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I Tried It: Bright Lip Stains

July 7, 2011

On the surface, lip stains are a genius concept—a type of lipstick with a water or gel base, they promise to let you swipe some on and your lips are tinted with color for the day! No need for frequent reapplications, tugging your hair away from sticky lip gloss, or fear that your lipstick is all over your teeth and face. A product with such promise seems too good to be true, so I decided to test two different brands to see if lip stains live up to the hype.

Tarte Natural Lip Stain Pencil in Lust

Claims: Tarte says this product will glide on easily, stay put all day long and make lips appear fuller.

Looks like…a crayon!

First thoughts: This lip stain really did glide on easily. It felt super moisturizing, and it gave me a good amount of sheer color with a touch of sheen. Although I loved how it felt and looked, I don’t think my lips appeared any fuller, and it really didn’t “stain” my lips. Instead, it was more like a sheer lipstick or lip tint that I could have easily wiped off.

Scent: Minty

Lasting power: I put the lip stain on in the morning and went about my normal business for the day- working, running errands, eating, etc. The color and moisture lasted for hours if I didn’t wipe my mouth or lick my lips. Drinking wasn’t very good for it and eating made it disappear completely. Although it could have smeared easily, it’s not sticky like lip gloss, but instead smooth like lip balm.

Bottom line: I thoroughly enjoyed this product. It’s great for anyone who needs a hint of color and a little sheen in a matter of seconds. I wouldn’t classify it as a stain, although the product does stay put for quite some time.

Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Stain in Bitten Berry

Claims: Maybelline says this lip stain will provide a sheer color, and it will feel like you’re not wearing anything.

Looks like…a marker!

First thoughts: It was really fun to put this lip stain on, because it literally felt like I was coloring my lips in with a marker. Just as they claimed, it felt like I wasn’t wearing any makeup at all. This was kind of odd though, because I usually have some kind of balm or gloss on, so my lips also felt very dry. My first instinct was to apply a lip gloss on top of this stain, but I held back to see how how I would feel later in the day.

Scent: Berry

Lasting power: The color remained just as bright and intense for hours as I, again, went about my business for the day. I was pretty impressed with the lasting power, but it disappeared completely when I ate. Also, I wouldn’t have lasted very long wearing this product alone if I had just been wearing it for fun; it definitely needs to be layered with a balm or gloss on top.

Bottom line: This product definitely does the job of staining your lips; the color lasts for about four hours! It’s a little drying though, and in my opinion, it needs to be layered with a lip balm or gloss on top.

Tarte Natural Lip Stain Pencil, $24;

Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Stain, $8; available at drugstores.

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