theBalm continues to impress with Stainiac

What it is: TheBalm Stainiac tinted gel blush/lip stain in Prom Queen

The wear: Like many stains, this has a liquid-gel texture — meaning that it’s definitely not moisturizing, but also that it isn’t really drying. It wears for about the same amount of time as any other stain does on me, and as the colour fades, it doesn’t give that telltale ring of colour around your lip line. (However, like all stains, it might catch on dry bits, so don’t forget to exfoliate first!)
The colour: Prom Queen’s packaging is pretty deceiving — the description (“sheer rosy pink”) is spot-on, but the orangey text on the tube had me worried about the colour inside. It’s not too warm-toned, though, as you can see in the swatches!
indirect sunlight / flash
The catch: Also because of the liquid-gel texture, this takes a little getting used if you’re going to be using it on your cheeks. For instance, if you use an oil-based moisturizer (or just straight oil,) it won’t go onto your cheeks well at all — make sure to skip the oils and silicones, or “cheat” on your skincare for a day, skipping the oils and ‘cones on your cheeks altogether. It takes some time to apply, but the gorgeous stain lasts all day!

bare / stained. click to enlarge.

Don’t forget: never try to apply a stain to your lips if you’ve just put on lip balm! Like oil on your face, things like petroleum and beeswax will create a barrier between your lips and the stain, preventing it from absorbing properly for that all-day wear. Instead, put on your lip balm or gloss after staining!

topped with clear gloss.

The verdict? I’ve tried a lot of lip and cheek stains, but I can safely say that this is one of my favourites. It’s most similar to my Etude House stain, but I like the smell/taste of this one a lot more (read: there isn’t one of either,) and the packaging is so much easier to deal with. Plus, Prom Queen is a great colour — very wearable, and sheer enough to give almost all skintones a lovely, subtle tint.

AvailabilitySephora, Apothica,

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  • Alison

    I know this seems kind of random as this is an old entry (I'm currently reading through all your lip product reviews!), but do you have a favourite lip stain? I'd love to find a quality lip stain in a flattering, flushed colour, and I'm considering giving Hourglass' Sheer Aura lip stain a try, but I'd love a recommendation since you seem to have tried quite a few!

    • Haha, no worries! I actually do have a favourite lip stain, actually – this one! I'm due in to re-review it; for whatever reason, I've just been head over heels for it recently.

      For this one, at least, the trick is to exfoliate just before applying, and then to apply generously, wiping off the excess with a damp cotton pad or q-tip after a minute or two. It's ridiculously easy, and just really, really pretty :)

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