Rimmel Matte Lipstick Review

I Tried Nine Different Shades of Rimmel’s Only 1 Matte Lipstick, So You Don’t Have To

Rimmel Only 1 Matte Lipstick Review

When it comes to makeup, I’ve been stuck in a rut for… well, for most of my life, basically.

(Are you all picturing me floundering about in some kind of makeup-filled ditch or something right now? Because that’s what the words “makeup rut” suggest to me, and honestly, it sounds kinda fun, don’t you think? No?)

Seriously, though, when you have my particular combination of red hair and pale skin, I think makeup ruts kind of come with the territory. (They probably do for people with other kinds of skin/hair colours, too, obviously, but this particular rut is the only one I know…) There are just so few colours that actually suit me, especially when it comes to lipstick, that I’ve become used to just reaching for the same old reds I always wear: I don’t even TRY anything else, at this point. Seasonal makeup changes? Forget it. Every year, when autumn rolls around, and all of my blogger friends start banging on about how they can’t wait to break out all of those plum and berry coloured lipsticks that are supposed to be SO APPROPRIATE for autumn, I’m left sitting there going, “Yeah, I’ll just be sticking to exactly the same colours I wore all summer, thanks, otherwise I’ll legit look like Marilyn Manson.”  (Er, no offence to Marilyn Manson, by the way…)

Anyway, as I said, I’ve become so used to this state of affairs that I’ve just accepted it – to the point where I can’t even remember the last time I bought a lipstick that wasn’t red. Then, last week, Rimmel very kindly sent me no less than 9 different shades of their new ‘The Only 1’ matte lipstick. Nine. Now, I was all set to reach for the bright red which was closest to my usual lipstick colour, and then pass the rest on to my niece, when I decided to give myself a bit of a talking to, instead. “Amber, ” I told myself, “It’s time for a change. It’s time to step outside your comfort zone, and try every single one of these colours: you never know, you might actually like one that ISN’T bright red, for change!”

And did I? Well, you’re about to find out. First, though, here’s the lipstick:

Rimmel 'The Only 1' Matte Lipstick Review

Rimmel 'The Only 1' Matte Lipstick ReviewThis is a rich, creamy formula, which, unusually for matte lipstick, is easy to apply (i.e. there’s none of that “dragging” sensation you get when you try to apply some other matte lipsticks I could mention), and doesn’t dry your lips out as soon as they come into contact with it. So it IS possible! And I know what you’re thinking: you’re all, “That’s very nice to know, Amber, but how is it on carpets? Like, pale cream ones, say?” Well, because I like to address the issues that other beauty bloggers don’t even consider – and not AT ALL because I’m a clumsy oaf, who REALLY shouldn’t have uncapped nine lipsticks right next to a pale carpet – I can exclusively reveal that this lipstick is a bitch to get out of carpets, seriously. You will need to shampoo them. You will then need to apologise profusely to your husband for the fact that, while he was diligently scrubbing the carpet, you were busy taking a photo of your own arm:

Rimmel The Only 1 Matte Lipstick swatches

There are 20 colours available: I was sent 9, and without even trying them out, I could tell that ‘Take the Stage’ was destined to be my favourite, and that ‘Run the Show’, ‘Look Who’s Talking’ and ‘The Matte Factor’ would make me look almost exactly like a corpse. ‘High Flyer’, ‘Trend Setter’ and ‘Salute’, meanwhile, would probably just make me look vaguely consumptive – or so I thought. There was only one way to find out, though, so once I’d located the tripod for the camera, freaked out when I realised the battery for the remote had died, and then finished scrubbing the carpet, I was ready to get testing. Well, to be completely honest, once I’d done all of that, it was actually time for dinner. Because I love you all, and knew you’d want to see me in purple lipstick, though, I continued on my mission: and here’s how I got on…

Oh, quick disclaimer: because I was having to apply and then remove each of these lipsticks in a hurry – and also because my lipstick application isn’t up to much even at the best of times, really – I didn’t bother with lipliner etc, and just applied them straight from the tube, as best I could. That’s why there are no close ups of my lips: you’d thank me for this if you could see the state of them right now, seriously.

I started off with ‘Trend Setter’ – which I had affectionately nicknamed ‘Consumptive Governess’:

Rimmel The Only 1 Matte Lipstick in Trend SetterIt…wasn’t actually as bad as I was expecting. True, it doesn’t really look that much different from how my lips look anyway (So, be aware that if you’re about to tell me this one’s really, really unflattering, you’ll basically be saying that MY FACE is unflattering, and that I should change it…), and I probably wouldn’t pay for a lipstick just to look like I’m not wearing lipstick, but I looked less … dead… than I expected to, (While still looking totally and utterly DEAD, obviously…) so hey: we’re off to a good start!

Next up: take the stage, Take the Stage!

Rimmel The Only One Matte Lipstick in Take the StageThis is exactly the kind of red I usually wear, although maybe just a touch darker. Although I’m very used to this kind of colour, I felt a bit like The Joker in it, after trying the much more subtle ‘Trend Setter’. Great! 

(Also, I am actually wearing blusher here: I know it doesn’t look like it but, well, now you know just how much makeup it takes for me to look even vaguely alive…)

Next up was ‘Take the Pink’, which is a very bright pink. I’m not generally a ‘bright pink’ kind of person, so I was extremely wary of this one:

Rimmel The Only 1 Matte Lipstick in Take the PinkYeah, this was just too neon for my tastes. Again, I didn’t hate it as much as I’d expected to, but, then again, I’d expected to really, REALLY hate it, so I guess that’s not saying much.

Next up: High Flyer!

Rimmel The Only 1 Matte Lipstick in High Flyer

Admit it: if you’d walked into the room while I was taking this photo, you’d have called an ambulance for me, wouldn’t you? LITERALLY DEAD HERE.
This one kinda surprised me: going by the colour in the tube, I’d expected it to be a brownish shade, but on my lips, it’s actually more of a pink/mauve, which is much better than brown would be, at least.

The next colour is ‘Call the Shots’:

Rimmel The Only 1 Matte Lipstick in Call the Shots
(No, I don’t have another pose I could do, by the way: sorry about that. I promise I did actually try these lipsticks, rather than just photoshopping my lips different colours. Because if I was going to Photoshop my lipstick on, I’d do a better job of it, wouldn’t I?)

This one was a bit of a revelation to me. It’s the kind of pink I’d probably completely by-pass if I were to see it in store, but, looking back at these photos, I think it might actually be my favourite. Who knew?! Brace yourselves, though, because the next one is baaaad:

Rimmel The Only 1 Matte Lipstick in The Matte FactorThis is called ‘The Matte Factor’, and it’s the kind of deep red that most people find perfect for autumn, and which I find just perfect for Halloween – which I guess is appropriate enough, today of all days. So, yeah, I’m sure it would look awesome on someone else, but I find dark colours like this really hard to apply: if I was going to wear this one out of the house, I’d definitely need a lip liner and brush for it (neither of which I used here, as I was constantly applying one colour, then scrubbing it off to apply the next), and even then, I think colours this dark just emphasise my wonky lip shape, while highlighting all of the dry patches. Oh yeah, and leeching every last bit of colour out of my skin: don’t forget that!

It got worse, though, because the next colour was ‘Look Who’s Talking’ – a dark brown which was so awful I literally didn’t want to show my face:


I mean, this is obviously not designed for my particular type of colouring, but even so, I’d rather we didn’t ever speak of this again. Thanks.

Next, here’s a shade I almost forgot to include, because it’s quite similar to the first one I showed you, all those many moons ago:

Rimmel The Only 1 Matte Lipstick in Salute

It’s called ‘Salute’, and it’s interesting, because I always thought my natural lips were almost completely colourless. This shade, however, contrives to be even paler than they are, which means I’d have to layer it on quite thickly if I didn’t want them to show through. Having spent my entire life wishing my lips had even just a tiny bit of colour to them, though, I just can’t get on board with the idea of making them EVEN PALER instead, so this would be a ‘no’ from me…

Finally, and just for the laughs:

Rimmel Lipsick in 'OMG, why am I wearing purple lipstick right now?'

Nope, I can’t do it: I just can’t roll my eyes hard enough to express how I feel about ‘Run the Show’. Can’t do it. Again, this will probably be a great shade on someone else – as will all of the colours that didn’t quite work for me.  When you do find your shade, meanwhile, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the lipstick itself, which, as I said, is rich, creamy, and lasted all the way through dinner, with just a little bit of wear in the centre. Oh, and it smells amazing, too: like, ‘I’m going to sniff this every time I try to wear it’ amazing. So there’s that.

Just… maybe don’t go putting it on your cream carpet, OK?

Rimmel 'The Only 1' matte lipstick - review and swatches

Liked this post?? Take a second to support Amber on Patreon!
  • Hana


    I really like all the pink shades on you! Even the neon one, it’s unexpected but pretty 🙂

    October 31, 2016
  • Erin


    Amber, I really don’t think you are giving yourself enough credit here! I love “Call the Shots” and “Take the Pink” even more and think you should add them to your rotation. I also don’t think the ones you think are very bad are even close to “bad” with the exception of “Look Who’s Talking” which admittedly isn’t great (it wouldn’t be on me either!). I think I’m going to have to hunt a few of these down. Thank you for swatching! I’d love to see you do this more frequently!

    October 31, 2016
  • I actually thought most of these looked really good on you! Having fair skin can really make it tricky to find new lipstick shades.

    October 31, 2016
  • I don’t think they look as bad on you as you think they do… but seriously I’d like to see one person who can pull of that gross purple shade. Show me just one person who makes that look good. I agree about the pinkish one being the surprise hit – it looks lovely on you.

    October 31, 2016
    • Actually I know someone who would, despite it not being the most common colour 😛 she wears this kind of shade every day

      November 1, 2016
  • Genevieve


    I’m a fellow redhead and I was JUST bemoaning the fact that with red hair you can’t get away with lipstick colours like other people can. I also have blue eyes so even more colours already going on on my face. I cant get away with ginger hair, blue eyes and red lips. I’ve tried so many times. I usually stick to pinkish/nude/brown. I really liked Take the Pink on you though! Also love the idea of trying a bunch on and doing a collage of them all- it really gives you a better perspective of what they look like to compare them like that.

    October 31, 2016
  • Genevieve


    Also ” Consumptive Governess” is the greatest shade name ever! haha!

    October 31, 2016
  • Obviously you should only wear what you’re comfortable in but I really love that striking pink on you! x

    October 31, 2016
  • Veronica U


    I honestly don’t think the lipsticks are as bad as you feel they are, although definitely your personal opinion is what matters most. I like “Take the Pink” and “Call the Shots,” they don’t look too bright in the photos. I LOVE when you do reviews like this – we are super similar in coloring (although my hair is a little more auburn than yours). I got the Target BeautyBox last month and they included the Rimmel Only One lipstick in color Oh-So-Wicked – now THAT’S an unflattering shade for a redhead!! *sigh*

    October 31, 2016
  • Love all of these, they sound lovely! Take the stage looks gorrrgeous on you x


    October 31, 2016
  • Rotem


    I actually thought they all looked good on you (especially the pink)!
    Except for the purple,though… I really don’t know who can pull that one off.

    October 31, 2016
  • I actually really like the vampy colours on you but I understand why you’d rather stick to red. I also did the same for years (not for the same reason). The purple is a bit odd but for darker skin, it works surprisingly well. Also now must resist in getting a couple of these…

    November 1, 2016
  • Purple lipstick is one of those things that I admire on so many people that can pull it off, but if I ever tried it myself, it’s definitely corpse bride territory. But to be honest, I have to say I love all the pinks on you and especially that pinky/mauve one ~ High Flyer ~ I thought it was gorgeous! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    November 1, 2016
  • Moira


    “Consumptive governess” *snorts* very funny!

    November 1, 2016
  • You’re being hard on yourself! I don’t think any of these shades look truly bad on you, even the purple. Sometimes seeing new colours on our faces takes adjustment, but I think you can pull them off. I work with a pale readhead who wears everything from pinkish nudes to deep blackened purples and I always like her lipstick. As a fellow pale person (with bleach blonde hair for extra pale factor), I find the most unwearable colours to be white-based pastel peaches, anything with a beige undertone, and pale nudes. Those truly make me look dead. Anything saturated might bring out the fact that I’m fair, but I don’t think they’re unflattering, exactly – it’s not like people are going to miss the fact that I’m fair, anyway!

    November 1, 2016
  • All of the shades look great. I read few more reviews on these new gems that fellow bloggers shared and all of them are positive. The formula looks nice and I am all about matte lipsticks so I will definitely check them out. Thank you for sharing Amber. x
    Ninz | http://www.ninzbeauty.com

    November 2, 2016
  • Call the Shots looks amazing on you! And I love the shade.
    The photos are really good too, which filter/effect do you use to enhance the redhair?

    November 4, 2016
  • I like all of them (except maybe the brown and purple). This is a really cute post, and you look very pretty. 🙂

    November 7, 2016
  • How does every colour suit you! They look really good on you, I absolutely love these lipsticks. My favourite is either Trendsetter or High Roller!
    Sherry x

    November 8, 2016
  • Ghalia


    I can completely understand why trying anything you’re not used to can be off-putting, so, as an objective observer I would like to say that, in my humble opinion, Trend Setter, Take The Pink and High Flyer really really really suit you! The first two work especially well with the casual classics you’re wearing.

    November 13, 2016
  • I don’t know how I still haven’t picked any of these up, or swatched them in the store! I’ve kept meaning to as they look so lovely – Salute looks lovely for spring and summer!

    May 18, 2017