Matte lipstick looks beautiful on everyone, but finding a non-drying matte lipstick can take a bit of a search. The right tips can help with the sensation of too tight lips and make wearing this lovely option as enjoyable as it is aesthetically amazing.
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.
Matte lipsticks are typically incredibly pigmented, the best ones are liquid, and the application takes precision and attention. Matte liquid lipsticks are also best worn with a full face as well because they are the upper echelon of lip ornamentation.
The staying power of liquid matte lipsticks is amazing, and is a major contributor to the level of popularity they have obtained. The different formulas that allow for long-wear matte lipstick to stay so well can vary, and as such some versions can feel more drying than others.
If your lips feel a little tight, it may be the lipstick formula or it may even be the health of your lips. Either way, there are a few easy ways to moisturize your lips without affecting the finish of your matte lipstick. First, let’s start with how to choose the right, quality non-drying liquid matte lipsticks that will also stay put.
Guide to Non-Drying Matte Liquid Lipsticks: Contents
As amazing and blessedly practical as matte lipstick is – not all of them are created equal. Choose one based on you and your needs. Let’s be real, some of us cannot help but touch our lips all day, some of us bite our lips, some of us like to snack, some of us use straws and some of us don’t.
Even more importantly, some of us change outfits, and thus makeup looks must be adjusted. Finally, something else to consider (I’ll mention this a few times – be prepared) is the health of your lips.
With all things considered, a good matte liquid lipstick will hold on with a vengeance through as much as possible, but as with most things there is a range of success that you will experience across brands, and some will outperform others. You might know how to make any lipstick matte, but how do you choose a matte liquid lipstick?
Pick a Formula
Every liquid matte lipstick will list what sets it apart from others. Look for those with nourishing oils in them – they will feel less dry and be healthier for your lips.
Avocado, jojoba and other oils are great nourishing inclusions in a lot of formulas. Vitamin E is usually included as well to help keep your lips healthy while wearing the matte liquid lipstick.
Some formulas also include a plumping agent if that is what you want; just read the benefits of each one you are considering. Check the reviews of users as well so you know what to expect. Remember that certain formulas will feel lighter than others, and a weightless feel is one that you want.
Pick a Shade
The richness and opaque color options offered by liquid matte lipsticks represent another draw for many, but picking the wrong shade can be horrifying. Sure, you can be adventurous, but pick something that will complement your skin tone.
There are so many different shades of each color that an orange, blue or green in the right shade is easy to find. One of the most popular options is shades of peaches and browns – they are flattering and exquisite-looking when done right.
Easy Tips: If you are fair toned, don’t pick a color that will wash you out. If your skin tone is richer and darker, don’t fall for the trap that says you cannot wear bright colors, soft colors or rich colors or any color really – it is about the tone of the color.
A bright yellow will look even more so on a darker, richer skin tone, but sunshine yellow and corn silk yellow are different. Pick the shade and tone that is right for you. And finally, don’t let your lipstick overpower your look, it’s supposed to be attention-grabbing, but not the only point of interest.
This is not a recommendation to go full throttle with your eyeshadow, a natural look on the eyes is great. You can always balance out your strong lip with a good, clean eyeliner or lushly enhanced lashes. You won’t overdo it if you’re careful and comfortable with the results.
Pick a Matte Finish
There are silky mattes and velvet mattes, some even have a bit of sparkle in them for one reason or another, but the finish should always be soft. You don’t want a sticky or goopy feel, and a shimmer should never equal shiny or it is not matte.
Matte lipstick is all about a dramatic color that is deep and vivid. You can get greater color deposits and results with a matte lipstick than nearly any other type, but the finish is important for the final look.
Pick an Application Style
Most of us use the doe foot applicator included with the liquid matte lipstick, but you can also use a lip brush. What style are you most comfortable with? If you are used to the precision of a brush, there is nothing wrong with going that route, but many people with practice can get beautiful results with the applicator included in the tube.
No matter what you are going to have to practice a bit – liquid matte lipstick is not a quick swipe-on and step-out type of option after all.
When applied right your matte 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.
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.
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 Liquid Matte 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 Liquid Matte 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?
The ‘Best’ of anything can be highly subjective, but in the interest of being helpful, here are the top non-drying liquid matte lipsticks amongst reviewers, based on ingredients, ease of application and longevity. None of these matte liquid lipsticks is exceptionally drying, and if you follow the tips listed above, you should have a great experience with them.
To be fair to the formulas I will make certain to list pros and cons to keep in mind. Each offers different shades, but all are richly colored and should not require multiple coats. If you have any recommendations for one that isn’t included, leave the name and your experience with it in the comments section; we’d love to hear from you!
1. Beauty Bakerie Cosmetics Liquid Matte Lipsticks
Everything put out by Beauty Bakerie is completely amazing, deeply, richly pigmented, and has all the staying power you could ever want from a liquid matte lipstick. The variety of shades for the liquid matte lipstick currently stands at 28 and increases all the time, and you can see their options all over Instagram. Get your favorite shade from Beauty Bakerie!
2. Kat Von D Beauty Everlasting Liquid Lipstick
These well loved, highly rated liquid matte lipsticks come in a staggering 45 different shades at Sephora. There are very few complains to find for this brand, or the performance of the lipstick. The colors are seriously varied, and they last flawlessly all day.
3. Lime Crime Velvetines Matte Liquid Lipsticks
In 44 shades, Limecrime is considered to be one of the originators of the liquid matte lipstick craze. Each richly pigmented shade is super soft and ultra-smooth and a favorite for many. Get yours from Revolve!
4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick
The Anastasia liquid matte lipsticks provide 30 shades of one of the most popular long-lasting, non-drying liquid matte lipstick formulas available. The coverage is long-lasting, the shades are popular, and it is very evident why from the first application. You can pick your color from Sephora.
5. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
This is one of the most highly rated non-drying liquid matte lipsticks with 25 different deeply pigmented shades, available through Sephora. The pigmentation in each tube is so rich that the darker and brighter colors are equally brilliant and are not prone to streakiness.
6. Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet
Burberry is definitely on the expensive side, which is to be expected, but this is one of the best liquid matte lipsticks that have truly excellent reviews. With 14 shades in the matte finish, the colors are satin smooth and very rich. Pick yours from Sephora!
7. Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipstick
This brand came out and shook everyone – the 25 colors of the best non-drying matte liquid lipsticks are all rich, perfectly matte smooth, and dreamy. When applying it, the formula is weightless, and it really is long-wear. You can find all the shades on Ulta.
8. Sleek Matte Me Liquid Lipstick
There are 17 rich shades that are easy to apply and beautiful with long-lasting wear and excellent reviews, all available through Pretty Little Thing. The finish is smooth and as matte as anyone could ever want.
9. Lancôme Matte Shaker High Pigment Liquid Lipstick
Lancôme is the company that doubled the fun of the matte liquid lipstick game offering its cute lipstick shakers in intense colors. They have a total of 25 shades of non-drying liquid matte lipsticks, each rich, smooth and seriously steadfast in rich color that lasts all day. You can pick yours from Nordstrom.
10. NYX Cosmetics Lipstick Lingerie
All 24 of the soft subtle shades of these matte liquid lipsticks create a supple warm appearance. With the popularity of nude lipsticks, peaches and brown shades, these are some of the best choices for something complementary. You can get your perfect nude from Ulta.
11. NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream
These are the best NYX lipsticks not just for the price, but also because of the lightweight wear and the scent. This is an easy-to-apply liquid matte lipstick in 34 different shades, each with great color payoff that lasts a decent amount of time without drying lips into sandpaper. It’s available online at Ulta.
12. NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment
More of a matte pigment than an opaque paint, these matte liquid lipsticks provide a good color deposit and a soft matte appearance. The lip pigment is easy to apply, long-lasting and flattering without being drying. It’s available through Nordstrom.
13. L.A. Girl Matte Flat Finish Pigment Gloss
By far one of the most affordable matte liquid lipsticks out there, this particular brand has a full set of loyal followers thanks to the suede finish. The color options range around 12, all available at Ulta.
14. Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint
The thick, mouse-styled formula gives the Tarte lip paints a smooth creamy color, texture and application. The color deposit will work best when chosen to match with your skin tone, too far out and the appearance can be a bit streaky. They have a great smell as well. Pick yours from Sephora!
15. Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor
16 wax-free shades in a gel formula that feels soft and moisturizing when you put it on give Revlon a bit of a leg up on other liquid matte lipsticks. This one is available for purchase at Ulta, too.
16. Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Color
The formula is creamy, and definitely does not feel weightless, but it does not feel goopy either. In 20 different shades available through Ulta, there are certainly options, but for the best wear, include a primer. This color is super vibrant thanks to a double dose of pigments in each tube.
17. Laura Mercier Paint Wash Liquid Lip Colour
This matte lipstick comes in 9 creamy liquid shades that boast a soft fresh feel and smooth application and finish. The shades are certainly long-lasting with a truly soft finish. You can get your favorite shade from Sephora.
18. Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick
This is a rich, waterproof liquid matte lipstick that is super pigmented and long-lasting in 18 different colors, available at Nordstrom. It is recommended to use this one with a liner as it can feather on some people.
19. Rimmel London Provocalips 16 Hour Kiss Proof Lip Color
Rimmel London has been a favorite brand for a lot of people because it is dependable, and this lipstick is no different. Each of the 10 shades has a long-wear, lightweight formula and a strong deep color. You can get it from Ulta.
20. Buxom Wildly Whipped Lightweight Liquid Lipstick
This one is meant to be moisturizing and as such, does not really dry the lips. Because it does not dry the lips, there can be a good deal of feathering if you have not prepped your lips with primer or liner. With this one, a finishing powder is essential if you are going to expect any truly long-lasting wear. Get your color from Sephora!
21. Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick
In 24 shades, Gerard Cosmetics has offered a matte liquid lipstick with staying power that provides a bevy of wonderful colors. I personally am obsessed with Knight Rider. The only issue is that the hydrating formula does not fully dry and can feather and transfer without any setting powder. Pick it from Dermstore!
22. Clinique ‘Pop Liquid’ Matte Lip Color + Primer
These moisturizing, non-drying matte liquid lipsticks have good ratings and 8 rich shades. The colors are actually pretty brilliant, and the formula stays with you throughout your day. Find them at Nordstrom!
23. BareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lip Color
This is a true matte, designed to incorporate heathy minerals that will improve the health of your lips as you wear them. The feel of this matte liquid lipstick once dried is smooth and comfortable, and it comes in 20 shades at Sephora.
24. Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick
Shinier than most liquid matte lipsticks, but designed to have the punchy color and long wear of a true matte lipstick, this one is a favorite among many beauty junkies. You can get this sweet treat from Sephora.
25. Kylie Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick
Though there have been issues on and off with the brand, the colors are consistently popular and a favorite for many. Head over to Bonanza to get one of the most popular matte liquid lipsticks in your favorite shade!
26. MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour
MAC is well known for pigmentation and quality, and each of the 27 shades of the MAC Retro Matte Liquid lipsticks is as rich and smooth as anyone could ask for. They have all day lasting power and stay vibrant until it’s washed off. Pick yours from Nordstrom!
27. Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick
These long-lasting and non-drying matte liquid lipsticks come in 8 different shades and with a hydrated feel. Though it feels super-weightless, like magic it dries to an ideal vibrant color. Get your shade from Nordstrom!
28. Lottie London Slay All Day Longwear Matte Liquid Lipstick
16 very pigmented shades make up the smudge-free matte lipstick options for this brand, available through Ulta. The feel is very comfortable and smooth without feeling like it is sucking all of the moisture out of your body through your lips.
29. Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick
Smashbox Cosmetics gives 20 different shades of non-drying liquid matte lipsticks in a great formula that is soft, non-transferring, super smooth and beautifully matte. The color remains bold even though it doesn’t feather or smudge. The shades are available online at Sephora.
30. Huda Beauty Matte Liquid Lipstick
Huda Beauty produces 27 of the softest, longest-wearing and quickest drying liquid matte lipsticks on the market. The wear is great without being too dry. Find this highly coveted liquid matte lipstick at Sephora!