Kevyn Aucoin's The Expert Lip Color is a truly luxurious take on cream lipstick. In fact, were it not for one flaw this would have easily walked away with our top rating! As it stands it still has enough good qualities going for it, and it's a product we feel comfortable recommending.
The Expert Lip Color comes in a square-shaped gold tube with a magnetized lid that "snaps" when you re-cap it. It's convenient packaging because it means the cap won't come off while it's in your bag. But what about the product inside?
The first thing you notice about it is the smell, which is an artificial fruity scent. While fragrance is toward the end of this lipstick's ingredient list, the smell is pretty strong initially, and lingers for about a half hour after you apply it. It's something to keep in mind if you prefer your lip color to be fragrance-free or more lightly scented—it's also the only "con" this product has—and there's some concern that the fragrance ingredient eugenol poses a risk of irritation.
What The Expert Lip Color has going for it is exemplary performance. It's incredibly smooth, moisturizing, and lightweight, yet saturated with color—just one swipe is enough to get full color coverage. The finish is a very soft shine that can be blotted down to appear more matte, making it versatile in that regard. We found that despite the emollient formula, this did not feather or bleed throughout a workday (and we wore it without a lip liner), retaining strong color for several hours before fading to an attractive stain. Our lips also felt more moisturized once this wore off.
The shade range that's offered is plentiful, and includes options from very soft pinks to rich, deep reds.
Were it not for the strong initial scent and potential for irritation it brings to the table, The Expert Lip Color would get an even higher rating! Still, there are enough positive aspects to make this one worth considering if you're smitten by Kevyn Aucoin's makeup!
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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