L'Oreal refers to their Colour Riche Le Matte as a "lip pen", but some websites selling this product label it as a "lipcolour stick" or simply "lip color." Whatever you call it, if you're in the market for a matte lipstick that doesn't have the drying or cakey feel that many matte lipsticks do, this might be worth checking out due to velvety-smooth application that it remains pliable for the duration of wear. And the pigmentation? We're talking some serious color payoff here!
Le Matte comes in a retractable, crayon style component with cap. It features a rounded tip (a little smaller than the size of a pencil eraser, if anyone remembers those) that works well to quickly color lips without being cumbersome or imprecise like some of the jumbo lip crayons we've tried. The soft yet solid texture glides on with ease and sets to soft matte finish.
Although this won't leave lips feeling sucked dry like matte lipsticks of days past, be forewarned that it also isn't moisturizing in the least. The finish can end up drawing attention to flaky lips, so we recommend a little manual exfoliation with a gentle scrub and balm before applying this lip color.
Shade-wise, Le Matte Lip Pen comes in a small round-up of colors that favor vibrant pink and berry tones, and of course, there's a red hue, too. If you're the type to be intimidated by opaque lip color, this isn't the product for you, but others will appreciate the full-coverage pigments. The color isn't budge-proof (it will transfer when touched), but you can expect a few hours of wear out of it + a hint of color leftover.
On the downside, Colour Riche Le Matte Lip Pen has the typical rosy, perfume-y scent we know L'Oreal lipsticks by, but thankfully it dissipates quickly enough to not be of concern. Other than that, it's a slam-dunk for anyone looking for high impact color with a comfortable-feeling matte finish!
Note: The marketing for La Lacque and its sister-product, Le Matte, is a bit confusing, as the marketing messaging for each mention being available in two finishes, “creamy matte” and “smooth lacquer.” Just to be clear, the “creamy matte” refers to the Colour Riche Le Matte Lip Pen, while the “smooth lacquer” is the La Lacque Lip Pen. (We say, “La confusion.”)
L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance
Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.
Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.
The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.
Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
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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