Can you really have it both ways with a "matte gloss?" L'Oreal's Infallible Pro Matte Gloss thinks so and answers that question by providing a comfortable, velvety feel + lasting matte color. Although the staying power isn't on par with say, a liquid matte lipstick, it definitely outlasts your standard lip gloss.
In some ways, the name is apropos—Infallible Pro Matte Gloss starts out with a slight hint of glossy shine and then dulls down to a matte finish. Where the name gets a little more confusing is in regards to the texture. This has more of a whipped, cushiony/creamy feel than a gloss, but you apply it with the teardrop-shaped sponge applicator just as you would a tube of lip gloss. As saturated as the color is, it's fairly easy to get opaque coverage in one swipe.
Because the texture initially has a certain amount of slip, we thought we might experience color feathering into lines around the mouth, but fortunately, that wasn't the case. However, the fluffy consistency does make it a little trickier to apply Infallible Pro Matte Gloss with a high level of precision along the outer lines of lips. It wasn't a total deal breaker for us, but it is something to be aware of.
Also, don't quite expect "all day comfort" as L'Oreal promises—once the velvety top layer of Infallible Pro Matte Gloss wears off, lips can feel slightly dehydrated. However, considering the increased longevity, we think most will agree that's a reasonable tradeoff.
Shade-wise, you get to choose from a gamut of bold colors, of which even the lightest-looking shades go on with rich intensity. You will notice that this formula is prone to transferring, yet because of how saturated the pigments are, the color lasts for three to four hours and leaves an even stain of color behind after that.
As for the fragrance, it's there like it is for so many other L'Oreal lip color products, but because it dissipates quickly enough, we aren't overly concerned about its potential to irritate lips.
All in all, Infallible Pro Matte Gloss presents some benefits coupled with unique trade offs that you may or may not find worth it. Definitely personal preference, but in terms of being a gloss-matte hybrid that performs pretty well (and lasts longer than lip gloss), it earns a recommendation from us.
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.
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