LA Splash's sweet Lip Couture and Smitten Lip Tints (they aren't actual tints, but more liquid-to-matte goodness) are the answer. I currently only have one but I have a pretty big list of shades I want because they offer both "normal" shades such as pink and red to the more "outlandish"--what some call fashionable--shades like light to deep purples, black, gray and taupe (Ghoulish). I love them.
|Top: Just applied. Bottom: A few minutes after dry-down. Flat matte!|
There is a slight smell to Lip Couture but it does go away rapidly and you only smell it from the tube/during application. Not a big deal for me but it could be for others.
Now wear. It's COMFORTABLE. I wore it for 5 hours+ Saturday, for a drag show (where I saw and went gaga over Willam, whom I adore). It doesn't suck the moisture out of lips despite being a truly long-wearing product and matte but it's not hydrating either. Beautiful. It'll stick around through kisses, drinks and talking, all while staying comfortable. I love anything that's transfer proof (Ze Boyfriend really doesn't like when my lipstick transfers and leaves a stain). Washing your face won't remove it, neither will regular makeup remover. Oils, such as cleansers and removers plus any greasy foods, will take it off however. So before you chow down on a slice of pizza or fries (or what have you), be ready to touch up your lips! LA Splash does offer a Lip Couture remover, but you'll have to buy 5 Lip Couture shades to get it. My single gripe is that it does have the slightest bit of tackiness as it dries down fully. It's not ridiculously tacky but it's still there.
I'm delighted with Lip Couture despite the little hint of tackiness; I only really notice it badly when I press my lips together (which, why the heck would I do that normally?) and when it's drying down, it can actually cause the color to start peeling/cracking. I don't mind that it needs an oil to be removed, because that means it wears like iron and it wears comfortably. The matte look sans the nasty drying that accompanies traditional matte lipstick? I'll take 12. Just not right this second!
You can get Lip Couture from LA Splash's website. It can be a bit wonky but it's useable and safe. Shipping is pretty cheap for the US too, which is always good. You might also receive a free gift with your order; I didn't expect it! I got one of their loose Eye Sparkle in High Tide, a shade that is unique to my collection which is always good! It's a cool, smoky gray-lilac, with a bit of a blue tone to it and a few different shades of micro glitter in it. Teal, a light, bright blue, lavender and pink to be exact. I like the packaging on Eye Sparkles--I really just like cube packaging--but it's also stackable because there are threads for another shade to be put under it. I probably won't do that, if I buy more of the Eye Sparkles. I might buy their glitters though!
Lip Couture and Smitten Lip Tint are $11.98 each. Much cheaper than a $20+ Velvetine and more comfortable too! While the swatch photos on LA Splash's website are photoshopped, you can easily skim the Instagram roll below the shades to see real swatches by a variety of people. I've got my eye on Nagini from the Smitten line, because I can't resist a deep green-teal lip. I just can't! Maybe you can.
OH, the best part of these? Two of them (either Couture or Smitten), with shipping in the US is about the same as just one Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick or Kat Von D Liquid Love ordered online. Try to beat that.
**UPDATE: LA Splash has two versions of Ghoulish now: OG-Ghoulish (14213) and Ghoulish (14214). I have 14214. OG-Ghoulish was in a limited edition holiday set. I might pick it up later, out of curiosity since swatches posted by LA Splash's Instagram page aren't terribly clear in my opinion (two different people, different lighting, etc).**