A Creamsicle for the Summer Solstice: Revlon Matte Balm in Mischievous

I really shouldn’t be writing this. I have three other posts in the works: my long-postponed review of Illamasqua Zygomatic blush, my even longer-postponed musings on British vs. American beauty practices, and a contribution to the wave of introspection that has been sweeping the beauty blogosphere in recent weeks. I was all set to write up one of those posts, but yesterday I went and bought a new lipstick, so here we are.

When Revlon’s Matte Balms first hit the shelves late last year, the only one of the ten shades that caught my eye was Sultry (reviewed here), a deep roseberry. As a whole, the range was overwhelmingly orange, a color I like better in the abstract than on my face. There was your medium orange, your light orange, your red-orange, your orangey beige; even the fuchsia looked suspiciously tropical. So I enjoyed my Sultry for several months and virtuously ignored the others.

But as spring wore on, it occurred to me that I had yet to find a pale orange lipstick. Not peachy pink, but creamy pastel orange, the kind of orange that even my pigmented, cool-toned lips couldn’t pull darker and redder. I had over fifty lipsticks, but I was missing that white-based creamsicle color. Yes, I’ve reached the point in my lipstick collecting where the only colors I lack are novelty colors. I’ve amassed a nice range of flattering neutrals and brights (mauves, fuchsias, cool-toned reds, pinky purples), and now I find myself with stranger appetites. Why do I seek out colors almost guaranteed to jar with my complexion? Why do I crave a milky orange when I know what looks good on me and, more importantly, what looks bad? I don’t know. Decadence, I suppose. Moral and aesthetic degeneration. The desire to feel alienated from my own reflection. Or maybe I just like creamsicles.

At some point last month, I remembered having seen a pale orange in the Revlon Matte Balm lineup. I did some quick research, ascertained that Mischievous was exactly the color I wanted (or did my desires adapt themselves to the existence of Mischievous?), and waited until I returned from the UK to track it down. Of course, my local CVS didn’t have Mischievous in stock, so I bought it yesterday in New York, where drugstore makeup always gets marked up by at least a dollar. Whatever; a lemming is a lemming, and a lemming fulfilled is a blog post.

The Matte Balms are chubby twist-up pencils in matte plastic casings; the color of the packaging is an exact match for the color of the product.

Ahh, the point of the unused pencil is so smooth and shiny.

Swatched on my arm. This is one swipe, and you can see that it’s not entirely opaque.

Which becomes more problematic on the lips:

I’m sorry you had to see that. Science demands it, I’m afraid.

It is, however, unique in my collection. I pulled out all the lip colors that I thought would be similar, but none of them came close to duping Mischievous. Left to right: NYX Butter Gloss in Peach Cobbler, Revlon Mischievous, Urban Decay Streak, Milani Sweet Nectar.

So, the bad: the formula of Mischievous leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t mind that I need two coats for opacity and even pigmentation; I do mind that the product deepens my lip lines into canyons and clings to dry patches I didn’t know I had. I realize that clumping and streaking are hard to avoid with pastel lipsticks, and doubly hard to avoid with matte pastel lipsticks, but this one seems especially egregious. After taking the photo above, I wiped my lips clean, exfoliated them, and put on lip balm before reapplying Mischievous, and it looked even worse. It was kind of impressive, actually.

The lipstick is nice from a distance, though! My other makeup is Maybelline Bad to the Bronze eyeshadow and One by One mascara, and Illamasqua Zygomatic cream blush, which has now appeared in four posts without ever getting a review of its own. I love it, all right? There, done.

So, what do you think? Keep or return? Is life too short to spend wrestling with a lipstick formula? Or is it too short to spend searching for dupes of an unusual color?

Happy solstice, by the way! I leave you with some of the season’s bounty. Who knew cabbages could look like magenta peonies?

11 thoughts on “A Creamsicle for the Summer Solstice: Revlon Matte Balm in Mischievous

  1. I love the Revlon Balms, but I totally agree that your lips need to be 'just so' for the matte ones to work at their best – I can also see how the lighter/creamier the colour, the harder that gets! I do think this colour looks fabulous with your eyes, but speaking as one who lives in a country where you cannot return anything, the idea of returning a sub-optimal lipstick is rather tempting. I thought there was one in the Revlon Lip Butter range that was 'creamsicle' orange? Maybe that one? I'm not really the best source of info for these shades, though, as pale orange looks *amazingly*, *hilariously* awful on me 😛


  2. I don't remember seeing a creamsicle orange in the Lip Butter range, though I wish there were one! There's a true orange called Tutti Frutti, which I actually owned once upon a time, but had to get rid of when it melted last summer. MAC has a pale orange lipstick called Sushi Kiss, which was just made permanent; I might check out that one when I find myself at a MAC counter.Also, I suspect my lips HAVE made this color a bit cooler and pinker, because a lipstick the color of my arm swatch would look terrible on my face…


  3. It is a very pretty shade on you, but I'd say return it if you're not completely happy with the formula.I am big on lippies and have so many of them (even after a major purge). It is frustrating to see myself only reaching for certain formulas rather than certain colors unless it is freaking amazing like Ruby Woo or something. ;)BTW, I am well aware of the recent \”introspection wave\” in the blogosphere that you speak of, and I actually feel a little differently than the most. It would be interesting to read your perspectives. I will look forward to your post on this! 🙂


  4. I hate when a color that I like comes in a formula that I can't really tolerate. The problem with mattes, too, is that you can't fix it by adding balm or whatever, since matte is the point. I loooove mattes, but I'm really picky about them for all of the reasons you listed. The color looks really good on you, though!


  5. The weird thing about this formula is that while it looks dry, and certainly clings to the dry spots on my lips, it's not actually dryING. In fact, it's pretty comfortable to wear! That said, I've found so many superior matte formulas (NARS, NYX, MAC, ALL THE CAPS) that I'm doubly annoyed by this one. Still on the fence about keeping it, sigh. If only NARS made a pale orange matte lip pencil…


  6. Introspection for all! I think my perspective may be different from most, too, because I've been blogging for such a short time and haven't had the chance to get disillusioned with it. I understand the doubts and dissatisfaction that some people have expressed, though.


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