ARE MATTE LIPSTICKS DRY OR A DREAM?
The idea of a matte lipstick never used to appeal to me. I’d scrunch up my nose as if to say “no thanks, that would be so dry.” I couldn’t understand why, one after another, companies were launching them in such quick concession, especially when many advertisement images looked so airbrushed in comparison to the paste-like look I was regularly seeing in many influencer-promoted swatch videos.
At least in my experience, I’ve noticed that the majority of people who aren’t avid makeup lovers stay clear from matte lipsticks in fear of the aforementioned issues. However, I promise you that we have been wrong all along. Matte lipsticks are absolutely beautiful – perhaps even better than cream formulas – but whether or not they look good all depends on lip preparation and how they’re applied.
Personally, I don’t believe you need all the fancy lip scrubs and masks that will add yet another dent in your bank account. Instead, I truly believe that a good scratchy face cloth and a classic, standard Nivea lip balm will do the trick. The original Nivea lip balm has definitely captured the number 1 spot on my list of favourites: it’s thick, but not greasy, and gives the lips a yours-but-better feel, while being a fantastic base for lipsticks. In regards to lip scrubs, it is vital to smooth your lips out if you want to achieve the most natural and seamless application. Wetting and ringing out a face cloth that is more on the scratchy side and gently exfoliating your lips in small circular motions will do the trick. When you’re done, apply your lip balm and then either kiss the back of your hand or lightly dab your lips with a cotton pad – by removing the excess balm, your matte lipstick will look cushioning and naturally hydrated instead of super shiny.
When applying lipsticks, a lot of people opt for the windscreen-wiper motion technique. However, personally, I find this mode of application places too much product on my lips, giving me a thick look, and drags the lipstick around my lips, making the product patchy and clumsy looking, while also disturbing the lip balm underneath, creating unwanted texture. By lightly tapping the lipstick on top of your hydrated base, you will build up the colour in fine layers while using the least amount of product possible. This allows your lips to maintain their natural look and texture while still having the full intensity of the lipstick’s colour.
If you’re applying a darker or brighter shade that is more difficult to place neatly, use a lip liner. These types of shades are difficult for everybody to put on, so please don’t think that you’re rubbish at it – this is exactly why lip liners have been created, they’re there to help us! By outlining and filling in your lips with a liner, this will allow you to tap on the lipstick colour much more easily and seamlessly.
Going on to my favourite matte lipstick formulas, I’m still very early on in my discovery of the different products out there, but I’ve still found some gorgeous staples. My latest find were the Huda Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipsticks, and I picked up the shades Joy Ride (a cool dusty mauve, *pictured above – looks more cool-toned in person), Anniversary (a pink toned beige), Girls Trip (a natural cool pink) and El Cinco de Mayo (a – stunning, may I add – ever-so-slightly warm bright red). They definitely apply best with the lip-prep routine I detailed above than a completely bare lip, as it glides on with full pigmentation rather than tugging with nearly no pay-off whatsoever.
I really love the traditional style bullet matte lipsticks from Kylie Cosmetics. Her lipsticks give a very similar look to the lips as Huda’s do, but Kylie’s formula is even more pigmented when it touches the lips, so you need even less product! The two colours I currently own are August (a light pink nude) and Nova (a light warm rose), and they are always in my makeup bag. Of course, a classic choice are the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipsticks, which includes the iconic Pillow Talk shade. I find that you need to be super careful to not apply too much product with the formula, because they can look pretty thick if you go overboard. My favourite shades have to include Very Victoria (a mauve with a subtle brown undertone), Super Cindy (a natural muted coral) and Walk of No Shame (a subdued red with brown undertones).