Grab the camouflage and toner: Revlon (NYSE:REV) looked a little under the weather yesterday. The cosmetics company lowered its outlook for the year, sending its shares tumbling in the trading session. Whether an ugly season for Revlon matched with a debt refinancing equals a reason to buy seems questionable when its rivals seem to be finding their wares in makeup bags everywhere.

It's a little hard to forgive the company when other cosmetics providers have displayed such a strong year. Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) has been a class act. Avon (NYSE:AVP) has proven that the Avon Lady is still a popular figure. Other competitors include L'Oreal, which also provides some high-end brands, and Mary Kay.

Revlon blamed a slowdown in its color cosmetics, a category that includes eyeliner, lipstick, eye shadow, and the like. Judging by the success of companies like Estee Lauder, which provides a whole array of high-end cosmetic brands like MAC, Prescriptives, and Clinique, one might wonder if a more comfortable consumer is willing to pay a little more for her makeup and skin treatments these days.

Meanwhile, another question is whether Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), which competes in the drugstore makeup market where Revlon resides, is stealing some market share from Revlon and its other brands, Ultima and Almay.

Revlon's sales forecast is for 2004 sales growth of 3%, as compared to the 8% to 9% growth rate it previously anticipated. The company said it expects EBITDA for the year to be $190 million, with operating income of $90 million. That's slightly lower than its old view, which called for $200 million and $100 million, respectively.

Revlon also said that it would refinance its debt through units of Citigroup (NYSE:C). That move should help Revlon by lowering its interest rates. With the refinancing as a benefit, as well as its vow to watch spending, you can't say that there's no bright side to the story.

However, even as Revlon works to strengthen its balance sheet and profits, it's hard to ignore the question of whether its products are resonating with today's female consumer. After all, it's an area where rivals are having such success these days. Revlon shares tacked on 3% today as investors reversed yesterday's negative course, but the real question may be if Revlon can pretty up its product lines.

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.