It’s MATTE-nificent!

I’m in love with matte makeup right now! This is a surprise for me because as someone with combination skin, matte makeup either makes me look like a weird melting doll or a clumpy dried out mess.  After a few successful tries and finding things that work for my skin, matte makeup is possible without looking like a little old lady.  Here are a few of my favs for a full face.


It started small –  just the lips. A friend (s/o to HRQ) gave me a tube of Stila Stay All Day in Bella, which is their creamy matte finish lipstick. As a true fan of lipies (seriously I have a problem – there are at least 6 different lip colors in each of my bags),this bold color and staying power made it a welcome addition to the rotation but the finish made it a true contender. It was natural  (didn’t make my lips look dusty nor died them out) and still had a polished, classic matte finish. My current matte lip VIPs are:

Stila All Day in Aria
Make Up Forever Aqua Rogue in Rosewood

Makeup Forever’s Aqua Rogue can be a dual wear by adding the finishing gloss for a shinier look. Sometimes I just put a little Burt’s Bees on top to keep it at the matte level. Again, this is a hydrating formula that makes it easy to wear with a lot of staying power.


After playing with matte lips for a while, it wasn’t until this summer during my sister’s wedding that I realized I could pull off a full on face in all of it’s mattified glory:


It was soft, like I was walking around with a  permanent Snapchat filter on my face.  While this was done by a professional, I have been able to recreate this look with some solid finds in Sephora and some drugstore dupes.

BECCA Perfect Skin Mineral Powder Foundation
BECCA Perfect Skin Mineral Powder Foundation

BECCA is the real MVP for face makeup. I’ve been using their color corrector for dark spots and circles with great success and fell in love with this silky powder in toffee during the wedding. Even though it was hot and humid during the wedding, it stayed it’s course through the outdoor ceremony and photos. It didn’t hold up to through the reception but that would’ve been asking a lot from any powder.  They also carry a liquid-to-powder matte foundation which I haven’t tried yet, but given the success of it’s other products, I’m sure it is equally great.

If you are looking for a liquid with a matte finish, I have used a sample Hourglass’ Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation (warning – this line only has 12 shades with the bulk of them in the fair to medium end of the spectrum and not a lot of warm undertone options) in Tan. While lovely, it comes with a hefty price tag ($56). A decent drugstore dupe is Maybelline’s Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Foundation. Despite it’s low-rating on Beautipedia, it does actually live up to expectations. It’s got a nice finish with a decent amount of staying power and for $11 (over $56 for Hourglass), it’s a good product to keep around in the travel makeup case.


Tarte Tartelette Tease
Tarte Tartelette Tease

For a matte eye, I have a few go to pallets that do the job. I’m a big fan of Urban Decay’s Naked 3 pallet but the ONE that just came in as the Simone Manuel of eyeshadows is Tarte. An impulse buy in the Sephora line (you know it gets you too!), the Tartelette Tease pallet holds it’s own. Even the shimmery shades have a nice matte finish to them, so looking more like a brightener than a disco ball. This is a travel size for the bigger Tartelette pallet (which now comes in a matte-only combination as well!) and with only six colors, it’s a work horse. A good drugstore dupe is ELF Cosmetics Mad for Matte eye pallet ($10). It goes on smooth and covers well to give a soft smokey eye for either day or night. Just be careful the pigment tends to fade after a few hours, so add a primer if you want to make it through the workday and to happy hour.

Word to the Wise

While you can do a full face of matte, the best way to make it more work and daytime approps is to mix and match. I do the 2 out of three rule – either lips and eyes are matte with a more dewy foundation or I do foundation and eyes with a creamy lip for balance. Full face matte works well for date night, special occasions or sometimes when you just need to be a living Instagram filter, #nofilter.

One thought on “It’s MATTE-nificent!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s