Your Matte Lipstick Looking Meh? Try These Tricks To Make It Pop

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Chances are, you have a love-hate relationship with long lasting matte lipstick. On the one hand, matte lipstick can make you look like a Hollywood star when done right. On the other, it’s easy for matte lipstick to go so, so wrong.

Matte lipstick formulas have a tendency to be super drying, leading to flaky, crumbling lipstick looks. They also bleed past the lip line more often than they should, making your carefully applied color smear and stain the skin around your lips. No thanks! 

This list covers all the matte lipstick hacks you need in order to keep your lips looking right. Turns out, the trick is in knowing how to apply matte lipstick to stop problems before they start. These matte lipstick tips will change your life – and your pout!

Photo: user uploaded image

  • 1
    138 VOTES

    Apply The Rest Of Your Makeup First


    If you're following a full lip care routine – including exfoliating, moisturizing, and priming – your lips could use a break. To give all those formulas time to sink in and do their jobs, finish the rest of your makeup before applying lip color.

    As you apply your foundation and brush on your blush, your lips will dry into the perfect, plump canvas for your matte lipstick. Plus, having foundation or powder around your lips will help keep your lip color from bleeding.

    138 votes
  • 2
    237 VOTES

    Exfoliate Your Lips


    If your matte lipstick has a tendency to look cakey, then dead skin may be the culprit. Exfoliating your lips is key for sloughing off rough cells and creating a smooth surface for your matte lipstick to stick to. You can use a DIY sugar scrub or a soft-bristle toothbrush to do this, or reach for a product like this stick from e.l.f. Cosmetics.

    237 votes
  • 3
    105 VOTES

    If You Need To Touch Up, Start From Scratch


    Matte lipsticks are wonderful, but they're not magic. No matter how good your formula is, it will likely fade throughout the day, or at the very least wear off in the middle of your lips after eating and drinking. When that happens, you'll get the urge to reapply – but be warned, if you reapply on top of the first coat, you're asking for a dry, flaky mess. Instead, remove all the leftover lipstick and start from scratch. This will ensure a smooth, even application with no crumbles in sight.

    105 votes
  • 4
    61 VOTES

    Blot Your Lips


    A post shared by Five Fifty Five (@lipstickblotter) on


    Matte lipstick that crumbles throughout the day can be avoided with some strategic lip blotting after application. Here's the thing about matte lipsticks, especially liquids: any excess formula will dry in clumps, since it's not sticking to your lips. To avoid this not-so-attractive effect, make sure to blot your matte lipstick with a tissue or blotting papers directly after you apply it. Problem solved!

    61 votes
  • 5
    118 VOTES

    Moisturize That Pout


    You wouldn't apply your makeup without first moisturizing your skin, so why would you apply lipstick without moisturizing your lips? This crucial step in your makeup prep routine could mean the difference between dry, flaky lips and gorgeous, juicy lips! Apply a lip moisturizer (like this one from Malin + Goetz) to nourish your skin and fill in any cracks.

    118 votes
  • 6
    79 VOTES

    Find A Color That Flatters Your Skin Tone


    A post shared by Pat McGrath (@patmcgrathreal) on


    You should always reach for lipsticks in shades that flatter your skin tone and undertones, but that's especially true of matte lipsticks. If your shade is all wrong, it will make any flakiness or crumbling even more noticeable.

    Identify your skin tone (porcelain, ivory, tan, caramel, mocha, etc.) and your undertone (cool, neutral, or warm) before selecting a matte lipstick color. Generally, lipsticks with blue undertones look best on cool skin; lipsticks with orange undertones look best on warm skin. 

    79 votes