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Dear Making Midlife Matter,

I love to wear bright-colored lipsticks in the spring and summer. The problem is, at my age, it wicks up the lines around my mouth. Joker looking lipstick is not my goal! What can I do to stop that?


Feather Lips

Dear Feather Lips,

Generally, the more matte a lipstick, the more likely it is to stop lipstick bleeding without a lip liner but it can also be more drying.

There’s several new products on the market designed specifically to stop lipstick bleeding into wrinkles and up the lines around your mouth.

There’s also some old-time, generic favourites that might help with this.

Let’s start with good old Chap Stick.


  • After applying your foundation or tinted moisturizer,  cover the area above and below your lips with Chap Stick. Allow it to sit for a minute or two. It’s not going to dry, but you want to let it settle in a bit. Then pat on some translucent powder to set the Chap Stick.
  • Next,  line your lips, directly on your lip line, with the lip pencil of your choice. Then fill your lips in with this lip pencil. Follow this with your favorite lipstick. Wait a few seconds,  then blot your lips with a tissue. Finally, reapply one last coat of your lipstick.

The next thing you can try are waxy pencils, made specifically to stop lipstick from bleeding up the lines outside your lips.

Laura Mercier makes a simple to use, elegant pencil that goes on clear, and stops lipstick in its tracks.


  • Following your foundation or tinted moisturizer, stroke this waxy pencil just outside your natural, or preferred lip line. This pencil is so light you can choose to lightly dust with translucent powder, or leave as is because this doesn’t show!
  • Next, line your lips with your lip pencil of choice and fill  your lips in with the lip pencil. Follow the instructions above to apply lipstick, blot, then apply again.

Bite Beauty makes a pencil designed to be applied on your lips for anti-feathering, But I find it works better applied outside my lip line, like the others.



To be honest ladies, greasy, heavily slick lipsticks are a challenge at Midlife. At 25 we could slick that grease all over our lips and it would stay put. Now, we need to be a bit more strategic with its placement. After your lipstick is on, try applying a dot of gloss to the center of your lips, closer to the inside than lip line.  It does make your lips appear fuller, and you have a better chance of it staying put.

Making Midlife Matter


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