Stop lipstick from bleeding

Table of Contents

There’s nothing like a pop of colour on your lips to brighten up your whole face, which is why many of us would never be without a lipstick in our handbags.

However, as you get older fine lines around the mouth can cause lipstick to bleed, which can be seriously annoying when you’re looking for a sharp, precise application.


Luckily Tricia Cusden, pictured below, knows how to deal with that – she’s created a hugely popular series of videos aimed at older women’s beauty, as well as creating her own makeup range.

For flawless lipstick, she’s shared the following advice with us:

Use a primer
‘It is essential to use a lip primer, as this stops lipstick from bleeding and creating “fuzzy” edges, which can happen very easily when you have fine lines around the mouth’ says Tricia.

‘Make sure you apply the lip primer to the very edges of the lips and rub into the skin with your finger, before allowing to dry’ she advises.

We love Fabulous Lip Prime, £16, Look Fabulous Forever.

Apply your lipstick
Now’s the time for your lippy – which ideally, says Tricia, you should apply with a brush.

‘A great tip of mine is to press down just outside your lip line with your forefinger, which gently plumps out the skin on your lips’ says Tricia. This way you can fill any fine lines and maximise coverage, especially on thin lips.

Use the brush to line the outside of your lips, before filling in the middle. It’s best not to put too much lipstick on the brush to start with, as it’s easier to build up product than it is to take it away!

‘Use smooth, linear brushstrokes when applying the lipstick’, advises Tricia. ‘And make sure you blot the lipstick to ensure excess is removed’. You can do this by gently closing your lips over a tissue.

Finish with gloss
A gloss is a great option to make your lips look fuller.

‘Use a dabbing motion with the wand rather than rubbing into the lips so the final result is subtle’ recommends Tricia.

Watch our video on how to make your lips look fuller here:


(Images: Getty)

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How To Stop Your Lipstick From Bleeding In 4 Ways

If you thought that applying lipstick was the tricky part, you haven’t seen anything yet. Once lipstick is on, it needs maintenance to stay put. Even after cleanly applying a coat of bright lip colour, hours later you may find it leaked out of the lip lines; a smudgy waste of your lipstick and time. Luckily, you can prevent it from happening again. Try these four lipstick tips and save yourself from embarrassing smudges and bleeding lip marks.

1. Get In Line

We know you’re excited to try out your brand new lipstick but before you do, make sure you line your lips. Either use a clear invisible lip liner or one that’s the same shade of your lipstick to draw over the edges of the lips so that it acts like a barrier to prevent lipstick from spreading outside.

2. Set It

Like you would do with a full face of makeup, ensure that you set your lipstick too with translucent powder. Place a tissue over the fresh coat of lipstick, dust it with translucent powder and gently peel off. This will help it in place and prevent any smudging from occurring.

3. Cover Up

This may sound strange but hear us out. Concealer can also stop lipstick from rebelliously going outside the lines. All you need is a drop of long-staying concealer dabbed and blended all over the lips. Once it dries, apply your lipstick. Follow up by lining your lips with the same concealer and a lipstick. Concealer will work as a base and further guard lipstick from leaking.

4. Blot On

After lipstick is applied and has dried adequately, hold a tissue in between your lips and purse into it so that your lipstick gets blotted. This simple technique removes excess lipstick which further stops it from slipping out of the lines.

(Also Read: Alia Bhatt, Shay Mitchell And 8 Other Celebs Who Pull Off Red Lips Perfectly)

The little lines around your mouth that cause lipstick bleeding can be so embarrassing. This faux pas can make you look old and well, just not good.

My Favorite Products to Combat Lipstick Bleeding:

The best way to combat the dreaded bleeding lipstick is to prep the lip area with a filling product. This product contains a formula that reduces dryness and minimizes bleeding and feathering. Xtend does not eliminate the lines themselves, but it will help fill them in so there isn’t a place for lip color to run.

I have a favorite trick to add to lip filling products. This step assures that your lipstick will stay where you apply it. Pat a little concealer over the filler onto your entire lip. Place a separated tissue to your lip and apply a little powder on a brush through the tissue onto the lip. Line and fill in the lips with lip liner and lip color. Repeat the tissue blotting step and then apply a small amount of gloss to the center of your lips only.

NO COSMETICS No Bleeding Lips Secret Lip Liner

If you simply wear a sheer wash of color, this product is for you. This liner is clear, so it goes with every color of gloss or lipstick. This Secret Lip Liner is a temporary filler which helps to stop the bleeding and feathering. Don’t be afraid to apply liberally to the outer edges of your actual lip line.

Guerlain Kiss Kiss Liplift

Runaway lip color can also fade quickly. Guerlain Kiss Kiss Liplift is a primer and a treatment that smooths and prepares the lip for continuous lip color. Keeping your lips hydrated is key to having your lip color appear soft and supple.

Adding a little extra prep time into one of the world’s oldest rituals will give you the confidence that you are putting your best lip forward this fall.

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After I posted my 1st round of lipstick testing for mature lips, I received loads of suggestions for other lipsticks to try. These were mainly products that people love, or are curious about because of the hype. So, since I hadn’t found my ‘holy grail’ lipstick in the first round, I decided to give it another go!

Back Row Left to Right: Wet n Wild Mega Last, Kate Moss for Rimmel, Nars Audacious, Maybelline Matte
Front Row: Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar, Bite Beauty Luminous Lip Creme

I’ve got quite a collection of interesting products this time, including cult favorite Obsessive Compulsive “Lip Tar”, media darling Nars “Audacious”, and $1.99 Wet n Wild “MegaLast”. As usual, the results are surprising.

I don’t use any primer or liner for the tests so the lipstick has to sink or swim on it’s own merit. I apply each one in the late morning, then record how it wears every 3 hours for 9 hours. I compare how the product performs in real life vs. it’s advertising claims, I also note how it feels, how it looks, if it runs into vertical lip lines, if it settles in wrinkles, and how long it lasts. The lipsticks are listed in order from worst to best.

The Worst:

Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar Matte in Trollop ~ $10 sample kit ~ $18 ~ 43 Shades

Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar Sample Pack $10 at Sephora

The Claims: A liquid matte lipstick with unparalleled pigment intensity and wear time. 

Contains Organic Hemp Oil & Soy-Derived Vitamin E, for a finish that feels as good as it looks! Paraben-Free courtesy of refreshing Peppermint Oil.

 100% Vegan & Cruelty-Free.

Application: Took about 5 minutes to apply… difficulty factor is a 10. The brush is very small and the tar is so goopy and opaque you have to apply with a surgeons precision for it to look good. Even after all that, coverage isn’t complete, there are gaps and thin spots. Takes time to set up and finally turn matte during which you should NOT press lips together or it’ll all be ruined.

It ran into vertical upper lip wrinkles in the 1st five minutes…

Wear: Just Awful! Crept up into lip lines within first 5 minutes (and not just the 1, but another 5 I didn’t know I had!!). Settled into lower lip creases after an hour. Stayed goopy and transferred all over cups, people, fingers, chin etc.

Lip Tar after 3 Hours of Wear

The Lip Tar wore unevenly, clumping up at inner lip edges. Got worse as the day wore on, and it never turned matte. The color stains the lips so it lasts a long time (over 9 hours) but it looked terrible for all 9 hours.

Lip Tar after a whopping 9 Hours of Wear!

Overall: Not good… although I may have put on too much?

Stila All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina ~ $22 ~ 10 Shades

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina

The Claims: A creamy-matte, full-coverage lip color that delivers bold, long-lasting color and stays in place for up to 6 hours of continuous wear. Delivers superb comfort, the color-rich formula will not bleed or transfer. Enriched with Vitamin E and avocado oil, softens the lips so they look and feel beautiful!

Application: Feels great going on, very silky, but difficult to apply because it’s so opaque. Must use mirror and be very careful at the edges. Dries very matte and very dry feeling, makes lips look very wrinkly. Very true to color.

Absolutely LOVE this color, too bad it makes lips look older…

Wear: Color stays put, no feathering or settling and lasts perfectly for 4-5 hours.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick After 3 Hours of Wear

Starts to deteriorate and looks bad after that. Crusts up around corners of mouth and inner edges of lips. Lips look and feel dry and wrinkly.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick After 6 Hours of Wear

VERY uncomfortable to wear… it’s so drying I had to put some clear balm on at 7 hours, and couldn’t wait to wash it off!

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick After 9 Hours of Wear

Overall: Amazing opaque stay put color lasts half the day, but makes mature lips look wrinkly. Too drying and uncomfortable for daily use. Could be good for a short special occasion.

Nars Audacious Lipstick in Juliette ~ $32 ~ 40 Shades (named after iconic women)

Nars Audacious Lipstick in Juliette

The Claims: One-stroke, full-coverage creamy wear. Luxurious texture and enriched with ingredients to smooth and nourish lips. Long-lasting.

Application: Very pigmented but not completely opaque. Creamy texture glides over lips, but doesn’t deliver complete coverage… some skipping and gapping. Unscented. Have to be careful applying to get edges right and fill in gaps. Not sticky, feels nice.

Great color! Makes lips look younger… at first…

Wear: Needs time to set up before eating or it wears right off and transfers all over the place. Given time to set it wears nicely for about 3-4 hours, but it does settle into wrinkles and vertical lip lines right away.

Nars Audacious Lipstick After 3 Hours of Wear

After a few hours, it makes lips look wrinkly, wears off unevenly, is very drying, and leaves behind a coating of glitter flakes! Not what I was expecting from a $32 lipstick.

Nars Audacious Lipstick After 6 Hours of Wear

Overall: Naughty Nars, must have put all the money into the cool magnetic case and none into making a quality product.

Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Moss Lipstick in 08 Rosetto ~ $4.75 ~ 9 Shades

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss

The Claims: The 1st Lipstick collection created by Kate Moss High intensity colour for up to 8 hours. Formula infused with Black Diamonds, reflects light like never before. Captures all the flair, edge and timelessness of Kate’s unique look.

Application: Glides on the lips but not as soft & creamy as some… more of a silky texture that’s a little tacky at first. Has a low luster sheen that’s very wearable for older lips. Soft lovely color, but not “high intensity”. Scent is soft herbal but dissipates quickly.

Flattering Soft Gloss Thanks to Those Black Diamonds!!

Wear: Color wears for 3 hours or 1 meal (whichever comes first). It ran into vertical lip line and created that horizontal wrinkling on the upper lip.

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss

It felt drying after 3 hours and the color was worn off, but the black diamond shimmer remained. Lips felt dry and peeling after 6 hours.

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss After 3 Hours

Overall: Just Ok

Maybelline ColorSensational Creamy Mattes in 660 Touch of Spice ~ $7.49 ~ 10 Shades

Maybelline Color Sensational The Mattes

The Claims: The Creamy Mattes by Color Sensational deliver a burst of bold lip color and a surge of creamy texture, for mattes your lips will love to wear!

Application: Dryer formula goes on nicely, but it’s not creamy. Not sticky either. Has a soft vanilla scent that dissipates quickly. Opaque color coats lips & looks smooth.

Touch of Spice is a great Fall Color!

Wear: Color wore well for 2.5 hours, but doesn’t last through a meal. No settling, and no feathering!!

Maybelline Color Sensational After 3 Hours of Wear

Did not feel drying while it wore, but lips did get dry later in the day.

Maybelline Color Sensational After 6 Hours of Wear

Overall: Beautiful color, great matte finish that looked really good while it lasted.

Bite Beauty Luminous Lipstick in Musk ~ $12 sample size ~ $24 ~ 30 Shades

Bite Beauty Luminous Lipstick Duo Sampler ~ $12 at Sephora

The Claims: A lush, long-lasting, moisture-rich lip color. Each lipstick contains the amount of resveratrol found in five glasses of red wine. No: Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, synthetics, polybutenes, and petroleum byproducts. Made with food-grade ingredients that are healthy enough to eat.

Application: Easy to apply, nice & creamy. Feels great on the lips. Color is semi-sheer and it has a low luster finish, not sticky or goopy. Has a waxy scent. Did not feather or settle.

Color doesn’t really match the product, but it’s a nice color anyway…

Wear: Color lasted 3.5 hours through 1 meal and was completely worn off by 6 hours.

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick After 3 Hours

Comfortable to wear, non-drying.

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick After 6 Hours

Overall: Great all-natural, anti-aging ingredients. Good every day lipstick.

The Best & Winner of This Round!!

Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in 970 Purty Persimmon ~ $1.99 ~ 26 Shades

Wet n Wild Mega Last Lipstick in Purty Persimmon

The Claims: Lips take center stage! This 4-hour, longwearing lip color leaves a semi-matte, crème finish in one stroke. Glides on easily with rich, velvety color that doesn’t cake, feather, or bleed. Made with hydrating skin-care ingredients: Hyaluronic Microspheres provide extraordinary adhesion to lips, an exclusive polymer complex offers cushion-like feel and texture, and natural marine plant extracts Coenzyme Q10 and Vitamins A & E help smooth lips.

Application: Creamy formula glides on easily leaving semi-opaque, semi-matte comfortable finish.

The Winner! Everything I want in a Lipstick, and all for $1.99!!

Wear: Color wore through 6 hours, a meal, tea and snack.

Wet n Wild Mega Last After 3 Hours

Slight feathering into lip wrinkle, no settling, didn’t make lips look wrinkly.

Wet n Wild Mega Last After 6 Hours

The color finally wore off after NINE HOURS! After being on the lips for that long, it was a bit drying.

Wet n Wild Mega Last After 9 Hours

Overall: Excellent quality for $1.99! Beat ALL of the high end products on comfort and color staying power.

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10 best long-lasting lipsticks that won’t dry out your lips

Finding the perfect, flattering shade and creamy, not-too-glossy finish isn’t much use if your lipstick wears off after one drink or a long commute to work.

We’ve tested more than 30 formulas to find lipsticks that stay put through eating, drinking and even a cheeky kiss.

Most long-lasting lipsticks claim to stay put somewhere between eight and 14 hours, but as a product’s staying power depends rather a lot on what you get up to in that time, we settled on the rather more practical test of how well each lipstick stayed put through two meals.

We looked at how often a product required touch-ups, particularly where your lips meet, how much they transferred on to mugs or glasses, and whether they crumbled, bled or smudged.

The majority of these formulas are liquid lipsticks, which go on thin but dry to a matte, strong-hold finish, but we’ve also included some traditional bullet lipsticks if that’s more your thing.

We recommend applying balm underneath five minutes before application as long-lasting formulas can be drying, and while not all these lipsticks require liner to prevent bleeding, it can never hurt to apply it. Remove with a oil-based cleanser and a face cloth.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Chanel rouge allure ink in true red: £26.35, John Lewis & Partners

Rouge allure ink is a liquid lipstick goes on thin and glossy but dries to a perfect matte finish. It doesn’t settle into creases and doesn’t bleed, even without lip liner. We found it lasted beautifully through two meals, though you might want to touch it up a little in the centre of your lips. “True red” is just that – a perfect, flattering bus red.

Buy now

Nars powermatte lip pigment in get up stand up: £23, Nars

We love Nars’ “get up stand up” as a fresh alternative to a red lip: it’s a bright pink – not too red, not too purple; bold and flattering. It’s a liquid formula with a dainty applicator that makes precise fine lines easy, and it stayed put throughout an evening meal and drinks after.

Buy now

Fenty Beauty stunna lip paint in unbutton: £19, Harvey Nichols

We love the dramatic-looking packaging of Fenty’s stunna lip paint, with its octagonal, tapered bottle, and the applicator is unusually short and stubby but, it turns out, the perfect shape for intuitive, easy application. It’s a liquid lipstick that dries to a non-cakey, feather-weight satin finish and doesn’t budge. We like “unbutton”, a taupe nude.

Buy now

Giorgio Armani lip maestro in 400: £31, Look Fantastic

Lip maestro goes on thicker and more powdery than most liquid formulas, so it feels more like a nourishing, creamy lipstick. It doesn’t dry to a super matte finish, but rather remains satin and doesn’t apply with super harsh lines but with soft, flattering edges. The shade “400” is a slightly blue-y, medium red that makes teeth look whiter.

Buy now

Mac retro matte liquid lip colour in burnt spice: £19, Mac Cosmetics

This suede-like finish liquid lipstick is a real trooper. Once dried, we didn’t get any colour transfer on to our morning coffee mug. “Burnt spice” is a lovely daytime-appropriate dirty rose. We found that on the darker shades you might need a few more layers to get an even finish.

Buy now

Laura Mercier rouge essentiel ​in nu prefere: £26, Cult Beauty

The packaging of Laura Mercier’s rouge essentiel feels far more expensive than it is: cuboid and weighty with a mirror finish and magnetic close. They’re highly pigmented and feel creamy and nourishing on the lips, and it stayed on through a lunch out and beyond. “Nu prefere” is a perfect nude.

Buy now

Estee Lauder pure colour envy paint on liquid lip colour in bronze leaf: £27, Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder’s pure colour envy liquid lipstick didn’t budge – we only topped it up once all day – but somehow doesn’t feel drying on the lips. It also masked the natural texture of lips more than others we tried, so it’s a good choice if you don’t like product settling into creases. “Bronze leaf” is a retro brown-toned nude.

Buy now

Charlotte Tilbury matte revolution in walk of shame: £25, Feel Unique

Charlotte Tilbury’s matte revolution lipsticks have cult status, and rightly so. The finish is matte and creamy. They don’t last as long as some liquid formulas, but they’re among the best for a classic bullet and they’re a more hydrating option, too. Start with the iconic nude “pillow talk” and then pick up our current go-to, the berry rose “walk of shame”.

Buy now

Hourglass opaque rouge liquid lipstick in canvas: £25, Space NK

These go on silky smooth and don’t set too quickly so you have time to move product around and blend as you wish. They have a velvety matte finish that doesn’t look dry and claggy on the lips, and are very comfortable to wear. It fades a little on the inner parts of your lips after eating, but we easily got eight hours’ wear out of ours in “canvas”, a lovely, slightly murky pink.

Buy now

Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick: £22, Anastasia Beverly Hills

ABH may be known for its brow products, but its liquid lipsticks aren’t far behind. They’re quite creamy on application but dry swiftly to a velvety matte finish and dense colour. Our only quibble is that they are more drying that others we tried, so we found that they started to crumble with too many layers throughout the day. Use a lip balm before application to help avoid this. We love this brown nude named “ashton”.

Buy now

The verdict: Long-lasting lipsticks

If staying power is what you’re after, Chanel rouge allure ink won’t let you down, and the finish and colour payoff is beautiful.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.


Nothing feels worse than having a makeup meltdown — especially when it comes to your lipstick color. The dreaded clown mouth (a.k.a. lipstick bleeds) can quickly downgrade your look. Whether you go for something soft and neutral or bold and bright, say “stay” to your lipstick with a few expert tricks below!

Select the Right Formula
“The formula can sometimes be the cause; for instance, a very waxy or wet lipstick can easily feather or bleed,” shares Laura Mercier Global Makeup Artist, Alexis Comforti. When it doubt, gloss might not be the best choice for all-day wear. “Lip crayons and lipsticks have the most staying power,” she explains. “They tend to be thicker and have more pigment.”

Always Color Inside the Lines
Unfortunately, lip liner has gotten a bad rep in the past, but it’s a makeup artist favorite for locking color into place. “Lip liner is generally made of waxes and powders that act as a barrier stopping lipstick from feathering into lines around the mouth,” shares MAKE UP FOR EVER Vice President of Education and Artistry, Simone Ciafardini. “The purpose of lip liners is to make the lip look seamless, fuller, and on trend,” adds Comforti.

MORE: 15 Things That Happen When You Wear Lipstick Full Time

Keep Color Consistent
“You should try to match your liner to your lipstick, although it can be slightly deeper or brighter,” shares Comforti. “My trick is that I completely line the lips with lip liner, then use that same pencil to fill in the entire lip.” Note to self: Light lipstick and dark liner went out in the ‘90s!

Pass the Tissue
Contrary to popular belief, this old school beauty tip actually does work. “Blotting is one of those makeup tricks handed down from generation to generation,” says Ciafardini. “Just blotting after one application won’t provide any benefit. If you want longer lasting lipstick with more of a stronger color payoff, apply, blot and then apply again,” she advises.

Tricks of the Trade
How does Comforti keep celebrities looking great on the red carpet? “Prior to applying the lip liner, I define the outer lip line with Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage and set with a little Translucent Powder,” she spills. “This little trick is so successful because it helps to define the lips, fill in the fine lines around the mouth area, and stops makeup migration.”

MORE: 10 Fall Lipstick Colors to Try Now

Prep Before You Prime
“A lip primer is fine but lip exfoliant is a better investment,” Ciafardini. “Nothing destroys a beautiful lip look more than dead, flaky skin.” However, there’s no need to go overboard — once per week is fine. Additionally, a quick swipe lip balm can help banish chapped skin. “Just be sure to blot so the lipstick won’t bleed,” she says.

A Little Goes a Long Way
A light dusting of powder can help set color for a long night. “Be sure the powder is silica powder based, such as MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder, and not talc powder,” Ciafardini warns. “ go very lightly on the application as well.” If not, the result can look cakey as opposed to matte.

Remember, Makeup is Supposed to Be Fun!
“Lipstick is one of the oldest and most beloved makeup items in the world,” says Ciafardini. “Shake it up! Don’t be married to one shade.” Comforti agrees, “A lipstick is one of the easiest things to reapply–it’s worth using one that feels comfortable.”

Ever have the problem of bleeding lipstick? Constantly checking the mirror to make sure that your lipstick isn’t all over your face (or your teeth) can get annoying. If you follow just a few simple tricks, you can prevent the bleeding and continue to wear lipstick.


Prime your lips

If you apply color to dry lips, your lipstick might start flaking and create that rough, dried-up look. Instead, apply a lip scrub at least once a week and make sure to keep your lips moisturized. Apply a good lip balm every night before you go to bed, to keep your lips kissable and soft.


Line your lips

Lining your lips is essential. It fills in all of the crevices around your lips that your lipstick might seep into. It will also create a barrier so lipstick doesn’t smear around the edges of your lips. Try choosing a color that is either the same color as your lipstick or a little bit lighter. This will also give your lipstick a nice “pop.”


Always moisturize

Moisture is of key importance in general. Make sure to always moisturize with your favorite lip balm every night and before putting on your lipstick. This will make sure that your lips don’t look dry or cracked once the color is on.


Don’t forget to blot

Blotting is important, especially so your lipstick doesn’t bleed onto your teeth. Place a clean tissue between your lips and simply press your lips together. You can also place the tissue over your index finger and gently press your lips around your finger.


Get glossy

Gloss keeps your lips hydrated after your put on your lipstick and gives them a glowing appearance. Choose a good, thick gloss that stays in place. One lip gloss that we like is MAC Clear Lipglass.

More on lipstick

How to make leftover lipstick into tinted lip balm
The secret to wearing bold maroon lipstick
Born lippy: Glosses, stains and lipsticks for fall


As we age, our lipstick can begin to feather and bleed into wrinkles around our mouth, especially the “smoker’s lines” — the vertical lines above our lips. Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent your lipstick from bleeding. Read on for a comprehensive tutorial on applying your lipstick to flatter over 40 lips and to keep it in place without feathering or bleeding.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Oh, the joys of growing older. I’m so much wiser than I was at 20, but it seems that each bit of wisdom came accompanied by a wrinkle or a blotchy mark on my skin. In the last few years, I’ve developed some fairly deep vertical wrinkles above my lips and beside my mouth that my lipstick seems to want to flow into them at the first opportunity. I would frequently check my makeup in the mirror at work only to discover that my lipstick, which I had crisply applied in the morning, was now a blurry mess across my face.

Fortunately, it turns out that it’s actually really easy to keep your lipstick from bleeding and feathering simply by changing a few things about how you apply it. I also found the perfect no-budge lipstick that will flatter over-40 lips and will never, ever budge.

Here’s a YouTube video with detailed instructions of what’s been working for me. If you’ve got questions or comments, let me know in the comments!

How to Stop Lipstick Bleeding into Wrinkles Watch this video on YouTube.

Products in This Video

Step 1: Make sure your lips are moisturized and exfoliated

My new favorite skin product is this Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. I’ve been using it for the last two weeks and I’ve seen major changes in how dry and flaky my lips are. I apply it at night when I remove my makeup and my lips still feel soft and moist the next morning.

Moisturize your lips each night to keep them smooth and flake-free

I’m sure my lips will continue to improve as I use this product, but I imagine I’ll always have a problem with dry and flaky lips because I have year-round allergies and the antihistamines I take every day make my skin super dry. So I exfoliate my lips every morning.

Once or twice a week, I’ll use the Mary Kay Satin Lip Mask to really get that skin off and on other days, I’ll use the E.L.F. lip exfoliator before applying lip balm to moisturize my newly smooth lips.

Exfoliate your lips before applying lipstick to give your lipstick a smooth surface to cling to

Step 2: Cover any redness in the skin around your lips

I thought I was doing everything right, only to notice that the area above my lips looked red and blotchy by mid-morning. Then one day it hit me: that redness wasn’t my lipstick. Years of ill-advised sun exposure during my misspent youth have left me with a red blotchy complexion with broken veins. What I was seeing above my lips wasn’t caused by my lipstick bleeding but was really just the redness of my skin bleeding through my foundation.

I solved this problem by adding a redness neutralizing cream from my new favorite cosmetics brand, IT Cosmetics (seriously their mascara is amazing!). After my sunscreen, I apply a bit of Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Correcting Cream to my upper lip area to cover my natural redness and it works like a charm.

A little of this stuff goes a long way — you only need a tiny dot. After I’ve put on the product, I press it into my skin with a small blending sponge.

Step 3: Apply Lip Liner

Your lip liner is really the most important thing you do to keep your lipstick where it needs to stay. I have pretty deep wrinkles to the side of my mouth so I want to make sure that I keep my liner away from the edges of my mouth or my lipstick will bleed into those wrinkles and look messy.

I apply my lip liner with my mouth closed so I can clearly see where the wrinkles start and avoid them.

I’m not a huge fan of overdrawing your lips because if you take it too far then that also can cause your lipstick to bleed, but you can see below that I overdraw my bottom lip ever-so-slightly to try to bring back some of the fullness that I’ve lost over the years.

Before lip liner and after lip liner

In general, I try to use a liner that matches my natural lip color. I’m currently loving the Buxom lip liner in Dolly Danger because it’s almost a perfect match for my lips. (I’m wearing a brighter lip liner than the Dolly Danger color in the picture above so the liner would show up better in the photo.

After I outline my lips, I fill them in with the lip liner so it acts as a primer for my lipstick.

Step 4: Time to Finally Apply Lipstick!

I’ve found that liquid lipstick stays in place on your lips much better than creamy formulas and I’ve also found that you can find amazing lipsticks right at your local drug store.

Simply apply your lipstick while being careful to not apply outside the lip liner.

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Step 5 (Optional): Blot Your Lips and Reapply

The only makeup my mom wore was a bright red lipstick she thoughtfully applied every time she left the house. She’d carefully apply the first coat and then press her lips on a piece of tissue to make a perfect lip print before applying the second coat. As a kid, I thought this whole ritual was impossibly glamorous but then I started wearing makeup during the lip-gloss crazy seventies and two coats of lip gloss would smear all over your face and make your lips stick together.

Lip gloss slides into my wrinkles now so the days of swiping on a layer of gloss with my finger are long gone and I’ve discovered that if I want my lipstick to stay on I need to blot as well. Blotting removes the excess product so your second coat goes on smoother.

This is an optional step that I normally only do when I’m going to be out for a long time or if I really care about looking glamorous.

Step 6 (Really Optional): Outline Your Lips with Concealer

I seriously only do this on very special occasions, but I can testify that it works. If you want to highlight your lips so they stand out more (great for thin lips) or make sure there’s absolutely no way this lipstick is going to bleed, then use a very small brush and outline your lips with concealer.

Once I’ve outlined my lips, I press the concealer into my skin with a tiny blending sponge until it’s blended with the rest of my makeup.

Step 7 (Not Optional): Wait Before Eating or Drinking

This is the hardest step for me. I used to put on all my makeup, including my lipstick, and then head down to breakfast. Or I’d grab a drink on the way out the door to the car. And then I’d be shocked when I got to work and saw that my lipstick had smeared everywhere.

I try to wait at least 30 minutes before having anything to drink because then I can feel confident that my lipstick is dry and will stay put.

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Michelle Phan

Hi everyone,

Smudged lipstick happens to the best of us – after all, we’ve all experienced the dismay of looking in the mirror at the end of the night only to see our carefully-applied lipstick smeared in an unflattering ring around our mouths. Feathered lipstick might work as a runway trend, but in real life, most women would prefer that their lipstick stay within the lines. If you’d like to avoid the “I just had a cherry popsicle” look this season, just follow these steps…

The Feather-Proof Lipstick Trick

Lip balm


1.) Lip balm: Apply your favorite lip balm

2.) Foundation: Here’s the extra step that will make all the difference – lightly pat a small amount of foundation across your lips to help even out any lines and create a smooth surface for your lip color to stick to.

3.) Lip liner: Using a wax-based lip liner, carefully trace your lip line

4.) Lipstick: Apply your lipstick (use a lip brush for extra precision)

And there you have it – you’ll never have to worry about keeping your lipstick in place again!

Have you ever tried this trick? How do you keep your lipstick from fading? Tell me in the comments!

<3 Mish

photo credit: thinkstock

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We all know the power of a bold lipstick – a perfect pout is an instant pick-me-up. Nothing makes us feel more feminine than a luscious new lipstick. But the downside to a bright, bold colour is that, after a certain age, it can bleed into the lines around the lips – not an ideal look! But there are simple ways to stop this – the key is in the preparation.

So if you’re lusting after a fab new lipstick, follow these handy make-up tips to keep your painted pout perfectly in place, with no bleeding, smudging or creeping.

Get the perfect pout: lipstick with staying power

“I suggest exfoliating your lips with a hot, damp cloth and then apply a lip balm, such as Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter (£7.99),” says Gucci Westman, Revlon Global Artistic Director. “Then use a lip liner because this will help prevent the lipstick from feathering and give your lips a perfect outline.”

If you have trouble applying a lip liner, and let’s face it, it can take a bit of practice to get that perfect cupid’s bow, here are three techniques that might help:

  • Rest your elbow on a hard surface while drawing a line around your lips and draw in dashes rather than one continuous line.
  • Start lining your lips from the centre and then take the line out to the corners of your lips.
  • Another trick you could try is to line your lips with dots and then join the dots – it sounds silly but it works!

Get the celebrity lipstick look

If you like a glossy lip like Helena Bonham Carter, try this tip from Laura Mercier, make-up artist and Creative Director of Laura Mercier cosmetics. “Many women think they can’t wear gloss as they get older,” says Laura, “but lip gloss is great for older lips because it makes them look plumper by catching the light.”

However, the problem with lip gloss is that has more of a tendency to bleed into the lines around the mouth. Laura recommends “just applying a touch of gloss to the centre of the top and bottom lips.” With glossy lip colours, a nude lip liner is also key to keeping the gloss from bleeding; we recommend Du Wop Reverse Time 2 X,( £31, Look Fantastic). It’s a duo pencil, one with a clear lip liner that plumps the fine lines around the lips and prevents lipstick from bleeding. The other pencil is a clear eyeliner that does the same thing for eyes – bargain!

If you want a matte bright lip colour for daytime, like Cate Blachett (below) and you don’t feel confident using lip liner, try this lip tip from Laura Mercier. “Use your finger to press a little Secret Camouflage concealer (£26.50, John Lewis) into and around your lip line. Dab gently until it disappears into your skin, ensuring you don’t cover your lips entirely.” Then apply your lipstick.

Long-lasting lip colours are usually less likely to bleed, so it’s worth finding the right lipstick shade and investing in one that lasts all day. We like Clinique’s Long Last Lipstick in Beach Coral, (£17.50) and Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Colour, (£20, House of Fraser).

More on…

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Carla Griscti Digital Writer As a digital writer for Prima Online and a self-confessed foodaholic, you’ll find lots of fab foodie pieces from me.