How to

How to Make a Lipstick Matte: 4 Steps With Pictures

I’m team glossy all the way, but even I have situations that call for a good matte. Trouble is, my participation on team glossy means I don’t really have any mattes in my collection.

That’s okay, though, because there’s a way to turn my glossies matte with other items I have just lying around—and you do too!

Today, I’ll walk you through the steps by which you can make a glossy lipstick matte on your lips and tell you a little about what I learned on the way.

Step 1: Apply Your Glossy Lipstick

To test this out, I took out the glossiest lipstick I had: Spice Spice Baby from Too Faced’s tragically discontinued La Creme line.

Gold tube of Spice Spice Baby
Probably my favorite lipstick formula, RIP.

And here are my lips pre-application.

Hello, here is my face.

Spice Spice Baby is a nude (I try a brighter color later), but my lips aren’t very pigmented, so you’ll be able to see what’s going on

And here it is on.

Pic of me with a glossy, creamy nude with a bit of pink on my lips
A glossy, creamy nude with a bit of pink

With that, we’re onto step 2.

Step 2: Get a Powder and a Brush to Apply It

Now, you’ll want to collect either a powder foundation or a translucent setting powder and a brush.

For this, I’ve got my MAC Studio Fix and my Urban Decay Pro Optical Blurring brush.

MAC powder compact and a compact-bristle round foundation brush
Tools of the mattifying trade

Step 3: Split a Kleenex Into One Ply and Put Onto Lips

And here’s the next step in how to make a lipstick matte: take a Kleenex and carefully separate the two layers.

A Kleenex splitting into two ply
Did you know Kleenex had two layers? I didn’t.

Then, plop one of the layers on your lips.

Step 4: Apply Powder Over the Ply of Kleenex

Now that you have the single ply of Kleenex over your lips, take your brush, get plenty of powder on it, and start applying it over the Kleenex.

Me applying powder to lips over Kleenex
Hard to do this and take a picture when you only have two hands

Make sure to stipple the powder all over your lips.

Repeat if you don’t think the first round got things matte enough.

And there you go! You’ve learned how to make a lipstick matte—and you have proof right there on your lips.

Me with the final results—a matte lipstick
Ta da!

The Downside of Making a Lipstick Matte

I found that there’s one downside to mattifying your shiny lipsticks. And it has to do with pigmentation.

This issue first came up when I noticed that the nude shade shown above seemed barely there, pigment-wise, after mattifying. So I was curious to see what would happen with a more pigmented lipstick.

So I took a bright pink from that same discontinued line of Too Faced lipsticks and mattified it. Here are the results.

A comparison image with the shiny lipstick (high pigment) and matte lipstick (less pigment)

You can see that the punch of the bright pink gets a little lost once we mattify. This makes sense since this method essentially makes you blot your lips.

I wanted to share this so you know what to expect. You won’t have the same pow to your color once you mattify the lipstick.

And That’s It!

So, to sum things up in a neat, tidy package, here’s how to make a lipstick matte:

Step 1: Apply your glossy lipstick

Step 2: Get a powder and a brush to apply it.

Step 3: Split a Kleenex into one ply and put onto lips.

Step 4: Apply powder over the ply of Kleenex

And poof! Now those satin, cream, or shiny lipsticks are shine-free and as chic as can be.