'Tis the season for a luscious red lip. No matter the weather or variety of hues seen on the runways, a bold red pout will always be in style and on trend, and the latest way to wear it is with matte shades that offer no shine but plenty of drama. Matte lipsticks are typically highly pigmented, rich in color and made to last for long days. This irresistible texture will compliment a smoky eye for all your glamorous holiday parties. Without the proper technique, however, a perfectly painted matte lip can appear unsmooth, dry and flaky. Follow these steps from Houston makeup artists and enthusiasts to perfect your pout for fall.
1. Exfoliate, hydrate and moisturize
A matte lip tends to emphasize all the imperfections of your lips, which is why it’s extremely important to prepare your lips before applying color.
“First things first, exfoliate and scrub,” says Oscar Bispe, a Houston Community College fashion student. Exfoliating your lips is just as important as exfoliating the rest of your body. While they may feel smooth, there are dead cells that will show up under lipstick. Gently buff them away with a scrub or soft toothbrush. Makeup enthusiast Melina Sosa always makes sure to use lip scrubs and chap stick. “[I] make sure my lips are rejuvenated and moisturized to prevent flaking/cracking,” she says.
Beautifully Bronzed owner Jessica Cortez, a spray tan technician and makeup artist, tells all her clients to hydrate their lips. “The last thing anyone wants is cracked, flaky, not-at-all-pretty lips after you apply your color.” Cortez also tells her clients to moisturize with a good lip balm for a more even application. She recommends a scented sweet chai lip scrub from Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques ($5.95) because it both moisturizes and exfoliates: “It is even organic. Win! Win!”
2. Conceal and line
Concealing your lips before applying color helps the color pop, while lining your lip creates a smooth base while virtually guaranteeing it stays on throughout the day.
“If you are going for an attention-getting shade, always line your lips first,” says Cortez. “Make sure you choose a liner similar in color to your lipstick. This will always create boundaries for your lips and helps hold the color in place. No one wants bleeding color all over the place.”
3. Apply your lip color
Use a lip brush—it will make it easy to cover every corner and edge of your pout. “Sometimes, the brush that comes with the lipstick is too thick, so it’s better to use a specific brush,” Bispe says.
As for color, last fall oxblood was the It shade. This fall it’s still popular, but in a deeper hue—think reddish-browns and burgundy. “My current favorite go-to fall lip color is defiantly more on the vampy side,” says Sosa. “I love my nude lip colors but this season I wanted to go with more of a bold, deep look.” The 22-year-old swears by Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, which glides over your pout like a lipgloss but dries to a matte finish. Sosa is partial to Vampira, a deep reddish-burgundy shade.
During the day Bispe recommends a reddish-brown and for the evening a dark plum or deep violet. The fashion student from Colombia says NYX Cosmetics are his go-to drugstore purchase. “It gives a good matte lip and can be found in any drugstore or supermarket.” For something a little more luxurious, he likes Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid matte lipstick and the offbeat colors —think royal blue—of the Velour Liquid lipsticks by Jeffree Starr.
“Jeffree Starr Cosmetics is a good brand if you are daring and want to step outside the box,” says Bispe. As a bonus, Bispe says they can also be worn as eyeliner—but we’ll save those tricks for another day.