Monday, February 25, 2013

Stila "Pomegranate Crush" Lip & Cheek Stain Swatch + Review

An exciting package from came in the mail this weekend. Inside were a ton of goodies that would make any beauty junkie giddy but the Stila "Pomegranate Crush" Lip & Cheek Stain was one of the products I was most looking forward to testing. Mostly because I had never tried a Stila product but I've heard so many great things about the brand as a whole. This product retails for $24.00 and contains .08 fl ounces.

On their website Stila claims that these lip and cheek stains are "Infused with naturally staining pomegranate extracts - Pomegranate Crush reads and reacts to your personal pH levels to create a personalized deep plum shade. The revolutionary formula is easy to build and blend and leaves your lips and cheeks with a fresh flush of youth."

Now, I am always skeptical whenever companies claim that products will react to personal pH levels and change to create a personalized shade. I've always wondered what does the concentration of hydrogen ions help a makeup product know what shade will look best on my skin? I am unaware of any link between skin tone and pH but I could be wrong. As a cautious consumer, I do not put much merit in these claims. Most makeup products look different on different skin tones not because of pH but because of our unreliable visual perceptions as humans.

 The lip stain comes in one of those twisty brush applicators (turn the knob on one end of the tube and a gel-like substance comes out the other). When you first purchase your Stila Lip & Cheek Stain, the brush will be white and the bristles will be soft and flexible to the touch.  Be aware and careful when twisting up the product for your first application. It takes a lot of turns before the product can work it's way through the tube and an impatient person might find themselves in a very messy situation.

 Now, unfortunately, as you use the product more and more the bristles begin to stick together and divide into this two-sided applicator with the gel oozing from the middle.

Stila "Pomegranate Crush" Lip & Cheek

The applicator makes it difficult to achieve a smooth and even application--as you can easily see from the photo above. The gel formula globs onto either side, leaving the middle of the swatch quite bare. Something similar happens when the product is applied to the lips but this problem can be fixed by a combination of rubbing the lips together and using a finger to move the product around more evenly.

Stila "Pomegranate Crush" Lip & Cheek Stain

Here is what the product looked like on my lips. It isn't as dark as the packaging (or the gel) would imply but it is a very beautiful matte dark plum shade. The color is buildable but you will get best results if you wait for the first layer to dry before applying a second. I was hoping this stain wouldn't be as drying as some of the other ones I've tried but I was doomed to be disappointed. Despite the gel-formulation, this product will leave your lips unmoisturized and dry (you can probably see that a little from the swatch above).

I was also disappointed by this products staying power. I applied this early in the morning but the effect had largely worn off a couple hours later. This is a lip and cheek stain--and a very expensive stain at that! I reapplied but the same thing happened again a couple hours later. While reading reviews online I found that many other customers had the same experience.

I know this review has been long-winded and long-photographed but here is my quicky-review.
The Stila "Pomegranate Crush" Lip & Cheek Stain is beautiful but it is very expensive and doesn't last long for a lipstick much less a lip stain. Unless you are in love with the color, I would recommend picking up a Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain  (creamy finish) or a Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain + Lip Balm (matte finish). And while the Stila lip stain does apply better, the Revlon lip stains are cheaper, last longer, and  come with more product than the Stila Lip & Cheek Stains (.09 fl ounces).

Buy a lip stain! Chat with me on twitter! Check out my second blog! What is your favorite lip stain? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

FTC: is a well-loved sponsor on my blog. I paid for this product with my own money.


  1. I love your photography very creative :)

  2. I know this is old, but I'd been eyeing this product in this and the Cherry Crush colors. I love the way it looks (the packaging and on the lips), and your photos showcased it so beautifully, I was itching to pull the trigger before reading. Yours was the third review that mentioned lack of staying power and moisture. It's a shame, because it's so lovely. Thanks for a great review (and gorgeous photos!) and for saving me a ridiculous amount of money. I'll stick with my beloved Revlon balm stains.


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