Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains vs. Tarte Lipsurgence


Revlon has been on a roll this year. First, their uber-popular, oft-reviewed lip butters. Now, their much more affordable answer to lip balm/stain hybrids like Clinique's Chubby Sticks and Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Stains. I've never tried the Chubby Sticks but I do have one each of the Tarte and Revlon, so I thought I'd share my opinions on both.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick
Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Stain in Joy
First off, I'll say that I love both of these. But for the price ($24.00 for Tarte vs. approximately $8.00 for Revlon) I prefer Revlon. The Tarte came in a recent Birchbox, I don't think I could bring myself to purchase it on its own, as nice as it is.

They are quite similar at first glance: similar size, shape, texture, and slight minty taste. I would say that the Lipsurgence, at least the shade I have, is more balmy than stainy. It goes on a little softer and while pigmented, is not nearly as shocking as it looks in the tube. It has a twist-up/twist down mechanism, but as you can see, it's definitely lost its pencil tip shape.

The Revlon, on the other hand, feels moisturizing but does apply with a little more drag and seems more stainy than balmy. It can go on fairly sheer or built up to some pretty impressive pigmentation. The particular shade I have, Lovesick, has insane staying power! I've only had it about a week, but it seems firm enough that it's maintaining its shape.

As a totally non-scientific test, I decided to swatch each color on my wrist and wear it overnight to see how they'd last:

Upon applying:

And the following morning:

The Revlon would not budge for hours after! I could still see it faintly even after taking a shower, so if you want staying power, this one is awesome. The Tarte was a lot easier to remove.

And here are the shades on:


So, my final assessment: I will definitely be going back for more Revlon Balm Stains. While I love the Lipsurgence too, I can't justify the price when there is a much more affordable alternative on the market.

Have you tried any of the new Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains?
What shade should I get next?

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  1. OOooh, thanks for posting this~ I didn't know about these, but I've been wanting a nice stain for when my boyfriend comes to visit, so I can wear it instead of lipstick. And for "everyday" wear. I bought revlon's other stain and I really don't like the pen applicator. This new balm looks fantastic though; I want to try Adore.

    1. Glad I could help! Do you mean the Revlon LipStain + Balm, the dual-ended ones? I tried one probably a couple years ago and HATED it. The balm end broke off soon after getting it, the stain was patchy and drying, and it was just such a hassle to use. I really think the new Balm Stains may eventually replace the other ones, they seem sort of antiquated now. I don't know why anyone would choose two (inferior) steps over one!

  2. I haven't tried either but I'd love to try the Revlon. Both colors look lovely!

    1. Thanks Emily! I never would have tried the Tarte if it hadn't been for Birchbox, but the Revlon is a much less risky investment!


Please leave me comments if anything strikes your fancy or if you have any helpful suggestions. Remember, I'm no expert and am just sharing my truth. Hopefully you will find something useful to take with you!

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