Beauty Q&A: How Can I Wear Lipstick Over Dry Lips?

October 12, 2020
Marisa Petrarca
By: Marisa Petrarca | by L'Oréal
person wearing pink lipstick and holding lipstick to mouth

For those of us whose lips are perpetually chapped, wearing lipstick — matte formulas especially — can be a challenge. Not only can it feel uncomfortable, but lipstick on dry skin can look flaky and uneven. Because we’re not quitters, we reached out to Gabriel Almodovar, a pro makeup artist, for his tips on how to apply lipstick over dry, chapped lips.

TIP #1: Prep Your Lips Before Application

“Your lips should be prepped with a sugar-based exfoliant to remove any dead skin,” says Almodovar. The Sara Happ Lip Scrub is a cult classic. Just don’t exfoliate your lips if they’re cracked, as that could make the issue worse. Follow the exfoliation with a moisturizing lip treatment or balm like the Maybelline New York Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm in Grape Vine.

Maybelline New York Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm in Grape Vine

TIP #2: Prep Your Lips Overnight, Too

We always recommend applying lip balm before bed, but if your lips are chapped and peeling, a thicker formula might be the answer. One overnight product we love is the Then I Met You Honey Dew Lip Mask. In addition to nourishing ingredients like avocado oil, it also contains lactic acid to gently exfoliate. 

Then I Met You Honey Dew Lip Mask

TIP #3: Opt for a Lipstick Formula With a Creamy Finish

“If your lips are chapped, a lipstick with a creamy finish is ideal because it has the most oil in the formula,” Almodovar explains. We’ve been loving the new IT Cosmetics Pillow Lips Solid Serum and Deck of Scarlet Threeway Solid Lip Oil for lip stains and the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick for a creamy, full-coverage finish. The latter features vitamin E and argan oil to hydrate and nourish.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use a matte lipstick, though. “Newer matte formulas can actually be quite hydrating,” he says. One example is the Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Intimatte. The velvety matte formula feels lightweight and contains hyaluronic acid and rose extract to moisturize and condition lips. Another of our favorite 

Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Intimatte
Art Direction, Makeup and Photography: Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy

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