The Best Matte Lipsticks for Every Budget | BuzzFeed Reviews
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The Best Matte Lipsticks

We hope you love the products we recommend! We do a lot of research and testing before making our picks for the best thing to buy in each price point. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change. For more info on how we choose products and make money, go here

Colourpop Lippie Stix

$6

  • Formulated with Shea butter and vitamin E
  • Lightweight, easy to use packaging
  • Available in 40 shades
Buying Options

Fenty Mattemoiselle Plush Lipstick

$18

  • Long-lasting
  • Doesn't bleed or feather
  • Comes with Rihanna’s stamp of approval
Buying Options

Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick

$38

  • Has a powder film for an ultra matte finish
  • Lightweight feel, doesn’t cake
  • Blurs the appearance of lips
Buying Options

Not much says “I have my shit together” better than a flawless, velvety bold lip. But not all lipsticks are created equal, and nobody wants drying, patchy, or overhyped formulas. We tested some of the top-rated matte lipsticks to see if they delivered on powerful pigmentation, comfortable texture, easy application (even for beauty beginners), and a gorgeous, shine-free finish.

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Colourpop Lippie Stix

Starting from $6

The Details

Size: 1g

Available in 40 Colors

Paraben- and sulfate-free

Cruelty-free and vegan

What / Who It's Best For

  • People on a budget
  • People looking for a wide range of shades
  • People who are beginners at applying lipstick

Why We Love It

It’s hard to imagine a better matte lipstick for less than $6 a pop. Whether you’re a beginner to lipstick and hesitant to shell out your hard-earned bucks for a look you’re just trying out, or you’re a pigmented pout–connoisseur looking to add to your collection, Colourpop’s Lippie Stix are here for you.

In terms of design, this lipstick is a winner when it comes to ease of use. The slim packaging will fit into any pocket or purse, no matter how tiny. And while the white packaging might not scream “I’m expensive,” the color does make it incredibly easy to locate in a cluttered makeup drawer or the deepest, darkest corners of your tote. The pen-like shape and angled tip are great for easy application, combining the preciseness of a lipliner with the speedy coverage of a traditional lip bullet. Whether you have full lips, narrow lips, or have a hard time following the contours of your cupid’s bow, this lippie goes on like a dream. The tube itself twists up and down easily without a lot of friction (you can even twist it up with one hand), enabling you to pop on the color of your choice and head out the door without any mistakes, even if you’re already running late. The incredible pigmentation led us to dub it a “one-swipe wonder” — you don’t have to build up coat after coat to achieve a bold lip look.

Colourpop Lippie Stix Swatch on four arms

In addition to the serious pigmentation level, the texture of the lipstick glides right over lips, never tugging or getting messy. It applies like a cream but dries almost immediately, leaving a comfortable — and never tacky or sticky — finish. Although formulated with vitamin E and shea butter, your lips will certainly not be *more* moisturized after wearing almost any lipstick, so if hydration is a concern, we’d recommend starting with a base layer of lip balm or ColourPop’s own Lip Primer (which moisturizes and smooths lips pre-application). While some transfer does occur onto straws, mugs, and tissues, that transfer doesn’t affect the coverage. Your color of choice will outlast most meals, with only the inner parts of your lips losing coverage — and no smearing outside your lip line. When it comes to reapplication, the product does tend to “ball up” if you reapply immediately over any lipstick remnants, but it’s very easy to quickly remove with a tissue and apply a fresh coat (it’ll go on as quickly and easily the second time around).

Between the matte and matte X finishes, this lipstick comes in a whopping 40 shades. There’s a huge array to choose from, including a wide range of browns and roses, so you can find a great nude option. On the ColourPop website itself (the only place you can actually score these), you can navigate their range of shades by category (pinks, reds, oranges/corals, purples, darks, and nudes) to make the range of shades less intimidating to sort through. With 12 red shades alone, you’re sure to find the one you’re looking for.

Colourpop Lippie Stix Open and Box

As Sarah Han, a writer on our As/Is team puts it, “ColourPop is not just about the affordability factor. I take my lipsticks VERY seriously and they need to have high color payoff (we’re talking one swipe), and be relatively long-lasting and comfortable to wear — and ColourPop makes ’em just like that. My fave is a plum wine color called LBB, but there’s definitely a shade out there for everyone. It’s creamy, non-drying, and not prone to feathering. What more can you ask for?”

Whether you’re looking to get started with the whole ~matte lipstick~ thing or simply trying to find new colors without going broke, these ColourPop Lippie Stix have your lips (and bank account) on lock.

User Reviews

"I will use this for the rest of my life. I hope ColourPop never discontinues this shade because it is my absolute favorite red lipstick I've ever used! The color is incredibly vivid — the perfect stunning red on my pale skin tone — and the formula is my favorite lipstick formula that I've ever put on my lips. I will rebuy every single time I run out!"
— Rachel From ColourPop
"I’m usually a little wary of lipstick because my makeup routine and wear is pretty low maintenance. But this formula is awesome. It has adequate staying power and won’t wipe off unless you eat something really greasy, and if it does, reapplying is as easy as one swipe. I love their ultra matte lips but hate that I have to take it all off and reapply if I mess it up (or else it will look crusty and overdone). These matte lippies are the perfect fit for me."
— Zoe From ColourPop
"This is the best lipstick I have ever found. I've paid quadruple the cost of this lipstick and never been nearly as satisfied with any other product. You literally cannot feel this lipstick. It's the most comfortable lipstick I've found. The matte texture is superb. The color is amazing. 5 stars from me!"
— Lyndi From ColourPop
"Where have you been all my life? Wow. Just Wow. I absolutely love this shade and formula. I am a lipstick lover and I could throw away all of my lippies just to have this one. My new favorite. Muah…"
— 620girl From ColourPop

Colourpop

Low Price, High Pigment

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Fenty Mattemoiselle Plush Lipstick

Starting from $18

The Details

Size: 1.7g

Available in 14 Colors

Cruelty-freeParaben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free

Cruelty-free

What / Who It's Best For

  • People looking for shades beyond nudes, reds, and pinks
  • People who are beginners at applying lipstick
  • People who want their lipstick to last all day

Why We Love It

If you’re wondering whether Fenty Beauty lives up to the hype, we can answer with a resounding YES, especially when it comes to the Mattemoiselle lipsticks. Rihanna did it right. Just like Essence Gant, one of our As/Is beauty editors says, “The whole brand is amazing, which is a pleasant surprise because I’m usually not the biggest fan of celeb lines.”

Fenty Mattemoiselle Plush Lipstick Swatch on four arms

If you like a lot of the features of the ColourPop Lippie Stix but are looking for a step up, this is your best bet. Similar to the ColourPop, the pen-style applicator makes it easy to apply and follow the shape of your lips, and overall it takes far less time to put it on than a regular lip bullet. But unlike the Lippie Stix plastic-y packaging, these Fenty lippies are both sleek AND chic, with a faceted mirror exterior. The angled design will even keep it from rolling off your desk or counter — this is surprisingly important when you’re frantically searching for a lipstick in the morning. And although it is the most compact tube we tried, it doesn’t skimp on amount of product, especially when you consider the full coverage and how often you need to reapply.

Fenty Mattemoiselle Plush Lipstick Swatch Open

While the Fenty shades are just as intensely pigmented as the ColourPop lippies, the formula is far more lightweight. The brand calls the finish “petal soft,” and that’s exactly what it feels like — completely comfortable and a similar texture to your lips, never sticky or dry. It’s also a tad more buildable, so you can blot on dabs of color for a low-key look or swipe it on for full color payoff. And once the lipstick is on, you’re set for the day. While it does transfer onto other surfaces, you’ll never lose coverage. And no bleeding. No feathering. Minimal fading. After long gab sessions, after coffee, after meals, the coverage was still fully in place — even on the waterline of lips (where the outside of your lip ends and the inside begins). This was the longest-lasting lipstick we tried. If you like being able to live your life without having to check the mirror every hour, this is the lipstick for you. And because you don’t have to reapply as often, the $18 tube will last you longer, stretching your dollar further. When you do need to reapply, you can simply add a new layer to your existing, faded lipstick without worrying about it caking up or getting patchy. We also found it to be less drying than the ColourPop lipsticks and easier to remove at the end of the day.

Available in 14 shades, Fenty has all the colors of the rainbow — times two. And if you’re looking for harder-to-find colors like greens, blues, and lavenders, Fenty is your best bet, thanks to its high level of pigmentation and ease of application. You don’t need to worry about buying corresponding lip liners in every new shade you try. The vibrant pigmentation makes each color pop, whether you’re trying a bold neutral (the line has nude shades for a range of skin tones, including deeper brown, chestnut, terracotta, and peachy options) or an electric pink. You’ll get full color payoff in one swipe.   

Fenty Mattemoiselle Plush Lipstick Swatch with Lids

The line is designed to “empower everyone to explore new looks” and the lipstick’s comfort, length of wear, shade range, and pigmentation allow the newest makeup beginners to achieve a stunning result. And for those who are sensitive to smells, the lipsticks are scent-free.

For a mid-price lipstick, you get seriously high-end results — you might even say that these lipsticks really “Work, work, work, work, work, work.”

User Reviews

"I’m a sucker for a good matte lipstick, but many of them tend to be extremely drying. The formula for the Mattemoiselles is absolutely perfect. They stay on your lips absolutely perfectly without feeling drying at all. I got these in the colours PMS and Griselda and I definitely would buy many more of these. They’re absolutely perfect in every way."
— NessC8 From Sephora
"Yes… just yes. I LOVE this lipstick! I love the shape of this lipstick. It’s much easier to apply with this shape. Color payoff is amazing! One swipe!"
— AJW818 From Sephora
"I might never buy a different lipstick again. This is SO GOOD. Pigment is crazy, keeps your lips moist, and lasts longer than any of my liquid lipsticks."
— AliciaMariaSt From Sephora
"So nice when a product lives up to the hype! And this one definitely does. I have not tried every single color (YET) but Griselda is a dark berry that is supposedly hard to produce, and its formula is perfection, so I’m sure the others are just as wonderful. I was AMAZED by the pigment the second it touched my lips. Wow. It goes on so beautifully and wears so beautifully and I love it a lot! I barely feel like I have anything on and the pigment is stunning."
— Kaile From Sephora

Fenty Beauty

Colorful Cult Fave

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Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick

Starting from $38

The Details

Size: 4g

Available in 19 Colors

Paraben-free

What / Who It's Best For

  • People who love pretty packaging
  • People who prefer traditional lipstick bullets
  • People who want a velvety matte finish

Why We Love It

Pat McGrath’s MatteTrance lipstick is almost the very height of luxury. If you’re about to spend $40 on a lipstick (we know, we know), you better be getting a whole experience out of it. And this delivers on that. For the level of fanciness you’re about to feel, $40 may just feel like a bargain.

Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick Bullet open and in purple

For a traditional lip bullet, it’s surprisingly easy to apply. Beginners might prefer using a lip brush to carefully line the cupid’s bow, but the buttery formula is far silkier than many higher-end lipsticks — and certainly more matte. The finish is almost impossibly velvety, almost like you’ve set it with powder. It feels vintage glam, like an old Hollywood starlet, and incredibly modern at the same time — the result? A look that’s truly timeless. While it looks like your lips are coated in a thick layer of lipstick based on the degree of matteness, the feel is surprisingly lightweight, gliding over the lips and not settling into cracks or fine lines. This may be due to the “optical diffusers that blur imperfections” that the brand touts. Like Fenty, the lipsticks are scent-free as well.

Don’t let the color in the tube deceive you; it might look muted (almost like it’s covered in peach fuzz or, well… velvet), but it’s actually incredibly pigmented. According to the brand, that layer around the lipstick is a “powder film” to keep the coverage lightweight yet opaque. And it’s true — one swipe on your lips and they’re saturated in color. When compared to the ColourPop or Fenty-style pen applicators, this is better for people who are used to applying a lip bullet — if you make a mistake and smudge the color around your lip line, you might have to get out a makeup removing wipe or fix it with some concealer. We noticed some slight feathering around the cupid’s bow as well, so you might want to set your lips with a liner or non-feathering primer.

Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick Bullet Swatch on four different arms

The 19 available shades include nudes (spanning from paler peachy nudes to browner rose-tone nudes), pinks, corals, reds, purples, and deep burgundies. Some of the shades get patchy as you wear them, especially after eating or drinking, and they transfer fairly easily to other surfaces, due to the longer “drying down” time. That being said, your lips don’t lose coverage the moment you eat or drink, and most shades will outlast a non-oily meal. You’ll definitely have to reapply this lipstick more often than Fenty Mattemoiselle, but with packaging like this, you’re going to want to show it off anyway.

Opening these lipsticks is an experience to itself. Each box has a different, wild design, and opens with a string wound around it — this isn’t a thin cardboard box you’ll want to throw away. The tube itself is substantial, a thick and glossy black design crowned with a pair of gold lips where the lipstick opens. We found we wanted to put it on display, whether on our desk or on our bathroom vanity, and pulling it out of our purse or pocket to reapply felt luxurious rather than like a chore. As one of our As/Is editors, Essence Gant sees it, “One of my favorite things about it, though, is that just as much thought went into the packaging as the product. Life is a lot, so beauty is one way in which I practice self-care. Pat McGrath’s MatteTrance lipstick is an experience. It’s luxury, and I feel good when I wear it.”

Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick Bullet open

And if you want to do more than just treat yo’self, these are great gift options to make a loved one’s life just a little more luxe. Just a warning — once you buy one of these $38 beauties, you might just want to collect ‘em all.

User Reviews

"The hue saturation and ease of application won me over instantly. If I'm actively eating and drinking throughout the day I'll only reapply once, generally. The colors are outstanding and so universally flattering I didn't think twice about ordering them for my (often hard to flatter) ultra-fair, pinky-hued skin. After purchasing these four shades I've since given away probably 10 lipsticks of lesser quality. I just don't need them anymore. I'm a firm believer in quality over quantity, and investing in Pat McGrath's MatteTrance is so, so worth it."
— eclairewar From Sephora
"The packaging, of course, is everything. But it is such a smooth matte lipstick. Flesh 3 is an AMAZING everyday color for deep/dark skin tones. It doesn't dry out your lips or cause them to flake. It has subtle moisture that is lightweight, if that makes sense. It lasts quite a while, through eating/drinking, and it fades nicely. I know it's expensive but if you're a PML fan or makeup fan in general (duh!), it's worth it!!"
— imnicmarie From Sephora
"This has THE most unique texture I've ever experienced in a matte lipstick. It's almost like a powder, but it goes on full coverage in one swipe. It feels like nothing, and I do mean nothing, on the lips, but it lasts for a long time. One of my favorite mattes has always been Kat Von D's Studded Kiss lipstick, the old formula. Now if you know that, you know that you can FEEL that lipstick when it's on. This is the exact opposite, but the coverage and longevity is the same. I'm really impressed! Finally, a high-end lipstick that is actually different and worth the price!"
— Harobedb From Sephora
"LOVE LOVE LOVE these formulas. First, the packaging is stunning. It feels heavy and expensive. Second, the formula is PHENOMENAL. I love me a matte lip, but a lot of other brands I've used have made my lips look like dry cracked mud. This goes on and feels like I have nothing on my lips, and has a beautiful matte finish. Great color payoff, and very hydrating."
— allysongretel From Sephora

Pat McGrath

Pretty Packaging, Prettier Lipstick

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