How To Prevent Lipstick From Smudging

Practice and perfect the simple and effortless art of long-lasting and smudge-free lips.

Reviewed by Jocelyn Ly, Licensed Cosmetologist Jocelyn Ly Jocelyn LyLicensed Cosmetologist facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BE Jyotsana Rao BE linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , BSc Shatabdi Bhattacharya BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
Fact-checked by , BA Anu Pallavi BA linkedin_icon
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Lipsticks are the most crucial part of every makeup kit and can make or break your look. So, if you are wondering how to prevent lipsticks from smudging, you have landed on the right page. Lipsticks accentuate our facial features like nothing else, whether rosy red or juicy pink. But making it last long without smudging can be a tricky task. While constant touch-ups are annoying, no one wants their lipstick to fade away before entering the party. In this article, we share the secret of making your lipstick long-lasting and smudge-proof. Scroll down for the details!

protip_icon Keep In Mind
  • Anti-Smudge Tips: Apply a concealer over and at the outer edges of your lips before applying lipstick or apply a setting spray after the lipstick application.
  • Best Lipstick Options: Opt for waterproof, matte lipsticks as they bleed less.
  • Common Mistakes: Avoid applying vaseline before your lipstick.

How To Stop Lipstick Bleeding?

You Will Need

  • Lip Primer
  • Lip Pencil
  • Lipstick
  • Concealer / Foundation
  • Compact Powder
  • Tissue Paper/Wax paper

How To Keep Lipstick From Smudging – Step By Step Tutorial

To ensure your lipstick lasts all day (and night), read on…

Step 1: Prepping The Lips

Always begin with prepping your lips by applying a lip balm/lip conditioner. This will make your lips soft and supple, and the application becomes effortless thereafter. Next, apply a foundation/concealer on the lips, and set it with compact or setting powder to create a flawless makeup base. This technique also helps to keep the lipstick intact.

Step 2: Line Your Lips With Lip Pencil

Start lining the lips with a lip pencil. Once you have outlined the lips, fill the entire lip area with the same lip pencil. Now, swipe the lipstick over your lips. In this tutorial, I have used gorgeous bright red lipstick in a matte finish. Place a tissue on your lips and dab some loose powder on top of the tissue with a small fluffy brush after applying lipstick, as shown in the picture. Let it rest for 5 to 10 seconds. I have used a transparent finishing powder here.

Step 3: Blending The Powder

Now, take a small flat brush and slowly sweep the powder all over the lips, till you get the desired matte finish, and then blend.

This technique helps in the prevention of smudges and in sealing the color to the lips.

Step 4: Blotting The Excess Lipstick

Once you are done with Step 3, take a clean tissue paper and fold it into half. Place the tissue between your upper and lower lips. Blot the excess lipstick with the tissue as shown in the image.

Don’t worry about this technique making your lipstick appear uneven or faded. You can fix it later by reapplying it.

protip_icon Trivia
Blotting removes excess oil and color from the lips, thus increasing the longevity of the lipstick.

Step 5: The Final Touch Up

If you are a lip gloss fan, then swipe a coat of lip gloss just on the center of the lips. This will prevent the bleeding of the color around the lip area. Remember, matte lipsticks last longer than gloss on your lips.


  • The easiest way to prevent smudging of lipstick is by applying a lip primer. It works as a base for the lips, holds the color for a longer time, and also prevents bleeding of the color.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Apply primer before foundation when you are doing your makeup to make sure your lipstick does not smudge later on.
  • In case of any unevenness around the lip or jaw area, correct it by using a concealer or a foundation shade that is close to your skin tone.
  • A lip pencil/liner is a great choice of base to prevent smudging. Choose a lip pencil that exactly matches the lipstick shade or a shade darker to give your lips a more profound shape.
  • Outlining and filling your lips with a lip liner prior to the application of lipstick helps to increase the longevity of the lipstick, irrespective of the formula or quality.
  • Always use a thin lip brush to apply the lipstick as it gives you an even application and helps you reach even the corners.
  • Always carry a lip color in your bag for quick touch-ups.

Jannette Marin, a beauty blogger, shared her personal experience and tips on how she ensures smudge-proof lipstick wear. She states, “The trick is to color your lips with your lip liner first! This simple and only step will help your lipstick to grab and not smudge. For mature women who have fine wrinkles on their lips, this easy step will change the way you wear a red lipstick.” She further adds, “When you’re applying your foundation, rub a little bit on your lips using your brush and your lips should look a little pale. This will work as a primer for your pretty lips (i).”

Infographic: 5 Steps To Make Your Lipstick Kiss-Proof

Are you fed up with regular touch-ups, such as fixing your smeared and faded lipstick? We get you! Lipstick bleeding can turn into a nightmare when it starts to transfer to other areas of the face. If you have tried your hands at those waterproof formulations that promise not to budge and are still not happy with the results, worry not! We are here to help you achieve a transfer-resistant finish. Check out the infographic below to learn about lipstick hacks to get a smudge-proof finish.

5 steps to lipstick kiss proof (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

We understand the frustration of constantly checking the condition of your lipstick at parties and frequent reapplication to maintain your look. And that is why we curated this list of tips to help you prevent your lipstick from smudging and making it last longer. These tips are quite simple to follow, and with a little bit of practice, you will be able to prep and touch up your lips perfectly for a smudge-proof, long-lasting effect. You can use these techniques before applying any lipstick, and you need not necessarily invest in expensive brands offering long-stay lipsticks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What ingredients make lipstick smudge-proof?

Lipsticks contain ingredients such as castor or lanolin oil that can prevent your lipstick from bleeding.

Is there a lipstick sealer?

Yes, lipstick sealers are clear and glossy liquids that help seal the lipstick on your lips, making it smudge and water-proof.

Why does my lipstick smear?

Factors such as lack of exfoliation and not removing lip balm may make your lipstick more likely to smudge and bleed.

Can you use setting spray on lipstick?

Yes, using a setting spray can lock the color and make your lipstick smudge-free and long- lasting.

Key Takeaways

  • Create a makeup base for the lips using foundation/lip primer and compact.
  • Always use a lip liner to line the lips and the first dab of color over the compact. You can use the lipstick over the lip liner.
  • Apply loose mattifying powder over the lipstick to get a matte finish. Blot the excess lipstick with tissue paper or a blotting sheet.
  • Use the lip gloss towards the center of the lips.
  • Use a thin lip brush for even application of the lipstick.
How To Prevent Lipstick From Smudging

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Watch this video and learn how to keep your lipstick from smudging with these quick and easy tricks. Get ready to look glam all day long!

Personal Experience: Source

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Jocelyn Ly
Jocelyn LyLicensed Cosmetologist & Hairstylist
Jocelyn Ly has been in the beauty and wellness industry for over 12 years. She studied Psychology at UC Davis to help people with their mental health. After graduating, she pursued a cosmetology license at Pasadena City College and received her California Cosmetology License.

Read full bio of Jocelyn Ly
Jyotsana Rao
Jyotsana RaoBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Jyotsana Rao is an engineering graduate from NIT, Nagpur, who discovered her love for writing during her undergraduate days. She is passionate about writing about everything related to beauty - makeup, fashion, hairstyles, skin care, or hair care and has 4 years of experience on writing in these genres.

Read full bio of Jyotsana Rao
Shatabdi Bhattacharya
Shatabdi BhattacharyaAssociate Editor
Shatabdi is an associate editor and an alumnus of Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata, where she honed her skills and developed a deep understanding of the world of literature and expression. She has worked with various organizations and websites operating in different industries, ranging from education to lifestyle, showing her adaptability and drive to learn.

Read full bio of Shatabdi Bhattacharya
Anu Pallavi
Anu PallaviBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Anu is a beauty and lifestyle writer and a graduate of Amity University, Noida, where she refined her writing skills and cultivated her deep passion for the field. She pursued the Beauty Technician Training Program at Maquillage Beauty Institute, which has equipped her with practical skills in various beauty treatments.

Read full bio of Anu Pallavi