3 Common Lipstick Woes; Solutions Featuring MAC, Sephora, Benefit

In helping women with chronic illnesses, including the woman I made over who has MS, PCOS, and Diabetes a few months ago, one common obstacle I find is lipstick that fades easily.  Before I helped her, Lou’s lipstick would fade after an hour.  Illness can make lips bluish or colorless; in some cases, treatment such as chemotherapy and medication are to blame.  Additional obstacles include lipstick that travels outside the lines and colors that no longer look the way they did before you got sick.  Sound familiar?  In this article, I address solutions to common lipstick woes and show links to products from Sephora, Benefit, and MAC Cosmetics. 

Problem #1: Color That Fades Too Quickly

Lipstains: Benefit & Sephora

As one woman with Fibromyalgia wrote to me, “My lips appear bluish and sometimes colorless.”  I taught her this vital strategy:  Apply lip stain before lipstick.  Two great lip stains include Benefit’s Benetint ($29.00 at Ulta) and Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain ($12).

Problem #2:  Color That Smears

Another common obstacle is color traveling outside the lines, which is only appropriate if you aspire to be a member of the Insane Clown Posse.  There are two strategies for preventing your lipstick from straying beyond the lips: 1) avoid wearing super bold lips when you’re in a hurry and 2) use lip liner before applying lipstick.  When I wear bright pink and coral shades, I don’t need lipliner.  However, if I’m wearing red, I need lipliner.  To illustrate the difference, I’ve put together a side-by-side comparison of myself wearing pink lips and red lips.


In the left side picture, I’m not wearing any lipliner but I am in the right side–specifically: MAC Lipglass in Russian Red with Sephora’s Nano Lip Liner in Real Red.  What I love about Sephora’s lip liner is that it’s only $5 but it’s as good as department store brands!

MAC Lipglass | Sephora Nano Lip Liner

#3:  My Favorite Colors Don’t Look Nice on Me Anymore

One of the most shocking things about gaining weight on Prednisone was discovering that my face didn’t look the same even while I wore my favorite lipstick.  Why?  Because Prednisone widens the face, hides cheekbones under fat, and causes the dreaded “moonface” (man, I hate that expression).  For this reason, it’s often necessary to wear darker lip colors than you normally would.  As I previously blogged, stay away from the smokey eyes–nude lips look.

Avoid Sheer Glosses, Nude Lipsticks

Avoid sheer glosses and lip colors that are the same color as your lips.  These colors tend to make sick women look even sicker.  What we need is lip colors that add definition and sculpt the face–a great lipstick in the right shade combined with strategically applied blush and bronzer–can help you rediscover your original cheekbones!  I swear by MAC Cosmetics Cream Sheen Lipstick and Lipglass because MAC delivers a high degree of pigmentation without looking harsh (or as one reader put it, “hookerish”).

Wearing MAC Lipstick (Plumful)

When it comes to MAC’s Cream Sheen Lipsticks, my usual shade is Plumful.  I wear Plumful to work most days–it’s pigmentation is stronger than what I would have worn in my pre-MG (pre-Myasthenia Gravis) days.  Plumful is my new “neutral.”  What I love about MAC is that despite being $15, it’s as effective as other lipsticks that cost twice as much!

–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno


Hi, I have five illnesses--bipolar disorder, myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular autoimmune disease), endometriosis, asthma, and psoriasis. Most of the organs in my body are affected. I'm dedicated to being a stylist for sick women. As someone who has experienced changes in my appearance due to my 12 meds (including Prednisone), I know how hard it can be when your face and body change overnight. (In fact, because of treatment, between 2008 to 2010, I went from a size 0 to a size 10. While I lost the weight, there are permanent changes in my face and body, which I've grown to appreciate.) My blog will also help women deal with other issues like surviving chronic pain and fatigue. Healthy people can also use this blog as a window into what life with illness is like. Let this website be a place where we can draw strength from each other despite our illnesses and find solutions to our everyday challenges!

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