I consider myself a pro at washing my face. I spend at least two minutes lathering my skin with cleansers—two of them, actually, since I am an avid double cleanser—making sure to get every last millimeter of gunk and makeup off of my face. And I’m successful at doing this, save for one exception: removing lipstick.
Whether I’m rocking a bold fuchsia lip or a more subtle neutral, my makeup abolishing abilities end at my lips. I just don’t know how to remove lipstick. Even makeup remover wipes don’t usually do the trick. Post-cleansing, I’ll usually have to scrub so hard with either a tissue or my poor not-white-anymore towel to get the pigment off, which leaves my lips dry, flakey and all shriveled up from the aggression. So I had to ask a makeup artist: Just how do you remove lipstick without wrecking your lips or leaving behind a crime scene in the bathroom?
Pro tip: It’s all about oil. “I love to use an oil-based cleanser to remove lipstick,” says Jeannie Vincent, a Boston-based makeup artist. “Or you can use a straight up oil with a few drops of water. You can use either a cotton, Q-tip, or reusable cotton round to remove it.” Her go-to is sweet almond oil, which works particularly great on makeup (plus it tends to be cheap, like this $3 option from Amazon). Also helpful is emulsifying the oil via some H2O. “Putting a couple drops of water on top of the oil helps to emulsify it so you’re not left with an oil slick on your mouth, but it will still be nice and hydrating,” she says. Swipe a moisturizing balm over your lips once you’re done, and no one will even know you were just wearing lipstick. My towels are going to be grateful.
BTW, here’s how to color match your lipstick (because it doesn’t just apply to your foundation). And since you know how to get it off properly, here’s how to apply liquid lipstick for a bold, long-lasting pout.
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