With the arrival of Revlon's Just Bitten lip stains, I began to wonder if I was indeed missing out by skipping their products. They were offering quit an array of colors, and I decided to keep an eye out for it whenever I went to the mall. As luck would have it, however, I didn't chance upon any Revlon counters for several weeks, and I ended up trying Styli-Style (from Beauty Bar, Eastwood), and E.L.F. (from Watsons, Eastwood).
I was pleasantly surprised with both brands, and by the time I found myself in a Watsons that carried Revlon, I was a firm believer in the beauty of lip stains. While Korean lipstains are pretty much the same consistency regardless of brand, I was a bit surprised at how different the formulations of ELF, Styli-Style and Revlon were.
For a full breakdown of the pros, cons, and my final verdict on each brand, read on!
Styli-Style Lip stain- As a big fan of their semi-permanent eyeliners, I didn't hesitate to shell out the Php550+ for a tube of their stain. I tried out the brown one first, and though it didn't look like much when swatched on my hand, I was surprised at how great it looked on my mouth. I have lip lines that color tends to sink into, and this formula managed to evenly color my lips. It didn't sneak into the crevices and cake into disgusting lines, and I was incredibly pleased at how well the color suited my skintone. It was also buildable, and easily went several shades darker upon several applications. (You should wait a bit for it to dry before swiping again if you want it really dark.)
I loved this product so much that I went back for a tube of the pink variety, and this was surprisingly pretty on my lips. I expected it to be a bit fluorescent (ala Korean stuff), but it came on as the prettiest pink flush. If you're interested in producing a "no make-up" look, this is the stain for you. With one pass it looks like your lips are healthily flushed, and if you want a deeper, sexier pink, you can just layer it on!
Pros: Affordable, buildable, not as drying as most stains
Cons: None for the colors I have, but I wish they had a darker, blood-red shade.
STAY-NABILITY: 4 out of 5 stars. This won't come off if you talk, kiss, or eat dry food, but it will start to fade once you drink or eat an actual meal.
E.L.F. Lip Stain- I'd never bought an E.L.F. product before, but I'd had such a good experience with my Styli-Style stains that I was constantly on the lookout for more shades. I came across this when I was buying goodies at Watson's, and I was immediately attracted to its (approx) Php250 price tag. I snapped up the red immediately, and was surprised at how thick and creamy the formula was upon application. It dried up seconds later, however, and provided the most budge-proof, matte stain that I'd ever had. This stain comes with a gloss side, and boy howdy, do you ever need it.
My lips hurt from being so dry without the gloss layered on top of it, and the formula made my lips tingle upon application (not in a good way). Unlike Styli-Style, the formula of this product is very opaque. It's very close to the pigmentation of a lipstick, but it has the staying power of a stain. It was the color that attracted me to it in the first place, and I was definitely a believer after using it for a few weeks. I went back for the other two available colors soon after. Birthday suit wasn't very suited to my skintone (think Lady Gaga lips), but Fashionista was quite nice. Red Carpet is still my favourite, though, and if you want to try this brand out, I'd definitely recommend that shade.
Pros: VERY Affordable, really opaque color, comes with gloss
Cons: Dries lips like crazy
STAY-NABILITY: 5 out of 5 stars IF you use it without gloss-- it really is budge-proof if you don't mix anything with it. It drops down to 3 out of 5 stars if you use the gloss on top of it, however, as the sticky mix ends up with the staying power of an expensive lipstick.
Revlon Just Bitten Lip Balm and Stain - Instead of a gloss, this stain comes packaged with a shiny balm on the other end. The applicator is a marker type (like Styli-Style), and the shade I got, Midnight, was a deep, lovely plum. Unfortunately, that's where the good stuff ends.
As a much-blogged about product, I had high hopes for Just Bitten. When I finally found a Revlon counter that sold it, they only had this one shade left. I didn't mind so much because it was a lovely dark color and I was looking for something like it, so it really wasn't a bad buy at Php595. HOWEVER, no matter how cheap something is, it will never be a good buy if the product amplifies your lip flakes, sticks in the creases, and applies unevenly. I exfoliate my lips just like any gal, but the sheer number of steps that you have to take to make this product work for you is insane (exfoliate, moisturize, apply balm, apply stain, apply balm again... ugh.).
I think that Revlon knew this was a terrible formulation when they shipped it, because they had the foresight to include the balm. It's kind of like saying, hey, we know our product sinks into creases and amplifies all the imperfection on your lips. Have some lip balm, because the only way this product will work is if your lips are flipping perfect. :P
I highly recommend steering clear of this cruddy product, or at least until they reformulate. The consistency is pretty much the same as Styli-Style's (sheer at first, but buildable to a nice, deep hue), but it doesn't glide, blend, or moisturize your lips at all.
Pros: comes with a balm (that doesn't retract, whut), nice shade variety
Cons: Applies terribly, dries like nobody's business (and this is even when you wear it with the balm!!)
STAY-NABILITY: 3 out of 5 stars. It stays on for a bit, but when it fades, it fades terribly.
All in all, I'd definitely recommend picking up some Styli-Style stains if you're interested in a milder, nude finish. If you want a loud, opaque stain, go for E.L.F. If you have perfect lips that are line and flake-free 24/7... try Revlon, lol.
Stay beautiful, ladies~!