What is it: Etude House‘s Dear Darling Tint, in shade 01, Berry Red.
The gist of it: Dear Darling is a liquid-gel stain (think watered-down jell-o that’s only partially set) with a light synthetic cherry scent and a doe-foot applicator. The scent fades quickly, but the stain does not! As with most Asian cosmetics, the packaging is just adorable, and the attention to detail is incredible.
The stain factor: The answer is yes – it stains, and it does it well! I find you’ll get the best results if you layer this, slicking some onto clean, dry lips with the not-so-precise doe foot applicator and blotting it into your lips with your fingertip or a q-tip. I actually love this for my cheeks, though I’m wary of doing it too often in case of a breakout! Lips or cheeks, this is an easy to use stain that lasts for a nice long time. It’s sticky (again, like jell-o) when applied but itdries like water and “disappears” to the touch.
(If you’ll be using it on your cheeks, try blotting on tiny dots then blending with a foundation brush that you don’t mind staining, or a large, flat, cheap, synthetic art brush.)
Obviously not my photo, but try something like the one on the far right, or even the second from the right.
(Can I just take two seconds to meander off onto a different topic? I just googled “flat art brush” and I was like “haha that’s not a brush, that’s an eye!” And then I realized that it wasn’t just any eye, it was my eye. That. Was. Awesome.)
The downside: As much as I’d like to say there isn’t one, there is. With lips as dry as mine, this catches on the driest parts and hangs on for an ick factor of 7 on a scale of one to ick. In addition, because it’s a liquid-gel rather than a cream or a solid, this can not be used over any lip products whatsoever — you can certainly top it with something else, but I’d recommend using this on freshly ex foliated lips.
(As for the cheeks, just go for it. Unless you’re sopping with moisturiser that’s chock-full of silicones, you’ll be fine.)
The verdict: If you have access to this and you’re interested in trying out a stain, I would give this a go! It’s not the best stain ever by any means, but I can see the colour working for many people, and it’s easy to sheer out. Not to mention, it’s only $6… which, really, is like two lattés. And this stain would totally hold on through two lattés, so I say go for it.
Ooh, one last thing! A trick to stains: if you’re having trouble blending the stain before it dries, try applying the product to a dampened brush or sponge first, then using it to apply the stain! It’ll dilute the formula, sheering out more quickly and drying out less quickly. In other words, it’ll make it easier to work with!