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I Tried Korean Lip Powders—The Matte Lipsticks That Double as a Blush

While dewy makeup looks reign in the K-beauty world, the matte lip look is not going anywhere soon, so it seems. Not to settle for drying liquid lipstick formulas or dry chalky lipstick bullets, leave it to K-beauty (and K-beauty-inspired) brands to come up with something much more innovative and cool to use. Introducing: Korean lip powders.

You may have heard of these lip powders. They’re nothing like face powder; lip powders are another type of lip color that delivers a super light-feeling matte pigment. It’s almost as if you’re using a loose pigment powder on your lips but these are infused with moisturizing ingredients so they melt into a liquid when spread on your lips and feel slightly conditioning and not at all powdery.
They’re pretty simple to use and cool to watch. I have two lip powders that I really like for different reasons. There’s CLE’s Melting Lip Powder and Touch In Sol’s Chroma Lip Powder.
CLE’s Melting Lip Powder was the first on the scene that I’d heard of. CLE is an American beauty brand that deals in minimalist K-beauty-inspired pared down products. The fat tube has a long doe-foot applicator, making it easier to apply onto your lips or wherever.
I like that the formula has vitamin E, which I think gives it its pillowy texture and look. The powder feels heavy (I mean, for a powdery substance) and melts into a velvety pigment once you spread it on your lips. Once it’s on, it dries to a weightless velvet matte finish.
It says it’s waterproof and smudgeproof but it does get on your coffee cup. Without eating or drinking though, it does have pretty long staying power. After a while it can tend to feel a bit dry, but nothing like the tight dryness that a liquid lipstick feels like—plus, it fades mercifully evenly, without flaking or awkwardly leaving a lip line trace.
I like the shade Hot Choco as a nice nude lip color as well as a cheek color. Yep, these powders can pull double-duty as a blush as well. But beware when dotting it on—one dot goes a long way with this formula.
It gives a nice warm contour, I think!
Checking out Touch In Sol’s Chroma Lip Powder, I have the shade, Morticia (all the shades are named after badass heroines, hehe). The tube looks just like a lip gloss or liquid lipstick with a twist-off doe foot applicator. But instead of a liquid cream inside, it’s a dry powder (so maybe be careful when opening because this stuff goes airborne real easily).
And then you pretty much apply it like you would any other lip color. The Touch In Sol one is extremely pigmented and it leaves a really cool stained matte effect. Seriously, this stuff lingers, it’s no joke. It’s pretty waterproof (but will still leave its trace on your coffee cup) and as long as you’re not licking it off your lips, it has serious staying power. You can also wear it on your cheeks as a blush, and it gives you the prettiest natural flush!
One thing to watch for with a lip powder is that the fallout is real. You need to be careful when applying, or else you’ll start wondering why there are colored streaks on your clothes or nearby surfaces. So, uh, maybe don’t be sprinkling that wand around, or just apply it with a tissue under your chin.
That caveat aside, I still think these lip powders are worth a shot. You’ll be impressed by the color payoff and how seriously weightless these things are on.

+ What do you think about Korean lip powders? Would you try them? Let us know in the comments!

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