How to Protect Your Makeup While Wearing a Mask

A stack of masks sit on a table.

As more businesses and states make it mandatory to wear a mask when in public spaces, it’s becoming more important to properly protect ourselves and others by wearing one. There are many types of masks to choose from, from a disposable one to a handmade, printed cloth mask from your Etsy shop. One challenge that can come with wearing a mask, though, is your makeup rubbing off onto it. Not only does this potentially stain your mask, but it can also lead to wasting your makeup and causing the need to reapply.

While the most convenient option would be to simply not wear makeup, sometimes you want to get a little dolled up to go to the grocery store. If you’re an avid makeup wearer, you aren’t out of luck – there are several ways to keep your makeup from rubbing off on your mask. Keep reading to learn the key methods you should be following to protect your makeup while wearing a mask.

Set your moisturizer

That’s right, prep before you prep. Use a hydrating moisturizer to bring some life to your skin and prepare it for the upcoming products, then very lightly set it with a translucent powder. This isn’t the time to bake or cake it on, a light dusting will do. This step works to create a barrier for your moisturizer, preventing it from mixing and interfering with your primer and foundation.

After setting with powder, lightly mist your face with a setting spray to further set your moisturizer.

Lightly setting your moisturizer will provide a smooth, even base to better protect your makeup from transferring.

Woman getting her face ready for makeup
Photo by kevin laminto

Use a sticky/tacky primer

Just as you would for any long night or hot, summer day, a sticky, tacky primer is always your best friend for keeping your makeup lasting longer. This formulation will cause your makeup to better grip to your base, making it much less likely to slip around or transfer onto your mask.

Opt for thicker base products

Though it seems a lightweight base would better match the summer heat and mask, it is more likely to wear off and transfer sooner. The fibrous material of the mask you’re wearing naturally picks up makeup products, so you want to use thicker products that are less likely to easily come off. For best results, apply a thicker foundation and/or concealer with a brush for even coverage, then set this base, as discussed in the next step.

Different colored beauty blenders.
Photo by Ray Piedra

Set your face, again

Now that you’ve applied all of your makeup, it’s time to set your face again. This ensures your makeup will truly last despite the fabric touching your skin. Using a beauty sponge, apply a dense layer of powder on the areas of your face with which your mask comes in close contact. Allow it to “bake,” sitting on your face for about 5 minutes before gently dusting it off.

With these simple prep steps, your makeup will be safe from your mask all day long!

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