Mad Mattes

May 10, 2016


I've been told by men and women alike that my lips are one of my best facial features. Perhaps it's the polite thing to say to one who possess an otherwise unremarkable face - such as "She has such a lovely personality!- but there are benefits to having more mouth-cushion for the pushin'. Namely, a bigger canvas to play with in the way of lip colour (because I'm never going to be an eyeshadow kind of girl, I mean, have you seen my eyes? No, me neither. Curse you, Oriental heritage). 
When it comes to 'Facetime' I've always been a minimalist: the last time I blogged about beauty I had just 17 products in my makeup bag. The tides have changed, my friends - with the emancipation of the heart and soul comes a renewed vigour for life and a regained self-respect which manifested thankfully not in misguided misandry (Feminazis, anyone?) but rather a newfound enthusiasm for experimenting. Which is basically a hoity-toity way of saying: "I bought seven new lip colours because of all the pretty!" but I need to pay lip service to justify the horrific self-centrism of taking eight, EIGHT! selfies for this blog post, so bear with me. How do beauty bloggers do it? I swear if I have to make coy love to the strict machine at the end of my arm again, I will literally die for shame of contributing to 21st century narcissism. So pay attention, kids, because it'll be the next blue moon before I review seven of the same kind of makeup products in a single post...

Seven matte lipstick and lip colours from NYX Lip Lingerie, Sleek Matte Me, and Mac Charlotte Olympia.
First things first - the joker who came up with 'Push Up' must have a sense of humour because far from enhancing my hump my humps, my lovely little lumps this pale shade does the exact opposite - it makes my lips camoflauge against my face. 'Push Up' is my ultimate nude lip colour: enough coverage to conceal my naturally dark lips and just light enough to look barely-there without washing out my medium, yellow-toned skin. If that was the push up NYX had in mind then I retract my snarkiness. I wear 'Push Up' for 'natural makeup-look' days.

This colour couldn't be more retro. 'Beauty Mark' is a rich, chocolate brown that I find surprisingly wearable. It's a throwback to the '90s (naturally, everyone who is too young to remember the Nineties is raving about it because if you did survive adolescence during the days of *NSync you would still be traumatised by over plucking your eyebrows until they resembled sperm) yet not at all dated. 'Beauty Mark' is my new sophisticated alternative to the classic red lip. Wear with strong brows or risk looking like the a '90s girl band-reject.


'Embellishment' is the lilac shade that the blogosphere is raving about, and how! It's constantly sold out in Boots, the only UK stockist (I think) of Lip Lingerie. It's definitely a statement colour that can go either 'corpse bride' or 'unicorn princess' depending on how you style it. Ironically, to avoid looking 'ashy' I dress in nude or monochrome clothes and let this unusual colour be my sole 'Embellishment'.



Another day, another special edition by MAC. This line is a collaboration with the Queen of Quirky Footwear, Charlotte Olympia. 'Leading Lady Red', however, is very much a 'safe' colour - in fact, it's a near-double of Russian Red in both colour and sheen. For a true matte red lip by MAC I suggest bestselling Ruby Woo if you don't mind how dehydrating it is. I bought Leading Lady Red mostly for the packaging and also because the classic red lip is/should be a staple in every woman's arsenal. 

Seven matte lipstick and lip colours from NYX Lip Lingerie, Sleek Matte Me, and Mac Charlotte Olympia.

Am I dizzy or has every makeup brand have had, at some point, a lipstick named 'Tea Rose'? You know the colour I mean, a sweet dusky-pink shade that best flatters fair complexions. This lip colour reminds me of the 'Tea Rose' hue that I always have at least one variant of. It's funny that this colour is called 'Exotic' it's the opposite for me - 'Exotic' is a sweet, feminine, yet subtle hue. The sort you can wear from church to club (or club to church, depending on how your weekend goes) and with as much or as little makeup as you like. Versatile and pretty.

'Gorgeous in greige' is how I'd describe 'Honeymoon'. It's a lovely taupe shade that's just a touch warmer which makes it a 'safer' alternative to 'Embellishment'. 'Honeymoon' is a fantastic in-between colour for when I want to wear a lip colour that's just a little different to 'day time pinks' yet not so overbearing that it needs its own postcode. 

I can understand the excitement around the Lip Lingerie line: the colours are a mix of nudes and brown - so very now, so very Kylie Jenner. From the 5 tubes I own I can say that 2 applications provides excellent coverage that quickly dries into a true matte finish. Staying power is decent - the colours won't make it to the end of a vigorous make-out session (believe me, I've tried) but will mostly stay put while eating and drinking. I find Lip Lingerie reasonably comfortable, if quite drying, and will last a whole day provided I reapply after each meal and occasionally moisten with a dab of lip balm.

Seven matte lipstick and lip colours from NYX Lip Lingerie, Sleek Matte Me, and Mac Charlotte Olympia.

I thought I'd save my favourite, or at least the most natural-looking, for last. Now here's a name for a lip colour that makes sense: the much raved-about 'Birthday Suit' from the Sleek 'Matte Me' line is just that - 'My Lips But Better'. It's a peachy-pink colour that looks just as good in cool lighting (above, left) and warm lighting (above, right). I find the Matte Me Lip Cream to be similar to Lip Lingerie in staying power, although Birthday Suit is a tad less drying on the lips. Just as it is with NYX Lip Lingerie the Sleek 'Matte Me' applicator does take some getting used to if like me, you're more familiar with lip pencils and lipsticks.

Matte products can be very drying especially for thick lips. There's nothing more unattractive than a peeling, cracked pucker so before you go matte, exfoliate and moisturise. Bliss and Stewart & Claire make scrummy lip scrubs. For a duo-action product I love Clinique Sweet Pots (it's a sugar scrub and a balm!). EOS Sweet Mint is my go to for refreshed, soothed lips.


SLEEK MATTE ME Birthday Suit
NYX LIP LINGERIE Embellishment
MAC Charlotte Olympia Leading Lady Red


What do you think of matte lip colours? Is it a trend you'll be trying or do you think it 'falls flat'? Which of these shades would you be tempted to try?

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