Revlon ColorBurst Balms Are the Best Drugstore Lip Crayons

Bright, chubby lip crayons for under $10 at the drugstore? In matte AND glossy? Don't mind if I do...

If you haven't tried the Revlon ColorBurst Balms yet, which launched in November, well what are you waiting for already?

Just kidding. But not really. I gave 'em a mention in my list of 2013 favourites, but because one of my New Year's beauty resolutions was to also do more straight-up reviews, I'm dedicating some additional time today to why I think these are awesome. The chubby lip crayon trend is taking off at full speed and honestly, you don't have to pay Clinique prices if you don't want to. These Revlon puppies are one of three fantastic drugstore options (the others I like are CoverGirl's and Rimmel's) and can be had for under 10 bucks. Cheap as hell.

The other thing that's crazy good about these is the colour payoff. It's major. There are two finishes, Matte Balms and Lacquer Balms, with 10 shades in each. I was surprised and impressed at how much pigment you get, but with a sheer, balmy feel. The Mattes get extra points for not being drying, and the Lacquers have shine without being goopy or sticky. Oh, and if you like mint, these have a subtle, breath-freshening scent.

So far, so good, right? Let's get to the colours...

Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balms

At the launch event, I asked the PR girls for the "best" shades and ended up with these four Lacquers. Now, brace yourselves, because I'm about to get all up in your face with my lips magnified to larger than life size. (And yes, I have some random patch of redness in the bottom corner. I swear, I thought I looked good in the mirror? Cameras are cruel.) Anyway...

Demure is a sheer, light peachy pink that lets your natural lip colour peek through. My lips have quite a bit of pigment naturally, so this may look lighter on some people. It has some subtle shimmer in it, which I'm fine with for daytime but you may also like it for night when you're doing a heavier eye. I think it looks much nicer than those thick nude glosses we all used to wear.

Flirtatious is bright berry red. It has a bit of shimmer in it so again, you might feel more comfortable with this for nighttime. I find it you rub it in a bit with your finger, the shimmer dissipates and you're left with a really pretty reddish pink stain.

Provocateur was my favourite of the Lacquer Balms. As you can see from the swatches at the top, it's very, very close to Flirtatious, but it's a true cherry red instead of having the pink tones. I also found the shimmer a lot more subtle in this one; to my eyes, it reads as a glossy red and I'd wear it day or night. Both of these shades are very high impact.

The last Lacquer I tried was Enticing. This is a slightly deeper red and I found the effect a little more muted than the other two. And the same thing with the shimmer—it wasn't as noticeable as in Flirtatious.

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balms

I also asked for the "best" shades in the Matte lineup, which apparently are these three.

Showy is a bright, cool-toned orchid pink that I was immediately drawn to. Like I said, not drying at all—but it will accentuate any flaky bits on your lips. It's also not 100 percent perfect at coating every nook and cranny, as you can see below. But keep in mind the magnification here; it didn't really bother me too much from a normal distance and you can also take your finger and blend it in some more. The texture is perfectly matte, by the way (this is just the flash).

Unapologetic is the best Matte, in my opinion; it's a bright coral pink that is attention-getting but not quite as in-your-face as the cold pink. It almost reads as a red, but you know, more fun. Same texture as the one above, but I found this slightly more forgiving on dry lips.

Finally, there is Standout, a strong, deep, matte red that is very, very pigmented. I wouldn't have picked it up based on the packaging, as it looks like it's going to be too dark/brown, but it's extremely flattering on (if you like strong red lips, that is). I'd wear it full-on at night, but blotted during the daytime—it produces the most beautiful stained effect of them all.

The bottom line: these are a cheap thrill that actually stand up to any department store offering. In fact, I found the texture of the mattes surpassed a lot of lipsticks I've tried previously at way higher price points. Let me know what you think?

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Have your say

Have you tried the ColorBurst Balms yet?

Which textures/shades do you like best?

Are you a fan of any other lip crayons?

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