How To Keep Lipstick From Feathering [5+ Ways]

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Closeup of female mouth with rosy red matte lipstick daily skinc
  • Feathering (or lipstick bleeding) is a common issue with lipstick, caused by light moisture transfer from your lips to the lipstick itself, which can lead to dry, patchy skin.
  • You can prevent feathering from happening by using a lip liner that is the same shade as your natural lips, and by only purchasing lipstick specifically formulated for your natural lips’ color.
  • You can also keep your lips moisturized by drinking lots of water and avoiding hot drinks and foods that dry out your lips.

I have always loved wearing lipstick, but up until recently I had no idea just how much trouble I could cause myself by not using the right techniques.

For years I would apply my lipstick like I usually do, without a second thought to the consequences. And then, one day, I started noticing that my lipstick was feathering.

At first I thought it was just a fluke, maybe it was the weather or something.

But the problem kept happening no matter what I did, and gradually got worse and worse. Suddenly my entire face was covered in lipstick, and it looked like a hot mess.

I tried every remedy I could think of, from using a lip liner to drinking more water, but nothing worked.

(This video also helped me to deal with the feathering)

It wasn’t until I read an article about lipstick feathering that I finally realized what I was doing wrong.

Apparently, when you apply lipstick, it draws moisture from the environment through your skin and then into the lipstick itself over time.

The result is that the color of the lipstick fades over time and leaves your lips looking dry and lifeless. This can be a big issue if you wear lipstick often or usually put on a lip liner beforehand.

Nowadays, I make sure to use a lip primer before applying my lipstick, and I also blot my lips after applying the color. This has helped immensely in preventing feathering, and now my lipstick looks better than ever!

How to keep lipstick from feathering?

To keep lipstick from feathering, use a lip liner that matches your natural lip color. It’s best to use a pencil with an eraser at the end since it will give you more control and precision when lining the outer edge of your lips.

Fill in any spots on your lips that are naturally darker than the rest. This will create a barrier between the lipstick and skin so that it does not feather out onto other areas of skin during wear.

In this article, you will learn why lipstick feathering occurs, the different causes of feathering, and how to prevent it.

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Why does lipstick feather?

Lipsticks are designed for wear on the lips only, not on the skin around them.

Most lipsticks contain a combination of ingredients that help keep the color vibrant against your lips.

The problem is that these ingredients also coat your skin and hair and tend to stick just as well as they stick to your lips! When you apply lipstick, it draws moisture from the environment through your skin and then into the lipstick itself over time.

The result is that the color of the lipstick fades over time and leaves your lips looking dry and lifeless.

This can be a big issue if you wear lipstick often or usually put on a lip liner beforehand. The only way to prevent this from happening is to not use as much lipstick and to apply it evenly to your lips.

Overall feathering can be broken down into three levels of intensity:

i. Light feathering

This is caused by light moisture transfer from your lips to the lipstick. When first applied, the lipstick may appear perfect, lightly covering your lips without a flaw. However, during wear, the lipstick begins to shine and then light feathering occurs. The lipstick may also fade unevenly on your lips if there is more moisture in those areas.

ii. Moderate feathering

Moderate feathering occurs when the moisture inside the lipstick is transferred back onto the skin around it as well as onto your hair. The lipstick begins to feel wet and may even leave a ring of color around your lips after you eat or drink something. If this happens it is time to reapply your lipstick!

iii. Heavy feathering

Heavy feathering is when moisture from the skin and hair around your lips has been absorbed by the lipstick itself. When you apply the lipstick, it leaves a ring of color on your mouth even after you don’t wear it. The result is dry, patchy skin and a face that looks like it’s been slapped repeatedly with a wet washcloth.

How to Prevent Feathering

Since feathering can happen from even minor changes in temperature, you should take steps to prevent it if possible.

Wear a lip liner that is the same shade as your natural lips whenever you wear lipstick. This will help prevent any feathering from occurring on your skin and hair. If you use darker lipstick, the feathers will look much less obvious since your natural lips are lighter than the rest of your face.

The work of a professional makeup artist. Woman putting on makeup, painting lips with red lipliner. Closeup of lips touched with pencil
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It’s best to only purchase lipstick specifically formulated for your natural lips’ color since it will have less of an impact on other areas of the skin.

If you find that there is some feathering happening with one type of lipstick, try switching to another color, or consider trying a different formulation altogether.

Also, if you have light skin, consider wearing a white lip liner to help make the color of your lipstick more opaque. This will prevent feathering even on areas of your lips that are still dark.

Finally, try to keep your lips moisturized by drinking lots of water and avoiding hot drinks and foods that dry out your lips. This can also help prevent feathering due to the moisture transfer from your cheek skin.

Feathering is a common issue with lipstick, but it is not harmful to your health or your skin in any way. It can be caused by the over-application of lipstick, a change in temperature when you wear it, and even by the color of lipstick that you choose.

If you are concerned about feathering happening to your lips or face then try using lip liner as well as making sure not to apply too much lipstick. If lighter shades make you feel better, then consider switching to them!