And every time, I ask her where she got it because it looks so good.

By Claudia Fisher
Updated May 15, 2018
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Woman Applying Tarte Cosmetics Matte Lipstick
Credit: Noelia Ramon - TellingLife/Getty Images

About two years ago, my sister swapped her cramped West Village apartment in NYC for the mountains and, I don't know, camping tents in Boulder, Colorado. I guess you could call her low-maintenance now– well, at least lower-maintenance.

Because of the differences in our current lifestyles, it always surprises me when she appears on FaceTime with the prettiest lips I've ever seen. There aren't even any granola crumbs stuck to their perfect matte-with-a subtle-sheen texture! (Everyone in Boulder eats granola, you heard it here first.)

Because of our birth order, I've often found myself unbearably epitomizing an annoying baby sister, with years of unfettered adulation and pining for her attention under my belt. I'm confessing this to expose my inherent biases but also my acquired self-awareness; I know when my compliments for my sister are authentic and when they're just "please love me!" pleas.

This time, I genuinely mean her lips look amazing every time I see her via video chat or in person, with each look somehow different and nuanced enough–sometimes dewy, sometimes matte, but always even–that I repeatedly ask her, "What lipstick are you wearing?"

The answer is always Tarte Cosmetics' Lippie Lingerie Matte Tint in Exposed ($24; Sephora), which gives her lips a dusty-pink hue.

She definitively told me (hoping I'd remember and stop badgering her, I'm sure), "I wear this all the time. The only thing I re-buy regularly."

I asked her to spill more of her lip secrets, but it turns out her technique is embarrassingly simple. "It's matte and also looks good with just chapstick over it or lip gloss, so it's a good base for everything," she explained.

Chap stick... over... lip tint.. that's it?! Welp, I guess sometimes the lower-maintenance route is the one to take at the makeup fork in the road.