When Team Byrdie got word of Revlon's first prestige line, Flesh, created by Linda Wells, Allure's former editor in chief and current chief creative officer at Revlon, we were intrigued. It's a makeup collection of foundation, highlighters, lipsticks, and more, meant to enhance your skin's natural beauty. More importantly, it has an impressive shade range of 40 options that were thoughtfully formulated by Wells to truly match all skin tones (including undertones). When you hear the word flesh, what do you think of? It's not a word that encompasses one-shade-fits all. Alternatively, Wells is aiming to redefine the rather limiting interpretation of the word with the inclusivity of her products. "So this is the idea of flesh color being every color of skin—the color of your skin," Wells told Allure. "We want to change that idea by changing the whole color assortment of Flesh."
With that being said, here's what happened when two Byrdie editors with vastly different skin tones tried these products for the first time.
"There are two reasons I was intrigued by this new collection of makeup. First, it was created in partnership with Linda Wells, an iconic journalist and the founder of Allure. Then, the fact that the brand was called Flesh. The name feels real; equal parts sexy and messy. Like the flesh that sticks out below your bra strap or the pretty highlight that appears on your clavicle when you sweat. It was a tall order though, seeing as the industry's long-agreed-upon flesh tone was peach, ivory, or alabaster. It better have a ton of shades, I thought while reading through the press release.
"Turns out it does—and both Maya and I found one that worked almost flawlessly with our complexions. I buffed on the foundation stick in Custard. Because it's super matte, I used a Beautyblender dampened with Eve Lom's Radiance Face Mist for some glow. It was pretty full-coverage but in a really beautiful, flawless kind of way. I dabbed on the highlighter drops in Aura, an ethereal, Kewpie-doll light pink that still gave off a really natural glow. It practically disappeared when I blended it, leaving behind a halo glow of light-reflecting pigment. I tapped it on my lids, cheekbones, and Cupid's bow. Then the lipstick. To keep my all-natural, radiant theme going, I went for the Hungry shade, an almost-the-same-as-my-natural-lip pink that's only slightly darker. I smudged it on my cheeks and lids as well to keep everything monochrome and fresh-looking. In the end, it all looked really beautiful. The finishes were soft and expensive-feeling, the color payoff was great, and the coverage was immaculate. No nonsense, just really pretty colors and worthwhile products. I'm totally a Flesh girl now."
"After swatching a few of the deep shades on my jawline, I went with Nutmeg. To be honest, I always get nervous during this part because I'm so used to foundations looking a little too ashy or pinky on my deep skin tone. I was surprised when this creamy stick seamlessly blended onto my skin. I went the same route as Hallie and buffed it in with a damp Beautyblender. I'm admittedly contour-crazed, so I decided to use Mocha, which is three shades darker than my skin tone, to contour. The compact, Crayon-like shape of these foundations makes swiping these on in concentrated areas to contour so easy. Next, I dabbed a bit of the illuminator drops in Vibrate on the high points of my face. I piled it onto my cheekbones for ample glow. By the end of it, I looked like I'd been sitting in the sun for just the right amount of time—the glow was pretty crazy (amazing).
"The neutrals in the eye shadow palette are so nice for an in-office, natural beat. I dusted the taupe, sandy shades on my lids and a bit of the gold, shimmery shade on the inner corners of my eyes for fun. As you can assume by now, I'm a glowy-skin fanatic. So I reached for the Fleshpot Eye & Cheek Gloss next. I tapped a tiny amount on my lids and my cheeks. It sank right onto my skin, and it didn't feel sticky or slip throughout the day—a winning formulation for gloss. As the final step, I satisfied my red-lip obsession with Brazen, an unapologetic fiery red. Its precise doe applicator allows you to ditch a lip liner. I precisely applied this red in one swipe, and the color payoff is highly pigmented. In one glide, my lips were painted entirely. Plus, it dried and settled onto my lips in a few seconds and still felt hydrating. I'm in love with the way it pops against my skin tone. I went out to grab lunch and a kind stranger I passed by complimented me on my lipstick. So I'd say Brazen was made for me. Well done, Linda Wells."
The entire Flesh collection is available online at Ulta.com.