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How to avoid lipstick stains on napkins?

This can make your hostess quite upset!

· French Etiquette

Imagine you are looking stunning and had a wonderful dinner, but after the meal, as you leave the table, your host can't help to notice the conspicuous red lip print marks on the snow-white napkin.

Too embarrassing, right? So, how to use napkins properly to avoid leaving lipstick stains on them? Let's take a look!

Use napkin properly

When you sit down, the first thing you should do is to unfold your napkin gently and place it on your lap.

For dinner, your napkin will be placed on your lap folded in half. For lunch, brunch, breakfast or tea party, the napkin is usually smaller in size and can be placed on your lap completely open.

During meals, frequently use your napkin to dab your lips. Use the inside part of the napkin (remember, it's folded in half), so that possible stains remain hidden.

It is also vital that you use your napkin before sipping your wine or other beverage, so you don't leave any greasy mouth marks on the lip of the glass.

After the meal, you should place your used napkin roughly folded back on the left of your plate, with possible stains hidden on the interior of the folding.

If there is a napkin ring, pull your napkin through the ring again before you leave.

How to avoid lipsticks stains

"Don't blot lipstick on your napkin!". How is that even possible? Don't worry, here are some tips.

Ways to apply lipstick

  • After applying the lipstick, lightly press a thin tissue over your lips.
  • Then, keep the tissue in place and use your brush to take some loose powder and apply it to your lips' places.
  • Before a meal, remember to wipe off excessive lipstick with a tissue to avoid blotting it onto your napkin or the wine glass.

This is especially relevant if you are invited into somebody's home for dinner, as your host will be cleaning the napkins himself/herself.

When eating, bring the food directly into your mouth, and avoid touching your outer lips. This will keep your lips clean and reduce your napkin usage.

If you need to clean or dry your lips, dab your mouth gently on the corners, using the side of the napkin.

Tips to remove lipstick stains on napkin

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the lipstick-stained napkins after your guests have left? Take it easy, it's quite simple!

Use hair spray

  • Spray the hair spray directly on the lipstick print and wait 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Next, wipe off the lipstick mark with an old rag dampened with warm water. If this method doesn't completely remove the lipstick print, you can use some dishwashing liquid to scrub it.

Use toothpaste

  • Grab a tube of toothpaste, massage a dab into the stain and rub it gently between your fingers.
  • If it is difficult to clean off, you can use a toothbrush to brush this stained area back and forth until the lipstick print fades.

Use rubbing alcohol

  • Put the napkin stain down on top of a couple layers of paper towel or absorbent towel.
  • Dampen another towel with rubbing alcohol (70 or 90 percent), then dab, dab, dab the stained area.

So next time when you're invited for dinner, be careful about your lipstick and don't let it bother your hostess that much!

Founded in 2018 by Matthieu Ventelon, Hedonia is the first institution in China combining professional Wine and Etiquette expertise in the same training offer.

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