Matte lips and liquid lipsticks are nothing new but they probably have not seen this much popularity as they have in the past year or two. Now the big brands are finally jumping onto the bandwagon, and Clinique has launched their new Pop Matte and Pop Liquid Color + Prime lipsticks.
I was more curious about the Pop Liquids because this is something new for the brand, and people are into intensity and long-wear now. However, the Pop Liquid Matte Lips are not the dry-to-matte, budge-proof type. In fact a lot of the luxe and high-end brands are opting to go with a creamier semi-matte velvet formula that focuses more on comfort rather than a hardcore transfer-proof paper-matte formula.
And that's great.
I do want that dramatic velvet matte effect you get with things like Kat von D and Tarteist Lip Paints, but at the same time they are not very comfortable on the lips, and can look cakey and cracked if your lips are not in good condition.
But with the more high-end velvet liquids, you get more of a "soft-set" formula that dries down only slightly and lasts like a regular matte lipstick, but has a less waxy and more lightweight feel. They will still kiss off, but they last and don't slide around too much so your color is still mostly intact after a few drinks.
|Clinique Pop Liquid Matte Lips in Boom Pop (bottom) and Sweetheart Pop|
The best thing to me is that these are ridiculously comfortable to wear and easy to touch up. Even the most hardcore liquid lipsticks will wear off around the center of the lips after eating and drinking, and when you try to apply more, sometimes it just looks patchy or cakey. With these creamier formulas you don't have that much of a problem because the product evens itself out more easily. They also give coverage but don't emphasize dryness or lines.
The only con I can see to these right now is that maybe some of the liquid lipsticks are not fully opaque, and the lightweight formula does shift around a bit during application so it might take a bit of work to even those colors out. Sweetheart Pop went on totally opaque, but Boom Pop does go on slightly patchier initially. Both shades I tried also did not "darken" too much compared to budge-proof liquid lipsticks.
I did also find these ironically creamier looking than the Pop Matte lipsticks in tubes. They retain a bit of a sheen surprisingly, although that does go away after some time when the emollients slowly evaporate or absorb into your lips. You do end up with matte lips after a while, even though they are not that powdery-velvety matte you'd get from budge-proof formulas.
Now the lipsticks themselves were a surprise hit for me as well. These are very smooth and lightweight (and the colors are gorgeous). But what they nailed was that very velvety finish, which is matte but not heavy or cakey. The formula does not drag on the skin or feel thick and dry.