffer from large pores.
If you're going for a smokey eye or using any type of shadows you know will crease or fade throughout the day then you will need to invest in an eye primer. My favourite is the Urban Decay Primer Potion (£16.00) which is a nude shade so evens out the lid and creates a nice, clean canvas for any shadow. You can also find some that are more shimmery or have a tint of colour which is a good option if you want something quick and simple, but still pretty on the eyes. Cream shadows can also be a good eye base option and you can use them alone as they usually come in a lovely range of shades. Maybelline do some great ones at an excellent price, or for something more luxurious MAC and Chanel have some lovely formulas that last all day.