How to remove Halloween makeup – Five steps to cleaning your face after Halloween

Heidi Klum shows off her lifelike Halloween 2021 makeup

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You know the rule – never go to bed without taking your makeup off. However, it can be very tempting to go straight to bed when you’ve slathered stubborn face paint all over your face and had a few too many alcoholic beverages on Halloween. Nobody wants to endlessly scrub their skin at the sink when they’re ready to collapse into bed after a wild night out, but it is essential. Halloween makeup typically includes waterproof makeup, lashings of black eyeliner, thick layers of face paint, and fake blood galore. Luckily for you, has chatted to the skincare professionals at Clarins to find out the five steps to removing Halloween makeup.

Halloween makeup is notoriously laborious to remove and hardly anyone does the job thoroughly.

Whether you’ve gone for a pretty look featuring rhinestones, gems and glitter or a traditionally scary look using shades of black, red, orange and green, your skin isn’t going to have an easy ride on the big night.

All of this harsh scrubbing with an abrasive flannel or harsh wipes can leave your skin stripped of goodness and may cause sensitivity or breakouts, even if you do the job properly.

So what’s the best way to remove Halloween makeup? Here are the five steps, according to Clarins’ experts.

Remove embellishments

Before addressing your full face, you’ll want to remove anything you’ve stuck on to your skin, such as glitter, gems and sequins.

The team said: “The first rule here is not to pick at them, otherwise you could scratch and scar your skin.

“Instead, rub some baby oil around the embellishment and let it sit for a few seconds; this will help to loosen up the adhesive.”

Oil-based cleanser

Oil is your friend when it comes to removing long-lasting Halloween makeup.

The skincare experts said: “An oil-based cleanser will help to break down any heavy make-up without stripping the skin.

“This is ideal for removing hard-to-budge waterproof mascara and stubborn face paint.”

Try an oil-based face wash or micellar water and cotton pads to do the job.

The team added: “Use a cotton bud dipped in an oil-based cleanser to remove any eyelash glue residue.

“For an even deeper cleanse, opt for a double cleanse. A salicylic acid-based cleanser is ideal for the second round because it helps to unclog pores and reduce breakouts.”


Now you’ve got rid of the majority of make-up, it’s time to exfoliate to get rid of any final traces of makeup.

However, the experts at Clarins warned that if your skin is feeling too sensitive by this stage, you should come back to it in a day or two.

They explained: “Using clean fingers, take a pea-sized amount of gentle exfoliator and apply it to the face in small circular motions.

“Once you have softly rubbed it around the skin for 30 seconds or so, use warm water to rinse it off.

“This is an important step in the routine because it helps to remove any final traces of make-up that could be sitting deep within the pores.”

Exfoliating also helps to effectively remove old skin cells and restore a healthy, vibrant glow – which is exactly what you need after a night of trying to look like the living dead!


Everything starts and ends with moisturiser – moisturiser helps to prime the skin before make-up and nourishes it afterwards.

You’ve stripped your skin with cleanser and exfoliator and now it’s time to replace the moisture you stole.

On top of that, the hours in heavy, drying make-up will mean your skin is in need of a drink.

The experts said: “Although optional, a spritz of face mist can do wonders to help calm and soothe the skin.

“Next, take a small amount of your favourite moisturiser and give your face a slow and gentle massage.

“This will help to stimulate circulation and give you a dewy look. Alternatively, you can pat your moisturiser using light pressure.

“Don’t forget your neck too – it’s one of the first places to show signs of ageing!”


In the days that follow, you may wish to give your skin the ultimate treat by opting for an overnight sleep mask.

The team said: “This will encourage a plumped, revived and glowing complexion and help address any skincare concerns you may have.

“A face mask is another option for those who enjoy a pamper session and have a bit more time – simply pop it on and relax while it works its magic.”

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