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How to Make Any Lipstick Look Matte

How can you apply a matte lip look? It's all in the technique. Get the trendiest matte lipstick look by following our guide.

woman wearing red turtleneck and red matte lipstick

A Matte Lipstick Look With Any Lip Product

PSA: You can add a matte lipstick finish to every single one of your lip hues.

Adding shine and sparkle to your lips is as easy as swiping on lip gloss. How hard could it be to tone down the glow of a glossy lipstick? It sounds like an unbelievable claim to those not in the know, but this easy trick is one of the beauty industry’s oldest open secrets. You may have one or a few friends already using this hassle-free technique to make their lip colors more long-lasting and transfer-proof.

When we say any lipstick, we mean everything from nude shades to deep tints—sheer or heavily pigmented, satin or lacquer finish, stick or liquid. Dig deep into your makeup drawer and unearth that miniature graveyard of lip colors that you’ve all but forgotten about.

A matte lipstick product can sometimes feel incomplete, lacking that rich and felted-seeming finish. Other times, the formula can be too dehydrating and may result in cracked lips. You can avoid both scenarios—and save some money—by mattifying your favorite reliable lip color instead.

What Do You Need to Get Your Own Matte Lipstick Finish?

Everything you need is already in your makeup kit. Apart from your lipstick of choice, you need some facial tissue, a cosmetic applicator sponge, and translucent face powder.

The tissue needs to be very thin. Try separating a single ply from a whole facial tissue sheet to get a finer surface to work with later on.

We will discuss two powder application techniques below, which is where the brush and sponge come in. You may use a makeup brush instead of a sponge for the first technique, but the latter will be much easier to clean—or replace—in the long run. However, a makeup brush is essential to the second technique.

Translucent face powder is recommended so as not to alter the hue of your lipstick too much. A loose powder may be easier to use, but compact power will do in a pinch.

First Step: Prep Your Lips and Apply Color

Make sure your lips are exfoliated before you apply any cosmetic product. You may use a lip scrub or a lip conditioner to moisturize the area. This loosens dead skin buildup that needs to come off before you put on your lipstick, too. Skipping this preparatory ritual will result in an uneven application and a splotchy, unfinished look.

You may apply foundation to sit underneath your lipstick if you’re extra worried about the color transferring or smudging. Use a lip liner to mark your lip shape, then fill in with lipstick the way you normally would.

Second Step: Blot Out Excess Lip Product and Reapply

Take some blotting paper or some tissue—a normal one, not the fine single-ply—and blot your lips. An easy way to do this is to fold the sheet in half, put it in between your lips, and then press your lips together.

Once you’ve completely transferred the excess product onto your blotting paper or tissue, reapply your lip color and repeat the process. This part is to get the most out of your lipstick pigments while removing the majority of the shine or gloss.

Skip reapplication if you’re using a see-through lip hue and would like to achieve a sheer matte finish on purpose.

Final Step: Use Powder to Mattify Your Lips

There are several ways to apply powder on top of your lipstick. If you’re in a hurry and are going for a heavy matte look anyway, you can take your makeup sponge, roll it in your face powder, and then press over your lips. Smile wide to get every bit of your lips coated and pay extra attention to the corners. Smack your lips together to get the products to blend and you’re good to go.

Not sure how heavy you want your matte lip to turn out? You can try a more time-consuming and delicate method that gives you more control over the resulting lip color.

Swap your sponge for a single-ply tissue and a makeup brush. Place the thin sheet on your lips. Use the makeup brush to pick up some translucent powder and then, with a light hand, apply the powder directly on the tissue. Aim for the part that’s over your lips, of course.

This technique uses the tissue as a filter to keep you from over-applying. It helps add a gradual matte finish that you can keep layering over with more powder until you’re satisfied with the look.

Whichever trick you use, the powder is meant to set the lip color, making it last longer on top of adding velvety topcoat.

Resources— Bustle, Instructables, Into The Gloss, StyleCraze