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How to Remove Makeup Stains

How to Get Makeup Stains Out of Practically Any Surface

You may know the coconut oil trick to remove product when you make a makeup misstep. But what do you do if your spill has gotten on your clothes, the carpet, or the bathroom tiles? Get the solutions for reversing a variety of makeup messes — including lipstick-stained collars and self-tanners gone awry.

  1. Lipstick: Spritz your kiss imprint with hair spray and let sit for 10 minutes. Then, dab with a sponge, and throw in the wash. If your clothing is dry-clean only, try using a piece of tape to transfer the stain away. You can also use baby powder, chalk, or baking soda to remove oil- and wax-based lipsticks.
  2. Eyeliner: Did someone leave a note on your mirror in eyeliner? Reach for salt to remove the marks before using standard cleaner (this trick also works for lipstick stains on wine glasses).
  3. Waterproof mascara: For long-lasting makeup formulations, try blotting the stain with makeup remover like Philosophy Just Release Me ($19). Check the label to ensure the formula you're using is oil-free, though, or you'll end up with an even bigger mess.
  4. Foundation: Pretreat powder and liquid-foundation spills with a clarifying product like shaving cream or shampoo. Both of these toiletries have cleaning agents that should break through the stain before you wash.
  5. Self-tanner: To reverse self-tanner stains left on sheets or clothing, first rinse the affected area under cold water. Then use a sponge and dish detergent, working on the spot from the outside in, to cut the oil in the tanning formula. You can even use hydrogen peroxide to remove the orange tones from the fabric (but make sure to spot-check first to ensure the fabric's color won't lift). You can also use glycerin as a final resort.

Note: All of these suggestions are for treating stains immediately. In addition, be careful not to dry fabrics until the blotch is removed because heat can set the stain.

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