I know I’m not the only one who remembers the Victoria’s Secret flavored lip gloss craze. Not only were those obscenely sticky glosses one of the “coolest” beauty products of the early 2000s, but the more flavors you owned (cherry bomb, anyone?), the more middle school street cred you earned. Lucky for the world—and for all of the hair that got stuck to the lips of pre-teens everywhere—both Victoria’s Secret and I have seriously stepped up our beauty games since then. And that’s a good thing, because otherwise I’d have never discovered the hydrating (yes! Hydrating! What!) lip stain that has forever changed my makeup game.
We’ve all dealt with the struggle that is matte lipstick. It looks so, so good when you first swipe it on, but after an hour it manages to suck all of the moisture from your lips, right before flaking and peeling off in patches. Fun! So you can imagine why I wasn’t super hopeful when I got my hands on the Victoria’s Secret Velvet Matte Cream Lip Stain. I figured it’d have the same sort of dry, flaky finish that I’ve come to expect from all matte lip products, but I was so surprised to find that the formula felt nothing like a traditional stain when I swiped it on. I dare say that it felt—get ready for this—good? Excellent, even? I know, it doesn’t make sense.
Unlike most lip stains that are essentially glorified markers that bleed a layer of uneven ink across your mouth, this one feels like a cross between a lip balm and a dollop of whipped cream. No, really—the formula is slightly whipped and subtly vanilla-scented (sweet, but not at all cloying), and though I usually call bullshit on products that claim to be both matte and “nourishing,” this one truly left my lips feeling shockingly soft thanks to its olive oil- and vitamin E-infused formula.
Because of the cream-like formula, you only need to swipe on one layer to get the fully opaque shade, and then, just like all lip stains should allow you to (but rarely do), you get to forget about it; no touch ups necessary. Even after three hours of drinking coffee and snacking, when the initial whipped layer had faded off my lips, I was left with a gorgeous, hyper-pigmented stain that felt silky. There’s even a wash of color on my lips when I get home after work—that’s a full nine hours later, guys—which is pretty much mind-boggling. Like, I kid you not when I say that this stain has made my matte lip dreams come true.
At $14 a tube, these lip stains aren’t the cheapest thing out there (especially when you consider the fact that you’ll want to buy all 11 shades), but trust me when I say that every penny spent toward it will make up for the many not-so-amazing matte lipstick experiences that have scarred you. Now I just need to get over my heavy guilt for ever doubting Victoria’s Secret in the first place—the lip gloss-loving middle schooler in me says sorry.