Lippy dilemma: matte versus gloss?

Is it a case of dull versus shiny?

Is it a case of dull versus shiny?

Glossy lips.
L’Oréal Paris Cosmetics Infallible Lip Paints in gloss (top), matte (middle) and nude matte (bottom).

Justine Tyerman takes a walk on the wild side when she dabbles in matte after a life-time of gloss.

I’ve always been a high-gloss girl, ever since I began using lipstick at the ripe old age of six.

But recently I’ve noticed the trend for matte, especially among the young ones at the weddings I’ve attended lately.

At first I didn’t like it — I thought the effect was dull and . . . well . . . not shiny.

But after a while, the matte look grew on me, as fashions often do, and I decided it was sophisticated, dramatic and ultra-chic.

I began taking more notice of matte lipsticks, who was wearing them, where, when and why.

The world of matte lipsticks

Matte lipsticks are often worn in intense colours that look bold and striking. They make a strong statement so you need the confidence . . . and the outfits . . . to go with them.

The women wearing them seem to have the ‘out-there’ personality and wardrobe to match the matte look.

There’s a “walking on the wild side,” Hollywood siren element about them.

On the down side, matte lipsticks can look dry and powdery and accentuate the creases in the lips. They are also more difficult and time-consuming to apply correctly, requiring exfoliation of the lips to get rid of dry skin before applying . . . but then they are more long-lasting than gloss.

Gloss lippy is reflective and shiny and brings out the three-dimensionality of the lips.

It’s super easy to apply — just whack it on — but it disappears faster, even if you are not talking and eating, and needs to be reapplied more often than matte.

The overall effect of gloss is smooth, healthy-looking lips which convey a radiant, fresh, dew-kissed, outdoor, carefree look.

Having tentatively experimented with a few mattes, they certainly don’t feel as nice to wear as lip gloss which is naturally hydrating. Incidentally, I don’t advise the tentative approach — if you’ve glossed all your life like I have, a sudden change to matte does not go unnoticed, so be prepared for feedback, negative, positive and uncertain.

What does the expert say?

I decided to consult an expert on the subject.

L’Oréal Paris New Zealand makeup director Lisa Matson says:

“If you are wanting to create a retro or old-Hollywood glamour look, matte is the type of lipstick the professionals use as it tends to last longer.

“The only downside for matte lipsticks is it can make dry lips look drier. I recommend exfoliating lips before application and applying lip balm to hydrate the skin.

“Gloss lipsticks, on the other hand, help to make lips look fuller, soften your make-up look, especially heavy or bold eye make-up. But beware of the colour ‘bleeding’ into fine lines . . . and your hair getting stuck in the gloss.”

Very good point, if you have long hair.

And just as I thought I was catching up, apparently the very latest is the nude look. And then there’s the satin effect — somewhere between matte and gloss. Maybe I’ll give that a go as a safer, less risqué intermediary step.

Justine Tyerman takes a walk on the wild side when she dabbles in matte after a life-time of gloss.

I’ve always been a high-gloss girl, ever since I began using lipstick at the ripe old age of six.

But recently I’ve noticed the trend for matte, especially among the young ones at the weddings I’ve attended lately.

At first I didn’t like it — I thought the effect was dull and . . . well . . . not shiny.

But after a while, the matte look grew on me, as fashions often do, and I decided it was sophisticated, dramatic and ultra-chic.

I began taking more notice of matte lipsticks, who was wearing them, where, when and why.

The world of matte lipsticks

Matte lipsticks are often worn in intense colours that look bold and striking. They make a strong statement so you need the confidence . . . and the outfits . . . to go with them.

The women wearing them seem to have the ‘out-there’ personality and wardrobe to match the matte look.

There’s a “walking on the wild side,” Hollywood siren element about them.

On the down side, matte lipsticks can look dry and powdery and accentuate the creases in the lips. They are also more difficult and time-consuming to apply correctly, requiring exfoliation of the lips to get rid of dry skin before applying . . . but then they are more long-lasting than gloss.

Gloss lippy is reflective and shiny and brings out the three-dimensionality of the lips.

It’s super easy to apply — just whack it on — but it disappears faster, even if you are not talking and eating, and needs to be reapplied more often than matte.

The overall effect of gloss is smooth, healthy-looking lips which convey a radiant, fresh, dew-kissed, outdoor, carefree look.

Having tentatively experimented with a few mattes, they certainly don’t feel as nice to wear as lip gloss which is naturally hydrating. Incidentally, I don’t advise the tentative approach — if you’ve glossed all your life like I have, a sudden change to matte does not go unnoticed, so be prepared for feedback, negative, positive and uncertain.

What does the expert say?

I decided to consult an expert on the subject.

L’Oréal Paris New Zealand makeup director Lisa Matson says:

“If you are wanting to create a retro or old-Hollywood glamour look, matte is the type of lipstick the professionals use as it tends to last longer.

“The only downside for matte lipsticks is it can make dry lips look drier. I recommend exfoliating lips before application and applying lip balm to hydrate the skin.

“Gloss lipsticks, on the other hand, help to make lips look fuller, soften your make-up look, especially heavy or bold eye make-up. But beware of the colour ‘bleeding’ into fine lines . . . and your hair getting stuck in the gloss.”

Very good point, if you have long hair.

And just as I thought I was catching up, apparently the very latest is the nude look. And then there’s the satin effect — somewhere between matte and gloss. Maybe I’ll give that a go as a safer, less risqué intermediary step.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    ​Do you think Gladstone Road Bridge should have its concrete parapet walls converted to steel railings on one or both of its sides as part of the upgrade and widening under way?

    See also:

    Opinion: