Lashes in the Lush


Friday, May 13, 2016

Lip Markers:
the Fresher Alternative to Lipstick

Do these flashy markers belong in my makeup bag or in my pencil case with the other colour pencils and crayons?! Lip markers are a type of lip stain and proof to be a fresh alternative to lipstick or lip gloss, which can feel heavy and sticky or like it is literally melting off your face in the Singapore sun. Long-wearing, smudge-proof and fun to use…

I’ve been marvelling quite a lot about lip tints and stains on my blog, because I love coloured lips but hate it when I 'feel' and/or 'taste' a lipstick or gloss on my lips. In a hot and humid environment, the long-wearing and smudge-proof effect of lip stains are a fresh alternative to lipstick or lip gloss, which can feel heavy, sticky or even melting.

Whereas classic lipstick's main ingredients are waxes and oils with a little bit of pigment, lip stains are mostly based on water or gel and contain synthetic or natural dyes (like henna) that are added to stain the lips for up to 18 hours. So no fuss over melting or reapplying. As said in my review on Skinia’s Lip Tattoo (read my post here), this type of product exists in many different forms, from roll-on serums and marker-like pens to ink-like liquids and gels with sponge-tip applicator. After reviewing the lip tattoo it's time to try out a different type of lip stain: the lip marker! 

Lip Markers

Lip markers look like they actually belong in your pencil case instead of your makeup case:
 Lip Markers: Makeup or pencil case? Find "the odd one out"...

These type of lip stains typically come in a plastic case and have a felt tip, and although some work with a clicking system, most lip markers are hard to distinguish from colour pencils we would use for colouring in our childhood.

I will review 3CE's Lip Marker below and added some tips and tricks at the bottom of this post on how to get the best results out of lip stains in general.

Review: 3CE - Lip Marker

3 Concept Eyes (3CE) is the brainchild of popular online Korean fashion boutique StyleNanda. StyleNanda means “So Stylish” and in my opinion, fashion and style doesn’t get more Korean than this – have a look at the site (find it here), they have some pretty cool stuff. 

StyleNanda's Korean Style

As a brand, 3CE is characterized by simple packaging (modern and graphic, not as girly as most other Korean brands), innovative products (all types of stains, eye-brightening "eye flash" pencils, longwear tattoo eyebrow markers,"bright beam body sticks" that "allows shining sparkles from inner skin") and very affordable prices (lip products between 22-29 SGD).


3CE's Lip Marker: the felt tip (left) & the stain colour on my arm (right, in blue dotted circle)

I bought a second lip marker from Peripera, another South Korean brand, but found out that in the meantime it's not available in Singapore anymore, so decided to skip this one - this is the stain you see on the left in the picture above right.

On the left: My bare naked lips, no product used.

In the middle: I used MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in colour "Cultured", a very neutral tone, to line my lips, as I find it easier to colour my lips within clear lines.

On the right: Colourizing my lips with the marker - it really does feel like colouring as you would do in a colouring book. The first sweeps of colouring go perfect, but after a few sweeps the amount of ink that comes out of the felt tip becomes a bit less, I guess the ink flow blocks a bit because I used the felt tip on my lipliner as well. Nothing major, the colouring just takes a bit longer.

Below: The result! I really like it - it's truly a statement colour, yet not as predominant as a red lipstick would be. More subtle. 

The stain remained more or less spotless for about 2 hours (during which I drank lots of water from a bottle) and after 2,5-3 hours the colour became a bit lighter, more towards a raspberry pink hue. After 3 hours I reapplied the lip stain which lasted for about another 3 hours. Great thing with reapplying was that it didn't cake, i.e. no physical build up layers like when you reapply a classic lipstick.

I definitely like this product!!! If you -like me- don't like the constant feeling and/or tasting of a layer of waxy lipstick or sticky gloss on your lips, this is your product. In addition, I think this marker could also serve well when applied before a classic lipstick or gloss, as an extra durable base layer of pigment.

3CE Lip Marker #Indian Red
Price: 23 SGD
Available at a.o. Sephora (find stores here)

Tips & Tricks Prior to Application:

Exfoliate: ideally, exfoliate your lips prior to applying a lip stain. Use a lip scrub to take away dead skin and smooth the surface of your lips, to ensure an even application. A special lip exfoliator is best to use as it scrubs your lips without drying them. I love Sara Happ's "Brown Sugar Lip Scrub", 35 SGD for 30g at Sephora. It has Jojoba and Grape seed oils as the perfect conditioners for an irresistible pout. Moreover, it's vegan, not tested on animals, noncomedogenic and parabenfree.
Another trick tos crub your lips is to use an old toothbrush – very gently though and you must hydrate your lips a bit extra after this.

Hydrate: Stains apply best on an evenly hydrated surface. Apply a light layer of lip balm (any lip balm will do; I personally like Korres' Lip Butter in Jasmine or Guava, 20 SGD at Sephora. The Bodyshop has some good lip butters too for aroun 10 SGD) over the surface of your lips, about five minutes before you want to apply the stain. This gives your lips time to absorb the hydrating agents, creating a supple surface that they will adhere to evenly.

Tips & Tricks during Application:

Line: Although lip liners aren't necessary with the use of a stain, I personally find it much easier to line my lips first and then use the lip stain to colour ‘between the lines’. A neutral tone (my favourite: MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in "Cultured") works great and gives a very natural effect, as some lip stains (like markers) can create somewhat hard lines.

Work fast: Many lip stains contain alcohol, and this makes them set quickly -- almost as soon as they touch the lips. So you have to work fast with this type of product, no matter the application method. But don’t worry, these types of products are easy to use and working fast isn’t going to be a challenge – merely something you need to remind yourself.

Tips & Tricks after Application:

Moisturize: As alcohol has a drying effect on skin, you may want to moisturize your lips a bit more often. Use an extra layer of the same balm you used prior to applying the stain, or a balm that is more glossy.


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