The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Beauty Review: Revlon Colorsilk

Why Budget is Best
by The Budget Babe's Beauty Expert
For the past five years, I have been using the cheapest haircolor available: Revlon Colorsilk. It's just $3.99 a box and it's always given me great results.

Left: What the box promises. Right: Actual results. Revlon Colorsilk delivers!

I like the color, and people often ask if I get my hair colored professionally. Normally, I just scoffed at them—making your hair blonde (in my case blond-er) is the easiest thing ever! All blonde dyes are basically the same: peroxide—right?

Wrong! Just this past month I decided to do a little test. Is the more expensive blonde dye better? Will my hair be more “multi-faceted,” “healthier,” and will my “color last longer?” (although please note, blonde doesn’t really go anywhere really, since its more like a lack of color…).

So, I picked up what seemed to be a really enticing box of Garnier Fructis 100% color (ooooh special) in extra light ash blonde. After doing what I’ve done for the past 5 years without fault (dye my own hair), I removed the towel from my head to reveal beautiful, multi-faceted, healthy, long lasting gray hair.

Left: What the box promises. Right: Actual results. What gives, Garnier?!?

Yes, gray. Any normal person would be horrified and never touch the stuff again, but I, for the sake of a truly scientific conclusion, undid the gray and tried it again. Needless to say I now understand why they suggest those with gray hair not use their product. So, in the world of do-it-yourself dyes, I know one thing is true: Price does not always ensure quality (unless you want gray hair, which, I must admit has grown on me).

When its time to dye again, I will return to my super-cheapness, which just so happened to also be the best overall option. Once again proving that the more expensive option is not always the best option.

Have any of you ladies ever been shocked by the cheapest product on the market (in a good way) or shocked by the high(er) ticket item (in a bad way)? Now’s the time to spread the word!
About the Revlon... I also use the Colorsilk to color my hair, though my husband does it for me (he's almost as cheap as me). And although I do combine two colors to get just the right shade of red that I want, everyone is always surprised to find out that I color my hair.

Other cheap goodies:

1. Chapstick. Hands down the best lip stuff on the planet. I've gone all around the block on this stuff and I'll stick with my $1.29 tubes that I keep everywhere (in every bag, in my desk at work, in my car, every room of the house). Winters here are very cold and dry, and it gets me through every time.

2. Johnsons and Johnsons Baby Lotion - Classic Pink stuff. Lots of people don't like the smell, but I've got to say that I use this stuff from head to toe, especially in the winter. It's made for babies' skin, so it's great for those with sensitive skin. It works as well on my face as it does on my feet and it's the the best thing I've found for my cuticles.

#1 Jenny on 2007-10-09 07:38 (Reply)
I agree, those are all solid products. Come to think of it, my favorite eye liner is by Revlon too, and it's super cheap (available at all drugstores): Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner. Rich color, no tug, and the best part is that you never have to sharpen it!
#1.1 The Budget Babe on 2007-10-09 10:36 (Reply)
Gray? Yikes!!! Thanks for taking one for the team, BB! :-D

I've always had disastrous results with drugstore dyes (either orangey-brown or dull-black goth :-P), so now I do the second-cheapest thing -- I look on Craigslist for students going through hair color training. It's around $15-$20 and most people do a good job...except that one girl who somehow managed to tint my hair simultaneously purple and orange when I just wanted to go a shade lighter! I complained and they fixed it the next week, though. And I think she eventually got fired because she was just really stupid. Another time she was assigned to blow-dry me and managed to style my hair like Conan O'Brien.

Anyway. All the other times, I've had really good results from the student hair color jobs. :-)
#2 cathy (Homepage) on 2007-10-09 09:48 (Reply)
We couldn't agree more about the benefits of using a hair-stylist in training! Not only can you get a great deal for great hair color, but also for excellent and trendy cuts very cheap! :-)
#3 BBB (Homepage) on 2007-10-09 15:03 (Reply)
Update: Just today I went to my grocery store to pick up a few things, and a little girl walking by whispered to her mother (in that very loud child's whisper) "mommy look!!! That lady has gray hair and she doesn't even look that old!".... Thanks a lot Garnier!!! lol! :-P I think it may be time to do a repair job, yet again... oye!
#4 BBB (Homepage) on 2007-10-09 15:05 (Reply)
I could not stop laughing at the write-up and the photos. too funny! how can they possibly call that color ash blonde? it's definitely up there with the blue rinses!
#4.1 Fifi LaMode on 2007-10-22 16:41 (Reply)
another surprise cheap-o product is johnson's baby shampoo. not only is it a good shampoo but, here's the stunner, my eye doctor says it's good for contacts too. i had itchy eyes at one time (allergy-related) and she said to take baby shampoo on a q-tip and dab it on the lid next to the lashes, and it really cleans and soothes the eye area. also, she said that in a pinch you can use it to clean gas-permeable contacts, especially during allergy season.
who knew?
#5 maggie z on 2007-10-22 16:44 (Reply)
No kidding! Great tip for us contact-wearers.
#5.1 The Budget Babe on 2007-10-23 11:21 (Reply)
Hey! I just came across this post via Google and I realize it's from 2007 so you might already know this but I just wanted to let you know why you got two different results here.

You imply in your post that your hair is naturally pretty light to start with. The Revlon box color is intended to deposit color more than to lift color (which is suggested by the words "no more grey" on the box). If someone with dark hair were to use that exact color, they would not get the same results you did.

The Garnier box says, "Ultra-lift blonde". Ultra lift means that it lifts the color and likely has peroxide and/or bleach in it. For someone with very dark brown or black hair, the Garnier dye is the one they would want to use to get the results you got with the Revlon dye. The reason your hair went white/grey is because it lifted TOO much, since your hair is already light.

I love your blog by the way! I'm subscribing. :-)
#6 Jodi (Homepage) on 2014-04-05 09:04 (Reply)
Which 2 boxes did you say you mixed to get that color? I'm going for that same color!
#7 Rochelle on 2017-02-06 12:38 (Reply)
If you used ColorSilk Ultra Light SUN Blonde, then you are getting a Pale, Clear, GOLDEN Blonde - A WARM shade. And then you tried Garnier %100 Color in Extra Light ASH Blonde - A COOL shade, so of course your hair is going to be gray. Try !00% Color in a NEUTRAL Or GOLDEN shade next time.
#8 JimBear on 2017-11-20 10:36 (Reply)
You were just ahead of the fad! Now that is all the rage, and that was a stunning silver you got out of it, even if it was by

I use to dye mine black, always, and I always figured black is black is black is black, so I used Balsam Color or something like that for about 1.99 a Box. Couldn't beat it! Haven't seen any in ages though.

I have been doing mine that fine line between platinum\silver\white and saw the colorsilk in lightest ash blonde, but when I got home I had grabbed the ultra light sun blonde. I needed to see the results before possibly ruining this color that's so hard to get and keep! It's definitely more buttery than I was hoping, so thanks, you've saved me from killing my highly agonized over color! It's taken me weeks to get it so light without frying it, I'm a level 1 or 2 natural dark, dark brown.

I read online a few years ago a stylist saying he thought that every woman should experience blonde at least once in their life, and that blondes really do have more fun. He was sooooo right! The eyebrows use to bother me until it was pointed out that Marilyn had obvious brown eyebrows and she didnt GAF! Lol so I don't either now, I just take them down thinner and go, although they say wild brows are in this year, ummm, no thanks, I'll leave the crazy brows to Einstein! He pulled it off nicely! (They also are saying fanny packs and mullets are back in this season.Who decided this stuff?! I guess I'll be fine with being "so last season." Lol
#9 AnitaTaco on 2018-07-18 03:54 (Reply)
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