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Monday, February 14, 2011

Review: NYC Smooch Proof 16H Lipstain in Champagne Stain


Some of you may remember when I first showed you the display for these new NYC lipstains back in December (click here to see). I picked one up when I finally found them at my local Rite Aid and let me tell you, there are some pretty shades to choose from--it was difficult to make a decision!

As many of you know, I am a lipstain junkie. I've reviewed every lipstain currently available at the drugstore including Maybelline, Revlon and CoverGirl (just search "lipstain" on this blog if you're interested). My favorite lipstain of all time is the Palladio lipstain, and that's pretty much the standard I use for comparison for every lipstain I review.

I've also owned several higher-end lipstains over the years including those from Stila, Benefit and Vincent Longo, so I'd like to think that I know a thing or two about these types of products at this point. After testing this new NYC lipstain out for a few weeks now, I'd love to give you my detailed review.

NYC Smooch Proof 16H LIPStain in Champagne Stain
(retail: $4.99, 0.10 oz)

Right off the bat, you'll notice that the NYC lipstain is the most inexpensive lipstain currently at the drugstore. It's almost half the price of the others, which is a huge plus. It's about the same size as all the others as well, so NYC is definitely not skimping on product here.

Visually, the biggest difference with the NYC lipstain is the applicator. As you can see in the image below, the tip is VERY fine. It's actually the finest point of any lipstain applicator I've ever owned, and it's pretty sharp as well. It took me by surprise because most lipstain applicators have more of a blunt tip, but this super-fine tip really allows for precision during application. Also, over time, the tip becomes softer and a bit easier to work with, so if it's too sharp for you at first, just know that it's going to become more pliable after a few uses.

With the hot-cold-hot-cold weather we've been having in San Diego lately, my lips are a real mess right now. They're in a constant state of dryness and they're chapped like crazy, so I'm not showing you many pictures of me wearing this product just to spare you the torture!

Instead of showing you traditional before and after shots, I chose to show you what my lips looked like after three hours of wearing NYC Smooch Proof 16H Lipstain in Champagne Stain. As you can see, the color is still quite vibrant and the best part is that this color does not wear off unevenly (no ring-around-the-lips!). Awesome!

But as with some of the other red-based lipstains I've owned, the color is VIBRANT when first applied. I was actually hoping that with a name like "Champagne Stain" this color would be a softer, rosy type of shade on my lips. In reality, this shade is BRIGHT and pretty much a neutral red lips. On my arm, the shade is more of a salmon-red, but on the lips it becomes much more intense and I can see more of a blueish undertone, although I think this is still a pretty neutral red (not too warm, not too cool).

As for flavor, this one's got the standard bitter taste that is the signature of just about every lipstain, but I don't find it stronger than most, and it fades quickly. The scent is standard as well--it's got a pleasant berry fragrance that fades quickly.

I found this lipstain to apply quite evenly and it didn't take many passes to cover both my upper and lower lips, so the pigmentation is right where I like it to be. It's not one of those stains where, upon application, you've got a sudden river of color spewing out onto your lips, yet it's not a stain that takes a million swipes to become visible.

Also of note: I applied this stain at 7pm the other night, before going out to dinner, and when I woke up the next morning I could still see a nice berry-red flush on my lips! It wasn't overpowering, and I have to say it was nice to see pretty, rosy lips in the morning! I was seriously impressed.

FINAL VERDICT: As far as drugstore lipstains go, this one ranks well above CoverGirl, Revlon and Maybelline for me. Compared to my beloved Palladio, I'd say it's a close call, but I'd have to try more shades from NYC to say they're neck-and-neck. Color-wise, this NYC lipstain didn't exactly yield the results I was hoping for (there's nothing "champagne" about it--it's pretty much a true red on my lips) BUT, I haven't tried other shades from this line yet, so I can't tell you if that's the norm. Other shades may represent themselves better in the tube and you may get the color you're expecting--it's impossible me for to have a verdict on that without having tried every shade in the range. But for the price of $4.99, I CAN say with 100% certainty that the NYC lipstains are an awesome value and I think the application, pigmentation and staying power rank much higher than the other drugstore stains I've tried to date. If you're a lipstain gal, I think you might fall in love with these.

Have you tried any of these NYC Smooch Proof Lipstains yet? What do you think of them? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. Ooh where did you find these?? I want to try them badly :)

  2. I got this a while ago. I bought Forever Fuchsia and the color was exactly what I was hoping for. I have the Maybelline and Revlon lip stains and the NYC one is much better in terms of pigmentation and longetivity. I read some reviews on Makeup Alley on how some don't like the tip. I personally like the tip. It gives me more precise application.

  3. Affordable Beauty: Oh, I mentioned that in the first paragraph. :) Rite Aid! lol! But since these are not limited edition, they should be *everything* soon. :)

    Sally: Yeah, that's what I tried to point out in this review as well. It gives precise application, but I did find that the tip becomes more pliable over time. So nice to hear that Forever Fuchsia was exactly what you were hoping it to me, and that you share my opinion about this being better than the Maybelline and Revlon lipstains!

  4. Ok wow. I need to find some of these because I love lip stains. Naturally I don't have a Rite Aid nearby in my area of San Diego but it sounds like these are worth going onan adventure for.

  5. I love these stains! I need to try more colors too! I haven't tied the palladio stains b/c it seems everytime I see them at my Ulta some customer has already tested the entire stock. Gross. I don't think the employees notice because the product is actually there, but no one will buy them so they will not restock.

  6. Glad they worked :) I've never used a lipstain but this may be the first. How do you remove these though?

  7. Hi G., in your opinion how was the drying time for this? Did you follow up with a gloss or balm? Did you feel like you needed to?

  8. Michelle: Oh wow! You're in SD and you don't have a Rite Aid near you? That is a BUMMER! I have about six in a five-mile radius and I'm in SD! haha! I'm so sorry that you don't have one in your area, but these are worth the drive, I tell ya! :)

    PCS: Oh man, that sucks. I hate hate hate when the only products in a display have been tampered with, and it's even worse when you keep coming back it's the same nasty products every time. :(

    Linda: I usually don't remove them, rather I just allow them to fade. lol! But if I were to remove them, I'd just use something oil-based like maybe a tiny bit of olive oil on a paper towel, or even just put a lip gloss over the stain and it should break down and wear off far more quickly. Please keep me posted and let me know how you like these if you try one! :)

    robin: They dry pretty quickly! I'd say within about 30 seconds it's pretty much dry, but you definitely have enough time to smoosh your lips together before it sets! And no, I know a lot of people like to top their stains with gloss but I NEVER do, because I find that glosses break down the long-wear properties of a stain, thus defeating the entire purpose of using a stain! I also love the matte look of a stain, but if you don't care for that and you do want something shinier, I'd try to stick with a very light gloss--definitely don't use a thick or goopy gloss because it will just dissolve the stain right off your lips. I don't really feel the need to use a gloss when I'm wearing a stain (again, I like a matte look) but I will warn you though that if your lips are very dry or chapped, stains will accentuate this. So try to condition your lips really well with a good balm the night before you plan to use this product. Good luck, and please keep me posted, ok? I hope these work for you!

  9. First time poster recent reader. I loveeee your blog, it's very informative and it's good to have reviews on makeup and products I can actually afford. :)

    @Michelle I live in SD too and my Rite Aid doesn't carry NYC but my CVS does, you might want to check it out.

  10. Thanks so much for the kind words! :) And how strange that you're in SD too but your Rite Aid doesn't carry NYC! Every Rite Aid I've been to in my area of SD has NYC, so it's sad to hear this varies so much from region to region within San Diego. :(

  11. "Never Ending Nude" color has a pink undertone. Turned pink on my lips. Didn't last. Came off when I wiped my lips after eating. Wore off as I wore it.
    I'll be trying another one.

  12. I bought this in #495 Endless Spice, because my lips look best in a slightly browner shade. It's not very brown out of the tube--more pinky/orange, which was horrible--but it tones down nicely into a pink-brown, and with a swipe of a nearly-nude lip gloss over it, I think it's just fine. Long wearing too. I purchased at Target and they were very nearly out.

  13. Ooh, I have GOT to try these! (And can I just say THANK YOU for reviewing drugstore products? I love to read blogs like Sabrina's with all those high-end, htf/rare lines, but your comprehensive look at drugstores is way more useful and practical for an Indiana girl like me!)

  14. Do these dry out your lips?
    I might pick up a couple. My local Rexall is having a BOGO sale on lip stuff. (No Palladio though, so I can't try your fave.)

  15. I have this in Persistent Pink, which is a nice, subtle shade of pink.

    But I was disappointed with the wear time. Barely lasted even an hr for me.

    And I haven't used it that much, but the tip got worn and dried out so quickly.

  16. can you please do swatches of all the colors? thanks! :)

  17. I recently found these at Target, and went searching for reviews to see if anyone liked them as much as I do!

    It's funny that Champagne Stain is neutral red on you - it is very pink on me, but I have extremely neutral undertones and reddish on other people often reads pink on me. So far I have collected Champagne Stain, Rock On Ruby, and Never Ending Nude.


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