I love lipstick, and I slather on some kind of gloss, matte or stain every damn day of the week. I don't go to bed without applying some kind of balm. My smile or snores (shhhh) love to shine.
But you know who doesn't love wearing my lipstick? The people I love kissing most -- baby, big kid, boyfriend. And even though the infant can't yet speak, strangers look at us funny when her whole head is smeared with my cherry-red lip prints. Everyone else does that weird head dodge-air kiss thing if I come at them with big old hot pink mama mouth.
Thank goodness lip stain solves all the fancy lady/accommodating kisser problems.
If you're heading out on a hot first date, snuggling up with your long-time love or rushing out to catch a movie with your favorite animated feature kid companion, here are the lip stains to stash in your clutch, diaper bag or giant candy-concealing mama bag.
Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain
Thankfully, Birchbox took a little break on sending me hair conditioner samples to pop this gem into my January box. It smoothes on like a lip gloss but stays like a stain. It does apply light — what looks like red-red in the tube of Heartthrob shows up more like an orangey-pinky-slightly red on the smoocher. It takes about an hour to set (as evidenced by baby forehead and cheeks just this morning), but once it does, this lip stain sticks around for the work day. I love how sumptuous it feels sliding on and that there's no caking or flaking. Here's hoping mad make-up scientists are hard at work on a saturated classic red for next season. $20 at Birchbox
Maybelline Super Stay Lip Color
Want lip color you will wake up wearing? This is your stain, sweetheart. The reds are all deep and luscious to paint on a perfect Hollywood starlet pout. You will just have to take a little extra care in application because that one little spot in the corner of your mouth can be tricky to scrub off once this lipstick sets. That's good news when you get it right, and when you want your make up to look gorgeous beyond a major make-out moment. Have some olive oil or lip scrub on hand when you are ready to remove it. Avoid the weird flaking that can lead to a weird mall-girl mouth outline look by being sure to use the clear gloss coat that comes with it (why do I always forget that step?). This one's my go-to for fancy events when I want to be papparazzi-ready or days I'm feeling a no-fuss look. $9 at Ulta and most drug stores
tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint
Ideal for everyday commuting to the home office, gym or Trader Joe's, this lipstick is made like a toddler crayon for mama's mouth. It swipes on as creamy as a Burt's Bees balm but the hint of color stays much longer. It's not an all-day stain, but since you have it on for a grocery store sushi in the park lunch date or to impress the Zumba instructor with how gorgeously you sweat out that one samba-crunk move, you won't care that you have to reapply an hour later. The colors are not bold but they sure are lovely. $24 at Sephora
2 STAINS 2 SKIP
Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain used to be ammmmazing but a change of packaging and clearly formula has left this lipstick thin and tricky to apply evenly. Not worth even the $9.99 price point even though the rainbow of colors is so tempting.
Benefit BeneTint, oh, how I want to love you. How I long to toss you into my overnighter, my teensy sequin clutch, the littlest pocket of my super skinnies. How I yearn to dab you on to my cheeks for a bit of a blush and lightly across my lips for long-lasting kiss-me lusty rose hue. Sadly, you disappoint with dots that don't blend and a slidey, streaky consistency I can't seem to master and a dry feeling like I've got toilet paper stuck to my mouth all day. I'll save my $30, thank you.
Disclaimer: This isn't a sponsored post, simple a review based on very important lipstick research funded by my own dollars thrown to cashiers at CVS, Sephora and robots who make online purchases at 2 a.m. so damn easy.