You might already know to use a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover to clean up makeup errors and smears on your face. But what do you do if a spill has gotten on your favorite shirt, the carpet, or the bathroom tiles? Don’t panic — we’re here to save the day with solutions for remedying a variety of makeup messes including lipstick-stained collars, self-tanners gone awry, and foundation splattered across the floor.
In all cases, make sure to treat the stain immediately and don’t throw the item in the dryer. The heat could set the stain and make it much more difficult to remove.
If you’ve gotten a lip print on your (or your partner’s) shirt, grab some hairspray and spritz it on the stain. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then dab it with a sponge before throwing it in the wash. If your clothing is dry-clean only, try using a piece of tape to transfer the stain away. You can also cut the oil or wax of the lipstick by using baby powder, chalk, or baking soda on the stain.
Can’t get lipstick off your wine glasses? Rub some salt on them before washing again with soap.
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.
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. If the stain still won’t lift, mix in a little bit of rubbing alcohol.
If you somehow managed to get eyeliner pencil somewhere other than your eye, reach for salt to remove the marks before using standard cleaner.
Did you drop some inky-black liquid liner on your carpet? Grab some dry cleaning solvent and blot the stain with a clean, white cloth until the it has been lifted. Then mix together a solution of dish detergent and water, and blot the stain again. Alternate between this solution and the dry-cleaning solvent until the stain has been lifted.
While we love a faux-tan, we’re not huge fans of our sheets and collars turning brown.
To reverse self-tanner stains, 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.
I hate to admit it, but I’ve knocked over more than a few bottles of nail polish while giving myself a pedicure. If you also have clumsy tendencies, first consider where you’ve spilled the polish.
If your spill is on hard wood floors or furniture, don’t use nail polish remover! Instead, grab some hair spray and spritz it all over the spill. After 20 seconds, wipe with a paper towel. Keep repeating this process until the polish vanishes.
Did you spill on your carpet? Light colored carpets can stand up to nail polish remover. If your carpet is dark, try using hairspray or rubbing alcohol, and blotting with a sponge or paper towel.