L’Oreal Signature Rouge Matte Liquid Lipstick [Review + Swatches]

Click to enlarge

If there’s one thing for which I can be relied upon, it’s trying out new liquid lipstick formulas I don’t need because a) I already own ‘too many’ lipsticks, and b) I already have 2 liquid lipstick formulas in my collection I absolutely love. There’s always the promise, though, the slight chance that a new product might not only live up to my existing favourites but possibly, just maybe, have that one additional factor that tops them. It’s very unlikely, but we can all dream, can’t we?

It was with this in mind that I replied to my friend Carly’s recommendation of L’Oreal’s new Signature Rouge Matte liquid lipsticks with an insistence that I didn’t need any more lipsticks…and then ordered 2 online from Superdrug within the next 24 hours. Look, there was a deal on, and what’s the point of having girlfriends if you can entice one another to buy more makeup than could ever possibly be needed?

Happily, it turns out I really like these lippies. They are indeed matte, as well as lightweight and comfortable, which gives them a 3 way edge over my all time favourite liquid lipstick, Maybelline’s Superstay Matte Ink. The latter, despite claiming to be matte, never dries down to that truly matte finish, always having something of a slight satin about it, no doubt related to the fact that the finish also feels slightly tacky on the lip. I do find it comfortable and I’m used to wearing it for long periods of time, but in an ideal world a lightweight formula that I can barely feel I’m wearing would be preferable. These L’Oreal lipsticks get much closer to offering that.

All of the shades have a buildable colour payoff, achieving a slightly sheer wash of colour with a single layer and a more opaque pigmentation with two layers. I had originally bought 5 shades when I decided to write these up for review, so I swatched those shades below to show you the difference between one layer or two. I later bought 3 more shades which will be included in all the swatches further down in this review.

Single layer swipe of colour, shown in front of a ring light

Two layers of colour, shown in front of a ring light

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Since this product is so lightweight and comfortable to wear, I didn’t have high hopes that it would also score well in the transfer-proof category. It scores high for casual contact; kissing cheeks, touching your own face absentmindedly, even drinking. For eating I assumed there would be quite a bit (or a lot) of colour loss, just because that’s the case for most liquid lipsticks. I was pleasantly surprised by how well they held up, and they applied comfortably without any product bobbling or that gross rubbery feeling that some lipsticks can build up. For the pink and dark red shades especially it’s not super noticeable how much lipstick wore off on my inner lips, because not only are those shades closest to my natural lip colour, but also because this formula seems to have some kind of staining aspect included.

In terms of that staining element, it’s substantial. When I swatched all 5 pink/red tones for this review one after another, I only worn each shade for the 5-10 minutes necessary for them to dry down completely matte and for me to get adequate pictures of them, yet my lips were stained so pink afterwards it looked like I was still wearing lip colour. The pictures below show you just how stained they were. So far I’ve noticed I Represent, I Don’t and I Am Worth It definitely leave my lips stained after a few hours of wear, but I haven’t worn the other shades for long enough to know whether they produce staining as well. Even after wearing lip balm to bed my lips will still be a little stained in the morning, so if you don’t wear lip colour on a daily basis and that staining would annoy you, the red and pink shades of this product might not be for you.

The staining left over after swatching the pink and red shades of this lipstick for the photos in this review

A close up of the staining post-swatches

Finally, before I show you a shade break-down and headshots of each colour, I want to touch on how to remove this product. Namely…I’m not sure? With all of my other liquid lipsticks applying a lip balm over the top will usually make the formula break down enough that a makeup wipe or a tissue will remove colour, so when I’m in a pinch or out somewhere without access to my usual skin care products I’ll repeat the balm-then-tissue action several times until the lipstick is gone. Typically at home I just use the same oil-and-water makeup remover I use for my waterproof eye makeup, which removes all of my liquid lipsticks without a trace.

Neither method worked fully for this product. The oily makeup remover did work well enough to remove each shade to take all the individual shade swatches below, but as I’ve said, the staining in the pink and red shades was so substantial that I can’t claim even that remover truly removed all the product. The only time I felt I managed to remove I Represent entirely was by using a sugar lip scrub after using both my oily makeup remover and my lip balm method of removal first. Even then I had slightly pink stained lips still in the morning.

I EMPOWER

L'oreal Signature rouge matte liquid lipstick review swatches I empower Miss Amy May

I EMPOWER – A light peachy nude with brown undertones

I SAVOR 

L'oreal Signature rouge matte liquid lipstick review swatches I Savor Miss Amy May

I Savor – A soft baby pink

I RULE 

L'oreal Signature rouge matte liquid lipstick review swatches I Rule Miss Amy May

I RULE – A mauve pink, purple undertones

I REPRESENT 

L'oreal Signature rouge matte liquid lipstick review swatches I Represent Miss Amy May

I REPRESENT – A bright raspberry pink, with blue undertones

I ACHIEVE 

L'oreal Signature rouge matte liquid lipstick review swatches I aCHIEVE Miss Amy May

I ACHIEVE – A bright terracotta orange

I DON’T

L'oreal Signature rouge matte liquid lipstick review swatches I Don't Miss Amy May

I DON’T – A bright red with orange undertones

I AM WORTH IT

L'oreal Signature rouge matte liquid lipstick review swatches I AM WORTH IT Miss Amy May

I AM WORTH IT – A Rich true red, with blue undertones

I EXPLORE

L'oreal Signature rouge matte liquid lipstick review swatches I explore Miss Amy May

I EXPLORE – A rich mid-brown

So what’s my final verdict on these? Obviously if I bought this many shades I must like them, and I do. For social occasions that don’t rely heavily on the consumption of food (going to dinner, for example) this lipstick would probably jump ahead of my beloved Maybelline Superstay Matte liquid lip just because it’s so much more lightweight and comfortable. For any occasion that needs long lasting staying power, the Maybelline will still win out, because it’s so supremely budge-proof compared to all other liquid lips I’ve tried. I’d give it a 4 out of 5, just because I prefer my liquid lipsticks to have one-swipe pigmentation and to have that really impressive staying power through eating.

What do you think, have you tried this liquid lipstick? Does your love for lippies lie elsewhere, with a humble bullet lipstick, or, gasp, even a gloss? If you’re not a liquid lipstick lady, you might be more interested in my recent review of Maybelline’s new long-lasting Crayon Superstay Matte lipstick.

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