August 28 2014

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The Fab Five: Matte About You



In the annals of lipstick texture, a new contender for your affection is emerging: velvety matte. Straddling the divide between the chalky and flat, and the rich and lustrous, this thoroughly modern lipstick formulation promises dramatic color payoff and a retro-style shine-less look—all without leaving lips sapped and cracked (a common result of its predecessors). Here, five of our favorite contenders, ready for you to slick on this season.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope

Leave it to Poppy King to dream up a lipstick that is the epitome of old-Hollywood glam. Ava, Lana, Marilyn; they would have all been fans. The seemingly weightless, velvety formula that glides on with ease is thanks to a blend of silicone elastomer, moisturizing apricot oil, and a trio of natural waxes.

Shade pick: Black Tie, a rich, deep red.


Topshop Make Up Velvet Lips

A velvet matte, in a silken fluid formula that slides languidly across the lips. The pigment is remarkably dense and insanely long lasting; seriously, you will need a little elbow grease to take it off.

Shade pick: Plush, a plummy wine.

$20, available in November at

MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte

MAC has always been a pioneer in the matte category, and it is the widespread popularity of its iconic Ruby Woo (the, in this writer’s estimation, pitch-perfect shade of blue-toned red) that inspired an entire Retro Matte collection. The formula has been rebooted, so the intense color remains with a more velvety texture.

Shade pick: Dangerous, a bright orangey-red, or Fixed on Drama, a moody burgundy


Clé de Peau Beauté Extra Rich Lipstick

Clé de Peau is synonymous with over-the-top luxury, and its new lipstick collection is no exception. Created in collaboration with the brand’s makeup creative director, Lucia Pieroni, the line offers three textures: satin, silk, and, our favorite, velvet, which has the boldest color payoff.

Shade pick: Mister Lincoln, a mauve-y wine


Sonia Kashuk Red Lip Matte

Made with skin-friendly Aglianico grape extract, which is deeply hydrating and collagen stimulating, this velvet red comes in one shade only: a classic cherry red that will flatter a myriad of skin tones. Keep it handy come holiday party-circuit time.

$11, available in November at

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