Pros: nice gel stain for cheeks; neutral, natural reddish-pink color; blends easily; convenient packaging; not drying
Cons: feels sticky & doesn?t quite ?set? on lips; staying power is only average; limited colors
Its no secret I love makeup. I love reading about new products and trying new things. But I dont ever want to look like Im wearing a lot of makeup. Especially when it comes to blush and lip color. I want to have flushed cheeks and rosy lips that look natural, and I want it to last all day. Now is that too much to ask? I love the idea of lip and cheeks stains- a liquid or gel product to stain my naturally pale cheeks and lips the shade of berry I wish I was born with- but the reality is Ive yet to find that perfect product that works equally well on my lips and cheeks. Ive come close with Philosophys the Supernatural Lip & Cheek Tint, but (big surprise), its been discontinued. I was looking around www.beauty.com about a month ago, because I had some drugstore dollars I was just itching to spend, when I came across theBalm Stainiac in Beauty Queen.
Here is the product description and ingredients from www.beauty.com:
Apply to cheeks for a hint of tint... Layer it on to pop the color. (For lips too.)
Water, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Methylparaben, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Red 33 (CI 17200), Flavor
theBalm Stainiac is a gel stain that comes in a clear plastic tube with a silver screw-on cap, with an attached sponge-tipped applicator (very similar to a tube of lip gloss). The tube packaging is nice and compact, and this would be a great product to throw in a purse or travel bag, since its a convenient size and it seems pretty durable, so you wouldnt have to worry about it breaking or leaking. The shade I own is Beauty Queen, which is a translucent reddish-pink color (like a gel version of BeneTint). It is also available in Prom Queen, which seems to be a lighter, baby-pink, and Homecoming Queen which seems to be a peach shade. It was a no-brainer that I was going to get the Beauty Queen shade. The others looked way too light (even for my pale skin) to give me the staining effect I want. It would be nice if there were more colors available (although maybe if this line is successful, they would consider expanding the color selection). Ideally, I like more of a berry or plum shade, better.
theBalm Stainiac is a breeze to apply. I just remove the sponge-tipped applicator from the tube and smear it on my cheeks. There is just the right amount on the applicator to apply to one cheek, then I just dip it in again and apply it to my other cheek. The texture of theBalm Stainiacis like a lightweight gel. It feels cool and slightly sticky at first. There is a very, very faint fruity smell (and taste, when I use it on my lips). I just use my fingertip to blend it in a circular motion on the apples of my cheeks, fading it upwards and outwards towards my hairline. Because it has a light texture, it blends easily, and because its a gel, it does not dry too quickly or run down my cheek, as liquid stains will. I always apply this to moisturized skin. I dont think this would blend as easily over dry, matte, or powdered skin. This applies easily over liquid foundation, but if Im wearing my LOreal Bare Naturale Powdered Mineral Foundation, I always apply theBalm Stainiac first, and then let it dry for a minute or two before applying any other face product over top. I can also easily layer theBalm Stainiac, as long as I allow it to dry before applying a second layer, if I want more color.
I will usually just apply one layer of theBalm Stainiac for everyday, and it gives my cheeks a nice, natural rosy flush. The color is not quite as intense or as longlasting as my Tarte Cheekstain in Flush. But it does give my cheeks a hint of rosy color. This is a good product for those times when you want some color but dont want to look made-up. I can easily layer a little shimmery creme blush or powder blush overtop, if I really want to make my cheeks pop.
The staying power on my cheeks is pretty good. It just gradually fades away throughout the day, but my cheeks still have a bit of rosy color after about 8 hours. If I want to, I can easily reapply theBalm Stainiac over the face makeup Ive worn all day (even if Im wearing powdered products, but I do not apply them heavily) and it doesnt ever look streaky or blotchy.
Unfortunately, this just doesnt perform as well as a lip stain. The color is nice enough on my lips (although Id prefer if it was just a little deeper). I always apply it to clean, dry lips. The sponge-tipped applicator makes it easy to apply and blend. But the gel texture just isnt ideal for my lips. The slipperiness that makes it blend so easily on my cheeks just feels kind of wet and glue-y on my lips. If I press my lips together, they stick together a little bit. Its not quite as tacky as lip gloss, but it doesnt feel like it sinks into my lips. It just kind of sits there. Its not drying at all, like lip stains tend to be, but its not moisturizing enough to wear alone. And it just doesnt ever seem to set on my lips, whether I wait 2 minutes or 10 minutes, before applying any other lip product over top. Whatever lip gloss or balm I apply overtop seems to dilute the color of theBalm Stainiac a little bit. The color lasts on my lips about 2 hours, which is average as far as lip gloss, lip stick, or lip balm goes, but its not long-wearing enough to be considered a stain on my lips.
theBalm Stainiac has not irritated my skin or lips in any way. It just sort of fades away on its own, but it will remove easily with facial cleanser.
The bottom line is like I like theBalm Stainiac as a cheekstain. It gives a really natural hint of color to my cheeks that lasts most of the day. The tube style packaging makes it nice for touch-ups or travel, and the light gel texture allows ample time for blending. But I still like my Tarte Cheekstain better, since there is a wider selection of shades, and the color goes on a bit more intense and lasts longer.
But I was really hoping this would be a good multitasker and perform equally as well as a lip stain, but it fell short in this area, as many lip and cheek stains do. While it is easy to apply and doesnt dry my lips, it doesnt really sink in the way I would expect a lip stain to. And the staying power is no better than any other lip product I regularly use.
I recommend it as it is a good cheek stain, and its performance is fair on the lips. But Ill still keep searching for that one product that looks just as good and performs just as well when used on my lips and my cheeks.
theBalm Stainiac is available online at www.sephora.com and www.beauty.com. I would imagine its available in beauty speciality stores such as Sephora, as well. It costs $14 no matter where it is purchased, which I think is reasonable, and mid-range as far as these types of products go.