It used to be that lip stains were either wildly-hued liquids, or lip-drying formulas that needed to come with a lip balm or lip gloss to counter act your crackly lips. These were something only Miss Havisham could be satisfied with. But in the last couple years there has been a major revolt in the world of lips stains and now, not only does everyone make one, but the formulas and colors are far more user friendly. There are so many brands and so many types of lip stains out there, and you know what, I think they are all pretty good. So what I want to talk about are some of the more popular ones, and what are the differences between them, because these days you can afford to be choosy about your lip stain. Want something glossy - fine, there are a few. Want something subtle - great, there are some of those too. Thick, creamy, sheer, neutral - whatever - there's a lip stain out there for you.
Everyone is talking about YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Lip Stain and with good reason - it is a perfectly lovely stain. It is also a very sheer liquidy stain so you may want to apply several coats if you want an opaque look. Its sheerness however makes it a very pretty base to apply beneath another lipgloss or even lipstick, because as for it's glossiness, well it's pretty subtle.
Bite is an all natural, super duper healthy brand that makes Honey Lip Lacquer. This Manuka honey infused stain has its own cult following. You will get a lot of dense color from the liquid-lipstick-like consistency, as well as protective/preventative benefits from all the anti-oxidants in it. It is a shiny lacquer all the way.
Revlon's Just Bitten is phenomenal. It is actually a lip balm and stain in one, so that it kinda feels like you are putting on Chapstick, except you get plenty of luscious color and a moist look that will last for hours. My only complaint about this wonderful chubby stick is that it doesn't come in enough colors. Still, I'm sure you can find one or two lovlies to take home with you.
If you want a glossy lip stain Tarte is the way to go. They are an all-natural, gluten-free brand (see my post gluten-free beauty) that's not afraid to get glamorous. They have three types of chubby pencil stains: the Lipsurgence LipLuster which is extremely sheer and glossy and doesn't stain well, the Lipsurgence Matte Lip Tint which is nice but kinda dry, and then there is Lipsurgence Lip Tint which is perfect. Lip Tint comes in the most enticing colors, which when you wear them will be mistaken by the general public for regular, non-staining gloss. Only you will know that you've actually been wearing it for hours.
One of the lip stains that has been around forever, and has always gotten it right is Stila Lip & Cheek Stain. The only difference between then and now is that now there are four times as many colors to choose from. I have always been partial to their liquid automatic-brush-on formulas, and bold yet realistic-looking colors. There is no shine with these babies but the texture is very blendable and perfect for cheeks as well.
** This is an OLD post and about a zillion other lips stains have come out since then, but I still stand behind this post - these are fast becoming classics.