Luckily I had nothing to worry about, and I didn't struggle with application at all. The lip brush that came with it was pretty much un-usable, as the brush hairs were covered in dried on glue. This didn't really bother me that much as I would have probably used my own lip brush anyway (I use Real Technique's Detailer Brush). You only need a tiny amount at a time, but so long as you build the colour up gradually, there are no problems with applying it. In fact, this gives you greater control over the colour you achieve. Below are three pictures, starting with just one sheer layer, then two coats, then, finally three coats.
|1 coat, applied as more of a stain|
Staying power is great as a stain, but I found that once I built up to three coats, the darkest colour, it didn't properly dry down. It did however fade evenly, and after about 4 hours had worn down to the stain you see in the first picture.
The formula wasn't drying, but you'll want to make sure you exfoliate and moisturise your lips before you apply. As with most dark colours, it looks better if you use a lip liner.
So is this the red I've been looking for? Not quite. It's a little too purple for what I'm looking for. But is this a great fall lip colour that I'll be reaching for again? Most definitely!