With Long-Wearing Matte Liquid Lipsticks, My Lips Are NOT a Winter Wonderland

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

How my lips feel today, in a nutshell...

How my lips feel today, in a nutshell…

Man, oh, man! Long-wearing matte liquid lipsticks look sooo good, but they can also be sooo drying.

I don’t know what I was thinking yesterday by swatching the 15 new MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolours in friggin’ winter.


Well…almost winter, and even though it doesn’t get real-deal 30-below cold here, it’s still been cold for California (is that also ’cause of El Niรฑo?), and the heater has been kicking on every five seconds, so I don’t know why I thought my lips would come out of this swatch-fest unscathed.

YOU SO CRAZY, KAREN!!! What the heck were you thinking? After removing the last of the swatches, my lips felt like I’d been tongue wrestling a cheese grater, and they’re still a little tender today.

That’s what I get for thinking that I could try on 15 matte liquid lipsticks…



The lesson here? This time of year, consider the condition of your lips before reaching for the long-wearing matte liquid lipstick because, by nature, they can be pretty drying, even though the MAC Retro Mattes are no more drying than usual (in fact, I think they’re slightly less drying than usual).

It won’t be an issue if your lips are in good shape, and you aren’t contending with dryness or flakes (and if that describes you, can I please have whatever you’re having?).

If you do decide to wear them because you crave that vintage ’40s screen siren glam, proper prep work beforehand can help. For instance, the night before, go buck wild by layering lots of lip balm before bed (I’ve been using and loving Nuxe Reve de Miel).

LIKE, SERIOUSLY, LAYER THAT SHIZZ LIKE YOU’RE MAKING A 10-LAYER CAKE, and just accept that your cat is probably going to crawl all over your face at 3 o’clock in the morning to deposit mountains of cat hair on your lips.

It’s cool, though, because your lips will be appropriately prepped.

But then do it again right before you go in with your matte liquid lipstick. I usually do it as one of my first steps right when I sit down to apply my makeup. That way, by the time I’m finished doing my eyes, foundation, brows and all that good stuff, the balm has had some time to work.


When it comes to matte liquid lipsticks, never give up! Never surrender!

Just prep. ๐Ÿ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. And here are some more tips for dealing with a parched winter pout.


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So far, 39 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Chelsea says:

    Good tips! I’ve been hoarding different lip balms to find the best one, and so that I have one everywhere. It’s finally getting wintery here in Michigan, which means dry air and cold, leading to dry skin. Ugh!

    • Karen says:

      I’ve heard you guys have been having some unusual weather! We have been too out here in California. Wish I could say it was warm but it’s been unusually cold. Me (and my dry skin) are so over it.

      • Chelsea says:

        Yes, it’s been weird! It was in the mid 60s earlier this week, and high 50s before that. Super unusual! Plus, this time last year we were covered in snow.

        My skin’s pretty dry at the best of times, so winter just makes it way worse. I’m sure pregnancy hormones are making your skin do weird things anyway!

  2. Alexis says:

    GUUURL….you so cray cray! Love that pic!

    • Karen says:

      LOL, thanks Alexis! Here’s the funny thing: this pic was completely unplanned. I was doing test shots for lighting and was making funny faces the entire time. Ended up keeping this one because it made me laugh! ๐Ÿ™‚

      By the way, is it Friday yet?!

  3. Nicole O. says:

    yes, what’s up with the abnormally cold weather in cali ?!

    it’s been dropping as low as 32ยฐ at night here in so cal .

    hoping it rains so it can at snow like it did on NYE last year .

    that was such an awesome treat !

    most liquid lippies are drying , but i can’t get enough of them .

    gotta catch ‘me all ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    i do my lips last , so i apply yes to coconut’s cooling lip oil beforehand .

    it smells yummy & feels soooo nice .

    holy grail status for me .

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, it’s been crazy! It’s El Nino. It’s only a matter of time before the rain starts pouring and doesn’t stop!

      You’re the second person to mention that oil in the last couple of weeks, by the way. I gotta get around to trying it!

  4. Lauren says:

    This might be my favorite picture of you ever! ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Karen says:

      LOL, thanks Lauren! Funny thing is I didn’t mean to take it. I was doing test shots for lighting and since I was in front of the camera anyway decided to make some funny faces. ๐Ÿ™‚ Those unplanned pictures are the best, I swear!

      I hope that you’re having a good week so far. I’m so far behind on my holiday stuff (I can’t believe Christmas is next week), but at least I’ve made some progress. The tree is finally decorated, yay! Next up, lights on the windows…

  5. Alexis says:

    If you haven’t tried it yet, Beauticontrol Skinlogics Lip Apeel is so amazing. I have sensitive lips that get really bad and peel something fierce year round.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alexis,

      Thank you for the recommendation! Where did you buy yours? Is it something I have to get online, or can I pick it up at Ulta or at the drugstore?

      • Alexis says:

        My apologies Karen that it took so long to answer your question. It will be easier to Google Beauticontrol and go from there. I buy mine from a family friend that sells Beauticontrol products but I’m sure that you can buy it from their website.

  6. Tatiana says:

    That is the cutest expression ever! I’m loving the purple smoky eye look!
    I have never found a liquid lipstick I find comfortable to wear. They just feel really odd to me. I rarely have dry lips, but this year they are flaking. Ugh. I’ve found that if I put on a layer of Dr. Jart Ceramidin Lipair under Nuxe Reve de Miel overnight, they usually are better by morning. The Ceramidin is really moisturizing, it just doesn’t last that long, that’s why I put the Reve de Miel or Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask over it. The RdM is less sticky than the Bite Agave Lip Mask. And what’s up with the cat hair? My girl usually sleeps on my hip or tummy but I still wake up with black cat hairs on my lips. The hairs must float on the currents of the forced air heating or something.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Tatiana! It’s the same look I wore in the Boots Purple Smoky Tutorial from last month. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can never go wrong with purple smoky eyes…

      Maybe your kitty is sleeping on your pillow when you’re not aware of it? Or maybe she’s giving you kisses in the middle of night?

      I wish I could say Tabs was giving me kitty kisses, but noooo. He drapes himself across my neck and just chills there. Usually I’m too tired to turn him away! That cat gets away with everything, I swear. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Tatiana says:

        All the spoiled kitties out there get away with everything. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. Truth be told sometimes I wake up with Nora on my chest, staring me straight in the eye and purring. It’s her way of saying, “Feed me NOW! I’m starving.”

        • Karen says:

          Honestly, I think that’s the only reason I ever get any love from Tabs. If he wasn’t hell bent on eating ALL DAY LONG I would never see him, HAHA!

          How long have you and Nora been together?

  7. Alli says:

    Hey Karen! You think combined with winter, its another awesome pregnancy symptom? I am 35 weeks tomorrow, and for the last few weeks, my lips are just literally flaking off everyday. I have been exofilating with my ELF lip exofilator and putting the BITE Agave Mask on. Way more lip maintence than ever before, but it still is not working! I am blaming on preggo hormones somehow, but I feel your literal lip pain!

  8. Lulle says:

    Karen this has to be the best picture you ever posted, lol!
    I have very dry, flakey lips in the winter, and I never understood why light, balmy formulas are trending in spring/summer, while the heavy and matte ones are considered fall/winter appropriate…
    Lulle recently posted … Reviv Serums TelomErase: A Tale of Telomeres (review)

    • Karen says:

      Mine are the same way! The crazy thing is winter here in California is mild compared to the rest of the country. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to wear one of the heavy matte formulas where it snows, can you?!

    • Stephanie says:

      That’s such a good point about the trends going against what works for our bodies. Wow!

  9. Erin says:

    I love the photo. I hear you, gotta get that BALM!
    Erin recently posted … Le Pepin 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

  10. Soraya says:

    Your hair has been lookin real purty, Karen. Sometimes I see pregnant women and their luscious manes and contemplate becoming with fetus for the beauty benefits. Sigh.

    • Karen says:

      Thank, Soraya. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that not too much falls out after Baby Girl is born. Hopefully, hopefully! ๐Ÿ™‚

      How have you been? Are you all done with your holiday shopping? I still have a ton to do!

  11. Nina says:

    Karen, this is coming from someone who has lip eczema (yes, it’s a thing and it’s hellish), get your paws on a Topicrem Essentials Lip Balm. It’s truly healing, prescribed to me by my dermatologist and the only thing that makes my lips go “aaahhh…” with relief. You can layer it like this; first put some on, blend it with your finger, then put on some more, blend it again and then put Nuxe one on top, you know, like a topcoat for your lips. It always works. Also, get a Body Shop muslin cloth and do your lip peeling with it. It’s really good. Plus, no hot sauce or salt on the lips, they really dry them out. Oh, and, you can use Topicrem on your baby too, it’s for both adults and babies =)

  12. Nina says:

    I believe you can buy it without a prescription, it’s a French pharmacy brand like Bioderma, La Roche Posay etc. I get mine from my local pharmacist. Maybe you could find it on Amazon?

  13. Roda says:

    I love this pic of you (and so funny others have commented the same as well)! I am a sucker for these liquid lipsticks…ummm can you say instagram advertising! So many pretty, pretty, pretty colors but soooo drying indeed…*sigh*. However, I’m lusting over the Mac Velvetease lippies as a lot of the colors looked gorgeous on you in the previous post!

  14. Iris says:

    They are rather drying. I’ve used lipstick base for mine. It helps with the dryness and makes them more smooth.

  15. Oh my, your poor lips…
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Taking out the trash III

  16. I feel you, girl, the struggle is real ๐Ÿ™

    Also: ”LIKE, SERIOUSLY, LAYER THAT SHIZZ LIKE YOUโ€™RE MAKING A 10-LAYER CAKE, and just accept that your cat is probably going to crawl all over your face at 3 oโ€™clock in the morning to deposit mountains of cat hair on your lips.”

    That had me lollerballing for a good full minute, hahaha.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Make-up look | Liar

  17. Stephanie says:

    Okay, so what I’m getting here is to never wear matte lipsticks when I’m going somewhere excessively drying. So, my thing lately is that I have my eczema on my hands and my super-dry lips pretty under control so far this winter, but the second I step into the place I work my part-time job – bam! Right now I have incredibly peeling lips and one of my fingers has a cut from the skin splitting open last night. I guess I can start wearing creamy lipsticks every time I go in (instead of nothing) and reapply constantly, but I’m not sure about how to protect my hands, since there’s limited space to store things… But I’ll take your warning and stay away from the matte liquid lipsticks!

  18. Claudia says:

    I think your ultra dry lips are a pregnancy thing. Mine were and no balm could keep them soft… got worst when breastfeeding. Turns out I needed to drink about a gallon and a half of water a day and that helped. Am now pregnant again and am starting to experience the same thing all over :/ You will lose a ton of hair around three months after baby girl is here and then go through this weird stage as some of it starts to grow back in and sticks up or out at all the wrong places. Blowdrying makes it look worse. But that sweet face makes it all worth it.

  19. Amy Hoeh says:

    Hi Karen,
    Your posts are always so thorough. Thank you to your lips for enduring the pain for us. Pregnancy certainly agrees with you because I don’t think I’ve ever seen you look so glowingly beautiful. You’ve always been stunning, but you’ve taken it to a whole new level. As much as I can’t wait to see your miracle of joy, I’m loving this hawt mama look you’ve got going on. I was not so fortunate during my pregnancy with my twin boys. Happy 2016! Just a few more months!! Hugs.

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