Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain & Balm in 'Gothic' - £7.99
I've been after a lip stain for a while as I love the idea of them giving a subtle flush of colour that's more suited to everyday wear than bold or heavy lipstick. I know a lot of brands have jumped on the lip stain/paint bandwagon recently but after hearing such good things about Revlon's 'Just Bitten' range I opted to give them a go first. At £8 they were a little pricier than some of the lip stains bought out by other high street brands but I figured you probably get what you pay for!
After much deliberation I settled on the shade 'Gothic' from their lip stain and balm collection. The whole idea is that the stain (which in this case resembles a felt tip pen) is accompanied by a lip balm on the opposite end of the pen so that you don't have to carry two seperate products around for touch ups. The first time I used this I made the mistake of applying the stain AFTER using the balm which apparently is a big no-no and resulted in patchy, uneven colour all around. After reading the instructions a little more carefully I realised that you're meant to use the stain on completely dry lips in order to ensure even application... whoops!
One of the most pleasing aspects of this stain is definitely the colour. A rich, vibrant red that when applied looks slightly more deep and burgundy that it does in swatches - especially in contrast to my super-pale skin. For a high street find the stain is ridiculously pigmented and although it does have a slightly watery consistency at first, after a few seconds (and a bit of lip licking) it settles on to the lips pretty well.
Everything else about the pen I'm afraid really didn't please me as much. Even when applying it to clean, dry lips as suggested I just can't seem to get an even finish and it clings to any particularly dry areas of my lips instantly, enhancing the appearance of any slight cracks or chaps that always appear during winter for me. The colour is easy to build, but no matter what I try I just can't seem to get it looking right on me which is a real shame as on certain areas of my lips I really do like it. I do try to take care of my lips as I would any other part of my skin so although any dryness or roughness on them really isn't THAT bad, this product just makes them look awful and isn't even helped by applying a layer or two of balm over the top of the stain.
The balm itself is ok, but really nothing special and it's not something I'd go out of my way to use. It gives a little hydration and feels as though it's doing something to 'seal' the colour onto the lips, but for me over time the stain just got patchier and patchier until it finally wore off completely after an hour or so. I'm really disappointed with this as I had such high expectations; but maybe that was the problem! I gave this to my mum in the end as I could tell I wouldn't get much use out of it and she didn't like it either, giving me some comfort that it's not just me that it doesn't work for! Whilst this hasn't put me off the idea of lip stains in general I definitely wont be returning to a Revlon one any time soon and am instead thinking of trying Collection 2000 next as their range is half the price (yay!) and I'm generally a fan of their products, so I'll be sure to keep you updated on how that goes!