Skip to main content

Dab’n’Gab: Why You Don't Want to Use Tissue to Blot Lipstick

  • Author:
  • Updated:
Lily Collins

I love lipstick touch-ups. The more often I have to re-apply, the happier I am.

Said no woman ever.

Bite Beauty Line & Define Lip Primer

Sure, long-wear lip colour is an answer, and comfortable versions are easier to find than they used to be (this one is a favourite). A lightly sketched layer of nude or matching lip liner before lipstick or gloss helps anchor colour. Layering lip stain under lipstick is an excellent trick. Lip primer can help colour stay put, too. Bite Beauty Line & Define Lip Primer ($25,

Blotting after one application of lip colour then painting on a second layer of colour is old school. But it works, and in addition gives the lip-colour finish beautiful depth.

Most of us use Kleenex, or facial tissue to blot lipstick. Or TP. Or paper towel. Or a Post-it (I'm sure it happens). Some blot on the back of a hand (you know who you are). But there's something better.


"When you use tissue to blot lipstick, it lifts off pigment as well as oil," says makeup artist Diana Carreiro. "Blot paper is better because it lifts just the oil and leaves the pigment on your lips." Mary Kay Beauty Blotters Oil Absorbing Tissues ($8.50,

Smashbox Fade to Black Be Legendary Lipstick in Black Cherry

For your best lipstick finish, start with the sketch-with-lip-liner thing. Then apply colour with a lip brush -- you get better control, and you use a bit less than you would with a from-the-tube application. (Thin layers are always better than thick. Think painting, as in walls.) "Blot, reapply, then blot again, then reapply," says Diana. "Your lipstick will stay in place for hours." Smashbox Fade to Black Be Legendary Lipstick in Black Cherry (limited edition, $22,

Know what else will work just as well as blot paper to blot lipstick? Toilet-seat covers. They're just a little less portable.

Image borrowed from Vogue España; Getty Images.