I Tried All The Matte Lipsticks To Find The 12 Most Comfortable Formulas — PHOTOS

I love a good, matte lipstick. They generally last longer on the lips, are more transfer-proof, and are more pigmented than some other formulas. The only problem is that it can be difficult to find matte lipsticks that are actually comfortable. Because "long-lasting" and "highly-pigmented" usually also means "drying." And sure, you could make creamy lipsticks appear to be matte by either blotting with a tissue and setting with a translucent powder, or using a transforming top coat. But if you don't want the extra hassle, there are some non-drying, matte lipsticks worth trying.

To find out which ones those are, I test-drove a ton of different formulas. I tried liquid lipsticks, traditional lipsticks, lip pencils, drugstore lipsticks, department-store lipsticks — everything. You guys, it's been weeks of testing and if I didn't actually, my lips certainly feel like I've tried them all. Now I did always apply a very thin layer of lip balm under each lipstick because, let's be fair, it's kind of necessary with mattes. But all of the ones I'm willing to give my stamp of approval to were still lightweight, creamy, didn't crumble when I added another layer, and lasted at least five hours (with no lip liner) before starting to feel drying. So if you're on the market for a matte lipstick that's actually comfortable, in no particular order, here are 12 that I would totally recommend.

The below pictures all show the respective lipsticks immediately after application on the left, and after the recorded amount of "wear time" on the right unless otherwise noted.

1. NYX Matte Lipstick

NYX Matte Lipstick in Natural, $4, Amazon

Honestly, I was surprised that a drugstore find would have the longest, comfortable wear-time, but this NYX one took the cake. Admittedly, I didn't find the finish to be a true-matte, but more of a demi-matte. Nevertheless, it was extremely creamy and non-drying.

Wear time: 8 hours

2. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Sexy Sienna, $34, Nordstrom

The angled tip on this lightweight matte makes it perfect for carving out lip lines.

Wear time: 5.5 hours

3. Too Faced La Matte Lipstick

Too Faced La Matte Lipstick in Hey Gurrl, $22, Too Faced

Pigmented and opaque, this color still looked like I just applied it hours later.

Wear time: 5 hours

4. Smashbox Be Legendary Matte Lipstick

Smashbox Be Legendary Matte Lipstick in Safe Word, $21, Ulta

This formula is so light on the lips that I actually forgot I was wearing it.

Wear time: 6.5 hours

5. Tarte Drench Lip Splash Lipstick

Tarte Drench Lip Splash Lipstick in Surfer Girl, $17, Tarte Cosmetics

The amount of pigmentation coupled with how easily this lipstick glides on is like nothing I've ever used before. However, I would recommend using a lip liner with this formula, as it did pull towards lines around my lips. But if you like your lip color to pack a punch, this is the end-all of that department.

Wear time: 5 hours

6. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturizing Matte Lipstick

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturizing Matte Lipstick in Coral Crush, $25, Amazon

Another finish that leaned more demi-matte than true-matte, this lippie was crazy comfortable for a surprising number of hours.

Wear time: 7.5 hours

7. Fiona Stiles Color Impact Matte Lip Crayon

Fiona Stiles Color Impact Matte Lip Crayon in Rockaway, $4, Ulta

The pencil-format of this lippy made it so easy to apply, and I'm honestly a little obsessed with this formula.

Wear time: 5.5 hours

8. Kevyn Aucoin The Matte Lip Color

Kevyn Aucoin The Matte Lip Color in For Keeps, $33, Net-A-Porter

Although this color needed to be slightly built up to reach opacity, it glided on oh-so smoothly.

Wear time: 6 hours

9. Buxom Big & Sexy Bold Gel Matte Lipstick

Buxon Big & Sexy Bold Gel Matte Lipstick in Ruby Temptress, $22, Sephora

As much as I love this color and how well it lasted, the shape of the lipstick made it hard to apply without a lip liner or lip brush. But that color payoff? Totally worth the extra effort.

Wear time: 5 hours

10. Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte Lipstick

Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte Lipstick in Matte Beauty, $5, Amazon

For a matte lipstick, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn't accentuate any dry patches on my lips, but stayed smooth and light throughout wear.

Wear time: 5.5 hours

11. Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick

Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick in Tilt, $10, Urban Decay

Although this color is not for the faint-of-heart (talk about bright), any lipstick-lover will appreciate how creamy this matte is. Plus, this is another one of the few lippies that still looked like I freshly applied it hours later.

Wear time: 5.5 hours

12. Sonia Kashuk Knock Out Beauty Matte Lipstick

Color: Power Punch, $12, Target

So I forgot I had to go to a wine-tasting, and ran out the door without snapping a pic at the 6-hour mark (when I started feeling like a little gloss would've been nice). But three glasses of wine later (and eight hours after the initial application), this lipstick still looked perfect. Color me impressed.

Wear time: 6 hours

Final Thoughts

As a long-time lover of matte lipstick, I honestly wasn't expecting to find more than maybe two or three formulas that were actually comfortable for an extended period of time. Matte lipstick can be tricky, and we all know just how unbearable a drying lippy can be. So knowing that there are at least 12 matte lipstick-formulas that are still pleasant to wear gives me faith in the beauty industry. We really can have our lipstick and wear it too.

Images: Miki Hayes (13)