#FrenchFriday : New Clarins Water Lip Stain

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My first ever high-end lipstick was from Clarins, and as I've told you several times I have a personal attachment to this brand. So whenever they release a new lip product I'm always curious to try it! They launched the Water Lip Stain just in time for summer, and I bought it in 03 Red Water. Is this one a big hit like their popular Lip Comfort Oil, or is it a miss? Keep reading to find out!

In terms of packaging the new Water Lip Stain is simple and elegant with its round clear vial and cap matching the color of the stain it contains. I would say that it's an updated, more modern version of the square tube of their well-loved Lip Comfort Oil (my review for more info_. The two products look very similar in their little containers, and the Water Lip Stain even comes in the same shades that the Lip Comfort Oil range started with, yet they couldn't be more different!

Clarins Water Lip Stain in Red Water next to the Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Red Berry

While the Lip Comfort Oil is a very sheer, hydrating and rather thick lip gloss, the Water Lip Stain is a bright, color saturated liquid that creates a long-lasting stain without any texture.

Clarins Water Lip Stain in 03 Red Water

Clarins says that you can build their Water Lip Stain for custom intensity with up to 3 layers, but I don't see why you would ever need to do that. I already get a fire-engine, saturated bright red result with just one layer! The intensity is quite surprising the first time you use it: it's a "water" because it's completely liquid, but the color payoff is insane. It is sheer in the sense that you can see your skin through but it's really much more pigmented and bright than I anticipated. If you're looking for a subtle color stain, that's not it. This is a very bold lip stain! It comes in four shades: the red I have, an orange, a pink and a purple.

The applicator is a short brush with stiff plastic bristles that's small enough to allow for precise maneuvering. Despite being completely liquid, the Water Lip Stain doesn't bleed or feather into my lip lines, which was a big concern I had.

However the application remains very tricky for me. In fact it was a major disaster the first time I tried it! The issue I have with all lip stains is that they tend to stain the dryer areas of my lips a lot more than the rest, and this one is no exception. So if I'm not very careful I end up with my lower lip twice as bright as my upper lip, which isn't quite as dry. The way I work around this is to start by coloring my upper lip first, then do my lower lip without re-dipping the brush in the bottle - that way a lot less product gets applied to my lower lip and the intensity then matches the upper lip.

I also find that I have to even out the color really well with the small brush, otherwise I get a streaky result. Being a liquid stain it won't even out by itself. Rubbing the lips together is also a big no-no, especially during the few minutes after application when the stain is slowly drying. If I do that, my lips are full of lines and most of the color from the top gets transferred to the bottom.

Once the Water Lip Stain is fully dry, however, it is completely transfer-proof. Clarins says that it resists 300 kisses... I didn't put that claim to the test, but I did kiss my hand a few times and drink tea all day as usual, and there's absolutely no color transfer on anything. Once dry it is truly a stain, meaning that there is nothing on my lips but color. It's more than weightless, there's no texture left at all. If you like a bare lips feeling but still want to wear bold colors, I think you'd love it.

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Wearing Clarins Water Lip Stain in Red water: just after application

I usually have to avoid lip stains because they tend to dry out my lips badly, but Clarins promises that this one is hydrating. They included a ton of plan extracts in the formula (aloe, raspberry, green tea among others) as well as glycerin, castor oil and hyaluronic acid to make it more lip-friendly. I wouldn't say it's hydrating like a lip balm is, but it's definitely the most comfortable and least drying lip stain I've ever tried. There is a slight burning sensation when I first apply it and while it's drying, but that's about the only discomfort. My lips remain soft throughout the day, while they often crack and peel with other classic lip stains. It's a major benefit for people like me with chronically dry lips: hooray, I finally found a long-lasting stain that doesn't destroy my lips!

The main selling point of lip stains is their wear-time, and the Water Lip Stain doesn't disappoint: it lasts all day. Doesn't matter how much I drink or eat, it's still there when the time comes to remove my makeup! As I noted earlier lip stains always cling to dry areas more, so I have to exfoliate well before application for an even result throughout the day.

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Wearing Clarins Water Lip Stain in Red Water: after a meal

Clarins mentions that you can wear the Water Lip Stain underneath another lip product, and I think that my Red Water pairs really well with the brand's Lip Comfort Oil in Red Berry! If you're a fan of the comfort of this lip oil but could do with more color - like you see it in the tube basically - it's the perfect combination. Of course as soon as you add an emollient product on top, the lip stain stops being transfer-proof. But you get the glossiness and moisture instead! And did I mention that they both smell like candy?


If you don't mind taking the time to prep your lips and being extra careful when applying your lip color, the new Clarins Water Lip Stain is well worth the effort. It creates a very bright, long-lasting and completely transfer-proof stain that's a lot more comfortable on my dry lips than any other I've tried.


The product featured in this review was purchased by me. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links. I receive a very small commission when you shop through those links, and the money generated covers a small portion of my expenses to purchase products for review. Clicking on those links helps ensure that Beaumiroir continues to publish reviews of new and exciting high end French products - at no cost to you!

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