5 Makeup Artist Tricks for Wearing Matte Lipstick

matte lipstick tips It happens all the time – you’re running late and need a quick way to make your look pop. You didn’t have time for much eye shadow and you definitely didn’t have time for an elaborate smoky eye, either. Then you have that “Aha!” moment: lipstick. A bold matte lipstick will work wonders on a face with minimal makeup. In fact, light eye makeup is ideal for that statement lip color you’ve been eyeing in your makeup bag. And all it takes is two simple swipes, right? Um, almost … but not so fast. While a great matte lipstick can turn your look from simple to stunning, a proper application usually requires a little finesse. But that doesn’t mean it’s still not your best bet for dressing up your face before running out the door. Our expert makeup artists have game-changing tips for you that will make it easy to get pretty and polished in no time flat.


Exfoliating before applying a matte lip is important because matte lipstick isn’t as forgiving as gloss, so every imperfection will show,” says makeup artist Tara Shakespeare. If you have a good lip exfoliator on hand, use it. Otherwise, grab your extra toothbrush — those babies are good for more than just dental care! Celebrity makeup artist Melissa Walsh suggests putting a little Vaseline on your lips and then using a soft toothbrush to gently exfoliate. “Make sure to rinse and dry after so you don’t leave a film,” she says.

Pick the right shade.

This step happens way before you’re running late. When you’re at the beauty counter, consider which lipstick colors will work best with your skin tone. “Too pale and you'll look like a corpse; too dark and it will stain lips and wear badly,” says Walsh, who prefers corals, reds and pinks for matte lipstick.

Use a lipstick brush.

Walsh recommends filling your lips in using the bullet of the lipstick, then using a lip brush to fill in the edges and add definition.


So you may not have had time to apply eye shadow but Shakespeare recommends taking a quick second to dab your favorite highlighting shadow to the center of your bottom lip after putting on your lipstick. This will make your lips appear slightly fuller. “Make sure it complements the shade though, so for reds and nudes, use a gold tone, and for pinks and purples, use silvery tones,” she says.

Add moisture.

While you don’t want to turn the matte look into a glossy sheen, Walsh advises keeping a non-greasy lip balm on hand to ease dryness throughout the day (we love the classic Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1). Now that you’ve got that perfectly poppin’ pout, go on and walk out the door — feel free to blow a kiss or two throughout the day. Are you a matte lipstick lover or do you prefer a glossy finish? Sound off in the comments!


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