Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain
Category:Makeup > Lip Paints/Stains > Lip Tint/Lip Stain
Last Updated:02.04.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Lip stains that go on evenly, have long-wearing power, and feel moisturizing are nearly impossible to find, but Revlon nailed it with Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain. This product comes in the form of a retractable, chubby pencil with a solid balm texture that is easy to apply and applies smoothly for even coverage.

The attractive color range includes richly pigmented tones of berry, red, pink, mauve, nude, and coral, each of which has a shiny finish and leaves a stain of color behind even as the balm wears off. (Just be aware that several of the shades go on more vibrantly and darker than their package indicates.)

So, why didn’t we rate Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain better? Unfortunately, this contains a potentially irritating amount of peppermint oil, which isn’t good for lips (see More Info). That’s such a shame because this is otherwise a great lip stain and beauty bargain!


  • Balm texture goes on evenly and leaves color behind after the “balminess” wears off.
  • Attractive, richly pigmented shades.


  • Contains peppermint oil, which poses a risk of irritation.

More Info:

Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For this reason, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22.)


Brand Overview

Revlon At-A-Glance

Strengths: Superior foundations with sunscreen and each of them provide sufficient UVA protection (though one has a disappointing SPF 6); several outstanding concealers and powders; one of the best cream blushes around; great cream eyeshadow and liquid eyeliner; a beautiful selection of elegant lipsticks, lip gloss, and lipliner; some worthwhile specialty products.

Weaknesses: Average eye and brow pencils; inaccurate claims surrounding their Botafirm complex; mostly average to disappointing mascaras.

It may surprise some of you to know that Revlon has been around since 1932, when the company launched a unique nail polish that used pigments instead of dyes. Lipsticks followed years later, and then a full line of cosmetics, which is how we know Revlon today. Although the company has had its continual share of ups and downs over the years (largely due to out-of-control debt coupled with aggressive spending), the line has recently made numerous improvements, especially in the realms of foundations, powders, eyeshadows, and mascaras. It is quite a feat that Revlon products earned more Paula's Pick ratings per category than any other drugstore line reviewed. If their goal was to close the competitive gap between themselves and L'Oreal, for the most part they have succeeded. Revlon definitely has the edge for foundations with reliable sunscreens. But despite Revlon's attempt to improve their mascara range, L'Oreal remains the clear winner (as well as L'Oreal-owned Maybelline New York).

Revlon's vast selection of makeup is divided into three main brands: Age Defying for the forty-something and older woman concerned about wrinkles, ColorStay for the teen to mid-thirties woman concerned about keeping oily skin in check and making sure her makeup stays put, and PhotoReady for women of all ages. These brands present some outstanding options and include products for all skin types (although the range of skin tones is not as well-represented here as it is by L'Oreal).

An intriguing fact is that the longevity claims for ColorStay are quite accurate: this collection of products really does offer extraordinary staying power. Conversely, Revlon jumped on the works-like-Botox bandwagon with their Age Defying range, going so far as to name their antiwrinkle complex Botafirm. Is there any confusion about what that term is supposed to relate to? Despite the claims, Botafirm won't reduce expression lines or control the muscles that cause them, though the products themselves do have many impressive qualities.

Note:Revlon is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Revlon may not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.

Suffice it to say, Revlon has more commendable products than ever before, and although they rely heavily on celebrity spokespersons, their best products ably speak for themselves.

For more information about Revlon, call (800) 473-8566 or visit www.revlon.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Allergic to 020

I love all the colors but one problem. I fell in love w/ #020 and had it on all the time. Never had a problem before and started noticing a rash on my upper lip. My upper Lip would get very dry and swollen and was peeling. Couldn't understand why. My boyfriend suggested that it might be the lip stain, So I stopped using them for a week and my lip went back to normal. So disappointed because it was was favorite color.

Reviewed by
Jo, M

Alas, this product has been discontinued.

Reviewed by
Color is great- peppermint is not

I have very sensitive skin and I've had to toss various products in the past for their menthol/pepperrmint/rosemary oil. Blistex hurts so much I've actually cried (that was on cracked lips which is a whole 'nother thing.) This has enough peppermint oil that I notice it and it's annoying but it seems to evaporate pretty quickly. So I wouldn't recommend this for anyone more sensitive than I am. But I'm going to keep using it because I like the color (romantic).

Reviewed by
Ellen W.
Not too shabby

This balm stain does indeed go on easily and smoothly, and it stains quite nicely. It also is one of the few I've found that doesn't fade on majority of the lips, so I don't get that weird lip color "ring" around the outer edges of my lips after an hour or so. I just wish they had a few colors that didn't have quite so much sparkle to them - I want color, but not glittery, which three of the four I tried had (the Romantic color was the only one I tried that didn't have too much sparkle).

Reviewed by
Kate K.
Beautiful Colors & Easy Application.

I like this chubby pencil application better than a sponge, doe foot applicator. More precision, since you can "draw" with this lip balm. It does stain the lips-- the darker colors last 10 hours for me. Towards the 8- 10 hr. mark the stain is faint but still visible and wears evenly. This formula does not clump up on the lips like some long lasting formulas. I have 4 of these and have not had any irritation from the peppermint. It's low on the list and undetectable as a scent/taste in the pencil. Get many compliments on these.

Reviewed by
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