The words lip, cheek and stain don’t normally go together with easy, to, and use, but they certainly do in this case. Hourglass Cosmetics has impressed me yet again, with gorgeous colors, ease of use, sophisticated packaging as well as their lack of parabens, phthalates and fragrance. (If you’re looking to avoid petrol-based ingredients in your products, you’ll want to skip this review).
The newly released Aura Lip and Cheek Stains won me over even before I applied them on my lips and cheeks. Both have a twist and click dispenser that allows control over how much product you want to apply. Some of you may know this isn’t always the case with the twist and click mechanism. Stila’s lip glazes are a perfect example of a “clicking pen” type dispenser that gives you all or nothing. The Hourglass stains on the other hand distribute a tiny amount or a liberal amount, with lots of wiggle room in between so it’s easy to get exactly what you want.
When it comes to blush, control is especially important as it’s difficult to undo too much blush. Two clicks gives me just the right amount of color and I love its soft sponge applicator that you can touch directly to your cheeks. My preferred technique is one that Hourglass recommends: blot the sponge onto the apples of your cheeks and then blend towards your temples. I like to do the blending part with my finger tips. The water based formula smooths over the skin like silk, and doesn’t set immediately so there’s plenty of time for blending. I have been testing the Aura Cheek Stain in Flush, which is described as a sheer red in the Hourglass literature, but Sephora calls it “berry pink” which I find to be more accurate. As the name indicates, it gives a pretty and very natural flush to the cheeks that works well for a low maintenance look.
The Hourglass Aura Lip Stain is just as impressive as the Cheek Stain, and is by far the easiest-to-use lip stain I have encountered. Again, its twist and click mechanism is simple to control and the flocked applicator feels really nice on the lips. I confess that I need a mirror to apply this stain, but once it’s on, it lasts for hours and hours and layers beautifully for a more saturated lip. Its finish is semi-matte but since it’s water based, it doesn’t provide much hydration. I didn’t find it drying per se, but I do like a subtle glossiness and feel to my lips, so a gentle swipe of Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick gives me the perfect pout.
I also tried Flush in the Aura Lip Stain, and like the Cheek Stain, I found it to be more pink than red. Of course skin tone and lip pigment create variation, and for your reference I have light to medium olive toned skin (MAC NC30) and moderately pigmented lips. On me, Flush is a neutral medium pink that has a bit of a chameleon quality. In bright light it leans a bit cool, but outdoors it becomes warmer and more natural. Regardless of the lighting, Flush is always flattering and brightens up my face which is saying a lot after many months of overcast skies!
Aura Lip Stain in Flush on top, Cheek Stain in Flush on bottom
Hourglass Aura Lip and Cheek Stains are $45 and $26 respectively. Available at Barney’s, Sephora and HourglassCosmetics.com
Photos by ~Trish (except the first, stock photo)