So yep, it is so. P & G is phasing out Max Factor cosmetics (commonly sold at Wal-Mart and drugstore.com) starting in 2010 in the U.S. but they are going to continue selling it abroad.  Read about the details here. It’s kind of a bummer. Man, the economy sucks.

Max Factor recently went through that new “edgy” image change with the faces of Carmen Electra and Gisele. They began to offer bolder color choices, even if all the pigments didn’t always live up. I personally love their lipcolors and the bright mascaras. They are the only drugstore makeup line that I know of that offers an Auburn mascara for redheads. I have been through so many tubes of those when I dyed my hair auburn. The Lipfinity 3D  line is really nice and offers some strange color combos like Chartreuse Blend, a lovely blend of green shimmer and deep vampy plum, Midori Glam, a rose with yellow gold shimmers, Violet Vamp, a mauve with lilac shimmers, and Raging Sea, a hot pink with teal shimmer.

The eye shadow trios rarely got rave reviews but I didn’t mind them. I’ve used them for photo shoots and stage performances. You put an eyeshadow primer under this stuff and apply it wet and you get a bold yellow for way less than MAC Chrome Yellow (under $5 for 3 shades). I think people tried to wear the 3 colors all together and that is just a bad idea with all of the trios.

I’m mainly just saddened because I have a heart for “old”. I  love the gentleman, Max Factor. If you are a makeup artist or not, you’ve got to appreciate this fellow. I mean this is the man that literally invented “lip gloss”. Oh, the faces he has touched and the women that he has made famous! (Clara Bow’s pierrot lips, Joan Crawford’s lip line, reds that weren’t too brash for Jean Harlow’s platinum locks). I just don’t want his “name” to die. I also don’t want to fight somebody for the last Lipfinity 3D Chartreuse Blend.

I love lip stains. They look fresh natural and just like you’ve had a glass wine sans the headache. I like to wear them alone or with gloss or under my deeper lipstick shades to make them last longer. They are very easy to wear. You just fill in your lips and go. They are meant to be you lip shade but better. Just remember to wash your fingers if you use them with finger tips. You don’t want those berry stained. There are a ton on the market and I am going to review a few that I have used or use.

Benefit Benetint: This is the rose scented and rose colored liquid that I use on my cheeks frequently. I have used it as a lip stain many times before. Let me just say I do not love it as a lip stain. It is too liquidy and will run into fine lines around the lips. I am 24 years old and this should be the least of my worries when applying makeup. I can’t get this stain to apply evenly and it will appear darker in lines on the lips. Plus it is too rosy tasting for my liking. The Benetint Lip Balm is not much better. It is a balm/gloss infused with Benetint. I find it messy and runny too. Benetint sells for $28.

Vincent Longo Lip & Cheek Gel Stain: This stuff comes in a lip gloss like container with a sponge doe foot applicator making it easier to apply to the lips. It has a thicker texture (gel) and doesn’t run like Benetint. It stays put and comes in numerous shades from deep burgundy to brown. Personally, I like Apollonia which is a deep plum that really adds a wonderful berry stain and I like My Sunshine which is  a deep warm red. I find that this stuff works great as a lip and cheek stain. Sells for $22.50.

NARS Lip Stain Gloss: I love the shades in these because they are more red and more my speed. This has a sponge tip applicator and looks like the other tubes of NARS lip gloss. Some of these have shimmer. These are pretty moisturizing and take a bit longer to dry but they are easy to use. I love the shades Indian Red (bright classic red), Daredevil ( a deeper classic red) and Victoire ( a plum brown). These sell for $24. There are also duo sets available where one end is the stain and the other is a gloss.

Urban Decay Lip Envy: This stuff comes in a cute container with a sponge applicator. It has a vanilla scent which is yummy and dries fairly quickly which I think is a plus in this case. I like Greedy the best which is a deep wine stained merlot.These sell for $17.

LORAC Sheer Wash Travel Size Sheer Wash: This formula comes in a gloss container with a roller ball tip. It is very liquidy and I think hard to use on the lips. Plus, I remember it smelling metallic or perfumey or something that I didn’t like. I could be wrong. It was a while back. Since it is so liquidy it has all the problems of the Benetint that I described above. These go for $19.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Lip Stain Duo: This is a duo lip stain where one end is a stain and the other is a clear gloss. I like the fragrance and the texture of these. Cherry Stain is a bright sheer red that looks really fresh. It sells for $20.

Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Makeup Lip Stain: OK I hate Victoria’s Secret for a multitude of reasons. Mainly because one of their bras was so poorly constructed that on the initial wear the underwire poked through and stabbed my boob viciously, but anyways… This stuff comes in a felt tip marker package like the Stila and the shades range from brown to red, all with names that are trying to be sexy but come across as cheap. The formula is pretty nice and wears a long time. The packaging is portable and easy to use. I like the shades Unzipped which is a berry plum and Muse which is a soft rose. Retails for $12 and may or may not stab your boob viciously.

I’ve tried a few more and I don’t think they exist anymore. I had one from L’Oreal, Lancôme, and Borghese and those were nice. And Avon had one that was tasted like metal. I know they are plenty more on the market to try: ModelCo, TheBalm, Sephora Brand, Revlon, heck even American Eagle have one. Definitely try one but if you plan on using them on the lips I’d stick to a gel or a formula that is in a “pen”.