How To Apply Matte Lipstick Without Cracking: Expert Tips for A Smooth and Long-Lasting Finish

When you’re ready to rock a bold lip, nothing beats classic matte lipstick. High pigmentation really shows off your pout to stunning effect, from rich burgundy to pale pastels. But these shine-free formulas also cling to every contour, which means they can show off cracks and dry patches. Fear not; all it takes is a bit of prep to achieve a smooth, even finish. Here’s how to apply matte lipstick without cracks, every time.

Why Does Matte Lipstick Crack?

All lipstick formulas include some combination of pigmentation, oil, and wax. Matte lipsticks contain a higher proportion of pigmentation, which means deep, saturated colours that really pop. At the same time, they contain less oil. Without a sheen or glossed finish, they don’t reflect light the way a lip gloss would. This creates a monotone, uniform look that feels drier on the lips. If you don’t hydrate first, it’s this dryness that leads to unsightly – and uncomfortable – cracking.

Choosing The Right Matte Lipstick

Finding the perfect matte lippy involves more than a flattering colour. Think smooth, velvety finishes with zero cracking. Look for high-quality formulas that contain extra moisturising ingredients to combat dryness. One to try is the new Infallible Matte Resistance liquid lipstick, made with a creamy formula to provide a matte finish all day long.

Prepping Your Lips

Set the scene for flawless application by prepping your lips first. When looking at how to apply matte lipstick, this begins with exfoliation. Lightly exfoliate lips to remove dry skin cells and give yourself a smooth, silky canvas to work with.

About ten minutes before you do your makeup, apply a moisturising lip balm. This gives it plenty of time to sink in.

How To Apply Matte Lipstick Step by Step

With your lips primed and prepped, here’s how to apply matte lipstick, step by step.

Step 1: Apply Lip Liner

Frame your smile with a matching lip liner. It keeps everything neat and tidy while making your lips look fuller. For fuss-free application, start by outlining the cupid’s bow. Trace down to one corner of your mouth before repeating on the other side. On the bottom, start in the centre and sketch the pencil along to the outer corners of your mouth to meet the top line.

Step 2: Prepare Your Matte Lipstick

If you’re applying lipstick directly from the tube, skip this step. For those applying lipstick from a palette, it’s a good idea to apply your colour to a clean surface first for better blending. Using a cosmetic palette lets you blend shades to the right consistency.

Step 3: Apply Your Matte Lipstick

Tube or brush – choose your tool and paint the product onto your lips, filling in the lines you’ve created with liner. A brush gives you fine-tuned precision, as do thinner lipstick tubes for perfect control. If you’re using a liquid lipstick, work quickly to avoid streaks and cracks. Blot your lips with a tissue and you’re done.

Layering Techniques for A Smooth Finish

The key to an even, crack-free finish is layering. One option is to use your lip liner as a primer. Line your lips first, then fill them in with liner before layering your matte lipstick over the top. You can also layer lipstick directly from the tube – just blot with a tissue between each application. For foolproof layering, use your lip brush to transfer colour until you’ve achieved the level of intensity you're after.

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Preventing Dryness and Cracking

Prevention is the best cure for lip dryness, so don’t skip the hydration. Combine daily face moisturisers with overnight lip masks to target the source of dry, chapped lips before applying your matte lipstick. Use a lip primer to create a silky, smooth surface for application. Products like the Glow Paradise lip balm give a visibly plumping base for fuller-looking, fully moisturised lips. You can also look for hydrating topcoats to lend a slick of satiny shine.

Touching Up Matte Lipstick Without Cracking

One way to give your colour staying power is with a dusting of translucent setting powder to hold it in place. When colour starts to fade, touch it up by dotting your product gently over lips and then blending naturally into place. Made a mistake during application? No problem – use a cotton bud with a drop of micellar water to remove stray spots or blend into place.

With the right products and careful application, you’ll achieve a smooth, creamy colour that pops – minus those pesky cracks.

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