Monday, July 14, 2014

How To: Matte Red Lips

It's taken me a while to get on the matte lip trend let alone a red matte lip. I mean, my past experiences have left my pout feeling more than dehydrated, uncomfortable and far from the chic look I was going for. Things have kind of moved on since then though - formulas have changed, things are looking a little more appropriate and your drugstore brands are pulling out some real winners, what's not to love? Well, there's still kind of a knack to getting the perfect matte red lip. Here are a few of my tips:

This is serious stuff, a matte red lip. Red lips in general can be a toughie but matte? Oh boy. The key to success is preparation - fail to prepare, prepare to fail. No truer word has been said. I like to start off by scrubbing my lips, preferably the night before, with something like Lush Mint Julips lip scrub. This gets rid of any dry, dead skin and instead leaves a perfect blank canvas - matte lip products cling to anything and everything, don't give it an excuse. I say the night before because it's just so easy to get it done in your evening routine before bed. Then follow it up with a super moisturising lip balm. I adore Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream for this - it's super thick and heavy duty and really nourishes that pout overnight. You'll wake up in the morning with super smooth, soft lips ready for action.

Pre-Lip Action
Kinda like prep, but this is for straight before. Depending on what type of matte lip product you're using, you may want to skip this step. If I'm wearing something like Rimmel Kate Moss 107 or a Retro Matte from MAC like RiRi Woo, which are more drying than others, I'll go in with my MAC Prep+Prime Lip. It's a clear balm that you apply a light layer of and allow to dry for 30 seconds or so before applying said lip product of choice. It creates a moisturising barrier to make the matte lipstick sit a little more comfortably. Alternatively, just try a standard lip balm like a Chapstick that's matte in finish but can give some added hydration.

Application - less is more.
Always. Less is always more. Particularly with the matte glosses, like Hourglass and Bourjois. These babies, when layered up, can become cakey and wear off pretty quickly. A light layer, one swipe - no backwards and forwards motions please - will do the job and mean it'll set quicker and stay put for longer. Even with matte pencils/crayons/lipsticks - less is more. Now say it with me: less is more, less is more.

Those are pretty much my go-to tips to remember when wearing a matte red lip. Sure this can be applied to any matte lip colour but I think red is the trickiest to pull off. Oh, my personal favourite matte reds? Here you go:

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square (link)
Topshop Lip Crayon in Royal (no longer available!)
Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Hot Pepper (link)
Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Riviera (link)
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout (link)

Do you have any tips for wearing a matte lip?



  1. Oh! It's a shame the Topshop one is no longer available, it's gorgeous! And I agree with the 'less is more' tip. I applying a little bit and blending it with my finger. If I want a bolder look I just keep adding more, but that way you make sure there is no excess :)

  2. such a useful post! I love matte red lips but agree they can take a lot of work! I love the Revlon Colourburst in Standout too, absolute love how it's more pink toned x xx

  3. The NARS Red Square is very similar to Topshop Royal if you want an alternative :) (It's also a bit more comfortable on the lips!) Also, thanks for your tip! x

  4. It's beautiful - it's like a deep raspberry whereas my others tend to be orange-toned :) x

  5. I love a matte red lip every now and again. i really am enjoying the Bourjois rouge edition velvets and the Kate moss lipstick in the shade 107! Great post! xx

  6. My lush lipscrub is a life saver when wearing a matte red lip! Please check out my blog :)