My first trip to Sephora happened on the penultimate day of my 2014 Summer holiday – I’m a bit late to the party, I know. Our cruise ship docked in Vigo and I sniffed Sephora from a mile away. Despite the fact that I had no money left to spend, I thought it would be rude not to take some things home with me… after all it was my first time ever in this beauty haven of a store :) I’d heard great things about the Sephora lip stains, so I greedily went ahead and got 2 of them. That was a mistake. But let’s not jump the gun – my incessant need to be thorough demands I first tell you what they are before I explain why they are not for me.
- Cream to lip stain formula
- Matte or satin finish
- Lightweight & long-lasting
- Foam applicator
- 10 shades (nudes, pinks, corals, plums & reds)
The Sephora Cream Lip Stain is a highly pigmented and long-lasting cream that sets to a lightweight stain on the lips. It contains avocado oil and it’s available in 10 shades in both matte and satin finishes.
The shade range is fantastic! You can find anything from nudes, pinks, corals, plums & reds, and you also get a variety of matte and satin finishes. When it comes to long-wearing lip products, I much prefer a matte finish, but just to see how the two different formulas compared to each other I chose one of each – 01 Always Red and 05 Infinite Rose. Here are all of the shades available (as far as I know):
- 01 Always Red – matte bold classic red
- 02 Classic Beige – matte pinkish deep beige
- 03 Strawberry Kissed – matte bright pinky red
- 04 Endless Purple – matte mauve plum
- 05 Infinite Rose – satin golden peach
- 06 Forever Fuchsia – satin electric fuchsia
- 07 Dark Berry – satin blackberry wine
- 08 Cute Pink – shimmering rich hot pink
- 09 Endless Pink – bold satin fuchsia
- 10 Everlasting Burgundy – deep shimmering mauve
Finish & Formulation
The Sephora Cream Lip Stain range is available on a matte or satin finish, with a cream to lip stain formulation. It sets on the lips almost immediately after application, and once it sets, it really stains the lips, which is great in theory, but makes it very difficult to correct any application mishaps. Unfortunately, after it had completely set, the satin shimmery finish on Shade 05 accentuated my dry and chapped lips, which wasn’t a good look, but I didn’t have the same problem with the matte finish of Shade 01.
These lips stains are very long-lasting, indeed. They are not smudge-proof like the Revlon Matte Balms, which are my favourite long-lasting lip products, but they do stay looking strong on the lips for a good few hours. It’s amazing how they are extremely pigmented yet they feel very lightweight, so in that respect I give them top marks for how comfortable they feel on the lips.
Because this product starts off as a cream, the application is rather messy and difficult, especially for the darker and matte shades, unless you are super precise with your hands. The foam applicator worked ok for Shade 05, but not so much for Shade 01, as it’s such a bright and matte red that you need a lot of precision when applying it straight to your lips.
My Tips & Thoughts
After wasting almost an entire pack of Johnsons Makeup Be Gone wipes trying to correct application mistakes here and there, my lips felt like they were about to fall off! Then I finally realised that the only way I was going to make Shade 01 work for me was by patting a very small amount on the lips with my fingers, just to get the basic shape and colour, and then slowly build up the colour with the applicator, making sure to only use a very small amount of the product each time. Even then, I don’t think I got a smooth finish and my application definitely looked a bit dodgy.
It may just be that I’ve not practiced enough with dark cream lip products, but for me, it’s a lot of unjustifiable hard work, when I can get better results in half the time with the Revlon Matte Balm in Standout. If the Sephora Cream Lip Stain was not a cream to stain finish, I have a feeling my review would have been completely different, but then again, other people may love it because of the creamy texture, so in the end it all comes down to personal preference.
Overall, I think the Sephora Cream Lip Stains are great in theory, but in practice they are not for me. Yes, they are really long-lasting and the shade range is amazing, but there’s just not enough positives to justify the time I waste trying to make my lips look half decent – it’s just too messy for my liking! If you’re looking for a good long-lasting matte lip product, I highly recommend the Revlon Matte Balms, which I’ve reviewed here; they have an amazing red (Standout) and a great rose-pink (Elusive). Sorry Sephora, it wasn’t love this time around!
Price & Availability
The Sephora Cream Lip Stain is priced at $13, which is approximately £8 or €10. Sephora stores can be found worldwide, but if you don’t live near one, their website ships internationally, including to the UK!
Sephora Cream Lip Stain is available at Sephora (link opens in new tab)
Have you tried the Sephora Cream Lip Stains? What do you think of them? What’s your favourite long-lasting lip product?