The Jack of ALL (Lipcolor) Trades
Remember about a million years ago when Revlon came out with their Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm? And Jessica Biel was in the commercials and she asked, "Have you ever been bitten?" Maybe it's just because I watch a lot of teen/lady-centric TV, but it felt like that ad was on ALL THE TIME, and it always made me SUPER uncomfortable. Every time I begged Jessica Biel to stop asking me if I've ever been bitten, and she KEPT DOING IT. I'll never forgive her for that. But it worked, because I bought one of those magic marker lipstains to see what all the fuss was about.
It was a huge letdown. Not only did that dumb marker dry out my lips, the stain was patchy and the magic marker applicator wasn't great at applying the product (plus it dried out really quickly, so even if you did like it, you couldn't like it for long). I ended up being bitten all right... by Jessica Biel's empty promises. OH BURN.
The marker must have been a flop, because from what I can tell it's no longer available. Instead, there is now a Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain (as opposed to Lipstain + Balm, as the previous product was called) and it comes in a crayon instead of a marker. I don't know why children's art supplies are the latest beauty inspiration, but as a person who parlayed their love of arts and crafts into a love of makeup, I'm all for it. So now Revlon is in the insanely popular lip crayon game, but they're upping the stakes, because now there are THREE types of crayons to choose from. You've got the revamped Just Bitten, which is your basic lipstain/balm/crayon (I have this one in the shade Smitten, but it's like any other lip crayon so I'm not going to rave about it here. Trust me though, it's lovely), then there's a matte version, which I haven't tried only because 1) I'm not a huge fan of matte lips, and 2) Because I'm afraid it will be too reminiscent of the Just Bitten Magic Marker that ruined so many lives years ago. Finally, we have what I think is the true innovator of this reimagined line of balmstains: The Lacquer Balms.
I've sampled quite a few of the lip crayons on the market, and i have yet to find anything that is a dupe for Revlon's ColorBurst Lacquer Balm. It applies like a balm, but it wears like a lipgloss, but with the color payoff of a highly pigmented lipstain. It's seriously like the best of EVERY world in one little crayon that you can get at any drugstore. I have three, and while they look somewhat similar in shade, they're completely different and I need them all, OKAY?!
Provocateur (which is called Provocative on Ulta's site, but mine definitely says Provocateur) is a bright red. This is the closest the Lacquer Balms come to a true red, and it seems like a color that will compliment most skintones. I have a few red lip crayons and this one is either my favorite, or perhaps tied for first. I can't choose! Every crayon is special in its own way!
Flirtatious is a darker plummy-pink with flecks of glitter in the crayon that, from what I can tell, don't show up on your lips when you apply it. This one is probably my favorite, because it's the most versatile. It can work for either night or day. It's also only slightly more va-voom than my normal lipcolor (as in, without any lipcolor on. As in, the color of my bare lips), so that made it an easy way to experiment with the new formula of Revlon's balmstains. You see, Flirtatious was my gateway lip crayon.
Vivacious is a bright, cheerful pink that is great for my skintone. My cool undertones and pale, pale skin make this color really pop. Normally when I wear the Lacquer Balms I apply them fairly heavily, then blot with a tissue. Vivacious is the only one that I feel the need to really tone down, but that's more because of my own reluctance to wear a bright lipcolor than my dislike of the color itself. I actually love this shade and find it very flattering - I just need to ramp up to it.
Now for a quick note about use and wear. You do need a mirror to apply these, because they do have a lipstain element and if you color outside the lines you will regret it. Also, they claim that you won't need to sharpen them, and while that's true, it's not the whole story. See in the above picture how the center crayon (Flirtatious) doesn't have the nice shape of the other two? That's because I sort of smushed it when I was swatching. I'm fairly certain that all I need to do is take a tissue, wrap it around my finger, and kind of re-shape the crayon back into a crayon shape. I speak from experience, though, when I tell you that these lip crayons are infinitely less messy and easier to apply when they end in a nice point. So re-shaping may need to occur!
Overall, I'm a HUGE fan of lip crayons, but I give special props to Revlon for coming up with the ultra-shiny lacquer version. These crayons do exactly what they promise, and I don't have to worry about Jessica Biel asking me gross personal questions in the process.