beauty

I Made Lip Stains Using Different Flavors Of Kool-Aid And Regretted It Almost Immediately

by Haley Henschel

This is my confession: I hardly ever wear anything on my lips besides a light layer of ChapStick. I don’t know exactly where I picked up on it, but ever since I started wearing makeup in my early teens, I’ve always heeded that (maybe antiquated) golden rule of beauty: Choose between a dramatic eye or a dramatic lip; never wear both at the same time. I’m not about to change my lipstick-avoidant ways, though. I can do a mean cat eye at this point, and besides, I hate the feeling of something sticky on my lips. Product-wise, the heaviest I’ve gotten lately has been the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb, which I tolerate only because it smells and tastes like vanilla-y peach. (If we’re being honest, here, I’d drink it with a straw if given the chance.)

I will say that when I stumbled upon a tutorial for making a lip stain out of — wait for it — Kool-Aid a few weeks ago, I was sort of intrigued. It sounded both easy and effective: Sprinkle a bit of the powdered drink into a bowl, mix it with some water to form a paste, let said paste sit on your lips for a few minutes, and voila — you’ve got some statement-making color on your lips that doesn’t need to be reapplied or feel like you’ve slathered your pout in goop. The nostalgia factor was definitely at play there, too: The last time I remember drinking Kool-Aid, I was 5 years old and sitting on the wooden swing set my dad built in our backyard, my sugar high intensifying with every sip of scarlet liquid from my paper Dixie cup. (Needless to say, it’s been a while.)

Admittedly, this DIY is a few years old, but hey — saving money via homemade beauty products is a timeless activity, amiright?

The Supplies

The Supplies
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A light speed-walk through my local Jewel Osco, Target, and CVS stores left me with this haul of supplies:

  1. Vaseline, which I’ll apply after the stain has set so that my lips don’t become Sahara levels of dry
  2. Q-tips for applying the stain
  3. Different flavors of Kool-Aid: Watermelon, Cherry, Orange, Tropical Punch, Grape, Pink Lemonade*
  4. Bowls for mixing up my lip stains

I’ve also made sure to keep my lips plenty moisturized with ChapStick in the few hours leading up to this experiment (per the tutorial I’m following), as the tartness of the paste will make any cracks or chapped areas sting like mad.

*I was hoping to find a packet of Blue Raspberry or Lemon-Lime Kool-Aid just for some ~variety~ in colors, but alas, no dice — although I do think it’ll be interesting to compare different shades of reds and pinks.

Watermelon

Watermelon
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I decided to start off with Watermelon, a red powder that made the room smell like Eau de Artificial Fruit within seconds of me tearing into the packet.

Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

A few drops of water later and my paste was good to go — and looking like a pretty, orange-y red lip stain I could actually see myself wearing on the regular. Things are looking promising, people!

The Application

The Application
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I take it ALL back. Despite my diligence in the moisturized pout department, the Kool-Aid immediately burned my lips as soon as my paste-laden Q-tip hit my mouth. I know they say beauty is pain, but this stinging was on a whole ‘nother level.

Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

I sucked it up and left the paste on for a few minutes so that it would properly stain (injure???) my lips, dying inside all the while.  I have no idea how I’m going to do five more flavors of this. I might need to file a worker’s comp claim by the time it’s all over.

The Results

The Results
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Did it work? I guess.

But was it worth it?

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LOL, no. I mean, the tint is nice and subtle and sort of flattering, but my lips H-U-R-T. (Not to be dramatic, but I think they’re actually starting to swell up a bit.)

Now a logical person might look in the mirror at this point, feel the lingering tingling/burning on her lips, and think to herself, “Hey, I should stop doing this before I permanently disfigure myself!” But I am not a logical person.

Grape

Grape
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After slathering my lips with some Vaseline to calm them down, I decided to test one more lip stain using the packet of Grape Kool-Aid powder, one of the few non-pinks/reds of the bunch.

Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

Now this is… something. It looks like I accidentally revived Hexxus, the sludgy, Tim Curry-voiced villain from the movie FernGully: The Last Rainforest.

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(Fun fact: Hexxus is the reason I’m still afraid of skeletons to this day. Anyway!)

The Application

The Application
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The application of the Grape Kool-Aid stain hurt a bit, but definitely not as much as the Watermelon one. (The ingredients listed on both packets were virtually the same aside from a few artificial colors, so I’m not entirely sure what’s up with that.)

Oh, and before I forget…

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Just know that if you attempt this tutorial at home, you will drool. A lot. And possibly find yourself looking like trick-gum-chewing Francis from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.

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This has been a PSA.

The Results

The Results
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Aside from the lingering drool marks that wouldn’t wash off, I actually kinda, sorta like this! I’ve worn black lipstick before, but never a purple-y hue like this. My lips still feel a bit swollen and tingly, but not as much as they did with the Watermelon stain.

Should You Try This At Home?

Hi, no. Absolutely not. This was a major “OHHH NOOO,” not an “OHH YEAHHH” a la the Kool-Aid Man. I didn’t even end up trying any of the other Kool-Aid flavors because the next day, I woke up to even-more-swollen lips that later peeled. It wasn’t pretty.

I liked the color of the Grape lip stain, but the final result wasn’t truly worth the pain — plus, it stained my hands.

Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

My advice? If a cheap lip stain is what you’re after, just bite the bullet and go find one at your local drugstore. Cheap as Kool-Aid may be, it’s far better suited to go in your mouth than on top of it.

This beauty “hack” emerged on the internet, and that’s where it should stay.