How to Get Matte Lipstick Off

The experts share their tips

How to Properly Remove Matte Lipstick
Photo: Getty Images

I love matte lipstick, (specifically, Mac's Ruby Woo). The drying formulation has staying power and looks great on my lips. Not only does it last all day, but it doesn't smudge during dinner 𑁋 so I don't have to run to the bathroom after dessert to check if my lipstick is still in place.

Unfortunately, along with many pros always comes some cons, and my only con with matte lipstick is 𑁋 it can be a nightmare to take off! Especially after a late night. If you've faced the struggle of taking off matte lipstick and tugged at your lips, you'll feel my pain. No one wants to walk into a 7:30 am gym class with remains of last night's red lipstick on their lips.

According to celebrity makeup artist, Hailey Hoff, matte lipstick is usually hard to remove when it's more of a matte lip stain, or a bright color. "Both have intense pigments so you notice the residue on the lips more than a neutral matte tone," she explains.

So, what's the secret to removing matte lipstick and any residue? We asked the experts to share their tips.

Use a Cleansing Oil

Oil isn't just great for locking in hydration, it works wonders as a makeup remover. And a number of celebrity makeup artists say oil is their secret weapon for removing a tough matte lipstick.

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Mara Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil

Mara Oil

"I like the Mara Beauty Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil," says Hoff. "I rub it all over the lips with a cotton pad and then go over it with water to remove any lipstick."

Try a Makeup Eraser

If you want to keep things simple by using water and a cloth to remove your matte lipstick, The Original Makeup Eraser reusable pads are perfect.

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The Original Makeup Eraser

The original makeup eraser

"This patented cloth is made up of tiny hair-like fibers. The short fiber side erases makeup, while the long fiber side exfoliates the skin," says Wainner. "The eraser is soft, hypoallergenic, dermatologist approved, and equal to 3600 makeup wipes."

When In Doubt, Use Good Ol' Vaseline

"This is foolproof and so easy!" says celebrity makeup artist Beck Wainner.

Another plus of using this staple? It can help replenish moisture to parched lips. "It is important to not rub vigorously or too aggressively to try to remove the matte lipstick, as this can be drying and irritating for the delicate lip skin," says board certified dermatologist, Dr. Marisa Garshick. "After the lipstick has been removed, apply Vaseline to the lips to help lock in moisture and provide a protective barrier.

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"Apply the Vaseline to your lips and let it sit for a few seconds, then wipe off the Vaseline with a warm, wet washcloth and keep repeating till all the lipstick is removed," says Wainner.

Can't Go Wrong With a Lip Wipe

Lip wipes were made for stubborn matte lipsticks and have the power to remove even the brightest color. To remove your matte lipstick, simply take one and rub it on your pout until all excess color is removed.

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Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip Remover

Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip

"I like using Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip Remover," says Wainner. "Not only does this wipe remove you existing color with ease, it's infused with jojoba and other oils that immediately hydrate your lips and leave them feeling plump and soft."

For Sensitive Skin, Micellar Water Is Key

If you have sensitive skin and need a matte lipstick remover that is on the gentler side, Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water Makeup Remover will do the job.

This award-winning cleansing water is a makeup kit must-have for many celebrity makeup artists. Made up of micelles and cleansing properties, the light formula helps to protect the natural protective film of the skin, while gently removing makeup traces.

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Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water Makeup Remover


"Bioderma Sensibio H2O does take a couple more washes to remove the matte lipstick because it is on the gentle side," says Hoff. "So be patient with it."

Bioderma Sensibio H20 also comes in makeup wipes. If you need to change your lipstick shade in the car or on the go, these wipes make it quick and easy! "Bioderma Sensibio H2O Facial Cleansing Wipes are oil based so they really help with melting off that matte stain," says Hoff.

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