Tarte’s new Natural Lip Stain Pencil is, without a doubt, the cutest lip product I’ve seen come out in the last year. It’s a crayon! For your mouth! How Adorable Is That???
Unfortunately, as lip products go, it is also among the least effective. Le sigh.
This product is such a good idea that I almost didn’t want to tell you how disappointed I was. I kept testing it and testing it, hoping I’d be able to come back with a different result. Sadly, I kept getting the same result all the time, which was this: This product is absolutely great for the first five minutes of wear, and then it vanishes. It’s just gone. Where did it go? Maybe it fell into an electromagnetic vortex and ended up on a secret tropical island where it can hang out with Naveen Andrews and Matthew Fox. Maybe it’s hanging out with my Lancome Rouge Magnficence lipgloss under the front seat of my car. I don’t know; the point is, it’s no longer on my lips.
I tested all of the colors in-store, and ended up with the above-pictured Lust, which is, for those of you who are still using black-and-white computer monitors, a bright, slightly cool red. It goes on more sheer than you might guess from the photo, so it is not as intense as it might be. It’s very wearable, I think, and you can build the coverage up if you want more intensity. It also doesn’t need sharpening, which as you know is a big plus in my book. It is peppermint-flavored, which doesn’t thrill me since I don’t really like the use of mint as a lip-plumper-through-irritation, but it’s fairly subtle.
Of course I also have to pick on their marketing language. As you can see on the side of that there box, this product promises a 6,000 percent increase in lips’ moisture content. Really, Tarte? First of all, what does “lips’ moisture content” mean, exactly, and secondly, 6,000 percent of what?
But I’d overlook all that if the product would just stay on my lips! And they do call it a “stain,” so it ought to … well, stain. You know I’m a big fan of Tarte’s cheek stains; they are well-pigmented and last all day, so Tarte clearly understands the concept of “stain.” I’m therefore flummoxed as to why this otherwise-brilliantly-conceived product is just a FAIL in terms of performance. Now maybe again it’s a case of “well, it would last much longer if you wouldn’t do stupid things like talking,” but since talking is a fairly indispensable part of my job, that bit is non-negotiable.
Now with swatch!
Tarte Natural Lip Stain (Sephora exclusive): $24
Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Poor.
Purchase again? Nope. You can feel fine about skipping this one. (It is awfully cute, though.)
(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)