How to stop lipstick transferring onto your face mask, according to Michelle Obama’s make-up artist

Posted by
Hanna Ibraheem
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites
A flatlay of numerous face masks with lipstick marks on them against a red background

Make-up artist Carl Ray has shared a clever technique to make your lipstick stay in place.

With the glimmer of lockdown rules easing and potential hair and beauty appointments on the horizon, it’s fair if you’re already making tentative plans. However, even when restrictions lift, it seems we’ll still be required to wear face masks for a bit longer.

Of course, wearing a face mask to keep yourself and those around you protected is the number one priority. But some people have noticed that – alongside steaming up glasses – face masks are not very lipstick-friendly. After removing your mask, it’s normal if you find your lip product smudged around the inside (along with around your mouth). But how can you stop it from happening?

You may also like

How to cut your own hair at home: the ultimate guide for all hair lengths

Make-up artist Carl Ray, the long-time make-up artist to Michelle Obama, shared a genius trick on his Instagram page.

Ray posted a step-by-step guide showing the key to long-lasting lipstick. He advises prepping your lips with a good lip scrub and moisturising them first. “Exfoliating lips will buff off the dry, dead, flaking skin that builds up and immediately restore some shine, softness, and smoothness,” Ray tells “Sugar scrubs are particularly great.”

Next, you should apply a lip primer or concealer all over your lips.

“Lip primers create a smooth canvas for flawless coverage and help with lip colour longevity and staying power,” he tells us. “Primers also add hydration and help prevent feathering – some formulas even plump lips.”

Or, if you don’t have a lip primer to hand, you can reach for a cream concealer instead. “These can help by neutralising your lip shade and allow you to get that true-to-tone hue,” Ray explains. “Pat the cream concealer formula all over your lips.”

Once your lips are fully prepped, it’s time to go in with some colour. Ray suggests applying a lip liner all over your lips and then going over with your actual lip colour. Once these are applied, blot your lips with a tissue.

You may also like

Best lip scrubs to treat dry, chapped lips

Then comes the genius part. To stop your lipstick from transferring, Ray advises placing a one-ply tissue on top of your lip colour and dusting a loose, translucent powder over the tissue. “Only a very small amount of invisible setting powder is needed,” he tells us. “Lightly tap the loose, translucent powder onto a one ply tissue. The powder will absorb the excess moisture from the lipstick and keep it in place.” When it comes to removal, Ray recommends a moisturising make-up remover.

If you don’t have a translucent powder available, focus on your lipstick formula instead. “Matte lipsticks or lip stains are great to wear if you don’t want budging or smudging,” says Ray. “However, all lip prep steps still apply before application.”

Pretty clever, right?

You may also like

Best make-up removers and cleansers to melt away waterproof and stubborn formulas

Lip products that prevent smudging and help your lipstick last longer, picked by Stylist

You may also like

How to look good on a Zoom call in just two minutes, according to Katie Jane Hughes

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Main image: Getty