We've been here before and we'll be here again. While you're at it, give The Lip Stain Game a read.
Before picking a lip stain, one needs to embark on a certain amount of soul-searching. Sure, you're game to stain your lips but with what? And for how long? Certainly some of the stains floating around the world are not for the commitment-phobic. Luckily, there are options—today we'll tackle two notable families of stains: the classic formula and the glossy balms.
There is no classic lip stain write-up without Benetint, that runny dye, perfect for a predictable-but-reliable berry stain. Put it on, and don't expect to be free of it for the rest of the day. As a relevant aside—you'd think Benefit's other offerings, like Lollitint would be the same—but surprise, they're not! Lolli has a thicker, creamier consistency that gives way to a truer pink. It's less bitten, more painted. For what it's worth, the other true stains we came across were the Tonymoly Delight Tony Tint (looks just like Benetint, just a hint redder) and Josie Maran's Coconut Watercolor Lip Stain and Shine. Dior Cheek & Lip Glow is the most subtle of the bunch—good for beginners and people who value packaging above all.
Then there are the gloss stains. It's sort of a “best-of-both-worlds' deal here—they look shiny and sticky at first (as you'd expect from a gloss), but once the product wears away, you're left with a stain, minus the shine. The YSL by far tastes the best, but Revlon wins in terms of longest-lasting color. The Mark Gloss Gorgeous is a good option for anyone who likes a brush applicator. And if you have opinions on formula, stainability, or color profile, please make them known below.
Eva Alt photographed by Tom Newton. Pictured: Dior Cheek & Lip Glow; Mark Gloss Gorgeous in Showy ; Tonymoly Delight Tony Tint in Cha Cha ; Benefit Benetint; Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Levres Glossy Stain in 8 Orange De Chine; ;Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain](http://rstyle.me/n/xserig66e) in Darling; ;Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Lip Stain and Shine](http://into.gl/1KYs14T) in Honeymoon Honey ; and Benefit Lollitint.