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When I happened upon MAC’s Ruby Woo matte red lipstick in early 2012, I just knew that the search for a fabulous red that worked wonders for my complexion was finally over, until the unthinkable happened–I forgot to pack it for my trip to Los Angeles over the holidays. Some devotee I am. I didn’t even think about replacing it in the event that I’d have somewhere special to go – like maybe a date with a cute boy.

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Well the date with the cute boy came, but there was no lipstick in sight, so I borrowed my sisters’ Sephora Collection Cream Stain – 01 Always Red ($12, sephora.com). She had been singing it’s praises for the longest, but I didn’t give it a second thought because I had Ruby Woo on the brain.

At first application of #01, I wasn’t sure that a stain would give my two-tone lips the opaque, matte coverage that I so enjoyed in the past from traditional lipsticks, but I had to press on given the predicament I was in. The stain went on very wet and the red looked entirely too bright for my pout – “way too orange-red” I thought. I was beyond nervous and eagerly looked forward to seeing the dry-down color a few seconds later. Success! Always Red #01 dried down beautifully to a more rich red with less orange undertones.

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The Upside: #01 stays on as you eat and drink.

The Downside:  It takes some serious elbow grease to remove this stain from your lips. I used petroleum to move this effort along quicker. It stays on far longer than Ruby Woo.

One similarity between Sephora lip stain & MAC’s & Ruby Woo? They both dry the heck out of your lips, but on the other hand, you look great while your lips are dying for a dose of moisture.

The Verdict: I now own my own tube of Sephora Collection Cream Stain #01. The line in total has 10 shades – you should check them out.

So don’t be shy, tell us what products you’re swooning over this season?

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