I'll admit I'm somewhat late to the matte liquid lipstick game - I've spent a good long while trying to resist the trend, as I much prefer comfortable balmy feel on my lips, but I can't deny that the whole nineties inspired, Kylie Jenner famed lip is a beautiful thing. I've jumped in with trepidation, going for slightly safer colours, and brand choices that avoided me the midnight scrum for a Kylie lip kit. For me that was the right approach, because I'm now addicted to wearing these shades in rotation, and can't wait to broaden my colour spectrum further, especially with Colourpop's news of delivery to the UK starting today!
So first things first, pretty much all matte liquid lipsticks are going to be drying - they're also all very long-lasting if they're worth their salt, so that's the kind of trade off we're dealing with here. You need to start with well prepped lips - exfoliated and free of flakey bits, and well nourished - I like to use a nice thick and nourishing balm over night to prepare my lips for the moisture zapping eventuality of wearing one of these lipsticks. I like Poutmud from Glam Glow and also the Nuxe Reve de Miel ultra nourishing lip balm.
Longevity on the lips tends to vary by brand but also by colour. I've found with the brands I've tried here - NYX, ColourPop, Sleek and Anastasia Beverly Hills, that the darker colours seem to last the longest, possibly because they contain more pigment and almost stain the lips. Of the ones I've tested here, the ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in Bianca was the longest lasting, followed by Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Soft Lilac, then NYX Lip Lingerie in Bedtime Flirt. Of the lighter shades I have here - Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Crush, still lasted very well but notably not as long, whereas NYX Lip Lingerie in Lace Detail was the weaker still with a much shorter wear time than Bedtime Flirt even though the shades aren't drastically different. However, it's also important to consider how these lip products fade - this is where NYX Lip Lingerie in Lace Detail is a winner as it faded in a really even and subtle way - partly helped by being less pigmented and a closer shade to my lips, but if I had to pick one of these to wear on a day where I can't be checking myself in the mirror all the time (...as if I would spend all day doing that...) it would be this shade. It all works in reverse really, as ColourPop's Ultra Matte Lip in Bianca and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Soft Lilac are the most obvious when it comes to wearing off - Soft Lilac in particular really wore off in the centre of my mouth through eating and drinking and started to give me that scary dark lipliner / nude lip effect... watch that be next year's big thing now I've slated that look!
For me though it's not all about how long these lipsticks last - I don't really expect anything to be looking as good at five as it did when I applied it at eight, and a post-lunch touch up with an opportunity to add a little moisture back in with a lip balm is an acceptable part of my routine. Ease of application however is a key priority. I remember a time when I never wore a dark or a red lip because i just couldn't get that all important lip outline even and symmetrical. These things come with practice of course, just like how I finally mastered painting my nails neatly and applying false lashes... still working on liquid liner! So the point here is that these are statement lip looks, and I'll only be wearing them if I get a crisp and slick looking finish, so which one applies the best? I'd love to tell you it's the budget buy, but actually, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks are really worth the money in my opinion - at $20 each via Sephora I wasn't expecting to say that, but I really do find these the easiest to apply - I think it all comes down to a careful combination of the right consistency, a good applicator, and the dry down time. With the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks I feel like I have enough time to move the product around on my lips and to tidy up the edges before the whole thing dries down - and one light layer is all I need. With the NYX Lip Lingeries I find the best method is to build up light layers of product quickly, as depending on the colour, the first coat might not be totally even, and a pencil liner underneath can really help get a more fleeky finish. And although I find ColourPop's Ultra Matte Lip Bianca the trickiest to apply as a lot of product comes out on the brush and the quick drying formula means things can get cakey fast if you're not careful, I really like the finish I get when I've applied it well, and I love the colour and the price!
Now you may have noticed that I've not mentioned the Sleek matte me lip creams yet, and this is because they need to be covered off slightly separately, as I've discovered they're just not really the same sort of product and formula as the rest. They're the technically the cheapest of the products I've tried here, and they work in quite a different way to the rest. Application is lovely and the shades Petal and Birthday suit are both very opaque and pretty with Petal being one of my favourites here, but initially they don't look matte on the lips at all. You have to wait for them to dry, and then they have quite a sticky finish and feel. Initially on dry down they look really pretty, but I think due to the stickiness and the fact that you're going to smoosh the product a bit generally talking, drinking etc, things start to look cakey and clumpy and the colour moves and disappears quite fast. Having had a look online there's actually a recommended application method which includes blotting the lips after application - this deals with the stickiness issue, but leaves a more muted look than the high impact full on matte we're going for, and doesn't increase wear time. Using them this way gives a really pretty look none the less, and I will still use and wear these shades, I just can't really count them in the same league as the other matte liquid lipsticks I've tried.
So if you're looking for something cheaper and mostly easier to get hold of than the Kylie liquid lipsticks but still want that long-lasting, bold matte lip look, I'd really recommend the NYX, Anastasia Beverly Hills or ColourPop products I tried - I'm really happy with the colours I went for too - they've all been really wearable. I didn't go for anything that was too much of a true brown or with any sort of orange undertone as I don't think that's a flattering look on me, but I'm certainly now ready to experiment a little further, and I think it's going to be with ColourPop, purely because they're going to be all that much easier to come by now that they ship to the UK. Watch this space for the haul!
What's your favourite matte liquid lipstick? Have you tried any of these?