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Pro Tips to Mastering Matte Makeup (Without Looking Dull)

Dec 11 2013 - 4:26am

Our favorite part about the snowy season is going for the matte makeup trend that is often spotted on the runway, and InStyle [1] has rounded up the expert tips and products you need to nail the look.

Matte makeup made a statement on the Fall runways because its low-shine finish isn't dull or chalky, just more polished-looking than in dewier days past. Now, we've rounded up 14 tips for getting the fresh-faced look just right for the new season, from going gloss-free on your lips to opting for a non-shiny polish for your nails. Just remember the chic inspiration: The matte look is luminous and radiant, just like you, making it a perfect complement to your Winter wardrobe. Click through learn how to get the look, complete with our picks for lipsticks, nail polishes, foundations and more.

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Source: IMAXtree [5]

"Luminous" Matte

Down the catwalk, makeup artist Pat McGrath’s "radiantly ethereal matte" skin combined subtle highlighting with an overlay of matte foundation, concealer, and powder. For a similar look, she says, apply the base at left "from the center of the face outward," then lightly and evenly brush the powder over your entire face.

Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Finish Powder Foundation [6] ($59) and Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation [7] ($66)

Feed Skin

Shine-free? Yes. Dry and flaky? Not if we can help it! To pack in moisture without adding greasiness, layer two very light hydrating products, says makeup artist and Estée Lauder creative makeup director Tom Pecheux. Massage in two drops of a light oil followed by a “water-based, nongreasy” moisturizer.

Rodin Olio Lusso Face Oil [8] ($150)

Zap Shine

"With all the new product technology, you can get a matte look from a light formula," says Pecheux, who recommends Estée Lauder’s Idealist Pore-Minimizing Serum [9] ($140) to give skin a satin finish before your base goes on. If skin is oily, makeup pro suggest swiping Shiseido's Mattifying Stick [10] ($25) over the T-zone.

Add the Perfect Base

"The biggest mistake you can make when going matte is using too much foundation," says Pecheux, who likes liquid versions, such as the Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation [11] ($37) or Kett Cosmetics Hydro Foundation [12] ($30). Use a brush to apply, then gently tap with your fingertips for a seamless blend.

Adjust the Coverage

If you're shooting for the polished perfection of the runway, you'll need to apply foundation over your entire face. Feel too mask-like? Dampen a makeup sponge and dab it over the base to thin it out. Once skin dries, use concealer as needed.

Beautyblender sponge [13] ($20)

Set the Look

Since the previous steps should have neutralized any sheen, your goal here is to ensure a little more staying power with a light dusting of translucent powder. Using a smaller brush, hit the sides of the nose and the forehead but avoid the cheeks. "You want light to reflect off them," says Pecheux.

MAC 138 tapered face brush [14] ($53)

Deep and Precise

The "ultra" lip, as Pat McGrath calls it, is all about layering pigments. Specifically, she combined two base colors, then added a deeper color to the center of the lips before blotting to remove shine. An even faster formula? Fill in lips with a pencil, then apply lipstick with your finger to layer color. Blot.

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lip Color in Hot, Enamor, and Queen Collection See Red [15] ($6 each)

Blurred and Beautiful

Tom Pecheux layered two crimson lipsticks and a powder pigment, then used a Q-tip with setting powder to smudge the natural lip line. Recreate the look by applying concealer all over your mouth then pressing on lipstick or a stain with your fingers.

MAC Lip Pencil [16] in Burgundy or Half-Red ($15), Pigment in Basic Red ($21), Lipstick [17] in Hang-Up ($15), Lipmix [18] in Crimson ($15)

Bold and Bright

Love a maximum-wattage matte (like this custom made combo of yellow-based red plus magenta), but wonder what shade would work for you? "Go with a color you’re comfortable with, but push it a bit," says makeup pro Romy Soleimani. "If you wear peach, try tangerine."

Marc Jacobs Beauty Lovemarc Lip Gel [19] in Happy Ending ($30) or Givenchy Le Rouge [20] in Mandarin Bolero ($36)

Be Exacting

"I don't know many women who can perfect apply a strong color directly from the tube," says Pecheux. Use a brush for more control. Or apply color to the middle of your mouth and use a Q-tip to fan it out to the corners.

Sephora Collection Retractable Lip Brush No. 60 [21] ($10)

Keep It Tidy

"If you're intimidated by a stronger mouth, put on your liner and lipstick, then use a concealer pen to clean up around the edges," says Nick Barose. Final step: Powder lightly to set the matte color.

CoverGirl + Olay Concealer Balm [22] ($8)

Pick Your Poison

Stains offer long lasting matte coverage but can be tricky to apply since they set almost instantly. For easier, one-step mattes, opt for a liquid lipstick that dries to a creamy matte finish.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick [23] in Beso and Aria ($22)

Crimson Satin

Whether it's a vampy red that matches your lips, or a work-appropriate nude that updates your look, a matte mani is as simple as choosing a color you like in a regular polish, then adding a matte topcoat. "Resist the urge to reapply the topcoat if you don't see instant results," warns manicurist Deborah Lippmann, who says that her own version [Flat Top Matte-Maker topcoat [24] ($20)] needs to be completely dry before it turns flat.

Deborah Lippmann Silk nail lacquer in Red Silk Boxers [25] ($19), Jin Soon Tibi Collection Matte Maker topcoat [26] ($18), Essie Matte About You [27] ($10), OPI Matte topcoat [28] ($9)

Roughed Up

Try the "eroded monochromatic" technique that CND's Candice Manacchio used at Alexander Wang: Apply your preferred shade (hers was taupe on the catwalk; we also like a metallic gray or green), followed by a regular topcoat to seal it. Then take the rough side of a buffer and slough off the shine.

CND Glossing Block [29] ($7) and Vinylux nail polish [30] in Impossibly Plush ($10)

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