The best things about liquid matte lipsticks are obvious: long-wear, smooth, soft appearance and a serious color payoff. The worst things are also obvious – everything wrong with your lips will be accentuated and thus rendered super obvious by the rich color – lines, chapped lips etc. So application is obviously important.
When applied right, your matte liquid lipstick should be smooth, matte and soft in appearance and how it feels on your lips. To do this, a little bit of prep goes a long way. Be careful to avoid over- or under-lining your lips, as this will cause the appearance to be off.
Realize first and foremost that matte lipstick requires a bit of a commitment – this is not really an ‘apply by muscle memory’ type of lipstick. Liquid matte lipstick is not one where you can just wipe off a mistake later or that a reapplication is a simple fix.
Step 1: Prep Your Lips
Moisturize and exfoliate your lips. This will remove any dead skin and make the wear more comfortable. You can purchase or create a quality lip scrub.
If you want to go the DIY route, a good sugar scrub recipe is below:
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp oil (olive, jojoba, almond or coconut)
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp ground coffee
Mix all the ingredients together in a small container, and apply a small amount to your lips. Close the container and use it again when needed.
Rub the mixture (gently) on your lips for about 20 seconds. Let the mixture sit for about 30 seconds, and then carefully wipe off with a soft cloth and warm water.
Enjoy your amazing results – smooth, soft, moisturized lips are the perfect base for a smooth application of liquid matte lipsticks.
Step 2: Prime Your Lips
Swipe on a quick, waxy chapstick to seal in moisture. Don’t do multiple coats, just a quick swipe and give it a minute before moving on to the next step.
If you would like to, put on a lip primer as well. Most liquid matte lipsticks do not need a primer, but if you want to take that step too, go for it. You can use your lip liner in the same shade (if you are using one) that is to line and fill in your lips here as a primer.
Step 3: Applying the Liquid Lipstick
Apply one coat of the liquid lipstick at a time in a mirror. The recommendations for how to start can vary, so pick whatever is easiest for you.
- This is not my preference, but for some it is, so I will list it. You can start by applying your liquid matte lipstick to your bottom lip first. After applying to your bottom lip, press your lips together, then fill in any gaps to the edge of your lips and your cupid’s bow.
- Start by filling in the center of your lips with the doe foot applicator, and work your way outwards. Use the limited amount left on the applicator to precisely line the lips.
- Remove the excess from the applicator first, and you can use the pointed end of the applicator to apply the liquid lipstick like a liner then swiping the lipstick on to fill in your lips. If you prefer a lip brush, here is the time to use it.
- If you prefer to use a liner, especially if you are going for a particular look, go for it! Line your lips as you normally would, and fill in with the liquid matte lipstick. Pat to blend the liquid lipstick into the liner without creating a streaky finish.
- If you are trying to create a shade, use your liner to line and fill in your lips, and apply one thin coat of your liquid matte lipstick to your lips.
Step 4: Fixing the Mistakes
Fixing mistakes is easy with the right tools.
- My recommendation is a makeup remover wipe. You can fold it over your fingertip and use your covered nail to precisely clean up your lines and remove any excess or misplaced lipstick.
- Others use cold cream or makeup remover on a Q-tip.
- You can also use concealer to clean up the edges of your lips as well.
Step 5: Give Your Liquid Lipstick Some Time to Set
Most importantly, let your freshly applied liquid lipstick set! Pressing your lips together repeatedly or rubbing your lips together will create a streaky finish that is not at all the goal.
Your matte liquid lipstick won’t dry evenly, and fixing this will drive you nuts. This will stay all day if you let it, but it can smear if you mess with it before it sets. It won’t take long, just be patient, keep your lips open for just about a minute.
Some people will even go the extra step of adding a finishing powder, but it really is only necessary if you want to do it.
Step 6: Eliminating the Dryness of Matte Liquid Lipsticks
If your lips feel a bit tight and dry afterwards, swipe on a single coat of chapstick (not an oily one). Be careful not to be too generous with this as it can affect the staying power of your matte liquid lipstick if you overdo it.
Step 7: Reapplying Matte Liquid Lipsticks
Finally, if you find yourself needing to reapply your liquid matte lipstick, you have three options.
- If you want to maintain your matte look, apply the liquid matte lipstick to your lips by patting it onto wherever it is needed to blend it in rather than adding another full coat.
- Completely remove the original coat and reapply.
- If you are interested in maintaining the color but don’t mind a different finish, use a gloss or even a complementary or exact shade of lipstick over the remains of your matte lips for beautiful results.
The most commonly given advice to avoid dry lips with or without a matte lipstick is to drink plenty of water. That is great advice, but sometimes, it just doesn’t help. This is especially true in the winter months when keeping lips moisturized can be an uphill battle.
Even if you don’t have naturally dry lips, wearing long-wear liquid matte lipsticks is known to dry lips out, especially if you wear them all the time. So here are just a few hints and tips on how to keep your lips moisturized when wearing matte lipsticks.
- Moisturize your lips before going to bed. Do so again in the morning.
- Moisturize your lips after cleansing your skin, every time.
- Remember the exfoliator mentioned earlier? Break that out twice a week if needed to exfoliate your lips.
- When removing your liquid matte lipstick, use an oil-based makeup remover or a textured makeup remover wipe. An oil-based makeup remover will not dry out your lips, but a textured makeup remover wipe may do so. You should moisturize your lips and the rest of your face when you remove your makeup anyway, so it is really a question of preference and what is easiest and most effective for you to do personally.
- Consider trying out a lip mask to hydrate your lips.
- Pay attention to the brand that you are using, as many of them are altering their formulas to be healthier for lips, remember?
Photos via @zodieac, Instagram