This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
For the average person, the promise to love someone (or some thing) for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health is reserved for wedding vows, ’til death do them part. For us, the same could be said about our favorite matte lipstick.
There’s a time and a place for glosses, stains, and sheer balms, but a good matte lip color is always a requirement to have on hand. After all, what’s there to not love about major pigment that lasts through a burger and/or a kiss? But not all matte formulas are made equally magical; some leave lips sandpaper-y, others go on smooth but feather and bleed in minutes.
So when you find a matte lipstick that has serious color payoff, doesn’t make lips shrivel up into themselves, and can hold strong through a makeout or pizza session, then you’ve found a keeper. Ahead, find the matte formulas our editors are loving for the long haul.
“About every six months I decide to sort through my growing lipstick collection and, despite a minor struggle, eventually part with a bulk of the bullets I’ve barely used. Still, after several rounds of clean-outs, I’ve never once given away or tossed one of these. The formula is a soft matte and dries to a diffused, pillow-y finish. I’ve collected so many at this point that I’m going to have to include them in my last will and testament. This coral pink bullet, Amazing Grace, is the only neutral I own that I get compliments on. It’s perfect.” — Sam Sasso, beauty writer
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Amazing Grace, $34, available at Charlotte Tilbury
“Admittedly, I use a lot of lipsticks I don’t love — our jobs require us to try new, sometimes unlikable formulas. But on the rare occasion I’m not testing something straight out of a lab, I’ll return to an old and faithful friend: NARS Velvet Lip Glide. Okay, okay, it’s a semi- matte finish, but the creamy, velvet-y texture is just too good to resist. I always reach for the shade Roseland, a rosy blush color that looks good on a variety of complexions.” — Sasso
NARS Velvet Lip Glide – Roseland, $26, available at NARS
“This winter, I’ve noticed I keep accidentally matching my lipstick shade to the color of my turtleneck. Is this the least sexy trend of all time? Maybe so! Do I love it though? Absolutely. Anyway, this particular shade is a burgundy dream that matches my Uniqlo wool turtleneck perfectly. The formula is instantly nourishing and smooth and lasts into the night for me, dinner and drinks and more drinks included. Also, since it’s a pencil, it fits right into my super-small going-out bag. My one groan about it is that I wish there was more formula to be had in this slim little stick.” — Rachel Lubitz, senior beauty writer
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – Consuming Red, $27, available at Net-A-Porter
“One of my biggest lipstick-related frustrations is putting a color on only to find it smeared all over my chin after my first sip of coffee. That’s a non-issue any time I wear this liquid formula, which is rich and goes on super opaque — a little will completely cover your lips. It has a super skinny doe-foot applicator so you can line and shade in without coloring on your face, and dries down to a comfortable velvet finish that won’t flake on you… even if your date does.” — Aimee Simeon, beauty writer
Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick, $21, available at Sephora
“I didn’t think the perfect lipstick existed until I used Maybelline’s Super Stay Matte Ink. The liquid formula delivers everything you could possibly want in a lipstick: It lasts forever, comes in a handful of vivid shades, is just nourishing enough, and will not budge, no matter how many slices of pizza you eat — or shots you throw back. If I truly had to choose one lipstick to wear everyday for the rest of my life, this would be it (as long as I have a good makeup remover to get it off).” — Simeon
Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick, Lover, $7.94, available at Walmart
“I only wear matte lipstick. Some people claim that they’re too drying, but in my opinion, that’s a small price to pay for a lip color that lasts hours. I love this lightweight liquid formula because it actually doesn’t make my lips feel like I put on a layer of Super Glue, and the color is powerful — you don’t need to put on multiple layers to get the exact shade that’s in the tube. Now, it does take a little bit of practice to get used to the watery texture, but once you do, it’s like every other matte lipstick is second best.” — Jessica Cruel, deputy beauty director
NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Rock With You, $26, available at Sephora
“As someone with dry lips, it’s quite rare that I find a matte lipstick that I like. But there are some options that have made me a believer, like this rich, creamy formula, which makes me forget I’m even applying a matte lipstick in the first place. It feels totally weightless once it’s on, and I’d honestly wear the shade Flesh 5 on the hottest day of the summer or in the harshest winter weather with zero regrets.” — Thatiana Diaz, beauty writer
Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick in Flesh 5, $38, available at Sephora
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