Your No-Fail Guide to Wearing Matte Lipstick

I have a love-hate relationship with matte lipstick. I love the way this formula makes my lips look instantly polished and seamless, but I hate how easily it dries out my pout. And I know that I’m not the only one who struggles with this problem.

So what exactly am I not getting right when it comes to applying matte lipstick?

Celebrity and bridal makeup artist Erica Nikole tells Yahoo Beauty that “keeping your lips constantly moisturized is so important when wearing matte lipstick.” She adds, “The more hydrated the lip, the more amazing your lipstick will appear!”

She swears by three tips and tricks when wearing matte lipstick. Read on to learn why preparation is a major key to rocking this always on-trend look and to shop the hottest new matte red lipsticks.

Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate!


Swipe away dead skin cells with the e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Exfoliator. (Photo: e.l.f.)

The texture of your lips is a major factor in the correct application of matte lipstick, according to Erica Nikole. This is why it is crucial to exfoliate lips regularly. She explains, “Exfoliating the lips will remove any dead skin that could alter the way the lip will appear under the lipstick. One of my most favorite and simple lip exfoliation remedies is just grabbing a soft toothbrush and gently scrubbing the lip with a bit of ol’ fashion Vaseline.” The makeup expert also recommends e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Exfoliator ($3) because its tube is formatted to fit the natural shape of your lips and the “price point is amazing!”

Lock In Moisture


It’s all about the conditioning, baby. Do it right with MAC Prep + Prime Lip. (Photo: MAC Cosmetics)

Erica Nikole believes there is nothing worse than a lipstick that crumbles a bit after a bit of wear because it wasn’t applied properly. If you’re one that suffers from rough, uneven application, she says lip primer will be your BFF.

“MAC’s Prep + Prime Lip ($16.50) has not only been a staple in my professional work kit but also in whatever pocketbook I’m sporting at the time,” she tells Yahoo Beauty. “It acts as a base and refines and smooths the lip. It also adds the perfect amount of moisture, because let’s be honest, some matte lipsticks have the tendency to suck the life out of our lips and leave them feeling chapped. This product will lay on lips very similar to Chapstick and dry to a smooth, even coat. Think of it as a nail base coat polish but for your lips!”

Swipe On Color With Ease


Makeup artist-approved matte red lipsticks. (Photos: Colourpop and Sephora)

Once your lips are conditioned and dried, Erica Nikole says you’re ready to swipe on your matte lipstick. The pro prefers to apply the lip color (her matte favorites include Colourpop Ultra Matte Lips and Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Always Red) directly from the tube onto her lips. She rarely uses a brush unless glamming up her clients.

“I appreciate the control that I have with my hand. However, if you are one that struggles with creating straight lines around the edges of your mouth with the lipstick, a brush is essential,” says Erica Nikole. “Most lip brushes are pretty consistent in shape and size regardless of the brand. Make sure the brush is small and the handle long enough to make the application comfortable for you.

Ready to get gorgeous with matte lipstick? Shop our editors’ picks below for the best new matte red lipsticks on the market!

Best New Matte Red Lipsticks
Best New Matte Red Lipsticks

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