I adore lipstick and everything about lipstick. It is an obsession that grew from my first strawberry Lipsmacker to an ever-evolving, extensive red lipstick collection.
I tried to get on trend with the increase of eye products due to the need to wear masks in all public interactions. Although I have enjoyed my time experimenting with vibrant eyeliner and YouTube tutorial-esqe eye looks, nothing completes my look like a polished lip.
I must admit, I feel like it’s an ode to my past life before the pandemic. I have always believed in the power of red lipstick and, just like generations before me, red lipstick is not only is a part of my identity but symbolizes my strength, confidence and voice.
Just like everyone else, the pandemic has massively altered many aspects of my lifestyle. My job (theatre teacher) and hobbies (art galleries, travelling) evaporated at the start of the new normal. With physical distancing rules and public health regulations, my job and hobbies are seeking to re-define themselves in the new normal.
Even though you won’t see it, red lipstick continues to be a staple under the mask. My circumstances have changed, but my personality remains the same.
Wearing lipstick under a mask, and keeping the mask clean, is an art into itself. That’s why I call it the technique of Masktick.
Here are some tips that don’t involve a mask guard. I must admit, I have tried multiple types of mask guards, and the silicone doesn’t fair well with my skin or activities.
These tips are based on daily mask wearing while teaching my theatre arts and musical theatre classes, which involve a lot of talking and movement. In my job, I teach face to face classes in the morning and online in the afternoon, so it’s important that pigment is not smeared all over my face for the Zoom classes.
Tip #1: Properly Fitting Mask
You got it. The number one neimsis to your lipstick is an ill-fitting mask. You can probably guess why: the moving fabric brushing up against the skin is a disaster for your lipstick. With surgical masks, be careful with the folds as a misplaced crease can pick up the pigment and transfer to your skin.
Tip #2: Using a Lipliner
Using a lipliner was a tip that beauty gurus have been singing the praises of for decades. It provides not only a base for your lipstick, but prevents feathering while extending the wearlife.
If you are really concerned about dirtying your mask with lipstick, drawing in your lips using lipliner is a great solution.
Tip #3: Lean Towards Lip Stains and Matte Formulas
Glossy, shiny, non-long wear lipsticks are designed for high impact. However, inside the mask, it’s a high potential for disaster.
Lip stains will coat your lips with pigment that will dry down quickly after application. Matte formulas will do the same as their compositions tend to have less oil which will make the lipstick more long wearing. Also, because of the “dry down” effect, there will be less pigment to be picked up and moved to your face by the mask.
Tip #4: Exfoliate, Blotting and Moisturize
Don’t skip on the pre and post work with your lipstick application. Exfoliating will help create a smooth base, which is important if you are using lipliners, lip stains and/or matte formulas as they tend to showcase dry skin. Blotting after application will pick up any excess, saving it from transferring to your mask and then to your skin. Last, but not least, try to adopt a moisturizing routine for your lips. By infusing your lips with moisture when you’re not wearing these formulas will help avoid dryness. Of course, water is your number one choice of hydration. However, if you’re looking for lip products to help, try prep lip products with nourishing ingredients or a lip sleeping mask.
Tip #5: Bring Concealer, Just In Case
Even if you take all of above advice into consideration, sometimes against all of your preparation work, the lipstick will smudge. To avoid looking like a tired clown, apply a little concealer to the smudged area. Often times, the lipstick will wipe off your skin with a tissue and the concealer will provide some brightening polish to frame any touch-ups.
Masktick is an artform and technique onto itself.
Even though it might not be the most popular cosmetic trend right now, it’s an important part of my routine.
I confirmed early on, when I refused to clean my house twice a day or make sourdough bread, that popular doesn’t necessarily align with my lifestyle.
I also confirmed that, what truly important at the end of the day, is taking care of your own wellness, family and self.
Plus, I’m not going to lie…
…I kinda enjoy that underneath the layers of cloth, there are perfectly defined, bold red lips.