I am not a cat person. In fact, thanks to my allergies, I hate cats, because they have a sadistic affinity for anyone who will turn into a sneezing, swollen mess if they get within 5 feet, such as yours truly. That being said, you cannot deny that the little cat face on this lip tint/stain is so cute it should come with a warning label. :3
Full product name: Tonymoly Cat Chu Wink Tony Tint #01 Cherry Pink
Purpose: A liquid lip stain, like Benetint.
Texture: Standard lip stain, very thin liquid which spreads easily and dries quickly.
Scent: Very mild, vaguely fruity?
Quantity: 10ml and a little goes a long way.
Availability: I bought mine from ebay, it's also available several places online, and within the US it is available from prettyandcute although they were out of stock last I checked.
Price: Ranges from $4-10, so very affordable
Rating: 4/5 for better than typical stain dryness.
Repurchase: Definitely. It's the longest-lasting and least drying lip stain I have tried.
Time for the full review, including pictures!
But before we get to that stage, I would just like to give a shout-out to all those beauty bloggers who manage to take pictures of their lips without feeling like Quasimodo after you see how monstrous and uneven they are in close-range. Read on if you dare!
Not only am I not a cat person, I am also not into pink. If I wear a strong lip, I prefer red. I do not like baby pink lipstick, or any of the other cloying-sounding pink shades like "candy" or "bubblegum" or even floral pinks.
However, I own several red lip stains and I just feel they look too harsh on my skin for an everyday lip; which is supposed to be the point of a stain-- a natural-looking lip that lasts all day. Or, if they were a sheer wash of colour, they faded very quickly. I have tried Posietint as a pink alternative and because it was a free sample (hey, why not?) but it was just too ... pink for me.
Lip stains are fabulous inventions, though-- I was watching a tutorial for an everyday, natural-style makeup on youtube, and saw them use a lip stain to create a gradient lip. If you haven't heard of it before, it's a popular Korean style of lip which is a gradient of more intense colour on the inside/center of the lips and it fades as it reached the edges, which I thought created a very pretty soft lip while still allowing a fairly intense lip colour. I tried it with some red tints, including the popular Benetint knock-off Pop Tint from Lioele, but I wasn't happy with the application and lasting power, and my lips are already dry from the climate here so they didn't care for the effect of the stain.
|Forgive my un-manicured thumb, I always do them last|
Cue the cuteness of the Cat Chu Wink tint, which I tossed into an order on ebay in order to hit free shipping. I also like the doe-foot applicator shown here, as opposed to the brush style applicator on the Pop Tint. If you are concerned with hygiene and do not want to apply the doefoot straight onto your lips, don't swatch it onto your hand and then apply it as you will see from the swatches below it will stain your hand; get a makeup palette instead.
The colour reminds me of what your lips would look like after you had been eating berries; fairly intense but also flattering. If you do apply it more sparingly, it will give you a very gentle, natural colour and would work very well under a lip gloss or balm.
Although this is a 'pink', it's a fairly deep/dark pink and it goes on quite pigmented, although you can blend it out if you apply it sparingly and move quickly. I do mean quickly-- you have maybe 10 seconds before it sets, so you have to move fast if you don't want it to set in an obvious hard line.
I mean, look at that line!
This shows that in the time it took me to swatch a single layer, put the cap back on, grab my camera, and take a picture, the edges of the original swatch had begun to set already. The edges are visibly darker than the blended area, although there was plenty of pigment still liquid enough to move around.
It also builds very easily if you layer it, and because it's a more sophisticated pink, you can use it for the kind of intense mouth normally reserved for reds.
As you will see in the below swatches, I tend to dab the applicator in the centre of my lip and then blend it out with my fingers to keep a soft, natural line. That means I always end up with a finger that looks like this:
|Please note I am mid-manicure here, pre-second coat, top coat, and pre-cuticle clean up.|
Speaking of which, it's time to prepare yourselves for the lip swatches. It is only out of a sincere wish to provide not-a-photoshopped-advertisement, real-life images of this lip product on real lips that I subject you to this.
Taking these photos makes me realize that either I have started talking out of the side of my mouth like a tabacco-chewing baseball player sans spittoon, or one side of my mouth has preccociously decided to age 10+ years faster than the other side and is winning in an all-out race to sag right off my face.
Seriously though, what the hell? My mouth was NOT crooked/lips uneven when I was a teenager, but suddenly I seem to have developed a labial limp and I am not happy about it! It's not as obvious when I am smiling as below in the bare lip picture, but you can see it very strongly in the application images. I would like to point out I took these pictures with the express intent of showing the product and did not engage in any sort of flattering angles, and the one duckface was just to show the centre area where the product was applied.
Bare lip vs. initial application:
As you can see, I dab the lip tint on the centre of my lips and then blend using a fingertip by dabbing along the edges of the product, so it naturally forms a gradient as it reaches the edges of my lips. I find the obvious, Korean-style gradient lip hard for me to pull off, but that may be because I am a Causcasian woman in my early thirties and not a Korean girl her in her early twenties ... either way, I build the product from the centre-out to avoid a ring of product on the edges of my now-uneven lips.
On the below left is one layer, after which I build the colour using the above method of applying it in the centre only and allowing the dabbing to move it out instead of me deliberately moving the pigment down. For some reason the lighting/shadows in my bathroom made it hard to get the 2nd layer of product to show against the tinted lip, so it necessitated duckface. If there was any other way, I would have taken it, I promise!
One layer vs. Duckface (2nd application)
Phew, glad that is over. Friends don't let friends take pictures with duckface. As you can see, I am now working to intensify the colour in the areas I want, and because I have those annoying lips that do not extend all the way to the corners of my mouth, I tend to focus more colour on the centre of my lips and fade out the corners pretty heavily to avoid that terrifying overdrawn lip look.
I also deliberately place the intensity of colour in a way to offset the unevenness of my lips, by keeping the application lighter in the thicker parts of my lip and heavier opposite to try to visually balance it a bit. If I am just heading to work, I stick with one layer and don't bother to build much colour. I mean, it's work.
Final result vs a true red (my camera)
Evidentially I should have cleaned my mirror more carefully. If someone tells you the "green" version of Windex cleans as streak-free as the original, don't listen to them-- they are lying to you.
Please note that the left picture was taken immediately after application when the pigment was still wet, and in the right picture the intensity is a little washed out in the camera comparison shot-- and I'd say it leans even a little more blue than it shows in that shot. Luckily the picture I took after "blotting" the stain is more accurate to how the stain actually looks under normal circumstances:
|Why does my nose give me a shadow moustache Charlie Chaplin would envy?|
I swear it's just the lighting, I do not have facial hair!
After the lip tint "dries", which takes very little time as my hand swatch will tell you, it doesn't transfer to speak of unless you apply a ton of lip balm over it. If you do, you'll get a little pigment transfer but nothing major.
I do love this lip tint and I'm tempted to pick it up in the other colours, as it comes both red and orange versions. However, I don't think the orange would necessarily suit my skin tone, and I have a ton of red lip tints/stains I should use up first. If they go on sale, no promises.
It's affordable, gives good pigmentation, lasts as long as any other stain I've tried, and although it's still more drying than a lip gloss or a lipstick, it's not as drying as the other stains in my collection. If you are choking at the price of Benetint or Posietint, give the Tonymoly Catchu Wink tints a try. If nothing else, you can enjoy your face scrunching up into an :3 expression every time you use it.
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All the best,
*Disclaimer: All products I review are 100% purchased with my own money and my opinions are entirely my own.