Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review: Revlon Vintage Super Lustrous Legacy Lipstick Collection

For spring (Spring? Too many icicles right now for spring...), Revlon made an excellent choice. They decided to re-release five discontinued Super Lustrous lipsticks in a collection called the "Legacy Collection". In order to promote the collection, Revlon drew specific attention to the years the colors were originally released. The release years span from 1946 to 1999.

I think this was a really smart marketing decision for a few reasons:

  • Firstly, it draws attention to the fact that Revlon is a company with some pretty decent history. This collection makes me want to give Revlon a pat on the back and say, "You were founded in the middle of the Great fucking Depression. Good job on still existing." 
  • Secondly, it cultivates a vintage appeal. "This isn't just a regular peach", a customer might say. "This is a peach from the 19-fucking-50s. Look at my face and tell me that this isn't glamour." 
  • Thirdly, although the original release dates on these lip products are pretty old, a lot of them were discontinued more recently. That means that many Revlon-lovers may actually remember owning these products. That means, for many, they have a nostalgia appeal, as well.
  • Finally, the Super Lustrous lipsticks are, in general, really well formulated products. People drawn in on the well-designed gimmick are going to think, "Damn, Revlon makes a pretty decent lipstick!"

I bought all five of these suckers. So, of course, I'm here with a review.


It's worth noting that the drugstore display is bizarrely tiny-- allowing for only two lipsticks per shade. (I didn't snap a shot of it, but Nouveau Cheap has a photo here.) To me, this is kind of a baffling choice, since they will almost certainly end up with unstocked lipsticks at some point, and any impulse buyers will end up impulse-buying something that's actually on display.

(I did manage to get my hands on all five of the re-releases, though, so maybe I just don't know what I'm talking about.)

Revlon's Announcement
Source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WR4quZUoMgM/Ukn0zCZGHNI/AAAAAAAA48Y/
qp3HHPgaYjM/s1600/1378871_10151886556307748_868131367_n.png

I have had really good luck with all of the Revlon Super Lustrous lipsticks I have tried in the past (and, indeed, I have a few others that were released 'way back when', including Cherries in the Snow, which came out in 1953 and Fire & Ice, which came out in 1952). Usually, my complaint is that the packaging on Revlon lipsticks looks really dated. Here, though, I feel like it doesn't matter. If you're marketing a product as "vintage", you can get away with old-fashioned packaging.


The collection contains Icy Violet (released 1946), Snow Peach (released 1956), Fifth Ave Red (released 1958), Jungle Peach (released 1963), and Sandstorm (released 1999).


All of them swatch nicely, although Icy Violet and Sandstorm are more sheer and shimmery than the other three, which are creams.

From left to right: Icy Violet, Snow Peach, Fifth Ave Red, Jungle Peach, Sandstorm. 
Here's a snapshot of each of them, in chronological order--

Color: Icy Violet
Introduced: 1946 (Under the name Ultraviolet)
Also That Year: Truman's Proclamation 2714 formally ends WWII; Juan Perón is elected president of Argentina; Ho Chi Minh leads the Viet Minh against the French occupiers in the First Indochina war; ENIAC, the first general-purpose computer, is released; Trials against Japanese WWII war criminals (including those responsible for both the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Rape of Nanking, as well as the Japanese ambassador to Nazi Germany),  begin in Tokyo; The Nuremberg trials occur; An unsuccessful prison break led to the Battle of Alcatraz; Louis Réard and Jacques Heim introduce the bikini in Paris; Quebec allows women's suffrage; George W. Bush is born.
Original Ads:

Source: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/beauty/news-features/TMG9711449/80-Years-of-Revlon-the-exhibition.html
Source: http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/write_light/11965346/909158/909158_original.jpg
My thoughts: I was hoping that this product was going to be more of an in-your-face purple than it actually was. Ultimately, it's so sheer that it gives your lips a fairy-like, frosty and ethereal gleam with just the tiniest hint of mauve-y lavender. I like it, it's just not what I was expecting. It's perhaps unfair to be grumpy that a product that came out in the 1940s is insufficiently fashion-forward, especially given that I will probably wear this lipstick more than I would have worn my hypothetical, imagined version.

Revlon Icy Violet Lip Swatch

Color: Snow Peach
Introduced: 1956
Also That Year: The country of Sudan gains  independence from the UK and from Egypt, and Morocco gains independence from France; 'Heartbreak Hotel' by Elvis Presley tops the billboard the charts, putting Elvis on the proverbial map; Norma Jean Mortenson legally changes her name to Marilyn Monroe; Videotape is first used; England opens the first commercial nuclear power plant; The Suez crisis occurs in Sinai.
Original Ads:



Source: http://i.imgur.com/qoFhsxn.jpg
My thoughts: Naming aside, this color is super non-peach-y. To me, it's more of a pink-leaning vibrant coral. Although I love this color, I did think that it was the most difficult to work with out of the five lipsticks. Try to put it on without a lip scrub first and you will be doomed to patchy lips covered in clingy coral goop. Still, I think the color is awesome enough that I can forgive it (especially given that it is actually workable if apply with caution). 1956 release-date aside, this feels modern as fuck to me.

Revlon Snow Peach Lip Swatch

Color: Fifth Avenue Red
Introduced: 1958
Also That Year: The United Arab Republic is formed; The word "aerospace is coined; The "peace" symbol is designed; Pizza Hut is founded; The Alaska Statehood Act is signed (Although Alaska wouldn't become an official state until January 1959); The Beatles (known at this time as the Quarrymen) record their first album; NASA is created; Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov is released in the Americas; Female genital cutting becomes illegal in the United States; Instant noodles are sold for the first time.
Original Ad:

Source: http://i.imgur.com/oj596aL.jpg
My thoughts: This is a neutral red with nice, full coverage. My swatch below is making it a lot more orange-y than it is in real life. (For a color-accurate lip swatch, you can scroll down to the very bottom of this post and check out the pictures on my "four hours and a meal" test.) I do really like this lipstick, but I'd call it the least "special" out of the bunch.

Revlon Fifth Ave Red Lip Swatch

Color: Jungle Peach
Introduced: 1963
Also That Year: The Viet Cong win their first major victory in the Vietnam War; Newly elected Alabama governor George C. Wallace declares, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!"; The JFK administration makes it illegal for US citizens to travel to Cuba; Sylvia Plath commits suicide; The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan is published; The Beatles release their first album; The soap opera General Hospital debuts; Martin Luther King Jr. gives his I Have a Dream speech at the March on Washington; Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space; Five digit zip codes are introduced in the United States; The first geostationary satellite is launched; The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing kills four young girls and wounds 22 more; Malcolm X delivers his Message to the Grass Roots speech; JFK is assassinated; The smiley face symbol is invented by artist Harvey Ball.
Original Ad:

Source: http://i.imgur.com/Al5o1DG.jpg
My thoughts: This lipstick was a lot more "nude" than I had anticipated. It's not quite a nude lip, but it has the feeling of a nude lip. It's super, super, super 1960s. I wear it and I feel like I need to be protesting the Vietnam war or something. The creamy pale peach isn't the most flattering lipstick in the collection on me, but it's quite opaque (especially for such a light color) and it doesn't apply streakily.

Revlon Jungle Peach Lip Swatch

Color: Sandstorm
Introduced: 1999
Also That Year: The euro is established as a currency; Bill Clinton is acquitted in impeachment proceedings; Bill Gates' net worth exceeds $100 billion; The Columbine massacre occurs; SpongeBob SquarePants premieres; Star Wars Episode I is released; The fraudulent "Archaeoraptor" fossil is displayed; The Cambodian Khmer Rouge is formally dissolved; People freak out about Y2K.
Original Ad:

Source: http://lippieismylife.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/13762871.jpg

My thoughts: This was the color that I was most worried about, but it totally blew me away with its awesome factor. This is another sheer-er lipstick, which means that you don't have to go all "HELLO MY NAME IS ROBYN AND I HAVE BROWN LIPS" if you don't want to. The color is more of bronze with a reddish undertone. A single swipe gives your lips a bronze glow. Heavier application adds more oomf. Don't get me wrong; This lipstick is as late-90s as hell... But I like it.

Revlon Sandstorm Lip Swatch
I didn't take "four hours and meal" pictures for every one of these lipsticks, although I have worn all of them for a full day, so I can speak to their longevity. I did take photos for my test of Fifth Avenue Red, though.

Here's Fifth Ave Red When Applied:


And here it is, four hours and a meal later:


Overall, it looks pretty good. You can see that the inside of my bottom lip started to dry out, leaving it a little cakey. None of these lipsticks are longevity-queens, though. Icy Violet and Sandstorm fade pretty evenly throughout the day, whereas the three cream lipsticks are more likely to eventually dry to a matte and get a little less cute. Nothing tragic, but definitely something to watch out for.

The Revlon Super Lustrous Lipsticks retail for $7.99 for 0.15 oz, putting them at $53.27 per ounce.

50 comments:

  1. This is an awesome post (among excellent posts)! Thank you for doing the Google work on historical events, and *especially* on the ads. It adds a remarkable depth to the concept. Also now I kind of need Sandstorm and Jungle Peach. (Pedantic PS: peaches don't... um... grow in jungles, Revlon)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Although all the individuals that originally put the ads online deserves a lot more credit that I do!

      Delete
  2. I love Snow Peach! And I love the history bits, too.
    I am a history buff!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Holy fuck, I love all of these. I love that their commercial for Snow Peach is in black and white!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "We promise. It's a great color. Just trust us."

      Delete
    2. I love that they have to have a narrator describing the color.

      Delete
  4. I want to see SandSTORM from 1999 come back! I miss those dark reddy-brown Dana Scully lippies that were all over The X-Files in like 1995. I can't find them anymore except in the MAC lineup and they don't seem to sit well on me for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good thing the '90s are back in style all of a sudden!

      Delete
  5. Oh god, I remember seeing that Revlon ad for Sandstorm in 1999, in Teen People magazine or something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a good memory! I remember the vibe, but not the ad.

      Delete
  6. I love Sandstrom! That color needs to come back with a vengeance! I love all of the ads you found as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely really different from most of the lipstick colors that are out right now!

      Delete
  7. This is such a cool post! Brown lipsticks scare the crap out of me because they usually make my teeth look yellow but Sandstorm looks really pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well... if you hate it, at least it wasn't too pricey!

      Delete
  8. Fabulous post! I'm tweeting and pinning the crap out of it. I love that you dug up the old ads--I'm such a cosmetics history nerd. I'm amazed that anyone wore violet lipstick in the 1940s; that struck me as an "any color as long as it's red" decade. I definitely remember the brown lipstick trend--that's how Bobbi Brown got her start. And Eliza Dushku wore masses of dark brown lipstick as Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, circa 2000. That being said, Sandstorm looks the most wearable, followed by Fifth Avenue Red.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was surprised by the violet until I tried it and realized how sheer and not-in-your-face it is. It's still pretty, though!

      Delete
  9. What an awesome post! And I agree, Sandstorm is SO late 90's! The 90s were all about brown, brown, brown. Neutral, neutral, neutral!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of these really epitomize the decade during which they were released, and Sandstorm is definitely one of those!

      Delete
  10. I love these! I'm also obsessed with all of the print ads for them. I wish the Walgreens nearby would get it together and stock these already.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Limited edition collections always trickle in super slowly! Although if you're getting stuff after my tiny town, y'all are pretty behind.

      Delete
  11. I LOVE THIS POST. The tour through history was really fun :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Strangely enough, the only one of these colors that didn't appeal to me immediately was Sandstorm. I was in high school in 1999 and I hated most of the browns/neutrals of the era then, so I guess the nostalgia appeal is low for me. But I must say, it looks a lot better than I expected in the lip swatch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't expecting to like Sandstorm either! I only bought it because it seemed silly to buy four out of five.

      ...But I love it.

      Delete
  13. I'm SO annoyed these aren't available in the UK! Gonna have to overpay on eBay =/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nooo! Do you guys usually get limited edition collections?

      Delete
  14. I was wondering if you were going to review these! I need to get on the lookout for Sandstorm. It looks great on you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. i must find the two peach colors and that red! so so so pretty. while wearing them i might even start to sing a rendition of I Feel Pretty from West Side Story.
    glossedonbeauty.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two years too soon for Jungle Peach, unfortunately!

      Delete
  16. This is an awesome concept! I think I'm going to need this entire collection. The history of each colour is so awesome!

    http://mattekat.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was really excited when I heard about these!

      Delete
  17. Snow Peach, 5th Ave Red and Icy Violet will be MINE!

    ...please release these in NZ too, Revlon? Pretty please?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That might be too much to hope for. :(

      Delete
  18. I have my eye on the 2 peach colours and 5th Avenue Red!
    Hopefully it comes to Singapore soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you know if they are being released in Singapore?

      Delete
    2. I couldn't find any information on it, but I hope so!
      Usually the new release items only reach Asia 4-6 months later, and not the full range of colours. For example, the Revlon Matte balms only released in Singapore & Malaysia in Feb.

      Delete
  19. Imagine trying to sell colour cosmetics via black-and-white television. Quite the task.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would definitely make cultivating the "aesthetic" associated with the color much harder!

      You'd think they'd want better color names, though, if people don't even get to see them...

      Delete
  20. So awesome. I bought all of them except Fifth avenue red. I love them, way more than I expected. I love how downright 90s Sandstorm is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What made you skip the final one?

      Delete
    2. Honestly because at first I was only going to get 3, only one of the peaches. But then when I went to check out I was told they were on sale buy one get one half off. So I had to get one more! I chose the other peach because I have 0 peaches in my collection (errr kinda still do since these aren't really peach) but I have lots of red.

      Delete
  21. I think I need Icy Violet! I lean warm, but the sheerness would probably help it not look horrible on me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can definitely wear it. Confidence, fit, and technique lets you pull of 99% of fashion and makeup.

      Delete
  22. Robyn, I think the New York Red looks great on you. Nice trip back through time, reminds me of my mother's era and her lipstick obsession. Fun movie and the ads were vintage cool. The only ones I'd dare to try on my pale, cool skin are Icy Violet and New York Red. I had Sandstorm back in the '90's. Looked like shit on me but I guess it's a first attempt in the nude category kinda.' Like Loreal's Sandstone, I believe it was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am quite confident that you can wear any of these colors if you decide you want to!

      Delete
  23. I loved this post! I loved the connection to history, and I can't wait to get my hands on 5th avenue red, jungle peach, and snow peach.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Such a well planned detailed post..actually felt the vintage-factor of these lipsticks..that ad was espl interesting.. I wish Revlon added the original casing also cos that looks sooo glam!

    ReplyDelete
  25. "Look at my face and tell me that this isn't glamour."

    I laughed so loud when I read this. I'm such a sucker for marketing. I would seriously buy lipstick (or really any other makeup item) if this was the tagline in a commerical.

    ReplyDelete

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