If you haven't already, I think you're probably going to see a lot of "love it" or "hate it" reviews when it comes to this new lip color line from Revlon. When I heard the name Ultimate Suede, my mind immediately went to Revlon's fabulous matte lipsticks, and I was really hoping that these new lip colors would be a variation on that theme (just like Revlon matte lipsticks but with maybe even better staying power and a bigger shade selection).
But then, I remembered the original Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Lip Colors (discontinued a few years ago). Thinking back to those, it's worth noting that Ultimate Suede has essentially the same packaging as the original, except now the base of the tube is not black; it matches the actual shade of the lipstick.
So I think it's important to remember that ColorStay = long-wear. And if you've ever tried a Revlon ColorStay lip color before, then you know what that's about. And guess what? These are no different...
I purchased four shades from this new line at Rite Aid a few weeks ago, so here's my take on them.
Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lip Color
(retail: $7.99, 0.09 oz)
Keep reading for my full review...
When perusing the counter display for this collection, I tried to select two shimmers and two mattes. But when I got these colors home and took a closer look, the two shades that I thought were mattes actually contained some shimmer. So I don't think any of the shades in this range are mattes, but I could be wrong.
Here are the four colors I purchased:
Backstage is a deep blue-based red with subtle sparkle.
Iconic is a warm peachy-nude with pink undertones and fine gold shimmer.
Preview is a cool, dusty mauve with subtle shimmer.
Muse is a blue-toned fuchsia with subtle shimmer.
It's hard to see the shimmer in any of these shades when these colors are on the skin. In real life, the color with the most visible shimmer is Iconic, because the shimmer in that shade is gold and provides a nice contrast to the base color. It doesn't have as much orange to it as these pics may lead you to believe. The photo below is a bit more accurate:
Basically, the shimmer in all four of these colors is very subtle, which is why you can't really it in any of my swatches.
Instead of doing my normal breakdown of the texture, pigmentation, etc. that I do for most of my reviews, I'm going to do things a bit differently because I really want to try my best to describe the overall "experience" I've had with these lipsticks.
During initial application, this product glides across the lips very easily and feels lightweight, smooth and slick. The color is sheer, but it's easily buildable and I like that you can really control the pigmentation to your liking. After about two minutes on the lips, I notice that the texture changes dramatically. It goes from feeling like a regular, sheer lipstick to a traditional long-wear lipstick (the type that usually comes in a two-step system of base color and clear glossy top coat). If you've ever used CoverGirl Outlast Lip Color or any other product like that, then you know what it feels like before you apply the clear gloss. The texture is very sticky and a bit heavy. Well, that's exactly how Ultimate Suede lipsticks feel on my lips within two minutes of application.
I absolutely feel like I'm wearing a long-wear lip color, but without the clear glossy top coat, whenever I wear these lip colors. The stickiness is undeniable and the best way I can describe it is if you took the sticky side of a Post-It Note and pressed it against clean, dry lips. The feeling of pulling the Post-It Note away from your lips is what it feels like when you smoosh your lips together while wearing this product.
In addition to the change in texture, the finish of all four shades that I purchased changes too. After a few minutes on the lips, the colors morph from being sheer and glossy to dull and muddied. In fact, I think that's where the "suede" part of Ultimate Suede kicks in--when this lipstick sets, it's not so much matte but more suede-like in appearance. You really can't see any shimmer, but things just turn kind of dull. The colors are no longer vibrant or rich--they just seem faded.
The sticky texture seems to stay around on my lips for the duration. It's quite sticky for the first few hours, and then into the third or fourth hour, it's only mildly sticky (but I can still very much feel it on my lips). It never quite morphs into that dry, crumbly texture that is common in older-generation long-wear lip colors. And my lips don't feel nearly as dry as they did when I wore the older-generation long-wear lip colors.
But the thing is, the color doesn't stay around as long as the long-wear lip colors of yesteryear. In particular, the two lighter shades I purchased (Iconic and Preview) only lasted on my lips for two hours. After two hours (and no eating or drinking) the color was completely gone from my lips, although I could still feel that slightly sticky/tacky texture. That is something I very much didn't like about this product because, if I can still feel something on my lips, I darn well better SEE it too, or what's the point?
The two darker colors that I purchased had better staying power, lasting between four and six hours on my lips. I ate and drank and could still a soft stain on my lips after six hours of wear for both Backstage and Muse.
There is virtually no fragrance or flavor to these lip colors.
FINAL VERDICT: If you are a fan of 2-step long-wear lip colors (L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lip Color, Revlon ColorStay Overtime Liquid Lip Color, CoverGirl Outlast lip Color, Maybelline SuperStay 2-Step Color, etc.) or if you're a fan of second-generation long-wear lip colors that don't require a separate clear top coat (Maybelline SuperStay 14HR Lip Color, Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick, etc.) then there's a chance that you might like Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lip Colors--especially if you're used that heavier, sticky/tacky feel on the lips. I loved a few shades in the original ColorStay Ultimate Lip Color line, but the biggest difference between those and the new Ultimate Suede Lip Colors is that the originals applied like mattes or cremes. There was no element of surprise and you knew what you were getting into from the get-go. With Ultimate Suede, I find that the initial look and feel (sheer, glossy, shimmery color) changes so dramatically (and so quickly) that it's kind of a let-down. I absolutely LOVE the "my lips but better" look of Iconic, but only for the first 30 seconds or so that it's on my lips. It goes from a gorgeous, sheer peachy-nude-pink with golden shimmer to something far more flat and blah within just a few minutes. And then it fades completely after two hours. I obviously can't speak for all of the colors in this collection, and the darker shades do seem to have better staying power, but it's nothing that I can't achieve with one of my existing lipstains or matte lipsticks, and then I don't have to deal with the stickiness. Again, if you're already a fan of long-wear drugstore lip colors, then you might like these if you can find a shade that works for you. But if you are not a fan of traditional long-wear lip colors and all of the stickiness that comes with them, I think you might be better off skipping these. To sum it up in one sentence: Every time I wear one of these lip colors, I have the nagging feeling that I should apply the clear gloss/balm that came with it to add some shine and moisture to my lips; and then I remember that it didn't come with a clear gloss/balm.
Whew! I think that about covers it, folks. If I neglected to describe something in this review or you have a question that I didn't answer above, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to help you out.
In the meantime, have you tried any of the new Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lip Colors? Were you a fan of the original ColorStay Ultimate Lip Colors? Either way, I'd love to hear from you.