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Test-Drive: Tripling Up on theBalm’s Stainiac

We’ve been on a cheek stain kick from the moment theBalm’s Stainiac landed on our desks. Not only does this smooth gel make it easy to brighten lips and cheeks, but it comes in three amazingly flattering shades: Prom Queen, Homecoming Queen, and Beauty Queen. We put the tints to the test on three of our very own staffers and were happy to find that the shades looked lovely on each of them.

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VIDEO: How To: Apply Cheek And Lip Stain

We’re crazy about multitasking products. After all, who wants to spend hours applying makeup when you could be brunching with friends or checking out the latest Ryan Gosling flick? That’s why we’re so obsessed with theBalm’s super-efficient lip and cheek stain, Stainiac. Watch our video to learn how to use a stain to get a long-lasting rosy lip and cheek. 


For more products that will last all day and night, read our guide to long-haul beauty.

Cheek Colors For Every Ensemble: Party Essentials

We’re less than a week away from New Year’s Eve, which means you better start stocking up on noisemakers and kitschy party hats now. Whether you’re spending the night at home with your besties or going to a glitzy bash, you’ll want to look even more gorgeous than usual. (After all, if New Year’s Eve is good for anything, it’s photo ops!) This week, we’re helping you out with five days of party essentials. Today’s topic: getting a gorgeous flush. 

When you’re getting ready for a night out or a glam party, you can’t skip a few key finishing touches. Among them: applying color to your cheeks, which will instantly make you look healthier (read: prettier). You’ll want to pick your product according to the look you’re going for. Here are four of our favorites, each suited for a different style. 

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Benefit’s PosieTint + Highlighter = A Stunning Duo

The idea of painting my face has always fazed me. Until now, I steered clear of lip and cheek stains because I didn’t want to look like Bozo the Clown. So when I first came across Benefit’s Posietint, an updated version of the bestselling Benetint, I was a little skeptical. The creamy gel is bubblegum pink and totally opaque in the bottle. But to my delight, it goes on sheer and leaves my lips and cheeks with a natural flush. After wearing this stain day in and day out for the past week, I now know how to make the most out of my Posietint. 


  • Wear a full face of foundation with a lip and cheek stain. Instead, aim for a fresh-faced look by dabbing concealer on your trouble spots beforehand.     


  • Prep your skin with a primer to ensure the formula goes on smoothly. I like Laura Geller Spackle Under Makeup Primer and Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primer.   
  • Use sparingly. Paint three small stripes on each cheek and dot on your lips. Blend like crazy.  
  • Layer your stain under a few swipes of liquid highlighter. Both Benefit’s High Beam and Girl Meets Pearl add a luminescent glow. After your stain has set, apply highlighter to your cheekbones, brow bones, and jawline. I also like painting a thin stripe down the bridge of my nose to add definition.  

The result is very English rose meets runway model.


Learn how to prevent breakouts and keep your skin looking great with our Acne 101 guide. 

Guest Blogger: Music Festival Must-Haves

We love writers with fun personalities, which is why we’re ecstatic to welcome Carlye Wisel into the guest blogging fold this week. The savvy blogger has a multitude of interests, but can regularly be found talking about music and more on Vevo, Big Ugly Yellow Couch, and her personal Tumblr, Awkward City Population 1. This week, she’s sharing beauty wit and wisdom. Today: the products you should have in your arsenal for those hot summer days. 

No matter how many countless street style photos seem to prove otherwise, it takes some effort to not look like a sweaty disaster at a summer festival.

These music-loving ladies have seen the dust of Bonnaroo, the mud of Lollapalooza, and everything in between, all while getting a day’s work done under the hot, hot sun. Here are some of the tried-and-true products that they rely on to get them by:

"Makeup Forever HD Powder keeps foundation and concealer in place for hours. I usually use it in place of foundation or powder since it evens out my skin tone with a nice matte finish, meaning no more sweaty forehead.” —Nicole Wasilewicz, Senior Music Editor at Free Williamsburg

“I use deodorant like it’s my job. My go-to is Speedstick. Yes, only a man’s will work under the hot Coachella sun! I also love my Fresh Lip Balm, which goes on so smooth and smells like brown sugar. My lips get so chapped from the beer, the heat, and all the singing along.” —Julia Willinger, Label Coordinator at XL Recordings

"Maybelline’s Great Lash mascara is cheap, easy to stick in your bag, and always adds a brightened-up look. It also never runs.” —Jenna LoMonaco, Head of New Media at Glassnote Records

"TRESemmé Fresh Start Dry Shampoo is amazing. If I don’t have that, I will use any type of hair spray, apply it to my roots, let it dry, and then brush it out. This really helps keep my hair looking fresh, even through sweaty, disgusting weather.” —Rachel Stoewer, College Marketing Coordinator at Sony Music

“All of tarte’s products are natural, but their Natural Cheek Stain is my favorite. It’s blush that gives you a fresh pinched-cheeks look and it doesn’t melt in the hot sun during music festivals. For my skin, stila’s One Step Bronze is my go-to summer bronzing foundation. And I adore Revlon’s Grow Luscious waterproof mascara because, duh, you might see Bon Iver, and do you really want anyone to know that you cried tears of joy?” —Lindsay Brandt, Manager & Digital Media Director at Mick Management

Our never-leave-home-without product in the summer? Tatcha Aburatorigami Blotting Papers.