Matte lipstick's come a long way since the days of drying formulas that cracked and flaked, and Kevyn Aucoin's The Matte Lip Color is a great example of what modern matte lipsticks get right! This has a laundry list of positive qualities, and were it not for a couple of minor missteps (we'll get to those in a sec), this would have walked off with our highest rating!
Like all of Kevyn Aucoin's products, this features glamourous packaging; in this case it's a sleek, slim black tube with gold accents. The lipstick itself is very creamy, especially for a matte formula, and applies easily without tugging. The brand describes The Matte Lip Color as being rich in pigment and that's certainly true, as a single swipe of this lipstick imparts bold color. The initial finish is more of a creamy matte than a true matte, but as it wears it sets to a more classic matte finish that lasts and lasts—we wore this more than 8 hours and the color was still bold with only slight fading (and we'd eaten a couple of times, too!).
More to love, The Matte Lip Color doesn't bleed or settle into lip lines during its impressive wear time, and doesn't feel drying. We should point out that just because the color lasts, that doesn't mean this is transfer-resistant—if you drink a cup of coffee, you'll definitely leave a lipstick stain. However, Kevyn Aucoin doesn't claim it to be transfer-proof, just long-lasting, which it certainly is. A good range of color options is available, with shades that can suite a variety of skin tones.
The reason this lipstick didn't earn our top rating is that it does have an initially-strong artificial fruit fragrance that lingers for about a half-hour after you apply it. It contains the fragrance ingredient eugenol, which poses a risk of irritation (though since it is near the end of the ingredient list, that risk is slight).
What about claims on the brand's site that this formula "guarantees to minimize wrinkles over time?" Though this does contain some emollients and a small amount of vitamins E and C, it's not an anti-aging product in the slightest, and is not likely to have any meaningful impact on lip lines. You're better off using an antioxidant-rich lip balm underneath to get those benefits!
These caveats aside, Kevyn Aucoin's The Matte Lip Color is a luxurious lip product that lives up to most of its claims and performs beautifully. If you're interested in this makeup artist brand, it's definitely one of the standout products to try!
Kevyn Aucoin was arguably one of the most iconic makeup artists of the 20th century. A self-trained, highly sought celebrity makeup artist and best-selling author, his work appeared regularly in countless fashion magazines, as well as his monthly column in Allure. Not surprisingly, his work has influenced countless makeup artists and YouTube beauty vloggers—whether they know it or not—and at the time of his passing in 2002, he had just launched a small range of products under the Kevyn Aucoin brand. Although Aucoin left us far too soon, at least his products serve to compliment his lasting legacy.
Today, the Kevyn Aucoin brand continues with his motto that anyone should be able to experiment with makeup and feel beautiful while doing so. The brand's range of unique products reflects the emphasis on makeup’s role in our lives as more than just utilitarian—it should be enjoyable, accessible, fun, and the outcome always rewarding. The approach is enhancing one’s self-esteem rather than using makeup to cover up what you or others might perceive as unattractive.
Thus, the products themselves are something of an experience to use—from their packaging (beautiful) to their focus on perfecting skin and mix of basic to bold color options. This line isn’t for those who think of makeup as a chore!
The price points are higher, to be sure, but there are also quite a few exceptional and unique standouts that allow this brand to nicely distinguish itself in a sea of makeup artist-fronted lines. There are some shortfalls here and there, but overall, it is a range that is well worth experimenting with should you happen upon a Kevyn Aucoin counter at your local Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus. (Note: Kevyn Aucoin is sold online at a number of beauty sites, from Sephora to Beautylish.)
For Beautypedia, we have chosen some of what we feel are Aucoin’s best products along with those that are OK, but for one reason or another may not be worth the expense.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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