A Celebrity Makeup Artist Tells Us the Best Matte Lipsticks You Can Buy

Aaaand, they start at just 4 bucks.

“There are more mattes out there than I have ever seen in 15 years as a makeup artist,” says New York City-based celebrity makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor, who has worked with SNL actress Sasheer Zamata and brands like Covergirl, of the lipstick trend that’s moved off the runways onto pretty much everyone’s lips. But finding the perfect formula comes with a fair amount of trial and error.

 

“Some of the newest ones are super matte to the point where they can look dry and actually make it look like your lips have wrinkles,” he explains. "But … there are some great ones I love using on clients, celebs, on television, and in editorials."  Ahead, his 10 go-to matte lipsticks.

Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Blood Orange

Why He Loves It: “Probably the easiest-to-use matte lip color out there, this formula is richly pigmented—but its creamy texture and twist-up applicator make it easy to create a precise lip look easily.” 

Andrew’s Color Pick: “The warm red-orange color Blood Orange pops against any skin tone creating a contrast that brings out your lips, brightens your whole face, and looks especially great during spring and summer months.”

BUY FROM: Sephora, $24

Covergirl Queen Collection Soft Matte Lipstick in Caramel Curtsey

Why He Loves It: “These lipsticks are infused with shea butter, which is a rare ingredient that moisturizes without looking shiny. Lips are moisturized and matte.” 

Andrew’s Color Pick: “Caramel Curtsey is a nude that has more of a brown beige than pink or peach, which makes it a gorgeous nude lip color for women with deeper skintones.”

BUY FROM: Jet, $7.65

Fiona Stiles Signature Soft Matte Lip Color in Rennie

Why He Loves It: “Created by celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles, this lightweight formula has rich color but feels like nothing’s on your lips.”

Andrew’s Color Pick: “My favorite color from the bunch is Rennie, which is neither pink nor plum but right in-between, which makes it perfect for anyone trying to find a color that looks great whether you’re running around L.A. in jeans or getting dressed up for a big event.”

BUY FROM: Ulta, SALE $4 (Regularly $14, 75% Off!)

Surratt Beauty Automatique Lip Crayon in Scantilly Clad

Why He Loves It: “The packaging of Surratt Beauty Automatique Lip Crayon is shorter than most other mechanical crayons, so you’re getting the same amount of product, but a product that doesn't take up as much space in your handbag (or my makeup kit).”

Andrew’s Color Pick: “For some reason, it’s really hard to find peachy nude lip colors in matte pencil form. However, Scantilly Clad is kinda perfect. It’s got enough color to show up, and in a formula that lasts up to six hours.”

BUY FROM: Sephora, $34

MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Feels So Grand

Why He Loves It: “It's loaded with pigment and it's not as creamy as other lipsticks, which means it doesn't slide around.”

Andrew’s Color Pick:  “I’m obsessed with MAC’s Ruby Woo lipstick and I always have at least two new ones waiting in my closet. My trick has been to chop it up and mix it in a jar with a creamier red lipstick. When you apply it with a brush, you still get the same color of Ruby Woo, but it goes on more smoothly. That said, I find myself again and again reaching for the Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick in Feels So Grand. It’s a true red color, but it goes on evenly with one smooth swipe, and you still get that classic matte finish.”

BUY FROM: Nordstrom, $21

Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Lip Color in Midnight

Why He Loves It: “I used to think of Rimmel London for the pale lips and British style. They’ve been changing things up with their new ‘Edge Your Look’ campaign, and introducing some trendier colors.”

Andrew’s Color Pick: “I really like the Stay Matte Liquid Lip Color in Midnight which is a truly matte, truly long wearing, matte lip paint in deep dark plum. You can go even farther with colors that would be hard to find in drugstores like blue, gray, and pitch black.”

BUY FROM: Ulta, $5.49

Bobbi Brown Art Stick Liquid Lip

Why He Loves It: “Bobbi Brown’s new Art Sticks liquid lip color are different from the paints and lip stains we’ve seen before. The texture feels almost exactly like your favorite lipstick was blended smoothly and put into a crayon shaped tube. It only takes bit for the color to show up, and I’ve used it a lot for actresses on television because it can look so natural, but better! The finish becomes creamier if you apply extra color,”

Andrew’s Color Pick: “My favorite is Vintage Pink which looks like a cheek color, and when worn on the lips, refreshing your entire complexion.”

BUY FROM: Nordstrom, $28 

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

Why He Loves It: “This is the most famous jumbo lip crayon ever, I’ve had actresses specifically ask to wear it for a night out. It’s easy for you to retouch yourself, and the color is super rich.”

Andrew’s Color Pick: “Dragongirl is a shade of red that’s just slightly brightened and slightly warmed to make it contrast a bit more with your skin, making it feel dressier and a bold statement.”

BUY FROM: Sephora, $27

Hard Candy Velvet Mousse in Dahlia

Why He Loves It: “Hard Candy Velvet Mousse applies much more smoothly compared to most other liquid lip colors, and I fully trust in on the red carpet or live TV when there’s no such thing as Photoshop or Instagram Filters!”

Andrew’s Color Pick: “I rarely finish an entire tube of lipstick because I try so many different shades--but this one really kept my attention. The color’s just right. I used it on actress/comedian Sasheer Zamata for the MTV Video Music Awards, and it’s become a color we go back to again and again. Sometimes, without even thinking, I’ll just reach for this brown burgundy shade as if it’s her foundation we use every time.”

BUY FROM: Walmart, $6

Laura Mercier Velour Lip Lovers Lip Colour in An Affair

Why He Loves It: “Always about a fresh look and healthy skin, the Laura Mercier Velour Lip Lovers Lip Colour has mango butter to moisturize and give lips a satin matte finish that’s on trend, but softer and smoother that what some brands deliver. It’s perfect if you’re someone who wants to reapply lipstick for moisture, but doesn’t want to layer lip balm and lipstick separately.”

Andrew’s Color Pick: “An Affair is just enough color without overwhelming your face.”

BUY FROM: Nordstrom, $28 

Urban Decay Matte Revolution in Menace

Why He Loves It: “Urban Decay Matte Revolution comes in a flat top angled tube which makes it really easy to ‘press and draw’ the Cupid’s bow to give your lips the look of more fullness.”

Andrew’s Color Pick: “When it comes to really bright shades on lips, I tend to prefer a matte finish vs a glossy finish. I love sheer candy pink gloss, but for a brighter bubblegum or fuchsia color, you just look so much more elegant in a matte finish like bright pink Menace.”

BUY FROM: Urban Decay, SALE $10 (Regularly $22, 55% Off!)

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