This is not news y’all, but Revolution Beauty, known for their large stable of brands including Makeup Revolution, I Heart Revolution, Revolution Pro, and Makeup Obsession, recently added to their lineup with XX Revolution. This seems to be their attempt to toe a line between offering a more high end look and feel to the brand while still giving us prices that are more drugstore than Dior. Revolution is known for being a brand that often dupes other brands, usually creating cheaper alternatives to hot items in the makeup market, but even this more luxury-inspired brand seems to be getting in on the copycat vibes.
I decided to try out their three-shade complexion palettes; they were available at Ulta, and I had a ton of reward points banked, so I wasn’t intimidated by the $20 price tag per palette. This is in comparison to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting face palettes, clearly the inspiration for these little beauties and coming in at a solid $64. These aren’t a straight up dupe, though, as they also incorporate a blush/highlighter swirl shade in each palette. Hourglass has a similar swirled blush formula, but a single pan of that will set you back $40. So not a direct copy, but we can see how they are trying to give us an experience that is a definite bargain when compared to the inspo brand, but still high when compared to the other brands under the Revolution umbrella.
I bought all 4 palettes, and I generally liked them, though I did have issues with one of them that I’ll address at the end. First, let’s look at swatches. All of these swatches are done over the Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation in Fair Lady T3C with a finger swatch on the left to show color and buildup and a more diffused brush swatch on the left. The top photo is under my studio lighting with no flash, and the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash.
Let’s start with the lightest palette, Elemental. The palettes each have a name, but it doesn’t appear that there are names for individual shades.
The bronzer/contour powder on the end is very light, almost the same shade as my skintone. This is going to work as a bronzer or contour on very pale skin, otherwise you could try using it as an allover setting powder if it matches your foundation. Darker skintones could possibly try to build up highlights on the face before adding shimmer highlight. The middle shade is a bright champagne highlight. The shade on the right is a bright silvery lavendar. I think most people would have a hard time using this as a blush alone, as the silvery shimmer is very, very intense. You could pair this with a pale pink or pale lavender blush to glow it up, and blend this up into a pearl highlight for a really pretty, feminine look.
Intrinsic is a much warmer, peachier collection of shades.
This is an odd combination to me. The bronzer/contour powder seems very cool-toned, kind of a light toffee brown, satin finish instead of matte. It seems out of place next to the brassy golden highlight in the middle. This is a fine color, if you like really brassy golds, but I find the highlighter a little too aggressive. The blush is a peachy orange dreamsicle shade with a strong silver shine to it. This blush makes the deep golden highlight in the middle make even less sense, since the silver in the blush really cools it down and the bronzer is more of a cool tone. This is why I don’t always love face palettes with mixed products – I like all three of these shades, but I can’t imagine using all three of them together! Either give me a selection of one kind of product, or let me build my own collection from singles.
Dimension is the deepest set of shades in the collection.
The bronzer shade is a deep neutral-to-cool brown. I can’t tell if it legitimately has a satin finish or if it just reacted strangely with the foundation underneath. The highlight in the middle is a rosey brown with metallic shine, sort of like KVD’s Lolita, but as a shimmer highlight. The blush is a bright lipstick raspberry pink and the blue-based pink highlighter running through it really helps give this a cool tone and amps up the color. This is a really stunning collection of shades. If you’re lighter like me, and aren’t a big #HookerClown drag queen, this is probably way too dark to be useful for you, though a light application of the blush for a draped look could be really striking.
Now, let’s talk about Gravitate, our problem child.
The highlighter is a pale champagne pearl shimmer with pink tones. The blush is a lovely, semi-sheer rose pink with strong blue undertones.
You’ll probably notice that I only swatched out two of the shades in the palette. That’s because I received a broken bronzer shade. Twice.
In the first package, sent in a bubble envelope, this is what I received. It’s clearly been through some things! The corner and one side of the box was fully crushed, and there was powder all over the inside of the envelope. When I opened it up, I was actually surprised to see that only one of the shades had broken, given the state of the packaging! I chalked it up to rough handling, contacted Ulta’s customer support, and asked for a replacement.
The replacement came in a small box, and the outside packaging was pristine, but the bronzer was still completely smashed. At that point, I figured there must be something about that particular shade that makes it difficult to transport. It’s not clear where the damage occurred -it may very well have been damaged on the way to Ulta, but because the box wasn’t damaged no one realized until it had already been sent out. Either way, I decided to cut my losses, scrape out the remnants and clean up the two shades I did have, and got a refund on the product from Ulta. I’m bummed that the bronzer was a broken mess, since that one seems like the bronzer that would be the best match to my complexion, but at least I still have the other two shades in the palette and I was able to get refunded.
I’ve heard not great things about some of the other products in the line, so I’m still skeptical, but overall I enjoyed these face palettes. The downsides are that I don’t think the shades are really all that well curated (except for maybe the Dimension palette) or designed to work that well with each other, the broken bronzer, and the fact that in the blush shades (again, except for Dimension) the highlighter part of the combo tends to overwhelm the blush and make it a bit too glowy to work on its own. Of course, that’s a criticism I had of the Hourglass blushes too, so perhaps that’s just part and parcel of playing the dupe game!
I’m not mad about Revolution Beauty duping out other products and offering a lower cost alternative to some of those high end products. Hourglass prices are frankly outrageous, and these face palettes not only aren’t straight up copies, they also offer more flexibility and variety than the Hourglass options. In fact, the deep skin options in Dimension are worlds ahead of anything Hourglass currently offers – maybe it’s time for them to take a page from the Revolution playbook and copy them!