From Instagram stars to A-list celebrities, everywhere we look we’re seeing a barrage of images showing matte makeup on nearly every facial feature. And, while there’s a time and place for dewy, glowy skin, right now it’s all about a flatter finish that’s oh so gorgeous.
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Lori Taylor-Davis, Smashbox pro lead makeup artist, explains that one reason why matte makeup has made a major comeback is because women want full-coverage makeup that looks flawless and airbrushed. “Women are trying to mirror the makeup they see in magazines and on television. They want, and love, full-coverage, matte makeup.”
But, if you don’t pick the right products or apply them properly, your makeup can end up looking drab, too heavy and cakey. “A good matte product gives you that deeply saturated velvet finish. Other types of makeup can give more of a sheer finish,” says Taylor-Davis. Prepping your skin is essential to give it that underlying layer of radiance. While regular primers work, try an oil-based one like Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil ($42).
“I like to pair matte makeup with a drop of sheen because if the makeup is too matte, your skin can look mannequin-like, lifeless and aged.” Try mixing Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Skin Liquid Lightening ($52) or Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator ($39) with your more matte foundation formulations.
When it comes to your eyes, make sure to stick with diffused, soft colors that look like they blend into one another. “The key to a successful matte look is all about blending and having everything diffused. Matte makeup never looks good when there are super sharp lines,” says Taylor-Davis.
And super smooth lips are crucial for a matte lip. Make sure to exfoliate them with a good sugar scrub, like Tarte Maracuja Lip Exfoliant ($16), a few minutes before applying any lip pencil or lipstick so that you have a smooth, flake-free surface to work with. “Your lips should be as crisp as you can possibly get them. I like using foundation to outline around the lips after applying the color to ensure that crisp lip outline,” says Taylor-Davis.
Bolder colors look great when worn matte because they’re like a pop of purely saturated color. “That’s why matte red lips are so great. Grape and cranberry colors look amazing as mattes because they give that saturated color as well,” says Taylor-Davis. Just stay away from anything that makes the lips look chalky, like super nude mattes, or anything that’s white, yellow or pale pink.
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