Lipstick Chronology #34: Revlon Candy Apple

Name: Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple

Date Purchased: November 2013

Grade: A

Notes: After my last post, which took me forever to write, I thought I’d clear my palate with a quick installment of my Lipstick Chronology, now approaching its end: this is the penultimate post! I started my blog in early 2014, so all the lipsticks I’ve bought since then have been faithfully chronicled in real time. I’ve left a few out of the chronology either because I gave them away before they could be reviewed, or because I’m about to give them away and don’t want to swatch them excessively before I pass them on to someone else. When I’ve finished the chronology, I’ll write up a final stock-taking post, cataloging all the lipsticks I own and deciding which ones to keep (I’ve already destashed a few).

Candy Apple is an orange-red semi-sheer lipstick, scentless and flavorless. It’s not a bright orange-red; rather, it has a darkened, toned-down quality, much like Topshop Rio Rio. I might even call it the sheer version of Rio Rio. Granted, my lips tend to mute and darken bright lipsticks, but even in the tube, Candy Apple is pretty subdued. It contains no shimmer and isn’t particularly glossy, but it does have a squishy jellied finish. Here’s how much I have left; the product is sweating due to the humidity (which is welcome to leave whenever it wants, seriously).

I’ve mentioned that Revlon’s Lip Butters vary wildly in opacity, lasting power, and lipfeel. Raspberry Pie is opaque, but it doesn’t last long and it tends to bleed (ColourPop’s lip primer has been a godsend for this one). Pink Truffle is nearly opaque and it doesn’t bleed, but it’s somewhat drying. Tutti Frutti, a yellow-based orange, was the sheerest of the bunch, and so melty that I had to throw it out. Candy Apple, the fourth Lip Butter I tried, immediately became my favorite of the four. It’s less opaque than Raspberry Pie, but it still packs a lot of color. It applies and fades evenly. It lasts longer than you’d expect a sheer lipstick to last. Basically, if you’re going to get a Lip Butter, get Candy Apple (or Red Velvet).

Because of its sheerness, Candy Apple looks more natural against my complexion than opaque oranges and warm reds do. I wore it a lot last summer, though this summer has been all about the purple lips (I’m this close to ordering MAC Heroine).

Here it is swatched between Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin (left) and Topshop Rio Rio (right). See how Vibrant Mandarin has a bright white base that Candy Apple and Rio Rio lack? Also, this photo makes me realize that CA isn’t that much sheerer than VM, which is not marketed as a sheer lipstick…

In putting together a look with Candy Apple, I think I was inspired subconsciously by this 1935 lipstick ad, which I pinned some time ago. Talk about strobing:

I wish I’d actually studied the ad before constructing my look, because that blush placement is fascinating. I’d like to try it another time. For now, here’s what I came up with. My lips were particularly dry that day, but under a layer of Candy Apple, they looked and felt as healthy as ever.

More color than I usually wear at once, but I like it! Purple and orange harmonize surprisingly well together. For some reason, though, wearing both warm and cool tones in the same look makes me feel more “made up” than wearing one temperature all over my face.

My eye makeup is Topshop Chameleon Glow in Wax + Wane, a bronze/blue/fuchsia trichrome beauty, with theBalm Sleek smudged into my lashlines. And my blush is Revlon Candy Apple! Yes, the Lip Butter formula makes a decent, if slightly sticky, cream blush.

Candy Apple was one of several lipstick purchases that I made in Washington during the 2013-2014 school year, when I commuted to the Folger Shakespeare Library each month for a dissertation seminar. My mode of transportation was Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, and the first time I opened and used Candy Apple was on an evening ride back from Washington: the same evening, in fact, when I discovered that Amtrak served booze. I felt like a Hitchcock heroine as I sipped my whiskey and ginger ale from the cafe car and swiped on my new orange-red lipstick.

I remember my train journeys with fondness, and wearing Candy Apple always evokes those hours spent reading articles about Renaissance printing presses, poking at my first dissertation chapter, taking poorly lit train selfies, and updating this very blog. But the deadly Amtrak derailment two months ago, on the same route I took every month, has cast a shadow over those memories. It’s one of those sobering near-misses you encounter in life: given the infrastructure problems that have plagued Amtrak for decades now, the crash could easily have happened last year instead of this year. I feel immensely lucky that the worst problem I ever faced during my commute was a weather-related delay of a few hours.

Since starting this blog, I’ve been thinking a lot about the memories and associations that a single object, like a lipstick, can absorb and even come to stand for. I’ve been thinking about how objects outlast us, in boxes or drawers or landfills. I’ve been thinking, while working at the archives this summer, how temporary my intervention in the fate of these papers really is: it’s me against the void that consumed the writers of the letters and will one day consume me, too. I’m trying to draw a neat conclusion from all this, something that will end this post with a flourish; but sometimes there are no neat conclusions to be drawn, and you put on a lipstick and let the feelings come.

15 thoughts on “Lipstick Chronology #34: Revlon Candy Apple

  1. I found that lipsticks make decent cream blushes when I slept over somewhere and didn't have blush. :p I don't think my lipsticks evoke such strong memories, but maybe it's because the vast majority of them are mailed/on mass shopping binges where the delight of a single lipstick is muted by excess. The delivery lag really dampens the joy of trying on a new lipstick.


  2. I love the look you created. I've finally got sick of all my Revlon lip butters. I got a bunch back in 2012 or so, I think because I had just started blogging and it seemed like the right thing to do. But I realized recently that I've been forcing myself to use them, resentfully so I'm going to see if my mother wants them when she comes to visit later this month. Candy Apple doesn't look nearly as good on me as it does on you, though, so no loss.I'm totally with you on importance of objects (not surprisingly, since I happen to be an archaeologist – sshhh don't reveal my secret identity that I have so cleverly hidden in plain sight here).


  3. I'm a fan of buying makeup to commemorate occasions or places of travel as well. It's why I won't ever be a true minimalist, at least when it comes to makeup. I'm just as susceptible to limited edition products and those \”just need to have it\” urges as anyone else, but there's just something about having an object that evokes those memories! I'm a little sad that the Lipstick Chronology is coming to an end.


  4. Really? I find that the delivery lag heightens the joy! And yes, some of my lipsticks are bought under unexceptional circumstances, but they accrue memories and associations depending on where and when I wear them. I also tend not to buy more than one lipstick at a time (there are exceptions, of course). I think this goes back to my childhood, when my mom would refuse to buy me more than one toy at a time \”because then it won't be special.\”


  5. I went back and looked at your lip butter reviews, and I see that I'm not the only one who finds Pink Truffle drying! It used to be my go-to neutral lipstick, but there's nothing terribly exciting about it, and these days I'm more interested in neutrals with a twist. I do still love Candy Apple and Red Velvet, though. I've been wondering if Revlon plans to discontinue the lip butters anytime soon, since the heavy matte look is so trendy right now. I know they've already discontinued a few.Your secret is safe with me! I'm very interested in archaeology and material history, too. One of my dissertation chapters is about Thomas Browne's Hydriotaphia, a 1658 treatise on ancient British burial urns.


  6. Oooh, I love the train experience you captured. Love drinking on public transport. I once passed out on Gravol + beer on a flight and it's been drinky drink on trains and planes ever since. Candy Apple is such an awesome shade but my tube went bonkers on me and got all twisted and melty to the point that it became unusable. I have an enraged post somewhere in the archives, lol. I hold a certain fondness for the colour though as it was my gateway to full force reds! I was so scared of red lipsticks before that.


  7. Drinking on public transport is one of my favorite activities! Especially on airplanes, since I'm so scared of flying. One gin and tonic and I'm feeling a lot better about being 30,000 feet above sea level.The twisted, melty tube was the fate of my Tutti Frutti. Candy Apple seems to have a bit more integrity, at least so far…


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