How to Deal with Matte Lips: Before, During & After

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If a bold lipstick isn’t matte, then I’m not really interested. Bold lips when not served up in a powdery texture equal mess; Joker-like smears across your chin and unintended ombré effects when the colour wears off from the centre due to a lack of strength in the longevity department. The NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils and the MAC Matte Lipsticks are among my favourites, but with them can come the dreaded ‘prune lip‘ effect as they aren’t the kindest finish to your pout. To halt my lips from resembling the back end of a cat I do have a few tips mind you for reigning in the dryness before, during and after application…

BEFORE. The key really is in the prep. Feel free to skip over the proceeding steps, but just keep this one in mind. Firstly exfoliate – your lips? – I know it’s weird. Either go to town with a toothbrush to buff away dry patches, or use an exfoliant specifically formulated for this purpose. I love the Fresh Brown Sugar Lip Polish, which could very easily be fashioned from your own kitchen, but I can never get the consistency right. Then apply lip balm before you start your makeup, by the time you get round to lips it would have sunk in (if not, tissue off the excess) and you’re ready to get painting the colour on.

DURING. Sometimes things just look completely moisture zapped. You love the colour, don’t want to remove it, but your lips are gasping. In those situations I bring in the balm and blot technique. Take a light lip balm, something like the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Protectant and pat it over your lips – ahhhh, sweet sweet moisture. Then take a tissue and blot off the excess to bring it back down to that matte finish. A short, but sweet (and satisfying) hit of nourishment.

AFTER. Lip balm, lip balm, lip balm. Something really rich and thick and a formula that is still clinging to your lips come morning, after a PM application. The one that fits that bill for me is the By Terry Baume de Rose one, let’s not talk about how many of these little pots of overpriced lip goodness I’ve been through. It’s also worth pointing out that to remove my more stubborn stains I crack out the Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover to lift it off. Eyes, lips? It does it all.

The process might appear a bit of a ballache, but it’s not a particularly time consuming one and for a bold lip that holds its own all day, even thorough a lunchtime burrito feast – it’s worth it.