How to Master the Lip Stain So It’s Not a Pain

Have you dealt with a love/hate relationship with lipstick over the years? As advanced as many lipstick formulas are today, they can still be a nuisance to work with. From wiping off on clothing and drinking glasses (don’t forget kissing!) to requiring constant reapplication, this tried and true makeup item isn’t always a woman’s best friend. Enter the lip stain.

Learning how to master the lip stain does call for trial and error. Depending on whether you’re a fast learner or not, this experience could involve lots of error but as the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” Before dashing your lips with a stain, however, it helps to understand how this makeup product works and what distinguishes it from traditional lipstick.

The word “stain” isn’t there by accident. Unlike regular lipstick, which is known for coming off easily, the pigments in a lip stain are designed to stay put… literally. By “staining” the lips, the color won’t smudge or wipe off. The biggest selling point of this makeup item is that it lasts for up to 12 hours (some even longer). Who wouldn’t love that?

To get the best results, prep the lips before applying the stain. This is as simple as exfoliating the lips to remove dry, flaky skin. Doing so ensures the lip stain goes on evenly and improves its lasting effect.

The first challenge for newbies working with lip stain is the application. Don’t have a steady hand or often have trouble lining your lips? Then lip stain might not be the right fit. What makes the pigment last so long is that it is designed to dry quickly after application. Using the application wand or roller, you’ll only have a limited amount of time from the moment the stain goes onto your lips until it dries. Practice applying this product quickly but carefully. In most cases, if you want a brighter color, you’ll have to add an extra coat.

Make a mistake? Unfortunately, you’ll have to start from scratch. The thing with lip stain is that it’s a bit finicky. Trying to fix the existing layer as is will make the finished results appear uneven. So you’ll have to remove the stain you’ve already applied, and start all over again.

Although the drying effect of the lip stain does wonders for creating a long-lasting effect, the downside is that it tends to cause chapped or dry lips. When using this product, have lip balm handy or apply a thin layer of gloss on top to give a pop to the color and maintain hydration. Or look for a lip stain that contains a hydrating formula to kill two birds with one stone.

Even though the application process sounds like a pain, once you get the hang of things, it won’t be hard to see why many women are die-hard fans of this makeup item. Aside from staying put on the lips, its formula prevents the dreaded “feathering” effect that tends to happen with lipstick, as well as the “bleeding” effect lip liners are often guilty of.

Now that you’ve enjoyed your time wearing a lip stain, you might be struggling with removing the color. The best way to do this without destroying your lips is to apply a coat of petroleum jelly and let it sit for at least 5 minutes (longer if you’ve applied more than one coat). Gently rub the stain off using a cloth or soft tissue.