L'Oreal Color Riche Matte Lipstick in 640 Erotique - review and swatches


I received this lipstick in Marie Claire's Spring 2015 Edit of The Parcel (reviewed here).

It's one of those products that took me a while to test because I couldn't work out how I felt about it - and when I finally did, I saw that others had a very different opinion so I tested it a little longer just to see if I was missing something.

I don't think I am. I don't mind this formula but I don't love it: the product has a strong smell and is very waxy, and for this reason (the waxiness) I find it quite odd and uncomfortable on the lips because I'm always aware I've got it on, which isn't what I want from my makeup.

You could have received a bundle of different colours and I'm glad I got this one because it's a work-appropriate shade and I don't have enough of those.

I don't know how I'd describe the colour because in some lights it looks more pink and brown, in others I can see some orange, and sometimes it looks more red. In any event, it's a nice 'deep neutral' that should suit a lot of people.

L'Oreal claims/product details:
  • Reborn with a bigger and more superior range in three amazing finishes: matte, satin and cream
  • With a range of shades in the richest colours, you'll be sure to find your perfect match
  • The formula is enriched with a combination of omega-3 and vitamin e for superior moisture
  • 640 is a matte finish, described as 'the ultimate velvet, no shine, matte lip finish'
  • RRP $21.95 for 4.2g, but do shop around

There's the lipstick bullet above. I don't mind the packaging and I quite like the colour of this one: it's strong but understated at the same time, so it passes for a 'my lips but better' shade on me.

There's a light swatch (top) and a heavier one, photo taken in natural light:

And in direct sunlight:

In the shade (it looks quite dark and more red here):

My bare lips for reference:


Wearing the colour in natural light:

In sunlight:

And in the shade:


I can't remember if I've ever used a L'Oreal lipstick before, but I don't think I have and I would probably have recalled if so because the scent is overpowering to me and it's not something I'd forget quickly.

This product smells like your grandmother's old lipsticks and it's how my other lipsticks start smelling when they're about to go off. Worse still, the scent lingers and I can still smell it even though I applied the product over half an hour ago. So yes, I don't love the scent and if I didn't love the colour of this product then I'd likely be passing it on for that reason alone.

On the texture: it's quite odd and unlike anything I've used before. It's really waxy and it feels that way on my lips, so they feel coated and I'm aware I'm wearing the product all the time - not ideal. The texture is especially apparently when you rub your lips together and feel how slippery they are. There's something plastic about the texture and I'm not a huge fan.

Number 640 Erotique is however a great shade and it's one I really love. It's nude but it's a strong nude so it stands up to heavier eye makeup and doesn't get lost. It's also not a colour that washes you out because there's some warmth to it.

It's the kind of shade that goes with just about everything and I can see myself reaching for it when I don't know what else to wear. It reminds me of Shanghai Suzy's Miss Tanielle Desert Rose, although I prefer the formula of the Shanghai Suzy product over this one.

I've seen this colour described as a nude, 'marsala', browny pink and even an orangey nude, so it definitely treads the line between different colours and I suspect it looks slightly different on everyone, depending on your colouring.

While this is a matte product, it's not a flat matte so there's a slight sheen to it and I like that because I don't love matte products on me. It's not drying but I also don't think it's particularly hydrating: I think the waxy texture prevents it from hydrating the lips and I'm always aware of it sitting on top of them.

It applies well and doesn't tug, and the colour is opaque so you don't need a lot to get it to show up. The wear time isn't bad and while you do lose a little when you eat and drink, the lipstick hangs on pretty well. 

It also doesn't feather or bleed throughout the day, so that's a plus. It doesn't emphasise flakiness or lip texture, but it also doesn't plump or smooth either - so if your lips are looking dry you might prefer to wear a gloss over the top.

Overall, I don't love the formula of this product and it's not one I would buy. Having said this, if you don't mind the smell or the waxy feeling, this lipstick performs well and it's a great shade so it's worth looking at if you like the colour.


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