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SaveBeauty & Style Our Favorite Mask-Friendly Makeup Tips

Our Favorite Mask-Friendly Makeup Tips

Need some mask-friendly makeup tips to keep your look on point? Here are a few ideas for budge-proof foundation, lipstick and more!

Our Favorite Mask-Friendly Makeup Tips

Some of us are headed back to the office, others are sticking with Zoom, and even though parties are finally making a comeback, it looks like masks are here to stay. Maybe not forever, but expect to wear them off and on for at least the next year. In the meantime, we’re moving on with our lives—and our makeup! Here are some mask-friendly makeup tips to keep you looking (and feeling) great!

1. Make a matte liquid lip your ride or die

If you’ve tried to wear lipstick at all over the past two years, then you know the conundrum. It smudges onto the mask, then back to your face … after a few hours, we've got a bad case of clown lips. Matte liquid lipstick to the rescue! Most other lipsticks—bullet lipstick, glosses, lip creams—will all smudge to one degree or another. Matte liquids dry down and stay put!

2. Tips to keep your favorite lipstick

While matte liquids are transfer-proof, plushy satins and glossy lips are topping the trend charts right now. To rock a satin lipstick that plays well with your mask, start with a lip primer to help hold the color in place. Once the color is on, blot with a tissue to remove excess. Lastly, if you have translucent setting powder, dust it lightly on your lips to help set your shade.

What about lip gloss and glossy lipstick? Unfortunately, glossy lip products are, by nature, easy to smudge. Instead of trying to set it, take the tube with you and put it on right before showtime for a fresh pucker-up.

3. Your other new bestie: waterproof mascara

If there is one go-to product, it’s mascara. Work, parties, date night—it magically widens your eyes and creates a dramatic effect. It can also smudge if your mask rides up close to your lower lash line. Add water-resistant mascara to your mask-proof makeup routine. Most waterproof formulations won’t budge no matter how much your mask tries to rub it off!

4. What to do about foundation?

If you’re anticipating wearing your mask for an hour or more, your best bet is to skip the foundation entirely if possible. Between natural sweat and the humidity of breathing, foundation formulas can break down, cause clogged pores, and even affect the way your skin produces sebum (your skin's natural oils).

But sometimes, you need that foundation! Here's how to create mask-proof makeup that that'll have you camera-ready:

  • Start with a good base. Do your usual skincare, but avoid oily products.
  • Next, choose a primer to suit your skin. Water-based primers work better for dry skin, while silicone-based primers tend to be more budge-proof on oily skin.
  • To get as much coverage as possible, choose a full-coverage long-wear formula that matches your primer (water-based or silicon-based) and apply it as lightly as you can. Keep it especially light wherever your mask rubs, like across the bridge of your nose or along cheekbones. This way, if your makeup does come off, it’ll be less obvious and easier to fix on the fly.
  • Set, set, set! Use a translucent setting powder (use a little extra wherever your mask rubs). Or, go with a setting spray to keep your makeup in place.

Pro tip: Stash a repair kit in your go-bag. Travel-sized products are your friend here! Carry a mini bottle of your usual shade, or get a matching powder foundation compact. Add in travel sizes of your favorite setting powder or setting spray, plus a few to-go makeup removers for oopsies, and you’ll be good to go all day.

5. Upgrade your mask game

There are a couple of options for makeup-friendly masks. If you’re worried about your lip but not your foundation, try a KN95. These have lots of space around the mouth, which prevents smudges, but they will wear away foundation around the edges of the mask.

The alternative is a silk mask. These are cooling, absorb less moisture, and they’re softer, which means less damage to your foundation. But since they fit snug against the face, beware they’ll smudge all but the toughest liquid lipsticks.

6. Don’t skip the blush and highlighter!

Blushes and highlighters are some of the best makeup for mask-wearing and look as glam as possible at a party. Most masks will leave at least part of your cheekbones peeking out, which means you can add some color for a little liveliness.

As far as highlighter goes, now is the time to try something different! Draw focus toward your eyes by applying a highlighter on the inner corners of your eyes, just below the browbone or a little bit above the brow, to give them a lift.

7. It’s all about the eyes

Have you ever worried that pairing a dramatic lip shade with a colorful eye look might be a little too extra? As many makeup addicts will tell you, it’s totally not extra—we love our Instaglam looks! Now’s your chance to go a little wild with colors, shimmers, or experiment with a new winged liner look.

8. Create a bold brow

Bold brows are another great way to pull attention to your eyes. Since there’s no mask up here, do it up! Our recommendations? Use powder or brow pomade to fill and darken your brows subtly. Eyebrow pencils are perfect for filling in sparse brows.

Between these mask-friendly makeup tips and a couple of well-chosen products, it’s easy to put a great look together.