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Five Tips So Your Lipstick Won’t Bleed


Like many women I have vertical lip lines, I wish weren’t there. While I’ve never been a smoker, mine are the result of pursing my lips, à la Brigitte Bardot, when I was younger. Men used to tell me what great lips I had. “Had” is the operative word, because my lips are not even as full as they were this time last week.

Unless you’re mindful when applying lip color, these dreaded lip lines can make you look like you’re wearing clown makeup. I’ve tried every combination of lipstick with gloss; without gloss; lip pencil followed by lipstick with, and without gloss. They all bleed and remind me of some of the older women we all fear of becoming. Here are some tips to help you avoid lipstick that bleeds into those dastardly lines:

  1. Correct your lip line with a neutral pencil that’s close to your natural lip color. Bobbi Brown’s Crayon Contour des Lèvres Lip Pencil in “Nude” is a good color for most everyone. Even though it’s called a crayon, it’s a pencil. Crayons can bleed. Because “Chubby Pencils” and self-sharpening lip pencils are creamy, which means they will bleed, you might not want to use them.
  2. Keep your pencil sharpened. Unless you’re skilled, don’t draw outside your lip line. Just lightly make each side of your lips symmetrical. We’re not tattooing on color, so easy does it.
  3. Lightly fill-in the inside of your lip line with the same color lip pencil. Try gently applying it by gliding the side of the pencil across your lips.
  4. Place a tiny dot of lip gloss on the center of your upper and lower lips. Try Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in “Trail Blazer.” It’s a tiny highlight that makes a world of difference, but won’t bleed. If you can’t find that shade, be careful that you don’t choose a color that’s too blue, coral or red. BTW, let go of the “GLOSSY LOOK!!” Leave that to younger women who want to look like porn stars.
  5. Don’t smack your lips back and forth to blend it. Your body heat will disseminate the color across your lips. Besides, you want it to look natural, like the sun has kissed your lips. Lightly blot with tissue. Now don’t mess with it.
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6 thoughts on “Five Tips So Your Lipstick Won’t Bleed”

  1. Lord, the things we endure with age! I found Revlon’s liquid lipstick to be the best solution. You put it on with a wand and it dries and stays for hours and hours, even overnight sometimes. I put a sheer lip balm over it because it can feel dry, but even with the balm it stays put.

  2. These are great tips. Unfortunately, the chemo I’m on continuously causes cold sores, so my lips are permanently pink. At least they don’t bleed in either sense!

    • Jan,
      When I think about what it must be like to continually be on chemo, I become overwhelmed. God has you by the hand, that’s for sure. I admire your courage.

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