The Best Matte Lipstick to Wear From Day to Night
The polar opposite of shimmery frosted lipsticks and glosses, matte lipstick boasts richer pigmentation and a velvety finish that makes your lips the center of attention. But achieving flawless matte lip color can be tricky, especially for beginners. It’s important to start with a smooth canvas, and that means exfoliating regularly to remove dead skin and bumps. After that, it’s all about a great formula, which is why we’ve rounded up the best matte lipsticks to wear from day to night.
Whether you’re searching for a classic Hollywood red or vampy plum, there’s a matte shade to suit every skin tone and personal style. Keep scrolling to see our top picks, or click on the filters at the bottom of the page to refine your search by product availability, price, and more.
The best matte liquid lipsticks have a creamy texture that dries to a powdery, almost-translucent finish. They’re formulated to look like a second skin and are typically paraben-free, cruelty-free, and free of fragrance. Plus, they’re easy to apply with a lip brush or directly out of the tube.
This matte liquid lipstick from NARS has an incredibly natural, satiny finish that doesn’t settle into fine lines or feather. It’s formulated with light-diffusing optical diffusers to create a soft-focus effect on the lips and blur imperfections without feeling dry or cakey. The shade range is also impressive, with a selection of nudes, corals, and pinks to match any complexion.
While some people prefer to use a lip brush for applying their matte lipstick, others opt for an applicator that feels more like a lip pencil. The best ones have a custom-shaped doe foot that helps you lay down the right amount of product, says beauty editor Emily Dougherty. The shape is important because it ensures that your matte lipstick won’t go “awful outside the lines.”
Unlike more moisturizing lipsticks, matte shades tend to be unforgiving and show up any little flaw or crack in the lips. That’s why it’s a good idea to prep your lips before application, recommend the ladies at Stylecaster. They suggest exfoliating regularly, about two to three times a week, and that includes using oil and sugar scrubs on your lips.
A new kid on the matte lipstick block, this formula from Guerlain’s new Creative Director is rich and long-wearing. It’s formulated with nourishing mango butter and hyaluronic acid spheres to help lips feel soft, supple, and moisturized all day. Plus, the color is gorgeous — from soft neutrals to classic reds to vibrant purples and plums.
This gel formula from Mary Kay uses an innovative technology to deliver a soft-focus effect. It’s infused with gel microspheres to saturate lips in pure, stay-true color, while the lightweight formula doesn’t feel heavy or dry. It’s available in a wide array of colors to flatter any skin tone and it has a traditional bullet format. Plus, reviewers rave that it lasts and doesn’t dry out, fade, or flake during hours of wear.