Revlon limited edition collection

No doubt about it – Revlon took a drubbing in 2006, with the collapse of Vital Radiance the same year that it debuted. One also wishes that Revlon would have brought in new faces when it totally revamped Almay, but instead model Elaine Mellencamp (wife of singer John) continues as the face of Almay.

Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain

Enough of that – Revlon has introduced a number of flashy new products in its limited edition collection, including Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain
icon and Bedroom Eyes™ Powder Liner. Just Bitten™ Lip Stain has a rollerball applicator – not the best for even layering. What’s more, it dries quickly. The shade of Just Bitten™ in Blood Orange reminded me of orange popsicle stain. Other shades include Berry Juicy, Cherry Tart, and Plum Wicked.

I chose Revlon Bedroom Eyes™ Powder Liner in Smokin’, which is great for creating the smoky eye. Be sure to tap excess powder from the applicator onto a tissue beofre applying – otherwise, it gets all over your cheek and countertop. Clearly, when using Bedroom Eyes™ as part of your eye makeup, do your eye makeup before you apply base. As FT Weekend columnist Edwina Ings-Chambers, who had a makeup application by NARS artist James Boehmer, writes:

The first thing to remember, Boehmer says, is that you shouldn’t try to replicate the 60s thing: keep the liner off the lid and stick to putting it round the eyes. “It’s more about the outer corner of the lid, not all over the lid,” he says.

Be prepared with cotton balls and eye makeup remover or Swabplus Liquid Filled Cotton Swabs, Eye Makeup Remover. Be sure to finish this look with lots of volumizing mascara.

BTW Generally, I find lipliners too harsh. Revlon is one of the two companies I know that offers a clear lipliner (ColorStay®) at a nominal price – the other being Paula Begoun’s Paula’s Choice line. Paula also recommends Lip Line Fixer from The Body Shop, which proves that she’s not partisan.

I haven’t seen L’Oreal’s clear lipliner in ages, so I guessed that L’Oreal discontinued it. An alternative is a lipliner that exactly matches the color of your lips, which is why MAC’s lip pencil in Spice has remained so popuplar.

Revlon to discontinue Vital Radiance brand

After my two previous articles that dealt with Vital Radiance (Update on mass-market brands, Vital Radiance UPDATED 2006-02-22), it was only right to complete the story and inform readers that Revlon has faced the inevitable and is going to discontinue the Vital Radiance line. Poor sales have lead major retailers to drastically cut back on the number of stores selling the brand.

I provided some possible explanations on why Vital Radiance failed in my article Update on mass-market brands. For more about Revlon and its dropping Vital Radiance as part of its restructuring plan, read Revlon cuts 250 jobs, dumps cosmetics line in restructuring plan.

Susan McGraw for Vital Radiance

I’m going to miss Vital Radiance model Susan McGraw, however. She’s cute, and I love her salt’n’pepper hair.

Update on mass-market brands: 2007

This past spring brought several new launches of mass market brands. The Max Factor (owned by P&G) and Almay (owned by Revlon) cosmetics lines were completed revamped, while L’Oreal launched its HIP line and Revlon launched its Vital Radiance line for women over 50. The Style Page wondered how supermarkets, drugstores, and “big box” retailers (Wal-Mart, KMart, Target) were going to accomodate these new brands.

See The Beauty Newsletter for a critique of Almay’s dated eyeshadow concept.

HIP appears to have been a success – L’Oreal has recently expanded the line with two new products: Pure Pigment Shadow Stick and Shocking Shadow Pigments, in addition to new colors for its eye shadow duos(another indicator is that searches on “L’Oreal HIP” are a major driver of traffic to this blog).

Max Factor, however, has been a disappointment: many of the main drugstore chains (CVS, Walgreen’s, Rite-Aid) do not carry the line, and it is found only at Wal-Mart and KMart. Maybe the problem was the ads that featured Carmen Electra wearing scary makeup.

Revlon’s much-hyped launch of Vital Radiance has been a disappointment. Due to lackluster sales of the brand, Wal-Mart, Target, and CVS plan to cut back drastically on the number of stores carrying the brand, while Revlon believes that consumers need more time to know the brand better.

According to WWD, “Market reports indicate that Wal-Mart will trim the line [Vital Radiance] from 2,500 doors to 500, while Target will cut it from 1,500 to 500.”

My take is that consumers were turned off by the prices of Vital Radiance products, which are higher than those for other mass-market brands. Vital Radiance’s target audience of women over 50 are probably value-conscious and rejected the higher prices.

I am not the only one who thinks this way – see comments on my post Vital Radiance UPDATED 2006-02-22.

Revlon should have priced Vital Radiance lower, or issued discount coupons to entice first-time buyers. Then there’s always the dicey proposition of marketing to older women without making them feel … old. An introduction of skin care products planned for 2007 might change Vital Radiance’s fortunes.

Revlon sees a $40 million loss from Vital Radiance. Things haven’t been so great on the personal front either: Revlon Chairman Ron Perelman’s marriage to actress Ellen Barkin ended in February 2006, after five years of marriage.

Shop Etc. – Shop Talk – Fall Preview: Stila Fall in Love Eye Shadow Trios

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Fall In Love Eye Shadow Trio in Forest Clove

I want the eye shadow trio in Forest Clove (pictured above), which features shades of shimmery gold, olive, deep brown olive. Available from

I’m obsessed with olive green eyeshadow (see my profile). Other good eyeshadow trios featuring olive shades are MAXeye Shadow in Baja Bronze from Max Factor (the colors – a yellow matte, a tan “British khaki” matte, and a shimmery olive do not display accurately at all) and Vital Radiance Soft Dimension Powder Shadow in Fresh Meadows.

As a single, I like jouer Eye Compact Eye Shadow, Peridot, described as a “shimmering olive”.

NOTE: is discontinuing Jouer, along with Beauty Buffet, Diane von Furstenburg Beauty, Girlactik, Passport, Pinkie Swear, and She She. Shop now to stock up.

While olive green is complemented by golden or yellow shades, I’ve also used Joe Blasco Eye Shadow in Green Genie, available from

What’s in my makeup travel kit

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I’m off for two days of meetings. In my makeup bag:

Free shipping from logo 234 x 60

Free Shipping on orders of $25.00 or more! New Customers Only. (Ends 4-30-06) from

This is a great opportunity to try Vital Radiance and L’Oreal HIP among other products ( also offers an extensive selection of eco-friendly housecleaning products) and have your order delivered directly to your door.

Vital Radiance UPDATED 2006-02-22

Recent history of cosmetics lines for “older” women is strange, to say the least. Maybelline had its Revitalizing line of cosmetics in the 1990s, represented first by Rosie Vela, then by 30-something Paulina Porizkova (after her contract with Estee Lauder ended in 1993), before it discontinued the line. That was a shame, as the Maybelline Revitalizing line had some silky-smooth matte eyeshadows and subtle blushes.

Revlon has enjoyed more continuity with its Age-Defying line, represented first by Melanie Griffith, and now by 45-year-old Julianne Moore and 59-year-old Susan Sarandon.

Today, the market is brimming over with skin care for women over 50 – witness Olay’s Regenerist and L’Oreal’s RevitaLift lines. Cover Girl has recalled its long-time model Christie Brinkley to promote its Advanced Radiance Age-Defying Makeup (note, however, Christie’s hand is always covering her neck – if you’ve seen the Total Gym ads she does with Chuck Norris, you know why).

Revlon has launched a complete cosmetics line called Vital Radiance, targeted at women 50 and over. It’s too tempting to call this makeup for the AARP set (although I’m only a few years shy of that time when I’ll get my invitation to join AARP). Also, brand names that include “vital” and “radiance” for older women are beginning to sound hackneyed.

The foundation is more highly pigmented than others to compensate for loss of color in the complexion. I’ll leave it to a real makeup expert, but I question the wisdom of this approach. It seems to me that color should come from a judicious application of blush in a flattering shade.

Eye shadow trios come into soft colors. Mousse shadow contain shimmer, and I questions why Revlon put shimmer into eye shadow intended for women over 50. Consumers will find the price of Vital Radiance rather high, especially for a mass market brand: one small pot of Vital Radiance EasyBlending Mousse Eye Shadowicon costs $14.50, while Maybelline’s new Dream Mousse Eye Shadow (an extension of its Dream Mousseicon line, costs less than half that price.


The Style Page especially liked Vital Radiance Smoothing Eye Primericon. This product does indeed smooth the eye area and provide coverage as a base for eyeshadow and contains no shimmer. Some consumers might object to the peachy shade.