I've never had doubts that pizza could solve most of my problems. It has comforted me in the worst of moods, quieted my growling stomach when it looked like there was no food in site, and even resolved conflict. So when an editor at Seventeen used pizza grease to remove makeup, I was intrigued, to say the least. Since I've counted on pizza for so much before, I knew I had to give this greasy experiment a go.
As crazy as the whole process seems at first, it actually isn't all that surprising to hear pizza grease would break down makeup. The grease used by Seventeen's Kelsey Stiegman was actually from the pepperoni on her slice, rather than the dough or cheese. Using a pig by-product on your skin isn't a new idea: People have claimed that pork lard can actually reduce the appearance of a pimple and moisturize dry skin. It makes sense that animal fat would be an easy choice for removing makeup if one is already eating an omnivore and if you consider that there are a lot of animal products in skin care and makeup as it is: Tallow (from beef fat), gelatin (various collagen from animals), and lanolin (wool fat) are all common ingredients found in makeup.
I'm not a meat eater, so with all this in mind, I was curious to see if vegetarian-friendly pizza grease could actually remove makeup or if it was in fact the act of a familiar, natural remedy like animal fat, that was actually taking off stubborn lipstick. Here's how my experiment went down.
1. My Lipstick Of Choice
I can't get enough of Lime Crime Velvetines "Wicked" shade of red, but I can certainly use some help getting it off at night. A layer of this heavily pigmented vegan lipstick seemed to be the best way to test out my makeup removing pizza: I kept it on for hours before letting pizza work its magic.
2. Choosing My Pizza
As a vegetarian, I knew it would be a freezing, sub-zero temperature in hell before I put pepperoni grease on my lips, so I went with a classic cheese slice to see how my beloved pizza held up. Fortunately, there is no shortage of greasy pizza slices in my neighborhood. I decided to choose grease-level over taste for my experiment, knowing that I'd pretty much eat any slice of pizza regardless of how good it was. After all, this would be my reward for testing a slightly gross makeup remover.
3. Applying Pizza Grease
Directly putting the pizza on my lips seemed a little extra, so I dabbed a cotton swab on the slice, making sure I collected enough grease to completely soak one side and fully covered my lips in the grease.
I had to be careful not to get cheese and sauce on the swab by lightly dabbing all over the slice.
4. Lipstick & Pizza Stained Lips
No stranger to Lime Crime's awesome color stay power, I tried my best not to smear the lipstick and grease all over my mouth and keep it just on my puckers.
The first swipe with the greasy cotton swab undoubtedly removed makeup, but it took a few more times to actually see my lipstick start to disappear.
As you can see, I'm not totally impressed at the results shown on my bottom lip. Oddly, my lips felt extra dry after the greasy makeup remover.
5. Comparing With Natural Makeup Remover
Even after I smothered my mouth with grease, there was still lipstick on my bottom lip. Like I said, this lipstick is particularly pigmented. I decided to use my usual trusty make-up remover: a homemade blend of rose water, coconut oil, vodka, and grapeseed oil to try to get the rest of it off.
6. Overall Results
I hadn't removed any of the lipstick on my top lip and left my bottom covered in pizza grease before using my trusty homemade makeup remover.
As you can see, the top lip which I used a natural makeup remover of plant-based fats is nearly lipstick-free.
It only took two swipes of the cotton swab to completely remove my makeup and I cleaned up the lipstick and remover around my mouth with a dry cotton swab. The bottom, pizza-soaked lip still had a ways to go.
7. Saying No Thanks to Pizza Grease
Since I wasn't in love with the greasy results, and since dermatologist Jeannette Graf, MD told Refinery29 that pizza grease can definitely cause breakouts, I don't think this is an experiment I'll be trying again anytime soon.
However, I'm happy to know there is an inexpensive way to remove even the most stubborn lipstick if I happen to be without any plant-based oils and fats and the only thing available is pizza grease. But for now? I'm sticking with natural makeup removers until that post-apocalyptic world where only pizza exists comes to fruition.
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (14)