Why balm stains are the lazy (and hungry) woman's lipstick.

Image: Supplied. From top to bottom: L’Oreal Shine Caresse Lip Colour, Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush Intense Colour Balm, and Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain (also worn on lips, in Romantic shade). 

Like Brad and Angelina, the balm stain is one of those obvious combinations that should have existed since the dawn of time. It combines the best of both worlds: the subtle, sustained colour of a stain with the moisturising benefits of a balm.

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And I love it, for two reasons: I’m lazy, and I’m hungry.

With a good balm stain, the colour and moisture stays put for most of the day, which means less time spent preening, and more time for living. And by living, I mean EATING without worrying that you’re also consuming your lip colour.

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 Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush Intense Colour Balm

Left photo: Rimmel Lasting Finish Colour Rush Intense Colour Balm in Rumour Has It, applied at 11:30am. Right photo: What it looked like by 2:30pm.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Rimmel make my favourite budget-brand lipsticks, and their balm stain did not disappoint. This is the balm stain that I use most frequently in my everyday life. It’s also the cheapest, at $12.95, so even your wallet’s a winner.

This baby packs a huge colour punch. One application of this opaque goodness, and you’re done. The satiny finish gave my lips the illusion of volume. The product comes in wind-up crayon packaging, which is perfect for doing some Kylie Jenner-style overdrawing.

Does it stain? Yes! I applied two layers of this balm stain at 11:30am, and by 2:30pm, the colour was still going strong, even after a serious yum cha session. By 8:00pm, and after even more eating, there was still a hint of colour on my lips. The colour wears down a little unevenly, but with a quick slick of Carmex lip balm ($5.99), it looked fresh again.

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Was it moisturising? Yes! The product felt so comfortable that I actually forgot I was wearing it. My lips were healthy and happy afterwards, too.

Rating: 4 out of 5 dumplings.

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L’Oreal Shine Caresse Lip Colour

Left: L'Oreal Shine Caresse Lip Colour in Juliet, applied at 7:30am. Right: What it looked like by 12:30pm. Can I also just ask: WHY did I have to get a gross pimple above my lip on the day I was writing a lip colour story?! Why?

If you’re looking for a glamorous, enduring stain, then L’Oreal Shine Caresse Lip Colour is for you. This is the balm stain you wear on a sexy first date, when you want a lip colour that is deep and alluring (like you!), that will also stay put for that crucial first kiss. L’Oreal Shine Caresse initially looks and feels like a gloss, especially with its wand applicator. This eventually wears down to a more subtle shine, which I actually preferred.

At $23.95, it’s the most expensive of the bunch, but whispers abound that L’Oreal Shine Caresse is a dupe for Yves Saint Laurent’s Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain, which is loved by makeup artists and retails for $52.00. So, really, you’re saving money if you buy this product… right?

Does it stain? Oh, yes. This product created the most steadfast, even and pretty stain out of all the products I reviewed. I applied two coats of Shine Caresse at 7:30am while on the train, and at 12:30pm, the colour was still going strong. This was after I’d munched my way through breakfast, lunch and multiple beverages. By 7:30pm that night, my lips still had a faint, rosy tint. That’s twelve hours of wear, people!

Was it moisturising? Extremely. For the whole day, my lips felt protected and moisturised. This is a product that you can feel on your lips, but in a good way. It’s like a super-powered lip balm that doesn’t wear off.

Rating: 5 out of 5 dumplings.

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Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain

Left: Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Romantic, applied at 9:00am. Right: What it looked like by 11:00am.

This product doesn’t work for me, and I have a few theories. Maybe it’s because it’s the only orangey-red balm stain I reviewed, and perhaps deeper pink colours have more staining qualities. Perhaps my lips are actually just freaky, and refuse to be stained or moisturised by the Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain. Who knows! For me, this was more of a tinted gloss which needed constant reapplication. And at $17.95, you bet I’ll be reapplying this, to get my money’s worth.

Does it stain? Not really. The colour wears off very quickly. I applied several layers of the Colorburst Balm Stain at 9:00am, and at 11:00am, there was hardly any trace of colour left.

Was it moisturising? A little. This product has the rich and buttery feel of a balm, but strangely, it caused my lips to crack and flake a little the next day - this could be down to the approaching winter cold though.

Rating: 3 out of 5 dumplings. It passes because it is still wearable as a tinted gloss. And also, if you deprive someone of dumplings, that’s just mean.

Related: 4 incredible food combinations you probably haven’t thought of before. 

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