You know when a product has you so completely divided that you just can’t decide whether you love it or loathe it? That. Oh you have out foxed me Revlon. I have no idea what to think of these Balm Stains. On the surface these look suspiciously similar to the Clinique Chubby Sticks (which I have not tried). You get 2.7g of product in a handy twist up pencil form (so no sharpening required. These are supposed to be both a stain, therefore long lasting, and a balm, and therefore more comfortable to wear than your average stain.
I do like the packaging. I like that the plastic tubes coordinate with the lip colour inside so if you own multiple shades it is easy to spot the shade you want. I like that it twists up so you have no wastage and I like that the plastic feels sturdy and well made. I don’t like that the silver writing denoting the name and shade has started to wear off my tube after only a few weeks.
The products itself has a decidedly firm texture, I wouldn’t think these are in any danger of melting or deforming like some lip products do. The texture feels thin on the lips. It is not drying in any way but I had thought that it might feel a little thicker and more balm-like. It has a slightly glossy look when first applied which fades after about an hour leaving a stain behind. The stain lasts for several hours (longer than a normal lipstick on me) and can be built up to a very strong colour with multiple layers.
The shade Crush is a deep pinky berry shade. If you apply multiple layers throughout the day I find it starts to look almost like a deep fuchsia on me. It’s the perfect deep berry shade for those who are scared of deep berry shades. I love how it looks layered under deeper sparkly lip glosses such as No7 Liquorice and MAC Boys Go Crazy. The formula lends itself very well to layering and the stain doesn’t get moved when you apply gloss over the top unlike lipstick which can be disturbed by applying lipgloss.
Really there are only two aspects that I dislike. Firstly I was expecting these to be more moisturising and I just don’t find that they are on my lips. It isn’t drying and I find it comfortable to wear. It just doesn’t quite live up to the balm part of the title. And secondly the smell is god awful! It has a herbal/ menthol scent which I find quite over powering. At first I thought it was just me as when I took to twitter to complain I was told other people love the scent and perhaps I had a dud. I promptly returned to Boots to sniff the other shades (yes really, like the crazy lady I am) and nope, they all have the same scent to me. Thankfully the scent fades a couple of minutes after application but I pull a face every time I take the lid off and catch a whiff.
So hmm. I like the performance and the look of the stains. I don’t think they are moisturising and I loathe the smell. You see my predicament. I must like these more that I think I do as I recently picked up the shade Honey (which has the same scent although it isn’t quite as strong as I find Crush to be). If you have tried these please do let me know what you think of them! X
*Bought by me*