The Cool-Girl Lipstick? Make Sure It’s A Matte
5 minutes read
During the summer, we couldn’t get enough of shiny, light-reflective lips. We patted on the balms and layered glosses and oils over lipsticks. But as the seasons change, we’re turning our attention to matte lipstick again.
Don’t get us wrong – glossy lips are going nowhere (the Lip Oils are one of Clarins’ bestsellers for a reason). However, there’s something about the polished, velvety look of a matte lip that’s just right for the cooler months and party season.
But winter brings chapped lips. And matte lipsticks have a reputation for drying – precisely the opposite of what you need during this season. The good news? The suede shades may look flat – but the high-tech formulations make them comfortable to wear. Plus, with the proper lip prep and, more importantly, the right lipstick, you can get a smooth finish even during the coldest months. Here’s what you should know.
How to prep your lips before you apply matte lipstick
- Exfoliate: To create an even surface, ensure you exfoliate away any dry patches on your lips with a lip scrub. You could use a pre-made sugar scrub like the iconic Fresh Sugar Lip Polish Exfoliator £15. Or DIY a lip scrub by mixing equal parts brown sugar and honey. Alternatively, the Comfort Scrub, £26, which contains sugar microcrystals, is also gentle enough to be used on the lips.
- Moisturise: There are two ways to ensure your lips are adequately moisturised. First, apply a thick lip balm overnight – almost like a lip mask. Second, choose a matte lipstick formula that contains moisturising ingredients. If your lips are super dry, apply a thin lip balm pre-lipstick. Choose a matte finish like the Extra-Firming Lip and Contour Balm, £32 – this product is also good at smoothing any wrinkles above the lip.
Below, we share some of our favourite matte lipsticks that deliver in both the colour and care departments.
Red matte lipstick
Clarins Joli Rouge Velvet Lipstick in Deep Red, £19
If you’re after a red lipstick that suits all skin tones, you can’t go wrong with the Joli Rouge Velvet Lipstick. The formula is loaded with moisturising oils and waxes that make it comfortable to wear.
MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo, £20
This iconic MAC Lipstick is a striking true red that is also famous for suiting all skin tones.
Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncensored, £22
Prefer a liquid option? Then the Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color will not disappoint. The formula offers saturated colour that lasts long hours. In addition, the shade has a neutral undertone to suit most skin tones. Plus, the brush tip gives you extra precision as you apply it.
Nude matte lipstick
There isn’t a single shade of nude lipstick that would suit everyone. To find the right one for you, it’s essential to understand your skin’s natural tone and undertone. Below are some of our favourites for light, medium and deep skin tones.
Huda Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipstick in Graduation Day, £23
Huda Beauty’s Power Bullet Matte Lipstick is excellent for medium to deep skin tones. It’s a rosy nude that won’t thoroughly wash you out, and the finish is entirely flat-matte and shine-free.
Clarins Joli Rouge Velvet in Sandy Pink, £24
If you have fair skin, look for lighter nude tones. We like the Clarins Joli Rouge Velvet. It’s a pink-nude that’s beautiful on pale skin tones. Instead of creating a dry matte look, it creates a velvety finish.
VIEVE Modern Matte Lipstick in Ninetease, £21
For a ’90s-inspired, brown-nude lip, we love the VIEVE Modern Matte Lipstick. It’s a cool-toned brown that would flatter various skin tones (it would look browner on fair skin and lighter on deeper skin tones). The lipstick feels creamy to apply but gives a polished matte finish.
Pink matte lipstick
Clarins Joli Rouge Velvet in Raspberry, £22
This Clarins Joli Rouge Velvet Lipstick is a classic berry pink shade that you can’t go wrong with if you’re looking for a true pink. Like all the other lipsticks in this range, it gives you a matte finish but has a hint of creaminess that keeps it from looking flat.
Saie Lip Blur Matte Blurring Lipstick in Surreal, £20
Here’s a matte lipstick for matte lipstick sceptics. The Saie Lip Blur Matte Blurring Lipstick is an easy-to-apply raspberry shade. The formula doesn’t feel heavy or dry, and the colour is buildable. You can wear it at full opacity or blot it out for a lighter stained effect.
Pat Mcgrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick in Full Panic, £36
If you’re after an electric fuchsia, then the Pat Mcgrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick is a good pick for all skin tones – but it’s particularly flattering on deeper ones. The lipstick offers intense colour in a single swipe and has a weightless formula that feels very comfortable to wear.
Brown matte lipstick
Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Colour in Velvet Decade, £26
Make-up artist Lisa Eldridge’s make-up collection includes many stunning lipsticks in various shades. And when we’re in the mood for a bold, dark chocolate shade, we turn to the True Velvet Lip Colour. We hear that hand-tinted sepia fashion portraits inspired the shade.
Glossier Generation G Lipstick in Leo, £14
If you want a more laid-back brown lipstick for daily wear, try Glossier’s Generation G Lipstick. The pigment is sheer, so your natural lip colour will show through. This means that it will suit all skin tones and look slightly different for everyone. The best part? Mistakes are hard to make with this one, so you don’t need a mirror to apply it.
Makeup By Mario Ultra Suede Lipstick in Garth, £29
The Makeup By Mario Ultra Suede Lipstick is a cool-toned medium brown that gives you high opacity in a single swipe. The shade is a true brown on light to medium skin tones and translates as a brown nude on deeper skin tones.
Next read: How To Use A Lip Scrub The Right Way