As women age, they start to lose collagen, which can cause lip skin to lose its natural elasticity and plumpness. “Lip feathering” occurs when lipstick “feathers out” (bleeds) into the tiny depressions around the mouth that sometimes appear as collagen levels drop (usually around the age of 50). As a result, lip color can end up where it doesn’t belong, making you look “clownish.” You don’t have to abandon lip color just because a few wrinkles have appeared. The best noninvasive way to combat feathering is to prep your lip skin before you apply your lipstick.

Things You'll Need

Exfoliate skin lightly with a lip scrub, applying it liberally with your clean pointer finger. Rub the lip scrub all over the lips and surrounding lip skin for about 30 seconds before rinsing it away with warm water.

Pat your lips dry with a soft cloth. Don’t rub; this may tear sensitive lip skin. Apply a dab of lip moisturizer to your lips to soothe them. Allow the moisturizer to dry for one minute before continuing.

Dab a drop of foundation on a cosmetic sponge and blot your lips with it. This will make an even “base” that lipstick will adhere to smoothly. Wait 10 seconds for the foundation to dry before continuing. Alternatively, you can apply lip primer to the area instead of foundation.

Line lips with natural or nude lip liner, following the natural line of the lips. To make even lines, draw from the outside of the left upper lip to the center of the lip. Then draw from the outside of the right upper lip to the center of the lip. Use the same method for the bottom of the lip.

Sweep your lipstick brush across your favorite lipstick. Paint the lipstick on the lips staying in the lines you drew.


  • If you have heavy facial hair around the lips, this may also cause feathering.