The Ultimate Cheek/Lip Stain, According To Us

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cult embedphoto: courtesy of three custom color.
Three Custom Color is best known for its namesake color-matching service, in which the brand's cosmetic geniuses perfectly reproduce discontinued lipstick shades. And, while that does deserve the praise it's received over the years, the brand's own original color collections sometimes get overlooked. It's a shame, too, because its lip and cheek stain is an unsung hero. So, I'm here to sing.

There's no shortage of cheek and lip stains on the market, so what makes this one different? Texture, mostly. Liquid stains can be beautiful, but you have to work with them quickly, lest you wind up with a blotchy mark on your cheek. Creamy formulas deliver color, but they're often not true stains (just see how long they stay put on oily skin). This stain is easy to use — just rub a bit of color on your fingers or a cosmetic wedge, then dab it where you want it — and it stays put for hours.

Though the colors may seem intense in their compact, they're sheer and pretty when you wear them. They build evenly, so whether you're looking for a natural-looking tint or a just-came-in-from-a-blizzard flush, you can achieve just that with the Ski Bunny shade. The only drawback is that the stain can accentuate chapped lips, but if you're religious with your lip balm usage, that shouldn't be a problem.

I've mostly seen these in makeup artists' kits, and I chalk that up to the fact that Three Custom is one of those small, steady, more insider-y brands that doesn't spend a fortune on marketing and advertising. But, if there is any justice in the makeup world, these won't stay under the radar forever. You can say you knew them when….

Three Custom Color lip and cheek stain, $22.50, available at Three Custom Color.