As a lipstick hoarder, I own my fair share of nearly every brand in a limited range of colors from “brunch with parents appropriate” to “rave-requisite” to “don’t talk to me vampy." I probably wear the same five of them in rotation. Some of them I own “just to have” because that is what hoarders do.
My go-to is generally always a matte formula because they look cool and modern, and are also less likely to migrate to my teeth. I find drugstore brands just as covetable as fancy prestige lipsticks, likening whipping out a Tom Ford lipstick to that scene in American Psycho when all the business dudes are comparing identical-looking business cards. It’s all lipstick, but some just feel special. Fancy special.
That said, don’t go broke over lipstick. Here are some of my picks for (relatively) new fall mattes.
THE BEST COLOR YOU CAN FIND IN A DRUGSTORE
NYX seriously makes amazing lip colors. The formulas are super-pigmented and long-lasting. Their Creamy Matte Liquid Lipsticks were always sold out, sadly, but then they released their Liquid Suede ($6.99) in late summer with a number of candy-bright colors I mentally put on a check-list to buy.
My favorite is Amethyst, a vibrant violet (duh) shade that goes on opaque in one swipe. It feels very much so like suede or velvet or any other non-torturously dry texture that becomes the pitfall of many matte formulas. And the color will last for hours, granted you don’t eat, drink or kiss anything.
THE MATTE THAT GOES THE EXTRA MILE
Few would expect lipstick to go the extra mile to style itself. But then Maybelline was like “Here you go!” when dropping their Color Blur ($8.99) matte lippies.
On one end is the lipstick and on the other is an eraser-like tool you use to blur the color to create a stain effect or gradient. I personally love the rough lip look, so I do this with my fingers anyway, blurring the outlines. This just ensures I don’t have to find something to wipe my finger on afterwards. It’s the little things, you know?
I should note that the lipstick formula itself is pretty boss on its own—light-feeling, opaque and very creamy.
Also, as someone who doesn’t really go for orange lip colors, this Orange Ya Glad shade (I know, I know) is actually really pretty. When you blur the edges it doesn’t appear so statement lip, and just looks a bit effortless.
THE MODEL-MADE MATTE
Sometime after her radical bright purple lipstick from the Met Gala last year, Joan Smalls probably thought to herself, Man, I’m pretty good at lipstick. I should make some. And then Estee Lauder came knocking and the rest is history.
Her 12-shade Pure Color Envy Matte collection ($30 each) does indeed have a similar shade to that red carpet purple, but there are also other treasures, my fave, being Extrovert, the gothed-out version of that aforementioned purple. I’m a sucker for purple lipstick. Clearly.
The shade Commanding is pretty cool too. Apparently Smalls had her Instagram followers name this shade in either a bout of laziness or more likely a way to include her fans in her work. Instagram is truly a platform that brings people together. This deep berry red ain’t so bad either.
THE DIVA MATTE
Charlotte Tilbury always has the prettiest, most diva-looking makeup in her collection. Plus, the formulas are usually an amplified version of whatever they claim to be. The shimmers are uber-shimmery, and the mattes are like the Rolls Royce of mattes—amazingly lush color and texture.
Seriously, these Matte Revolution lipsticks ($32) feel like a velvety mousse on your lips. It fills every crease in your lips so the wash of color looks pressed in. The square tip actually makes them very easy to glide around the shape of your lips too.
Brown lipstick has a tendency to look a bit Augustus Gloop on me, so this shade, Birkin Brown, was a nice soft version of that '90s trend. Remember what I said about liking the “rough lip” look? These lipsticks manage to give you that, without the parched feeling, and a bunch of “your lips but better” shades that lean heavy on glamour without looking high-maintenance (heaven forbid).
THE ULTIMATE TREAT-YO'SELF
When I read that Christian Louboutin was releasing Velvet Matte Lip Colour and saw the press photos I was pretty much like, “Welp, here, just have this money.”
At $90 a tube, these lipsticks are pretty much at objet d’art status. I mean, just look at it. It even comes with its own little pouch to hold it, and a pretty lace to string around your neck. A luxury accessory AND beauty product—a slight justification for purchasing, even though I knew I was already going to do that.
I picked this deep plummy shade, Djalouzi, that may sound like the particular brand of luxury envy that comes from seeing such splendor, but… I don’t know what it means. What it looks like is this, and what it feels like is silk or angel wings or kittens paws—basically it is a very lush formula.
The pigment is strong, almost a stain so when it fades, as all lipsticks do, it does so evenly without leaving a weird line around the end of my mouth. For a luxury lipstick, the formula lives up to expectation, thankfully.
Wearing it around my neck makes me too afraid that it’ll slip out of the cap, in some freak accident, but man… is that one attractive tube of lipstick.
- Are you guys lipstick hoarders?
- What’s the most you’d be willing to pay for a beloved beauty product?
- Any other new matte lipstick recommendations?