The Best Ways to Remove Stay-Put Makeup

Remove stay-put makeup with special products.

Photo: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

You’re an expert when it comes to artfully applying makeup. You know how to shape that pouty lip, highlight those pretty peepers and create cheekbones that rival those of Ms. Jolie. And you’ve learned which stay-put makeup products take you from morning cup to nightcap without losing the look of a fresh application. So that you have a fresh canvas every morning, you must vigilantly remove the makeup every night.


Creamy eye shadows, liquid liners and waterproof mascaras are essential tools for a girl on the go. When it comes time for some shut-eye, though, they are resistant to removal. Soak cotton pads in a gentle eye makeup remover and hold the pads over closed lids and lashes for 30 to 60 seconds. As gently as you would treat a baby‘s skin, wipe away the makeup. Pulling and tugging the skin around your eyes deepens lines and loosens taut skin, so a gentle eye makeup remover is every bit as important as the tools you've chosen to dazzle your eyes.


Your signature red stay-put lipstick keeps your pouty puss delectably kissable all day, but when kissing is a distant second to a good snuggle with the sheets and pillows, remove your lip color so it can't stain your fine linens. Long-wear lipsticks are more difficult to remove because they are manufactured to resist wear from eating and drinking, so warm water isn’t going to do the trick. Soak a cotton pad in a gentle makeup remover and dab your lips until all traces of the lipstick transfer to the pad. If your lipstick is resistant to the remover, pull some olive oil out of your pantry. Soak a cotton pad with the olive oil and dab at your lips until they return to their natural color. Olive oil doubles as an effective eye makeup remover, too.


When you’ve invested in a foundation or cheek stain that stays fresh all day, invest in an all-purpose makeup remover, too. Pour a quarter-sized amount into your palm and carefully dab the remover onto key areas of your face -- forehead, temples, cheeks and chin -- and work the remover into the rest of your face, without pulling or tugging at the skin. Lay a wet, warm washcloth over your face for about one minute to allow the steam to work with the remover. Pull the washcloth away, taking the makeup with it.

MacGyver Gal

Whether you're a budget-conscious Betty or a natural Nellie, make your own makeup remover that even works on the stay-put variety of makeup. Combine one part castor oil with one part olive oil or sunflower oil. Fill a spent makeup remover bottle or a clean squeeze bottle with the homemade remover. If your skin is oily, increase the formula to two parts castor oil and one part olive or sunflower oil. If your skin is dry, increase the formula to two parts sunflower or olive oil and one part castor oil.

Travel Gal

Traveling gals still need to put a clean face on the pillow at night -- even if it’s at a guesthouse or hotel. Presoaked makeup remover pads or towelettes are ideal for travel. While you may need to use a few for stay-put makeup, your pores will thank you -- and you won’t have to stuff another 3-ounce bottle into that quart-size resealable bag.

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