I recently came across The Body Shop’s Lip and Cheek Stain from an interview with the chic hippie Emma Watson. Not one to normally wander into the ethically-sourced beauty chain from the UK, I decided to give it a go since, like Emma, I am chronically pale and need a little berry flush to keep from my skin from washing out and looking healthy. I opted for Deep Berry, and for your reference, Emma uses Red Pomegranate.
This took me a few trial-and-errors to feel comfortable applying without looking like I was just in a kids art class. The stain is a duo product, for both lips and cheeks, but I primarily use it on my lips, unless I’m stranded on a beach and need a little blush. If using for cheeks, use this while smiling and dab a tiny amount onto the apples of your cheek. Apply very quickly before the stain settles in, and dab around a circle, rapidly. A little goes a long way, and it will settle into the skin sooner than you know it, so start with sheer layers and you can always build on.
For lips, dot onto the center with the applicator and work the stain to the corners of the mouth. For a lighter, more natural look, I apply with the wand and then use my fingers to blend it in, which can be a bit blotchy if I’m not paying attention. If I’m going a bit bolder, I’ll use the applicator in a swipe motion like normal lipstick and then dab it in from there until the stain is completely absorbed. Depending on the depth of color, repeat. Once dry, add a light balm to keep lips moisturized, I like this Rosebud Salve.
The problem with most stains is that you will be caught red-handed. It will stain your fingers a bit, so if using before a date or night out, use a lip brush or sponge when applying to cheeks. But unlike other lip products, this stain will last a few hours without leaving residue on straws, boyfriends or water bottles. It really does look natural in that sense, and buildable. Granted, it won’t last all day, but it also won’t dry you out like some of those other super long-lasting stains, and it is fair trade, vegan, and ethical. The bottle is carry-on friendly at a mere .2 ounces, but I’ve had it in my purse for over a year, use it regularly and have barely made a dent in it. You’ll get ample bang for your buck.
Overall, this is a 4/5 in my book. It’s a great dual-purpose product to have in your back pocket – just be sure to wash hands immediately after application!