Matte lipstick is intimidating, no doubt. First off, it’s so pigmented that there’s zero room for error. And though it’s supposed to be “long lasting,” it seems to last only around the perimeter of our mouth. But every time we swear off the stuff, we see a friend (or Emma Watson) rocking a perfectly smooth, matte lip that makes us wonder if we wrote it off too soon. Here, some pro tips on finally mastering the technique once and for all.
Step 1: Using a warm washcloth, gently buff off any dead skin from your lips. Matte formulas tend to cling onto dry patches and accentuate them.
Step 2: Apply a liberal amount of lip balm (more than you’d usually use) and move on to the rest of your makeup, giving the balm time to absorb. Then once you're ready for your lips, blot off any excess balm with a tissue. You want your lips to be supple but not slick. Otherwise, the color won’t adhere properly.
Step 3: Swipe on some lip primer. We were skeptical about this step, but it really does make a difference when you’re wearing heavily pigmented shades. It’s like putting on a base coat before your nail polish. It fills in any fine lines and gives you an extra smooth surface for your color.
Step 4: Apply your matte lipstick of choice. (We like Giorgio Armani's liquid lipstick because it feels lightweight on our lips and has a slim applicator for reaching the corners of our mouth.) Stick to just one, even layer. Matte lipsticks (especially liquid ones) can start to get streaky if you use too much.
Step 5: Get a little wobbly with your lines? It’s OK. You can easily clean up any mistakes with a bit of concealer. Bonus: This also creates a barrier between your lips and the surrounding skin so your color is less likely to feather or bleed.
Bottom line: Wearing a matte lipstick requires a little more effort upfront, but the plus side is that you won’t have to deal with constant touch-ups throughout the day. We’re saving ours for a night out (where there will definitely be glasses of wine involved).