This is the third post in a series of three. In each post, I wear a supposedly indelible liquid lipstick throughout a day of teaching and track its performance under a New York Times-approved double mask: a surgical mask, ear loops tightened and ends tucked in, with a cloth mask on top. Check out the first post here and the second here!
For my third experiment with masked lipsticking (lipsticked masking?), I chose not a matte formula but a glossy one: Revlon ColorStay Satin Ink, which promises “16-hour long-lasting lip color that feels as good as it looks.” The Satin Ink formula, released in early 2021, seems to be the successor to Revlon’s old Moisture Stain formula, which didn’t impress me when I tried it back in 2014. It has very similar packaging, too: a shiny, opaque rectangular tube with a doefoot applicator. I chose the shade Silky Sienna, a deep roseberry pink with a touch of brown.
I’ve noticed that when I unscrew the top, the applicator sort of launches itself out of the bottle, so be prepared.
Let’s get one thing out of the way before we go any further: the color of Silky Sienna is not sienna, damn it. The pumpkins in the first image are much closer to sienna than the lipstick is. As I explained in my Modern Renaissance post, the word sienna refers to an orange-brown earth pigment traditionally used in paint. It does not refer to this:
Semantics aside, Silky Sienna is exactly the kind of color I love wearing in professional contexts: sedate but a little vampy. Here it is swatched alongside some similar lipsticks. L-R: Revlon Shameless, Armani Casual Pink (a mini Sephora freebie that seems to be drying out, hence the subpar swatch), Silky Sienna, Urban Decay Hideaway, Urban Decay Ravenswood. First photo in indirect natural light, second in direct sun.
Now, I’m not going to insult your intelligence by telling you that these aren’t very similar colors, because they absolutely are. However, if you want to split hairs (and of course you do; you’re reading this blog), Shameless is browner than Silky Sienna, Casual Pink is warmer, Hideaway is pinker, and Ravenswood is redder.
The Satin Ink formula is thin and slippery, with a very faint fruity scent. It takes a couple of minutes to set (I try to avoid pressing my lips together during this time), but after that, it is on. It doesn’t come off on cups, or on cheeks, or on masks during brief periods of wear. In my opinion, the only real drawback to the formula is that it feels tacky throughout its lifespan (lipspan?), and the tackiness increases as the hours pass.
Here’s Silky Sienna on my lips, freshly applied. As you can see, it has a slightly glossy finish.
After two hours of teaching, this was the state of my mask. Not bad!
After that initial wearing-off, not much more product came off on my mask. And seven hours after application, with no touch-ups, my lips looked like this:
The color had barely faded from the center of my lips and had migrated slightly outside my lip line, and the shine was mostly gone, but the lipstick looked completely fine from a normal distance! After seven (7) hours! Frankly, I don’t think it gets better than this. I hereby declare Revlon Satin Ink in Silky Sienna the hands-down winner of my masked-lipstick contest.
In fact, I was so impressed with Silky Sienna that I bought another shade in the Satin Ink formula: Partner in Wine, a deep berry red. I haven’t worn Partner in Wine while teaching yet, because the color is so dark that I just can’t believe it won’t smear all over my face, but it holds up well for short spurts of masking. It’s a little more finicky than Silky Sienna (as you can see below, I have a hard time getting it to stick to the inner part of my lower lip), but I’d still recommend it.
Now that I’ve finished my three-part series, I have to make a confession: I’ve mostly stopped wearing lipstick under my mask. There’s no such thing as a truly maskproof lipstick, after all, and I can’t shake the fear of removing my mask in front of a colleague or student to reveal red or pink smudges on my chin. More importantly, though, wearing a lipstick that no one can see just makes me sad. Lipstick was an integral part of my personal expression for almost a decade; I feel less confident, less pretty, less myself without it.
Does this mean that I’m unhealthily attached to makeup? Maybe! Or maybe it simply means that this pandemic has been dragging on for almost two years, a new variant popping up every time we think the ordeal might be close to finished, and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of wearing a mask while teaching. I’m tired of reading about the millions of Americans who refuse to get vaccinated. I’m tired of having to contemplate my own mortality every time I set foot in a restaurant. I’d give anything to travel back to 2019 and wear NARS Mysterious Red to class.
On the plus side, daily masking has forced me to focus on eyeshadow, and I’ve been having fun with some of my neglected palettes, so it’s not all bad. It’s just…tiring.