Every Way to Get Makeup Off Your Clothes

That doesn't involve shelling out at the dry cleaner

Why is it that by mid-afternoon your makeup all but slides off your face but is near impossible to remove from everything else? It’s frustrating--and quite frankly, expensive to fix. Before you take yet another victim of foundation transfer to the dry cleaner, try these tips for tackling the stains on your own.

Spritz some hairspray onto the spot and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, dampen a few paper towels with cold water and dab (don’t rub) the stain. Repeat as needed (which might be a few times if you were rocking a red lip).

Powder makeup
Like blush or eye shadow. First, don’t try to brush it off with your fingers. (It’ll smear.) Instead, quickly blast it with cold air from your dryer. If there is any remaining pigment, grab a pair of nylon tights and lightly run them over the spot to pick up the excess.

Liquid and cream makeup
Like foundation or cream blush. Grab a knife or spoon and gently scrape off any excess makeup. Then, run an ice cube over the spot until it starts to melt. Cold water helps to lift stains and using an ice cube is less messy than running your entire collar under the sink.

Eyeliner and mascara
Pour a small amount of oil-free makeup remover onto a cotton ball and lightly dab at the stain. Then, rinse the spot with cold water to flush out any remaining remover.

Self-tanner and bronzer
Wet the stain with (again) cold water. Then, using a clean makeup sponge and a small amount of dish detergent, gently rub the spot working from the outside in. 

And if you’re really pressed for time or aren’t anywhere near a sink, grab a makeup remover wipe (or baby wipe) and dab at the stain as soon as it happens so it doesn’t set.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...