Makeup in the age of Coronavirus
June 29, 2020
Ski Mask by Emilio Pucci 1962

With the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions finally starting to be lifted in the UK, and having already been lifted in many other countries, we’re all looking forward to finally being able to return to our normal lives.That of course includes wearing makeup regularly again, as many of us (myself included) have been sticking to a strictly pyjamas and bare-faced uniform for the past few months. However, in order to prevent the virus from spreading further, on 15th June it was made illegal to go on public transport without wearing a face covering in the UK (and those who break the law will have to pay a £100 fine), and the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) advice states that face masks “should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible”.

'Rose of Heaven' Mask by TygrTygrLDN


Of course nobody wants the virus to continue to spread, we all just want the pandemic to be over as soon as possible, but this new law poses some issues for us makeup wearers out there. Fear not, though! Everyone's makeup wearing experiences should still be as easy and smooth sailing as possible, so we've compiled a list of suggestions on how to use makeup whilst wearing face masks.


1. Don’t wear regular lipstick

One of the biggest issues presented by wearing makeup with face masks is that they cause your makeup to smudge, staining the mask and not resulting in the nicest look when you take it off. Inevitably, due to the fact that it’s colourful, this is particularly prominent with lipstick. But there’s an easy solution: liquid matte lipstick. Unlike regular lipsticks, which are more like a crayon, liquid matte lipsticks are essentially like paint for your lips. Once you’ve applied them, they dry, meaning that they won’t smudge, nor will they stain your mask. As an added bonus, liquid matte lipsticks are very long-lasting, with many of them lasting up to 12 hours, meaning that you don’t have to constantly reapply them like with regular lipsticks.

"Faded" by Jordan King and Tina Chang for Beauty Archive


Face masks can also be mildly to extremely irritating for many people, whether that be due to skin conditions like Eczema or just because of cheap material. This can result in scratching your face and the constant licking of your lips, which can damage the epidermal skin barrier. Moreover, you probably also don’t want to be licking and potentially swallowing lipsticks made out of a concoction of inedible chemicals. So if this issue is affecting you, I recommend wearing tinted lip balm instead. Most lip balms are made from ingredients that are food grade rather than cosmetic grade, so therefore they’re safe to swallow. Furthermore, seeing as the whole purpose of lip balms is to moisturise your lips and prevent chapping, they can counteract the irritation caused by masks.


Glossier Balm Dot Com

2. Wear tinted moisturiser

As with lipstick, foundation is likely to smudge under your face mask, However, this problem can be solved by wearing a tinted moisturiser instead. Tinted moisturiser is all the rage at the moment, and with good reason. It is a facial moisturiser that is tinted with makeup pigments, giving an appearance similar to that of a a BB or CC cream. It smudges far less than foundation, whilst still providing some coverage and simultaneously hydrating your skin. It’s a win-win. It’s also super easy to apply: just apply it the same way you’d apply any lotion or cream. Furthermore, tinted moisturiser creates a gorgeous dewy, glowing look, which is perfect for summer.

3. Use setting spray

If you want to resolve the smudging issue but don’t want to opt for matte lipstick or waterproof foundation, there’s an alternative solution: setting spray. Makeup setting spray is a liquid mist that is used to prolong the lifespan of your makeup look, preventing smudging and fading. It has other benefits too, as it can help keep your skin hydrated, reduce oiliness and enhance your chosen foundation finish.


4. Focus on your eye makeup

Your lipstick, foundation, bronzer, highlight and any other products that are below your eyes will obviously not be visible while you’re wearing a face mask. However, you can still achieve a striking look by focusing on your eye makeup instead. Use eyeliner and mascara to accentuate your eyes, and you could also add some colour to your look by wearing eyeshadow. Then, depending on what sort of look you are trying to achieve, wear either brow liner or brow power to accentuate your eyebrows. Brow liner is ideal for those who have gaps in their brows or asymmetrically shaped brows, or who want a super defined look, whereas powder is ideal for those who want a softer look.


"Millenials" by Sarah Brimley for Beauty Archive

5. Take some products out of your routine

One of the ways that you can wear makeup whilst wearing face masks is actually by not wearing makeup, or rather by taking unnecessary products out of your makeup routine. If something isn’t adding anything particularly noticeable to your look, consider just ditching it altogether. Although doing this may make you feel like your look is incomplete, bear in mind that in addition to reducing smudging and saving time, it can also reap some health benefits. Face mask or not, it is imperative to let your skin breathe every now and again, in order to keep it hydrated, prevent the blocking of your pores and reduce the likelihood of breakouts. Plus, do you really need to be sporting a full highlight and contour to pick up some new socks from Primark? Probably not.

6. Be creative

Just because you may need to dial down your usual makeup looks for the foreseeable future, doesn’t mean that you can’t express yourself in alternative ways! Try experimenting with new hairstyles, hair accessories, jewellery, nail looks, or whatever it is that makes you feel cute and represents your style. Remember that beautifying isn’t limited to your face.

If you enjoyed these tips and want to share your results, drop us a message on Instagram @beautyarchiveofficial or tag us in your story. Keep an eye on our IG and website for similar content.