Beauty + Makeup

4 Steps to Wearing Makeup with a Mask On

Being back in the office, I’ve had to adjust to wearing both makeup and a mask.  It’s less than ideal.  But I’ve put together a list of products that will help keep your makeup looking good all day long.

I know I’ve already talked some parts of this routine, but with more readers heading back to work soon, I’ve received a number of DMs and e-mails.  So let’s bring it around one more time.

Primer is essential to keeping your makeup on.  And the strongest primers are gripping primers.

This CoverFX Gripping Primer holds makeup on like a dream.  It also contains algae and other ingredients to smooth and firm skin.  It tightens when applied to give you a near-flawless finish.

Looking for a drugstore primer with similar power?  I like Elf Poreless Putty.

Tinted moisturizer just doesn’t wear long enough to hold up to a mask.  This Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation is what I wore on my wedding day.  It’s nice, medium coverage foundation that feels weightless when you wear it.

If you really need your makeup to stay put, you need a setting spray.  Urban Decay’s All-Nigher Spray is perfect.  It’s not sticky, doesn’t feel tight or heavy, and it really holds.

Just don’t be afraid to get a good spray going, more is better.  You want to hold the bottle six inches away from your face and spray it in an ‘X’ and then a ‘T’ shape.  That will give you the best coverage.

Need a drugstore version?  Black Radiance makes the best one.  It works well on all skin types, even oily skin.

The hospital-style masks people wear are murder on my skin.  Creasing, wrinkles, dryness, I get it all.  When I found these pricey-but-worth-it Wolford masks, I bought five.  I wear one of the reversible masks every day of the week.  The silky texture keeps the rubbing to a minimum, and doesn’t rub off my makeup the way a paper or cotton mask does.

As for how to wash the mask, I use a mesh laundry bag.  What happens if you skip the bag?  The shaping wire in the nose gets damaged and it’s tough to fix.

Regular detergent will do, but pre-treat them with Oxi-Clean sticks to get the extra makeup off.  And hang them up to dry instead of tossing them in the dryer.

If your back in the office, what are your tricks for keeping your makeup on?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Lea says:

    I have to wear the disposable masks for work and found I have less breakouts and irritation with makeup than without. It acts a bit like a barrier. My routine is similar to Abra’s except that I use setting powder when I expect to wear medical grade N95. Another thing that seems to make a big difference is that I wash my face right after dinner. The extra “breathing” time helps.

    March 4, 2021/Reply
    • Amanda says:

      Ditto to washing my face as soon as I can at night! I’ve started using the Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm and just reapplying it every time I take my mask off to Zoom.

      March 4, 2021/Reply
  2. Alex says:

    Not to yuck anybody’s yum here, but I don’t see the point of wearing makeup under a mask. I wear a little eye makeup, do my brows, and little powder on my forehead if I’m feeling oil and I call it a day.

    March 4, 2021/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I don’t have a choice unfortunately since my mask has to come off for a few hours every day to accommodate the desires of different members. I’m still socially distanced, but they can’t hear me, so if I don’t take it off, it makes for a long meeting.

      March 4, 2021/Reply
  3. PetiteCocotte26 says:

    I have been wearing Honeywell woven face masks that have disposable filter inserts. The face masks have a bit more structure and don’t sit right on top of my skin like my other cloth face coverings, so the make-up rub off is minimal. Also any makeup (or lipstick) that does rub off ends up on the insert, which I toss at the end of the day.

    March 4, 2021/Reply
    • Cait says:

      Honeywell masks are THE BEST! They adjust to fit your face really well, the cupped shape makes it easy to talk while wearing them without the movement of your mouth making the whole mask shift, and the filters are easier to change out than the pocket style.

      March 5, 2021/Reply
  4. Sarah says:

    This is super timely for me, as I just started going back to the office. I’ve been wearing tinted moisturizer all over my face, but basically then only wearing a full face from my eyes up–so I do a full eye & brow, but I don’t wear blush or bronzer or anything on my cheeks. I definitely notice things “slip” more because of the added condensation from the mask.

    March 6, 2021/Reply
  5. BN says:

    Re the mask: What if you need a mask that blocks covid like an N95? Thanks for all of the makeup tips!! Very helpful.

    March 8, 2021/Reply
    • Belle says:

      You can use a physical barrier cream under your makeup, it helps, but it’s tough with the tightly fitting mask.

      March 8, 2021/Reply