PhotoReady Primer + Shadow consists of five pressed powders advertised as "a primer, 3 highly pigmented shadows, and a sparkle top coat" in one compact. The diagrammed instructions on the back of the package direct you to place the "primer" powder all over the eyelid up to the brow bone, which means it really functions more as a shimmering base color than as a primer, whereas primers typically are applied to enhance eyeshadow application and wear time. The texture has an almost creamy feel to it that applies smoothly, but it won't make your eyeshadow last any longer or stop it from creasing.
Next, you're instructed to apply each of the three shadow shades over the lid, crease, and brow bone, going from area to area with a new color each time; the last step is to "enhance" with the topcoat. The shadow shades are a mix of shimmer and sparkle, with some shades being more sparkly than others, and they offer rich color that's easy to blend. The sparkle and shine of the shadow shades adheres well to the skin, but the topcoat, which is really just a super glittery powder offered in a variety of shades depending on which set you get, tends to drip and flake.
We wish they would have included a matte-finish option (sparkle and shine draw more attention to wrinkly skin if you have it), but as is the shade combinations are hit or miss. If you find a color combo you like, this is a decent option to consider for basic eyeshadow; just know that the "primer" and "sparkle coat" aren't all they're made out to be.
Strengths: Superior foundations with sunscreen and each of them provide sufficient UVA protection (though one has a disappointing SPF 6); several outstanding concealers and powders; one of the best cream blushes around; great cream eyeshadow and liquid eyeliner; a beautiful selection of elegant lipsticks, lip gloss, and lipliner; some worthwhile specialty products.
Weaknesses: Average eye and brow pencils; inaccurate claims surrounding their Botafirm complex; mostly average to disappointing mascaras.
It may surprise some of you to know that Revlon has been around since 1932, when the company launched a unique nail polish that used pigments instead of dyes. Lipsticks followed years later, and then a full line of cosmetics, which is how we know Revlon today. Although the company has had its continual share of ups and downs over the years (largely due to out-of-control debt coupled with aggressive spending), the line has recently made numerous improvements, especially in the realms of foundations, powders, eyeshadows, and mascaras. If their goal was to close the competitive gap between themselves and L'Oreal, for the most part they have succeeded. Revlon definitely has the edge for foundations with reliable sunscreens. But despite Revlon's attempt to improve their mascara range, L'Oreal remains the clear winner (as well as L'Oreal-owned Maybelline
Revlon's vast selection of makeup is divided into three main brands: Age Defying for the forty-something and older woman concerned about wrinkles, ColorStay for the teen to mid-thirties woman concerned about keeping oily skin in check and making sure her makeup stays put, and PhotoReady for women of all ages. These brands present some outstanding options and include products for all skin types (although the range of skin tones is not as well-represented here as it is by L'Oreal).
An intriguing fact is that the longevity claims for ColorStay are quite accurate: this collection of products really does offer extraordinary staying power. Conversely, Revlon jumped on the works-like-Botox bandwagon with their Age Defying range, going so far as to name their antiwrinkle complex Botafirm. Is there any confusion about what that term is supposed to relate to? Despite the claims, Botafirm won't reduce expression lines or control the muscles that cause them, though the products themselves do have many impressive qualities.
Note:Revlon is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Revlon may not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.
Suffice it to say, Revlon has more commendable products than ever before, and although they rely heavily on celebrity spokespersons, their best products ably speak for themselves.
For more information about Revlon, call (800) 473-8566 or visit www.revlon.com.
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