After a season of glitter and shimmer, matte makeup is refreshingly unfussy and clean
Make no mistake; Matte makeup today bears little resemblance to what we saw in the '90s. Gone are flat, chalky, life-sucking textures that turn faces into masks. These new generation mattes are forgiving with lighter textures that still show your skin beneath.
The best way to incorporate matte is judiciously.
Pick one or two features, and bring in other textures elsewhere: If you choose a matte lip, add shimmer to eyes; matte foundation cries for a sheer, luminous cheek; bronzer or contour looks gorgeous with glossy lips. Creating a balance of textures is what will keep
these mattes looking modern and fresh.
There are many new foundation launches for Spring 2015 that offer beautiful velvety finishes. These three are super performers, feeling nearly imperceptible while providing medium to full coverage.
The new generation of foundations are all extremely pigmented and set quickly, so start with a tiny amount and blend really well before picking up more product. Also, exfoliate and moisturise beforehand, as any dry patches will look flaky underneath. Clinique's Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer ($34) is an oil-free formula that offers maximum pigmentation with a forgiving blending time so you have time to work. NARS' All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation ($57) is a bit misleading, as it does provide a matte finish. One small pump is all you'll need for your entire face. This one needs a very good shake before application and sets extremely quickly. Clarins' Everlasting Foundation + ($41) delivers skin treatments alongside flawless coverage that easily lasts 12+ hours. This and the NARS foundation are best applied with a brush.
Matte eyes can be a clean, fresh look especially if you place shimmer in strategic places, such as brow bones and cheek bones. Clarins' Ombre Matte ($24) cream-to-powder eyeshadows have a silky formula that respects the fragile skin around the eyes. They're a cinch to apply with brush or fingertips and melt onto the lids, providing long-lasting colour. They come in five neutral colours; the darker shades are perfect for adding natural contours to eye creases/sockets. For colour, the MAC is Beauty spring collection features a beautiful medium lilac eyeshadow, Wow Factor ($19, limited edition). Classified as a satin, this silky formula does go on matte.
For deeply pigmented, richly coloured, state-ment lips, you're going to need matte lipstick. If you're reluctant to let go of gloss, fear not.
These lipsticks are a lot more comfortable and lighter in texture than previous formulas. And, as long as you prime your lips well (see below) you can even skip lipliner. And best of all, mattes have incredible staying power and are your best bet for surviving a meal without having to reapply.
New this spring from Lise Watier is Baiser velours ($27), liquid lipstick that applies dense colour in a creamy texture from a wand
applicator. Urban Decay's Revolution Lipsticks ($26) offer rich colours that apply so slickly you'll be amazed they're matte - Venom is a favourite for deep berry tones. And Canadian cosmetic company, Vasanti, offers Love Brights Gel Matte Lipsticks ($19) in a smooth gel texture.
To keep lips hydrated and feather-free, use Nuxe's Rêve de Miel lip balm ($17). It's not only a super performer on its own, but its matte as
well, giving your lips a grippy, cushiony base for all your matte lipsticks.
Matte blushes make for a lovely balance when you're wearing sheer BB creams, shimmery eyes or juicy lips. NARS' Matte Multiple sticks ($46) are so convenient and deliver amazing colour payoff – I love Siam for a pop of orange-red. Dab lightly onto fingers and then pat gently and quickly onto cheeks and lips for dense, bold colour. Darker neutral shades also work extremely well for bronzing and contouring. MAC's Pro Longwear Blush ($31) is a long-time favourite, providing lightweight, extreme colour that lasts all day.
If you're going to have just one bronzer, make it matte, which is much more realistic and versatile than anything with shimmer. Plus, if you're going to contour with it, you want the dark, matte colour to help recede contours; anything with shimmer will simply attract light, defeating the purpose.
Guerlain's iconic Terracotta Bronzing Powder ($60) is a cosmetic classic. Not only does it deliver realistic bronzing power, but it offers an impressive range of eight shades, so even the very pale and very dark can find options here. This spring, Annabelle's released a new matte version of their cult favourite, Zebra Bronzing Pressed Powder Biggy Bronzer ($11.95).It's a bargain, that delivers finely-milled powder in beautiful colours.