Romantic Bear : Neither Romantic Nor A Bear

Good Or Nah?

So I’m an absolute sucker for any lip product that claims to leave a strong stain or otherwise have super long wear (ideally without feeling like I’m wearing a layer of Sherwin-Williams Exterior Latex Enamel on my mouth). I saw these weird lip stains mentioned on another website a while back, looked them up on Amazon, and lo, I found that they were inexpensive and appeared to be both reasonably fun and slightly ridiculous. Into the cart they go! And now, I have tried them, and BEHOLD : they’re pretty good!

WTF IS A ROMANTIC BEAR

I don’t know, but these contain neither bears nor romance as far as I can tell. What you’ll get for $8.97 (on Amazon, shipped by them and Prime-eligible at the mo) is six 15-gram tubes o’ glop in an assortment of colors.

IS THIS JUST LIKE LIPGLOSS OR SOMETHING?

NO. It’s a tube of extremely thick and extremely sticky gelatinous goo — imagine mixing a batch of Jello using Elmer’s glue instead of water — with a slant-tipped applicator that works not very well at all. The idea is that you apply an even and generous-but-not-too-thick layer of product to your lips, hold your mouth open for 5-10 minutes or so while it dries, and then peel it off. You’ll allegedly be left with a long-lasting stain.

DOES IT WORK?

Last all day and into the night through multiple meals and look like you just put it on? Nah, of course not. It’s weird lip glop from China that’s like $1.50 a tube. It is not miraculous. However, some of the shades DO last a damn long time!

THIS SOUNDS UNPLEASANT, HOW DO YOU DO IT

The first two shades I tried, I attempted to use the built-in applicator, which is just a plastic slant-tip like a lot of balms have. This is … challenging. If you don’t squeeze out enough product, it drags and skips. But if you squeeze out too much, it blorps all over the place. The third shade I tried, tho, I grabbed a small flat rounded-edge synthetic brush (the kind with slick and non-absorbent bristles that’re bloody terrible for most makeup) to apply it with — this is actually both easier and neater. Work in areas, and try to spread it evenly along your lipline using the tip of the brush, then fill in the rest of  your lip as you go along.

GLOPPY. Pretty neat lines, though!

Then do the “hold your lips apart for ten minutes and try not to drool on yourself” thing while it sets. And yeah, it DOES take 5-10 minutes. It deposits it stain quicker than that, I think, but for easy removal you want it as dry as possible, so be prepared to wait (or fan your lips a bunch). Then you get to peel it off!

I find the optimal removal procedure is to firmly mash your lips together and then slowly pull them apart. This will usually result in the goo on one lip sticking to the goo on the other lip, thereby necessitating only one actual “grab it with your fingertips and peel” effort. If you applied it too thickly, you may still have wet sticky patches that you’ll have to rub/scrape off. This seems to happen to me roughly everysingletime I apply it. What you CAN do is get a bit of paper towel and rub at it a bit. What you SHOULD NOT do is try the same thing with a kleenex, which will result in gross sticky tissue shreds all stuck to your mouth. This is hilarious, but also a pain in the ass. You can see in the terrible video above — replete with bad yellow lighting, patchy makeup, and flakes of dry skin from a healing PMS breakout, you’re welcome — that even after letting it dry A SUPER LONG TIME, I still end up with a sticky patch at the center/inner part of my lips which has to be scraped off.

ARE ALL THE COLORS REALLY DIFFERENT?

Yeaaaah, though none of them are as deep/strong as I’d prefer. The assortment you’ve got includes Rose Pink (a true fuchsia-rose, what I’m using in these pics/video), Lovely Peach (really a pale pink), Watermelon (warmer mid-pink), Sweet Orange (orange, obvs), Sexy Red (bright yellow-based red), and Cherry Red (bright blue-based red). ALSO, their scents match the color names, except for Sexy Red which does not smell like “sexy” to me, but then I’m not really sure if there’s a definitive scent for “sexy.” (Pretty sure that if there is, it involves like pheromones and musk or something, not fake strawberries, which is approximately what this smells like.)

Right after application, waitin’ for dry-down. From left in all swatch pics : Rose Pink, Lovely Peach, Watermelon, Sweet Orange, Sexy Red, Cherry Red.
Immediately after peeling off dried goo-husk, in warmer light and cooler light.

HOW DO THEY WEAR?

Pretty well! The pink shades seem to last a bit longer than the orange / red tones. I put on Rose Pink at about 4pm or so, and I’ve been eating and drinking and repeatedly applying a clear lip balm (beeswax/coconut oil/mango seed butter) all evening, and …

Right after the goo-peel.
Four hours later.
Six hours later.

Obviously it’s faded a LOT, but there’s still quite a bit of stain rolling. HUZZAH. I’d call that “not bad, considering.” I don’t know that I’d wear these a ton on their own, since I usually go for a stronger lip color, but I DO like them for a first step to apply before using a [matching] [or not!] lipstick that I love but that wears off easily. Below, the arm swatches — after four hours and multiple washings, after rubbing with heavy moisturizer (Bliss Body Butter) on a cotton pad, and after rubbing with MUFE Sens’Eyes on a cotton pad. As you can see, the warmer and lighter shades are the first to go, but they all still hung around a bit through quite a lot of abuse.

THE VERDICT : Good! I mean, they won’t change your damn life or anything, but they’re fun to play with, and it’s nine bucks for six of them so you can keep a few and give the rest to friends to make a hideous stainy mess with and go “man wtf did you send me, this is Too Weird.”

Ever tried these? Or similar? Are they romantic, bear-like, or “WOW!” in your experience? Share!