How to Remove Long Wear Lipstick Stain

how to remove lipstick

Having your lipstick smudge or fade throughout the day is never fun, and this is why many of us choose to use products that stay on longer, like long-wear lipsticks! When using long-wear products, we no longer have to worry about an embarrassing smudge or eating the lipstick off our lips while having lunch with coworkers.

There are now also a variety of options when it comes to the color of long-wear lipstick and the finish of it as well (i.e. a matte finish, a glossy finish, or in between). One can also choose between using a liquid lipstick (which can leave a glossy, matte, or regular finish) or a classic creamy stick lipstick (that can dry in those finishes as well) depending on personal preference.

As great as long-wear lipstick is at staying on our lips, though, wearing it comes with its own issue: How to remove the product when you potentially want to switch to another lipstick color, or when you are removing all of your makeup at the end of the day! Many of us have asked the question: What is the best and quickest way to remove long-wear lipstick?

Since I myself have struggled with this over the years as well, and the best method can vary for each person depending on what type of long-wear lipstick or what brand we wear, as well as personal preferences and allergies or sensitivities, I have researched this issue quite extensively in the search for the right answer for myself and others.

How to Remove Lipstick

What I have found is that there are a number of household products and common skincare products that you might already own that can get the job done. I have also found that a number of cosmetic brands have created products made specifically for the removal of long-wear lipstick that you can purchase for results that may be more guaranteed.

Some will, of course, prefer quicker and harsher methods of removing their lipsticks, while others may prefer a household item or something organic and/or more gentle to clean long-wear lipstick off their lips. There is also the matter of certain lipstick brands that can be removed more easily with the use of that particular brand’s lipstick remover.

For some, a lot of trial and error might be involved in finding the best solutions here, while others will find their most ideal lipstick remover on the first try!

In addition, all of the products that I will be talking about are available to purchase on (for your convenience), as well as local drug stores and grocery stores (if you have one of those nearby and are in a real hurry).

For those who are at work in town or in the city and have a drug store or higher-end cosmetics store nearby, I will list the products that were specifically made for the purpose of removing make-up or, even more specifically, long-wear lipstick first! I will also sort them by easiest to find, to a bit harder to find in stores:

Farmacy Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm

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This product is said to be very effective at removing some of the most stubborn makeup with the use of natural ingredients (sunflower and ginger root oils). Farmacy’s Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm also claims to leave skin (lips included) feeling soft and moisturized after the makeup has been removed.

POND’S Cold Cream

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Pond’s Cold Cream is a cleanser that has been around for quite some time! And that is because it does what it is supposed to (and is also quite refreshing while doing so). A number of people have recommended this product for tough-to-remove lipsticks.

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

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This product has been said to be very gentle on all parts of the face, including the lips, and has been said to be as effective as olive oil and coconut oil in removing long-lasting lipsticks.

The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Makeup Remover

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The Body Shop also has their own makeup remover specifically made for removing waterproof eye and lip makeup (such as waterproof mascara and long-wear lipstick)! Their formula includes chamomile which is a calming ingredient and is also fragrance free for those with sensitive skin.

Nyx Cosmetics Be Gone! Lip Color Remover

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This brand is a great drug store brand that has been compared to some very high-end products on the market. Their long-wear lipsticks are very long-lasting, and it should therefore come as no surprise that they have also created a product that is said to be effective at removing their own long-wear lipsticks as well as those made by other companies.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Makeup Remover

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May swear by Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Makeup Remover as well! It is said to be quite successful at removing some of the toughest eye and lip makeups (including long-wear lipstick, of course) without leaving oil residue on the skin. This might be a great solution for those with an oily complexion.

The Face Shop Oil-Free Natural Rice Water Lipstick Remover

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South Korean cosmetics and skincare products have become very popular over recent years, with The Face Shop being one of the first companies to appear in North America. So, for those who prefer using South Korean products, or those who would like to start using such products, there is the option of using the makeup remover by The Face Shop made from natural rice water!


Makeup Eraser the Original MakeUp Eraser

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There has been much talk about the original MakeUp Eraser and whether it is effective or not. Many sources, however, swear by it and its ability to remove easy-to-remove makeup a well as long-wear products such as lipsticks.

For those of you who are working from home or are spending your day/s off at home and would prefer to use items that you might already have around the house, as well as some alternatives that can be considered more organic and/or healthy, (and also might be more suitable for those who prefer simple solutions and/or have allergies to some of the ingredients used in the above products)

More: How to Exfoliate Lips


This product is something that many households always have on hand. It has multiple uses, and many use it even to moisturize their lips in stead of lip balm! Vaseline is said to be very good at removing long-wear lipstick with ease, and many recommend it for this use.

Olive Oil

Another product that can be found in many households, olive oil is definitely quite effective at removing waterproof and long-wear makeup such as lipstick. It is also considered a more natural solution, and more effective for those who are allergic to certain ingredients. It also leaves lips quite moisturized!

how to remove lipstick stain from lips

Brown Sugar and Honey

For those who prefer a natural solution, and who have lipstick that is a little too stubborn for olive oil alone (or maybe those who also have a bit of a sweet tooth), brown sugar and honey may be the way to go. This option is recommended for those who do not have over-sensitive lips, and who also like to scrub their lips regularly due to dryness. It is recommended that equal amounts of sugar and honey be mixed together and then rubbed over the lips until the lipstick has been removed. Then, it is suggested that a gentle lip balm be used to moisturize the lips.

Lip balm and a Toothbrush

Another options for those whose lips are not overly sensitive is using lip balm and a toothbrush. This option can be used with an eos lip balm (or any other brand) for lipsticks that are a little more stubborn and have left some lipstick residue on the lips. It is recommended that the lips be coated in the lip balm and that the toothbrush then be used to scrub away the rest of the long-wear lipstick.

More: How to Make Lipstick Matte

Coconut Oil

And finally, one of the most popular options as of late, is coconut oil. This oil has a variety of uses including cooking, deodorizing, and also (you guessed it!) makeup removal. Many have recommended it for the removal of waterproof eye makeup, as well as long-wear lipstick. Using coconut oil to remove lipstick can also have a number of benefits since it will remove the makeup gently, will moisturize the lips in the process, and also nourishing them at the same time!


As you can see, there are many ways that long-wear lipstick can be removed, ranging from easy-to-find drug store products specifically made for the removal of long-wear makeup (or long-wear lipstick in particular), to products made by higher end companies which may be a little more difficult to find but may have better and faster results, to products that one may already own, to common household items that many people already have in their bags, purses, or homes.

While some solutions might work well for some, and some solutions might not work as well for others, there are enough options out there that each person should be able to find the perfect method (or combination of methods) for their particular needs.

Whether those needs involve sensitive skin, more stubborn long-wear lipsticks, their proximity to particular stores, or simply wanting to spend more money or less money (because some people will try to save money, while others prefer and trust only the higher end brands to get the job done).

What are your experiences with long-wear lipstick and removing it? Have you found that some lipstick and lipstick-removal combinations work better together than others? Have you used any of the products listed above? Or do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments!

Monika Dimitrovska

A makeup freak who's passionate about books, beauty products, vegan food, daydreaming, and stargazing.

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