Beautiful Drugstore Matte Lipsticks You Didn’t Know About

Matte lipsticks have been popular since the beginning of lipstick inception, but that doesn’t stop every generation from reinventing them, and let’s be honest, making them better each time around! Last Summer I posted an article about creating your dream lip shape using my 3 favorite matte drugstore lip products. Now that every makeup company in existence has jumped on the matte lip product band wagon there are countless colors and brands to choose from and new ones popping up every day. The hard part is filtering out the poor quality/short lasting products from the good ones, while paying a reasonably low price.

Beautiful Drugstore Matte Lipsticks You Didn't Know About

I have three criteria a drugstore matte lip product has to meet for continuing use after the initial test:

  1. Ease of application
  2. Length of wear
  3. Compatibility with other products (I’ll explain this one!)

The reason I’m not including color comparison in this list is because colors look different on everyone and swatches on a computer screen aren’t very reliable. This isn’t a “dupe” article but rather a “how to find a high quality, low price product” article!

In this article you’ll see me exampling nude/blush/buff shades, because that’s what I wear, but the brands I’ll be discussing make matte products in many colors. This review is a quality check.

Beautiful Drugstore Matte Lipsticks You Didn't Know About

(Above: layered NYX Nude Pink 858 liner, Cover Girl Katy Kat Matte in Sphynx & Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid in 10 Nude Flush)

After a year and a half of trying dozens of matte drugstore lippies these are my favorites which meet the above listed requirements:

*1st Place Matte Liner: NYX SLIM PENCIL

Ease of Application ★★★★☆, Length of Wear ★★★★★, Compatibility ★★★★★

Lip liner ease of application is probably the most important of the three products I use for creating the perfect matte lip look. The liner creates the shape and barrier to keep the lipstick/gloss in place, so it’s important it doesn’t feather or bleed, yet goes on with enough thickness to be effective and blends will with other products. The NYX Slim Pencil’s creamy texture is perfection and the sharpened point administers just the right amount of color exactly where you slide it. Just FYI, not *all* of the colors in the collection are the same opacity, so they don’t all deliver the same intensity of color and the shimmer finish ones don’t go on quite as easily (hence the 4/5 rating on ease of application). However, I will say this liner lasts me ALL DAY. I don’t even have to re-apply it after lunch.

*I don’t have a 2nd, 3rd or so on choice in pencils because after trying dozens there is no comparison. However, I just found out NYX has a new ‘Suede Matte’ pencil liner so I will be comparing that to their ‘Slim Pencil’ soon!

Beautiful Drugstore Matte Lipsticks You Didn't Know About

Above, elbow to wrist: NYX Liquid Suede in Soft Spoken, Covergirl Katy Kat Matte in Sphynx, NYX Matte Lipstick in Natural and Spirit, Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid in Nude Flush, Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in Seduction, NYX Lingerie in Push-Up, Maybelline ColorSensation Matte Lipstick in Daringly Nude, NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in London.

1st Place Liquid to Matte: NYX Lingerie Liquid Matte Lipstick

Ease of Application ★★★★★, Length of Wear ★★★★★, Compatibility ★★★★★

I cannot stop singing the praises of this liquid to matte gloss. It goes on velvety smooth and dries to a true matte after about 5 minutes. Even fully dry it blends nicely with other lipsticks and glosses. It’s almost a little flexible too which means it doesn’t sink into the creases of my lips and create that unflattering cracked look that’s usually a problem with mattes. One of my favorite things to do is layer it throughout the day (maybe 3-4 times) and get a really lush lip look that lasts through lunch and well beyond 5pm. It does layer nicely but it’s definitely not necessary to continue layering since the staying power is incredible.

2nd Place Liquid to Matte: NYX Soft Matte Lip Creme

Ease of Application ★★★★★, Length of Wear ★★★★☆, Compatibility ★★★★☆

The length of wear on this product is only marginally shorter than the lingerie liquid gloss. The major upside is that there are way more colors to choose from and they’re often more available and sell out less than the lingerie shades.

Beautiful Drugstore Matte Lipsticks You Didn't Know About

3rd Place Liquid to Matte: Revlon Ultra HD Lipcolor

Ease of Application ★★★★★, Length of Wear ★★★★☆, Compatibility ★★★★☆

With this lippy you must layer any other glosses or lipsticks onto it *before* it dries, otherwise you will experience slight feathering. It will dry to a 85% true matte and has a pretty, soft effect that makes lips look extra kissable. If your’e looking for the more romantic side of mattes, this is the gloss for you. This one (for me) needed to be applied 2 more times after the initial morning application: Once after lunch and then once again about 4pm just because I like it to look extra fresh all the time.

4th Place Liquid to Matte: Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid

Ease of Application ★★★★☆, Length of Wear ★★★☆☆, Compatibility ★★★☆☆

Ease of application gets a 4/5 from me because the wand is a little too flimsy to be 100% precise. It doesn’t quite capture and hold the product on the applicator as well as it could. This product also isn’t a fully true matte: It dries to about a 75% matte but will dry to fully 100% if you layer it with a matte lipstick. This is a newer line of glosses and therefore available at most drugstores still, so grab it while you can! This isn’t one of my criteria but I have to mention how delicious this gloss smells! It’s smells like Chanel pressed powder to me. Somehow this product works best worn alone. It builds on its own color and looks absolutely stunning with a just a liner because it’s ultra pigmented. The soft, creamy finish doesn’t feather or bleed even after a few hours. It does need to be re-applied after eating or drinking (unless you use a straw).

Beautiful Drugstore Matte Lipsticks You Didn't Know About

1st Place Matte Solid Lipstick: Maybelline ColorSensational Matte Lipstick

Ease of Application ★★★★★, Length of Wear ★★★★★, Compatibility ★★★★★

These are probably the least popularized matte lipsticks out there because they were around before the matte lipstick craze. However, Maybelline has added dozens of shades to the line and they’re almost never sold out of any particular color at any drugstore I’ve seen them in. This is the most true matte lipstick I’ve ever tried. It goes on just a touch creamy (which is great for application and blending capability) and builds to a solid matte very quickly. It will only start to feather if you re-apply heavily, which you really do not have to do. I’ve applied liner and this lipstick with a gloss over and only ever have to re-apply a touch of whatever gloss I chose after 9 hours of wear and at least one meal plus drinking through a straw on and off all day. It’s almost like it helps the other products on your lips have better staying power.

2nd Place Matte Solid Lipstick: NYX Matte Lipstick

Ease of Application ★★★★☆, Length of Wear ★★★★☆, Compatibility ★★★★☆

This is the cult classic of matte drugstore lipsticks. With dozens of shades to choose from you’ll get a perfect matte every time. The ease of application near perfect and this lipstick won’t feather unless you just put way too much on. For me it only lasts slightly less time than the Maybelline in first place. After eating, I did notice it gathered just a little in the corners of my mouth, so just make sure you don’t put too much of it on if your’e going to be eating soon after. This lipstick does blend well with other brands except for (oddly enough) the NYX Liquid Suede gloss. Do not layer these two together. You’ll get a crazy thick, feathery mess!

3rd Place Matte Solid Lipstick: Covergirl Katy Kat Matte

Ease of Application ★★★★☆, Length of Wear ★★★☆☆, Compatibility ★★★☆☆

This is the first Cover Girl product I’ve used in 12 years. Covergirl has always had a cheap sort of smell and feel to me so I steered clear. I was intrigued though when I saw their collab lipstick with Katy Perry and had to try it out. Surprisingly enough it’s become one of my top 3 favorite solid matte lipsticks of all time. This is basically the lipstick version of the 4th place liquid matte lipstick I talked about earlier. It has a soft, 75% matte opacity but dries firmly and stays in place without that stiff/sticky feeling when you rub your lips together. After the initial morning application I usually touch up with one more application after lunch and another at about 4pm if I’m wearing the color alone. If I’m layering colors the last-factor is much longer. With the NYX lingerie liquid matte layered on top it will last *almost* all day. This lipstick only comes in a few colors but they’re all very pretty and soft.

Beautiful Drugstore Matte Lipsticks You Didn't Know About

I’m going to admit now that I have every intention of eventually purchasing a Kylie Lip-Kit because I can’t believe that something of poor quality is being sold out in minutes to serious makeup junkies purely on hype. $29 for a liner and gloss actually isn’t a bad deal considering some high-end matte lip products are going for $18 for a pencil and $28 for a gloss. I’ll definitely post an update with quality comparison to the drugstore versions I’ve discussed today.

I hoped this review helps you next time you’re in the drugstore and are tempted to try something new! The lesson I’ve learned is that there’s no shame turning back to tried and true favorites from your teenage makeup wearing years! Next time there’s a new makeup trend I’m going to try NYX or Maybelline’s versions first.



  1. September 22, 2016 / 16:17

    Great post!!! I have tried the NYX and Revlon. I returned the Revlon because it did not work for me and made my lips feel weird 🙂 Love a pink/nude lip anytime of the year 🙂 Tal xo

  2. September 22, 2016 / 18:50

    Thanks for sharing such a informative post! I love matte lip colour, so learned a lot from this and will be trying out various NYX products.

  3. October 18, 2016 / 16:59

    I’m absolutely crazy about NYX mattes. Copenhagen and Transylvania are some of my favorite fall colors to sport. They are easy to apply which is a big thing for me too. The colors look fabulous on you.

  4. October 18, 2016 / 18:03

    Great reviews! I’ll keep in mind. I’ve been wanting to try the Vivid Mattes. I have a couple of the NYX Lingerie matte lip glosses, but I really didn’t have the same experience of them being longwear, at all. I feel like they are in SOME places, but then they would sort of wear off in the center of my lips, leaving me with a weird outline lol. Didn’t wear a lipliner though, so maybe that’s the key! Thanks for sharing!
    xo Steph

    • Rachel October 19, 2016 / 21:38

      I agree Stephanie. The lingerie isn’t the BEST line of mattes nyx has offered. I even noticed a marked formula difference between different colors in the Lingerie line.

  5. October 18, 2016 / 19:55

    Great post! I have the hardest time finding matte lipsticks. I need to try some of your suggestions!

    Greta |

    • Rachel October 19, 2016 / 21:37

      Well hopefully I took some of the guess-work out of finding your next favorite matte lippie!

  6. October 18, 2016 / 19:59

    Oh gosh I haven’t tried these NYX ones. But I’ve been staying at them and debating. I definitely need to pick them up! Love this post!

    • Rachel October 19, 2016 / 21:36

      Yes Angela! You should take the plunge! Let me know what you think if you try them out!

  7. October 18, 2016 / 22:58

    I need to try some of these, I love matte lips!!

    • Rachel October 19, 2016 / 21:36

      Yay! I can’t wait to see which ones you try out! Let me know what you think if you find a good one!

  8. October 19, 2016 / 01:10

    Great list! I love that you rated them all. That is so smart and cute! I adore matte lips – well anything that adds color and shape to my lip, actually. Ha! I can’t wait to try some of these out!

    • Rachel October 19, 2016 / 21:35

      Yes, girl! That is exactly why I love mattes so much! You can easily (and naturally!) re-shape lips just a little!

  9. October 19, 2016 / 08:32

    I absolutely love how thorough this list of lippies is! I’ve been trying to find a good drugstore matte liquid lipstick that doesn’t give a dry, cracked look after application and you’re my gal!

    • Rachel October 19, 2016 / 21:34

      Yay! I’m so glad I could help, Shem!

  10. October 19, 2016 / 16:54

    Very interesting. I’ll have to keep that in mind when looking for a new lip colour. I haven’t tried a matte lip, but I am willing to experiment. Lol. Thanks again!

    • Rachel October 19, 2016 / 21:34

      I always find it easier on my wallet to experiment with drugstore options to see if I like something!