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Have you ever spilled nail polish on your jeans mid-manicure? Or maybe accidentally swiped your lip color somewhere it doesn’t belong, i.e. on your blouse? Nothing ruins trying out a new beauty look quite like staining your clothes halfway through. Don’t panic—we’ve all been there—and whatever you do, don’t rub! Instead, follow our top tips on how to get makeup out of clothes. While you can’t always prevent makeup mistakes from happening, your clothes don’t have to suffer the consequences. Here, we’re covering everything you need to know about how to remove makeup from clothes, including some inventive beauty hacks we’re sure you’ve never heard of before.
Perhaps the trickiest beauty stain of all is nail polish, so let’s tackle that first. Since it’s formulated to dry quickly and last for as long as possible, getting a nail polish spill out of your clothes requires that you act fast—immediately after the spill. First, you’ll want to remove the excess polish from the stain. Do this with a paper towel, then place the stained fabric face down on top of another paper towel. Next, saturate a cotton ball or paper towel with some nail polish remover—preferably one that contains acetone, which is available in most drugstores. Keeping the fabric face down on the paper towel, blot the backside of the nail polish stain with your saturated cotton pad. This action should hopefully transfer the stain onto the paper towel and off of your clothing. How cool is that? Next, rinse out the stained area thoroughly with water and repeat the process again until the stain is gone. Then, toss it into the wash cycle on its own and it should be ready to wear after the washing and drying cycle is complete.
Editor’s note: Worried you might only mess up your clothes further? If you get a strain on something nice, it may be worth rushing to a dry cleaner to have a professional get your clothes clean—and this tip applies to any kind of makeup or beauty product.
Face makeup stains are no fun, but there’s a fun way to remove them. Next time you spill some foundation on your favorite top, try spraying shaving cream directly onto the stain (after taking off the shirt, of course). Yes—we said shaving cream. Spray any type of colorless foam shaving cream directly onto the stain and let it sit there for two to three minutes. After time is up, use your fingers to rub the shaving cream onto the stain, really working it in. Then, simply rinse it out thoroughly and toss it in the wash as usual. Voila!
You’ve spent time perfecting your beauty look, including swiping on your favorite lip color, and then you go to get dressed. As carefully as you try to put your shirt on, it ends up smudged with lipstick or lip gloss. Sound familiar? It’s one of the most common ways that lipstick ends up on clothes. Make a mental note to apply your lipstick after getting dressed next time, but just in case you’ve found yourself with lipstick on your clothes, you can follow these tips to remove it ASAP.
First, remove any excess lipstick with a dull knife—this will help keep the stain from spreading and also make the following step more likely to be successful. Next, saturate a cotton round or a clean washcloth with some rubbing alcohol, and gently dab it onto the lip makeup stain. Take caution not to rub it in, just blot gently up and down. After a bit of blotting, rinse the fabric thoroughly with cold water. If that doesn’t do the trick, your next move is to apply a fabric stain remover directly onto the stain. Follow the directions of whichever stain-removing product you choose. This usually means letting it sit on the fabric for at least five minutes, then rinsing it out thoroughly. If the stain still won’t budge, try the same method using diluted dish soap.
Dropping your precious liquid highlighter onto your clothes isn’t just frustrating, it can also be tricky to remove. Here’s your best plan of action: Try the rubbing alcohol technique here, too, again taking care not to rub the makeup stain deeper. Next, try a stain remover pen or detergent wipe, which should be able to do the trick. Rinse your clothes thoroughly after each attempt.
Next: Speaking of your clothes, here are 15 Wardrobe Basics Every Woman Should Own.