I recently tried the new Hourglass Aura cheek stain – and really liked it. I think the applicator would be better as a brush rather than a thin sponge at the top, but that’s my only gripe. It feels cooling and totally lightweight on the skin and gives a sheer, pretty shade that lasts and lasts which is exactly what I would expect from a ‘stain’. It’s water-based which is what accounts for the lovely cool sensation when you apply. I tried it in Petal – a pretty peachy pink which is gorgeous for pale skin tones to give it some life in a very natural looking way. I’m not so convinced on the Hourglass Aura Lip Stain, though. I think if your lips are perfect, and I mean perfect, then a stain looks amazing, but any dehydration, lip flaking or wrinkling and a stain is the most unforgiving of lip colourings as it seeps into every nook and cranny. Lip stains always, always feel drying to me. That said, the colour (even with a hefty dose of clear Lanolips to blur the flaws a little) lasted ages and ages and was great in both durability and intensity. If you are prepared to wear it with a balm over the top to soft-focus things a little, then it’s fabulous, but that kind of defeats the stain objective. And, of course if you are perfect of lip, then you’ll be laughing…in an enviably pretty way! You can find Hourglass at Zuneta.com.

Perfekt Cheek Perfection Gel is another water based stain and again, very pretty. There’s only one pink colour (the other is a bronze) and it’s a little bit raspberryish to me – you have to use very, very little otherwise you take a healthy flush to a whole other dimension, but it is versatile and buildable so if you are a bit shy on the first application, you can easily add another over the top. Again, it’s weightless with that lovely cooling feeling that water based stains give. You can find Perfekt at Harvey Nichols. 

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