Beauty and Grooming

The Ultimate Guide To Removing Makeup | Post-Party Skincare

Can you hear that? It’s your skin crying out under the strain of all the party makeup, wine and late nights. While it’s fun to get back out and wear our full faces, it can wreak havoc on your skin.

The best way to prevent that? TAKE OFF YOUR MAKEUP. We repeat, TAKE OFF YOUR MAKEUP! Nothing could be worse for your skin than sleeping under layers of foundation, soaking into your pores ready to cause trouble. So to make sure your skin is clean, refreshed and maintained, here is our ultimate guide to removing makeup.


Start with lips and eyes

Whether it was a smokey eye or a statement red lip, these features are likely to have the most makeup on so it’s best to start there. If you start with your face, you’re only going to end up smudging mascara all over your freshly cleansed skin, so always start with the heaviest makeup. 

Unless you’ve got a super strength lip tint, lipsticks and glosses are easy enough to slick off with some makeup remover on a cotton wool pad or a makeup wipe. These can be quite drying so remember to hydrate your lips with a good balm at the end of your routine.

Eyes are trickier. We’ve all got that one mascara that is beyond waterproof, or the one glittery shadow that clings on for dear life. The best bet for removing makeup that won’t budge is an oil-based makeup remover, this will break down the product and let you wipe it away easier without rubbing your eyes too harshly. Otherwise, for mascara, a lot of brands like Eyeko and Benefit, make their own remover specific to their products. Purchasing a remover with your mascara is a great idea as you know you’re getting the formula you need, making the process way easier. If you’re still struggling, put plenty of makeup remover on a cotton pad and hold them onto your eyes for a little while to soak, some products might just need a little longer to soften. 

If the next morning you find your eyes feel tight or dry, put on an eye-mask while you sip your morning coffee. This will help soothe and refresh them after carrying so much weight the night before.

Cleanse away the day

Once your eyes and lips are sorted, you can move onto your face. A great tip for removing makeup is to put on plenty of cleanser like a facemask and let it sit while you brush your teeth or drink some water. This gives the cleanser a bit of time to do its job and break down your makeup ready to be washed away. Grab a muslin cloth or a flannel soaked in warm water and wipe the day away, paying attention to forgotten areas like your hairline, jaw and around your nose.

And repeat

You’ve probably heard about double cleansing before, but it really is the best thing you can do for fully clean and refreshed skin. In your initial makeup removing cleanse, you’re taking off a layer, not really cleaning your skin. So round 2 is where your actual skincare starts. You can either use the same cleanser or swap to a lighter, creamier option for a more soothing process, this is the point where you could also incorporate some tech if you wanted.

Tools like the FOREO LUNA help you get a thorough clean, using pulsations to lift away dirt and oils, unclog pores and encourage skin cells to repair. Alternatively, opt for a brush like the Magnitone if you want something more exfoliating that will bring your skin back to life without being too harsh. Either is a great option if you want to really get in there and make sure your pores are clear and clarified.

Getting toned

Once your skin is clean and your pores are unclogged, give your face a once over with a toner. Toner helps to refresh the skin, without taking away any of its natural moisture. Toner is perfect to help get your face ready to soak up all your moisturiser after removing makeup, as cleansing products can be drying. Ideally, you want something soothing as your skin has been through the wars with all that makeup, but customise this to your needs. Focus especially on your nose and chin, or where your clogged pores tend to gather.


Slap on a serum

If all the other steps have been protection, this step is defence. Serums are used to tackle particular problems that affect your skin or things you want to fight off, such as acne, ageing, pigmentation etc. This is the step where you should apply a spot cream onto any pimples you feel brewing, or sooth a serum across your whole face as a general, day-to-day defence.

  • For ageing, serums that include retinol or alpha-lipoic acid are great, both promoting skin repair and having antioxidant qualities. 
  • For breakout-prone skin, Niacinamide is great for fighting off spots without drying out your skin.
  • For pigmentation, Vitamin C is a good option that isn’t aggressive, offering a more organic solution. 
  • For tiredness, apply a caffeine solution or just a good old eye cream with gentle pats, working from the inside corner outward.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Arguably the most important step. After all that makeup, alcohol and tiredness, your skin will be crying out for a drink, so give it plenty. If your skin feels particularly tight, treat it to a hydrating mask, giving it a more intense dose of moisture. Or if you’ve stumbled in late and don’t have time, apply plenty of thick moisturiser, gently massage your face and head to bed.  Trying to rub it all in will only waste the product and anger your skin, so give yourself the whole night to soak up all the goodness with no rush. Letting your skin rehydrate at its own pace, using a luxurious moisturiser, will mean you wake up looking glowing and well-rested even if you don’t feel it.

Clean, cleanse, tone, treat, moisturise. Follow those steps and your skin will survive party season with its glow still intact.


Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert