As someone who doesn’t go anywhere without lipstick (even if i’m not wearing any, I’ve got at least four tubes of the stuff rolling around at the bottom of my handbag in case the mood strikes), having a lipstick that’s simultaneously easy to apply on the go, comfortable enough to use without lip balm, and bold enough to not require a lip pencil is incredibly important.
Matte finishes are my favourite, and if you love them too, you’ll know the hassle that can come with finding one that doesn’t make your lips feel as dry as a desert. Of course, basic lip best practices like regularly exfoliating and moisturising your lips will help any lipstick look better on you, but these habits are way more important when it comes to wearing matte shades.
These seven tried-and-tested matte lipsticks have all suitably impressed in one way or another, and would do well in anyone’s makeup bag.
These moisturising and matte lip crayons have been a personal favourite since they first launched, due to their buttery softness and fuss-free packaging. The formula has a mix of three hydrating butters – shea, mango and coconut – and comes in a retractable crayon. The colour payoff is great and the finish is semi-matte, complete with a slight minty finish.
This one is perfect for throwing in your handbag on fuss-free lip days. Revlon released a few new shades like Elusive (a pinky nude), Striking (a bright everyday red), and Enchanting (a true nude).
Mac lipsticks are a staple for many beauty buffs out there, and there’s a fairly extensive range of matte lipsticks to choose from, with classics like the go-to-red, Ruby Woo and a perfect nude, Velvet Teddy. Mac mattes are easy to wear and fairly comfortable on the lips, more so than the brand’s range of retro matte lipsticks (a true, flat matte).
The gorgeous new Zac Posen collection has two bright matte lipsticks, Darling Clementine (a stunning orange) and Dangerously Red (a cool blue-based red) that come in the collection’s chic and sexy matte green-grey packaging complete with gold lettering. The packaging alone makes these collector pieces for sure.
While technically a lip cream and not a stick, this is one of the best liquid matte lipstick textures out there, and extremely affordable to boot. They come in a soft mousse-like consistency and glide on easily, giving you room to clean up the edge of your lipstick line without drying too fast and staining your skin.
Unlike many liquid lipsticks, these don’t dry stiff or crack up, and they also come in a very large range of colours and nude shades for all skin tones. I’ve found that using it over a lip primer gives the best results if you have a lot of fine lines on your lips.
Pictured (L-R): La Mysterieuse, L’Indomptable, La Fascinante
Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet lipstick range has a “luminous” matte finish and a formula that’s incredibly creamy and comfortable on the lips.
The shades have great colour payoff, with full opacity in a couple of swipes, and while they look slightly satiny on application, a quick blot with a tissue gives it a significantly more mattified look. Keep an eye out for some of the newer stunning shades on the counters, like La Mysterieuse (a limited edition warm rosy brown) and La Fascinante (an intense cool-toned red).
While Colourpop isn’t available in Singapore stores and the site doesn’t ship here, it’s easily available off apps like Carousell and Shoppee for anywhere between 12 to 14 dollars. These skinny lip crayons come in an array of finishes, including a matte finish that is surprisingly non-drying for the price.
There are so many shades that it can be tough figuring out where to begin. Some popular shade recommendations include Lumiere (a mauve shade created in collaboration with Youtuber Kathleenlights) and Brink (a pinkish nude).
An oldie but a goodie, Urban Decay’s matte lipsticks boast some serious matte power with each incredibly pigmented swipe. The lipstick is formulated with a blend of avocado, olive and babassu oils as well as shea and illipe butters for hydration. While your lips may feel drier over time (as with almost all matte lipsticks), keeping your lips exfoliated and moisturised will go a long way.
The shade range also has some incredibly flattering shades for Asian skin tones, like best-sellers Bad Blood (a classic bold red), Stark Naked (pictured, a neutral nude that flatters light-to-medium skin tones), and 1993 (a darker neutral nude for medium-to-tan skin tones, and is also the most Kylie Jenner-esque shade).
The gorgeous matte shades in the Star Collection contain a moisturising jojoba oil and have an almost diffused matte finish that makes your lips look blurred to perfection at the same time. The colour on these lipsticks is pigmented with just one swipe and will last a few good hours before you need to reapply.
The Pure Reds range is amazing and carefully selected for Asian skintones. If you have cooler undertones, try Fan Bing Bing’s shade Pure Vermeil. A great neutral red is Blake Lively’s shade Pure Scarleto, and for something warmer, Li Bing Bings’s shade Pure Fire is an unexpectedly flattering orangey red.
As part of the latest range of pro sculpting tools from Make Up For Ever, the Pro Sculpting Lip is a unique two-in-one product that has a lip crayon on one end and a shimmery powder on the other. The idea behind this is that the shimmery powder can be applied on top of the lipstick in the middle of the lips, which gives you the illusion of a fuller and more plump lip.
The lipstick itself has a gorgeous creamy formula that has a semi-matte finish and is housed in a skinnier retractable crayon than most lipsticks, making it easy for precision application.