Life Hack Test: DIY Lipstain Using PVA glue

My guilty pleasure is definitely watching life hack videos. Left to my own devices, I could quite literally spend hours on end mindlessly watching people make tops out of underpants and clean their keyboards using post-its. In the evenings, once the unruly brood has been subdued and packed away for the night, it’s not uncommon to find me unwinding by mindlessly watching video after video. The Husdabind says that he can literally smell my brain melting, but I’m ok with that – it’s not like I use it much after dark anyway.

Mostly, I see hacks that are too difficult/boring/time-consuming to successfully engage my sense of adventure and pique my curiosity, but every so often a little gem emerges and I simply must try it yesterday! Creating a lip-stain out of wood glue and food colouring was one of these.

Being of rather fair complexion, and leaning more towards a minimal make-up look, I find that actual lipstick is often too overpowering for me, preferring the more subtle and long-lasting option of lip-stains instead. While there are some incredible products on the market (I’m looking at you, Revlon, Just Bitten), the idea of creating my very own customised lip stain using ingredients that I already have at home definitely held a certain appeal. It also helped that I have many fond memories of covering my skin with this glue as a kid, waiting for it to dry clear and then peeling it off again, so this twist on ‘a classic’ sounded like fun!

Unless you do…

Now, before I go on, I’m pretty sure that when giving this a whirl you’re supposed to use non-toxic wood glue to be on the safe side. I, however, just grabbed what was in the cupboard because I like to live on the wild side. (Also, I was pretty sure that it couldn’t do too much harm in a once-off test, and I was too lazy to go to the store, but the rebel route sounds cooler, so let’s just go with that, ok?)

So, without any further ado, let’s dive right in!  

What you’ll need:

  • Non-toxic PVA (wood) glue
  • Liquid food colouring in your choice of shade/s
  • A small container for mixing
  • A makeup lip brush or earbud
  • About 15 minutes

For the purpose of this experiment I ignored my preference of subtle shades of pink and selected a bold, crimson food colouring. If I was going to try this, I was going to give it my best shot, it might as well be seen!!

The Application:

Mix, mix…
Et Voila!

Creating and applying the goop was easy and fun, it’s literally as simple as mixing the glue and food colouring together until you get the colour you’re after, and applying it to your lips using your choice of tool. I chose to use an earbud because I didn’t want to risk ruining one of my makeup brushes and it worked just fine, but if you’re after last precision I’d suggest an angled makeup brush instead, just to be safe. Apply a full coverage to your lip surface, adding more layers to intensify the colour if you’d like to. Once applied to your lips, you simply wait for them to be dry to the touch!

Now, I was a bit skeptical of using liquid food colouring, concerned about it running into the fine lines around my mouth (no, they are not wrinkles, they are sultry pout lines) but because the mixture is quite thick it didn’t run anywhere, staying exactly where I had applied it. 1 point to the life hack!

WOAH! That’s red!

Note: While waiting for it to dry, I’d recommend not pursing your lips, it sticks together and just feels odd!

The Great Reveal:

Just like in Junior School!

The concoction dried pretty quickly and I was ready to start peeling it off after about 7 minutes, so I guess this could be applied on your way out the door if necessary, it’s pretty quick-acting. To remove the mixture, just travel back to your childhood and have fun peeling! I rolled it a bit at the side to get it started.

My lips were definitely tinted and looked fairly naturally pigmented, so I guess that’s another point for the Life Hack, however this is where I feel it began to unravel.

If you’re the mistress in a sordid love affair I would not suggest trying this stain because it rubs off on everything! No matter how many times I wiped my lips, colour kept coming off on the tissue! Shirt collars, beware! Interestingly enough, this did not seem to have an effect on the tint on my lips itself which continued to remain rosy, but I was a bit unsettled knowing that I might leave tramp stamps all over the juice bottles at the kiddy party I was about to attend (kids party fare is always better than the grownup options – don’t judge).

Eventually I admitted defeat, applied some lip balm and headed out to test the longevity claims of the people in the videos, throwing my now-red-tinted lip balm out on the way passed the bin. I am not sure at what point the tint finally rubbed off completely during the 2-hour party, but by the time I got back into my car and checked my lips in the rear-view mirror it was all gone. So much for all-day wear!

The Conclusion:

Pucker Up!

I won’t lie, I had fun testing this hack out and may break it out again for some fun green lips on St Paddy’s Day one day, but as far as a practical, successful life hack that you can actually use goes, I’ll have to shake my head and walk away. The mess and effort that it took just weren’t worth the extremely subtle, quick-fading, finger-staining end result.

Never leave your tint unattended. Never!

On the bright side, if you’re ever in the market for some awesome fake blood decor for your Hallowe’en party, this is the stuff for you! Just forget the mixture out and unattended while you push off to a party, and you’ll come back to a child streaked in red and a gloriously setup fake crime scene! Thanks, Lulu Pie, good job!

Thankfully it doesn’t stain porcelain!

1 thought on “Life Hack Test: DIY Lipstain Using PVA glue”

  1. Asteria-Cammie

    LOL!! I too love those life hack clips. I practically zone out and don’t mind that most are just silly. I don’t actually try them though, so I salute your bravery on the ‘lips-STICK’ hack but, it definitely gives me an idea for using the ingredients for art.

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