How To Stop Makeup From Transferring

woman wearing white top touching left shoulder

Have you ever created the perfect makeup to watch your glam look slowly rub off on clothing? Or it seems to fade away mid-day? It can seem rather hopeless if you’re stuck wearing a mask at work. We’ve all been there! However, there are quite a few tips to help you learn how to stop makeup from transferring so that you can enjoy your glamorous look all day or night. 

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Why Does My Makeup Transfer

There are several reasons that your makeup may transfer. It could have something to do with your skin type because dry skin can lead to makeup transfer. Another common reason for makeup transfer is wearing excess makeup. Accidentally applying makeup with a heavy hand is an instant recipe for foundation rubbing off. So many things can cause makeup transfer; we’ve tried to cover them all in this comprehensive article to help your makeup last longer. 

How To Stop Makeup Transfer

Several tips and tricks can help keep your look locked in place when stopping makeup from transferring. These are some of the tried and true methods to ensure that you don’t visit the bathroom on your lunch break to discover raccoon eyes or have to figure out how to get makeup out of your clothing. 

Prevent Makeup Transfer By Getting Dressed First

If you’re planning on wearing a full face of makeup, get dressed before applying your makeup. When your makeup hasn’t set, it can easily rub off on clothing as you pull it over your head. Instead, get dressed first. Then, you can wear a robe over your clothing if you’re concerned about getting something on your outfit. 

Always Cleanse Your Face

Cleansing your face is a must to prevent makeup from transferring. When you have a face caked in dirt and makeup residue, your makeup and skincare products will have a harder time gripping your skin. Instead, it’s essential to understand that one of the most essential tricks to having flawless makeup is to follow a skincare routine religiously. This applies to both a morning and night skincare routine. 

Lightweight Moisturizers Help Stop Makeup Transfer

While skincare is important, using the right skincare products is essential. Using a heavy moisturizer that isn’t completely absorbed into the skin can make your skin slippery, resulting in your makeup sliding right off. Instead, use skincare products that can be applied in light layers. 

Give Up The Gloss

We all love lip gloss. It’s shiny, gorgeous, and the perfect way to make your pout beautiful. However, if there’s one thing that lip gloss is known for, it’s the way it easily rubs off. Instead, consider giving up the gloss for a transfer-proof makeup look. 

Pick Up Transfer Proof Lipstick

That doesn’t mean that you can’t wear lip color, though. Instead, replace your favorite gloss with transfer-proof lipstick. Lipstick that is specially formulated to stay in place is a makeup must-have, especially if you have to wear a mask while at work. 

Stay Put Matte Lip Cream By Mommy Makeup ($22)

Mommy Makeup is a makeup brand designed for moms on the go. They offer one amazing product after another to help you look flawless all day long! This makeup is advertised as kiss-proof and mask-proof, so you won’t have to worry about transfer. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Non-drying formula
  • Cruelty-free
  • Over 15 shades are available
  • Vitamin E conditions lips

Check it out here!

Prevent Makeup Transfer With Waterproof Mascara

A waterproof formula will stay in place longer than a standard formula. While we love this tip for mascara, it applies to any waterproof makeup. If you can choose between a standard liquid foundation or the waterproof version, opt for waterproof formulas for longer wear.

Everyday Volumizing + Lengthening Mascara By M2U ($10)

This water-resistant mascara is available in a full-size version for $10 or a travel-size version for $5. The special formula in this tubing mascara clings to lashes, wrapping around them for a lengthening effect that doesn’t weigh down your lashes. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Nourishes the lashes
  • Doesn’t flake midday
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan

Check it out here!

Long-Lasting Formula

As you can tell, the formula you pick greatly affects how long your foundation and other makeup will last. Standard formulas are often designed to provide up to eight hours of wear. However, long-wear foundation formulas on the market also advertise lasting up to 16 hours! Pick a long-lasting formula to ensure your makeup doesn’t transfer as easily. 

Set It With Translucent Powder

The translucent powder works wonders when it comes to making makeup transfer-proof. Setting powders are designed to set your look in place. As the final step of your makeup routine, apply a light dusting of setting powder to your face. 

Face Blurring Finishing Powder ($15.20)

[Dear.A] Face Blur Finishing Powder

Style Korean is your one-stop shopping destination for everything K-Beauty related. K-Beauty has never gone out of style, and we don’t see it happening anytime soon. They offer a multitude of Korean brands and international shipping. 

This pore-blurring powder has a translucent finish to help set your makeup and keep it in place. There are quite a few reasons you’re going to love it!

Why You’ll Love It

  • Absorbs quickly
  • Can help control oil production
  • The packaging has a mirror and is travel-friendly
  • Minimizes the appearance of pores

Check it out here!

Try A Setting Spray

Makeup setting spray is another way that you can set your makeup. Whereas setting powder tends to sit on top of your makeup, makeup setting spray blends into your makeup. It can help your makeup colors, including eyeshadow, appear more vibrant and help blend your makeup for a more natural appearance. Most of the time, setting spray will help your makeup last longer by preventing fading. However, it doesn’t automatically make your makeup transfer-proof. To use makeup setting spray to make your makeup transfer-proof, make sure you pick up the right setting spray for the job. 

Use A Gripping Primer

Gripping primer is known for helping keep your makeup in place longer. It grips your skin, then clings to every molecule of foundation to keep it on your face. 

Gripping Primer By Cover FX ($38)

Gripping Primer

Cover FX is known for its gripping primer for a few reasons. You apply the primer, tap it to activate it, and then it grips onto your foundation to help it cling in place all day. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Minimizes pores and fine lines
  • Long-lasting formula
  • Kelp extract firms and smooths the skin
  • Micro-algae extract helps reduce the visible signs of aging

Check it out here!

Apply It With A Makeup Brush

Beauty blenders can give you that airbrushed finish, but brushes are better at shoving the makeup down into your pores and skin. This ensures that it doesn’t transfer as easily. 

Seal Brow Looks With Brow Gel

Brow makeup can easily smudge away too. Pick up a clear brow gel to seal your look in place. Remember that you’ll find the same formulas in brow gel as in other makeup products. There are long-laster formulas, waterproof formulas, and transfer-proof formulas. 

Prime Everything

Priming everything will help your makeup stay in place longer. That means priming your lids, lips, and your face. While this tip won’t instantly make makeup transfer-proof, it will do its part in helping your look last longer. 

Will Setting Spray Stop Makeup Transfer?

Yes, setting spray will stop makeup transfer. However, not just any setting spray will do the trick. Setting sprays are designed to do various things. They usually help your makeup last longer, but only a few are specially designed to make it transfer-proof. Pick up a transfer-proof setting spray to prevent your makeup from rubbing off. 

Combine Both A Setting Spray And A Setting Powder

A combination of setting spray and powder is ideal for keeping your makeup looking its best and preventing transfer. First, apply the setting spray. Then, allow plenty of time for it to dry. Next, apply a translucent setting powder to make your makeup transfer-proof. You can use loose powder on your face, lips, and even eye makeup to keep it locked. 

When selecting a setting powder, keep your skin tone in mind. A white loose powder will make people with dark skin look ashy. Instead, pick a loose powder as close to your skin tone as possible. 

Then, apply the loose powder with a powder puff or brush. Finally, use a clean powder brush to dust away any extra loose powder for a gorgeous finish. 

Spray Your Collar With Hair Spray

A tiktoker showed us this proven trick, and we love it. If makeup transfer on your clothing is an issue, try spraying the collar of your shirt with hairspray, and let it dry. The hairspray acts as a barrier to keep your white clothes white. Check out all the details about using hairspray for transfer proof makeup here. 

Use A Thin Layer Of Makeup

The more makeup you wear, the more likely it will rub off as the day progresses. This is because the first layers of makeup you apply stick to your primer and your face. However, layers after that try to stick to the foundation and other makeup, which is more complicated. When you apply thinner layers, it’s more likely to stick. 

Address Skin Concerns

Makeup has a more challenging time adhering to dry skin. Likewise, oily skin can result in makeup sliding on your face. To make your makeup last, address any underlying skin conditions. Use a lightweight moisturizer on dry skin, and make sure that you use skin care products designed to keep oil at bay before your makeup routine. 

Try Using A Damp Makeup Sponge

A damp makeup sponge can work well if you use it right. Makeup sponges absorb excess product, leaving less of it on your face. However, simply wiping them across your face might not work as well. Try using a stippling or tapping motion, as you would with a brush, to help makeup stay in place longer. 

Clean Your Brushes And Sponges

Make brush and sponge care a part of your weekly or daily makeup routine. When you use a brush or sponge, toss it in a basket for later cleaning. Then, clean all your brushes and sponges once per week. When you use dirty brushes and sponges, they put dirt on your face. Your makeup products, like foundation, will stick to the dirt instead of your face. 

Lightweight Powder Formulas

Liquid and cream products in your makeup routine leave makeup smudges easier than powder formulas. The only exception is products that go on like a cream and dry to a powder finish. If you want to prevent smudging as much as possible, try powder formulas. They do offer powder products that are designed to be hydrating for dry skin. 

Oil-Free Products

Going oil-free when purchasing skincare and makeup products will help your makeup last longer. Oily products are more likely to slip and slide on your face, and it’s harder to make the transfer-resistant. 

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint ($9.72)

Neutrogena created a hydrating tint that provides the lightweight coverage you want with the skincare ingredients you need. It’s specially formulated to keep your skin plump and hydrated for an entire day. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Oil-free
  • Hydrating
  • Blendable

Check it out here!

Spray Your Brush With Setting Spray

One of the easiest ways to make your makeup transfer-proof is to spray setting spray onto your makeup brush before using it to apply makeup. Hold your transfer-proof setting spray about six inches away from the brush. Give it a few sprays. You don’t want the brush soaking wet. Then, use the brush to apply your makeup while it’s still damp. 

Apply Makeup In Thin Layers

If you need more coverage, applying more foundation all at once makes sense. However, this can make your makeup crack and makes it more likely to transfer. Instead, apply one thin layer to build up the coverage. Use a setting spray or powder between each layer for extra staying power. 

Use Blotting Papers

Blotting papers is a great way to ensure you’re not wearing excess makeup. After completing the application process, blot your face to remove excess makeup. You can use tissues or toilet paper if you don’t have blotting papers. 

Apply Setting Spray With A Beauty Blender

Some people swear by this trick. Instead of spraying your face with setting spray, spray it onto your beauty blender. Then, dab your beauty blender across your face to apply your setting spray. 

Go For More Natural Looks

gorgeous young woman with colorful flowers in hair
Photo by Maria Orlova on

Natural makeup looks, such as natural eye makeup, tend to require less makeup. As soon as you start following the minimalist makeup trend, you’ll instantly notice that you have less creasing and caking as the day goes on. Less makeup also means less smudging. 

Address Inflamed Skin Instead Of Covering It Up

We all want to cover skin imperfections, but that might not turn out as well as you expect. When you have inflammation on your face, the inflamed skin can feel significantly hotter to the touch. Heat can make makeup smudge and run easier. Instead, address the inflammation and then return to your normal makeup routine. 

Exfoliate Weekly

Exfoliating is key to removing the dead layer of skin cells on top of your face. When you don’t exfoliate, your makeup clings to dead skin cells, making it more likely to smudge and flake away as the day progresses. 

Final Thoughts

Ensuring your makeup doesn’t transfer means seriously stepping up your skincare and makeup game. At a bare minimum, use a morning and night skincare regimen to target your specific skin type, exfoliate weekly, and then use the rest of the tips for transfer-proof makeup. Don’t forget that setting powder is necessary if you don’t want your makeup to smudge onto your clothes!

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