'What The Heck?' Product Regret: e.l.f. Aqua Beauty Radiant Gel Lip Stain in 'Rouge Radiance' | A Review

e.l.f. Aqua Beauty Radiant Gel Lip Stain in 'Rouge Radiance' | A Review
e.l.f. Aqua Beauty Radiant Gel Lip Stain in 'Rouge Radiance,' $4

Good day to you all! Does it feel like summer yet, to anyone out there? I wanted to post a quick review on what I initially hoped would be a seemingly perfect, inexpensive summer lip product from e.l.f., as I have twenty or so minutes to kill before I have to gear up to drive back to my city.

So, e.l.f. has an Aqua Beauty range of products that they released last spring, and this collection is said to be limited edition. However, upon looking at the site, I'm seeing that all of the products are still available, and much of the line is just now starting to pop up in Target stores.

e.l.f. has an absolute crapload of shades available in their Aqua Beauty Radiant Gel Lip Stain range on their site, with a whopping six total shades to choose from. However, I've only been able to track down three of those shades in any physical location I've been to. The only one that I ended up taking home with me, and the same one I featured in a recent haul, is in the color Rouge Radiance. Read on in this review if you are thinking of picking one of these up, and want to see whether or not it might be something you'll like! As you can see from the title, this product was a bit of a regret for me, ultimately because of ingredient sensitivity, though that doesn't mean you won't like it! 

Bare Lips, no product
e.l.f. Aqua Beauty Radiant Gel Lip Stain in 'Rouge Radiance' | A Review
Two layers of e.l.f. Radiant Gel Lip Stain in 'Rouge Radiance' | Left shows initial application, right shows product after it sets

Product Details

From the e.l.f. website: A refreshing weightless gel tint that provides radiant sheer color and is enriched with Purified Water that hydrates and feels cool on contact. This long-wear lip color stains the lips for that "just bitten" effect. Infused with nourishing Rosewater and Vitamin E for a splash of hydrating color. The formula is extremely comfortable and great to wear alone or as a base to your favorite e.l.f. gloss for a vibrant effect. 

Formula & Color

Now, let us commence in jotting down some checkmarks as far as e.l.f.'s claims of the formula for this lip stain. Weightless? Check, this gel is nearly the consistency of water. Sheer? Hell yes, this isn't for the bold, lest you be disappointed in the 'barely there' look, so check. Cool feeling? Check. Hydrating? Check. Long-wearing? Eh sadly nope, but we'll get to that later. Last but not least, comfortable? Check, with some major drawbacks. 

As for the color, it's definitely not what I thought it would be: it's very much a warm orangey toned sheer red tint, and when it comes to something that's rouge, I think of a blue-based red when I think of that color, not orange-based. I digress, though, as it's still beautiful on, and from seeing multiple reviews, I've learned that this one is the most pigmented and gives the most even color out of the three that are readily available in places such as Target (those readily available shades are: Rouge Radiance, Dewy Berry,  & Red Orange Wash). 

How Does it Wear?

Honestly, I'm of the mindset that if something is marketed and formulated as being a lip stain, then the remaining color after the initial wear-down of the finish, should last on the lips for a solid three hours at the least, right? With these, I didn't notice substantial longevity at all, especially when I was constantly comparing these with the Etude House lip stain samples that I spoiled myself with trying when I made an order for more of my Skinfood salmon corrector. I just knew that this unfortunately wouldn't hold a candle as far as longevity, ease of application and overall performance. This lasts, on average, about 1.5 hours max on me, without food or drink. It also fades evenly, albeit very quickly.

I have to apply three coats of this, waiting for each coat to set and dry before applying the next, for that sheer wash of color to build up to the coverage I want, or else if I apply just one coat, the color shows up nicely, but it is so patchy, and wears off almost immediately. I didn't experience that with Etude House. I also have to be careful not to rub my lips together while waiting for this e.l.f. product to dry, as it does gum up a bit and leave those annoying bald spots as it transfers from top lip to bottom lip, and vice versa. Hence, prior to drying, you'll get the uneven splotchy look where the color is heavier in weird spots as it takes patches of product off when the lips rub together. Yeah, not too terribly convenient, especially with a product that is supposed to be low maintenance, and give a sheer, low maintenance look to boot.

On the plus side, this lip stain is incredibly hydrating, and the scent wasn't much of a concern, however the taste is what turned me off completely. It has a saccharine taste that reminds me of artificial sweetener, and the ingredient that lends to the cooling effect this product gives is prone to giving my mouth and tongue a strange tingling numbness that is quite unsettling, to say the least. 


The applicator on this is a standard doe foot, a bit smaller than your typical lip gloss doe foot. Forgot to take pics, sowwy

Overall Rating

I have used products from e.l.f. and other drugstore brands that performed and wore much better than this. I loved the moisturizing properties of this, however the color just wouldn't adhere to my lips, making reapplication absolutely necessary to the point of being inconvenient, and it's not something I would call a stain; I wear it as a lip gloss. What's more, I couldn't lick my lips without getting that awfully uncomfortable numb tingling sensation on my tongue. It's overall an uncomfortable product that I wouldn't recommend unless you are aware of what ingredients you're sensitive to. I don't have sensitivities to many ingredients, and this is one of the only lip products that has done this to me, I vaguely remember a no-brand lip balm giving me the same reaction when I was a youngster. The fact that I remember it says enough. 😆 If you're interested in this lip stain, the e.l.f. website has all the ingredients for this product listed here

Use this at your own discretion and caution. I'll give it a 4/10.

Have you tried any makeup or skincare products from their Aqua line? If not, do you want to try any? Let me know! Have a beautiful day, everyone!

💋 xoxo-Cailee


  1. Aww, I'm sorry to hear that it was disappointing. It looked so pigmented on the tube too! I would probably wear this for a more natural, no makeup makeup look. And yikes, I wouldn't want to wear something that makes my lips tingle and hurt!


    1. Hi Hannah! I know, I was disappointed, because it's so hydrating, but eeek, so uncomfortable too. I much prefer their Gotta Glow lip tints over these any day of the week (although those are a heftier price at $6, but you get a ton, and the color lasts forever!).


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I read, appreciate, and try to reply to each one!
In an effort to improve blog content for my readership, so that I can blog about things you actually want to see, I approve comments as long as they are genuine! Blog links are welcome, but no spam, please. Leave any feedback or questions you have about the content you're commenting on - and oh! You can also email me at barcelonista1221@gmail.com

01 09 10