The latest drugstore answer to YSL's Glossy Stains, Revlon's Moisture Stains came out this past spring. I held off on trying them for a few reasons, the first one entirely irrational: I find the phrase "moisture stain" disgusting. "Oh, that's a pretty color on your lips. What is it?" "Thanks, it's a MOISTURE STAIN." Also, my sensitive diva lips react badly to many long-wearing formulas, and I just don't wear glosses very often. But after reading positive reviews from Lena and Liz, among others, I decided to buy a Moisture Stain in a color underrepresented in my collection: Barcelona Nights, a bright, warm reddish pink. Lena mentioned that it reminded her of Dior's Fluid Stick in Wonderland, and having swatched Wonderland a few months ago, I think that's absolutely right.
Here's Barcelona Nights compared to two vaguely similar pinks: Maybelline Vivid Rose (left) and Milani Flamingo Pose (right). Vivid Rose is cooler, appearing almost purple next to Barcelona Nights, while Flamingo Pose is softer and warmer. Barcelona Nights is slightly too cool to be considered coral, but only slightly. It reminds me of one of my favorite nail polishes, Chanel Tapage.
Like the Glossy Stains, the Moisture Stains come in a vial with a doe-foot applicator. Unfortunately, the Moisture Stain vials are opaque, so it's hard to know how much you've used.
I put on Barcelona Nights just as I do Rouge Gouache: one layer that I work into my lips slightly with my finger and allow to set for a minute, then another layer applied with the brush to add gloss and full color. The formula feels sticky and gooey when it first goes on, but it sets within a few minutes. For the look below, I kept the rest of my makeup minimal and matte: Milani Bella Taupe on my eyes and Sleek Life's a Peach on my cheeks.
Despite the vibrancy of Barcelona Nights, the color can look uneven when applied: it's especially hard to get a smooth application on the upper lip. The brush is stiff and a little awkward, and I find myself using my fingers to wipe away smudges and corral the color inside my lip lines. But for me, the effect is worth it.
I'm a compulsive toucher-upper of lipstick and gloss; it always makes me feel calm and focused. But in order to put Barcelona Nights' longevity to the test, I forced myself not to reapply it for several hours. Here it is freshly applied:
And a few hours later, after lunch:
Yikes. I would expect this kind of fading from an ordinary lipstick, not from a product whose name promises long wear. I can vouch that the final stain does hang on for a while longer, but why would I want it to? It looks hideous. In fairness, my YSL Glossy Stain also wears off after a full meal, but it does stay put through a drink and a snack.
To sum up, Barcelona Nights is definitely more long-wearing than most glosses and even some lipsticks, but it will need to be reapplied unless you eat or drink absolutely nothing all day (and if that's the case, you have bigger problems than the longevity of your lip color). Despite its name, I didn't find that it imparted any moisture to my lips; in fact, it seemed slightly drying. I'm going to keep Barcelona Nights because I love the color so much, but I doubt I'll buy another Moisture Stain anytime soon.
Now for a cooler, slightly more wintry pink: Lollipop, a semi-sheer fuchsia with sparkle. I've seen the sparkle described as blue (in fact, I was hoping for a sheer version of Urban Decay Jilted), but it looks more silver to me. On the lips, the glitter melds into an overall shine.
Left, one layer; right, two layers. This is one of my less pigmented Lip Butters.
I have several lipsticks that resemble Lollipop, and I've swatched them below to
Two layers of Lollipop on my lips:
Another dark, rainy day, another bad lighting situation, another full face:
I've mentioned before that the Lip Butter formula varies from shade to shade. Some of the shades, like Candy Apple and Red Velvet, are delightfully comfortable on my dry lips; others, like Pink Truffle and Raspberry Pie, either do nothing for my lips or dry them out further. Luckily, Lollipop falls into the former category. It feels soft and squishy and, dare I say it, even moisturizing. That said, I'm not sure whether to keep it. I have several similar colors, and Lollipop failed to deliver that longed-for blue sheen. Plus, like most of its Lip Butter brethren, it has next to no staying power. Look how patchy it gets after half a cup of coffee:
I titled this image "lollipoop.jpg."
Yeah, I think I just talked myself into returning Lollipop. But I have several other bright pinks that I neglect every winter (doing the swatches above reminded me how gorgeous Adorned is!), and I need to find a way to use them. So I turn it over to you: pink for winter, yea or nay? If yea, do you wear it with other colors or with neutrals? I rarely pair bright pink with eye makeup that isn't gray or black--easy, but awfully predictable. Maybe this can be my makeup challenge for December: finding chilly looks for fuchsia lipstick. It is technically a winter color, after all...
P.S. No matter what I do, I can't fix the wonky formatting that makes a couple of lines from Herrick's "Delight in Disorder" dribble horizontally across this post. I like to think it's a graffito from Herrick himself. He was that kind of guy.