Jan 3, 2020

7 Editor-Approved Matte Lipsticks That Will Never Forsake You

For the average person, the promise to love someone (or something) for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health is reserved for wedding vows, 'til death do them part. For us, the same could be said about our favorite matte lipstick.

There's a time and a place for glosses, stains, and sheer balms, but a good matte lip color is always a requirement to have on hand. After all, what's there to not love about major pigment that lasts through a burger and/or a kiss? But not all matte formulas are made equally magical; some leave lips sandpaper-y, others go on smooth but feather and bleed in minutes.

So when you find a matte lipstick that has serious color payoff, doesn't make lips shrivel up into themselves, and can hold strong through a makeout or pizza session, then you've found a keeper. Ahead, find the matte formulas our editors are loving for the long haul.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick


"As someone with dry lips, it's quite rare that I find a matte lipstick that I like. But there are some options that have made me a believer, like this rich, creamy formula that makes me forget I'm even applying a matte lipstick in the first place. It feels totally weightless once it's on, and I'd honestly wear the shade Flesh 5 on the hottest day of the summer or in the harshest winter weather with zero regrets." — Thatiana Diaz, senior beauty writer

Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick in Flesh 5, $, available at Sephora
"About every six months I decide to sort through my growing lipstick collection and, despite a minor struggle, eventually part with a bulk of the bullets I've barely used. Still, after several rounds of clean-outs, I've never once given away or tossed one of these. The formula is a soft matte and dries to a diffused, pillow-y finish. I've collected so many at this point that I'm going to have to include them in my last will and testament. This coral pink bullet, Amazing Grace, is the only neutral I own that I get compliments on. It's perfect." — Sam Sasso, beauty writer

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Amazing Grace, $, available at Charlotte Tilbury
"Admittedly, I use a lot of lipsticks I don't love — our jobs require us to try new, sometimes unlikable formulas. But on the rare occasion I'm not testing something straight out of a lab, I'll return to an old and faithful friend: NARS Velvet Lip Glide. Okay, okay, it's a semi-matte finish, but the creamy, velvet-y texture is just too good to resist. I always reach for the shade Roseland, a rosy blush color that looks good on a variety of complexions." — Sasso

NARS Velvet Lip Glide - Roseland, $, available at NARS
"This winter, I've noticed I keep accidentally matching my lipstick shade to the color of my turtleneck. Is this the least sexy trend of all time? Maybe so! Do I love it though? Absolutely. Anyway, this particular shade is a burgundy dream that matches my Uniqlo wool turtleneck perfectly. The formula is instantly nourishing and smooth and lasts into the night for me, dinner and drinks and more drinks included. Also, since it's a pencil, it fits right into my super-small going-out bag. My one groan about it is that I wish there was more formula to be had in this slim little stick." — Rachel Lubitz, senior beauty writer

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil - Consuming Red, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick


"One of my biggest lipstick-related frustrations is putting a color on only to find it smeared all over my chin after my first sip of coffee. That's a non-issue any time I wear this liquid formula, which is rich and goes on super opaque — a little will completely cover your lips. It has a super skinny doe-foot applicator so you can line and shade in without coloring on your face, and dries down to a comfortable velvety finish that won't flake on you... even if your date does." — Aimee Simeon, beauty writer

Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick, $, available at Sephora

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick


"I didn't think the perfect lipstick existed until I used Maybelline's Super Stay Matte Ink. The liquid formula delivers everything you could possibly want in a lipstick: It lasts forever, comes in a handful of vivid shades, is just nourishing enough, and will not budge, no matter how many slices of pizza you eat — or shots you throw back. If I truly had to choose one lipstick to wear everyday for the rest of my life, this would be it (as long as I have a good makeup remover to get it off)." — Simeon

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick, Lover, $, available at Walmart

Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Stunna Lip Paint


"Two swipes and gently pursing your lips together is all you need for color payoff that lasts all day when you're using this Fenty Beauty formula. It goes on like an inky liquid but dries down to an elegant velvet finish that doesn't flake or make your lips feel parched. Trust Rihanna to create the perfect liquid lipstick to take you from the boardroom to the club without budging." — Simeon

Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Stunna Lip Paint, $, available at Sephora
"I only wear matte lipstick. Some people claim that they're too drying, but in my opinion, that's a small price to pay for a lip color that lasts hours. I love this lightweight liquid formula because it actually doesn't make my lips feel like I put on a layer of Super Glue, and the color is powerful — you don't need to put on multiple layers to get the exact shade that's in the tube. Now, it does take a little bit of practice to get used to the watery texture, but once you do, it's like every other matte lipstick is second best." — Jessica Cruel, deputy beauty director

NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Rock With You, $, available at Sephora

Giorgio Armani Beauty Lip Maestro Liquid Lipstick


"I prioritize comfort in most aspects of my life, including my lipstick choices (very Taurean of me, I know), therefore am qualified to determine that this is the only truly comfortable matte liquid lipstick to ever sit on a Sephora shelf. The color is deeply saturated and definitively matte, but the feel is soft and pillowy and the finish almost glowy rather than flat. It’s never sticky, never drying, and fades to a pleasant stain as it wears away; the 10 new nude shades are particularly lush." — Rachel Krause, deputy beauty director

Giorgio Armani Beauty Lip Maestro Liquid Lipstick, $, available at Giorgio Armani Beauty

Kosas Lipstick in Rosewater 


“If you were to apply this lipstick with your eyes closed, you might actually mistake it for a balm. Rosewater is my perfect your-lips-but-better shade, and the creamy color glides on like softened butter at first — but after a little wear (lip-pursing, chatting, sipping, etc.) the initial dewy finish fades to demi-matte, and that sheer rosy stain stays put for hours (or at least, in my experience, through two to three happy hour cocktails).” — Megan Decker, beauty writer

Blush Kosas Lipstick in Rosewater, $, available at Kosas, Thrive Market

Cle Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder


"Is it messy? Very. However, any powdery fallout is fully worth it when it comes to this lip powder. The highly-pigmented formula manages to create the prettiest blurred, soft-matte finish, and once applied to lips or cheeks, it doesn’t budge. It’s available in a variety of nude and not-nude shades, but my favorite is Hot Choco, a MLBB shade of terracotta rose that instantly warms my olive skin tone." — Karina Hoshikawa, wellness & beauty market writer

Cle Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder, $, available at clecosmetics

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