I remember first trying a lip ink pen from The Body Shop back in the mid 90's. I'm not sure if it was my unhoned application methods at fault or if the product was a bit primitive but I remember being horrified at the "coloured in with a felt tip pen" effect that resulted.
Thankfully it seems that either my skills have improved or that the technology has as I'm really rather pleased with the new (to the UK at least, the US have had this in roller ball form for a while but I never managed to find it here...) lip ink style pens in Revlon's "Just Bitten" range.
These are styled like felt tip pens, with the felt tip at one end and the balm at the other. I have to say the packaging is a little cheap looking for Revlon and unfortunately the balm at the end is not retractable so I can imagine that it might easily be broken with rough use.
The colour of the packaging does not seem to really give much indication of the colour of the product. The stain I bought is a red but the packaging, to my eye at least, is much lighter than the actual colour of the product.
Some users have also reported that it doesn't last long. I'll have to report back on that after a few more trials.
Oh AND I think the vampire theme with the names of the colours (Twilight, Gothic etc etc) is a bit try-hard and oddly off market for Revlon who I tend to see as a more grown up brand.
So, I have found that it is best to start with lining your lips and then colouring in. You can use the product for both of course - using a normal lip liner would just be daft! You have to be fairly quick at the colouring in part as it does dry pretty quickly and, at least in the shade I purchased (the reddest, Gothic) you can see where you have gone over an area twice.
While this is annoying in the learning how to apply stage I can see the benefit of this in that it makes the colour buildable - you could get either a sheer red or a really intense dark red with this product.
I would advise to make sure your lips are as free of dry skin as possible however as the colour can cling in these areas.
After applying the stain you just need to let it dry (seconds, honestly) and then you can choose to apply the balm for a shiny effect or, of course, not bother for something more matte and 40's looking.
I really liked the colour, a good true red. The application process is fairly simple too. For vintage looks this may be too sheer for some as it isn't good for changing your lip shape with as it really shows the texture of your skin and makes it fairly clear that you have overdrawn your lips. I do like it for daytime though, it is a much more summery way of getting a red lip than the old stodgy Ruby Woo and I got a few compliments on it from strangers, which is unusual.
the close up...you can see the fade where I overdrew the lip line
Yesm today I was rocking a "Jedward" inspired do (look at the state of them there roots!)
yes, its is my mouth, again.
On the negative side, I haven't found it very long lasting, though to be fair I applied it once at night and took it off again before bed and once on Friday before going to have blood test (how appropriate...) and, being nervous, had managed it chew most of it off by the time I got home 4 hours later.
Personally I think I will keep this product for daytime looks or, and this has yet to be tested, as a base for my usual lipsticks on a night out. Depending on how long this one lasts I may well buy it again.