26 Jun Is Revlon Quietly Evolving?
When I think about Revlon, a comforting sense of nostalgia fills me. I remember playing in the drawers of my granny’s beauty vanity – it was one of my favourite places to explore – from trying on her classic lipstick shades to painting each nail a different colour, the floor of her bedroom really is where my interest in makeup first began. While I don’t remember caring much for brands, I do recall one; Revlon.
Revlon was founded back in 1932 during the great depression, by Charles Revson, his brother Joseph and a chemist, Charles Lachman. A ballsy move, considering people didn’t really have the money to spend on non-essentials but research shows that while industrial production halved, sales of cosmetics increased – something known as the Lipstick Effect.
Interestingly, Revlon first started with a single product – a new type of nail enamel which was developed using pigments instead of dyes that used a unique manufacturing process. 5 years later, Revlon started selling their nail enamels in department stores and within 6 years, they had become a multimillion-dollar organization, offering an entire manicure line and lipsticks. During World War II, Revlon went on to launch their makeup and related products, originally for the United States Army.
You might not be into history, but I can’t help but feel like Revlon was one of the brands that really started my obsession with makeup, and perhaps if this had been included in my matric history exam, I’d have passed with 100%.
Lately, I have noticed that Revlon seems to be breathing new life into their brand. They have always been classic and timeless, so it caught me by surprise to find them embracing fad-trends like metallic liquid lipsticks, pizza-wheel liquid eyeliners, holographic nail polish, and a neon coloured eyeshadow palette.
Wait, you didn’t notice these changes? At first, neither did I! I mean, I literally spend hours going through my favourite beauty pages, blogs and vlogs, but no one was talking about what Revlon has quietly been up to.
So, after noticing these subtle changes, I started doing some digging and realized that Revlon has been working hard over the last few months. In fact, they have completely modernised their range bringing us launches that include Color Stay Exactify Liquid Liner, trendy Holographic Nail Enamel, Metallic Lip Colours, and the incredible Color Charge range. Overseas, they have also launched Live Boldly lipsticks, Izaac Mizrahi Collection, Color Correcting Pens and the Prep, Set and Refresh Spray.
If I am being honest, Revlon is the brand that I know I can count on – they might not always offer the trendiest or edgiest makeup – but they’re consistent and reliable. In fact, anyone who has asked me for a foundation recommendation over the years, will know that I always, ALWAYS, say Revlon Color Stay. It is just so darn good that even after 10 years, I still go back to it. The same can be said about a good portion of their range! There are products that my granny and mom used, and while the packaging has been updated, the formula is just as good as it was all those years ago. Revlon is and always will be, ICONIC.
But what’s with all the new additions? I figure that while Revlon holds a firm grip on our moms and grannies, they wanted to reintroduce their brand to a younger market. After all, a brand doesn’t just create waves in the beauty industry for 85 years by doing the same one-trick, they need to adapt and evolve; something Revlon has become somewhat a pro at doing.
Last year, the local division of Revlon did an outstanding job working on a Color Stay campaign, which now that I think of it, was sort of their first step in their new evolution. The brand worked with local influencers to create a beautiful campaign that truly demonstrated why their Color Stay foundation remains the no. 1 selling foundation in South Africa. From there, the brand – on an international scale – subtly introduced products inspired by current makeup trends, while still aligning with the brand’s core mission.
They also, cleverly, launched a limited-edition range called Color Charge which included some interesting products that were different from anything they had done before. I say clever because it was so out of character for Revlon, that it made sense launching it as a limited-edition range to “test the waters.” I am excited to see what comes after this little test phase, as I think it will really challenge everything the brand has done up until now.
If all the latest launches weren’t enough to convince you that the brand is making big strides in their evolution, I also just noticed that they have replaced their traditional, “Love is On” campaign with “Live Boldly.” which aims to inspire women to express themselves with passion, optimism, strength and style. Can I just say that I frikken adore this! I love, love, LOVE, that they’re embracing boldness in women but better than that, I applaud them for choosing women of all shapes, sizes, and races to represent this campaign – well bloody done Revlon!
While I don’t believe they’ll be introducing lip tattoos or temperature changing eyeliner anytime soon, I do think that Revlon is smart about the way they do things. They’re adding to the range quietly, not to scare away their loyal customers, but it also manages to attract the younger generation, guaranteeing their growth year-after-year. Above all, they remain iconic, challenging the marketing norms and dare I say, Living Boldly.
Want to know what I think about their new Limited Edition Color Charge range? Keep an eye out for my next review!
A career-driven mom & recovering people-pleaser, fluent in bad jokes & over-thinking. Trying to escape real-life one fantasy romance novel at a time.