Enter: lip stains! Thinner than a traditional lipstick and longer-lasting than tinted balms, they promise to eliminate our pout problems with bright pigments that — supposedly — last all day. To see if they measured up, we selected three of our staffers (yes, our coworkers really are this gorgeous!) to test three very different stain formulas over a six-hour period and report back on their experiences. Read through to find out which stains made (and kept!) their mark and which, sadly, had kissed our testers goodbye by the afternoon. Who: Alex McGinn, sales coordinator
The Contender: Hourglass Aura Sheer Lip Stain in Flush
"At first sight, I really loved the packaging of the Hourglass Aura stain, and I felt like I had a lot of control as I was applying. The applicator is long and the blotter is small, so it was easy to not get it everywhere.
"Fridays at R29 mean one thing: bagels. Once the color was on, I decided it was time to chow down and grab my first cup of coffee — and ended up with lip stain in my cream cheese. Sad face. When I went to take a bathroom break, I took a peek in the mirror and noticed that a significant amount of the color had worn off.
"Around noon, nearly all of the stain had worn off, and it was forming a ring around my mouth. By mid-afternoon, my lips were starting to feel really dry. I tend to have dry skin, but I was definitely sensing that my lips were even drier than usual. By the time we took the 'after' picture at 3 pm, the color was almost completely gone."
The Result: "After giving Hourglass Aura a test run, I think I’m still more of a lipstick than lip stain kind of gal. I love how the stain went on so smoothly and how, at first, it felt very moisturizing. I find that my lipstick can sometimes go rogue since the tip is on the wider side (and because I’m lazy and don’t use lipliner). However, this applicator was long and thin and made it easy to control exactly where the color went. Unfortunately, the sheerness of the product required a few coats before I felt satisfied with the evenness and concentration of the color. I also didn’t like that the product faded unevenly throughout the day, and how my lips felt drier than usual.
"It’s funny, because I was never conscious of this habit before, but I lick my lips a lot! I’m sure this didn’t help with how long the stain stayed (or rather didn’t stay) put. By 1:30 pm, the majority of the color had worn off, and in such a way that it appeared as though I was wearing only lipliner — not ideal.
"Despite the negatives, I will say that the color was perfectly subtle in that I’m trying, but not really trying sort of way. As someone who’s recently re-entered the dating scene, I’ve noticed that boys tend to have an aversion to really done-up-looking lips. Maybe this stain’s the answer to rocking a pinker pout and securing a goodnight kiss!"
Hourglass Aura Sheer Lip Stain in Flush, $26, available at Sephora.
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