The Matte Red Lip is Everything


Gone are the days of the glossy red lip. We assume it's flying high in some alternate universe that's still stuck in 1980s. The type of red lip to have these days? Matte.

Just in case you're not sure, "matte" is the term used to describe the opposite of shiny. Matte lips are reminiscent of old school glam, before gloss was invented and then infused into lipsticks. And while we wouldn't say it's completely out of fashion to go out with a bit of shine on your kisser, the matte red lip is de rigueur. How do you pull it off? It's simple really, just a few tricks up your sleeve will give you a pout to envy. And that's not just lip service!

1. It's all about color. The wrong color will give your skin a sick pallor or age you. And that's a big no-no. You've got to know whether you're a cool or warm-toned lady. Here's how: look at the underside of your wrist. If your veins are greenish looking you're warm-toned. If they're purple or blue looking your cool-toned. The veins tell the story, not your actual skin color. For cooler skin tones, there are red-blue lipsticks on the market — some are even labeled that way. There are also orange-based lipsticks for warm tones. A great red-blue matte is Ruby Woo from M.A.C. A good orange-base matte lip color is Sephora's Orange Rocks.

2. It's all about Matte: When you're color-selecting, make sure you're picking out a matte lipstick. If the description says it's semi-matte or provides "shine" you're looking at the wrong kind. Your best bet is to go for a brand that uses "matte" in the label or name of the particular lipstick. Some brands that do this are Revlon, Lancome, SephoraShiseido, and NYX.

3. It's all about the right application: There are a lot of little tricks of the trade to prevent feathering, bleeding, and color that wears off. What you really need is a cream-based lipliner which is nude or matches the color of your lipstick. Start by using it to first outline your lips and then fill them in completely. The next thing you need is concealer. Use an angled brush to apply concealer to the outermost edge of your lips, all the way around. This gives a clean, sharp line that stays. The last thing you need is a lip brush. Use the brush to apply the actual matte lipstick to your lips (on top of the lip liner). This gives you the ultimate control for staying in the lines you so carefully laid out.

4. It's all about avoiding pitfalls: Here are a couple of things to remember so your application looks 100% professional. Exfoliate your lips first if you have chapped skin to achieve a smooth texture. You can do this with a soft-bristle, wetted, toothbrush. Keeping your lips moisturized on a regular basis is also a good way to combat this little problem. When you apply liner and lipstick, open your mouth wide and get fully into the corners of your mouth. Otherwise, when you start talking, it'll look like you missed a couple of spots. Prevent lipstick-on-teeth syndrome by putting your index finger in your mouth, forming a tight "O" around it and slowly drawing it out. Yes, it looks silly. But it's better than blotting with a tissue, which takes away some of your vibrant color.

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