Best matte liquid lipstick

Lip Makeup

If makeup remover doesn’t take off matte liquid lipstick, use a cleansing balm or petroleum jelly to lift the remaining color.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which matte liquid lipsticks are best?

A matte lip is a timeless look that has been embraced for almost 100 years among celebrities, influencers and beauty enthusiasts. However, matte lipstick isn’t the only formula you can use to recreate the iconic look. These days, there are hundreds of shades of matte liquid lipstick worth adding to your makeup collection.

While matte liquid lipsticks offer the signature one-dimensional color of matte lipstick, their formulas are lightweight and less drying. The top choice, Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick, is known for its luxurious texture that keeps lips soft and hydrated. 

What to know before you buy a matte liquid lipstick

How is matte liquid lipstick different from regular matte lipstick? 

Matte lipstick has a drying effect that often results in dry or cracked lips. Matte liquid lipstick, on the other hand, has a mousse-like texture that is smoother and more hydrating. As a “softer” formula, matte liquid lipstick is easier to apply, plus it’s more forgiving if you need to clean up smears or rogue lines.

On average, matte lipsticks have a shelf life of 18 to 24 months once they’re opened. Unfortunately, because matte liquid lipstick has a similar formula to lip glosses, its shelf life is notably shorter at 12 to 18 months. Generally speaking, the “wetter” a makeup formula is, the shorter its shelf life will be.

How to apply matte liquid lipstick

There are a few products that may help you get the most out of a matte liquid lipstick look:

  • Lip exfoliators slough away dry, dead skin, so lips are soft and smooth for better lip product application. 
  • Lip primer extends the wear time of lip products, including matte liquid lipstick and lip liner.
  • Lip liner shapes and defines lips, plus they create a barrier that separates lip color from the foundation.
  • Makeup setting spray may extend the wear time of makeup, and in particular, it may reduce the likelihood of smeared or faded lip products. 

What to look for in a quality matte liquid lipstick

Nourishing ingredients

Matte liquid lipstick often contains nourishing ingredients that soften, protect and hydrate lips. Hyaluronic acid, for example, draws moisture into lips. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects against pollutants and UV-related damage, and it has a restorative effect and moisturizes chapped lips. Shea butter and cocoa butter, both thick emollients, coat and protect lips while sealing in moisture.

Applicator

Most matte liquid lipsticks have sponge-tip applicators that are similar to those used for lip gloss. These applicators are slightly flexible, making them easy to maneuver around lips. For precision application, certain matte liquid lipsticks have contoured applicators that feature unique shapes, such as teardrops or tapered points. 

Glitter-matte finishes

Some matte liquid lipstick formulas are available with metallic or glitter finishes. They’re ideal for bold, edgy looks, given their vibrant pigments and multi-dimensional shine. However, these formulas are somewhat harder to remove than regular formulas. More often than not, they require waterproof makeup removers to take off the color and all flecks of glitter.

How much you can expect to spend on a matte liquid lipstick

Drugstore matte liquid lipsticks cost $6-$12, and you’ll need to stick to the upper part of the price range for long-wearing formulas. Matte liquid lipsticks made by premium beauty brands cost $18-$35. Certain brands release deluxe matte liquid lipstick sets that include up to eight shades and cost between $20-$60. 

Matte liquid lipstick FAQ

What colors should I buy for matte liquid lipstick?

A. Many people who prefer traditional matte lip look stick to bold red shades. Other individuals invest in various pink shades of matte liquid lipstick, ranging from dusty rose shades to deep magentas. However, if you’re looking for a few basic colors, stick to a medium-tone shade for daytime wear and a darker or bolder shade for nighttime wear. 

Are all liquid matte lipsticks high pigment?

A. Most liquid matte lipsticks are considered high pigment because they have intense, saturated color that appears opaque on lips. Some premium beauty brands may offer better-quality high-pigment formulas simply because they use quality ingredients that boost color intensity and wear time.

What’s the best matte liquid lipstick to buy?

Top matte liquid lipstick

Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick

Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick

What you need to know: This popular matte liquid lipstick keeps lips soft and smooth with several nourishing ingredients.

What you’ll love: The formula contains avocado oil, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to moisturize lips. It also has Volulip, a gentle lip-plumping ingredient. The applicator has an angled tip that makes precision application easy, especially around the corners of the mouth.  

What you should consider: There aren’t too many reds in the shade collection, and some of the pinks were brighter than expected. 

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta, Sephora and Macy’s

Top matte liquid lipstick for the money

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor

What you need to know: A favorite drugstore formula, this Revlon formula wears and performs just as well as some premium matte liquid lipsticks. 

What you’ll love: It doesn’t take more than one or two coats to achieve a rich, opaque color. The formula is a creamy gel, so it glides across lips for easy application. The lip color offers up to 12 hours of wear time, even in humid environments. 

What you should consider: Some varieties are fragranced, which is hit and miss among consumers. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Soft Matte Lip Cream

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Soft Matte Lip Cream

What you need to know: Lightweight yet luscious, this formula offers a barely-there wear experience that doesn’t compromise on pigment.

What you’ll love: The lip color is available in a diverse range in more than 24 shades. It comes with a soft, sponge-tip applicator that is gentle on the lips. Certain shades are dupes for those seen in premium beauty brands. 

What you should consider: As a lighter formula, it has a slightly shorter wear time than some richer formulas. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Ulta

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.