How to Spot a Matte Lipstick That Won’t Leave Your Lips As Dry As the Sahara

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Every lip product has its day: The 90s had their rich cranberry and chocolate hues, Britney and Christina ushered lip glosses back into the ether in the early 2000s, and nowadays rich matte lipsticks can take you from zero to ready-to-go in nothing flat.

The only problem? Mattes formulas can leave your lips drier than the desert, unless you land your hands on a formula that has all the perks of a satin (AKA more emollient and easy-to-wear) tube. If you're not well-versed in lipstick breeds, here's the 411: "Matte lipsticks were a huge 90’s trend that made an even bigger comeback," says Tim Quinn, celebrity makeup artist at Armani Beauty. "A matte finish of lipstick does not have reflective particles to reflect the light, giving it a flat, dull appearance."

That dull appearance, however, while long-lasting, tends to come along with dryness. "While the color wear is strong, the formulas dry out the lips and look cakey and flakey," says Quinn. Satin lipsticks, on the other hand, help lips stay hydrated and give them a slight sheen. "They're more classic in theory, and are a middle ground of sorts—not completely void of reflection, falling somewhere between a matte and a cream lipstick," Quinn explains.

Now, thankfully, the beauty world has solved the riddle of getting that matte appearance minus the caking—and it's a blend between the two sorts, being dubbed matte-satin lipsticks. "This is very new to the market," says Quinn. "It's meant to blend the best parts of a matte lip with that of a satin. It maintains the long-wearing benefits of a matte, but adds in the hydration and delicate reflection of a satin."

The key lies in the formulas, which, according to Quinn, contain more pigments and slightly more oils than the traditional matte lipsticks. "Most lipsticks are composed of a lot of the same ingredients—wax, pigment, and oil—and the issues arise with the composition within the product," he explains. "Matte lipstick has more wax and pigment, and less oils. The lack of oils makes the lipstick much dryer and is why it settles in your lips. Always look for added oils like ester and jojoba to keep the lipstick slick for application and non-drying or creasing."

To shop the look for a moisturized yet on-trend matte pout, keep scrolling.

For the rest of your makeup look, here's how to apply cream blush. And this is why you need to get in on the sheer foundation trend

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