If there's anything I've learned after over a decade of wearing makeup, it's to put it on while wearing pajamas or sweats — pieces of my wardrobe I'm either not planning to wear that day, or that I wouldn't mind getting all kinds of powder particles and liquid spatter on. However, that's not everyone's process, nor is it always feasible if you're in a time crunch. Unfortunately, it's during a said time crunch, when you're low on time, high on adrenaline, and rushing through your routine that something spills, slips, and makes its mark on your freshly pressed blouse or pants.
For Liquid Makeup Products...
Use shaving cream. According to Conroy, liquid foundation, concealer, or highlighter stains are "no match to good ol' fashioned shaving cream." Prep your garment by gently scraping off any access liquid with the back of a spoon, then apply "a healthy dose" of color-free shaving cream to the stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, Conroy instructs.
"[Letting it sit] is critical because it needs time to break down the makeup particles," she tells InStyle. "When the timer goes off, rinse the area with cool water. If necessary, repeat. Hand wash your clothing with a laundry bar or pop it into the washing machine. And just like that, it's like it never happened."
No shaving cream? No problem. Lovello tells InStyle you can also scrub the area abrasively with dish soap, adding that "baking soda and hairspray are also said to work."
For Cream Makeup Stains...
Use detergent. Conroy says her number one go-to for getting rid of stubborn cream makeup products "sits pretty right next to your kitchen sink" (and no, we're not referring to your fancy vegetable wash from Trader Joe's).
"A liquid detergent cocktail works like a charm for cream blush, highlighter, foundation, and concealer stains," Conroy reveals over email. "Simply fill a bowl with 1 oz of liquid detergent, 1 oz of water, and a few dribbles of nail polish remover," she instructs.
From there, press a white washcloth into the solution and dab the cloth onto the pigmented stain. "Gentle strokes is the name of the game so the makeup doesn't set deep into the clothing fibers," Conroy says. "As you blot the makeup will lift and start to dissolve."
For cream lipsticks — another difficult cream stain — Lovello advises using alcohol and a blotting motion to work it out of the garment.
For Powder Makeup Stains...
Use a hairdryer. Conroy tells InStyle that the easiest way to correct setting powder or eyeshadow mishaps is to literally blow them.
"On a cool setting direct the nozzle directly on the clothing stain and most of the pigment should flutter off," Conroy says, but if any trace amounts remain, she says, pointedly, "resist the urge to rub it" as the makeup will set into the fabric. "Instead, blot it with a stain remover pen or any other pre-wash stain treatment. Let it work its magic for 5 minutes, then launder as usual."