This Shit Ain’t Free: Lip Stains

2011 was the year I finally embraced wearing lipstick. I have what is commonly referred to as a “gigantic mouth” and always thought lip colours would call negative attention to it. Not only that, but my gigantic mouth is paired with huge teeth, which means I’m constantly worried about getting lipstick on said huge teeth. However, 2011 was the year I learned that wearing lipstick makes everyone look better. It seems to work some sort of psychological magic on other people: your skin appears clearer, your eyes seem brighter, and you just generally present the appearance of someone who is very polished and together and not hungover at the WORN office struggling not to barf on Serah-Marie’s laptop. Not that I would know from personal experience.

I still try to save lipstick for special occasions. I like the creamy texture of lipsticks for more civilized activities—drinks with friends, job interviews, that sort of thing. Lip stains are better for everyday wear because they do what the name implies: they stain your lips and then leave the colour there for a long-ass time. If you’re working all day away from a mirror, you can trust a lip stain to stay more or less in place; if you’re at a sweaty dance party, a lip stain won’t bleed all over your chin when you wipe some errant vodka from your face. Again, not that I would know from personal experience.

For this edition of “This Shit Ain’t Free,” I present a round-up of some lip stains currently bouncing around the bottom of my purse.

I either got this lip stain through MAGIC or through STEALING. I was holding it in my hand at Shoppers, and I swear I thought I put it on the counter with my toothpaste and Twizzlers (anti-cavities and pro-sugar, I am nothing if not counterproductive). The next thing I knew I was outside and my receipt didn’t have the lip stain on it! Ah!! So, technically, I did not pay for this shit. But I MEANT to.

Not that I advocate accidental shoplifting, but I have to say, I’m sort of glad I didn’t pay for this. It’s not so great. I really like the colour, but the formula is very drying. I find that the texture just calls attention to how dry my lips get in the winter. Sometimes I layer it underneath the above mentioned creamy lipstick to give the colours more depth. Otherwise I have to pile a bunch of lip balm on top of it (Kiehl’s #1 is the best, don’t even try to fight me on this). It’s definitely not my favorite. I give it 1 smooch out of 4 potential smooches.

I paid for this! And it’s the best! This is that perfect orange-ey red that tricks people into thinking you’ve got really white teeth. However, the most brilliant thing about this product is the lip balm that comes with it. I actually hate most lip balms (which is probably why I have such strong feelings about Kiehl’s. It’s the only lip balm I’ve ever liked). Aren’t most of them very…glue-ey? Or Play Doh-ey? I feel like they all have a kindergarten arts-and-crafts smell/texture, and that’s just not something I’m comfortable possibly ingesting. But the Revlon lip balm is really light and odorless! It makes my gigantic lips all nice and smooth. If this lip stain was a person, I would French kiss it.

Do I even have to say anything about this? I feel like there was a law that all fashion magazines had to write about this product between 2001 and 2005. To be fair, it is really great! The colour is a really beautiful dark pink/cherry red. Whenever I wear this as a blush, people tell me my skin looks amazing, but I find it’s not dark enough as a lip colour. I’m not into subtle colours for my lips—I like ‘em bold, just like my men (I’LL BE HERE ALL WEEK, TRY THE WINGS, etc). Also, it smells like roses. Who doesn’t like roses? I would give this lip stain a few firm but gentle kisses on the lips before ultimately deciding we should just be friends. Friends who make out every so often.

I lied, I haven’t tried this yet. It’s too expensive and I’m trying to save money! Duh, this shit ain’t free. Maybe I’ll get it a few pay cheques from now. So far all the lip stains I’ve tried have been red, and I’m curious to see if this pink lip stain could outdo my current favorite pink lipstick (NARS Roman Holiday… it’s the best.). If this lip stain was a person, it would be the object of a mild-to-moderate crush that I would never act on but frequently Facebook stalk.

What beauty product should I finally embrace in 2012? What’s this crazy “body wash” thing everyone keeps telling me about? Ha ha, just kidding, I know what body wash is. It’s the product that used to be in the empty bottles my boyfriend leaves stacked in our shower. No, seriously, tell me a beauty product to review and I’ll review it. I promise not to accidentally shoplift it. Your wish is my ill-advised Sephora purchase.

text by Haley Mlotek
illustration by Brianne Burnell

8 thoughts on “This Shit Ain’t Free: Lip Stains

  1. “someone who is very polished and together and not hungover at the WORN office struggling not to barf on Serah-Marie’s laptop”


  2. Mascara! Waterproof mascara! Fancy designer deodorants! Any perfume that comes in a ring! What’s with those BB creams that people are freaking out about and I think Maybelline did a ripoff of? Gel nail polishes that you can buy at Shoppers! Shellac manicures! Magnetic nail polish! Why don’t people use loose powder anymore? What about in the 1920′s when people used to rouge their knees – what about that? Bring that back!

  3. BB Cream!

    And I agree with you on CG’s lip stain … except I paid for mine and now it’s all dried up and icky.

  4. This is so very helpful! I have been thinking about being a lip colour-wearer and now I am convinced.

    NOW can you do dry shampoos next? Because I don’t get that stuff.

  5. Ah, you’re hilarious… I’d like something on non-waterproof mascaras. They seem harder and harder to find. And FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, find me a makeup-pencil sharpener that doesn’t get all crappy after you use it twice. I’ve started sharpening my eyeliners with a paring knife.

    Also, I think Benetint has an allergen in it that releases formaldehyde. It works amazingly well, I know, but I’m just saying. Heh.

  6. people used to rouge their knees?? i must know more.

    i keep wanting to try lip stain but am overwhelmed with options – i’m going to try the revlon one you recommend! seems like a good starter stain!

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