Sick of spotting your lip product smudged on the inside of your face mask? Here's how to avoid it. Photo / Getty Images

How To Prevent Your Lipstick From Transferring Onto Your Mask

Ashleigh Cometti shares expert tips on how to make your lipstick outlast your mask

Lipstick has taken a back seat over the past two years, making way for eyes to step into the limelight while lips remained hidden under masks.

But now, these mood-boosting bullets are having a renaissance of sorts, with a multitude of brands (both local and abroad) releasing long-wearing formulas said to stand up to smudging under face masks — fabric, surgical or otherwise.

Under Orange, face masks remain a necessity when visiting retail stores, public facilities, NZ Post shops and social service providers or when using public transport or ride-sharing services like Uber.

Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help prevent your lipstick from transferring in the first place, according to Michelle Obama’s makeup artist on speed dial, Carl Ray.

The celebrity makeup artist took to Instagram (@Carlraymua) to share his red-carpet makeup trick to ensure your lippie stays exactly where you put it, starting with the proper prep.

Ray recommends prepping lips with a lip scrub to buff off any dry, dead or flaking skin, followed by a moisturising lip balm to hydrate and soften lips.

“Exfoliate and moisturise those lips. Our lips don’t naturally stay soft and smooth, especially during the winter when we suffer from seasonal dryness,” he captioned a step-by-step photo posted to his Instagram grid.

Left to right: Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, $28; Burt’s Bees Coconut & Pear Moisturizing Lip Balm, $8. Photos / Supplied

Try a sugar-based lip scrub like Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, $28, followed by smoothing on a cosseting lip balm (try Burt’s Bees Coconut & Pear Moisturizing Lip Balm, $8).

For best results, leave the balm to settle on your lips for at least 10 minutes to fully absorb before you continue with your lip routine.

Next, Ray advises applying a lip primer or concealer to create an even canvas for flawless coverage, not to mention boosting the staying power of your lipstick.

Left to right: Inglot Holdon Lip Primer, $21; Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $49; Makeup For Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lip Liner, $34. Photos / Supplied

Certain lip primers have the added benefits of hydrating or plumping lips, while others are said to help prevent feathering. Try Inglot Holdon Lip Primer, $21.

Otherwise, a light layer of cream concealer works well to neutralise your natural lip shade, meaning you’ll achieve a true-to-tone hue straight from the bullet. Viva loves Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $49.

To maximise the staying power of your shade of choice, Ray advises applying lip liner all over your lips, giving your lipstick something to cling to, followed by your chosen lip colour. Consider the Makeup For Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lip Liner, $34.

Pay close attention to formulas — matte finishes promise better longevity than their high-shine siblings, so are a safe bet when it comes to mask wearing.

Left to right: M.A.C Powder Kiss Liquid Lipcolour in the shade Ruby Boo, $43; Maybelline Superstay Ink Longwear Crayon in the shade Hustle In Heels, $23; Benefit Cosmetics Lovetint Cheek & Lip Tint, $36. Photos / Supplied

Many liquid matte lipsticks settle into a soft, powder-feel formula, meaning they’re less likely to smudge under your mask. Try M.A.C Powder Kiss Liquid Lipcolour in the shade Ruby Boo, $43, or Maybelline Superstay Ink Longwear Crayon in the shade Hustle In Heels, $23.

Lip stains are another excellent option if you can’t stand smudging — they lend a natural-looking flush of colour to lips without the need to load up on product. Viva loves Benefit Cosmetics Lovetint Cheek & Lip Tint, $36.

If you can’t bear the thought of leaving your lip gloss or satin-finish lipstick in the dust, Ray recommends applying it in thin layers to help avoid stickiness which can then transfer on to your mask.

Removing any excess by blotting your lip colour will also help prevent the dreaded transfer. If you prefer a more intense colour pay-off, repeat the process again by applying your lip colour and blotting the excess for a smooth and long-lasting finish.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $64. Photo / Supplied

Now for Ray’s famous tissue trick: “Place a one-ply tissue on top of lip colour and dust a loose translucent powder over tissue,” he wrote. A light dusting is plenty, just enough to absorb excess moisture from your lipstick and lock it in place. Consider Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $64.

STOCKISTS: Benefit Cosmetics from the Benefit Cosmetics Boutique & Brow Bar and selected department stores, or online at; Burt’s Bees and Maybelline from selected pharmacies and supermarkets, or online at; Fresh and Makeup For Ever from Sephora or online at; Inglot Cosmetics from; Laura Mercier and Nars from Mecca or online at; M.A.C from selected department stores or online at

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