Battle of the Local Lip Tints: Which of these under P200 tints is the best?

While I might have dabbled in lip tints when I first started getting into makeup, I've built my lip color collection around the traditional bullet lipstick. I don’t have anything against tints (or glosses, stains, and liquid lipsticks, for that matter), and I do see the appeal of getting a pop of color from a more lightweight (and supposedly longer-wearing) medium. I just feel that bullets perform better for my needs!

Still, when I was assigned to test local lip tint brands, I was quite curious to see if any of them would be my new go-to favorite. I wasn't able to get hold of the famous KJM stains but we've done a review on those before. I decided to try six other brands instead! Did they manage to change my mind? Read on to find out!

Skin Genie Lip and Cheek Stain Alive! in Tramp (P80, BeautyMNL)

I recently reviewed this as part of a P1,000 BeautyMNL haul, and despite my attempts at making sure my lips are smooth and trying different application, my conclusion remains the same. The melon-scented, super-runny liquid has a hard time staying put where I apply it, but I am able to get something passable after two layers. It has to be used sparingly and allowed to dry in between layers as the consistency makes it prone to settling on the inner lip and coloring teeth. Tramp is a medium blood red that’s flattering across many skin tones.

Skinpotions Tea Berry Lip Jam in Wine Grapes (P90, BeautyMNL)

Arguably the one with the cutest packaging, the grape candy-scented Tea Berry Lip Jam looked to be the most promising in terms of easy application as it was the only one in the bunch that came with a brush. However, the brush material turned out to be quite useless as the bristles are stiff and firm, just like the ones you would find on a nail polish. That lack of flexibility led to streaky application that I had to correct with fingers. The color also tends to stain the inner lips awkwardly while only lightly adhering to the top lip. Unfortunately for me, it was not a cute ombre effect, which was a shame because the shade Wine Grapes is a popping bright burgundy that would’ve looked fantastic had it applied evenly.

Careline Jelly Tint (P120, Watsons)

As part of Careline’s major rebranding this year, old favorites and new releases were introduced to the public. The Jelly Tint is one of the classics from way back that seems to possess enduring popularity, and it’s easy to see why. The compact see-through tube contains a gel tint the color of jelly donut filling with the scent of strawberry candy. The colloidal consistency means that the bright red pigment is suspended in its shiny medium, and has time to be spread evenly with fingers before gradually drying into its original matte tint. The only thing I’m on the fence about is the slightly tacky feeling I get, even after the gel has dried out. It doesn’t just look and smell like candy, it actually feels like you just ate candy!

Ever Bilena Lip and Cheek Stain in Perfect Plum (P150, Watsons)

Is it any surprise that the formulas of both EB and Careline aren’t all that different? They're sister companies after all! While the scent of this one is like Tempra Forte raspberry-meets-scented stationery, the application is pretty much exactly the same, right down to the tacky sensation. Perfect Plum is comparable in color to Bench Pretty When Pinched Lip Tint.

Sooper Beaute Lip and Cheek Rolly in Blushing (P150, BeautyMNL)

I didn’t have the most positive first impression with this as I discovered what looked like lip tint leakage inside when I opened the cap. Fortunately, I didn’t experience any more spilling since. Despite the runny liquid inside, the Lip and Cheek Rolly manages to apply pretty evenly though pigmentation is light. I can even just apply the rollerball directly on my lips - no need to spread or clean up the edges with my fingers! It takes two layers for Blushing to be built up sufficiently into a universally flattering, teeny-bopperish pinkish red. I love that the effect is reminiscent of just-bitten lips.

Lipmate Artisan Cosmetics Lip & Cheek Syrup in Mr. Coco (P179, BeautyMNL)

Considering that this is the most expensive one in the bunch, I couldn’t help but have higher expectations for this product. I mean, just calling it "syrup" already makes it seem more interesting. Plus, the availability of a grungy brown color that could double as a bronzer really got my hopes up! Sadly, the delivery was less than blissful.

There was no sign of any syrupy consistency, save for tackiness at the end. All I got was an incredibly watery, chocolate brown tint that would immediately settle into my lip lines and get on my teeth. What’s more, the stain doesn’t get absorbed much by the outer lips but actually sticks to the inner lips like crazy. I ended up looking like I snacked on some dried blood and forgot to wipe! The only redeeming quality is that I was, in fact, able to use it as bronzer on my (currently!) NC20 skin. But TBH, a powder bronzer is still easier to control and diffuse.

From left: Sooper Beaute, Careline, Skin Genie, Skinpotions, Ever Bilena, and Lipmate Artisan.

From left: Sooper Beaute, Careline, Skin Genie, Skinpotions, Ever Bilena, and Lipmate Artisan.

Verdict: As a hardcore lipstick lover, I don’t think I’ll be exchanging my vice any time soon in favor of lip tints. I admit that it was refreshing to have that no-lippie feeling while sporting full color on my lips. However, I think the local brands still have a long way to go in developing formulas with more even coverage/pigmentation, comfortable textures, and cleaner (read: finger-free!) application methods. The best ones in this bunch are Sooper Beaute followed by a tie between Careline and Ever Bilena for having the most even-looking results.

Do you use lip tints in your routine? Do you prefer them over traditional bullets? What lip tint products do you swear by?