Long-wear makeup, as glorious of an invention as it is, is tough to clean off at the end of a long day. Even worse is cleaning it off completely, no matter how long we scrub and lather. Here are several tips for easily removing long-wear makeup you wish you knew sooner.

1. Wipe

Removing makeup is like cleaning a floor. You wouldn’t mop and then sweep, would you? Before you go to town and try removing all the makeup from your face, which is like mopping, wipe your face with a makeup remover – which is like sweeping. Then move onto your facial cleanser.

2. Patience

The slower you move, the better. The important key here, to make the process as swift as possible, is to let the product sit. You can brush your teeth in the meantime, or catch up on your Instagram feed. Waiting a few extra minutes lets your mascara, liner, and shadow soften so it can slip off easier. Similar to how letting dishes sit in soapy water for a few minutes makes them easier to wash.

3. Tackle The Eyes

“The majority of eye makeup made today is waterproof,” says Lauren Andersen (Avon’s Global Celebrity Make-Up Artist). “That’s why you’ll have a hard time completely removing it with soap and warm water.” Eye makeup remover lotion is a much easier option since they’re specifically designed to remove eye makeup.

4. Cleansers

A lot of women might use a face wash that wasn’t intended to remove makeup. One easy way to tell if yours falls into this category is to look for cream smudges on your towels after you cleanse your face. If you see any, it might be time to switch to a cleansing oil or a balm, or Micellar Wipes. They can usually “coax off” makeup like foundations, liquid lipsticks and brow pigments.

5. Lipstick Stains

Long-lasting lipstick needs an oil-based cleanser. This is because all-day lipsticks dry out your lips. Exfoliation will also help keep them smooth and supple in addition to keeping your lips hydrated. Therefore, create a mix for yourself using a tsp. of sugar and a tsp. of olive oil.

6. Hair Tips

You may be too tired to put your hair in a ponytail. This is a mistake that you will seriously regret in the morning. Here’s why: makeup residue accumulates around our hairline. Throwing our hair into a ponytail exposes that hairline so we can clean it. Hello, pores and breakouts! The solution? Grab a terry headband.

7. Face Oils

Most facial cleaning experts know that oils are wonderful for removing heavy-duty makeup. That’s why you only need a dime or so of cleansing oil, which you can then apply onto your skin in a circular motion. Warm water turns the oil into a milky substance, which does wonders. Rinse clean!

8. Flat Cotton Pads

If it’s a habit for you to clean using cotton balls: stop it. If you’ve been using these since you were young, you’ve been leaving behind residue and cotton fibers on your skin. This can even lead to skin irritation if you’re not careful. Japanese cotton squares are phenomenal because their woven quality means there is no shedding. Makeup artist Fiona Stiles says that they are “magical little pillows that remove everything.”

9. Application Prep

When you’re putting on makeup: it is of the utmost importance to always—always—apply moisturizer first. Then you will follow this with a skin-smoothing primer layered over that moisturizer. This creates a base underneath your makeup that will last for a long time while minimizing pores.

10. Moisture

If you’ve just removed lipstick? Apply some lip balm. Just removed mascara and liner? Put on eye cream. Removing makeup can easily dry out our skin, making it look not so… fresh. This is why makeup removal must always be followed with targeted moisture. Keeping your skin soft and hydrated just feels good.


Use this tip every day to consistently remove long-wear makeup in a breeze. While this list isn’t exhaustive by any means, these will help you in a jiffy. No matter what you do, always practice healthy makeup tips.