Bold Matte Lipsticks That Won't Get All Dry And Pasty

Plus, how to prime your lips to hold matte color AND moisture.

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I am obsessed with lipstick, but for a long time I steered clear of mattes because I thought they would feel chalky and gross on my lips. Then, a year or so ago, I finally took the plunge and played around with different lipsticks and products to make wearing matte lipstick, well, more wearable.

Here are a few tips and tricks, as well as my most favorite matte lipstick formulas.

Exfoliate Dry, Dead Skin

First, any time I feel like wearing a matte lip, I make sure to give my lips a good scrub to slough away any dead or dry skin. My number one product for this is E.L.F. Lip Exfoliator.

Formulated with sugar, jojoba oil, grape seed oil, and shea butter, this über-hydrating $3 cheapie has been an absolute lip saver for me. I have three tubes: one for my desk drawer, my purse, and my makeup kit.

Smooth Things Out With A Good Balm

Next, I make sure to apply a very thin layer of balm to my lips. My favorite is Josie Maran Argan Oil Lip Treatment.

This has a thinner, less waxy texture than most other lip balms, which makes for the perfect matte lipstick base. Once this has had time to sink in, I lightly blot with a tissue so that my lips aren't too slippery. Ready for lipstick!

3 Matte Lipstick Formulas To Try

Now that we've covered matte lip preparation, it's time to dig into a few of my favorite formulas.

MAC Retro Matte in Flat Out Fabulous

MAC's matte lipsticks tend to be pretty dry--especially the retro matte--but I've found that some shades are better than others. I’ve mentioned MAC Heroine before, but my hands-down favorite is MAC Retro Matte in Flat Out Fabulous. It glides on smooth, packs powerful pigmentation, and is one of the longest wear formulas I've ever tried. I usually only have to touch up here and there after meals (never a full reapplication).

NYX Matte in Shocking Pink

NYX is one of my absolute favorite drugstore brands, because the quality is high and the prices are low. This one doesn't feel as thick as some other matte formulas, but it still applies very opaque.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Prague

Another standout product from the NYX line, this lippy feels exactly how it sounds--soft, smooth, and creamy. The range of shades is also excellent. I can wear this color all day and my lips never feel dried out.

Marc Jacobs Kiss Pop Color Stick in Headliner

This isn’t touted as a matte shade, but the finish definitely dries down to matte after a few minutes. It's a winner on all fronts: smoothness, pigment, and formula. I hardly felt like I was wearing anything when I first swiped it on--and I'm not exaggerating, it's that lightweight.

Do you wear matte lipstick? What prep products and lipstick formulas do you use?