I recently stopped by the drugstore and was pulled in by the siren call of lipsticks on sale. Included in my haul was the highly recommended Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Sultry. While I’ve heard a lot about this colour I wanted to see how it would look on dark skin.

The popular comparison I see on fair skin is between BITE Rhubarb and Revlon Sultry. When I got home and swatched it I saw a similarity between it and MAC Captive. Continue reading to see how these ‘dupes’ played out on darker skin.

From top to bottom: Bite High Pigment Pencil in Rhubarb, Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Sultry, and MAC Captive
From top to bottom: Bite High Pigment Pencil in Rhubarb, Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Sultry, and MAC Captive

Revlon Sultry is a bit more ‘rosewood’ and a tad darker than the pinkier MAC Captive/BITE Rhubarb. I also felt that Revlon had less drag when swatching than both Captive and Rhubarb.


Bite rhubarb, revlon matte balm in sultry, mac captive dark skin

BITE High Pencil in Rhubarb

This is my all time holy grail lip product and I can’t believe I never realized how close it was to MAC Captive. The picture is greatly overemphasizing the amount of of flakiness that occurs because of it. I had already applied/removed MAC Captive, which is why there’s significant peeling in the picture above. In fact this was the only lip product I could wear while on Accutane. In comparison to Captive it is much smoother and more comfortable, it lasts about 3 hours on me and reapplication is easy. The only thing I don’t like is the scent, which reminds me of cheap plastic makeup for kids.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Sultry

Although this is extremely matte I love that it didn’t emphasize my liplines and dryness as much as some of my other non-matte lipsticks I own *cough* MAC *cough*. On my skin it went far more browny/red and I wasn’t a particular fan of the sallowness it gave me, but I still loved the colour. Although I was initially pleased by this product I was less than impressed by the wear time. I might have rubbed my lips together a couple times while studying but nevertheless the centre should not have started fading within an hour. While drinking the transfer to my glass was minimal and some colour did stick around for another hour. Due to the texture of this lipstick it’s also incredibly easy to reapply without worrying about taking off all of the lip colour to ensure even reapplication.

In Toronto these retail for $9-12 depending on the drugstore, to me that seems quite expensive for a balm that doesn’t even last an hour. But the colour is very pretty.

MAC Captive

On the lips it’s significantly more pink than Revlon’s Sultry, perhaps even a little lilac. And although it’s labelled as a satin finish it seems more muted and matte on me. Captive lasts 3-4 hours without significant wear, but is less comfortable on the lips than Sultry. It catches the dry skin on my lips, accentuating them significantly more than the matte Revlon balm, when I would have predicted the opposite.


My favourite is the most expensive, go figure.

Which would you buy?