Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

I had big plans for Thanksgiving weekend — big, big plans! Like swatching lots and lots of products while I had all those long lovely days of bright, full-spectrum Alaska winter daylight in which to take good pictures. Short winter days mean I go to work in the dark, come home in the dark, and don’t have many opportunities to take photos during daylight hours. And for some reason our house is sort of perpetually lowlit. So I knew I would make the most of the weekend and take lots and lots of photos!

Or, alternatively, I would loll on the sofa, streaming very old episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 on Netflix and eating raw cranberries by the fistful. Oops.

I did get some nail polish swatches (coming soon!) done over the holiday, but I didn’t get to another product I’m actually really excited about: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter. I was going to wait until this weekend, but then I remembered we’ll be traveling (Vegas, here we come!), so when a reader e-mailed me asking where to find Lip Butter in Anchorage I decided I’d have to bite the bullet and try to take good photos in lousy light.

That’s an unnecessarily long preface to a pretty straightforward thesis: Revlon’s new Lip Butters are fantastic.


I used to turn my nose up at drugstore lipstick, but I got over that recently, and I’m really glad, because otherwise I might have missed out on this product. Revlon describes it as “buttery balm with beautiful shiny color,” and that’s pretty much spot-on. They look like lipsticks, but they apply more like a lip balm (I always use a brush to apply lipstick, but I’ve been slapping these on straight out of the tube), and they’re very moisturizing, which makes them perfect for winter in Alaska. According to Revlon, they’re formulated with mango, shea and coconut butter, although considering how affordable they are ($7.49 at Fred Meyer in Anchorage), I’d imagine the formula probably contains greater amounts of glycerin and mineral oil.

Candy Apple, Sugar Plum, Red Velvet
Since the shades are all named after sweets, and since other lip butters I’ve used (like Korres and The Body Shop) have been flavored, I assumed these would smell like their names, but they’re free of fragrance or flavor. I wasn’t too disappointed by that. I’d love a candy apple-scented lip balm, but I don’t like chocolate-scented lip products, so I wouldn’t have wanted Red Velvet to smell like its name.

Several coats each of Candy Apple, Sugar Plum and Red Velvet

The colors go on more sheer than lipstick but are very buildable, and there’s a good selection of shades. I used to stick almost entirely to mauve/dusty rose lip color, but lately I’ve been wearing a lot of red, so I picked out Red Velvet, which is a deep wine color, and Sugar Plum, a safe but pretty mauve. After trying those two out I went back and took a chance on Candy Apple, which is an intimidating bright red in the tube but goes on more toned down. (I know it looks orangey in the swatch above, but if you look at it on my lips below, the orangey-ness is gone.) I haven’t tried all the shades in the collection, but there appear to be some peachy, warmer colors, some bright and pale pinks, and some neutrals. For me, these three shades are plenty; my coloring is not friendly to warm lip colors and as I mentioned in my Lush holiday review, I can’t get into pink lips. Candy Apple, Sugar Plum and Red Velvet cover all my lip bases.

Sugar Plum, Candy Apple, Red Velvet

(I don’t know why my lips look so much fuller in that first photo, but I should figure out how to hold my mouth like that all the time.) Unfortunately my camera didn’t really do Red Velvet justice; it’s a really beautiful shade if you like dark reds, and if you’re dark red-curious but intimidated by bolder lip colors, it’s a nice safe first step since it does go on a bit sheer at first. Sugar Plum sort of looks like my lips but better (or maybe what I wish my lips looked like bare).

Of course, the downside to drugstore lip color is you can’t try before you buy, and the ColorBurst Lip Butters are sealed with a sticker so you can’t even pop the cap and take a peek (oh, come on, we all do it), but the lids are clear on top, so you can at least get a glimpse of what you’re buying.


That’s our bread machine in the background, in case you were wondering. I finally had to give up on getting good light elsewhere in the house and had to resort to turning on the overhead fluorescent lights I hate in the kitchen.

If you’re in Anchorage, look for these in a special display at Fred Meyer or in the regular Revlon section at Target. I have not seen them for sale online yet, but it’s my understanding that they are not limited edition and will be added to the regular Revlon line, so don’t panic if you can’t find them right away. It sounds like they’ll be around for a while.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

Bottom line: Great price, great product, great range of colors. Buy this.
Price: $
Tip: If you want to experiment with bold red lips but are scared to make the leap, try wading in with this buildable color.

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