An affordable, mask-proof make-up guide
When leaving the house, many of us are faced with the low-stakes dilemma of whether or not to wear make-up. We’ve gone through phases during the pandemic of wearing make-up only to completely ditch it the next month and then start back up with it again. For those times where you feel like you want a little something, but you’re worried about maskne and transfer of product to your mask, we’ve come up with a complete guide to products that work well under a face covering. Keeping in mind that you may not want to spend a fortune on products that likely won’t be a part of your routine forever, we’ve focused on less expensive, drugstore alternatives. Keep reading to learn about these amazing finds!
Finding the right foundation to wear underneath a mask hasn’t been easy, but we have found some awesome products. A bit of bad news, though: if you’re into a super dewy look, it’s almost impossible to achieve if you want a base that stays put. When choosing a foundation, look for products that sink and dry into your skin and are advertised as long-wear. Matte foundations are superstars here. The best drugstore option we’ve found is the Revlon Colorstay Makeup Longwear Liquid Foundation For Combination/Oily Skin with SPF 15 (Drugstores, $20.49). It has a matte finish and is formulated for combination skin, which is perfect for us, it helps keep our chin and T-zone from getting shiny underneath our mask. Something slightly more expensive that has also worked wonders is the MAC Studio Fix Soft Matte Foundation Stick (Sephora, $38). Not only is this stick super versatile (you can use it all over as foundation or on small areas like a concealer), it also stays put for 24 hours! However, for these products to be 100% mask-proof, you’ll need to pay extra attention to setting powders and setting sprays. More on these, below.
The same goes for concealers as foundations. You’ll want to choose a long-wear product with a matte finish. Our top drugstore concealer pick is the L’Oreal Paris Infallible Full Wear Coverage Waterproof Concealer (Drugstores, $16.49). This will give you all the coverage you need and won't budge when you sweat, swim, etc., making it the ultimate transfer-proof concealer. If you prefer something with less coverage, try the Makeup Forever HD Light Capturing Self-Setting Concealer (Sephora, $37). This provides medium coverage and it’s self-setting, which means it dries and settles into your skin so it doesn’t move throughout the day. Opt for this product if you prefer a more natural look.
3. Bronzer, blush & highlighter
It’s the absolute worst when you perfectly contour your face only to have a mask destroy all of your work. When you want a more glam look above and beyond foundation and concealer, layering is often the way to go. A cream blush underneath a powder, for example, will last longer than it would on its own. Starting with bronzer, our go-to drugstore find is the E.L.F. Cosmetics Primer Infused Bronzer (Shoppers, $8). It’s a long-wear, matte bronzer infused with lock-on primer powder to ensure your glow stays put all day. Another option is the Fenty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer (Sephora, $40). It’s long-wear, transfer-resistant, and comes in eight shades to ensure everyone can find their perfect glow. For blush, we’ve found that gel blushes work best/are the most transfer-proof and our pick is Glossier’s Cloud Paint (Glossier, $22). The gel-cream melts right into your skin, so it won’t fade or get splotchy after mask wear. Finding a mask-proof highlighter was a challenge given it typically sits right where the upper edges of a face mask rub. If you use highlighter often, we recommend the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Highlighter (Sephora, $38). The ultra-fine, light-reflecting pigments and Amazonian clay in this highlighter give the skin a gorgeous glow that won’t transfer - yes, please!
Lips products have been our most missed makeup product during the pandemic given they are the most smudgy makeup product out there and we often opt to leave them behind. No lipstick won’t smudge onto your face or stain your mask, so compromises must be made… Queue matte lipsticks and lip stains! A long-time drugstore favourite of ours is the Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick (Drugstores, $9.99). Our go-to nude colour choice is Poet as it makes for a perfect pout and stays put for hours! Another great option is the L’Oreal Matte Lipstick (Drugstores, $13.99), which is more of a stain and is super lightweight, so it doesn’t even feel like you’re wearing lipstick.
5. Setting products
Last but definitely not least, are setting products. These products are a must for a true mask-proof make-up look and skipping this step may render all of the previously discussed products ineffective. Usually, we’d only apply setting powder to our T-zone but we’ve found that applying it to your entire face is the secret to a mask-proof look. We’ve always loved the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder (Sephora, $51), but the higher price tag makes us reluctant to use this all over our face. We’ve found that the E.L.F. Cosmetics High Definition Powder (Drugstores, $8) does a similar job for a lower price tag! It’s super comparable to Laura Mercier and is just as effective in locking our makeup in place. Dust the setting powder all over your face, then go in with a setting spray. When choosing a setting spray, we always grab the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (Sephora, $42). For us, this setting spray has stood the test of time. Generously spritz all over your face and voila, you have a completely transfer-proof look!