I have an open mind when it comes to lipstick colors. Check my stash and you’ll find everything -- darks, brights, reds and retro nudes. I wear them all. But texture? That’s a whole different story. Except for a brief dalliance with shine-free vampy lipstick in high school, I’ve always steered clear of mattes in favor of creamy or semi-glossy finishes, no exceptions.
It’s not that I don’t see the appeal -- mattes look beautiful and sophisticated on other people (I’m reminded of this almost daily when I see Emily). But every time I’ve tried them, I’ve had issues. For instance, sometimes mattes are too dry, to the point where it’s like you’ve rubbed colored chalk over your lips. I hate that feeling and that super-dry texture isn’t flattering on me at all. Then there’s the flaking problem. I don’t know if it’s just me, but typically when I wear lipsticks that aren’t very moisturizing, about halfway through the day my lips turn into a flaky, disgusting mess. And of course, I don’t realize this until I happen to look in a mirror, at which point I’ve been walking around with crazy-looking lips for a good two hours. Embarrassing!
That brings me to my last gripe about mattes: they’re high maintenance. The flaking issue means that I can’t just apply more on top of what’s left when it starts to fade. I have to rub the shit out of my lips (it can be difficult to get the color out of all the nooks and crannies even with a makeup remover wipe) to get the stuff off then start from scratch. At that point, I usually just give up, put on some lip balm and call it day. You gotta pick your battles.
But of course there are exceptions to every rule. I found a matte that I like! Not surprisingly it’s from Bite Beauty, a brand that I’m already a fan of because they use a lot of natural ingredients and the pigments in their lip colors are gorgeous and so rich. Their new Matte Crème Lip Crayon ($24) is the product that’s convinced me to change my stance against non-creamy textures. It feels really soft when I put it on and wears like a dream -- no flaky monster lips! I also like the pointiness of the pencil. I have other lip pencils that are fat, which is fine when you’re dealing with glossy lipstick, but precision is key when you apply bright, matte colors. The sharp tip helps a lot with application. Unless you’re in the back of a taxi and the cabbie is driving like Lil Twist in Bieber’s Ferrari. Nothing can save you then.
The Lip Crayon comes in six loud (but pretty!) shades and I’ve been wearing Grape (a purple-pink that reminds me of my beloved discontinued Payless lipstick) and Clementine, a cheerful orange. Maybe it’s because of the brutal winter THAT JUST WON’T DIE, but I’ve definitely gravitated more toward bright lipstick this season than I normally would. It tricks me into feeling happier.
Where are my fellow #TeamMatte peeps? Are you as picky as I am about lipstick texture?