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8 Tips to Prevent Lipstick Bleeding

You’ll have a perfect pout all day long.
July 29, 2022

From jazzing up the most basic outfit to pulling an entire makeup look together, lipstick is hands down one of the most versatile items in your makeup bag. And with such a wide array of lipstick hues out there, it’s certainly possible to rock a different shade every day of the week. 

putting on lipstick, however, can be a little more complicated than you think — you might notice that your lip color bleeds outside your lip line or that it doesn’t stay in place all day long. And unless you want to have to check your mirror every few minutes to see if your color has migrated, then we can probably agree that a long-lasting lipstick and the proper application technique are a must for any and every beauty look. 

Below, learn how to apply lipstick and prevent bleeding with these eight easy tips.

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1. Exfoliate and Moisturize Your Pout

Let’s start by talking about how to prep your lips for your lip color. Sure, you can swipe your lipstick on without any prep work, but it might not look too good. For a lip look that lasts and looks great, you’ll want to take a little time to exfoliate your lips before applying any color. 

Dead skin cells can build up on the surface of your lips and you’ll want to slough them off with a gentle lip scrub, then follow up with a moisturizing lip balm to help keep your pout hydrated. This can help ensure that you have a smooth, even canvas to work with when applying your lipstick. Our favorite lip balm is the L’Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick with Pomegranate Extract, which is a balm-lipstick hybrid that hydrates and softens the lips while adding a pop of color to them. 

2. Use Lip Liner

Lip liner is the makeup product you’re overlooking too often  — until now, that is. Not only can lip liner make your lip color last longer, but it can also help stop bleeding (also sometimes referred to as feathering). Start by lining the outside of your lips with the liner to help fill in any fine lines. Then, fill in the rest of your lips with a lip liner in a shade that matches your lipstick before actually applying your lipstick to prevent any bleeding. Here are some of our favorite lip liners to use to help prevent feathering.

L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Anti-Feathering Lip Liner - Smooth Application

With eight shades to choose from, this liner will keep your lipstick from feathering while defining the natural contour of your lips. It also has a soft tip for a smooth, smudge-free application.

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner

This liner comes in 12 shades making it easy to find one close to your lip color of choice. In addition to keeping your lipstick from bleeding, this lip liner has a creamy formula that will add definition to your lips.

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner

This liner comes in eight rich shades, ranging from nude to red. The matte finish of its creamy formula is ideal when paired with a matte lipstick.

Editor’s tip: If you can’t find a lip liner that matches your lipstick, look for an invisible lip liner. A clear pencil can work just as well to prevent lipstick bleeding, and it can go with any shade in your makeup bag. 

3. Prime Your Lips With Concealer

You already use concealer on your face to help create an even base — and it turns out you can do the same for your lips, too. If you don’t have a lip primer handy, just reach for your go-to concealer and apply a tiny bit to your lips using a makeup blender. Then, take a lip brush and apply your lip color of choice on top.

4. Choose a Long-Lasting Lipstick

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating. If you want to help ensure your lip look stays in place for as long as possible, opt for a long-wear formula. Take your pick of one or more of these favorite  long-lasting lipsticks below.

L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature, Lasting Matte Liquid Lipstick

This long-lasting lipstick will give you bold, luscious color that feels lightweight on the lips. The revolutionary formula feels like a lip stain while giving you the color impact of a matte lipstick.

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick

Liquid lipstick is your best friend when it comes to preventing lipstick bleeding while having all-day color. This matte liquid lipstick lasts for hours while giving you full coverage color.

L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Signature Shiny Lip Stain Lipstick

This high-shine lip stain comes in 12 shades of rich color. It’s also full coverage and long-lasting, so you don't have to worry about smudging or fading.   

5. Blot and Set Your Lipstick With Translucent Powder 

This is a key part when applying lipstick that you might not even know, After you’re done priming your lips with either lip liner or concealer, apply one coat of lipstick using a brush (this allows for more precision than applying directly from the tube), then gently blot your lips with a tissue. Repeat the process again. After applying a second, final coat of lipstick, blot again with your tissue. Then, using a powder brush, apply a translucent powder onto your lips through the tissue to help set your lips. Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Sweep & Lock Loose Setting Face Powder for locking in your lip look.

6. Pat and Smudge Your Lipstick

If just a hint of color is what you’re after, the pat-smudge technique is an easy way to apply your lipstick and get a more natural look that won’t move all over your face. Use your ring finger to gently pat your lip color on and smudge it slightly. (The reason why you should use your ring finger is because it has a more delicate touch compared to your other fingers). This method can also give you more control over how much color you actually put on your lips.

7. Apply a Setting Spray

Once you have your lips prepped and your lipstick of choice applied, set your color with a makeup setting spray. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray will prevent any lipstick bleeding by locking in your makeup for a just-applied look that will last the whole day. 

The lightweight, oil-free formula will keep your color from smudging or setting into fine lines. To apply, shake well, hold the bottle eight to ten  inches from your face, close your eyes, and spray four to six times in an “X” and “T” motion.

8. Drink From a Straw

We’re finishing with a lipstick hack that you should definitely consider using as part of your daily makeup routine.  Whenever you wear lipstick, always drink your beverages through a straw (ideally a paper straw in an effort to make your beauty routine more sustainable) — that way your color will stay where it’s supposed to be — on your lips.  

Next: How to Choose the Best Red Lipstick for Your Skin Tone

Edited by: Shannon Stubbs, Photo Credit: Matthew Kelly

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