This is a pretty popular product and im not really sure why. I personally am not a big fan of regular lip stains because they tend to be veeery drying and for some reason only choose to tint certain areas on my lips (usually the outer parts) so it leaves me looking like I have some kind of discoloration/desease to them which isnt very attractive :/ especially if your lips get too dry then it'll seep into the lines of your lips. yuck.
theBalm's Stainiac is a gel tint for cheeks and lips. Three shades are available, I have Beauty Queen, described by theBalm as a sheer berry pink. This shade is considered to be a dupe of Benefit's BeneTint. theBalm is a San Francisco based, vintage themed brand known for it's high quality products with suggestive, sexy, or quirky names. I got this cheek and lip tint in a swap from my friend Mariah who got it in a Birchbox a couple months ago. I'm so glad that she sent me this product because I was really jealous of everyone know got it in their Birchbox. The full size of this product contains .3fl oz for $17. I have a .04fl oz deluxe sample. As far as I know theBalm can only be bought online at the brand's website, and very frequently on Haute Look, but on the rare occasion you can find a few products at Marshall's or TJ Maxx. theBalm is a cruelty free brand. This product was made in the USA.
theBalm's Stainiac comes packaged like a lip gloss. A clear plastic tube with a grey plastic cap. The name of the product is written on the front of the tube in grey lettering. Some company info and a short warning can be found on the back. Stainiac has a doe foot application that makes applying this product to the lips very convenient, but not so much on the cheeks. Some may not be comfortable using the doe foot applicator on both the face and lips due to potential contamination. I don't really care, mainly because this is a sample size.
Application for the lips is no different from any gloss, so I won't explain. For the cheeks, I dot the product on with the applicator, just two little dabs, then blend in with my fingers. This cheek tint is really blendable, in fact theBalm describes the formula as water based, saying that its "designed to give you more time before the stain sets" helping you avoid the "dreaded streaks that most tints leaves behind". Oh yes, those streaks. They plague my less than smooth cheeks. This tint is in fact streak free. I'm pretty sure that's miraculous.
While I greatly appreciate the longer dry time on the cheeks, it's really, really annoying on the lips. Beauty Queen is really sticky and uncomfortable on the lips. Then it dries down...and dries out, for extra discomfort. All the downsides of a lip stain. At least it's comfortable, lightweight, and non drying on the cheeks. I get a fairly average two hours of wear from this lip stain, and a full days worth of color as a cheek stain.
Beauty Queen is a very sheer berry toned pinkish red. Very Sheer. It looks good on my already pigmented lips, but on my naturally flushed pink cheeks it barely shows up at all. I can detect a slight tint, but no real color payoff. I guess that's great if I'm going for a very natural look, but I'd really prefer it to show up more. I feel like it's a little pointless to apply it if it's nearly the exact same color as my perpetually rosy cheeks. So is Beauty Queen a dupe for the much more expensive Benetint? No. They're similar, but Beauty Queen is is cooler, pinker, and believe it or not, more pigmented than Benetint, at least from what I can see in swatches. I haven't tried Benetint aside from swatching it at Sephora.
I like theBalm's Stainiac in Beauty Queen but it's not working out for me quite as well as I had hoped. Its a good product, but just a little..unbalanced? The texture is good for cheeks but not lips. Pigmentation is better suited for lips not cheeks. See what I mean? It just isn't quite there, a problem that many multi-use products suffer from. Lasting power is decent across the board though. I wouldn't purchase a full size tube of theBalm's Stainiac in Beauty Queen, but I'm really glad I got a chance to try it, my curiosity never would've been satisfied otherwise. This product is probably better suited to those with less pigmented lips and cheeks.
Ok let me start by saying that I was a bit disappointed at how sheer this product is and the reason is this: It is very buildable however I feel that having to go over my lips and cheeks 3-4x's is using an awful lot of product! So maybe it won't last as long as I would like it to.
On the plus side: I absolutely love this stain,the best key for using this is to let it completely dry before each re-application in order to get a deeper color.
I adore that I can wear this in the car with my hair whipping around and not getting stuck to a gloss,it's absolutely perfect :)
It's not glittery (yay) I love to carry it in my purse for touch ups on the go,feels like I have nothing at all on and it's just great.
I would definitely recommend this product!
I received a sample in my birchbox and I've loved it ever since. The gel consistency makes it easily blendable. It doesn't dry quickly or leave a streaky mess like the benetint. The applicator (basically a normal lip gloss applicator) works so much better at applying the product than a brush.
I generally like this (received it in my birchbox) but I feel like most of this stays on my fingers and not my cheeks! I haven't tried it on my lips so I can't speak on that. Undecided if I will repurchase a full size.
I am an NW45 and this slightly shows up on my top lip, but does offer a slight tint for my bottom lip. I was fairly unimpressed at first, but my bf said it looks "nice and natural". As a stain, it leaves my lips looking a bit dry, so I added Stila lip glaze (cranberry) on top, and I like how the two colors layer for a more dressy (and hopefully long lasting) look. As for the cheeks part, it does not show up on my face at all.
I got a sample of this through birchbox, so can't really comment on price or packaging for the full size product.
Likely won't repurchase unless it offers long wear.
Edit: I've been using this off and on and like it more and more. Granted, I will probably not ever wear it alone, but I like the extra punch it gives to the lip glazes I have. I would probably buy this again only for use as a lip stain.
This cheek and lip stain is by far MUCH better than Benetint. It's easily blendable, doesn't mess up my foundation and gives a perfect
flush of color on my cheeks. It's not drying like Benetint and doesn't get spotty at all.
On lips, it's a dream! Just enough pigment to look like you've been munching on a raspberry popsicle. It doesn't dry out my lips and it looks EVEN and not blotchy (unlike Benetint). Beauty Queen is a lovely medium berry color and works great on all skin tones. I think I'm going to buy this stain in every color!
I brought this as a kit from Marshalls, so it wasn't very expensive. I also have Benetint and thought the two products were really similar (same color, same longevity, etc.). This product had more of a gel texture, though. Also, the applicator's better than the nail polish style that Benefit has.
PSA: Go to Marshall's to buy this before you go to Sephora or HauteLook! I got Beauty Queen, in a box along with a couple eye and lip products, for ten freaking dollars. TOTAL. For real, check Marshall's before anywhere else. Probably everyone else knew this already, but just in case, hopefully you can save a few dollars this way.
That said: I was initially disappointed with Beauty Queen because it made my lips feel sticky and gross without imparting much color at all (I guess my lips are naturally darkish? Beats me). Luckily, I happened to try it on my cheeks next, and sweet baby Jesus, the difference is so stark that they might as well be two different products! I am super-pale, and Beauty Queen gave me a really natural-looking pink flush that I'm in love with. (It's not as dark as it looks in the container, but you'll only need a single swipe/pat of this color, and you're good.) Unlike when I wore it on my lips, Beauty Queen lasted *all day* as a cheek stain, and it didn't even migrate anywhere else on my face! Surprisingly, it didn't feel sticky on my cheeks either.
This was actually my very first foray into a non-powder blush, and I think I might be hooked. Which is great, because my old Revlon blush (Wine With Everything) gave me a bit of acne due to its talc content. TheBalm seems to have pretty good ingredients in its products. If seeing castor oil in the ingredients list freaks you out a little -- don't worry, castor oil actually works to *dissolve* the bad stuff in your pores (or so the oil-cleansing-method people tell me). Even if that turns out to be a salacious lie, I can assure you that I have not yet had any problems with the Stainiac clogging my pores.
I'd rate this as a 1 if it were just a lip stain, but as a cheek stain it's a 5. I'm bumping it up to 4 because I got it so inexpensively at Marshall's, and because of the ingredients.
beautiful raspberry stain for a really natural summer's day flush! And lasts for ages on the face!