I don’t have much of a top lip.
That’s not me fishing for compliments in a false-modest, “Everyone tell me what an awesome top lip I have,” kinda way, I hasten to add: it’s an actual quote from my childhood best friend (She obviously said “you”, rather than “I”, but you get the picture), who was the first, but I’m sure not the last, to notice my strange, lip-less state.
She was right, too. One of the really awesome things about being me is that, in addition to my totally transparent eyelashes, I have almost colourless lips. Halloween is SO easy for me, seriously. I’ve also never had a very well-defined lipline which means that my lips, and particularly the top one, basically just blend right into my face. Awesome, huh?
For this reason, I am rarely ever seen without some kind of lip-colour. (Unless you’re my post man, obviously, in which case, I’m ALSO very rarely seen without my dressing gown, and a dazed expression. Sorry, dude.) Without it, I look like I’m dead. And like someone removed my lips shortly before it happened. It’s… not the best look.
(You all think I’m exaggerating about this. I know you do. When I worked in an office, though, I could be sent home “sick” just by forgetting to re-apply my lipstick after my morning coffee: I’m not joking.)
Luckily for me, there’s an easy fix for this issue: it’s called lipstick, and I love it. I wear it any time I leave the house. The problem with lipstick, however, is that it doesn’t last forever. Even longwear forumulas wear off, and most of them wear off unevenly, leaving me with patchy lips, or what I affectionately term a “Lipstick Moustache”, which is where your lipstick gets rubbed off, but the liner on your top lip remains, so you end up looking like this:
(Yes, I know applying the pencil over the whole lip will prevent this from happening. It won’t, though.)
Also, as I get older, I find that lipstick gets less flattering (ON ME, I hasten to add, not as a general principle). Actually, EVERYTHING gets less flattering, but lipstick in particular. I dunno, it just kind of sits there, all weird and wobbly, and unnatural looking, and sometimes I’ll catch sight of myself in a mirror unexpectedly and be all, “Heehee, look at that clown… oh no, wait, it’s me!”
Happily, there is an answer to THIS problem, too. It’s called lip stain. Or sometimes “lip tint”: I’m not sure which one is most correct. Lately I’ve been really into lip stains: I know a lot of people find them very drying, but I haven’t had an issue with that, and because the colour actually sinks into the skin, as opposed to just sitting on top of it, I think they look a bit more natural, despite the bright colours they often come in. Also, the types of stain I favour tend to come in a handy, “marker pen” formula, and because I’m secretly ten years old, I find that much easier to apply than a lipstick and liner. I think the fact that I can line my lips with the same product/colour I’ll be filling them with helps a lot here: my non-existent lip line means I basically have to just guess where my lip should be when I’m lining it, and for some reason I find it easier to do that with a marker-pen applicator than with a pencil. (Yes, it’s hard being me. Now that I’ve made lip-liner sound like the most complex thing known to woman, in my next post I will try to find some other totally normal thing to complicate.)
With a pencil, for instance, it often goes wrong, and I end up looking like this:
or like this:
I’m not going to say this DOESN’T happen with lipstain, because I think you all know me by now, but it happens less often, and I take those small victories wherever I can find them.
With that long preamble out of the way, allow me to introduce you to Revlon’s ‘Just Bitten’ lipstain in ‘Flame’!
I bought this after swatching around a dozen different products on the back of my hand, and then wandering around Boots for twenty minutes to let them soak in, so I could get a better idea of the colour. Then I realised I’d forgotten which swatch was which, so I went for “Flame’, because with a name like that, it’s totally going to be a really bright red, right?
Yeah, it’s pink. And it seems to get pinker the longer I wear it. You can’t really tell from this, but it starts off Quite Pink, and ends up OMGPINK. This doesn’t happen EVERY time, though – sometimes it just stays exactly the same shade of pink it started out – so, you know, that makes it a bit more fun.Who doesn’t love a guessing game, after all? Oh yeah: I don’t.
Also, despite everything I just said about how these pen-style applicators are SO! EASY! to use, this one… isn’t. I guess it’s possible that I just got a bad ‘un or something, but I find I have to press down quite hard on it to dispense the colour, and while it works OK on the bottom lip, it’s much more difficult on that troublesome top lip of mine. Oh, Top Lip, why ya gotta be so difficult?
(There’s also a lip balm on the end of the pen, just in case your lips get dry. I have never used it. It sounds like a good idea, though.)
As far as “staining” goes, one of the big benefits of lipstain is the one you can guess from the name: the idea is that it actually stains your lips, so you don’t need to worry about constantly re-applying. And does it work, I hear absolutely no one ask? Well, here’s what it looked like after lunch:
To be fair, I had to use the flash to take this, and it took out some of the colour, and made it look much patchier than it actually is. (Fun fact: last time I posted an “after” photo of a longwear lip product, someone commented and said, “Um, what’s wrong with your lips? They’re, like, all scabby?” Actually, there’s a LOT wrong with my lips, but I’m pleased to report that “all scabby” isn’t one of them: it’s just the effect of the flash picking up the remaining lipstain.) What I DO like about this product is that it, in real life, and without a zoom lens and flash to magnify every detail, it actually wears pretty evenly, so rather than ending up with a Lipstick Moustache, the colour simply fades slowly. What you also probably can’t tell from this photo is that there’s still quite a lot of product on my lips in this photo. The reason you know that is because you can actually see that they exist. Ahem.
So, would I recommend this product? Um, probably not: or at least, not on the evidence presented by this one tube of it. I will possibly try one or two of the other shades before completely dismissing it (and also just in case I DID just get unlucky with the application), but ultimately I think there are better products for the price, and soon I will tell you aaaaallll about them. Probably.