Matte lipstick: It's everywhere these days. Don't even try to come around here with that sticky tube of gloss, because fall 2013 is all about the zero-shine look.
When Rihanna took to her Instagram to post the first look from her upcoming Rihanna Hearts MAC Holiday Collection, it was the matte red lip heard round the Internet: We needed it, we wanted it, and we had to have it now.
Unfortunately, the collection comes out in December, and it's gonna be tough to actually snag a tube of the lipstick (her first lipstick with MAC, "Riri Woo," sold out in 3 hours). Plus, December is the month when we're all officially broke.
I'm here to tell you that you can get a Grammy-worthy matte red lip for under a dollar, no shame whatsoever.
At CVS, I found this tube of NYC lipstick in Retro Red for 99¢, waltzed over to the checkout and — I kid you not — it was on sale for 40 percent off. Best day of my life! Wet 'n' Wild also has red lipsticks for less than a dollar — brand doesn't really matter here, since you'll be layering so much, so just grab whatever's closest to a) true red and b) free.
First, I exfoliated my lips with a washcloth and swiped on some lip balm, because matte lipstick can be pretty drying. Here's what two layers of the NYC lipstick looks like:
It's vaguely glossy and not very saturated, but that's what you get for a lip color that's practically free.
Feeling totally ready to look exactly like Rihanna, at least in the lip region, I grabbed my best friend/faux dry shampoo: corn starch. I dipped my index finger into the corn starch and patted it on top of the lipstick until all traces of shine were gone.
For some magical reason, the lip color doesn't rub off at all — the corn starch just kind of slicks over the surface, matte-fying everything.
I repeated this step twice — lip color, cornstarch, lip color, cornstarch — to get a more saturated, darker red, and to plump up my lips. Marilyn Monroe used to build up her lips into their famous pout with layers of powder and lipstick, so this is a pretty tried-and-true technique. I brushed away all remaining traces of the cornstarch, and —
Image of Rihanna: @badgalriri/Instagram