How to Keep Makeup On Under a Face Mask

It looks like wearing face masks is going to be a regular part of our routine for now, which poses a problem for regular makeup wearers. It can be a bit of a struggle to keep makeup on your face and off of your face mask when there’s constant cloth-to-skin contact. However, it’s not impossible to slay the makeup game while staying safe behind a mask.

Here are five tried and true tips on how to keep makeup on under your face mask that I’ve had success with recently— feel free to share your own in the comments!

How to Keep Makeup On Under a Face Mask | Slashed Beauty

Tip #1 – Skip Makeup Below the Eyes

It’s got to be said— if you’re not planning on removing your mask at any point, there’s really no reason you need to apply product where it won’t be seen. Not only will this save you the hassle of trying to mask-proof your makeup, but you’ll also be saving product and money in the long run! However, if you’re in a position where you’re only wearing a mask sometimes (perhaps removing it to eat in public), you can move right along to the next tip.

Face Mask Makeup Tip: Apply less foundation where the face mask touches your face. | How to Keep Makeup On Under a Face Mask | Slashed Beauty

Tip #2 – Apply Less (or No Product) to Mask Contact Points

Depending on what type of mask you’re wearing, the contact points can differ. Put on your mask before you start your makeup and take note of where you feel it making the tightest contact with your face. Say a sentence out loud to see where it rubs your skin as your mouth moves. These are the areas you don’t want to apply a lot of product, if any. One thing I’ve been doing is skipping foundation near these areas and going in with a concealer to spot-correct any discoloration under the mask. Alternatively, you can apply less foundation to these area by covering them last with whatever little product is left on your sponge.

Best Foundation for Under a Face Mask: L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Longwear Foundation | How to Keep Makeup On Under a Face Mask | Slashed Beauty

Tip #3 – Use High Coverage, Matte Foundation

You can get away with using less makeup in thinner layers when using full coverage foundation. Additionally, choosing matte foundation will ensure it dries down and isn’t as transferable as a dewy or fresh finish. The best foundation for under face masks I’ve found (and I’ve tested several for this purpose!) is the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Longwear Foundation Not only is it extremely high coverage, but it still feels lightweight and flexible on the skin. My face looks smooth, with pores blurred, and I don’t have a dry or flat appearance when wearing it. This foundation holds up extremely well in heat and humidity, as well. If you have dry skin, matte products can be scary— just be sure you prep with a great moisturizer!

How to Set Your Makeup to Last Under a Face Mask | How to Keep Makeup On Under a Face Mask | Slashed BeautyBest Drugstore Setting Spray for Makeup Under a Face Mask: Essence You Better Work! Fixing Spray | Slashed Beauty

Tip #4- Don’t Forget to Set!

Setting your makeup is going to be the most important part of keeping it on under a mask. While I would typically opt for either a powder or setting spray, in this case I’ve found double duty to be the way to go. I start out by applying a fine loose powder like the Honest Beauty Invisible Blurring Loose Powder in a dabbing motion over the foundation most at risk. Then, I dust it over the rest of my face to even out the finish. Next, I follow up with a matte setting spray to seal everything in. My current favorite is the essence You Better Work! Fixing Spray which is sweat-resistant. I don’t find the spray to make the finish any more matte than it actually is, it just dries down completely and seals everything in.

Tip #5: Choose Matte Lipstick

You guessed it– matte lipstick or lip stain that dries down completely will be the most transfer-proof under your mask. I recommend the L’Oreal Signature Rouge Lipsticks or the Rimmel Provocalips 16HR Kissproof Lipstick. You can also take a regular lipstick and add a bit of translucent powder on top to mattify the finish. To be honest, I’ve been opting for clear lip balm most of the time these days since my mouth is hidden 99% of the time.

When I do my makeup with these tips in mind, I experience little to no makeup transfer onto my face mask. A little bit of transfer on the nose area is inevitable (it’s where my mask is tightest) but other than that, the mask stays relatively clean. Any slight residue that does transfer is usually powder and can be brushed off easily with my fingers.

Are you wearing makeup under your face mask?


  1. My makeup rubbing off my nose is one of my biggest issues with wearing a mask. I still wear it when I must, but hate when it rubs off my nose. I have always had horrible skin, and have too many scars, etc. to go out in public without makeup. I wear Cover FX full coverage foundation (have worn it for years because it’s the only one that covers it all up), and always set it with loose powder. But it still rubs off. I’ve heard that a primer can help, so I may try that.

  2. A HUGE Thank You for making this post!!!! I miss wearing makeup soooo much, so tips on how to be able to wear makeup and a mask are super helpful!

    I would love to see more posts like in the future! Maybe even more product recommendations? Maybe a few mid-range products? Again, Thank you soooo much for this post!!!!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Nina! You can subscribe in the side bar to get my posts delivered to your email so you don’t miss anything! Stay safe!

  3. Yeah I definitely now have makeup marks on my mask! Ekk! Plus it makes it quite difficult to keep chapstick on when trying to help chapped lips!

  4. I really like your tips at the beginning. I have a few different masks and each fits differently so testing out where the mask will be is a great tip. I can’t wear lipstick like that but I won’t often have my mask off to show that.

  5. Excellent tips for those who are going back to work! I haven’t been wearing makeup very often, and now I just wear mascara and eyeliner if I am leaving the house and yard which doesn’t happen much.

  6. I wear mask at the clinic so I don’t wear makeup now on weekdays. But I wear eye makeup once in a while just to break the monotony

    1. Thanks Rachel! Honestly I think that is the best way to not only keep your masks clean but save money on product!

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