The Best of Both Worlds: Liquid Lipsticks That Turn Matte

There’s an urban legend in the world of beauty involving an American makeup artist in Paris who can paint the perfect red lip with three strokes of a thick brush dipped in any pigment—even if it’s true, it takes a bit more work for most of us. Matte lipstick is especially hard to maneuver: it’s hyper-pigmented, dry, and not at all easy to blend. But it makes an outfit once it’s on and, if you’re lucky, stays put for hours. So if you could score the power of a matte lip with the ease of applying gloss, we bet you’d wear it a lot more often. We certainly would.

Thankfully, an increasing number of brands are jumping on that bandwagon. Hourglass’ Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick ($28) was everywhere this award season—from Zooey Deschanel to Jessica Alba—thanks to its almost unbelievable staying power (it promises to last 14 hours!). Not to mention it’s full of antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E to keep lips moisturized and flaking at bay. Nyx’s Soft Matte Lip Cream ($6) is a bit thicker upon application, but comes in a similar range of colors.

If you need something to last even longer, try Kat Von D’s Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick ($19). It’s deceivingly wet out of the tube, but once it’s dry, good luck getting it off! If you prefer natural shades of lipstick, Sephora Collection’s Cream Lip Stain ($12) comes in rich browns and berries.

On the splurge end of the spectrum, there’s Armani’s new Lip Maestro ($32), pictured in 504. Each one’s so rich in pigment that just one coat lasts all day, fading into an even stain of the same shade. And if it’s fancy packaging you’re after, go for Guerlain’s Rouge G L’Extrait Lip Color ($50). The formula, which includes hyaluronic acid to plump lips and other ingredients to stimulate collagen, comes in a sleek silver bullet-like case with an attached mirror—just about the most luxurious thing you could pull out of your evening clutch.