How to Do Your Makeup if You'll Be Wearing a Face Mask

The world is adapting to the normalcy of face masks—here’s how your beauty routine can, too.

Adjusting your beauty routine to incorporate a giant chunk of cloth covering half your face can pose a challenge. So we chatted with three professional makeup artists—Glamsquad Artistic Makeup Director Kelli J. Bartlett, Sephora Collection National Artist Helen Phillips, and LORAC Artistry Advisor Kelsey Deenihan—to get expert tips on beautifying yourself while wearing a face mask.

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Begin with a hydrating face moisturizer

Because of the induced friction, wearing your face maskfor extended periods of time can cause skin irritation. To counteract this, use a heavier moisturizer before you start your makeup routine to create a barrier and avoid chafing. This will form a slip so that the edges of the mask don't irritate your skin throughout the day. Bartlett's top pick is SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore ($136;

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Use a light, non-comedogenic foundation

Sunscreen is a must, but you'll want to keep your face makeup as light as possible since foundations can smudge and transfer onto your face mask. Bartlett recommends a lightweight BB cream with a built-in SPF. "If you can, wear less, and if you have to, wear long wear!" adds Phillips. "I love Sephora's 10-Hour Wear Foundation ($20; because it can adapt to your desired coverage and is non-comedogenic."

After that, conceal only where needed, paying special attention to under the eyes in the most hollow part of the eye socket. Use a light, but buildable concealer (bonus if it's waterproof!) and press the formula into the skin for a more natural effect, advises Bartlett.

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Apply primer and setting powder to set your foundation

A good primer and powder can keep your makeup from smudging under a face mask throughout the day, says Deenihan. "Use a mattifying primer, like Lorac Pro Mattifying Primer ($35;, that really grips the makeup and set with a loose or pressed translucent powder."

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Make your eyes pop using shimmery eyeshadows and highlighters

If you want your makeup to have the full impact, the key is to play up the eyes, especially since your mouth is covered. "Draw attention to the eye using a shimmery shade that's easy to apply, like eye glosses. This draws in light and dries down to a metallic finish so that the attention immediately goes to the eyes," says Deenihan.

Phillips' hack is applying some shadow underneath your eyes: "Drop the undereye eyeshadow pretty low—it opens up your eyes like you wouldn't believe!" Finish off with a touch of highlighter in your inner corners to reflect light.

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Don't neglect your brows

Unruly brows can stand out even more when half your face is covered. Take a few minutes to groom your brows to secure a more put-together appearance. After plucking the stray hairs, groom and gel brows into place with a tinted brow gel and fill in any sparse spots with a brow pencil, says Bartlett.

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Curl your lashes and apply mascara

Heavy eyeliner is a quick way to close your eyes up. The goal is to open up your eyes when wearing a face mask, so makeup artists advise skipping the liner entirely and opting for mascara instead. Always make sure to start with curling your lashes. Then, apply several coats of a dark black mascara.

"Take care to build up the lash line and the root of the lash," says Bartlett. "This will give the eyes definition and open them up without wearing eyeliner." Phillips recommends using a buildable mascara, like LashCraft Big Volume Mascara ($14; and adding an additional layer only on the center lashes to further enhance the eye.

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Apply lip balm instead of lipstick

Opt for balm instead of lipstick to keep your lips hydrated. According to Marnie Nussbaum, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, the friction against the face mask is extremely irritating, resulting in the constant licking of lips, which can damage the epidermal skin barrier. "Using a lip balm containing humectants and occlusive agents, such as shea butter, provides a protective barrier to keep lips from drying [under] your face mask."

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