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Was Revlon's Pink In The Afternoon Holly Golightly's Lipstick?

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There has been a lot of debate over Revlon Pink In The Afternoon - was it the Breakfast At Tiffany's lipstick or not???

Revlon pink in the afternoon.
updated on:
January 23, 2024

If you search "Revlon Pink In The Afternoon" online, you just might find its connection with Audrey Hepburn...but was it the actual shade worn by Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's?

In an iconic scene, Holly Golightly applies her lipstick in the back of a taxi, cementing it as the subject of debate for years to come. While internet fans seemed to initially conclude that the scene featured one shade, there has been serious doubt cast on the claim ever since.

Today, we're going to discuss the history behind Pink In The Afternoon including its release date and whether or not it's been discontinued. Breakfast at Tiffany's is an iconic movie and so is Holly's lipstick!

This post is all about revlon pink in the afternoon.

All Vintage Lipstick Links:

If you are curious, I have tested many different vintage lipstick shades that you can still purchase today! Here are the links to those...I hope you enjoy!

Raisin Rage

Kissing Potion

Fire and Ice

Love That Red

Cherries In The Snow

Black Cherry

Rum Raisin

Toast of New York

Coffee Bean

revlon pink in the afternoon

Holly Golightly once said in the back of a taxi, "A girl can't read that sort of thing without her lipstick," while applying a tulip-pink salmon color to her lips. Breakfast at Tiffany's came out in 1961, thus beginning the decades-long mystery behind the shade. To this day, there is still debate amongst the makeup community about the lip color due to the fact that it was such an iconic moment in makeup history!

In the mid-eighties, a Revlon ad campaign was released featuring Audrey Hepburn wearing a light pink lipstick with text that read "So, you could dance all night, breakfast at Tiffany's, and never look so radiant." At the bottom of the ad, it stated that Audrey was wearing Pink In The Afternoon.

One could reasonably assume that by combining Audrey wearing Pink In The Afternoon with ad copy about Breakfast at Tiffany's that Revlon was confirming she wore the shade in the movie. For a while, it was rumored that this was THE shade, but doubts soon followed.

For one, there aren't any advertisements that have surfaced so far that mention Pink In The Afternoon any earlier than the 80s. Plus, in my research, I have not found the name Pink In The Afternoon on any of the shade lists from Revlon in the 50s. These lists only include shades like Cherries In The Snow, Stormy Pink, Fire And Ice, etc. and no mention of Pink In The Afternoon.

One vote for Pink In The Afternoon is that Audrey reportedly wore Fire And Ice in Funny Face (1957) so it wouldn't be too far of a jump to say she would wear another Revlon shade in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). It is also possible that Pink In The Afternoon was originally named something else. Looking at the shade list from the 50s, the color Blase Apricot seems to resemble the salmon-pink color that Holly Golightly wore, but other than that I have seen no mention of it.

Blase Apricot was subsequently made into a shade of Revlon Moon Drops lipstick that ran in the mid-60s to early 70s. It's possible that Pink In The Afternoon was named something before the 80s, but why wouldn't Revlon just say that?

Plus, many have pointed out that the name Pink In The Afternoon was a nod to Audrey's movie Love In The Afternoon (1957). The movie came out before Breakfast at Tiffany's, so it's possible they were alluding to the fact that Audrey wore this lipstick in many of her movies of the late 50s and early 60s, but why wouldn't they name the shade something related to Breakfast at Tiffany's? Arguably, Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of the most recognized movies of all time - to me it would make more sense for the brand to release something nodding to that movie rather than Love In The Afternoon, especially if Audrey used the lipstick in the taxi scene (unless there are strict trademarks and copyrighting restrictions on that particular movie).

When a lipstick is the focal point of an iconic scene like that and the film is cemented in time as one of the most beloved movies ever, it guarantees the company that was featured in the scene business for years to come. As you know, companies pay big money to be featured as a brand in a big movie. In the 50s, paid product placement wasn't on the forefront of everyone's mind, but we can all agree retrospectively that to be the brand that created the lipstick in this scene would be ideal. It would be in anyone's best interest to be known as the company that created the lipstick color that every woman is talking about..

Then, in 2017, Christie's held an auction of items from Audrey Hepburn's personal belongings. Featured in the collection was Audrey's custom-made Cartier lipstick holder. The description of the item from Christie's reads: "According to her son Sean, Audrey had cherished this elegant Cartier lipstick holder, and the en suite powder compact (Lot 42) since the 1950s. Perhaps a gift from her first husband James Hanson, they accompanied her to ceremonies and soirées throughout the 50s and 60s." The item was highly coveted and sold for over 19 times its estimated value. Celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge won the bid, paying 56,250 GBP or approximately $76,000 for the holder.

Eldridge made a YouTube video in 2019 discussing her experience purchasing the lipstick and that to her surprise, inside the lipstick holder featured a very small amount of lipstick. One can assume this was a lipstick Audrey carried and wore often in the 50s, according to Christie's description of the item as well as the fact there was hardly any lipstick left in the tube. Every girl knows when they use an entire lipstick up, it's typically a favorite shade.

She also went on to discuss how she took a small sample of the shade from the tube and analyzed the pigments to make her own version of the iconic color. She stated that she knows the brand of the lipstick and it doesn't begin with the letter "R". She also mentioned that she is not going to share the brand of the shade and it's going to go with her to her grave.

This sparked a lot of conversation in the collector community, as well as the Audrey Hepburn and makeup communities. Should Lisa Eldridge share the shade with the world or should she keep it private? Some stated that she wanted to keep the color private to stoke interest in her own makeup line, and others thought it should remain private to honor Audrey's memory. Still others thought that the shade should be shared to prolong Audrey's memory and everyone could wear the lipstick in her honor for years to come.

Whatever you believe, it is still largely possible that Audrey's personal lip color inside that tube was not the shade she used on the set of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Some have pointed out the packaging on the lip color and how it's a smooth gold tube in the movie. This is consistent with a lot of lipstick packaging at the time. However, the Cartier lipstick in possession of Eldridge is gold and ribbed with a sapphire at the top. To me, comparing both the Eldridge YouTube video and the scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's, they look like different lipstick tubes. The current Revlon lipstick packaging is black with gold accents, but I looked up some vintage Revlon lipsticks and they look similar to the one used in that iconic scene.

As many women know, we tend to have a few different shades of lipstick that look similar laying around in our purses and vanities. Once we find a shade that we really like, we tend to gravitate more toward that color and similar colors. So it wouldn't be unheard of for Audrey to have a few different lipstick shades that she would have worn in the 50s and throughout her life.

Another observation is that Pink In The Afternoon on Audrey in her Revlon ad from the 80s looks a lot lighter of a pink compared to her salmon-looking color from the movie. This could mean they are two different shades, or it could mean that the coloration of the film from 1961 didn't accurately portray the most realistic colors and made the lipstick appear darker and more vibrant. Both could be logical arguments.

It's also possible that Revlon created a custom shade for Audrey at the time as she was most definitely a rising star in the 50s. They may have decided in the 80s to make the shade available and called it Pink In The Afternoon - although it's still a mystery why they wouldn't name it something related to Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Revlon further fueled the speculation in 2019 when someone commented on a Facebook post mentioning that there were rumors that Pink In The Afternoon was the shade worn by Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Revlon replied in a comment that the rumors were true. This was word right from the horse's mouth, but can it really be relied upon? It wasn't an official statement from Revlon, plus if it really were the shade, why wouldn't Revlon do an entire Breakfast at Tiffany's campaign or at least mention it on their website?

Ultimately, my thought is that there's really no way to confirm. Unless more receipts are found, I doubt we will ever know. Think about it, even if Lisa Eldridge shared the name and brand of the lipstick from the Cartier holder, we still wouldn't know if it was the exact holder used in that scene. Obviously, it would be helpful information to know for sure a shade that Audrey used to wear. Eldridge has released her own shade inspired by the lipstick from the auction but only has the gloss currently for sale on her website. The shade is called "Go Lightly", obviously a nod to Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's.

I think it would be helpful if Revlon could provide some more of the history behind the shade Pink In The Afternoon. Was it originally another shade? Was it a custom color created for Audrey in the 50s? Was it just inspired by the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's lipstick?

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You would think if there was an existing brand today that was able to confirm the lipstick color that they would be mentioning that at least in a blog post or a press release. That's what makes me feel like it could be a brand that is no longer in existence, or it's Revlon, but they don't have the appropriate proof to confirm their's was the iconic shade. Or, they don't feel the need to come out with an official statement.

Also, if Lisa Eldridge said in her video that she knows the brand of the lipstick but that she's not sharing it and it doesn't begin with an "R", then does that allude to the fact that the actual brand may still exist today? Or she doesn't want to share it for sentimental reasons. If it was an existing brand I guess the only harm with not sharing it would be that it would potentially conflict with her desire to release the shade from her own line? Again, though, if the brand existed today they would be smart to advertise it and leverage it to make sales.

My final guess is that the shade Lisa Eldridge has is similar to the one that was worn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and it's certainly a personal color of Audrey's, but it may or may not be the actual color used in the scene. I am pretty certain that the lipstick tubes are different, but it's possible that Audrey placed her favorite shade in her custom lipstick holder so they could be the same. If they are, Lisa claims the brand is not Revlon, so it wouldn't be Pink In The Afternoon.

Revlon's Pink In The Afternoon is certainly a shade that Audrey has worn at one time. We have the proof from the 80s Revlon ad campaign that was done featuring her wearing the lipstick. Whether it was the shade that she wore in the 50s, or a similar shade, you can still feel like you're wearing a color that Audrey wore when you put on the lipstick.

If the shade Holly Golightly wore in the taxi cab is Revlon's, they must not have sufficient proof to that effect. Or, they do have the proof, but they are not using it any current or recent ad campaigns or press releases.

I made a TikTok video reviewing Pink In The Afternoon and Revlon did comment on it, complimenting the shade. They've also reposted videos to their socials that implies the shade is from the movie. Very interesting stuff.

What do you guys think? I'm not sure this mystery will ever be truly solved unless we get some more proof or confirmation! Either way, Revlon's Pink In The Afternoon is still a gorgeous shade and is definitely reminiscent of the lipstick from Breakfast at Tiffany's. Please be sure to check out my brief review and swatches below.

Revlon Pink In The Afternoon Lipstick

revlon pink in the afternoon

Pink In The Afternoon is a light pink shade with hints of salmon. One comment on my TikTok video described it as a tulip-like pink shade, which I thought was lovely. I don't normally wear pink lipsticks (I typically find the light pink shades wash me out), but this color really was gorgeous.

Whether this is the actual shade Holly wore in the taxi cab from Breakfast at Tiffany's or not, it's definitely a shade reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn from the 50s. Plus, we know she did wear it at one time at least.

To me, the color has all the right pink tones: peach, salmon, ballet slipper. I think it could definitely work on a lot of different skin tones as it's not too bright of a pink, but also not too light. If you typically don't wear pinks, or you do and you're looking for a good everyday pink lipstick color, I really think you should give this one a try.

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If you like this post, you may enjoy this post: Trying Revlon's Cherries In The Snow - 1950's Red Lip + Nail

revlon pink in the afternoon
revlon pink in the afternoon
revlon pink in the afternoon
revlon pink in the afternoon
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How aesthetically pleasing is this lipstick before I swatched it? It had the most perfect sharp edges, it made me not want to use it! If you compare the shade in the above photo to the background image of Holly in the back of the taxi cab applying her lipstick, they look pretty similar to me!

revlon pink in the afternoon
revlon pink in the afternoon

Here are the swatches. As you can see, they look pretty similar to the color from the film to me. Some people think the film makes the lipstick look brighter and more salmon and I would agree. For me, just looking at the colors, I think they look very close. In my personal opinion, the difference in shade can be attributed to the coloration of the movie from the early 60s, but again, there's really no way to know.

The formula of this lipstick is the Super Lustrous from Revlon. I have to say this is my favorite lipstick formula. It's not too drying or too glossy. Perfectly comfortable to wear all day. I have done several other reviews of vintage lipsticks from Revlon and I loved all of those too!

What do you guys think? Does the color look similar to you? Have you ever tried this lipstick? Audrey Hepburn was so iconic and so was her lipstick!

This post was all about breakfast at tiffany's lipstick.

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