As always, the asterisk (*) in the title of this post indicates that I received this product free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, however. You can read more about my disclosure policy, and review standards, here.
A few months ago, I decided to go cruelty-free. This has been harder than I expected, because many brands still test on animals and even if they don't, they are often owned by larger groups that test on animals. This is the case with L'Oreal, who has their own make up brand, as well as owning several other make up brands (like Kiehls).
I read a great argument recently that talked about how it's ok to have an ideal (being cruelty free) but not sticking to it 100%. I consider myself a vegetarian these days, but sometimes I do eat meat--so what do I call myself? It's hard to know! However, it's ok to be imperfect.
And while make up isn't a necessity, sometimes things just work. Take, for example, the L'Oreal Pro-Matte foundation; for about 3 months, it was my absolute favorite foundation. It's the closest match to my skin ever. It doesn't oxidize. And even better, it didn't break down throughout the day. And then, they reformulated and I was devastated. I realized how important that foundation was to me, how it made me feel like my skin was so beautiful. I believe whole-heartedly in being cruelty free when it comes to my cosmetics, but sometimes, like any imperfect human, I fall in love.
The case could be made for these lipsticks as well.
I received these L'Oreal Color Riche Shine lipsticks from Influenster in exchange for a review. Let's look at what L'Oreal has to say about them:
Ultra-rich, ultra-radiant shiny lipstick. Glossy, high color finish for lips that Shine. Available in 16 luminous, high-definition shades.
Those are some promises, aren't they?! Truly, they aren't wrong: these are very, very high shine lipsticks and they are insanely pigmented. I received the shades Enamel Red (924), Lacquered Strawberry (920), and Burnished Blush (906).
Enamel Red is a true red. Lacquered Strawberry is an extremely bright, hot pink. And Burnished Blush is a light, mauve-y pink shade. These are three fairly standard colors and, for that reason, I was a bit disappointed. Sometimes, I just want to try something outside of my standard red-pink-blush family. I'm a bit notorious for always wearing a red or mauve lip!
Considering there are shades like Gleaming Plum (an almost neon purple), Varnished Rosewood, and Glossy Fawn, receiving three standard colors was a little wah-wah.
That being said, I love the shades I received. I will probably wear all three of them throughout the year. I especially like Enamel Red. Despite being a traditional lipstick, with all the problems that come along with transfer, short wear time, and high shine, it felt really good on my lips: moisturizing and smooth. And even as it wore off, it left a decent enough stain of color so that I didn't get that annoying halo look.
The only gripe I would have is that these lipsticks all require a pretty heavy lip liner, as well as primer. Why? Because I found them sinking into my skin around my lips and bleeding. I don't have fine lines (I say, my hand to my chest, looking shocked), but looking in the mirror after applying these, I briefly wondered if I do have fine lines. After a long talk with my mom, I was assured that I do not, in fact: these lipsticks just bleed very badly! Lip liner and primer (I used Bite Beauty's primer) works to keep it at bay.
Were these lipsticks moisturizing? The website says that:
Experience a hydrating and lasting chine effect coupled with a rich color pay-off. This lipstick's true color formula has 60% more oils, leaving lips comfortable and conditioned throughout the wear and for days after.
Did my lips feel hydrated while wearing these lipsticks? Yes. Would I say it kept them hydrated for days? Absolutely not. However, if you're over how dry matte lips make you feel (trust me, I understand), these are a great option because they are so heavily pigmented!
What's my final verdict?
Would I purchase these lipsticks on my own? Part of me wants to say yes, because they are great, hydrating, and have some gorgeous colors. But a larger part of me says that no, I wouldn't, because L'Oreal isn't a cruelty-free company and I want to stick to my guns. However, if you're looking for a hydrating, high pigment lipstick, these are a wonderful option for you.
These lipsticks retail for $9.99 and are available from L'Oreal's website here.