I was initially skeptical to try these balm stain pencils because, let's face it, a balm that has a staining effect? Yeah, right. Heard that before. But Revlon definitely know what they are doing because their Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains are just that, they are lip balms that truly stain!
These chubby lip pencils come in a twist up form – no need to sharpen. Just twist it up and apply. Talk about convenience. The cap does close pretty tightly so no need to worry it will fall off. I have to admit the first thing that sold me was the colorful packaging! And the better part? The color you see on the tube is the exact same color you will get once you apply on the lips so no guessing around here. There are 12 shades to choose from but in this review, I'll be showing the 7 I picked up:
- 035 Charm – peach
- 050 Precious – nude
- 040 Rendezvous – coral
- 001 Honey – mauve
- 015 Cherish – bubble gum pink
- 020 Lovesick – cherry red
- 025 Sweetheart – coral pink
Unlike most lip stains, these do not dry out my lips at all. The formula doesn't feel like a complete lip balm to me, but more like a combination of wax, gel, and balm. They glide on really smoothly on the lips without tugging. I detect a subtle minty scent upon application that disappears quickly. They are not sticky in any way, in fact, they are quite comfortable to wear and they do not settles into lip lines. The finish is definitely on the glossy/shiny side that lasts for a couple hours.
As for the pigmentation, it is crazy! Especially for darker shades such as Lovesick and Sweetheart. One thing I notice too is that the colors do change (they get more saturated) a little bit after a few minutes of application, at least on my lips. I'm not sure if everyone else is experiencing the same thing. So for Lovesick and Sweetheart, I have to be extra careful by lightly applying a very thin coat, then wait a few minutes, let the color adjust, then build more layers until I get the desired intensity. I did not experience the color-changing issue with the lighter colors such as Charm, Precious, or Honey – these go on sheer but can be built up, and they remain true to their color.
Onto the real test, the staining effect! On the arm swatches above, you can see that these balms do stain. And I mean, seriously stain. It took me 2 days to completely remove all trace of colors off my arm especially for Lovesick and Sweetheart. I tried makeup wipes, cleansing oils, dish detergent, but they would not come off so I gave up and just waited for it to disappear on its own. Charm, Precious, Rendezvous, Honey, and Cherish were easy to remove and did not cause me any trouble.
My favorite colors of the bunch have to be 025 Sweetheart and 040 Rendezvous; they are the perfect pink and coral for my pigmented lips. Especially on days when I need a quick perk-me-up, I just grab one of these, swipe it on, and I'm ready to go. They add such a nice pop of color to the otherwise bare face.
These balm stains definitely exceeded my expectation. The vibrant colors, the staining effect, the hydration they provide, and the ease of use, there is just nothing not to like about them. The price point is pretty cheap compared to other higher brands that offer similar product. But at $7 a pop, it still can get expensive if you plan to buy more than a few colors (and I suspect you will want to), so I hope my review and swatches will help you narrow down the choice of colors you want to pick up. Let me know if you purchase any and if you like them as much as I do!