Behind the Mask: How to Wear Makeup with a Face Mask

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Best Ways to Wear Makeup Behind a Face Mask

Behind the Mask: How to Wear Makeup with a Face Mask

In lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have had to adjust not only how we live our daily lives but how we carry out basic tasks, such as visiting the grocery store or going to the doctor. While these changes pose their own unique challenges, one challenge that needs to be addressed is makeup application—how do you wear makeup under a mask, and what can you do to prevent it from rubbing off?

Adjusting your beauty routine is no easy feat, especially when you’re in uncharted territory. That’s why we’re here with our favorite tips for wearing makeup under a mask, plus our favorite mask-approved products!

How to Wear Makeup with a Face Mask

Face coverings and makeup don’t tend to mix, as the friction can lead to issues like clogged pores and irritation. To learn the best way to wear makeup with a mask, we met with Dr. Joel Schlessinger, board-certified dermatologist and LovelySkin CEO.

“I see many patients who wear makeup and invariably get 'maskne' from the combination of hot air recirculating behind the mask, infrequently cleaned or changed masks and makeup that may have been slightly contaminated even before application. Keep in mind that makeup that may have had a slight level of bacteria that was 'acceptable' prior to masks is now going to be accentuated and turn into a problem when air is hot and the bacteria that is normally in your mouth is added to the mix. It is a real problem. My best tips are to CHANGE OUT YOUR MASK FREQUENTLY! And, if you can't change it out, purchase cloth ones that can be washed. And wash them. If your makeup is questionable, please replace it rather than putting on germ-laden makeup. The same thing goes for your brushes as they are a source of easy and common contamination. One last tip is to use a mouthwash frequently in order to avoid germs and bacteria in the mouth from easily contaminating your face and mask."

Tip #1: Use lip balm instead of gloss or lipstick

While maintaining a proper skin care regimen and cleaning your mask regularly is essential , so is lip care. Masks can sap all the moisture from skin, which includes the lips! To avoid this and create a barrier between your lips and mask, apply a nourishing lip balm. We love FixMySkin 1% Hydrocortisone Healing Lip Balm – Vanilla because it contains 1% hydrocortisone to repair damage, as well as shea and cocoa butters to deeply comfort skin.

FixMySkin 1% Hydrocortisone Healing Lip Balm - Vanilla.

Dr. Schlessinger Pro Tip: To heal irritation caused by wearing masks for prolonged periods of time, Dr. Schlessinger recommends FixMySkin 1% Hydrocortisone Healing Body Balm – Fragrance-free. In addition to containing healing hydrocortisone, this powerful balm improves and maintains a healthy moisture barrier.

Tip #2: Accentuate your eyes

Since masks cover the majority of our features, our best tip is to accentuate the features you can see—your eyes! Add a unique color to your eyes, or give your lashes a fluffy flutter with your favorite volumizing mascara.

To enhance your natural lashes and brows, try neuLASH/neuBROW PROFESSIONAL™ by Skin Research Laboratories ® Introductory Kit. We’re obsessed with this dermatologist-tested kit, as it contains a peptide blend to encourage healthy hair growth, isopropyl cloprostenate to strengthen hair and many other natural extracts and antioxidants to promote more beautiful-looking brows and lashes.

neuLASH/neuBROW PROFESSIONAL™ by Skin Research Laboratories ® Introductory Kit

To create a sultry, smoky eyeshadow look that lasts all day, try bareMinerals Bounce & Blur Eyeshadow Palette – Dusk. The crease-resistant, weightless formula offers a range of finishes from satin to shimmer that can be blended, built upon and buffed out for a look that’s all your own.

bareMinerals Bounce & Blur Eyeshadow Palette – Dusk

For an edgy, dramatic embellishment, enhance your look with Glo Skin Beauty Liquid Ink. Featuring rich, saturated color that provides all-day wear, this smudge-proof eyeliner allows you to create a perfectly precise look.

Tip #3: Use non-comedogenic products

While applying a full face of makeup might be the practice pre-COVID, it’s not the most practical when wearing a mask. If you can, avoid foundation and concealer when possible. If it’s unavoidable, apply only to the areas you need it most—like to cover dark circles or conceal redness—and opt for non-comedogenic products (also known as products that won’t clog pores).

To keep your look in place, try Dermablend Power-Setter 2-in-1 Makeup Setting Spray. In addition to being non-comedogenic, this weightless, gentle spray locks makeup in place. It’s also oil-free and fragrance-free, making it suitable for all skin types!

Dermablend Power-Setter 2-in-1 Makeup Setting Spray

Bonus tip: Draw attention away from your mask by switching up your hair color

Another simple way to draw the eye away from your mask and back onto your gorgeous features is to give your locks a boost! Switch up your hair color with Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask – Cocoa, or enhance existing color with a toning shampoo like Redken Color Extend Brownlights Blue Toning Shampoo. Formulated with special blue pigments, this shine-boosting shampoo enhances natural and color-treated brunette hair while eliminating brassiness and strengthening strands.

Redken Color Extend Brownlights Blue Toning Shampoo

The Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask features a blend of natural oils that deeply conditions hair while depositing temporary, vibrant color that enhances an array of looks and extends color between salon visits—the perfect stay-at-home companion!

Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask

Want to learn more about the right products to use with a face mask? Read more on our blog!

About the Author

Ashley is a content writer at LovelySkin and a self-declared beauty junkie. She enjoys reading and watching Harry Potter, spoiling her chihuahua (who is a proud Gryffindor), and trying out new products.

Other Posts by Ashley


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