Tips To Keep Your Lips Moisturized When Wearing Matte Lipstick

Matte lipstick is a sure-fire way to channel old Hollywood glamour. Bold, velvety lips are not only an ode to a vintage aesthetic, but are also trending amongst modern fashion gurus thanks to the influence of Kylie Jenner and her beauty empire. Anyone can pull off sophisticated matte lipstick, which is more often than not the star of any makeup look. However, all that glamour does come at an uncomfortable price.


If you've ever worn matte lipstick, you'll know it's lethally drying. Though it looks impeccable when done right, it's also far too easy to have your lips shrivel and flake beneath it.

But contrary to popular belief, wearing matte lipstick doesn't have to feel like you've just landed in the Mojave desert. Follow these tips to keep your lips as hydrated and moisturized as possible when wearing matte lipstick. Looking fabulous doesn't have to mean an automatic sentence to Thirst-ville.

Choose the right matte lipstick

You probably already know that matte lipstick is made using a particular formula. Though the velvety muted look is one of the best ways to turn up the glam factor, it also tends to be harsher than other lipsticks. However, that doesn't mean that you're doomed to flaky, chapped lips every time you wear it. One of the best things you can do to keep your lips hydrated is choosing the right kind of matte lipstick.


Beromt Cosmetics explains that matte lipsticks are typically made with increased levels of pigments, alcohol, and wax, and reduced oil, when compared with other lipsticks. But like other brands, they sell versions with higher levels of oil or reduced problematic ingredients so that they're easier on the lips. If you're prone to dryness, you'll want to do your research before buying a matte lipstick. Look into different brands, what ingredients they use, and of course, user reviews.

One of the most popular matte lipsticks that is said to be hydrating is the Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Ultra-Comfort Transfer-Proof Lipstick. Receiving an average of 4.5 stars, the lipstick contains moisturizing ingredients and is also vegan friendly.


Exfoliate your lips

If you want to keep your lips moisturized while wearing matte lipstick, you'll have to start preparing before you actually put on the lipstick. Though a trustworthy brand of lipstick will help, all products will look flaky and cakey on lips that haven't been prepped properly.


Exfoliating is a must to avoid dry lips, and is extra-important if you have dry skin. This process involves gently scrubbing the lips to remove dead skin, which is likely to shrivel up under the lipstick if left on. There are several products on the market that will help you to exfoliate your lips beautifully and they most often come in the form of scrubs. However, you can also make your own with natural ingredients. Nivea published a recipe for a great DIY honey-sugar lip scrub which involves mixing one teaspoon of honey with two teaspoons of sugar. Simply apply the scrub to your lips, allow it to rest for a few minutes, and then rinse off with warm water. If your lips are really dry and peeling, you can amplify the effects of scrubs like this by gently rubbing them into your lips with a clean toothbrush.


Start exfoliating your lips at least a few days before you plan on wearing matte lipstick. Sometimes, it takes a few tries to remove all of the dead skin build-up!

Keep them moisturized

Of course, lip balms and moisturizers will be your best friend when you're a matte lipstick wearer. Don't shy away from using these because you think they'll jeopardize the matte effect; once you apply the lipstick on top of the lip balm, your lips will look nice and velvety. The only difference is they won't feel so dry.


Go for a lip balm that contains ingredients to lock the moisture into your lips, including petrolatum and glycerin, per Cleveland Clinic. Stay away from products that are made with menthol and eucalyptus, which can irritate your lips further.

Again, it's a good idea to regularly apply lip balm in the days before you wear your lipstick. Though you can get higher-end lip balms that are amazingly hydrating, don't think that you have to fork out a lot to get a product that works. Drugstore brands, including Burt's Bees and Vaseline, are often enough to do the trick. If you do want something a little more heavy duty, though, the Markus Badescu Lip Balm range is ultra-nourishing.

Though you can apply a lip balm just before you put on your lippy, a lip primer is specifically designed to prepare your lips and maintain the lipstick for longer. Never apply a matte lipstick without a primer!


Apply your lipstick the correct way

Surprisingly, the technique you use to apply your matte lipstick can actually impact how dry your lips look and feel. According to the beauty gurus at Beromt Cosmetics, you should always apply your product to the bottom lip first. That's because there's typically more lipstick on the applicator when you first pull it out, so this excess should go on the larger surface area, which is your bottom lip. If you apply it to your top lip first, you risk overloading your top lip with too much product, leading to dryness.


Because matte lipstick is quite bold, and the ingredients tend to be potent, a little really does go a long way. Applying layer after layer will just unnecessarily expose your lips to a surplus of drying ingredients. It's also much harder to remove your lipstick afterwards when you've packed it on in layers. On that note, using alcohol-based makeup wipes to take your lippy off will always dehydrate your lips. Instead, apply a few drops of micellar water to a cotton ball and gently swipe your lips with it. 

Overall, the key when applying your matte lipstick is to avoid the dryness that comes with too much product. If you do find that you've used too much lipstick, blot it with a tissue between your lips.


Don't lick, rub, or bite your lips

Matte lipstick is a naturally drying product, so you don't want to do anything that makes it worse while you're wearing it. Unfortunately, several subconscious behaviors that you probably don't even realize you're doing can dry out your lips (and leave even the best lipstick looking awful).


It's probably tempting to lick your lips when you're wearing matte lipstick, because they feel drier than normal. But licking your lips actually dries them out more. Nivea explains that your saliva will dry quickly, leaving your lips thirsty and dull. Plus, there are strong enzymes in your saliva which will make your lips feel even drier. You also want to avoid irritating your lips by rubbing them or biting them, as these behaviors will make your lips feel drier still.

Once you've put on your lipstick, leave your lips alone unless you need to reapply. Resist the urge to touch them unless it's absolutely necessary.

Drink enough water

It doesn't matter how much lip balm or primer you apply, how well you exfoliate, and how hydrating your matte lipstick is. If you are dehydrated, your lips are going to show it. So one of the most important things you can do to keep your lips looking great and moisturized in matte lipstick is drinking enough water.


According to Mayo Clinic, women need around 11.5 cups of fluids a day. This can change depending on a variety of factors, including any exercise you do, the weather, and your general health. You also don't need to hit the target completely to avoid having flaky lips. But the more you drink during the day, the more hydrated your lips will be and the better they'll look.

Some people find that adding infusions, like fruits or vegetables, to their water can make it more interesting and help them to hit their goals. If you absolutely hate water, you can concentrate on other fluids as long as they aren't caffeinated. It can also help to drink room temperature water if you just can't stomach cold water. Rather than trying to down 11 cups at once, aim to take short but frequent sips throughout the day.


Keep sipping your water even after you've applied your lipstick. If it helps, drink through a straw!

Keep the alcohol to a minimum

While water is your lips' best friend, alcohol is their enemy. Alcohol naturally dehydrates the body, so try to keep the drinking to a minimum when you're wearing matte lipstick. For one thing, it's a lot easier to keep in the lines when you're reapplying if you're sober. But too much alcohol can lead to too many trips to the bathroom, and subsequently, dried lips.


One glass of wine or gin and tonic probably won't do too much damage if you've had enough water and have taken all the other necessary hydrating precautions. Just keep in mind that the more alcohol you drink, the drier your lips will be.

For reference, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, advises that women should have one or fewer drinks a day to avoid the risk of several short and long-term health complications. If you do want to drink a little bit more, try to counteract it by drinking lots of hydrating fluids.

Protect your lips from the weather

A surprising source of lip dryness that many people might not realize is the weather. If you're planning on a vibrant matte lipstick for a day at a winery with your friends, or a bold plum for a wedding on the beach, keep in mind that the sun can leave your lips feeling majorly parched. Your best option in this case is to be aware of how much time you're spending in the direct sunlight and try to sit or stand under shade, when you can.


Cold air in the winter (combined with the dry air from indoor heating) can also have your lips peeling after an hour or so. If you do have an event in the dead of winter and you are prone to dry lips, you might want to rethink the matte lipstick altogether. Extreme conditions like these can lead to flaky lips, no matter what you do.

If you would like to take the risk with matte lipstick in winter, be sure to stay right on top of your fluid intake, avoid the alcohol, and try not to sit directly under the heater or by an open window where you'll be hit by the wind (if you can help it). It can also help to turn on a humidifier while you're getting ready to go out, so the moisture in the air can keep your lips as supple as possible before you apply your matte lipstick.