I hate to be that girl, but Webster’s dictionary defines matte as:
“(of a color, paint, or surface) dull and flat, without a shine.”
To me, that means that a lipstick described as matte will be flat and without shine. Needless to say my world was metaphorically rocked, when I found out L’Oreal had put out a matte gloss. How is that possible? Matte and gloss are literally the opposite of each other. I was confused and skeptical but decided to give it a try regardless.
Retailers selling the product describe it as “high-impact, velvet matte color without the dry-out.” That still doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me. If it’s a velvet matte color isn’t it just a velvet matte lipstick that is light and won’t dry lips out? How can it possibly be a gloss? But I digress…
The glosses(?) come in 10 shades and retail for $9.99 though it looks like ULTA frequently has a promotion that is buy one get one 50%.
Applicator: It seems like many cosmetics companies are moving towards these applicators and I’m not really sure why. I find them too large to apply product with any degree of precision and the flexibility of the applicator makes it hard to keep it steady. I’m also not sure why there is a hole in the middle. It doesn’t really alter application, but it does feel weird on my lips.
Smell: I don’t really know how to describe the smell other than by saying it smells like chemicals and vanilla mixed together. If lipsticks/glosses with strong smells bother you I wouldn’t recommend this product since the odor is really strong.
Swatches: As you can probably tell from my picture above, the gloss is a weird matte-gloss combination. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it glossy, but it’s absolutely not as matte as any matte lipstick I’ve ever tried. The pigmentation is excellent, and I got a completely opaque finish one a single swipe. However, since the product isn’t exactly matte, it has nowhere near the staying power of any matte lipstick. It doesn’t ever really dry more than what the picture shows, so eat and drink at your own risk because it will transfer quite a bit, leaving you looking like Daenerys after she ate that horse heart in season 1 of Thrones.
Formula: I would say this is formulated to be much more like a lipstick than a gloss. The formula is thick but really smooth and basically glides on to your lips.
Hydration: Since the product is marketed as something lighter and less harsh than a matte lipstick, I figured that would mean it would cause less damage than matte lipsticks do. While it doesn’t leave my lips feeling dry, it doesn’t exactly leave them feeling moisturized either. The product feels like it’s just sitting on top of my lips without really helping or hurting anything.
Final thoughts: I still don’t understand if this is a lipstick or a gloss and if it’s meant to be glossy or matte. It’s like they took all of the worst properties of each thing and combined them to create a frankenbaby product. I have been left confused and unimpressed so I’m rating the L’Oreal Pro Matte Gloss a whopping one star. The color was nice, I guess.