There’s nothing worse than a gorgeous lip shade that steers more drab than fab once you put it on. That is precisely why—if chosen correctly—we adore the look of a strong matte shade. And while this is an undeniably superglam look, some matte formulas crack and dry out lips over time (so not chic). To assure your makeup bag is chock-full of only products that make your pout perfect, we tested several matte options to discover which are the best—so that you don’t have to. From tinted balms to velvety pencils, our picks assure your kisser stays on point right throughout the season of awkward mistletoe moments.
Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
This formula is super matte and easy to apply (no lip liner needed). Bonus: Its sleek packaging and pencil-like applicator make it a great option for the girl on the go.
LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint in Exposed
Tarte LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint
This minty-fresh formula gives lips a gentle cooling sensation. Easy to apply (we didn't even use a mirror) and long lasting, this cult-favorite crayon belongs in your makeup bag.
Oxymoron in Open Secret
Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Balm
Apply this glossy balm (which can be used on both cheeks and lips) with your fingers. Watch as it becomes a rich tint that doesn't smear or fade. Consider it kiss-proof!
Matte Lip Color in Persistence
Kevyn Aucoin Matte Lip Color
The subtle sheen of this lipstick complements its thick matte texture, allowing you to control how deep you go with the hue (which is ideal when working with bold colors like this violet shade).
Kiss & Blush in Prune Impertinente
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent Kiss & Blush Stain
Hello, hydration! This smudge-proof lip stain is a favorite in our office. The wand applicator allows for controlled application, while the highly pigmented formula coats your pout without drying it. Oh, and it smells like candy. Sold.
Soft Matte Lip Cream in Istanbul
NYX Matte Lip Cream
We adore how creamy and saturated this gloss is without being too thick. Non-sticky and super velvety, it's so good you may even forget you're even wearing it!
Matte Lip Bullet in More Than a Woman
Topshop Matte Lip Bullet
This lipstick-pencil hybrid glides on smoothy and gradually, allowing you to control the intensity of the color.