Face mask make-up: The lipsticks that will stay put under a face covering

For most of us, a stripped back make-up look has been our go-to in lockdown, if make-up was worn at all.

Now that restrictions are gradually easing and we’re allowed to socialise, we’re embracing the bold lipsticks and eyeshadow that have been gathering dust in our make-up kits.

But it’s not completely back to normal when it comes to our beauty regimes, as it is now mandatory to wear a face covering in England when travelling by train, Tube, bus, ferry or plane.

Those travelling by train will be asked to cover their face as they enter a station. These rules apply to everyone, except those under the age of 11 and people with disabilities or breathing problems, or anyone travelling with someone who lip-reads.

From 22 June, Scotland made it compulsory for people to wear face coverings on all public transport too, including the Glasgow Subway, Edinburgh trams and taxis. They will also be compulsory in shops from 10 July. Those under five and with certain medical conditions are exempt.

In our face mask buying guide, we’ve covered the different types of face coverings, what to consider before you buy one and how to wear and wash one.

Aside from those practicalities, wearing a face mask also means adapting your make-up routine, as the trapped heat beneath your mask and its close proximity to the skin means the friction can cause your base products and lipsticks to transfer.

It doesn’t mean you have to give up wearing it altogether, however, as there are small adjustments you can make to help it stay put.

In our guide to wearing make-up with a mask, we recommended using a primer, long-lasting foundation and powder to ensure your base stays perfect. We also suggested experimenting with bolder eye looks with bright eyeliners and lashings of mascara.

But if you’re a lipstick lover, you can still wear your bold shades, even when wearing a mask. Make-up artists Mira Parmar and Cher Webb have shared their tips with us on how to achieve a long-lasting lip look.

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How to prep your lips

Before you apply your favourite lipstick, prep the skin with an exfoliating lip scrub to ensure they’re smooth and hydrated. Dry, chapped lips are uncomfortable and will disrupt carefully applied creams and glosses.

In our guide to the best, we loved the L’Occitane raspberry crush delicious lip scrub (L’Occitane, £15) that smelt so irresistibly like raspberry jam that it was hard to resist the urge to eat it.

Our reviewer said the product wasn’t too dry but also had enough grit to exfoliate: “It leaves lips soft and flake-free but not overly oily – a perfect base for lipstick.”

A lip balm is a must-have to ease the pain of raw lips and protect your pout. Your skin and lips may become more irritated when wearing a mask, so this step is even more important while we have to wear them. Use a salve to prepare your lips, but make sure you give it enough time to absorb before applying a lipstick, as it may transfer onto your mask if not.

We’d recommend the new Huda Beauty silk balm (Cult Beauty, £18) which is packaged in a lip-gloss style tube with a doe-foot applicator.

It saves you from getting sticky fingers as you would with a salve in a pot, and it’s more hygienic, which is even more important than usual.

It has a blush pink sheer tint which leaves a gloss-like shine without the stickiness and the soybean and liquorice extract enriched formulas will keep your lips looking and feeling smooth all day. You can also apply it over the top of lipsticks for a high-shine finish, but we’d save that look for when you’re not wearing a face covering, as it will transfer onto the fabric.

Long-lasting lipsticks

“The key to long-lasting lipstick is to prep lips well,” says Parmar, who suggests using a concealer or a foundation on your lips first to prime, then apply lip liner all over for maximum staying power.

Matte textures and lip stains are your best friend when it comes to ensuring your lip colour goes the extra mile.

Parmar recommends the Delilah Cosmetics liquid lipstick (Look Fantastic, £20), a vegan liquid formula that’s highly pigmented with great colour pay off in a rich raspberry wine shade.

It’s infused with mineral clay to prevent the uncomfortable dry feeling you can sometimes find with matte lippies, and thanks to the English berry and vanilla, smells sweet but not overwhelming.

For a modern matte, Webb recommends the Pat McGrath MatteTrance lipsticks (Selfridges, £35) thanks to their lightweight texture.

“I love the colour pay off and the longevity, they’re so comfortable to wear, and I’m also obsessed with the packaging,” she says. Try the shade extravaganza, for a bold burst of hot pink that will suit all skin tones.

If nude is your go-to shade, Parmar loves the Fenty Beauty stunna lip paint in unbutton (Boots, £20).

With one swipe it delivers a full coverage finish and the applicator is a circular ball shape which makes it easy to perfect your cupid’s bow. Once it’s on, it won’t budge for love nor money.

Webb also loves the Lisa Eldridge true velvet lipsticks (Lisa Eldridge, £26), another matte formula which allows you to still wear bolder colours without fear of transfer onto your face covering.

“They’re beautifully made, glide on with ease and replicate the look of velvet fabric,” she says, praising the formula for being “hydrating, non-drying as well as super long-wearing.”

A lip stain is another no-brainer, particularly if you’re looking for a more natural look. They typically have a thinner consistency that delivers a your-lips-but-better effect that will last for hours.

Parmar’s favourite is the Benefit benetint rose-tinted lip and cheek stain (John Lewis & Partners, £15.50), a versatile product that doubles up as blush too.

It’s buildable too – one layer gives wash of rose colour and the more you add, the deeper the shade becomes. It’s a fluid formula that’s easy to blend and dab onto skin with your fingers.

How to make your lipstick last

Once you’ve found the perfect formula and shade, Parmar recommends using a brush for the most precise application possible.

This magnetic brush set (Ruby Hammer, £28) is an innovative on-the-go trio of lip, eyeshadow and angled brushes that are interchangeable and will ensure perfect application every time.

It’s a handy tool to keep in your bag for touch-ups after eating and drinking.

The lip brush head is made with cruelty-free densely packed brush hair that will pack on colour, especially if you’re working with a liquid formula that sets quickly.

“If you want extra staying power then blot lips with thin tissue and pat lightly with loose powder then reapply lipstick for a perfect pout,” Parmar says.

To lock in all your efforts and help keep your make-up stay put under a face covering, finish with a setting spray, spritzed all over.

The Urban Decay all nighter setting spray (Look Fantastic, £26) is Webb’s secret weapon.

“It’s a must-have in my makeup kit; I use this on my clients and on my own make-up every day once it’s completed. It’s keeps everything looking fresh and in place, including your base, eye make-up and lipstick, for up to 16 hours,” she says.

This will come in especially handy when our make-up is heating up under a face covering.

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