For the past four weeks I’ve been part of an amazing new show in New York called The Dead Dream Machine. I played a neuroscientist who strings up a man in suspension bondage and a goth seductress promoting an underground party. So, you know, typecasting.
In my second role, I got to share an amazing stage kiss with the talented actor Charlie Wilson.
You can watch our kiss in action here, at 1:03:
Because my character was a goth seductress, my stage kiss required me to wear deep red lipstick, and hopefully not get it all over Charlie. I saw an opportunity here. So for our last four performances, I tested out four different lipsticks, and I’m here to share the results!
For the first night, I wore Lime Crime Velvetine in Red Velvet. To be fair, Lime Crime doesn’t advertise their Velvetines as kiss-proof, specifically. But it seemed with its matte finish that it might be a good candidate.
It wasn’t. There’s quite a bit of red around Charlie’s mouth. I guess I was kind of a messy kisser. So, that one was out.
The next night, I tried out Revlon Colorstay Overtime. I’ve heard great things about Revlon Colorstay, so it seemed like a good idea. I chose the color Ultimate Wine.
This one was a lot better than the previous. You can see a bit of a smudge above the right side of Charlie’s mouth, where some of the lipstick hadn’t quite dried yet (I had to apply it during a fairly quick costume change). However, though the color I chose was Ultimate Wine, it ended up looking like a coral on me. Coral is not really goth so it was not character appropriate, and I resented having spent money on a color that I didn’t really like since I couldn’t test it out. Such is most drugstore makeup, alas. Also, I took it off with a makeup wipe after the show, and then re-applied it for my gogo dancing gig later that night, and between the two applications and removals, my lips were shot, swollen and chapped, by the end of the night. I swiped on a generous helping of my trusty Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment before bed to counteract the abuse I’d subjected my poor lips to.
The following night, I chose a stain: Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain, in Twilight. The color was a deep berry, not quite the deep red I’d hoped for by its packaging, but with a few coats, still a nice sexy gothic color.
Charlie had absolutely no discernable kiss marks on his face that night, the stain lasted well through my gogo gig later that night (including the three-course meal they fed us and a generous helping of champagne!), and my lips didn’t feel damaged, so I call this a winner. The stain goes on like a magic marker so application is super easy, even if a couple of coats are required for the intensity of color I prefer. The only downside was that in my hasty opening of it during my quick costume change, the balm side of the stick broke off. I might be an idiot and not know how to operate it but it seemed like the balm part ought to have had a twist-up but didn’t, and so the entire thing just broke off. Still, I didn’t really need the balm, since the stain wasn’t drying.
The final night I tried out MAC Pro Longwear in Lasting Lust. The packaging is similar to Revlon Colorstay Overtime, a double-sided tube with the color on one side and a clear gloss on the other, with a lipgloss-like applicator for each.
Again, Charlie’s face showed no signs of kissage. The color was thick and stayed true to the bright red it appears as in the tube, if a bit plasticky feeling on my lips. It also really didn’t want to come off my face, and backstage after the show with no makeup remover wipes (our producer seemed to think baby wipes were kind of the same thing, which they’re not), I ended up exfoliating it off my mouth with the ribbed part of my tube sock. (Hey, beauty emergency, don’t judge!)
So what’s my final conclusion here? I kind of have no idea why we’re still even wearing lipstick when we could all be wearing lip stains. They’re easy to apply, they feel like you’re wearing nothing on your lips, they look natural if you choose the appropriate shade, and they don’t come off your face. And you can condition your lips on top of them! Magical!
Sure, they don’t have that thick pop of color that some lipsticks have, and like hair dye, there’s no way to apply a color that’s lighter than your lips. And forget about finishes like sheen or matte; your only finish option with a stain is magic marker. But hey, you can’t have everything, and for my purposes, I’m a lip stain fan from here out.
In the meantime, if you’re in New York I hope you caught The Dead Dream Machine, but if you didn’t, don’t fear, I’ll be performing as Janet in Rocky Horror Picture Show In Concert on Halloween night at Duane Park, so there’s more spooky goodness coming up for your viewing pleasure.