Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Revlon Colorburst Lacquer and Matte Balms with review and swatches of Flirtatious and Striking and comparisons with Revlon Balm Stains (picture heavy post)

Revlon Colorburst Lacquer  Balm in Flirtatious
Revlon Colorburst Lacquer
Balm in
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
I posted last week about the Matte Balm that I decided to return (Elusive). I exchanged it for a Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious, and here is my impression of that product and the Matte Balm that I kept, Striking. 

Let's talk about the Lacquer Balm, Flirtatious, first. These come in metallic tubes. Now, I don't usually talk too much about packaging, but I need to complain a bit. The metallic package, at least for this particular shade, makes it really fucking difficult to figure out what color you're actually going to get. There are some swatch-like panels on the display, but they were hard to see since it was stuck in a poorly-lit corner at the CVS where I bought this. Anyway, I thought I knew what color I was getting when I looked at it in the store. It looked pink. Just sort of ordinary pink, maybe leaning slightly toward fuchsia. Much like it looks in the photo on the left, which I had to take at a weird angle at home to capture the same color.

In other lighting, however, the color totally changes! Look at the photos below. In the first one, the tube looks much more like the very red Romantic Balm stain at the bottom, doesn't it? And because the stickers on the bottom of the tubes are also metallic, they shift depending on your lighting, etc. too. So you might be in for a surprise once you actually open the thing.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten, Revlon Colorburst  Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic
Top to bottom: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten, Revlon Colorburst
Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten, Revlon Colorburst  Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic

Maybe I am making this sound more complicated than it is, but if you really want to know what you're going to get, you either need to get a good look at the display, or you need to peel back the sticker and open the lid. (ETA: See comments below. I don't advocate testing products in the store. I'm just complaining about the design of the package, which prevents you from knowing the actual color of the product without opening it.) Below, you can see that the color of the product is somewhat different than the color of the package (again, depending on the lighting).
Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious
Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in
The tip of the tube and the balm itself are quite a bit redder than the color of the package would suggest. Instead of an ordinary pink, Flirtatious is more of a raspberry color. Check out the swatches below, where I've compared it to a few of the pink Balm Stains (which you can see more photos of here). It is not the same shade as any of the existing Balm Stains, so if you prefer this color, that's about the only reason I can think of to get the Lacquer Balm over one of those.
Swatches of Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick, Smitten and Crush
Left to right: Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick, Smitten and Crush
Compared to the Balm Stains in Lovesick, Smitten, and Crush, Flirtatious is quite a bit redder and warmer. It also looks more opaque in the swatch, but it doesn't apply to the lips as evenly and smoothly as the Balm Stains do. It also doesn't wear nearly as long or nicely. Flirtatious will leave a pretty nice, faint stain behind. It also has some little bits of sparkle in it that aren't visible in the swatch. They cling to your lips when the color fades. (Oh, lovely. Blogger decided to convert my skin to zombie-texture when I uploaded the photos below. I don't understand why it does that sometimes. Fixed! Thanks to Liz at Beauty Reductionista.)
Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious immediately after applying
Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious immediately after applying
Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious after a couple of hours of wear
Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Flirtatious after a couple of hours of wear
Both the Matte and Lacquer Balms have a minty scent like the Balm Stains, but unlike the latter, they do tingle a little for a few minutes after you apply them. It's not a big deal, but it lets me know that they are irritating my lips, which I'm not a fan of. They will also both smear for as long as you wear them. This is a major disadvantage of these over the Balm Stains. The Balm Stains sort of set in place and stay there, while remaining comfortable, but these new ones are more like an ordinary, non-long-wearing lipstick.

As for the Matte Balm in Striking, I like the color and I don't have anything just like it, so I'm keeping it. I do think that if I wanted to, I could find something similar in a regular lipstick that would work at least as well, if not better. The only advantage this has over a lipstick is that it is in pencil/crayon format. I like that, but I'm not a huge fan of this shit otherwise. It applies a bit patchy, and if you try to add more to even it out, it has a tendency to remove the original layer when you go over it. It catches in any dry spots and accentuates them (though it's not as noticeable with this color as with Elusive). It also wears away quickly and not in a pretty way - it gets super-patchy and chunky looking. The photo below makes it look better than it does in person. (More zombie skin, too!)
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Striking immediately after applying
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Striking immediately after applying
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Striking after 1 hour and a cup of tea: BLECH!
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Striking after 1 hour and
a cup of tea: BLECH!
The texture and scent of the matte one makes me think of the mint Hershey's Kisses that come out around Xmas. I really fucking want some of those. Yum . . . anyway, I might try this one with some primer and lip liner to see if that makes it any less messy, but overall, I don't think either of these pencils have any edge over your typical lipstick (unless you prefer a patchy application?), and they are much worse than the Balm Stains. Here's a comparison with the closest Balm Stain color, Romantic:
Swatches of Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm  in Striking and Revlon Just Bitten Kissable  Balm Stain in Romantic
Swatches of Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm
in Striking and Revlon Just Bitten Kissable
Balm Stain in Romantic
Again, the new one looks more opaque in the swatch, but it doesn't apply as evenly or last as long. The colors are very close, though. The matte version is a brighter and a touch oranger.

Overall: neither of these is terrible, but if you love Balm Stains, you are probably going to be disappointed. They're nothing to get worked up over.


  1. I'm bummed! I love the Balm Stains but I mean, good to know I should save my money. (And buy the rest of the Balm Stains that I don't have yet.)

    1. Yeah, I was hoping for something similar with a different texture/finish. Boo.

  2. Dude you ARE cheap as f*ck! You suggest opening drugstore products to sample them??? It's a drugstore! You're paying $10 for a lipstick. If you want the luxury of trying before buying, shell out some real money and go to a department store! People like you opening and testing products you're not going to buy ruins things for us real beauty collectors who actually go to the store with the intention of buying. If you don't want to take the chance of buying something you won't be 100% happy with, save your pennies and shop somewhere you can test the product first!

    1. No, I'm not suggesting that. I think that's gross. I suppose I should have typed "you would" need to open the lid. I definitely did not suggest testing it. I think these are really poorly packaged, BOTH because the packages don't indicate the actual color AND because they are only sealed with a tiny sticker than can be easily peeled back and replaced. Why not shrink-wrapped? It would be hard to tell if someone had opened it or not.

      But I certainly don't think that just because you buy something from a drugstore, you should be forced to keep it. That's ridiculous. If they don't want people returning things, they should have testers like Boots in the UK has. Otherwise it's fair game. "Real beauty collectors?" Please. Drugstore makeup isn't reserved for special people who hoard beauty products whether or not they are actual useful or a decent quality.

  3. I apologize for going a bit over the top. Of course if you are not satisfied with something you buy, return it. Maybe you weren't suggesting to open packaging but people reading your blog may think you were. I hate it when I buy a couple shades of a product, love them, go back to buy more shades, and find that people have opened them all rendering them unbuyable (unless you don't mind an infection.)

    1. No problem - I hate that too. I realize that the way I worded it could be confusing. Hopefully people will read these comments, so thanks for drawing attention to that point. I meant it as a complaint about the packaging. The only way you CAN know what you're going to get is if you open it, especially if it's in a shelf display with no little color/swatch key. I think the design encourages people to do that. But I don't think testing out products in the store is the way to go. I didn't/wouldn't open them in the store - that is why I was surprised when I get it home.

  4. Yeeesh, anonymous bit your ass off! I hate when a store has only one shade of THE lipstick you went there for in the first place, and it's been used or smashed up. But I totally see how the packaging is deceiving! The shininess is awful for photographing, my roommate and I were doing blog pictures yesterday and there's no good angle, honestly. Great review, every other review of these has had only good things to say, so thanks for the reality check! I think the wear may be different depending on the shade, at least for the matte ones- my roommate hasn't complained about patchiness.

    1. Part of it may have been my high expectations based on how much I love the balm stains. These are more like a typical lipstick to me, and I can never really get lipstick to work. I don't have the skills to eat and drink while wearing lipstick without it coming off that other people have told me are possible. I also chew on my lips and rub them together and touch my face and do all sort of other stupid things too much. But I tried the red one over the Too Faced primer with liner and had about the same results, even though that primer usually makes things like lip gloss last longer for me.


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