When Suede Meets Matte: MAKE's Contemporary Nudes

MAKE's new Ultra Suede lip range is a pop art lover's dream.
Publish date:
November 12, 2014
make, We See Beauty, lipstick, nude lipstick, orange lipstick, matte lipstick, philanthropy

If you ask me, there can never be too many matte lipstick formulas. Matte makes bold colors more versatile (gloss just steals the color's thunder), and it can read classic or modern, depending on the hue.

Every lip color should be available avec or sans shine! But since this isn’t Burger King and you can’t have it your way, thank gourd for MAKE.

Not for lipstick wusses, MAKE’s A/W 2014 Ultra Suede lipstick collection offers a palette of bright, warm-toned mattes.

It’s evident that MAKE was really into fiery reds/oranges and “contemporary nudes” this season: seven out of the 10 shades that make up the collection have names like Magma, Putty, and Tangerine. The look book appears as if a Scandinavian art director had her way with a Zara shoot; it’s a modernist’s dream.

Made in NYC, MAKE is a “For-Benefit” cosmetics brand via the We See Beauty, an online marketplace that supports women-run and worker-owned cooperatives. So you can buy makeup and help a sister out.

Also: these lipsticks are pretty gorgeous to look at, if I do say so myself. The packaging is simple, but architectural. Just look at those bullets!

Upon first swipe, the colors definitely err on the "suede" side, as opposed to matte, but the shine goes down with a couple of blots. I instinctively balm up before wearing matte lipsticks, because they have a habit of finding any creases or dry patches and lingering there on the fade out.

The lipsticks go on velvety, but tend to feel a bit chalky post-meal or drink. The color stays on surprisingly well, though, considering I drank a tea and ate some pie while wearing.

For some reason these colors inspired me to get arty, so let's get weird, shall we?

Fire is a warm, poppy red. It's an attention-grabber, for sure. My elderly aunt would call it a "statement" color while still remaining flattering in a "hitting the jackpot in Atlantic City" kind of way.

Tangerine and Magma look so similar in the tube; I wore them simultaneously to detect the difference.

The Tangerine is definitely on the citrusy side while Magma has a bit of a coral hue.

Scarlet is a classic cool-toned red: it has a near 3D effect with its vibrancy, at least on my skin, which is opposite-toned.

Putty is a great peachy-nude to make your lips appear automatically juicier without the obnoxious glare of lip gloss. I couldn’t help but pair it with a beauty mark.

I always gravitate toward plum lip colors, so Jakarta was my favorite of the bunch. It’s a warmer, almost raisin plum.

It appears warmer on your lips than in the tube, which, in my opinion, is more universally flattering than the other way around, probably.


I’m not really a “nude lip” person. Nudes are tough: unless they flatter your skin perfectly, you end up looking like you're struggling with some pretty-person illness (consumption à la Moulin Rouge, anyone?). MAKE’s nudes are more nude-inspired; they inject unmistakable hits of orange, peach, coral, and red into the pigment. Biggest perk though is that the color sits on your lips for a long-ass time, considering the texture remains suede-like pretty much until you’ve eaten your way through an application. Un-fussed-with, I daresay it would’ve stuck on my lips until I took it off.

  • How do you feel about nude lip colors (or for that matter, orange lipstick)?
  • Nude + matte is intermediate-to-advanced territory for me, so give me all of your tips for finding a flattering tone, please!