The Sample: NEW Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains (Review, Swatches & Photos)

22 Jul

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.

L to R: Honey, Sweetheart, Rendezvous, Precious, 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.

Honey close-up

Sweetheart close-up

Rendezvous close-up

Precious close-up

Adore close-up

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!).

Click image to enlarge and for more details

Click image to enlarge and for more details

Click image to enlarge and for more details


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

»»Availability: (currently buy 1 get 1 50% off online), Target, Ulta (currently buy 1 get 1 50% off online), CVS (25% off beauty sale online), and other drugstores

»»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!

58 Responses to “The Sample: NEW Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains (Review, Swatches & Photos)”

  1. Sunny July 22, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    You picked great colors and the photos are great as usual, but it’s too bad to hear they’re not moisturizing! I can live with shorter wear time, but my lips are kind of picky and I find non-moisturizing products hard to wear.

    • becca July 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

      Oh me too, definitely. Even after testing all these, 2 days later my lips are still trying to rebalance themselves–they were SO incredibly dry afterwards! Did NOT like these as much as I had hoped too…I think the Clinique ones are more my style and will have to grab a few of those…:D

  2. Larie July 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Hm, I don’t like Tarte’s or Clinique’s pencils, so I’m not sure how I feel about these. Tarte’s version does get a lot brighter as it stains, I feel, which is a little bit disconcerting. If you want sheer lipsticks, Clinique’s Almost Lipsticks are a great option, and I think L’Oreal has some Rouge Caresse or something line that is pretty sheer.
    Btw, your photos are always so gorgeous!!!

    • becca July 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

      Thanks Larie! :D

      And Tarte’s stains are even BRIGHTER?!? Ok, count me out of those…why didn’t you like Clinique’s? I think I’m going to try those next. I generally love my tinted balms and as long as Clinique’s doesn’t stain in any way, I’m sure I’ll be a happy camper. Oh, and I did grab 4 of the L’Oreal Rouge Caresses, but I haven’t had a chance to test them yet so I’m excited. Have you tried them??

      • Larie July 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

        I haven’t tried the Rouge Caresses yet, so I’m excited to see what you think of them. Clinique’s versions are subtler than Tarte’s, but they simply aren’t moisturizing for my lips. I have weird lips, though :P

        • becca July 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

          Aw you poor thing–it sounds like you have such sensitive skin/lips! I would say my lips are pretty darn dry but sensitive they aren’t–so hopefully Clinique’s will work out for me. I really hope the L’Oreal Rouge Caresses are something that might work for you…I haven’t checked the ingredients list so I don’t know about parabens tho :/

  3. Tracy@Beauty Reflections July 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    I love these! Too bad they don’t work for you. I get almost 6 hours of colour on my lips and they stain quite evenly. I use mine all the time. Chanel Rouge Coco Shines only last about 45 minutes on me. I have 2 and won’t buy more of those.

    • becca July 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

      Really?? I wonder why they stained so unevenly on me…I mean, it was BAD–especially Sweetheart. I was a patchy mess by the end up 4 hours or so…plus they were soooo drying. Were they not for you?

      I think feel is much more important to me than staying ability. I haven’t tried the Rouge Coco Shine yet, but for something like the Burberry Lip Mist, I definitely don’t mind reapplying every couple of hours as long as it feels good on my lips.

      • Lola July 23, 2012 at 1:57 am #

        Tracy, you are so lucky that they work for you!! I wish that they did for me as well! The lip butters, on the other hand, are a total hit for me.

  4. Lola July 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Hi Becca, I found them pretty drying as well. I far prefer their lip butters! pretty much a miss for me. great review!

    • becca July 22, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

      Thanks Lola! I much prefer their Lip Butters too–I’ll take a comfortable, moisturizing formula that I have to reapply every 2 hours over a long-wearing, DRYING formula any day of the week!!

      • Lola July 23, 2012 at 1:55 am #

        I completely agree, Becca. In the first batch that I bought 3 of the 4 colors basically turned into the same color on me, but I didn’t really notice how drying they were– likely because I didn’t wear them all day. It was when I bought the second batch of them that I noticed how badly they actually chapped my lips. I love the concept of them, but in actuality they were a total miss for me. :(

        • becca July 23, 2012 at 1:59 am #

          I know–wasn’t it weird that a lot of them seemed to turn the same pink color after a while? That was really disappointing for me–particularly because I was in LOVE with the shade that Honey started out as :/ And my lips are STILL trying to recover from the dryness that these inflicted on my poor lips!

          • Lola July 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

            I know- it was so strange– you remember my swatches from my first batch– three of the four colors swatched to nearly the identical shade of pink! I was completely disappointed by that– then the lip drying issue ended up being the real deal breaker for me! Uncomfortable shoes and lip products don’t belong in our lives!! It’s really weird how Honey changed so much!! I’m actually not surprised that your lips are still recovering! BTW– I just nominated you and your FANTASTIC blog for the Liebster Award!! xoxo

            Here’s the link:


          • becca July 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

            Aww oh my gosh Lola–you are so sweet! Thank you SO much! I feel so special :D

  5. Memoiselle July 23, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    Too bad these things are not what you like. These things have not hit my local stores yet but I would love to try when they are here. ahhh Becca how I wish some swatches are on your lips, let us take a peek of you ;)

    • becca July 23, 2012 at 2:01 am #

      Lol, believe it or not but I’m working on getting some lip-swatches up! I still feel like I can’t get them to look good or the lighting just right but maybe once I do, I’ll update this post with swatches of the before & after staining effect. I know it would have been really useful in this post particularly–but I just can’t bring myself to post them yet. I feel like my lips look SO weird close-up!

      What’s your secret to such great looking lip-swatch photos?!? :P

      • Memoiselle July 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

        I don’t feel I am having great lip swatch photos, but thank you :) FYI I took tonnes of picture and only picked one or two, the rest are ugly LOL :D

  6. dani@callitbeauty July 23, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    I really like Honey & Sweetheart! Such pretty shades… Though it’s such a shame they’re not moisturizing. My lips have been sooo dry so I’ve been sticking to lip balms, but i’m missing having some colour on my lips. =/

    • becca July 23, 2012 at 9:08 am #

      Honey is just definitely gorgeous–it’s one of my favorites out of the 5 I got. Precious is really pretty too. I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I do, but once it gets kinda peachy-nude on the lips its really lovely and wearable. Too bad about the formula though :/

  7. Popblush July 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Rendezvous is so pretty – would love a shade like that for the upcoming spring/summer. What a bummer they were drying and the balm didn’t stay. These may not be great for me as I tend to have dry lips and wouldn’t want them accentuated! Thanks for the review hun!

    • becca July 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

      I have really dry lips too, so I was majorly disappointed. :/ I will admit, after giving my lips a really good scrub yesterday, I tried Honey again and it looked a lot better. So they are pretty–it just takes a lot of work to make them look good :P

  8. Tina @ My Highest Self July 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    It’s funny, the fact that these were very bright is precisely why I enjoyed the ones I purchased! Especially loving Rendezvous, my first orange lip! Love all the swatches, I’ll have to pick up a few more of these :).

    • becca July 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

      Lol, I guess I’m just really not used to wearing bright colors on my lips…or color at all. I’m more of a tinted balm girl, so this was a HUGE change for me! Which colors do you have Tina?

  9. Liz July 24, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    I’m not a fan of the Tarte stains so I’ll be staying away from these as well. My lips are crazy dry and need much more balmy formulas like the Clinique Chubbies. Great review!

    • becca July 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      I agree–I should have gone with my gut instincts and gotten the Clinique Chubby Sticks. You know I am ALL over tinted balms :P

  10. Makeup Morsels July 24, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    Ok first of all, what’s on your nails?! I love it! The packaging for these is adorable, but I could do without the drying effect. My lips are dry enough to begin with. I do think Sweetheart is a gorgeous shade though!

    • becca July 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

      Aw thanks MM. I’m using Essie’s Bazooka on my nails–new for Summer 2012. It’s an awesome jelly polish. I JUST love Essie polishes in general :)

      And I agree. These are certainly pretty, but not worth the effort. I’m going to try the CLinique ones next–much more along the lines of what I was looking for

  11. Shivani July 24, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    aww you dont like them? that’s too bad, because I thought these would be great. Have you tried Clinique’s chubby sticks?

    • becca July 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

      NO! But I think I’m way past overdue on trying them. I love a good tinted balm, and I think these will be perfect for me. Have you tried any colors you can recommend?

      • Shivani July 26, 2012 at 8:02 am #

        If you can wait for a couple of weeks (I’d say 2?), I will do a review of 8 new shades. Though, I have to say, that I am not a harsh critic at all. But those do not have the pepperminty taste – actually no taste at all. They also moisturize really well, but I do not have dehydrated lips. Also, what kind of shades do you like?? Maybe I can do an early rec?? :)

        • becca July 26, 2012 at 9:06 am #

          Aw youre sweet! I have dry lips so a moisturizing formula is always good in my book–the sheer color is just a plus! I usually go for peaches, coral-pinks, warm pinks, dusty roses, and mauves, and sometimes a plum is nice too! Oh, and lately I’ve been obsessed with a good pinky-nude!

          I can’t wait for your review!

          • Shivani July 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

            Check out curvy candy, mighty mimosa & bountiful blush. :)

          • becca July 27, 2012 at 3:41 am #

            Ooh I looked at swatches online and those are lovely. Thanks for the recommendations Shivani! :D

  12. Beauty Box July 24, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    I have only tried Precious so I can’t vouch for the brighter shades but just on the look and feel of these balm stains, I still prefer the lip butters way more…They are just more moisturizing…

    • becca July 25, 2012 at 2:18 am #

      I agree! Out of the 5 I tried, Precious is definitely one of my favorites though–and that’s probably because it was the lightest so it didn’t a.) change color as much, and b.) fade as unevenly as the rest

  13. Rinny July 25, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    Aww that’s such a shame these didn’t meet your expectations. I was hoping these would be a good affordable dupe for the Clinique chubby sticks. I love how Honey and Precious look in your swatches. I like the idea of a stain since they generally last longer, but I find that most stains dry very unevenly on me. I have really dry lips already too, so these are probably a no-no for me :/

    • becca July 25, 2012 at 2:19 am #

      I was hoping these would be a dupe too, Rinny. It was my first time trying a stain, so I don’t know if this is a common thing, but I don’t like fussy lip products. Clinique’s version definitely seems much more up my alley as I adore tinted lip balms!

  14. Joyce July 25, 2012 at 6:11 am #

    I was also not a fan of the tarte stains… I have one of these (lovesick) but have only used it once. Was drying on me but not horribly so that day, but who knows how it will work overall? The boyfriend loved the bright shade. Honey looks pretty, and even if it darkens that might be ok on my lips? Maybe I’ll give that one a try sometime – I think I have a coupon laying around somewhere. Bummer it wasn’t so great for you though :( At least the photos are gorgeous!

    • becca July 26, 2012 at 5:54 am #

      I must say, Precious and Honey were definitely the best of the lot. After giving my days a rest then exfoliating thoroughly, I tried Honey again and actually liked it a lot better–so I would definitely try it out if I were you! It’s really a pretty shade…I just liked it a little more before it darkened

  15. Memoiselle July 25, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    Oh my! I think I need to put some comment in this post again!! I LOVEEE that heart shape in your logo, it’s just sooo pretty! Lovely!!! :)

    • becca July 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

      Aww thanks hon!! I’m still trying to figure out the overall look of my logo but I thought for now, this would work to add just a little color until I can get a full redesign. I’m glad you like it–it’s always nice to get feedback :)

  16. Miss Kwong July 25, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    I so wanna try them. WHat is the biggest difference with these lipstains when compared to tradiaitonal lipsticks?
    these colours are fabulous!

    Say meow to me on:
    Miss Kwong: From Catwalk to Classroom

    • becca July 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

      I think compared to *most* lipsticks, this one has a balmier feel and most of them (except Sweetheart and Adore) and a bit sheerer in color. They feel nice and comfortable on the lips, though in actuality they are a bit drying–especially after an hour or two. But they work by staining your lips–so once the top layer of “main” product has worn off, it will have stained your color a hue similar to the shade in the tube except MUCH brighter!

  17. Senyth July 25, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    It definitely looks like Tarte’s dupe. I love Sweetheart and Honey. I hope to get spot these soon locally, or buy this via eBay. I have never tried a balm stain, though I love lip stains :)

    • becca July 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

      I’m the exact opposite–I LOVE tinted balms but had never tried a balm stain before, so I was really, really excited. In the end, I didn’t like it a whole lot, but they’re nice for every once in a while…as long as you MAKE SURE to exfoliate your lips well. I also find it helps if prior to putting it on, I apply a layer of super moisturzing lip balm on my lips, let it sink in thoroughly, then wipe it off to apply these balm stains. It helps your lips not dry out too much and the color to apply evenly.

  18. Laura July 25, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    I had such high hopes for these. As a devoted nude lip lover, I tried the lighter shades and wasn’t impressed with the colors. I’ll probably just stick to Lip Butters. :)

    • becca July 26, 2012 at 12:40 am #

      lol that seems to be the general consensus–everyone prefers the Lip Butters :P I definitely do too though. This was a major disappointment for me. However, I just got a few of the L’Oreal Colour Riche Rouge Caress lipsticks, so I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll be the perfect, moisturizing, sheer lipsticks!

  19. Christine Brigid July 27, 2012 at 6:37 am #

    Excellent review, thank you! I just picked up my first one of these today– I couldn’t find them anywhere. I liked the one I got, although it left behind a pink smear on one of my front teeth. It’s been a loooong time since I have gotten lipstick on my teeth. I surely hope I wasn’t talking to anyone cute before I caught it….

    • becca July 27, 2012 at 6:41 am #

      LOL! That’s funny that you mention that because the same thing happened to me while I was testing Sweetheart! In my defense, I usually don’t wear “real” lipsticks or bright lip colors, so I wasn’t used to having to check for this! :P

  20. Yessie July 28, 2012 at 1:19 am #

    Excellent review! And I love your pics:))
    I agree this aren’t my favorites and I have two but don’t reach for then nearly as much as I thought I would:/

    • becca July 28, 2012 at 1:51 am #

      Thanks Yessie!

      Yes, I was disappointed with these. I wear Honey and Precious the most, but it’s still not often enough :/ Waste of money

  21. svetlana August 3, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    I remember when Jessica Biel first graced the TV’s with these intriguing looking stains. Now packaging of products get me all the time, and I have been curious about these for awhile. I am glad I went and purchased. I think I like the Fresh sugar stains still as a fave.

    • becca August 3, 2012 at 8:16 am #

      Ooh how exciting–which ones did you get Svetlana? Did you have a similar problem with uneven fading and them drying out your lips? I definitely agree–Fresh’s version is so much better in my opinion. I am dedicated to Sugar Honey :)

  22. Rae September 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    I have this in honey and I like it a lot!

    • becca October 1, 2012 at 2:01 am #

      Honey is definitely my favorite COLOR out of all of them. But I just can’t get past the drying formula :/ Comfort is a BIG factor for me when testing lip products. I’m usually a tinted balm kinda girl so you can imagine I am very used to wearing a light, moisturizing product!

  23. sonia October 1, 2012 at 1:22 am #

    hi, i’m a late bloomer when it comes to makeup and i just recently found out about the craze regarding chubby sticks and revlon lip butters and balm stains. I’ve been doing my research and trying out colors in stores.
    I wanted to love Honey too because of the initial color but it also dried up to a bright pink stain that I’m not used to. I can live with it but I don’t think I’ll be going for the color too often so I opted not to buy this product.
    The Revlon lip butters, on the other hand, are great. I’ve gotten pink truffle and brown sugar, both natural lip colors.
    I’ve also tried Chubby stick and they didn’t dry up my lips unlike the Revlon balm stains
    Have you heard of the Clinique Chubby stick intense? They seem to be similar to the balm stains but will probably be more moisturizing for me. I can’t wait to try those out.

    • becca October 1, 2012 at 2:04 am #

      I have heard of them–I’ve been wanting to try the Clinique ones for a while but for decided to go with the Revlon ones because I wanted to try a similar product that was more affordable first. Bad decision…I’ll probably never wear any of them again and I could have saved my $ and gotten a few of the Clinique ones instead, which I’m pretty certain I’ll like. Ah well, you live and learn right? :P

      The Pink Truffle and Brown Sugar Lip Butters sound gorgeous–I can never have enough “MLBB” shades so I’ll check those out. Thanks Sonia! :)

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