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A beauty expert shares his top tips for wearing makeup with a face mask on

Our social lives resuming post-quarantine means makeup is making a comeback.

For two months, many of us have gone from wearing makeup daily to barely, and the sudden ability to see people outside of our household again has got us running to our vanities in a tizzy. Being able to get into full beat again is as exciting as can be, but once you put on your face mask to leave the house, you’re on road to regret.

tinoq goh
Tinoq Goh. (Photo credit: @pasirpanjangboy)

Stains, streaks, foundation and lipstick-stained face masks are just some of the issues coming to light when a full face of makeup meets a sheath over half your face in a hot and humid climate. Every problem needs an expert solution, so for the big question of “how to wear makeup with a face mask on”, we’ve asked local makeup artist, Tinoq Goh, for his two cents. Here are his tips:

1. Skincare first

Goh believes that the past two months and the road ahead offers us all time to let our skin rest and recharge from years of daily makeup wear. Given that masks can also trigger acne (now known as “mask-ne”), the quality of your skincare is even more important.

2. Tie your hair up

how to wear makeup with face mask
Photo credit: Rosalind Chang/Unsplash

We live in a hot and humid climate, and this is never your best friend. Sweat often enters the fray to cause discomfort, and with a face mask on, the discomfort skyrockets as your makeup’s staying power dips. To help ease the heat, Goh advises tying your hair up when you’re out. It keeps your face cool, but also ensures hair, which can trap bacteria, is kept away from your skin.

3. Groom your eyebrows

“Well-groomed eyebrows are a must,” said Goh. Given that eyes are really the only window to any form of facial expression, you want your brows to be kempt. Since eyebrow grooming services are back in business, you have little excuse. Alternatively, groom your own brows at home with our tips here.

4. Focus on your eye makeup

how to wear makeup with face mask
Photo credit: Siyan Li

“No one can see your smile, so let your eyes do the talking. Let them be expressive,” said Goh. He believes that eye makeup is where you can let your creativity run free.

“Experiment with colours for the eyes — orange, or bronze. Let them be warm,” he advises. “If you’re going for a more minimal eye look, use lots of lashes and mascara for definition.”

5. Avoid lipstick

Given that half your face is covered, lipstick is a recipe for stains, even if they are liquid matte formulas. Instead, Goh recommends a light gloss or lip balm if you must wear lip product.

“Be sure to exfoliate your lips before you put anything on, as this helps the product stay on better,” he said.

6. Understand that stains are inevitable, so change up your base routine

how to wear makeup with face mask
Photo credit: Karly Jones/Unsplash

The main problem that people face with figuring out how to wear makeup with a face mask on is foundation transfer. Unfortunately, this is inevitable, explains Goh.

“People think “transfer-proof” means your foundation doesn’t stain, but it really means your foundation doesn’t transfer when touched. A face mask is always rubbing against the lower part of your face, and even setting spray cannot help guard your skin against this constant contact,” he said.

Instead, he advises to just keep your base simple. Don’t rely on foundation. Use a loose powder and concealer to even out your skin tone. Overall, keep things simple to avoid heavy-duty staining.

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.