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My Favorite Matte Lipstick Formulas

Hey everyone! Before I left for my pretty extended vacation, I thought I’d whip up a post showing you my favorite matte lipstick formulas. I’m pretty picky with lip products, though my stash may not seem like it. I figured out, for example, that I’m not really into very glossy lips or frost finishes. I’m pretty okay with satin or creams, but my (second) favorite kind of lip is a matte one. I think it’s because I have pretty full lips anyway—shininess just exaggerates my pout and not in a way that I appreciate.

I know mattes have a reputation for being fussy, so here are my favorite formulas to help you maybe find yours. Now, there are a lot of “matte” lip products that only masquerade as such. These picks on my personal list are pretty much shine-free. I’ll list them from great to best. Ahem.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipsticks
These are my first introduction to matte lipsticks. They are creamy, but not shiny, and they pack a lot of pigment. My first shade in the range, La Distinguée, is a sort of peachy neutral that is great for daily wear. Though they are not drying, I do find that you have to prep your lips before wearing these because the shade wears off horribly if you’ve got chapped lips—very evident when I wear a bright coral called La Favorite.

MAC Matte Lipsticks
I only have one matte lipstick by MAC and it’s one of my favorite lipsticks of all time. Mehr is a blue-toned dirty pink that’s easy to wear. I find this to be fairly low-maintenance, though I suspect that the shade is also one that fades away evenly. I have tried some other matte lipsticks by MAC like Russian Red, and I have to say that the quality is great across the board.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
These are ultra-smooth and creamy. I have three shades in the range—Bahama, Dolce Vita, and Damned—and I just want to get some more. I’ve got my eye on Bolero, but Shari has said that it wasn’t as great as the others in the range. I’ve read a lot of reviews on these lipsticks saying that they are drying, but that hasn’t been the case for me, personally. These are also really easy to apply. The downside is that they are pencils that need sharpening and that means product wastage.

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick
The NARS Pure Matte Lipsticks are, by far, my favorite mattes in the world. I have three shades as well—Montego Bay, Tonkin, and Mascate— and it took me a really long time before settling on the last two after I had such a great experience with my first one, Montego Bay. I have my eye on a few more… Thank God their range of shades is pretty small!

BONUS: A bonus one is one of my favorite red lipsticks to date, the Le Métier de Beauté Hydra-Crème Lipstick in Signature. Not all of the shades in the line are matte, though I found a few limited edition shades on Net-a-Porter that I may have to get (ahem, Amore, ahem). I do have a couple of nude mattes on hand right now, so perhaps some other time. This is a great formula, though, if you’re looking for a great nude.

Favorite Matte Lipstick Formulas - Swatches - Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet, Mac Matte, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, NARS Pure Matte, Le Metier de Beaute Hydra-Creme Matte
Swatched: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet (La Favorite), MAC Matte (Mehr), NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (Damned), NARS Pure Matte Lipstick (Mascate), Le Métier de Beauté Hydra-Crème Lipstick (Signature)

And that’s it! I hope this helps you out. I know it’s not really an extensive selection, but these are the ones that I’ve tried that I’ve truly loved so far.

What are your favorite mattes?

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  1. I think I have to have a 2 eyeshadow palettes and a blush palette before I finally say I am done with buying eye and cheek stuff. Once I’m done with that I’ll concentrate on lip stuff hehe. I have yet to try the Nars pure matte lipsticks. I have been wanting to try Mascate ever since I saw it on one of your posts! I kinda hate mac matte lipsticks though I think the ones I have do not really represent the range.

    • Which shades do you have? I have Mehr (WHICH I LOOOOVE) and have tried Russian Red (which I also love). 🙂

  2. Sigh. I’ve been admiring the NARS Pure Matte lipsticks for several years now. I like the look of Mascate, and Vesuvio!

    Matte finishes aren’t my favorite, though. I prefer satin finishes. 🙂

    Have fun on your vacation!!

    • I’m here, Pat! I saw this a few days ago. I usually read blogs on the way to and from work. But I left this one out and ‘starred’ it so I can savor it for later (now). Hahaha.

      I have yet to try lmdb and chanel. I always forget about all other brands whenever I see Nars. Nars can really turn on my collect-all-them-colors’ switch. 😀 Some of the pure matte ones, I don’t like, because they put frost in it to make it somewhat two-toned. Good thing Carthage and Mascate don’t have those shimmers. Valparaiso and Bangkok has them 😦 I want to try Montego Bay!

      • Hay nako, NARS is like a magnet talaga. Every time I feel like I overload on it, I think of something else “I’ve been meaning to try,” hahaha. D: I wanted Valparaiso also, but recoiled at the sight of the GLITTER. HUHU. Montego Bay is beautiful! I don’t remember if you don’t like the pinks (I know you don’t like corals/oranges!) but this is a touch pinker than Tonkin, which I also like but can be a bit too brown for me at times.

      • I like pinks. 🙂 I just don’t like them when they lean towards peach, coral, or “rose” (do you know what color rose is???).

        I think I meant to buy something like Montego Bay when I grabbed Bangkok 😦

      • HAHA I think Rose is like a pinky-red! That’s how I understand it, though now that I think about it, I rarely see actual roses in that color.

        Oh no! Montego Bay is the shit, lol. ❤

  3. My favourite matte red is a Nars Velvet matte lip pencil in the colour dragon girl! It’s like my best red colour! Ooh the Chanel lipstick sounds nice too! ❤

  4. I agree about what you said about the Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet that the lips should be prepped first. I am lucky to have won one, and the formula is as if not matte when being applied because of how creamy it is, but it is definitely matte on the lips. I also like the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (I have Lodhi!) and MAC Matte Lipsticks. 🙂

  5. I didn’t know the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils were reviewed as drying. I totally love it and think it’s one of the more comfortable formulations in my arsenal 😦

    I’m loving my MUA Luxe Lip Velvet 🙂 It’s liquid but the color (Kooky – violet) is super striking!

    • Diba? I love it soooo much, IDK why it’s so dry for other people. 😦

      Ooh, I’ve yet to try those!

  6. matte is my all time fave finish. love the nars mattes! we could all use more nars velvet mattes. mac retro mattes are also awesome 🙂 and illamasqua as well. if you get a chance to visit a mac pro store while on vacation, the mac lip mixes are great (what i wish OCC was instead). there is one in the forum shops of ceasar’s palace. drug store wise nothing beats nyx and wet n wild mattes, except that not all the wet n wild shades are truly matte. there are some really spectacular matte liquid lippies out there too!

    • The only Illamasqua matte I have was so drying and hard that I broke the bullet trying to apply more coats D: Thank you for the recs! I got WnW Just Peachy and I love it!

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