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Lipstick Application Tips for Women Over 50

July 29, 2022

Happy Friday! And happy National Lipstick Day! What??? That’s right. It’s truly National Lipstick Day. And while I generally sit out the celebration of National Donut Day (next June 2, 2023), National Grilled Cheese Day (next April 12, 2023) and even National Ice Cream Day (next July 16, 2023), I can get into this kissable day with no calorie expenditures or guilt. So I’m all in! (I just may have to take an extra lap on my walk so I can also celebrate National Lasagna Day, which also happens to be today!) In honor of this auspicious occasion, I’m sharing a few lipstick application tips that are especially smart for us ladies over 50. And I’ve rounded up my favorite lipstick deals, too, because you know EVERYONE is celebrating!

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As we age our lips tend to look a little thinner and more pursed as we naturally lose some of the collagen, fat pads and muscle tone in and around our lips. Also we begin to notice more feathering around our lips, causing our lipstick to “bleed” a little. And have you noticed that your lips are also less cherry pink than they once were? That may be due to the decrease in blood vessels in this area.

These undesirable side effects of aging are just a fact of life. You’re not doing anything wrong to cause them. In fact, lips are one of the most prominent signs of aging and often some of the first indicators we notice.

Still want to celebrate National Lipstick Day? Hahaha! Well, this party may have started with a reality check, but we definitely have something to celebrate. Why? Because there are plenty of products on the market that can help restore a little youthfulness and feminine wile to our smiles. And I’ve got tips that will help as well.

Tip #1 – Start with a good lip balm with sun protection.

Since UV damage from unprotected sun exposure is considered the number one cause of some of the signs of aging around the mouth, it’s smart to stop that now. I’m ordering the Paula’s Choice Lipscreen SPF 50. You can apply this first thing in the morning and wear it under lipstick. Or wear it alone when you go out for your outdoor exercise and activities.

Tip #2 – Wear lipstick.

Well duh. But let’s back up a bit. It turns out that, while a lip balm with SPF is best at protecting your lips from the damaging rays of the sun, you do also get some sun protection from opaque, richly colored lipstick. The moral of the story is definitely to keep something on your lips throughout the day. So why not make it pretty lipstick?

wearing Estee Lauder Pure Color Illuminating Shine #912 Astonishing (also available at Ulta)

I’m currently enjoying Estee Lauder Pure Color Illuminating Shine in #912 Astonishing, among others. It’s a dark pink in a somewhat translucent but still deeply pigmented silky cream. I’m wearing it above.

Tip #3 – Apply your lipstick with the best tool.

If you prefer to use a lip brush for application, you’ll get the best results with creamy or shiny lipsticks. Matte lipsticks are best applied directly from the tube.

Pared Back Summer Jewelry

Tip #4 – To prevent your lip color from “bleeding” over the edges, line your lips first. Here’s how.

You can line your lips with a pencil in one of three options: a clear wax pencil that will simply help keep your lipstick from “bleeding,” a pencil in the same shade as your lipstick, or a “nude colored” pencil that is close to the shade of your lips. Line along the outer edges of your lips first. Start on the lower lip at one corner and moving toward the other corner. Line your upper lip starting at one corner and going to the top center. Then start at the other corner of your top lip and go to the center. Starting at the corners of your mouth and moving upward will help you line your upper lip a little fuller.

Lip Pencil
Using Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place lip pencil in pink

After lining your lips, use the same pencil to color inside that line toward the center of your lips. You can also use the brush sometimes included on the other end of the pencil to help shade in your lips. This will help you avoid that lined appearance and will provide a base for your lipstick.

Tip #5 – Start at the center of your lips and move outward when applying your lipstick.

Makeup artists tend to agree that you’ll have more control if you begin applying your lipstick from the center of your lips and move to the outer edges. You’ll also be less likely to over apply product in the corners this way, which often results in product bleeding out into your smile lines. Of course, at our ages, many of us are set in our ways here. But it’s worth a try!

Mother of the Bride Attire

Tip #6 – If you choose to wear a bold lip, soften your eye makeup and tone down your blush.

Of course the opposite is true, too. If you create a dramatic eye with more eyeshadow and liner, soften your lips with a more muted color. The goal is to create drama in only one area of our face. Otherwise, the total effect can be overpowering.

Tip #7 – Make your lips look fuller by wearing a lighter color lipstick.

Dark colors, such as bold reds and vibrant, dark pinks will make your lips appear smaller. So if you want to create the appearance of fuller lips, use a lighter shade. That doesn’t mean it has to be less impactful. But light emphasizes and draws to the forefront, whereas dark causes to recede. So choose wisely.


Tip #8 – Don’t layer setting powder over or under lipstick.

From what I’ve read, layering setting powder with your lipstick is not a good idea. It can oxidize, change the lip color, and accentuate creasing. Finishing sprays will do a better job of giving your lipstick staying power. But also using that lip liner to fill in your lips before applying lipstick will help your lipstick wear longer.

Tip #9 – Create a healthy canvas.

Perhaps I should have started with this one, but maintaining healthy, unchapped lips is a must if you want to wear lipstick. Apply a good lip balm every morning and evening, and throughout the day if you don’t wear lipstick. You might like this Sugar Lip Treatment at Ulta, where they are celebrating National Lipstick Day big. Choose lipsticks that are not drying. And you may also want to use a weekly lip scrub like this one from Sarah Happ. Just be sure to follow directions and use a light touch when “scrubbing.”

Tip #10 – Use a lip plumper to create the appearance of fuller lips.

For years I had the misconception that lip plumpers work for other women, but for some reason wouldn’t work for me. Now why is that? I have no idea! But the City Lips plumping lip gloss absolutely does work for me, and I LOVE this product. Not only does it plump up my lips noticeably (but not ridiculously!), but it also keeps them soft and chap-free.

City Lips lip plumping gel
City Lips lip plumping gel in rosy mauve matte, sun diego sparkle gloss, Tokyo kiss, and clear // Lancome Vintage Ruby Cream lipstick // Lancome Peut-Etre lipstick

I apply the City Lips lip plumping gel before I start applying my makeup so that by the time I apply my lipstick my lips are already a little fuller and definitely softer. You can either dab off a little of the gloss before applying your lipstick for a more true color application or leave it on for a glossier application of your lipstick. I generally use the clear City Lips lip plumping gel, but the colors are definitely nice, too. I’ve found that the lip plumping effect lasts for several hours for me, and then I reapply if desired. But those results may be unique for each woman.

Vintage Ruby Lipstick by Lancome
Lancome Vintage Ruby Cream lipstick // City Lips lip plumping gel (use code GLOSSUP to buy one, get one FREE)

This weekend City Beauty is having a BOGO (buy one get one FREE) sale on all City Lips lip plumping glosses and lip plumping matte creams. The sale lasts through August 1, but I predict these will start selling out TODAY. So I wouldn’t hesitate. Use code GLOSSUP at the check out. And you’ll have to have at least two glosses and/or matte creams in your cart for the code to work.

If you do go to the City Beauty BOGO deal, be sure to check out some of their other products, too. I love their City Beauty Beyond Mascara. I don’t use it every day, but I definitely layer it on over my Lancome Definicils mascara when I want fuller lashes (so for all photos and videos).

Tip #11 – Coordinate your lipstick and other products.

It’s especially important to coordinate your lipstick and blush. That’s one of the reasons I keep Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Envy lipstick in Rebellious Rose (also here) along with the Sculpting blush (also here) in the same color in my makeup drawer year round. This almost universally flattering shade works year round, but especially nicely in the fall. But of course you don’t have to exactly match your blush and lipstick like that. You just want them to be the same tone: cool and cool or warm and warm.

Estee Lauder Lip and Cheek Color
Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Envy lipstick in Rebellious Rose // Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting blush in Rebellious Rose

And for an extra “polished” effect, it’s nice to also coordinate your lipstick and nail polish. That takes either a little forethought or consistency of course.

Today so many of your favorite beauty resources are hosting specials on lipstick and other lip products. Here are a few that are definitely worthy of checking out:

City Beauty is having a BOGO (buy one get one FREE) sale on all City Lips lip plumping glosses and lip plumping matte creams. The sale lasts through August 1, but I predict these will start selling out TODAY. So I wouldn’t hesitate. Use code GLOSSUP at the check out. And you’ll have to have at least two glosses and/or matte creams in your cart for the code to work.

Ulta is having their biggest lipstick sale of the year with over 50 of your favorite brands included in the savings. You can also add this FREE 9-piece National Lipstick Day sampler or this Free 9-piece NLD sampler to your cart with an order of $65 or more. And with a purchase of $80, you can get this FREE 3-piece Gift from NYX. Brands in the Ulta sale include Clinique (markdowns and gift with purchase), Mac (BOGO), Maybelline (BOGO 50% off), L’Oreal (BOGO 50% off), It Cosmetics (markdowns), Too Faced (markdowns), Lancome (markdowns and gift with purchase), Tarte (markdowns) and Estee Lauder (markdowns), among so many others.

It’s a great day for a new tube of lipstick! And this “national day” requires no consumption of extra calories!!!

Tarte is offering their famed Marcuja Juicy Lipstick for less than HALF PRICE. This lipstick balm hybrid comes in 10 colors and goes on so smoothly.

Sephora is offering 50% off select lip products TODAY ONLY. My favorites would include the Lancome L’Absolu Rouge Cream Lipstick and the Lancome Le Lip Liner (going fast!).

Nordstrom has marked down a variety of lipsticks, glosses and liners in celebration of National Lipstick Day for today only. My favs include the Bobbi Brown Crushed Liquid Lip Balm and the Mac lipsticks (50% off)

Macy’s is celebrating National Lipstick Day with select markdowns and gifts with purchase. I’m liking the Elizabeth Arden Lip Color (markdown), the Clinique Dramatically Different Lip Shaping Lip Color (markdown), the Laura Geller Jelly Balm Hydrating Lip Color (markdown) and the Clarins Joli Rouge Velvet (markdown) and the Laura Geller Prep-n-Go Lip Scrub & Tint Duo. PLUS you’ll receive this FREE 7-piece Gift with any $75 qualifying purchase.

So are you joining the celebration today? I’m definitely buying a tube or two of new lipsticks for the fall and that Paula’s Choice Lipscreen SPF 50. Unlike all those other national days I won’t have to waste any calories on these sweet treats. But even if you don’t purchase yourself a gift on this National Lipstick Day, definitely put a little color on your lips and smile!

Some, but not all, of the products I shared in today’s post are in the shopping widget below. You can also shop through the text links in the copy above.

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xoxo, Kay
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3 thoughts on “Lipstick Application Tips for Women Over 50

  1. If you’re on the fence, jump in! I tried City Lips last time Kay shared a code and it IS EVERYTHING! This is a great deal! Thanks for the rec, Kay and the heads up on the code!

  2. Your hair looks great in tip #7. You are wearing a black sweater.
    This was fun to read. Do you know how to apply lipstick correctly from tube. I never paid attention when my mom tried to teach she use to flatten her lip stick no point

  3. This is so very helpful and informative. Thank you for the information. Do you have any suggestions for a little black dress? Or what is proper to wear to a funeral?