If you haven’t tried one before, lip stains require prep work–because they adhere to your lips, much of your natural lip is “exposed.” There is no gloss or creamy lipstick to hide behind, so any imperfections from your natural lips may show through with a lip stain. Scarlet is dark enough where it is a more forgiving lip stain, but drier lips will find this accentuates dryness, cracking, and peeling. I always exfoliate and then pat clear balm on my lips approximately 30 minutes prior to applying a lip stain. I tend to do this after my morning shower, and then I apply the stain after breakfast.
It’s loaded with color but not much else, so it isn’t going to provide long-lasting moisturization, which is why I like to prep with balm beforehand. It does take well to layering balm on top, though, so clear balm can be used to proivde moisture without disturbing the color.
I love the concept of lip stains but find it difficult to wear them, because they often apply unevenly. Hourglass applies beautifully–the color deposits well without settling into lip lines and has enough glide that it is easy to evenly distribute. It also lasts for hours and hours and does make it through drinking and eating. I get around eight hours of continuous wear–by ten, there is a little fading.