As a performer, whether you’re doing music or theatre or drag or circus arts, there is usually a lot of stage makeup involved. Sometimes even oil-based face paints, which are a bitch to get off, especially when you’re exhausted from a night of performing. And the most annoying part is - you come home, take it all off, and then you perform the next night and have to put it all on again!
Using makeup removers that regularly can be extremely damaging to your skin and cause acne or dryness. But you do it! For the sake of art! Because you’re devoted to your craft and you have no choice. Or at least… you don’t yet ;)
I’m going to share some little Italian magic with you.
I actually discovered this on accident one night after a show at the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco with my college band. I got home late, with tons of mascara on my eyes, and had no makeup remover left. I was studying oil painting at the time, as a Fine Arts major, and had learned about solutions that dissolve oils. I was trying get creative and find a way to remove this mascara. Mascara, and generally all water-resistant makeups - are oil based. With most other makeup, like lipstick and blush, you can just use soap and water. But I wasn’t about to rub soap in my eyes still half-drunk at 3 am. No no no. I went to the kitchen to find something that would dissolve the mascara and allow it to come off my eyes pain-free, thus allowing me to finally go to bed.
And as it turns out… you can use olive oil. Yes, olive oil. That stuff you cook with and probably have in your cupboard somewhere.
Dab some olive oil on a cloth or cotton swab, close your eyes, and just wipe that mascara away. Then rinse your face with warm water.
Olive oil is, obviously, oil based, but it is a more liquid substance than mascara. The olive oil bonds with the oil in the mascara, freeing it from the base of your skin and allowing it to be absorbed by a cloth and wiped away.
That’s my little Italian magic trick, and it works every time. I’ve been using olive oil as a makeup remover after film shoots and performances for a decade now. And the best part is — it’s actually great for your skin. See my previous post on Skin Care down below for more details.