A Guide to Matte Lips

I’ve made no secret of the fact that my favourite lipstick finish is matte. Long-lasting, a chic way to sport bolds and possibly the only lip product that holds up through all my pizza scoffing. They’ve come a long way since the thirsty formulas of back in the day that sucked lips into a moisture-free climate, but they still require some steps to ensure that you aren’t the owner of a prune-like pout. So I’ve complied the ultimate guide to matte lips: the prep, the formulas that rock, the matte lip product that you’ve already got in your stash and the secret that turns any lippie into a matte affair.

Scrub ’em silly. Wait! Before you slap on your favourite matte, you’ve got to prep. Now not every time you reach for it – ain’t nobody got time for that – but daily matte wearers are going to want to complete this fuss-free step around twice a week. It’s all about scrubbing to rid your base from any dry flakey gross bits (there’s no other way to put it). There are three options. You can go the gentle route; dipping a cotton bud in balm (hello By Terry Baume de Rose) and softly rolling over your lips or you could go hell for leather at them with a clean toothbrush. Or there’s always the ‘DIY scrub’? Mix a glug of Olive Oil with Brown Sugar then massage on (and lick off). Follow all three ways with a balm. Leave to sink in. Now you’re ready…

The best of the mattes. You ready for some obvious choices here? My favourite, favourite matte option of all are the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. They are by far the easiest to apply, no liner required and they last hours. Cruella, Dragon Girl and Red Square are all beauties. Another formula that refuses to move is the Hourglass Rouge Opaque; a little trickier to slick on but the colours are so ‘woah Nelly’ – I love them. If traditional lipsticks are more your thang than the Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lipsticks and Rimmel’s Kate Moss Lasting Finish Matte Lipsticks have all the aforementioned qualities. I’m slowly working Rimmel 107 into a tiny nub.

No purchase necessary. You’ve got a fistful of lip liners that you never use? Well, firstly you sound like me and secondly get them to work. There’s no such thing as a non-matte lip liner; it goes against their religion. So instead of just keeping to your natural line, next time colour your whole lip area in. Could matte lips get any more simple? Two of my favourites are Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Bang and MAC’s Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Kiss Me Quick.

Blot and buff. If things are looking a little scarce on the matte-front in your lipstick bevy, then take your favourite shade coated onto your lips, give it a quick blot – reapply and repeat. Then lay the tissue over your lips and through the safety of this shield dust a little powder using a fluffy brush over the top (FYI I tend to use By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder with a MAC 224 Brush). When you remove your layer you’ll find a newly matte look underneath. No matter how glossy your original formula, it’s nothing that a quick appearance of powder can’t fix.

….When things start getting dry. I’ve got a little tip for you. The thing with a good matte is that they stick to your lips like bloomin’ glue, so a quick swipe of a balm to stop things getting too shrivelled won’t do much harm. Apply a thin layer of balm (Malin + Goetz’s Mojito Lip Balm works particularly well for this), bolt off the excess and reapply your colour of choice. Easy peasy.