Matte lips made themselves known on Spring 2013 runways – neither Missoni nor Prada could resist – and they didn’t need attention-grabbing gloss to do so. An unexpected break from the everyday lip look, matte pouts give you a bold lip that stands out from the pack while still packing a punch.
You might expect bright glossy lips in these sunny months, but matte lips provide all the fun and pop of fresh spring colors with the cool, velvety finish you can’t find elsewhere. Try something new this spring (or wait for fall – dark matte lips are nothing if not autumnal drama!) and work a bright, flat color into your everyday routine.
Go Bold or Go Home
Matte looks for spring are all about bold color. They have high color pigmentation, so pops of fuchsia and orange can take otherwise minimal makeup to high fashion in a flash. Not to be outdone, classic matte reds give you old Hollywood glam in a modern and accessible way. Simple nude lips also pop like crazy in matte formulas, like Lipstick Queen’s Bare Nude (August 2017 Update – Lipstick Queen is no longer cruelty free) or ELF Studio Matte Lip Color in Praline, and are the perfect complement to a colorful cheek or bright eye look. Remember: bold matte lips command attention.
Don’t Dry Out
Not all matte lip products are created equal – some can be drying after a long wear. To avoid those unwanted dry outs, try exfoliating your lips before applying your lip color. Lip exfoliation is great for any bold look, and you can do it by simply running a wet toothbrush over your lips to slough away dead or dried skin. Alternately, try a simple homemade lip scrub like olive oil and sugar or dab a bit of natural face scrub, like Jason Apricot Scrubble, onto your lips, rub carefully and rinse.
Next, apply a light amount of lip balm, like Wet n Wild Juicy Lip Balm with SPF 15, blot any excess on a tissue and let the balm soak in for a few minutes before proceeding. The perfect canvas for a matte lip is smooth and soft, but not so over moisturized that it affects the formula of the lip color.
You can also try matte lip products, which are made to be especially moisturizing, like tarte LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint or Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. With ingredients like vitamin E and coconut extract, these hydrating formulas give that strong matte look while making sure your mouth never becomes a dreaded lip desert.
How To Wear It
Matte lips can be the cornerstone to many bold looks, from fresh-faced to mysterious, depending on the shade you choose. For a fun and fresh look that’s perfect with springtime sunnies, try a deep matte orange like Stila’s Long Wear Lip Color in Outrageous or a matte violet like NYX’s Matte Lipstick in Sweet Pink.
For a night out, don’t shy away from darker shades like Too Faced’s Drop Dead Red (a deep blood red) or Illamasqua’s Pristine (a bold matte black), which are perfect for when you want your look to do all the talking.
Keep it classic for your daytime makeup routine with easy pink shades, like the rosy Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Montego Bay (July 2017 Update – NARS is no longer cruelty free) or the magenta Eurydice from Illamasqua, that add some unexpected drama in a flash. Glam it up by pairing bold matte reds like NYX’s Matte Lipstick in Perfect Red or e.l.f. Studio’s Matte Lip Color in Rich Red with a simple cat eye look for flirty fun anytime.
Matte lips work for every season and are great to have in your arsenal of looks. Whether you go vivid or muted, matte lips always make an impression. Get noticed in a crowd of glossy pinks and reds with no extra effort and plenty of extra cool. Matte lip colors also pull double duty: apply normally for a full matte lip or swipe over with a clear gloss like Milani’s Crystal Gloss in Clear for a shiny new look.
Versatile, colorful and fresh – what more could you want from a lip look?
Michelle is a New England-based freelance writer and artist with a background in marketing. She loves graphic design, liquid eyeliner and anything kitschy. Her work has been featured in Paige Leaves: Essays About New England, published by the Harvard Book Store Press. Catch her blogging about beauty, fashion and all things DIY over at Neon Rattail.