How to stop your lipstick from smudging under your face mask

How to stop your lipstick from smudging under your face mask

Put on your face mask, only for your lipstick to smear everywhere? Here, a make-up artist shares her tips on how to avoid lipstick smudging.

Alongside grabbing your wallet and keys before heading out the door, we now need to make sure we’re taking our face masks with us any time we go out. Face masks have become mandatory across public transport, as well as in shops and supermarkets.

Of course, it’s important to wear one to protect yourself and those around you – and that will always be the priority – but some have noticed a few day-to-day issues that are caused by wearing one. Aside from steaming up glasses, a lot of people have noticed that face masks can smudge lipstick.

A couple of weeks ago, I got off the bus, removed my mask and noticed my pink lipstick had smeared around my mouth. And last week, I waited until I completed my journey to take off my mask and apply my lipstick outside the tube station before meeting friends.

Even Stylist’s digital writer Hollie Richardson sent me a message over the weekend, stating: “LIPSTICKS WITH MASKS. MINE KEEPS SMUDGING AND IT’S SO ANNOYING”. Her message was then followed by a few others from various friends with similar qualms.

So how do you stop your lipstick from smudging underneath your mask? We asked Hollie Ellis, Bobbi Brown Pro Artist, for her advice.

Pick the right formula

“I would definitely suggest wearing a more mattifying lipstick underneath a mask. If you don’t have a matte lipstick, then apply a lip pencil underneath yourlipstick to help hold the formula in place.

“If you don’t have a lip pencil, then apply your lipstick and use a tissue to blot off any excess product.”

  • Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Harlow Red, £22.50

    Bobbi Brown Luxe Matte Lip Colour in On Fire, £28


  • Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Liner in Pillow Talk Medium, £17

    Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk Medium, £25


Re-consider your application technique

“Lipstick smudging is something I have definitely had to adapt to since wearing a mask. Always prep your lips with lip balm, as this will prime the lips for a smoother and longer application.

“Also, instead of applying your lipstick directly, use your fingertips to blot and press the formula onto the lips for a stained-like effect. It will not transfer onto anything.

“Lastly, hold a tissue over your lips, and lightly dust some setting powder on top of the tissue. This will set your lipstick without leaving it feeling too dry.”

  • Lanolips The Original 101 Ointment, £10.99


  • The Body Shop Hemp Heavy Duty Lip Care, £4.50


  • Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, £32


If you do get smudging, it’s not hard to clean it up

“Always carry a concealer or a foundation in your hand bag. I love to keep a stick foundation in my bag for any top ups throughout the day. Use your fingertips and press a little around any smudges to brighten those areas and make your lipstick appear crisper.”

  • Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick, £32 (pictured in Espresso)


  • Glossier Stretch Concealer, £15

    buy now

Follow Hollie’s step-by-step guide to avoid lipstick smudging

Step 1: Apply your lip balm first thing in the morning and let it soak in before applying your lipstick. Or, if you applied lip balm just before your lipstick, blot off any excess with a tissue. 

Step 2: Apply your lip pencil around the edges of the lips. For a longer lasting effect, fill in towards the centre, as this will help your lipstick to stay put on top.

Step 3: Use your fingertip to blot the lipstick formula onto the lips for a stain-like effect. 

Step 4: Once you’ve applied your lipstick, place a thin piece of tissue over your lips. Then, take a brush and lightly dab a translucent setting powder on top, directly over the lip area. This ensures all of the excess lipstick is blotted away and the staying power will be much greater.”

No longer will I need to stand outside a tube station or a bus stop, take off my face mask and haphazardly apply my lipstick ever again…

Main image: Getty

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