The Best Matte Makeup for Your Skin Tone and How to Apply It — According to a MUA

February 18, 2021
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By: Makeup.com | Makeup.com by L'Oréal

Whether you have an oily complexion with shine that won’t seem to quit or just prefer to let your personality glow the brightest, welcome to #teammattemakeup. In addition to its shine-absorbing qualities, we love matte makeup for its ability to minimize the appearance of pores and for its longevity. To achieve the perfect shine-free beat, it’s important to hone your application skills and stock your stash with the best products for your complexion. For tips, we consulted with Grace Lee, Maybelline New York global makeup artist.

How to Prep Your Skin for Matte Makeup

Laying the right groundwork is almost as important as the application itself. Guarantee a flawless canvas by smoothing on a hyaluronic acid serum (like the Kiehl’s Vital Skin-Strengthening Hyaluronic Acid Super Serum), followed by a fast-absorbing moisturizer like the Lancôme Absolue Velvet Face Cream SPF 15. Finish with a mattifying primer such as the NYX Professional Makeup Can't Stop Won't Stop Matte Primer to ensure your matte look will last all day. 

How to Choose the Right Base

It’s best for drier skin types to use cream or stick formulas, as the emollient texture can help prevent flaking or a dull finish. Oily skin types are best paired with loose or packed shine-absorbing matte powders. Our new go-to is the L'Oréal Paris Infallible up to 24h Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder.

Use a foundation brush or sponge to bring the look to life, says Lee. “Just don’t dampen the sponge as it might sheer down the texture or make the foundation look dewy,” she says.

The Perfect Matte Makeup and Application Tips for Fair Skin Tones

Technique is key when applying no-sheen hues to lighter skin tones. A swipe of a soft, matte pink or peach lip color will work wonders to play up your porcelain features. “Don’t use lip liner,” says Lee. “Just use the lipstick color and concentrate it in the center of the lips and blend outward.” Try the Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet Liquid Lipstick in 504 Nuda.

Dust matching powder blush onto the apples, like Lancôme Blush Subtil in Aplum, and add several coats of black mascara and brow color for a well-groomed finish.

The Perfect Matte Makeup and Application Tips for Medium Skin Tones

Deeper pinks and oranges are the best matte bets for lips for those with olive or medium skin tones. Try a smooth, richly pigmented lippie like the YSL Beauty Rouge Pur Couture the Slim Glow Matte Lipstick in Illicit Orange

Sweep a matte brown eyeshadow like one of the shades from the Mented Cosmetics  Everyday Eyeshadow Palette from the lash line up to the crease, and then load up on mascara and use your go-to matte blush. 


The Perfect Matte Makeup and Application Tips for Deep and Dark Skin Tones

Those with deeper skin tones can pull off an array of shades — from the vibrant and bold to the neutral. “A flattering matte eyeshadow is a soft taupe-y brown,” says Lee for a universal pick. Try Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Secret Service, a soft, cool-brown matte that can be used in the crease or all over.

Add a little extra drama with a bright berry lippie like Maybelline New York Color Sensational Ultimatte Slim Lipstick in More Berry. To help the vibrant hue resist fading or transfer, hold a tissue over lips and dust a translucent powder through the tissue to set it in place.


Photo: Dana Renée

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