Guide to Matte Lipstick


Matte Lipstick Guide: Keeping Your Lips Moist
Singer Kelly Rowland sports a classic combo: a bright red matte color with a little black dress.
Singer Kelly Rowland sports a classic combo: a bright red matte color with a little black dress.
Graham Denholm/Stringer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If you have naturally dry skin or live in a cold, dry climate, you know how tough it can be to keep your lips moist and smooth. Throw a matte lipstick into the equation and everyone, regardless of climate and genetics, is in this boat.

A matte finish means less oil in the recipe, and that means less moisture. To keep the product (and your lips) from going dry, you've got to add it yourself.

The trick is to increase hydration without adding shine, decreasing opacity or de-saturating the color. The process begins as soon as you're done exfoliating, as you pat your lips dry and apply a light layer of matte-finish lip balm, lip-conditioner or lip primer.

This serves as a layer of moisture underneath the lipstick, which goes on next, after you dab off any excess lip balm (or conditioner or primer) -- because a hydrated base goes a long way toward a hydrated final look. The lipstick should glide smoothly now over the lips, making it easier to achieve opaque, even color, too.

You're not done, though. Keeping matte lips moist is an ongoing process. You'll apply a few dabs of balm over the lipstick immediately, and then continue doing so throughout the day (or at least until you need to wipe off and re-apply, which isn't often with a matte). Remember not to rub your lips together after applying (either the lipstick or the dabs of balm); matte lipstick can drag or clump and just generally doesn't like that.

Moist, smooth and opaque, you're pretty much all set. All that's left now is a little touch-up ...