How to Keep Lipstick from Feathering

Pucker lines…the older I get, the more I get. Who knows what causes them? I’ve heard using a straw or smoking is the culprit and they probably do contribute. I prefer to think of them as pucker lines from kissing people I love…now I feel better 🙂 The fact is they’re the reason I don’t wear glossy lipstick anymore.

The more matte a lipstick, the less likely it is to bleed but it can also be very drying and tends to look harsh on older lips. Today I’m sharing my formula for anti-feathering lipstick, which lasts most of the day.

I start with Jane Iredale Lip Fixation Stain and Gloss. I’ve been hooked on this lip stain for years. It doesn’t flake, chip or dry out my lips. Other lip stains I’ve tried have been very drying. This is also cruelty-free, full of antioxidants and contains a sunscreen. Win, win, win in my book!

This is a great anti-feathering lip stain

My favorite color is Fascination which they describe as a soft rose. I also like Compulsion, which looks nude on me. I apply the stain and let it dry completely before moving on to step 2.

Next, I line outside my lip line with this Laura Mercier Anti-Feathering Lip Pencil. It goes on clear and stops lipstick in its tracks.

Lip stain and lip liner keep lipstick from feathering

I set the waxy pencil, and my whole face, with a light dusting of this translucent powder. It’s called Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF. My dermatologist recommended it to me years ago. It’s also recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation because it has an SPF of 30 and is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes! Serious protection while it sets my makeup!

Jane Iredale Translucent powder sets lipliner to prevent lipstick feathering

Next I line my preferred lip line with a colored lip pencil. I say preferred lip line because I draw just outside my right lower lip line. It seems to be thinning faster than the rest of my lips!

Jane Iredale Pure Moist Lipstick

I follow with a light swipe of lipstick. I love this PureMoist Lipstick. It’s soft and very hydrating. The Lip Fixation comes with a lip gloss on the other end of the stain, which I then dot in the center of my lip.

Lip stain and anti-feathering lip liner are the best weapons to keep your lipstck from feathering


To be honest ladies, greasy, heavily slick lipsticks are a challenge for women over 50. 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 our product choice and it’s placement.

Do you have any tricks to share about your lipstick?

Have a great day!



  1. eva sundene says:

    I think this “bleeding” around the lips is such a common problem. For years I have used long lasting lipsticks of the “ordinary” brands – L´Oreal and Maybelline. Their concept with colour & gloss in one is perfect and stays on forever (unless you eat pasta or really fatty foods that dissolve it). Use a waterproof, long duration lipliner – and then the long lasting 2 step lipstick, and I can promise you – it is new life… You put on “your face” in the morning – feel good – and stay rather glamorous all day (even if you have lots & lots of year behind you…). With great make up (less is more when you age…), you can be cool and glamorous until you kick the bucket! Best wishes from former Shape-Up Editor –

  2. Thanks for these great tips! I went and bought the Jane Iredale lip stain and gloss today. I tried it for the first time and it is wonderful. I have ordered the Laura Mercier lip liner too. Can’t wait to put it all together. 🙂

    1. I am sooo glad you tried the Jane Iredale lip stain. I have worn it every day for years!! Thanks for letting me know Annette 🙂

  3. Gail Russ says:

    Great tips! I agree with June’s comment: Please tell us the color of the Pure Moist lipstick. There are so many to choose from and I can’t tell which one you are wearing. As you and I have very similar coloring, I’d rather purchase one I’m sure will work. Beautiful lips! Thanks again for your thoughtful and useful analysis.

    1. It’s called Renee. Soft Surroundings is very good about returns for clothing…I don’t know about for Jane Iredale. I would call them and ask. I am lucky enough to have a dermatologist office near me that sells it, so I can test colors on my hand first. Good luck and please let me know how it works for you. Remember, the color looks the way it does because I layer it on top of the Lip Fixation…on bare lips it’s pinker and sheerer.

  4. I love Matte everything in makeup. Lipstick is a challenge for me because I’m a lip licker they always peel. Good advice.

    1. I’m not a lip licker, but this stain seems to last very well on me…and it’s non drying which is so important at mt age!

  5. Canuck on says:

    Way back when, I used a makeup artist trick. Shall I share? Apply foundation to face, eyelids and lips. Line lips (entire lip, not just outline) with a lip pencil. Apply lipstick. Blot. Dab with powder and wait a minute to let it set. Apply a second coat of lipstick and blot. Apply a dab of lipgloss to the centre of the lower lip. Done!

    Then move on to the eyes. Dab with powder to set eye makeup after applying shadow, and before mascara.

    So much work. Now I use a Covergirl two-part lip stain and gloss called Outlast. Apply lip stain. Wait a couple of minutes and apply gloss. Done.

    1. The process does seem to get longer the older I get 🙂 Powder, which I used to shy away from, has become a very helpful tool these days. It does just set eveything perfectly!

      1. Canuck on says:

        Powder is a girl’s best friend! I must use a mineral sunblock, which makes me look pale and pasty. So now, I follow that with an SPF CC cream (, then a light dusting with a mineral powder. People have been telling me I look rested, which is not the case. 😉

      2. If they’re telling you you look rested, I need to check it out!! Those are the magic words! I prefer a mineral sun block too. The endocrine disrupters in the chemical sun screens scare me. Luckily I’m very pale, but still have to worry about the Casper ghost look sometimes.

  6. I’ve found that I have to go with a lighter sheerer color as I get older. I can’t do the dark lipstick anymore at all. I definitely need to try the Jane Iredale products they sounds wonderful.

    1. They are wonderful Rosemond! The cruelty free, healthy quality of Jane Iredale really appeals to me, but if the quality was lousy I would look elsewhere. This quality is fantastic!!

  7. Really useful tips. I hate the feathering look with lipstick.

  8. Those are pretty! I can’t do the really dark vampy stuff anymore. Too harsh. Looking for softer selections like these.

    1. Dark Vamp looks so hard on my face…mean looking. We have very similar coloring, so I’m in the soft camp with you Jen!

  9. Mary Kay sales a lip primer that works very well to keep glossy lipsticks from bleeding. Also, I have read that we should always use a lip brush as it decreases the chance of bleeding. I’m not a big lip brush fan so cannot testify to the effectiveness of this. Love the “preferred lip line” concept.

    1. I’m being honest…my lips are crooked so a little fudging helps:) I’ve never liked to bother with a lip brush. It just seems like too much trouble and that it would waste lipstick too!

  10. Your JANE Line from CANADA makes a stick similar to CHAPSTICK which goes around the outer lips………..before you apply the lipstick or stain.I found CHAPSTICK works just as WELL!!!!xx

    1. Do you mean Bite? I have tried their’s too. It’s pretty good but I find the Laura Mercier just a bit easier to use.

  11. what color is the pure moist lipstick? it’s beautiful on you.

    1. Thanks June! It’s called Renee. The texture is wonderful. It’s a strong pink on me, but a happy color. Let me know what you think of it!

  12. The translucent powder is a good trick. You can even repeat the process, another layer of lipstick then another layer of powder. It is difficult to get Jane Iredale make-up in the UK.

    1. I’m sorry to hear you can’t get Jane Iredale in the UK. I know it was a challenge to find in Canada…but I found it at spa’s.

  13. I only use pencil and Moxie gloss, just in the center of the lip. It migrates, by itself, to the other places it needs to go. Like a lot of other things over 50, lips are tricky. xoxo, Brenda

    1. Many things are mmigrating on my body :)!Aging has certainly got it’s fair share of surprises.

  14. When I worked for Soft Surroundings, I learned what an quality line Jane Iredale is…I need to get the powder and try it! Thanks Jennifer

    1. It’s really great! I also dust it on my neck decollette for an extra dose of sun protection.

  15. I actually have never experienced any problems with that, but I never worn glossy lipsticks. I Always us a lipstick that is not totally matte but a little. And a lipliner!

    1. Lipliner is critical for me too!

  16. Thank you for the tips! I have never tried Jane Iredale cosmetics.

    1. You would love them. They are elegant and beautiful!

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