Sigh…let’s pretend for a second that I don’t suck at getting a move on new items/trends and talk about Revlon’s new(ish) Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains. Have any of you tried them? I had been wanting to try both the Clinique Chubby Pencils and Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Stains for quite some time (since they were first released, actually. See? I suck…) but never got around to it….so yeah. When these Revlon versions were released and everyone started raving about them, it sort of lit a fire under my behind and I took my little butt to CVS and picked up a few!
*Forewarning: this is a lengthy post!
I picked up 001 Honey, 025 Sweetheart, 040 Rendezvous, 050 Precious, and 055 Adore. Honey is sweet, gray-tinged pink in the tube and a lovely medium dusty-rose on the lips. This one in particular is very “my lips but better”. Sweetheart is a brilliant, cool-toned hot-pink in the tube and on the lips (slightly brighter on the lips). Rendezvous is a fresh, orangey-coral in both the tube and on the lips (though more coral on the lips). Precious is a really pale nude in the tube. It’s not as pale once swatched/applied–plus there’s a very faint hint of pinkish-peach to it. On some, it might be more pinky-nude–depending on your natural lip color. On me, it almost seemed kind of like a peachy-nude. Lastly, we have Adore, which is a deep, brownish-red in the tube and a medium warm-red on the lips. All the shades except Sweetheart contained incredibly fine micro-shimmers–but the only shades that showed a slight shimmer once on the lips was Rendezvous and Adore.
Before we get to the good stuff, let’s talk packaging. The Revlon Balm Stains come housed in the adorable chunky crayon-like pencils not unlike the ones that made Clinique’s version a success. They are the perfect thickness, in my opinion–not too big around but thick enough that you get maximum grip and control over the pencil. It makes application a breeze. The tip of the pencil packaging and the thickness allow for precise definition of the lips while still being able to shade in large areas. These are also convenient because there is no need to sharpen–you simply twist at the silver bottom part of the pencil and more product comes up.
I’m impressed with the smooth texture of these. They aren’t too “slippy” but do glide around nicely on the lips. That being said, I did notice that some of them had more slip than others–Sweetheart was pretty slippery and could be streaky if your lips weren’t dry enough upon application. Precious and Honey had less shine but applied much more evenly. Still, none of them are waxy or sticky in the slightest. Though these Balm Stains feel nice and emollient on the lips, they’re not very moisturizing on their own. All of them can be applied sheerly or built-up for a more opaque color. After playing around with these a bit more, I also realized that, silly me, I had failed to realize that though it has “Balm Stain” in the name, that it really acted as a true stain. Well, imagine my surprise when I went to wipe off Sweetheart to test Adore and found that the color had stained my lips (it was a real “duh” moment). For some reason, I kept thinking that they would be a lot like the Clinique version, but my understanding is that Clinique’s is a tinted balm. This is a balm stain…more like Tarte’s version in that regard.
These do have a light pepperminty smell and taste to them. It’s not terribly strong like some other balms can be, though. Still, I could have gone without it. I don’t really prefer it myself, and I think that when beauty brands add it to their lip products, it’s very risky because so many people are sensitive to that kind of stuff. It can also have a bit of a drying effect on the lips, a fact that many have mentioned in their reviews. Luckily, the formula is only slightly tingly–it’s more just a light minty smell you’re getting.
These lasted about 3 hours on average before disappearing. They have a nice, almost semi-glossy shine to them initially, but it wears off after just 2 1/2-3 hours, however–so if you like a really fresh-looking application, then you would have to reapply often. Like I said, there is a stain left behind once the product has worn off, but I certainly don’t think it looks the best left that way and prefer to reapply often. The stains, at least, stay put for hours (I only got an additional 3 hours in before I had to apply something to my lips. They were SO dry!).
Speaking of stains: it’s interesting–the stain left behind by Precious was a lot pinkier/peachier than the actual product. Initially, it just seems like a really pale tan/nude shade. After an hour, you can see that there is some peachy-pink tones beginning to show through from the stain underneath taking hold on the lips. After 2 hours, it is a warm peachy-nude shade. After 3 hours, the product is gone and you’re left with a medium peach stain. With Sweetheart, it’s already pretty bright going on–but once the color has had time to set and stain your lips underneath, I feel like the color really intensifies and becomes a vibrant fuchsia. This one was the most pigmented of the bunch. It also lasted the longest (I hit the 3 1/2 hour mark with still-shiny lips) and left the brightest stain. Honey also gradually darkens and becomes a bit more of an intense pink over time, the resulting stain a shade or so darker and more rosy. I very much prefer the original, dusty-rose shade and was bummed at how pink it became. It would have been one of my new favorite lip shades had it not changed color. Rendezvous slowly transitioned from a semi-sheer orange-coral to a vibrant pinky-coral stain. Adore started as a brick-red tint and became a bright warm-red stain. A problem I kept running into was that all of them seemed to stain the inner rim of my lips a lot brighter for some reason (think: your lips after eating a popsicle except much worse). With Sweetheart, it was the most noticeable and patchy. These Balm Stains also really accentuate dry patches, so be sure to exfoliate your lips prior to wear!
I was pretty darn disappointed with these–I was so hoping that I would find my new summertime lippie. They’re a nice option for lipstick-wearers who want a lighter formula for summer. But they didn’t last as long as I thought they would and they also weren’t very moisturizing…a problem when you have a product that is supposed to stay put on your lips for hours. I can remedy this by applying a layer of balm over the stain once the top layer of product has worn away, but if you apply anything before that, it will effect the stain and the evenness of the color. All in all, it’s a decent product for once in a while use–but it’s by no means a new go-to of mine. I prefer something really easy, and this stain required too much maintenance for my liking. Still, I know there are many people out there who love these. There are 12 shades available in all, so be sure to check them out if you’re curious. And who knows, you may have better luck than me!
Pros: sheer, balmy formula makes it easy to wear and apply without a mirror; chubby pencil packaging is sturdy and makes application a cinch; come in a variety of lovely shades; affordable
Cons: they tend to change colors on your lips; the actual balm doesn’t last very long on the lips for most the shades; inclusion of peppermint can be drying and potentially irritating; doesn’t provide any moisture whatsoever, but the addition of lip balm over top can result in streaky, uneven coverage; each color exhibited varying degrees of uneven fading; accentuates dryness
»»Pricing: $8.99/0.09 oz. (2.7 g.) *please note: prices may vary from store to store
»»Recommended for: anyone who loves to wear color on their lips but wants a lighter formula for summertime; anyone who loves a lip stain
»»Overall Rating: C-
So. did these make me less scared of wearing bright lipstick? Not exactly…they were a little too bright for my taste. I could have handled the original shade it started out as on my lips, but once the stain started to take hold, it got scarily bright for me. I think I’ll regress back to sheerer shades and more moisturizing formulas…like Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shines perhaps?? I promise I will have my review up for Boy soon!!! Until then, let me know what you think of these! Will you be purchasing them? Have you had better luck with these or do you know some tips that might make them work a little better for me? Share!