For intense lip colour nothing beats a matte lipstick. A richly pigmented shade has emphatic allure, made more concentrated when lips are left shine-free.

Long a favourite of glamour girls, matte lips also work in a more casual way when worn as single colour statement on an otherwise fresh face. Try them to enliven spring's pale fashion palette or twin with your little black party dress. Nothing is simpler than applying a strong swipe of lipstick, making you look like you've made an effort - even if it only took a minute.

Modern mattes have moved beyond the perennially popular reds and those chalky pastel shades that helped send a whole generation to gloss, into a range of brights to flatter all faces. We love this fabulous fuchsia pictured, called All Fired Up, which is part of M.A.C's Retro Matte collection out next week.

For maximum matte mileage, just ensure your lips are kept well-conditioned with balm. Lip pencils are optional, but if you use them for added staying power be sure to apply all over and not just as an outline. Save any illumination for the cupid's bow, using the professional makeup artist's trick of applying just a hint of highlighter so as to better define the perfect pout.


Take a look at Viva editor Janetta Mackay's matte lipstick picks here: