7 Hacks For Removing Long-Wear Lipstick

by Thalia Ortiz
Beautiful African American girl, brunette woman looking and smiling standing at autumn or spring for...

Nothing can change up your style or offer as instant a confidence boost like a new shade of lipstick. But any true lipstick lover knows that the question of "how to remove lipstick" — especially long-wear lipstick — is no easy feat.

Of course, the idea of finding the perfect lippy formula that can outlast a marathon of hours at work and social outings is appealing. After all, having to reapply lipstick every hour or after you eat can get annoying really fast. It’s no wonder that bright matte lipsticks have been trending recently — not only do they look amazing, but they can last for hours if applied correctly. The only problem is, what are you supposed to do if you want to switch things up throughout the day and don’t actually know how to remove lipstick? It quickly becomes obvious that the damn thing won’t come off, no matter how hard you try to make it budge with that expensive makeup remover (it’s supposed to take off everything, but it never does).

The other day, I was getting ready to go out after work and wanted to ditch the boring pink lip stain that I chose to wear during the day and decided to try on something bolder for the evening. I didn’t factor in how much time it would take to remove my super pigmented lip stain and struggled to erase all traces of the product. It was a fail to say the least, and I knew that there had to be some kind of shortcut out there to making the removal process easier. Don’t make my mistake and do yourself a favor by following these hacks to get stubborn lipstick off in seconds.

1. Use Vaseline For Hydration And Removal

This multi-purpose holy grail beauty product can do more than just moisturize, it can also come in handy when you’re dying to peel back layers of lipstick. Apply a dime size amount of Vaseline to your lips and leave it on for a few minutes, five at most. Once the time is up, grab a damp towel and wipe your lips clean to reveal a soft and fresh pout.

Vaseline, $7, Amazon

2. Try Lip Balm For Removal On-The-Go

eos Smooth Lip Balm Sphere, $5, Amazon

Taking off lipstick at school or work just got a whole lot easier, especially if you stashed a lip balm in your purse. Simply swipe on the lip balm over your lip stain and let it sit for a minute. The rough paper towels that are kept in the bathroom will come in handy for this — just crumple a piece up and rub it in circular motions against your lips. The lip stain won’t be able to stand a chance thanks to the friction.

3. Use Oil To Make It Slide Off

If you’re in a pinch and find yourself without any makeup remover, go through your kitchen and improvise with olive oil. Drizzle some olive oil (or baby oil, either one works just fine) over a cotton round and dab it over your lips. Prepare to see some magic right before your eyes. Not only is it super cheap, but it’s seriously effective — a win-win for sure.

4. Ditch Water And Use A Micellar Cleanser

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water, $5, Amazon

It’s the next best thing to olive oil and can be extremely helpful when it comes to getting rid of tough lip stains. Apply a few drops of a micellar water like Simple’s onto a dark washcloth or cotton round. Gently, starting at the center of your lips, rub off the lipstick and watch the color slide off right before your eyes. The micellar water works like a cleanser to help remove makeup and is hydrating, so it won’t be harsh on your lips. This skincare multitasker is perfect for sensitive skin and can even remove eye and face makeup.

5. Exfoliate With Brown Sugar And Honey

Even after you manage to get the first layer of lipstick on, there might be some residue leftover. An exfoliator can come in handy to slough off any dead skin cells and uncover the smooth lips of your dreams. For an impromptu exfoliator, mix equal parts of brown sugar and honey in a small dish and rub the mixture over your lips for 30 seconds. Wipe off the excess with a damp washcloth and apply a hydrating lip balm right after to retain moisture.

6. Remove Patches With A Toothbrush

When I’m seriously pressed for time, this is one of my favorite tricks for removing my lipstick completely. Coat your lips entirely with lip balm. Then, take a toothbrush (not the same one you use to brush your teeth with because it will get dirty and look gross) and gently “scrub” your lips in small circles until you see the dried patches of lipstick disappear.

7. Go For A Classic Remover Like Cold Cream

POND'S Cold Cream, $8, Amazon

When all else fails, a classic like a cold cream can do wonders for clearing up any lipstick residue. Just use your fingers to apply the product to your lips and wipe them clean with a tissue paper or cotton round.