The Makeup Maniac: Return of the matte

24 July 2014
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The Makeup Maniac: Return of the Matte

Dewy, sheer and metallic have been beauty buzzwords for a good few seasons, but there’s something about a velvety matte lip or complexion that screams (or rather, purrs) Old Hollywood. Matte’s classic appeal doesn’t make it a dated choice, however, as this summer’s catwalks prove; both Dior and Giorgio Armani suceeded in making matte modern. It’s also a refreshing beauty update in the heat - dewy quickly becomes sweaty on the morning commute. Fashionable and functional? Welcome back matte.

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Illamasqua Matte Veil Primer

Any matte look, or any look full stop in my opinion, should start with a primer. This innovative water based gel primer hydrates, wicks oils away from the skin and feels satisfyingly silky. Its unique texture is a breath of fresh air - many mattifying primers leave a white film over the skin or have a tendency to feel thick and heavy, but this creamy, coconutty base somehow makes skin look luminous and matte at the same time. Mind boggling, but that’s modern matte for you.

£30,  buy online 

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Jouer Matte Moisture Tint

A matte tinted moisturiser is a rare creature, but this Jouer gem has achieved legendary beauty product status thanks to its subtle skin-perfecting power and shine-free finish. Have it on standby on muggy days when foundation feels excessive, but you need a helping hand to mop up grease and conceal imperfections. It also boasts SPF 15, antioxidants and vitamins - it’s so much more than a hint of tint.

£29,  buy online 

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Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Matte Liquid Foundation

When a seamless, picture-perfect visage is required, Dolce & Gabbana are your guys. This is the foundation equivalent of a fine wine - it’s luxuriously light yet indulgently creamy and will go down a treat on a hot summer’s day. Unlike a glass of red, however, its effects last all day; you’ll look radiant come nightfall rather than worse for wear.

Formulated with an exclusive Matte Adapt Complex™, makeup artist Pat McGrath sings its praises as one of the most “intelligent” foundations she’s used. That validation, along with the fact that it leaves you looking like an immaculate Renaissance oil painting, is enough for me to bathe in it at the beginning of the day. It’s expensive, so obviously I won’t, but blended over the t-zone it’s a mattifying miracle.

£39,  buy online 

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Sisley Phyto-Poudre Compact

If matte fan Marilyn Monroe had a modern day powder compact, it would be this one. The leopard print packaging illustrates that matte needn’t mean dull, while the finely milled camellia extract infused powder elevates this face powder to bonafide luxe status. It may be pricey, but whipping this out in the ladies/ on the tube/ at every possible occasion is sure to get you noticed for all of the right reasons. Your shiny bits, on the other hand, will go undetected, mainly because they’ll be invisible.

£60,  buy online 

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Nars Matte Multiple

If shimmery cheeks make you run for the hills, meet the Matte Multiple. This is a blusher, bronzer and pretty much whatever you want it to be. It’s creamy colour for grown ups, but when it comes to application, blending and contouring, it’s child’s play (daub it on with your fingers). It’s subtle, buildable and can be applied wet or dry - apply wet for a sheer wash of colour and dry for a bolder, more intense matte hue. Makeup artist Arabella Preston   loves using a bright shade of this on the lips, combined with a "slightly dewy, bronzed base". One of her favourite techniques is to combine textures:

"It's so chic to have a mix of finishes on the face and it works equally well in summer or winter, just change the tones you're using".

£30,  buy online 

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Benefit Hoola Bronzer

An oldie and a goodie, Hoola has been helping us to achieve a Hawaii glow for over 12 years. Its award-winning matte formula is loved the world over thanks to its convincing tan-fakery - whether you’re in Haggerston or Honolulu you’ll look a lot healthier after a swipe of this fine, satiny powder. A godsend for the pale and pasty, it’s a holiday in a box, without the dreaded ‘muddy’ effect that can occur with other matte bronzers.

£23.50,  buy online 

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Lipstick Queen Oxymoron in Open Secret

The perfect example of a clever, multi-purpose modern matte, this lip and cheek tint is so called as it fuses the ease and wearability of a gloss with the impact and sophisticated finish of a matte product. Applied with fingers or a lip brush, it has the feel of a balm but the bold impact of a more pigmented lipstick. This shade mimics an outdoorsy flush, without the sickly sweet gloss or commitment shy formula of many more slippery salves. The gold compact is suitably regal, and it offers a hit of foolproof complexion warming colour that would especially appeal to bronzerphobes come summertime. Long live the Lipstick Queen.

£22,  buy online 

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MAC Lipstick

This is a makeup no-brainer. It’s as classic as a matte mouth gets, a bullet of pure, creamy glamour that’s adored by makeup artists, models and real, actual women worldwide. I’m lost for words as to how brilliant it is, which I know seems like a cop out for a beauty journo, but really, if you don’t own one of these babies, you can’t put yourself in the makeup maniac camp. My favourite shade is Russian Red - it’s blue based so works well with my cool, Celtic skintone. Saying that to be honest I think that this suits everyone - it’s as pure as a quintessential red lip gets. It also doesn’t bleed, smudge or flake away. Kiss, eat, flirt, sweat... it’s faithful throughout.

£14,  buy online 

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Bareminerals 5-in-1 BB Cream Eyeshadow

If you’re partial to a latte or café au lait, replace your next Starbucks with one of these smooth, milky shadows. Like an eye cream with bells on, this smooth, “supercharged” matte eyeshadow primes, brightens, softens and protects, thanks to added SPF and a mineral rich formula. Don’t expect your boyfriend, husband or postman to notice - all of the shades are low key, refined neutrals, making them daytime staples and crease-free smokey eye baselayers. Like sensible yet sexy thermals for your peepers, if you will.

£17,  buy online 

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L’Oréal Super Liner Eye Liner Mat-Matic

Matte eyeliner may not seem like a beauty bag staple, but hear me out. A rich, sooty swipe of ebony liner adds Oscar winning levels of drama while making more daring, graphic eyeliner adventures easier to pull off. Akin to the old-skool kohl of old, this is the easy peasy speedy modern equivalent, and I love it. Like many of us, it can be deep, dark and dangerous or simple and subdued. You choose.

£5.99,  buy online