Just like magnets attract any metal-based object within its reach, our clothing usually seems to end up welcoming just about every makeup stain imaginable onto its surface—bonus points if we happen to be wearing light colors that day. Cue the eternal struggle of whether to try and fix the item while running the risk of making it worse, or just tossing it entirely. Makeup artist Abraham Sprinkle is constantly doing photo shoots, which often involves having to remove a product smear or 10 from a couture dress in a pinch. We asked him to tell us his pro secret on how to remove any makeup stain, from liquid foundation to mascara, without damaging the fabric. Keep reading to get all the details, and consider your world forever changed.
Sponges designed to remove deodorant from your LBD, like the ones by Hollywood Fashion Secrets ($4; walmart.com), can also work wonders at taking Laura Mercier's Candleglow fluid foundation ($48; sephora.com) out of your favorite tee. "They're great for lifting these kinds of products," says Sprinkle. "Just remember not to wet the garment or the sponge. Make sure both are dry."
2. Blushes and Bronzers
Don't be fooled by the long-lasting moniker on powder-based products like Too Faced's Love Flush ($26; sephora.com) or Make Up For Ever's Pro-Bronze Fusion ($36; sephora.com). Sprinkle says that a strip of Scotch tape is enough to lift out the color, and a quick buffing of a deodorant sponge should remove it altogether. Liquid formulas like Benefit's Dew the Hoola Bronzer ($28; sephora.com), however, require a slightly different treatment, and should be spot-cleaned with any grease-cutting dish soap to prevent stains from forming.
3. Lipstick and Lipgloss
Since lipglosses, like Charlotte Tilbury's ($22; nordstrom.com), and lipsticks, like Dolce & Gabbana's Classic Cream Lipstick ($35; sephora.com), are both high in emollients, Sprinkle recommends treating each stain the same as any oil. "Use the Dritz Magic Wand Remover Stick ($5; walmart.com) over the entirety of the stain, but don't wet the garment. Apply it dry," he advises.
4. Mascara and Eyeliner
If you happen to smudge your Lash Sensational Mascara ($9; drugstore.com) on your shirt and it's still wet, Sprinkle advises using a Q-Tip dipped in an oil-free makeup remover, which can also be done to clean up eyeliners like Stila's ($22; sephora.com). For stains that have already dried, try using a grease-cutting dish soap on the area.
Similar to the way a powder blush or bronzer can be removed with Scotch tape, so can Urban Decay's Midnight Cowboy ($19; sephora.com). Instead of using a deodorant sponge afterwards, Sprinkle recommends following with the Dritz Magic Wand ($5; walmart.com), or a wet wipe. Shadows with a cream base like Tom Ford's ($45; nordstrom.com) may require an overnight removal process. "Depending on how deep the stain is, I would use baby powder to lift out the oils," Sprinkle says. "Let it sit for about 24 hours, then follow with dish soap."