to be honest, i've been really pleasantly surprised by this product. when i think of matte lip colours, i think of dry, flaky, unattractive lips, however the formula of this product seems to ensure that you end up with the absolute opposite end result. the product has a very small, rounded nib, and the formula itself is really soft and creamy with a subtly delicious taste - yes, taste! my initial suspicions when first using the product would be that to apply it onto a lip balm base would produce the best effect, however i was wrong. with a balm underneath, the product seems to stick to it and creates that unattractive, harsh line around the inner edge of your bottom lip (not attractive!), so since then i've been applying it directly onto unaided lips, and for the most part it applies well.
i've found that applying the product from the inner side of your lip outwards in a vertical fashion (as though you were following the small lines of your lips) seems to provide the best results, leaving you with an all over, even coating free of cracks or lines, however give it an hour or so and the product will, unfortunately, start to wear off. i notoriously have trouble finding nude shades that don't leave lines on my lip, so i'm not sure if it's the colour of the product that makes for this result, or the formula itself. that said, the product certainly isn't unpleasant to apply or wear, so i'll be making the most of this product while it lasts. i can't say that i'll definitely be buying any more of e.l.f.'s matte lip colours, but i certainly wouldn't rule them out of future purchases altogether.