How To Wear A Matte Lip

Michael Brown

Beauty Expert

Lipstick is still the one makeup item that nearly all women have tried, wear, or cannot live without.

Whether it’s to give a little pick me up to the face, or that finishing touch to your makeup look, there is no denying the enhancement a lippy can give for complete beauty, but does the texture make a difference?

image via pinterest

The lipstick texture you choose certainly can make a difference to your overall lip shape and volume and in case you’ve been living under a rock; the matte lip has been huge of late.

Like any trend, it may look great on others, but is it going to be right for you? In this case, it’s all about the shades you choose to make sure the size of your lips aren’t jeopardised by a non-reflective texture.


Anything matte means it is not light reflecting.

It will have no metallic or pearl like finish and no shine, which normally catches light to create a brighter look, adding volume to the area.

A matte shade can be bold and deeper looking which is perfect for adding shade, or receding an area, like when used in eye shadow.

For lips, matte lipstick can last so much longer than a cream or gloss based product, as it will have hold and create bond to the lip.

It also gives a bold statement being more flat in finish, even in nude tones, where as anything with shine can be seen as fresh and girly.

The only negative is when using matte lipstick in deeper shades, having no shine means it could make your lips look smaller and some products out there can make your lips feel dry.


With any lip colour, we need plump and moisturised lips for an even application, otherwise colour can grab on dry areas and your lip colour will not look smooth and consistent. This is even more important with a matte lipstick as there is no creamy consistency to help soften the lips.

Traditional matte lipstick has been in bullet form, but the new age of matte lips comes packaged like a gloss and they are cream to matte finish.

This has been a great way to create smoother and less dry lips as the cream application helps soften, then as the product dries, it turns into a matte rather than dry consistency touching the lip at first application.

Regardless though, lip moisture is vital as prep before wearing matte lipstick and when you exfoliate your face (no more than once a week) gently, in a circular action, run the product over your lips to buff away any dry skin that your lips may have.

If you know your lips are very dry and chap easily, matte lipstick is not for you.

I love this liquid to matte:

revlonRevlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour, HD Devotion


Like choosing any lip colour, it’s more about matching your skin tone than outfit choices. Make sure you know your skin tone to either balance your skin tone, or bring brightness to it.

Pink to Fair skin – Usually there is a lot of pink present through the skin; try to avoid pink and balance out choosing warmer, summer looking shades.

Yellow to Olive skin – This undertone can often appear dull as there is less pink through the skin, so brighter, winter shades can take away a sallow appearance.

The only difference with matte lips is the fact that no light reflection means no volume or plump of lip, unless you are wearing bright shades.

So, if you have small lips and choose deep plums, browns or caramel nudes, your lips may look smaller and not full.

Larger lips sometimes prefer matte lipstick as it balances them, whereas small lips tend to need bright shades if wearing matte to give them more pout.

Try a pink base nude for an olive skin.


Model Rock Liquid Lips in You Mauve Me, $23


Contouring is not just for face structure.

The principles behind it, being highlight and shade and what the use of those shades do to an area, makes up so much of a makeup artists choices in shade selections.

The lip area is a great place to use the principles of contouring, as quite often we have an unbalanced shape, commonly the top lip is smaller in size than the bottom.

But, even women with large lips, sometimes want to make them smaller. Knowing this, you can see that using shade (darker/matte) tones could recede the lips making them smaller and using highlight (bright/light reflecting) tones can create a fuller lip effect.

With matte lipstick and the trend, there are no light reflecting or glossy textures to create volume, but there are brighter or lighter shades that can be placed in the centre of the lip area to create the illusion of fuller lips.

Even Oprah recently admitted to always using 2 shades of lipstick, 1 solid colour of her choice, then one slightly brighter or lighter in the centre to give a 3D illusion of a fuller mouth.

This is perfect for those times you do want to try a deep plum/wine lip or a chocolate shade, but alone it makes your mouth appear thinner.

Pop a shade over the top in the centre areas that will pop and attract light and you’ve then created your own light reflection, but keeping to your matte look.


When you wear a matte lip, even in a nude shade, it will be a focus as it tends to be a bold statement as it is solid colour. Light reflecting colour tends to look more casual and fun.

The matte lip works well when there is balance with the rest of your makeup, not saying you have to be glowing everywhere with metallic highlights, but a good balance between matte and highlights.

MB Pro Tip:

Pop the cheekbone when wearing a matte lip, and with the eyes. Only pop the inner tear duct and/or mobile eyelid, as this will give great balance and still areas that will lift the matte effect all over – Matte Beauty at it’s best!

See below for some of RESCU’s top picks to create the perfect matte lip

Estee Lauder, Pure Color Envy Matte, $54


MAC Cosmetics, Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Divine Divine, $46


Australis, Velourlips Matte Lip Cream $10.49


Too Faced, Melted Matte Lipstick in Child Star $21

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