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.


  • Charlotte MacDonald-Gaunt

    I love matte lip products and am really looking forward to trying the Sleek Matte Me that I got recently! Xx

  • Cornelia Kennedy

    I love matte lipsticks, I use the lush lip scrub everyday, as I think softer lips look fuller! A deep matte red is so this season, and its great for long wear when there are So many parties this time year!

    Ineffable Beauty

  • Marleen

    I love a matte lipstick, the colors pops more! I really want the Hourglass liquid lipstick, but they don’t ship it to here due to shipping restrictions. Too bad, I’ll just stick to my MAC (Retro) Matte.

  • Anna Blush

    So many great tips, thanks Anna! x

  • Evelyn Morales

    Those nars lip pencils sound really good! Thanks for the great tips Anna!!

  • Sunny

    Love this post! One of my favourite matte formulas is from Revlon- particularly their ColourStay Liquid Lipstick in Brilliant Bordeaux. This one is a beaut of a shade- a light wine colour that you can easily build to a more opaque lacquer. It dries matte after a few seconds and doesn’t budge all day, even through meals. I am seriously in love with this product and I think you would really enjoy using this!

  • Antonia @ Health Inspirations

    What shade is the open Bobbi Brown lipstick in the third pic. It’s such a “me” color and I want it!!!

  • Zazie Bibi

    love this post! such a helpful guide (:

  • wow such a great tips!!!

  • Emma and Emily

    I adore matte lips too! Great tips!!

  • Kerry

    I love the addition of the shopping links at the bottom of the post! Saves me searching myself.

  • Fernandda

    Great post, Anna!! One question: where do you take your pics? Over a glass? It looks like the objects are floating lol

  • Fun Loving Kiminal

    Love a matte lip, anything to avoid that windswept hair in gloss situation! Fun Loving Kiminal xx

  • Leeanne baldwin

    Matte Lipstick looks so nice

  • Cassie

    I really want to try the Nars Velvet Matte lip pencils! They look so nice.

  • Charlotte

    I love wearing a dark lip ready for Winter!


  • This was very helpful! 🙂

  • Love matte lips at this time of year

    AmeliaRose | Beauty Blogger

  • Chloe

    Brilliant tips! Thank you so much for sharing! Didn’t realise scrub was so important so I will definitely take that into account now!
    Chloe xo

  • Hope

    Useful tips. I always find it so hard to get my matte lipstick looking perfect. Thankyou for sharing! H x

  • Rachel

    Great tips! I actually recently bought the hourglass lip colour – it is amazing!

  • Anoushka Urban

    Great tips! I will be scrubbing tonight!


  • Love those NARS lip pencils!


    the way to my Hart

  • Maddy Cane

    Love the look of 107, the colour is so gorgeous! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD


  • Mesha

    I’ve been using my NYX lip pencils and coloring in my entire lips with them but I haven’t been exfoliating my lips. Thanks for the great tip.

  • Iqra

    This was possibly the most useful blog post I have ever read in my life regarding lips!

    Thankyou Viviaana ^_^

    The Blushing Giraffe| The Blog Loving


  • Strawbry_Blonde

    Such a creative post & too true about the lip liners! Not sure how much longer I’ll be able to resist Baume de Rose!

    Nic xx

  • Amber Hunter

    Love all the tips in this post! I’m a huge matte lip lover myself; I just picked up MAC’s Diva lipstick which is a gorgeous vampy matte and I think it will be absolutely perfect for the winter months!


    Lovely Notions

  • Sylvia

    Matte lips are my weakness. They require quite a bit of work but the end look is sooo worth it.


  • Lovely post! I love matte lipsticks, so it’s great to know more ways to maintain my lips.

    xx Nicole

  • Farzana

    Photos are tab! What camera do you use for your blog photos Anna, if you don’t mind me asking? Is it the Canon 600D? x

  • Sybil Mae

    Matte lips are my favourite! This was a great post 🙂

  • Such a fun, helpful, colourful post, Anna! Not only do I love bold, matte lips during this time of year, I also enjoy discovering new lip scrubs and balms, so I really enjoyed this 🙂 Thanks! xo

  • Sandra

    love love love

  • Icaria

    Oh I keep forgetting to look at Bobbi Brown’s. The color range seems so nice. Thank you for the reminder. 🙂

  • I love the blot and buff trick, it works great! 🙂

  • Tabetha Bennett

    I am a make up maven!!! I study products and what works best for me this is great information.:)

  • Karen

    Great post! Fabulous photos!

  • Christie

    Cool post Anna I really like the look of the Nars jumbo sticks! Subscribe to win a Lush Christmas gift set.

  • Allie H
  • Such a good post!

  • No matter what time of year it is, I love me some matte lips! I always debated what to do with my lips when it begins to dry out, so thanks for the tip 🙂


  • daisy walters

    I love matte lips! Looks so gorgeous and effortless!

  • Lyndsey

    Love this post, the links at the bottom for the products mentioned are really helpful.

    Wonderful pictures, the more the better!!

  • Matte lips are always in-style because they’re just so classic! Love your tip on how to turn any lipstick into a matte colour. Must try!

  • Janine Maral

    super helpful post!
    – Janine

  • Embellished