Although I love lipstick and have a stash of brands and colors I like, I am in love with the idea of lip stains even more!
Probably because I don’t have time to be forever applying makeup yet I like my lips to look like I’ve made the effort.
If you want great color and staying power for your lips then it seems choosing a lip stain rather than lipstick is the way to go.
The best lip stains are waterproof and once the color is dry they will not smear or wear off. And they won’t transfer themselves to your coffee cup or your teeth.
Freedom from lipstick tyranny! Or so the manufacturers tell us
LIP STAIN REVIEWS : The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
I thought it would be no trouble to pick out the best lip stains to buy but it turns out it wasn’t so easy. When I’m choosing makeup I like to look at all the product reviews and from that decide what I would personally spend money on. I then tend to buy and test out a few products to verify what the reviews say.
|Lip Stain Storage Tips
I have to say that with lip stain reviews I just got a lot of confusing advice. The majority of reviews out there (as usual) are written straight from the packaging and blurb and just mirror the manufacturer’s advertising. You can discount all that. It’s just hype. But you can usually rely on the whole mass of buyer reviews to reveal some kind of sense and reason. Usually, after a lot of research the winners start to emerge. Not so with lip stains.
It seems there are widely differing opinions of just about EVERY product. There are no lip stains with mostly good reviews with just a scattering of the kind of dissatisfied buyers you normally expect where either the color doesn’t suit or they have a reaction to the product. There were widely differing reviews from “the color disappeared right after I put it on” to “lasted all day through meals and a Pepsi” for the same product!
After reading hundreds of opinions it finally came to me what was wrong. A lot of the buyers didn’t know what to do with a lip stain and were giving poor marks, muddying the whole water, when it was a problem of application rather than a problem with the quality of the product!
This revelation was after reading a particular review on Amazon where the buyer was saying that after applying the product and blotting and applying again it still did not stain. Yikes! You need to paint the stuff on and leave it to dry not blot it off – that’s never going to work!
(If you want to know how to do this right so you don’t make the same mistakes, see “How to Apply Lip Stain Correctly“)
As it’s not always obvious which buyers know what they are doing, these reviews just cover the common themes I found for each product I researched and why I would try it or not try it. Eventually I will try each one in the “good buy” category and let you know.
First of all though, there are at least 3 good lip stains of the kind which consist of a paint on application and separate moisturizing balm which I already reviewed when looking at long lasting lipsticks. So these are well worth considering in the lip stain and balm category. They are
- Max Factor Lipfinity
- Maybelline Superstay 24 lip color (my current favorite)
- Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor
Take a look at the long lasting lipsticks post to read the reviews on these.
As for the rest, here are lip stains that tend to end up on Beauty Editor’s Best Buys (whether they tried them or not) and the conclusion I came to about each one from the mixed reviews out there on the web.
GOOD TO BUY (OR AT LEAST TRY)
Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstain
This is a good lip stain for those on a budget as the Maybelline lip stains are less than $10 each and come in lots of tempting colors.
Just be aware that the color swatches you see (and the color of the packaging) may be much less intense than the color you get on your lips so go with a color much lighter than you would normally choose.
The lip stain is easy to apply as it has a felt tip that soaks up the color so you have good control and coverage. It may dry up quickly though so see our tips on storage to make your lip stain last.
You’ll find Maybelline Colorsensational lipstains in drugstores or you can buy online here at Amazon where you’ll see color swatches for the range.
Benefit Benetint Posietint
This is another great lip stain but this one is much more expensive. It is actually a lip and cheek stain though so you can use it a blush too. Because of that the color (and there is only one on offer) is very subtle compared to Maybelline Colorsensational but it may be too subtle for you if you have dark skin or want a darker lip color.
This is a bottle of liquid which comes with a little brush.
A lot of buyers found it too drying for their lips so if you have a problem with that I would give this one a miss. On the other hand, everyone should be using a gloss or balm on top of their lip stain so you might get away with it. (Just a bit of an expensive experiment if you don’t think you’ll use Benefit Benetint lip and cheek stain as a blush as well and it IS too drying for you).
Take a look at the reviews on Amazon to make up your own mind. Over 40 buyers gave this one an average of 4 stars out of 5 but, reading between the lines, I’ve a feeling that it is more loved as a blush than a lip stain.
Vincent Longo Lip Stain
Vincent Longo Gel Stain For Lips and Cheeks is one of the few products that gets great reviews.
It’s just a bit unfortunate that it’s more expensive than some of the other products. That’s always the way isn’t it?
But when there’s a product that gets more than 4 stars out of 5 over 19 reviews (16 out of 19 give it 5) in a category where other products struggle then you sometimes think it’s worth paying a bit more.
It doesn’t seem to dry the lips out as much as some other lip stains, lasts well plus the applicator seems as easy to use as a felt tip.
As one reviewer put it “If you have given up on trying to find a good lip stain, don’t! Try this one!” See all the reviews here.
Tarte Lip Stain
Tarte lip stain is another one with a few mixed reviews but on balance I think it belongs in the category to try.
If you read the Amazon reviews here you’ll find a pretty positive bunch though with a score of 4 out of 5 and if you ignore the ones with low marks where they were applying and then rubbing the stuff off, you probably have yourself an OK product that isn’t too drying and actually does what you want it to do.
Total beauty readers give it 8.4 out of 10 too so that’s pretty good too.
On the downside, colors are a bit limited and it’s a pity that it’s so expensive.
THE ONES I’M GOING TO AVOID (YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY)
Covergirl Outlast Lipstain
This is one of those confusing reviews where a product gets an Allure beauty award and a Shape one too and then you read through 47 reviews of it on Amazon and 30 of them give one star out of five so it gets an average of 2 overall because a few reviewers give it a full five with “Best Product Ever”.
Now what is going on here?
It seems that buyers dislike the marker format because it doesn’t go on evenly and it dries out too fast (in some cases before you get the packaging off!)
Some say it lasts, some say it doesn’t. After reading that lot I’m not even keen to waste money testing this one though it is a very cheap lip stain.
Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain and Balm
This is another one at the low end of the price range with mixed reviews – and another one with a beauty award.
Sometimes I think they reward good ideas or good marketing rather than good results!
Again it has buyers giving it every kind of rating from 1 to 5 thought it ends up with a 3 star average. Read all reviews here.
Many don’t like the way the balm sticks too far out of the tube and breaks off easily and how it doesn’t work that well to counteract the drying effect of the lip color.
After watching this video review by Andrea from makeupgeek.com. I decided that it wasn’t worth trying. Although Andrea loved the color and the ease of application, she found it left a weird outline around her lips by the end the day as the color wore off unevenly plus she found the product very drying. A weird outline I don’t need.
Laura Mercier Lipstain
This one is a gel that comes in a little pot and you need to use your own brush.
I think I’d like the way this is applied rather than using a felt tip pen like application (I’m a sucker for those little pots of color) but according to the reviews it doesn’t last and isn’t like a lip stain at all just an expensive lip gloss. Oh dear.
Homemade Lip Stain
Reminds me of when we were kids and used red Smarties (like M & Ms if you don’t remember them) for lipstick. I’m sure we looked lovely with our red mouths painted all over LOL!
Now I love to buy all kinds of products so I wouldn’t think about trying this but if you are short of cash and want to have a go, why not?
You could also experiment with red food coloring but be careful because that stuff is highly pigmented (that’s what it’s for after all) and you don’t want to make a mistake when painting and get any over the rest of your face or down your best dress.
These home made lip stains may not be the best lip stains for various reasons but they are going to be the cheapest lip stains around no matter how big a discount you can find on other products!