From the Beauty Closet

Lips Don’t Lie

4 years ago by

Lips Don’t Lie

Every once in a while I decide to “elevate” my look (let’s be honest, super rare) with a little lipstick. I’m a big fan of a matte lip and often use a matte lip pencil, but after 2–maybe 3 hours max–my lips are dry, flaky, my lipstick is coming off. Basically by the end of the day I’ve exfoliated my lips with my fingers enough to get all the dry skin off, leaving half smooth, lipstick-less lips behind.


And come on, it’s not realistic to exfoliate your lips on even a semi-regular basis. I don’t know anyone with a job, relationship, dog…who has time for that. And it’s not like my lips were dry before I put the lipstick on. So what can I do?! I don’t want to give up on matte red lips forever but my dragon girl color is evolving into a dragon mouth. Period.


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  • Hello fellow Emily! I’ve had the same problem but can’t give up my matte lipsticks – what’s been working for me lately is I exfoliate my lips with a toothbrush after brushing my teeth 2-3x a week (after washing off the toothpaste of course), and I apply a lip primer before lipstick. I’ve been using MAC’s prep+prime for lips and it’s been working really well so far! It keeps my lips smooth and not crackly.

  • I was the same until…I came across NUXE reve de miel lip balm, it’s around 15.00 per pot. The most nourishing balm (and it’s matte) I have ever used. I slather it on at night, only after I used the back of my toothbrush (you know now they have that tongue cleaner bristle on the back) to exfoliate my lips a little, and voila, lush lips 24/7, even in the winter!

  • I love Red matte lipsticks and it is so crazy to find time to exfoliate.

  • Pour moi c’est principalement une question de marque: le MAC reste tres bien en place sur moi.
    Il faut aussi faire attention aux retouches, ne pas remettre de rouge à lèvre après avoir mangé gras, sinon la texture mate ne tient pas et crée des sortes de bouloches étranges. Et enfin, le soir mettre un baume ultra hydratant pour pouvoir recommencer le lendemain :)

  • I found Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Hot Pepper 1.5 years ago and since then matte red lips have become my signature look! I’m wearing red lipstick almost every single day. Try it out! It’s perfect. (And a lip CREAM instead of a lip BALM makes all the difference – I haven’t exfoliated my lips in about a year, I just don’t need to anymore!)

  • I, too, exfoliate my lips after brushing. But I do this at night, before bed. 2-3 times a week, after brushing my teeth, I exfoliate, then apply Aquaphor. In the a.m., before lipstick, I use a teeny, tiny dot of.Aquaphor before lipstick. Even as the need to re-apply lipstick throughout the day occurs, my lips remain soft and smooth.

  • Moi aussi, j’ai craqué récemment pour du rouge à lèvres mat. Enfin du rose framboise à lèvres d’ailleurs pour être plus précise.
    Je porte rarement du maquillage sur les lèvres.
    Mais c’est de voir mes nièces, ados, aux lèvres flamboyantes
    C’est de regarder alors dans la rue les femmes sans rouge devenir fades à mes yeux
    C’est de me souvenir de Vanessa Paradis avec ses lèvres Coco me sourire sur des magazines
    Qui m’a fait craquer pour un rouge, Allure Velvet, pas seulement un numéro mais aussi un joli surnom: La Raffinée
    Moi ça achève de me séduire un nom pareil
    Mais toujours fidèle à mon Dermophil Indien
    Toujours. Fidèle compagnon. J’ai un stick près du lit, un autre dans la salle de bain, un autre dans mon sac, un autre dans ma voiture (souvent fondu au soleil le pauvre chéri), Quelques uns perdus dans les poches de manteaux, (je les retrouverai bientôt cet hiver, mes chéris). Au coucher, dès que l’homme est endormi, une dizaine de couches de mon précieux compagnon Dermophil
    Et au réveil, mes lèvres sont prêtes
    Pour donner de doux baisers et pour se parer de mon rose mat (non sans avoir apposer une petite couche de rappel de mon Dermophil qqs minutes avant d’appliquer le rouge/rose/brun comme vous voulez)

  • Madeleine September, 5 2016, 9:27 / Reply

    Well try some dry oil before you apply the matte lipstick! Ithe stayes matte and lips remain wonderful! Xxx

  • I’ve solved that problem by using amazing semi-matte color by Chanel. Lipstick color Arthur. Not drying, color is great, and stays for a good amount of time.

    You can always try putting some lip care over that mat texture. I do that sometimes when I use mate works for me :)

  • Mdr! C’est ça, le challenge, la vie tellement prenante et affairée qu’on n’a plus de temps pour prendre soin de soi? Avoir un job ET un mec ou un chien? Mais, ma jolie, c’est peanuts, ça. Fingers in the nose! Le vrai challenge, c’est trouver du temps pour soi quand on a des enfants! :-)
    Sinon, je suis curieuse de découvrir comment font les filles qui gardent leur rouge à lèvre (mat) plus d’une ou deux heures. J’ai jamais su, moi…

  • ELISABETH September, 6 2016, 4:00 / Reply

    Coucou Emily, comme toi je craque sur les rouges mats.
    Ma petite technique c’est :
    1/ hydrater tranquilou au quotidien avec le baume mythique CARMEX ,
    2/ se faire plaisir avec le rouge Méga Matt n°714 de Urban Decay.

    Bisous rouges et soyeux.

  • Ekin Akpinar September, 6 2016, 5:00 / Reply

    I’m using vaseline and sugar.

  • Doctors2c September, 6 2016, 6:39 / Reply

    Dry, flaking lips may be a symptom of thyroid problems or yeast infection. Google Cheilitis to know more.

  • Mes conseils :
    -toujours mettre de l’homéoplasmine le soir en couche épaisse
    -le matin après m’être brossé les dents je fais un gommage avec une brosse à dents
    -juste après je remets de l’homéo
    -avant de mettre le rouge j’enlève l’excédent
    -pour les retouches je tamponne toujours mes lèvres avec un mouchoir pour enlever le gras
    -si vraiment mes lèvres sont trop sèches je mets du stick (par-dessus le rouge) et j’enlève l’excédent !

  • Yep, same here.
    Every lipstick that stays on the lips also makes lips so dry and flaky! I don’t even use long lasting ones. Very frustrating but maybe some things are just not meant to be? :)

  • Thank you for all of the suggestions! I’m so surprised to see how often you all exfoliate–seems like I should give it a go! xx

  • Chrissie Dyson September, 6 2016, 9:22 / Reply

    I use lip oils and I always put on a lip balm before bed. Its a constant battle ????

  • Always drink tons of water and your lips will be lipstick ready!

  • Rimmel makes a matte “lipstick” (it looks like a gloss, but it dries matte) that does not go ANYWHERE, like 100% road tested by me and others, it will not leave your face until you use makeup remover. It’s called Provocoplips (sounds like an odd kind of dinosaur) and is about 6 bucks at target, or any other purveyor of fine goods. I have three colors, the closest to dragon lady I believe is Kiss Me You Fool.

    One caveat before you go rushing to Duane Reade, do NOT wear this every day. It seriously seals your lips and will cause breakouts around your mouth if you wear it every day and, like me, are prone to that kind of thing. But for a special, must win, kind of day, this is the stuff.

  • I guess you’re using dragon girl matte lip pencil from Nars! The same happens to me – I use the same pencils and lip flakiness abounds. The trick is to wear lip balm underneath the nars color. It gives it a liiittle bit of shine, which somewhat defeats the super matte purpose, but so worth it in terms of smoother lips. I also wear the lip balm everyday, even when not wearing color on top, it’s a daily skin moisturizer routine on lips :)

  • Aydan Sarikaya September, 6 2016, 12:06 / Reply

    MAC MAC MAC!! I cannot stress this enough! It may go on a bit glossy, but it will fade spectacularly and you will only have to reapply like 2 or three times throughout the day!! I wear lipstick every day and I swear by my MAC ones.

  • Love the lipstick used in the photo! Do you know which one it is?

  • annemarie September, 6 2016, 4:13 / Reply

    I hear you and I have a solution. I never exfoliate my lips. I use Urban Decay lipliner (matte, great endurance, 69 is a nice classic red)– all over the lips. Then I put Caudalie lip conditioner on top (a stick costs $15 in Sephora). Unlike lip balm, this stuff does not make your lips shiny. It’s extremely moisturizing but your lip color will still look matte.

  • karacocoa September, 6 2016, 4:35 / Reply

    Put some Vaseline or raw Shea Butter or cocoa butter (keep it simple) on your lips before bed. You can use your fingers or a wet-washcloth the next morning to wipe off the dead skin. Lips will be smooth.

  • I never exfoliate my lips but I use the Sephora Lip Stain that stays put whatever I do and looks smooth and matte. It covers everything!

  • Salut :)
    Moi aussi je souffre du meme problème et je n’arrive toujours pas à trouver une solution

  • Hi, i usualy just apply some lipbalm whenever i fell my lips starting to get dry and blot the excess of, don’t need to be fancy in desperate times anything will do ;)
    lovely lip color btw

  • Salut Emily,

    J’ai le même problème quand je n’applique pas de baume à lèvres au préalable. Du coup avant de mettre du crayon j’en applique toujours. Des fois aussi ça dépend des crayons. Je sais que par ex les crayons à lèvres Kiko sont faits pour moi, avec eux pas besoin de baume avant application. Tout ce que j’ai à faire ce sont quelques retouches si besoin ????

  • -drink extra water before and after sleep
    -put Burt’s Bees natural chapstick in every purse/coat pocket, in makeup kit, at desk
    -use Maybelline Super Stay 24 lip color

  • Yes TAT,

    Lip balm Rêve de miel by Nuxe.

  • MAC is my go to, hands down! I don’t use their foundation because it’s on a heavy side for me personally, but their red lip is amazing. Also, NARS Cruella works well for me – no dryness!


  • First I applicate the lip balm from nuxe on my lips then I put my mat jungle red lipstick from Nars. I pinch a tissue with my lips and I put the lipstick again, I pinch the tissue again …. and I repeat the operation 4 times minimum.
    Best process to keep the color on the lips and stay hydrated.
    Homéoplasmine is also great before sleeping !

  • Lauretta Geraldo November, 18 2016, 10:37 / Reply

    Hahahaha! I love the truth in these posts.

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