The Quest For A Less-Stain-Like Stain-y Balm Lip Thing

So, Jen wants a lip stain.

…but not a lip stain that is, like, so stain-y… More like a lip stain if a lip stain was actually a lip balm, but makes your lips look like they’re wearing lip stain with lip balm over it, maybe? Or maybe just a lip stain that got mixed up with a lip balm so you can, like, put it on without it just being thin and runny and everywhere but still have it be all stain-y and great…?

You know what I mean.

Okay, okay, in case you are still mystified by my thought-flow, I’ll clear things up.  Most lip stains that I’ve used are basically liquid that’s piped through an absorbant tip, used as the stain-to-mouth vehicle.  This could be a stain in a package that looks like a felt-tip marker, or this could be a stain that comes in a lip gloss container – bottom line is this: it’s runny, it’s hard to control, and it can often leave lips feeling dry. 

Fortunately, lots of people hate that about lip stains, so companies have started giving us a bit more… solid options.

Clockwise from top right:

DuWop Pure Venom Berry Lip Stain

$24 at
This stuff is legit – I can attest to it’s plumping power (thanks to cinnamon oil or peppermint oil, or something like that).  I remember my best friend and I, in our late teens, running to Sephora to get our hands on DuWop’s Lip Venom when it came out… I had it for at least 4 years after that!  Combined with a balm and stain?  Yes, please.

Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip & Cheek Stain in Forever Pink

$25 at Beauty Bridge 
This color is not my personal favorite, but it’s the only color I could find from this line of perfect, balmy stains by Jane Iredale!  It’s definitely perfect for someone who has an envy-inducing pink lipstick collection, though.

Tarte SPF 15 Lip Sheer

$14 at DermStore 
How cute is this little Tarte-let?!  I just want to keep it in my pocket forever and use it every day! …Which is actually kind of convenient because each color is named after a day of the week.  You could be the drunkest lipstick enthusiast and this little guy would make your life that much easier.  It has a lot of great stuff in it like coconut oil, peppermint oil, and mango butter (!!!).Bonus: This is an eco-friendly pick due to Tarte’s love for the environment (it’s a vegan product!), and the lack of parabens & mineral oil!

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Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain

$24 at DermStore
The big sister to the previous sheer stains, this is a classic, bold, inky lip stain in a hyper-moisturizing, 3-Free package.  This product comes in a bevy of red-based, warm hues – none if which get too dark (the darkest they have is a true, warm red called Fiery).  All colors are paraben-free, synthetic flavor/fragrance-free, and petroleum-free!  Your lips will enjoy the benefits of beeswax (so this product is not vegan), peppermint oil, Vitamin E, and  soybean oil.  Sounds like a Christmas stir-fry.

Ulta Extreme Wear Lip Stain

$8 at Ulta
See how juicy that color looks?  It’s because it wants to be on your face.  I’ve never tried this specific product, nor have I heard anything about it (have you tried? Comment!), but the colors are spot on, and the price is the most right out of anything else I’ve seen today.

Femme Couture Lip & Cheek Stain

$9.99 at Sally Beauty Supply
Another brand I’m unfamiliar with but very interested in.  I love small packages like this (hur hur) because they’re easy to take with me wherever I go, and the color range on this line of stains from Femme Couture is… well, kinda sad.  This stain is available in the color Blissful Coral (pictured) or a super-sexy red called Rosie Red.

Benefit BeneTint Lip Balm SPF 15

$20 at Sephora
You knew this was coming.  This is the stain to end all stains, and the first thing I recommended to Jen when she described what she was looking for.  This stuff’s history spans generations of nipple-enthusiasts and hot babes.  The creaminess and intensity of this stain is top of the line, despite its place at the bottom of this list.

Do you have a favorite lip stain?

  • Have you tried Nars Sheer Lipsticks? They look like a stain under lip balm. They’re also easily buildable and under $25.00.

    • Ooh, excellent! I’ll check them out – thanks, Holley!