Matte lipstick formulas have been around the block for quite some time now, so much so that it’s long surpassed “trend” status and become a staple alongside our standard mascaras and concealers. If you haven’t tried the bold, statement-making texture, we certainly won’t scold, but we will say that it’s high time you do. Ignore the rumors—matte lipstick is not as intimidating as you’d think. Here’s proof.
It all depends on the formula.
If you want a more understated version, start with a lip stain that ensures the same texture with a softer, almost sheer finish. If you’re feeling daring, go full throttle with a high-pigmented lipstick. Matte formulas have a bad rap for causing dryness, but that is not the hallmark of all matte lipsticks. Do some research—before you purchase, check the ingredients label, and look for formulas infused with oils, butters, and emollients. Marc Jacobs Beauty Lovemarc Matte Lip Gel is packed with kokum butter and murumuru butter to lock in moisture. Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Color contains two emollients that work together to keep the lips creamy, yet appear matte.
Application can make it or break it.
Prepping your lips is mandatory with these formulas. Always exfoliate before application to remove any flakes and ensure a clear, smooth canvas. If your lips tend to dry normally, dab just a touch of lip balm on before you apply your color—apply too much balm and your lipstick may slide.
Because matte lipsticks do tend to have a drier consistency, you definitely want to be more accurate with application. “Apply the matte lip and then finish with lip liner,” says Bobbi Brown Director of Artistry, Kim Sloane. Follow the lines of your lips perfectly so that the texture has a sharp, crisp contrast to dewy skin.
It amps up the rest of your makeup.
Get creative with mixing textures. “Choose two of three parts of the face to have shimmer or illumination, and keep one matte,” Sloane advises. Her favorite example? Try a sheer, shimmery eye shadow with illuminated cheeks and matte lips.
You can even DIY it.
Perhaps the best thing about wearing matte shades on your lips is that you don’t have to buy a new lipstick. You can simply mattify your go-to shade with the right mix of blotting and powdering. Sloane provides a simple how-to: “Apply lip liner all over the lip, then apply lip color [over it], gently press off with tissue, reapply more lip color, and then blot a second time with a tissue. Finally, apply a third layer and your lips will hold a beautiful matte lip color for hours.” Another trick: Dab translucent powder or a matching blush for crazy vibrancy after applying lipstick.