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.
Hydrangea is a bright tropical pink with silver shimmer.
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.
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.)
MAC Amplified Lipstick Red Balloon
Red Balloon is an amazing fuchsia with red/berry undertones.
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!
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.
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!
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?