By Amelia Tan
The matte lipstick trend isn’t quite about to go away, is it — and why should it? I certainly can’t get enough of it, simply because I love how it always packs a pop of colour. Yeah, sheer washes are fine on most days, but when I’m looking for a lipstick that defines my entire makeup look for the day, I pick a bold matte. Red, every time. The finish just gives off that perfect amount of sophistication, so I’d look totally put-together even if all I’ve done is a quick winged eyeliner. It’s that amazing.
And at the NYLON office, matte lipsticks come in so often, and in so many different shades, that each of us ends up with a stash in no time. Obvious first world problems aside, the trouble is, finding one that sticks around long enough to meet the sacred insides of our makeup pouches — see, it’s gotta be something that, 1) we’d be excited to even pick up, 2) gives us the feeling of “love at first swatch”, and 3) passes the rigorous tests of great colour, staying power and comfortable wear. Not easy at all!
Thankfully, matte formulas today aren’t the chalky ones of the 90s, and recently, we’ve got our eye on the Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick. Here’s a lipstick that commits to everything we love — it’s a seductive ultra-matte lipstick, one that promises intense pigmented colour in a single stroke, while with long-lasting comfort.
Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in Vibe, Dominate, It Girl and BossWhat got me most excited was the word “ultra-matte”. Hey, even makeup artist and brand founder Laura Mercier agrees. She says she’s always loved the look of a bold matte lipstick, very French It-girl I might add, only to find that most don’t deliver on a comfortable formula. And despite being “ultra-matte”, this one does, without drying or cracking, thanks for a balance of mattifying powders and silky conditioners.
The slim bullet form also enables the lipstick to be precise, and able to grab and glide over your lips so the colour you want appears in a clean, soft stroke. What’s particularly ingenious? A built-in sharpener at the tip so that you’ll always get your lipstick to a nice soft point. That there are 24 shades, each grouped according to a colour category, just means you’ll find one that suits you to perfection.
Shades in Nude / Pink
Shades in Red / Berry
Oh, and that “flattering on all skin tones” claim? Here’s a gif that proves it, once and for all:
Of course, the best way to figure if something works is to test it out ourselves! Laura Mercier kindly sent down all 24 colours of the Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick to the office, much to the excitement of my beauty-obsessed colleagues (that’s all of us). With extreme difficulty and great deliberation, here are the ones we picked to try:
L – R: Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in Fatale (Berry) ; Fire (Red) ; Vibe (Nude)
And here’s how they look on us, plus what we thought after wearing the lipstick the entire day.
On Amelia: Fire
You can’t go wrong with a classic red, right? True to my love of experimenting with different lipstick colours, I decided to play with Fire — a bright and truly fiery red that’s admittedly more bold than an everyday one. I love the warm tone though, for a statement lip that pops against my fairer skin. Of course, a statement lip only works if the colour payoff’s great, and I’m pleased to say that this glided on super pigmented! I didn’t have to go over my lips twice for that full wash of colour. For those with dry lips like me, you might want to prep them with some lip balm (wait for it to dry) or a lip primer so it goes on like a dream.
What I enjoyed most is the super matte finish — what’s not to love, it’s trendy and eye-catching, plus I feel good about myself! And while there are plenty of extremely matte lipsticks that go on extremely drying, this isn’t one of them. The Laura Mercier lipstick feels comfortable, on application and even after going about my day, and doesn’t flake off or dry to unsatisfactory over-puckered lips; instead, I still had the bright burst of colour that lasted throughout.
On Eleni: Vibe
Everyone loves nudes, and if you’re a natural makeup kinda girl, this flattering beige shade is just the right amount of nude and just-bitten-lips pink to have you looking fresh-faced all day! Vibe’s actually one of the best-selling shades already — and also a shade that Leni immediately went for because it reflects her fuss-free style.
“I don’t often wear lipsticks, and when I do it’s normally for an occasion of sort. I found that the Laura Mercier lipstick was wearable for a typical work day that can easily shift into a nighttime outing,” she says. “I did find it a little drying, but the point of it is to stay on right? A dab of lip balm before application helped keep my lips hydrated and provided easier application.” I’d say that the colour looks great on her post-beach holiday tanned complexion! It’s definitely an easy and versatile colour to pull off, whether you’re more comfortable with a natural look, or need something subtle enough to pair with bold, dramatic eyes.
On Syiqin: Fatale
Almost any shade of lipstick looks great on Syiqin, but she went for a daring deep berry shade that reflected her fun-loving sense of style. Oh, and it’s also my duty to tell you that Fatale happens to be the exact regal shade that Emilia Clarke wore for her queenly look at the Met Gala. “The colour payoff is gorgeous, and it looks really good on my lips,” says Syiqin. “The lipstick doesn’t bleed and has a long staying power so that’s good!”
She did note that the pigment can a little drying at the end of the day, though nothing that a good base of lip balm can’t fix! As with all dark lipsticks, you’ll want to apply it properly so that it doesn’t look patchy from the start. That said, while Fatale looks great on Syiqin’s darker skin tone, I feel like anyone can and should try a berry lip — don’t let the dark shades intimidate you, you might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome!
Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick, $40, available at Laura Mercier counters. lauramercier.com
Huang Ching, using the Canon EOS 7D Mark II