By Iolee Anagnostopoulou

Alright ladies, let’s talk about makeup. Or, more likely, the lack of it! Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’m the only one whose makeup bag is sitting on the bathroom shelf covered in cobwebs, barely touched since face coverings became mandatory. 

Masks, lockdowns and remote work have removed the need for daily grooming and cosmetics use. Besides, what’s the point of looking presentable at home or the grocery shop, especially when half of your face is hidden? 

Although my skin has appreciated the break and my boyfriend has repeatedly insisted that he likes me more without makeup, I do sometimes miss the made-up version of my face. I’m not going to lie, it gives me some self-confidence. But, COVID-19 has affected my makeup routine, and my expensive lipsticks can book an appointment for next year! 

After months of wearing baggy lounge clothes, omitting makeup and putting my hair up in messy buns resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa, I believe ‘tis finally time to reclaim aesthetics! 

Adjusting your makeup routine to the current situation might seem challenging, not to mention the maskne side-effects, caused by trapped humidity around the covered area resulting in rashes, inflammation or even acne breakouts. But fear not my friend! I got you the best tips to ace the masked makeup look and dazzle everybody with your dolled-up comeback! 

The Skincare Nuts And Bolts 

No matter the season or the level of restrictions, your skin should be nourished and cared for at all times. This means starting at night when you are maskless. Clean your skin with micellar water and toner, apply a serum (vitamin C, hyaluronic acid or glycolic acid are great options), followed by a moisturising night cream. In the morning, use an exfoliator, hydrator, and apply an SPF layer before you put any makeup on. 

The Foundations

Dermatologists recommend avoiding heavy makeup on the covered skin area if possible, as it can lead to breakouts and clogged pores. Try this popular makeup artist trick: Apply translucent setting powder on hydrated skin. It prevents makeup from mixing with your skincare product, essential if you have oily skin. Then use a setting spray to melt it into the skin and fan until dried. 

Continue with primer and a hydrating foundation—a matte choice would reduce transfer—but make sure it’s close to your skin tone if you are covering only part of your face. You don’t want to look half-tanned when the mask comes off! You can apply bronzer in a ‘C’ shape on the area around the side of your eyes for a warm contouring effect.   

Put a final layer of setting powder using a damp sponge and finish with setting spray to create a protective barrier between the mask and your makeup. 

Eyes And Brows

Remember when makeup tutorials would have us choose between statement lips or eyes? Well, the mask makes that choice a lot easier now, doesn’t it?! 

It’s all about the eyes ladies! Get your bright eyeshadows out, put on some waterproof liquid eyeliner—rainy season ahead after all—and emphasise the one area of your face that people will actually see. And don’t underestimate the power of them lashes! Use a curler, followed by a primer and a volume mascara for extra definition. Or you could go for fake lashes and nail the cat-eye look.

The final touch will, of course, be on your eyebrows. If you’re blessed with nicely-formed, full eyebrows, just groom them enough to highlight the shape. For thin eyebrows, you can use a brow pencil, gel or tattoo pen to add fullness and structure. 

Careful Not To Smooch! 

Trust me, I speak from experience—I shared a passionate ‘maskiss’ with my boyfriend while I was wearing lipstick, resulting in a massive stain on the inside of my mask. Lip liners and bold lipsticks seem unnecessary, if not inconvenient, at the moment. Regular lip balms or petroleum jelly will keep your lips hydrated.

If you still want some colour, opt for neutral and nude shades, preferably with a long-lasting formula to avoid smudges all over your face and mask. 

Silky Smooth

Regarding the inevitable final stage of masking-up, the fabric choice is crucial. Dermatologists believe that silk is less moisture-absorbent than cotton or synthetic-blend. Combined with its hypoallergenic benefits and cooling effect, it prevents skin irritation and dryness. 

So open your purse and invest in some silks! And Voila! There you go, girls! You know how to ace your masked makeup look! 

Now, get those brushes from the cupboard, blow the dust off that makeup bag, put on some music (Christmas songs perhaps?!) and prepare for an artistic session! Oh, and did I mention to pour yourself a glass of (mulled) wine?! Naaah, it goes without saying! Cheers!