Saturated Lips | Revlon Utra HD Lipstick Hydrangea & MAC Amplified Lipstick Red Balloon

7.18.2015



Liz of Beauty Reductionista gifted these lipsticks to me a little while ago (Thank you, Liz!). I have been always partial to sheer lipsticks and usually find lipsticks with opaque finish quite challenging to pull off. Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick Hydrangea and MAC Amplified Lipstick Red Balloon are not the ones that will change my lipstick preference, especially since they come in such bright shades. However, Hydrangea and Red Balloon are both stunning colors for sure.







The packaging is a failure in my view although it is nice to be able to see the color through the clear cap. The problem is that the slanted bullet doesn't completely swivel in and the lipstick is destined to smear the cap at least for a while.


So, I cut the tip of the bullet using my hair.
You just need to pull out a (clean?) strand of hair, make a tiny loop with it, and slice the bullet with the loop.
It works better than a guillotine, and this trick is useful when you want to make a custom lip palette or something.


Revlon Ultra HD lipstick Hydrangea swatch
Hydrangea is a bright tropical pink with silver shimmer.


Revlon Ultra HD lipstick Hydrangea swatch
One pass is pretty much all you need to achieve a full coverage.
The formula goes on smoothly and evenly but I wouldn't say it is weightless as Revlon claims. 
Hydrangea would have been a much better shade for me if it didn't have shimmer. It is pretty big and feels almost gritty.


Revlon Ultra HD lipstick Hydrangea FOTD
Hydrangea in context
It is a great brightening shade that photographs very nicely, and I can assure you those grey contacts look much more natural in real life. (I think I swatched three different lipsticks on the same day. You might have to suffer a few more.)







Red Balloon is an amazing fuchsia with red/berry undertones. 


MAC Amplified Lipstick Red Balloon swatch
The pigmentation is remarkable. This is my first MAC Amplified and I was truly impressed with the densely packed pigment in this. If only that was my thing!


MAC Amplified Lipstick Red Balloon swatch
Red Balloon is gorgeous, isn't it?
It feels so creamy on, too. The color quickly sets and lasts for many hours. It is like getting a color tattoo on lips. Unfortunately, the long lasting effect comes at the price of drying lips.


MAC Amplified Lipstick Red Balloon swatch
This swatch was taken on a different day. I slathered on a very slippery lip balm (Smith's Rosebud Salve) and waited for a bit before applying Red Balloon. You can see the color is much softer but still lively and flattering. The color stays on quite well, too!


MAC Amplified Lipstick Red Balloon FOTD
Red Balloon in context
I decided to skip blush and wear some highlighter instead because I didn't want anything to compete with the strong lip color.




Thanks for looking!
Do you like saturated lip colors? 
Who makes your favorite full coverage lipstick formulas?







41 comments

  1. Both look fab but Hydrangea must be my favorite. I don't know how it feels (you said gritty) but it brightens up your complexion so well.

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    1. Thank you, Sara!
      I don't really mind fine shimmer in lipsticks, but the silvery shimmer in Hydrangea is quite big (almost into micro-glitter territory) so you just feel the grits. It is such a bright summery shade for sure. Makes me happy! :)

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  2. Hey Lena, you should wear Red Balloon (that pink balloon part cracked me up) all the time!!! So sorry to hear Hydrangea is gritty tho. I do love the shade on you, but I totally get you. There are several lipsticks that I would love so much more were it not for the fact that they contain micro-glitter...

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    1. LOL. It is a pinkish shade so I initially named all my photos Pink Balloon something including the swatch, then realized it is Red Balloon later on. ;) It is a special shade so I don't mind the extra step of lip balm. :)

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  3. These are GORGEOUS on you, Lena! STUNNING. I agree, I'm not for shimmery lipstick too much - it looks weird sometimes, and the grit does get to me. Still, some of my favorites have a bit of shimmer, but I guess I would prefer them without.

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    1. Thank you, Larie! I'm glad I got to try these two. I am always curious whenever Revlon brings out some new lippies plus I really don't know much about MAC lipstick formulas. They both are solid and would be good choice for opaque lippie lovers.
      The shimmer in Hydrangea is a bit larger than I prefer. It it was a cream, it would have been so fab.

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  4. What a clever idea slicing off the top of the bullet! I persevered until I literally wore mine down but I agree it's so annoying when you can't wind the bullet all the way down into the tube - otherwise I'm quite impressed with the one HD lippie I have!

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    1. Haha, good for you! I nicked the bullet a few times then decided to behead it! ;p The trick does work really really well, and I must say the sensation is quite satisfying. LOL

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  5. Wow Lena, Red Baloon and Hydrangea look very nice on you! They both look very similar though, and I like Hydrangea a bit better , the formulation sounds nicer too ^^

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    1. The photographs are a bit deceiving, but Red Balloon is much cooler. They both are quite bright and attention-grabbing for sure. The Revlon isn't so bad, but I think you might like the MAC Amplified a bit better, too. :)

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  6. Hi Lena, both of these look beautiful on you! Your hair slicer trick is so clever. I need to try that one day :-)

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    1. Thanks, Lily! ;)
      I used to be into making lip palettes, not just with used up nubs, so many of lipsticks were beheaded by my hair loop. ;)

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  7. The hair loop thing is genius! I usually cut with a regular blade and there's always a lot of waste. LOL Will try this next time! MAC Amplified is crazy dense and pigmented! It lasts so long but yeah, it can be quite drying at times. I love the look of Red Balloon a little more, though! Hydrangea is just sooo bright! Haha

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    1. Be careful with this trick, though! It is so fun and neat that you'd want to do this more than necessary and be left with lots of headless(?) lipsticks. ;)
      Yeah, I still find Red Balloon is a bit easier to pull off out of the two, probably because it is a cool toned color.

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  8. MAC's Amplified lipsticks are great- and Red Balloon is fab on you! Too bad about Hydrangea's shimmer, but otherwise it's a gorgeous shade too :)

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    1. I was shocked when I first applied Red Balloon on my lips. It felt so creamy! Wish it lasted longer, but it is also good it sets quickly to last for longer hours. ;)

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  9. Both look AMAZING on you, especially the MAC one! But the Revlon one has a really strong scent-it doesn't bother you? I like the scent-smells like a yummy dessert!

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    1. Thanks, Tracy!
      I forgot to mention about the Revlon lipstick scent here! I have to agree with you that it has some sweet citrus creamsicle kind of scent that I am not so crazy about. Why they keep putting fragrance in lippies? ;-/

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  10. I love both of these on you, Lena! But HYDRANGEA!? Yes, yes, y'all! That is glossy perfection, even though there's chunx to contend with. I love Red Balloon worn over the balm and with no blush, only highlighter! Oh my gosh that is SO pretty. I never skip blush and rarely wear bolder shades, but that picture of you is making me want to try highlight-only and brighter lip color! LOVES. Using a hair to cut a lipstick? That is genius.

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    1. Thank you so much, Kristen! You are always so kind! ;D
      Hydrangea is really really bright - almost neon. Haha. But I love that it has both warm and cool tones. Really bright and sunny shade. I think I have a dress in the same color, too.
      I usually wear less makeup with brighter lip colors like this. Otherwise I look like mean wh0re. I'm not even kidding. ;p

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  11. Such a great idea about using hair! I've been using those metal spatulas but it smushes into the side of the tube of course when slicing. I'm also into sheers, I don't know what to do with very full on lippies, these look great on you!

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    1. Do try it (but hopefully when you really need to cut some of the bullets)! I'm surprised that it seems I am the only one who uses this trick..?
      I think there are many ways to make saturated colors work for sheer lippie lovers like us, but then there is no point. I guess all depends on personal preference. :)

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  12. Both shades look stunning on you, shame the formula's did not perform perfectly. I tend to prefer more sheer lipsticks as well. I think the most saturated ones I have are the Tom Ford lip colour and By Terry Terrbly.

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    1. Thank you, Clare. :)
      I haven't tried those two you mentioned, but of course I've heard many good things about them. Still I always end up spending more money on sheer lipsticks like yourself. I think the LE Tatcha Silk lipstick is the only opaque one that doesn't dry my lips at all, and this one gives a full coverage. :)

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  13. both look gorgeous on you! The hair loop trick is a good tip. I like a good lipstick which last long time on lips but have never come across one which last long and don't dry out lips. I always layer a pigmented one with tons of lip balm underneath to get that softer look.

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    1. Thank you!
      I also find full coverage lipsticks are a bit more difficult to re-apply. But I do like bright ones like Ruby Woo. I think MAC Amplified is a great option for someone who loves opaque creamy colors. Even for me, it feels amazing (at first). ;)

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  14. both colors are absolutely gorg and very intense!! love the sheen it gives when you apply it with lip balm!!

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    1. They are probably the most intense ones I own! Rosebud salve makes the wear infinitely more comfortable, too. :)

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  15. Third time posting(blogger hates me)- your post reminded me that I bought a lipstick(mac relentlessly red) after reading Liz's post and before I got a chance to wear it, I am already a tired of red-pink-coral...Guess I shouldn't be so impulsive reading blog posts.

    I wouldn't use hair to cut lipstick myself(mainly because I shed like a dog and no need to pull out more hair)but I enjoy slicing lipstick off with the Muji spatula, I love seeing the clean edge and it also make the lipstick run out faster....

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    1. Aw, sorry for the trouble! But I'm happy to read your comment, Mina! :)
      Maybe Relentlessly Red will wait for you until your love for red/coral returns. Hopefully this fall?
      Hair trick is neater than anything I've tried, but I can't argue with the "make the lipstick run out faster" bit. LOL. Do try the hair trick, it is fun!

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    2. RELENTLESSLY RED IS STILL AWESOME, CITRINE!!!!!!!!!

      I mean, it's pretty much the only coral-pink-red to survive my vicious purge.

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  16. Red Ballon is just so beautiful, it's been on my wishlist for a while. But it just looks so gorgeous on you. Sigh. The list gets longer everyday, lol.

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    1. Haha. We all do this to each other, I think!
      I don't follow MAC releases at all but this seems one of their LEs. Hope you can find it at a decent price. :)

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  17. Both are beautiful on you and you pull them off effortlessly! I prefer the Revlon just slightly. I agree MAC's Amplified finish is incredible in terms of pigmentation. Super nice of Liz to send these to you and I'm sure you'll make good use of both lipsticks :)

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    1. Thank you! :)
      Red Balloon still is the easier one for me than Hydrangea (they both are challenging, though). But Hydrangea has some magic charm to it. I'm much more drawn to these bright colors with ambiguity (I mean it's both cool and warm) like this.
      Yeah, they are only a few out of the amazing care package from Liz. ;D

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  18. THEY LOOK SOOOOOO GOOD ON YOU. :D :D :D

    It doesn't matter that you don't love the formula. Just wear them once in a while for sexy selfies!

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    1. THANK YOUUUU! ;D

      I guess technically it is very hard to expect any lipstick packed with that much of pigment to hydrate my lips. Tatcha silk lipstick is pretty much the only lipstick that does it, but for $55 a piece, it better be. Considering all that, these two aren't bad at all. I even loved how the Amplified felt on my lips for the first 15 minutes. ;)

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  19. Both are very cute but I prefer Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick Hydrangea for me is more pretty
    xx

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    1. Thank you, Raimar! Hydrangea is really a special color. :)

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  20. Both of these look amazing on you :)
    I think they both look awesome and I would not mind owning that Revlon one. Mainly because Revlon is not being sold here anymore :/
    When it comes to Amplified lipsticks by MAC they are my absolute top favorite out of all the MAC lipstick formulas. I love the pigmentation that they have and I love how they feel on the lips :)
    I do however really like the more sheer type of lipstick too every now and then :)
    xx

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    1. Thank you so much! :)
      I'm glad I got to try the Revlon HD lipstick for myself. I knew that it wouldn't be the best formulation for me but I was still very curious. Revlon does make good lippies and this isn't half bad.
      MAC offers such a wide variety of formulations as well as colors. Which makes me want to try some more! :)

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