A Bit of a Bear, Kevyn Aucoin Tenacious Matte Lip Color Is Worth the Fight

Published in: Kevyn Aucoin, Lips, Makeup, Product Reviews

Kevyn Aucoin Matte Lipstick

Wearing Kevyn Aucoin’s Matte Lipstick in Tenacious

If I were a makeup artist working on an artsy-fartsy magazine shoot, I wouldn’t think twice about putting Kevyn Aucoin’s $32 Matte Lip Color in Tenacious on a model because it’s one of those rare, otherworldly lipsticks that takes your breath away in pics.

I can see it now, maybe with a bright green or shimmery gold on the lids…


When Nicki Minaj’s Pink 4 Friday Lipstick came out in 2010, this is what I was hoping that was going to look like (instead, it looked pretty ghastly on me).

Kevyn Aucoin Tenacious Matte Lip Color 2

Thing is, as much as I love how Tenacious looks in pics, in real life, it’s kind of a bear. Being highly pigmented and matte makes finding its sweet spot — the right amount to wear — difficult. Too little and it looks uneven and streaky; too much and it settles into my fine lines, leaving me looking like a hot mess.

Kevyn Aucoin Tenacious Matte Lip Color 3

Eventually, I get there, but not before a lot of layering, blotting, and pat-pat-patting with a finger.

Tenacious is definitely not a color you can absentmindedly swipe on your lips and bop along your day. Even after it’s applied, it’s like a needy boyfriend who requires frequent check-ins.

Kevyn Aucoin Tenacious Swatch

But man! — it sure looks great once you get it working.


What else should you know about Kevyn Aucoin Tenacious Matte Lip Color?

  • It’s available now at Nordstrom for $32.
  • It has a faint, classic rose flavor and scent.
  • The lightweight formula feels relatively slippery for a matte (similar to the NARS Pure Mattes but slicker).
  • Technically, it’s a matte, but I see a subtle, almost satiny shine; I guess I’d call it more of a satin finish than a flat matte.
  • It lasts from 5-6 hours on the lips.

Ingredients: Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Octydodecanol, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Kaolin, Microcrystalline Wax, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacryladipate-2, Ozokerite, Methoxy PEG-11/Methoxy PEG-17/HDI Isocyanurate Trimer Crosspolymer, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Lecithin,Citric Acid, Flavor, Benzyl Salicylate, Eugenol, Citronellol, MAY CONTAIN (+/-): Iron Oxides (CI77491, CI77492, CI77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Yellow 6 Lake (CI15985), Red 7 Lake (CI15850), Red 28 Lake (CI45410), Red 6 (CI15850), Blue 1 Lake(CI42090).

Kevyn Aucoin Matte Lipstick

Tenacious really ought to be in pictures because I think that’s where it shines. It looks so interesting and beautiful in pics. It just takes a little work to get it where I want it to go in real life.

PRICE: $32
AVAILABILITY: Available now at Nordstrom stores and nordstrom.com

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Happy semi-belated hump day. I’m just here in my hotel room getting ready for bed. I checked in with Tabs and El Hub back at home (they’re fine and doing some male bonding). Now I think I’ll Netflix an episode of House of Cards on my laptop and go to bed. 🙂 Have a good sleeps.


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So far, 11 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. I love a bright pink lip and this looks wonderful on you.I have wanted to buy Nars Sciap which is a cult classic and I think similar to his one.Since I have to order my Nars onli e I settled for Candy Yum Yum from Mac.Bright Like this KA one, but I had no lips left as it was so drying it stripped away in layers!!!-I have recently bought a KA bronzer and am in love-this might be my next KA purchase!

  2. Do u have any other Kevin Aucoin recommendations?
    MakeupRemastered recently posted … Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Spellbound – Fall 2013

  3. This is definitely very Nicki Minaj!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Deborah Milano Haul!

  4. Charisma says:

    I love how gorgeous this looks on you Karen! I always have a love hate relationship with Mattes. But the best matte lipstick on a tube that I’ve tried is Givenchy Rose Dressing. Karen, will you be reviewing Guerlain’s fall 2013 lipsticks soon? I just wanted to see how it looks on you since our skin tone is pretty close! I’m proud of being a Filipina even though I’m just half.
    Charisma recently posted … Chanel (57) Mystique Rouge Coco Lipstick Review, Photos with Swatches

  5. meredith says:

    Lol “needy boyfriend”:-) This looks great on you.

  6. Kim says:

    It really is a show stopper. I’m sorry it’s so difficult to work with, though. Not for my sake, because I get itchy just imagining myself wearing a color like that, but for all you ladies who look great in it. 🙂

  7. Phyrra says:

    Wow, I love this lip color!
    Phyrra recently posted … Teal Thursday Sugarpill Afterparty

  8. Wow — that’s one heck of a bright, matte pink, Karen! “Needy boyfriend” formula or not, the colour is pretty mesmerizing. <3
    Rae // theNotice recently posted … New 30/07/13: Topshop Beauty, MAC Tropical Taboo, & assorted beauty

  9. Elsa says:

    Looks beautiful!!! I wonder how similar it is to Mac’s Candy Yum Yum or Daddy’s Girl, from the Archie’s collection…

  10. Chelsea says:

    I love this on you!

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