How to Remove Lipstick Without Staining Your Face

We appreciate any lip color that stays on our lips and not our coffee cups. However, long-wear lipsticks do have a tendency to overstay their welcome. When you’re stuck with a high-impact lip color that just won’t go, you probably start scrubbing like there’s no tomorrow. Which leaves your lips raw and still stained along with the skin surrounding your lips—ineffective and not cute. We have a better solution.

Scroll down to see the foolproof method for removing lipstick, sans stains!

Kat Borchart

What you’ll need:

A tissue

A cotton pad (not a cotton ball)

Petroleum jelly


How it’s done:

1. Blot to remove the top layer of lipstick. Keep blotting on a clean section of the tissue until you’re no longer removing any color.

2. Apply a generous layer of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly ($5) and let it sit—like a lip mask of sorts—for about three minutes. Aquaphor will work too. You can use anything that delivers a thick layer. Don’t try this with coconut oil—you’ll end up with lipstick-tinted oil dripping down your face.

3. Dampen a cotton pad (cotton balls won’t work here—too fuzzy) with warm water, and fold it in half. Line up the edge of the cotton pad with the top of your cupid’s bow and press down on that side of your lip. Use firm pressure, and wipe down and in toward the center of your mouth.

4. Repeat the process, using a clean portion of the cotton pad each time. On your bottom lip, follow the shape of your lip and continue to wipe in toward the center of your mouth. It helps to part your lips so they’re pulled a little taut.

5. Once you’ve removed all traces of that stubborn lipstick, apply some lip balm to keep your lips hydrated.


Photographer: Kat Borchart

Hair and Makeup: Barbara Lamelza

Producer: Jenna Peffley

Model: Beate


Ever have a similar issue with red nail polish? Check out this method for removing bright nail polish without staining your fingers!

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