While many of us have likely learned of at least one side-effect that’s come with regular face mask wear (maskne, we’re definitely talking about you), it has to be said that slipping a mask on and off can also wreak havoc on yet another aesthetic aspect—your make-up.
No, we’re not advocating for you to do away with masks altogether, and not only because it’s the best method for protecting yourself against catching a virus, or giving your illness to another, short of socially-distancing from others. But, with months of wearing masks as often as possible under our belts, we know that we can get the best of both worlds—all the protection, plus make-up maintenance.
Of course, this is also the perfect time to take a quick pause on make-up wear, given that proper mask wear should cover the majority of your face. However, a little glam can also serve as an easy pick-me-up in a time where yoga pants and a whole lot of time indoors reigns supreme.
To ensure that you’re applying your make-up so that it’s primed for mask wear, we enlisted the help of MAC Cosmetics’s global senior artist, Carol Mackie, to guide us through the steps we should take to ensure our look is budge-proof. We’ve also curated a ready-to-shop list of expert-approved products to sub into your make-up routines to ensure your products are staying put, even through mask wear and removal. So scroll on, and rest assured that this morning’s make-up will still be there by the time you get home that evening.
How should we prime our skin prior before applying make-up to ensure it doesn’t get removed when wearing a mask?
“Now that we are masking up to step out of the door, we’re seeing a whole new shift in make-up,” shared Mackie. “We need make-up to be breathable, [to] last, and still look fresh when you take off your mask at the end of the day! Primer and perfect foundation are key. Primer literally locks in your skincare products to ensure you’re getting all the goodness from your skincare, including hydrating facial mists, serums, and moisturisers. Primer also acts like a magnet on top of your skincare, snapping your foundation in place whilst allowing skincare to do its thing underneath! It also enhances the application of the foundation, making it last longer.”
What should we look for in a product to make sure it’s long-wearing, budge-proof, and won’t clog our pores while wearing a mask?
“Firstly, check out the claims when looking for long-lasting foundations; it means they’ve been tried, tested and worn over long periods of time,” Mackie advises. “Here are some great key claims to look out for: ‘longwearing’, ‘controls oil and shine’, ‘non-acnegenic’, ‘non-fading/streaking/caking/settling’, and ‘sweat- and humidity-resistant’.”
Could you share some tips on how to apply mask-proof make-up?
“Avoid anything overly creamy; cream blush and highlighters can move easily with a mask on,” warns Mackie. “Instead, opt for a powder blush and/or highlighter that won’t move and can easily be refreshed simply by spritzing with a hydrating mist. One big mistake I [also] notice at times is when people apply skincare and make-up too quickly without taking the time to massage moisturiser into the skin or apply primer. Foundation can become too moist, and with the addition of humidity whilst wearing a mask it will simply slip off!
“Try using a brush. This makes my make-up application and skincare so fast! I use a MAC Cosmetics 170 Synthetic Rounded Slant Brush that is dense, full and firm—it allows me to massage skincare in, apply primer over the top and then apply foundation all with the same brush. It’s also a great brush for applying and stippling if you want more coverage. There’s also a mini version—MAC 270 Mini Synthetic Rounded Slant Brush—that is perfect for applying concealer around the eyes as it fits perfectly into the inner corner and again can be used to stipple where you need more coverage.”
This story originally appeared in Australian Vogue.
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MAC Cosmetics Prep & Prime Skin
“Suitable for all skin types, Prep + Prime Skin Visage is an oil-free, lightweight primer that’s formulated with special silicones to improve the laydown of foundation and reduce redness. It is also non-acnegenic, so it won’t clog pores!,” recommends Mackie.
MAC Cosmetics Prep & Prime Skin, $58 for 30ml; available at Sephora
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MAC Cosmetics Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation
“Lasting the distance in my kit and on the face is MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF15 Foundation. It’s perfect under a mask as it helps to control oil, is sweat- and humidity-resistant and lasts a huge 24 hours! It also contains algae extract, so it’s moistening and comfortable. It protects the skin, calms redness and irritation. It’s also non-acnegenic so it won’t clog pores, plus, there is a shade to suit every skin tone, with 65 shades on offer to choose from!” says Mackie.
MAC Cosmetics Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation, $59 for 30ml; available at Sephora
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Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup SPF 10 Foundation
The now-iconic Estée Lauder foundation has certainly earned a rep for being budge-proof with its 24-hour staying abilities. This foundation can also be adjusted depending on the texture you want to achieve. Fleming herself too recommends the staying power of Double Wear : “a classic foundation that is budge-proof, sweat-proof and humidity-proof is Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Stay In Place Makeup. Even under the trying conditions of a mask, I can almost guarantee this full-coverage matte foundation won’t move.”
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10 Foundation, $71 for 30ml; available at Sephora
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Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation
“When wearing a mask, I recommend selecting a foundation with a light pigment and formulation. The Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation has a uniquely lightweight formula, yet is still a full coverage foundation, resulting in a long-wearing, fade-resistant coverage, which is ideal for reducing transfer to your mask!” shares Baumann.
Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, $78 for 30ml; available at Tangs
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MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix 24hr Smooth Wear Concealer
“This won’t budge! It’s super smooth and moisturising at the same time, and gives a full, buildable coverage. It has unique film formers that make the concealer transfer- and water-resistant, wearing up to 24 hours while providing full buildable coverage and is available in a massive 34 shades!” shares Mackie.
MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix 24hr Smooth Wear Concealer, $41 for 7ml; available at Sephora
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Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer
Tarte’s Shape Tape Concealer was made for the title of budge-proof make-up. A self-setting product that will help to stay in place all day, it offers a high-coverage matte finish sans any flaking or creasing.
Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer, $42; available at Sephora
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Urban Decay Stay Naked Correcting Concealer
The Stay Naked Correcting Concealer is a lightweight, breathable formula that offers buildable full coverage. Its waterproof formula means you can count on it to stay put and resist transferring for up to 24 hours without the cakey feel.
Urban Decay Stay Naked Correcting Concealer Concealer, $40; available at Sephora
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It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer
“Not even your hot breath escaping through the top of your mask will compromise It Cosmetics’ Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer. This product will ensure your eye game is strong and long-lasting—eyes are the focus now, right?” says Fleming.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer, $42 for 12ml; available at Sephora
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Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
The key to make-up and eyebrows that don’t melt-off is setting. This iconic powder has been proven to help set make-up and control shine for 16 hours while allowing your skin to breathe. This season, the cult range got a new addition to the family with its Translucent Honey shade, dubbed the more versatile and natural-looking option to banana powders on the market today. It offers a natural, peachy-yellow toned matte-finish for medium and olive skin tones and just like the rest of the family, offers a no-flashback formula, meaning you can selfie away as the powder helps subtly blur the look of fine lines and more.
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $70; available at Tangs
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Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth
Not only is this Fenty highlighter longwear and transfer-resistant (and is likely a staple in Rihanna’s very own kit), the lightwear powder is also available in eight different shades, meaning you’ll likely find one which complements your skin tone and prevents you from applying too large an amount that will rub off the skin quickly.
Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth, $46 for 6.23g; available at Sephora
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Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer
“The Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer will help to give the illusion of a sun-kissed glow. Featuring a super matte formulation, this is going to give you better colour payoff to last under your mask. Add a loose powder first before the bronzer and this will help it stay on even longer!” shares Baumann.
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer, $48 for 8g; available at Sephora
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Mac Cosmetics Mineralize Blush
“[This is] a beautiful blush with baked minerals refined into a powder formula that provides an exceptionally sheer application. There are so many powder blushes available, however Mineralize Blush adds that touch of radiance on a matte finish foundation and doesn’t move! The lightweight formula glides onto skin to achieve luminous colour that builds lightly, layer after layer, without heavy coverage. [It also] veils and enhances the cheekbones with a pearlised shimmer,” shares Mackie.
Mac Cosmetics Mineralize Blush, $50 for 3.2g; available at Sephora
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Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain
This hardworking tint will guarantee you a gentle flush that won’t smudge, being that a tint stains your complexion and blends into the skin, rather than sitting on its surface like a traditional blush does. For Fleming, it’s also high time that you work Benefit’s tint into your product round up: “If there was ever a time to invest in a good cheek stain, it’s now. Benefit’s Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain has got your budge-proof blush needs covered, although you might want to be light-handed as the warmth inside your mask might already give your cheeks a natural flush.”
Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain, $31 for 6ml; available at Sephora
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Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
“This is the time for setting sprays to shine, and the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray is one that has stood the test of time! Apply liberally to set your make-up, let it dry and then apply another coat. This is going to give you a great barrier between the make-up and the mask. Give your mask a spray too to help really lock down your look. The Temperature Control Technology (a patented technology that regulates the temperature of your make-up) will also help to keep your make-up from smudging or melting under your mask.”
Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, $48 for 118ml; available at Sephora