Since the CDC has recommended wearing face coverings in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, masks have become an essential part of many of our wardrobes. While there are several chic mask offerings from local businesses to choose from, even the most stylish options may lead to “maskne,” or hamper our ability to show off a killer lipstick. Fret not: We’ve turned to the pros to get their advice on how to tweak our skin care and makeup routines to reflect this new normal of mask wearing, and they’ve given their smart tips on everything from eyeshadow primer to eyebrow tinting.
MARIA FERGUSON, LICENSED MEDICAL ESTHETICIAN AT SPA 170 WEST
’Maskne’ is a thing! I am seeing it in my practice—everyone is breaking out in a perfect rectangle; it’s the outline of a mask. While we are wearing masks our skin isn’t breathing, it’s getting the same re-circulated air, and that air holds bacteria in and against our face. To prevent maskne and keep the skin in that area clean, we want to keep the pores open so that they’re breathing. The bacteria that cause acne are anaerobic, so they thrive in an environment with a lack of oxygen—when we keep the pores open, it helps kill those acne-causing bacteria.
To keep the skin on your face clear and clean, I recommend a good routine of cleansing both morning and night. I prefer a gel cleanser, something that foams up, rather than a product that’s creamy. Anything creamy just cleanses the surface of the skin, but foamy, gel-like cleansers will penetrate the pores and help pull out impurities. I really love the Epionce line of products, and their Lytic Gel Cleanser is very purifying. It cleanses without drying your skin out, because you don’t want to strip your skin of natural oils in the process of pulling out impurities.
For people with clear skin, toner is an optional step; it’s something people sometimes use because they like the feeling of it. However for people experiencing breakouts, toner acts as a nice second cleanse and makes sure that any impurities such as dirt, makeup, and bacteria are out of the pores. After toner, I would recommend an exfoliating product, like a retinol or an alpha hydroxy acid cream, which helps exfoliate the skin so that the pores can stay clear. I like the Lytic Tx treatment from Epionce because it’s an alpha hydroxy acid version—it’s very gentle, so everyone can use it. And in addition to exfoliating, it has extra ingredients to kill bacteria too—a retinol will only exfoliate.
Then, I would apply a light moisturizer, nothing too heavy, so that it’s lightweight on your skin. If you want to add some makeup, you can opt for mineral makeup, like the Jane Iredale line, because it doesn’t harbor bacteria. You can brush on a mineral powder and simply avoid the areas where your mask is being worn—just try to remember to keep your brushes nice and clean.
NIKKI BROWN, PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP ARTIST AND LICENSED ESTHETICIAN
Makeup lovers who are wearing masks and can’t show off that stunning lip color … IT’S ALL ABOUT THE EYES now. This is an opportunity to let your eyes shine, and what better way than with some knockout eye makeup and lashes!
If you want to draw attention to your eyes with a bold eyeshadow, primer is key to ensure the longevity of your shadow and to prevent creasing. I recommend MAC Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extend Eye Base: It’s great for all skin types, but works extremely well for people who have issues with oily lids.
Eyeliner will also help to make your eyes ‘pop,’ so it’s the perfect time to experiment with winged eyeliner in bright, fun colors. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner Pencil is a great choice to give eyes a hint of color—or you can use it to create a bold, dramatic cat eye.
Want your eyes to look brighter and more refreshed? Use a white eyeliner on your lower lash line. To apply white eyeliner, just gently rim the waterline—the skin between the lower lash line and the eyeball—using long, thin strokes from corner to corner.
And to make your eyes really stand out, try curling your eyelashes—I recommend Shiseido’s Eyelash Curler—or applying false lashes. If you love false eyelashes but have a difficult time putting them on yourself, a little trick is to look downwards into a mirror, not straight ahead. This will extend the eyelid and make it much easier to get the eyelash strip closer to your lash line. Then just finish off your look by shaping and filling in your brows as needed.
LORENA SOMERS, LICENSED ESTHETICIAN INSTRUCTOR AND PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP ARTIST
To help keep your skin feeling and looking good while you’re wearing a mask, I highly recommend using less or lightweight products on your face and making sure that the products that you do use are properly absorbed into the skin before putting on your mask. Also, try and wash your face coverings frequently, following the washing instructions on your masks (or these CDC guidelines) to avoid reintroducing dirt, oil and bacteria from a dirty face mask onto the surface of your skin, which can cause breakouts.
Since your eyes are now on display and a prime focal point, to help eliminate any puffiness, I recommend applying cold compresses over your closed eyes—you can try the classic cucumber slices or some chilled tea bags. You can also use a jade eye roller (like The De-Puffing Jade Facial Roller from Mount Lai) to gently massage around the eye area to help reduce puffiness; I prefer to use mine chilled because cold reduces swelling. Drinking plenty of water also helps, because it can flush away water retention.
DANELLE FRENCH, PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP ARTIST, LICENSED ESTHETICIAN, & CO-DIRECTOR AESTHETIC ARTIST AGENCY
Everyone should be using an eye cream anyway, but especially right now when we’re home more on our screens and doing Zoom meetings, there’s a great product from Glo Skin Beauty called Eye Restore that reverses blue light damage by protecting the skin’s collagen levels and increasing elastin production. It brightens the skin and helps diminish dark circles and fine lines.
I also like to help protect my skin by bringing along a hydrating mist to spray on my face, especially if I’m out running errands. It’s calming for one thing, but it also helps refresh the skin after walking around wearing a mask. I love Huda Beauty’s Glow Coco Hydrating Mist because it contains coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut water, and the scent isn’t overwhelming. It soothes, refreshes, and hydrates the skin. Evian makes a really nice version as well.
Since a lot of us are spending more time at home for self-care, now is also a good time to try a hydrating at-home mask. Masks are really dependent on your skin type, however this Soothing Gel Mask from Glo Skin Beauty is great for everyone, even those with sensitive skin. It smells like cucumber and is so refreshing. And no matter what beauty trick you try, don’t forget: Even though you have a mask on, you still should wear sunscreen!
KATE SHAUGHNESSY, MASTER CERTIFIED ARTIST AND OWNER OF LASH & BROW DESIGN CO.
At Lash & Brow Design Co., we are terribly excited to help women feel known, loved, and cherished, especially during this time of uncertainty and increased anxiety. For the longest time, our marketing has highlighted the idea that the eyes are the window to the soul, and now that most of our face is covered by a mask, our eyes are even more prevalent!
For a fun, flirty look, our clients have been loving the Eyelash Extensions! We are able to create a variety of looks from babydoll to cat eye with extensions. For those with naturally long lashes or for someone not wanting the maintenance of lash extensions, we offer a Keratin Lash Infusion that will tint the lashes, curl them, and infuse them with keratin—which helps promote lash growth—giving them a beautiful, natural look lasting 4-6 weeks.
For anyone wanting some eyebrow help, we can deliver a number of different options. We have the Brow Lamination, which infuses the brow area with keratin, straightens the brow hair and softens the hair so we can train it to fall the way we want. If a little color is needed, we offer a Henna Brow Treatment that will tint the brow hair as well as the skin, so you won’t have to bother with brow pencil for weeks.
If clients are looking for more permanent solutions, they can always opt for our Lash Enhancement, Shaded Eyeliner or Microblading services, to name a few—basically, we can fit any option to a client’s lifestyle and skin.