How to Avoid Getting Lipstick on Your Teeth

We’ve all seen the movies where a girl is on a date only to have her prospective beau point out the streak of lipstick on her otherwise pearly white teeth. Embarrassment ensues.

As comical as it may seem, this problem can happen in real life. I’ve had people point out lipstick on my teeth a few times. It’s a common danger when you dare to wear lipstick.

Blot Excess Lipstick

One of the main perpetrators of pigmented teeth is excess lipstick. When you have a thick layer, there’s a much higher chance that it will migrate elsewhere. To avoid this, make sure to blot off any excess lipstick.

Fold a facial tissue in half and close your mouth onto it so both your top and bottom lip are making contact with the tissue. Squeeze your lips together and pull them apart. You’ll see a nice kiss print on the tissue and will still have nicely shaded lips.

Only blot. If you rub at your lips with the tissue, it will remove too much of your lipstick.

Do the Finger Test

Whether or not you have excess lipstick on the rest of your lips, the main problem area is the inside rims of your lips. To remove any excess lipstick in this area, you’ll need to perform the Finger Test.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry thoroughly.
  2. Stick your index finger into your mouth as if you were pointing at the back of your throat.
  3. Close your lips around the base of your finger.
  4. Pull your finger out of your mouth while keeping your lips pursed and in contact with your finger.
  5. Wash and dry your hands again.

While the prospect may seem a little gross, this is a common technique for getting rid of excess lipstick and preventing its migration to your teeth.

Use Petroleum Jelly

toothlessLipstick02 Though you may not be a registered beauty queen, you can still use their backstage beauty tips. This one has been used by pageant winners for years.

To prevent even the heaviest-applied lipstick from sticking to your teeth, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline, for example) to your teeth. This layer will be slick enough to avoid sticking, and will also give you a glossier smile.

Don’t forget your pageant wave!

Although the petroleum jelly method is super effective, it doesn’t last very long. It depends on if you plan to eat or drink anything. Even without a meal and a glass of wine, the petroleum jelly will only last an hour or two at most. Luckily, by that time your lipstick is probably already worn off enough so that it won’t matter. If you’re on a date and you plan to reapply your lipstick though, consider keeping a small jar of petroleum jelly in your makeup bag just in case.


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  1. thanks for the tips, how many times i’ve heard of my friends too this that i’ve should need apply Petroleum Jelly.
    now i know how important it is…..

  2. I typically use the finger test, but the petroleum jelly trick sounds like you get multiple benefits from it. Clean teeth and a shiny smile. Do you know if the lip stain lipstick can rub on the teeth as well?

    • Good question, DWH. Lip stains typically don’t get on teeth because they soak right into the skin on your lips right when you put it on. It doesn’t leave a residue like lipstick does.

  3. Thanks for the response. I’ll try out lip stain and give it a test run 🙂

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