Megalast Stained Glass Lip Gloss
Wet ‘n Wild’s Megalast Stained Glass Lip Gloss delivers intensely long-lasting color just as promised. The problem is that the risky amount of alcohol in this formula can compromise the delicate skin of your lips, which is a bigger deal than you may realize.
Megalast Stained Glass Lip Gloss has a thin, gel-like texture that can be applied as a sheer layer with the included sponge-tip wand. For richer color, you can easily add multiple coats. Either way, it offers a lightweight finish that delivers a pinch of hydration… or at least it initially feels that way.
We’re concerned that denatured alcohol is the 5th ingredient and it’s preceded by ethylcellulose, which isn’t an irritant but is definitely a penetration enhancer. Combined, this makes the alcohol more of a risk, even though the formula leads with an emollient silicone. With frequent use, it’s likely the alcohol will erode your lip’s protective barrier, ultimately leading to dry, chapped lips (see More Info for the full scoop).
That’s a shame considering this is one the better performing fragrance-free lip stains we’ve tested. It holds up durably (yes, 8 hours as claimed!) and resists transferring—all without leaving lips feeling tacky or looking parched.
The handful of vibrant shades may not be for everyone, but the colors are true to what’s indicated on their packaging, so you can easily decide. Each offers a hint of a glossy finish as promised (although the shine dissipates over time leaving the pigmented color to take center stage).
For all-around safer options, check out our top-rated lip products.
- Delivers intensely long-lasting color.
- Can be applied in a sheer or rich manner.
- Initially leaves lips feeling lightly hydrated.
- Contains a high amount of alcohol, which compromises delicate lip skin.
Alcohol-Based Skin Care and Makeup Products: Research makes it clear that alcohol, as a main ingredient in any skin care or face makeup product, especially one you use frequently and repeatedly, is a problem.
When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skin care or makeup products, we’re referring to denatured ethanol, which most often is listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat., denatured alcohol, or (less often) isopropyl alcohol.
When you see these types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, the product is highly likely to irritate and cause other problems for skin; it doesn’t take much of this type of alcohol to trigger skin stress. There’s no way around it—these volatile alcohols are simply bad for all skin types.
The reason they’re included in products is because they provide a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it’s easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. If only those short-term benefits didn’t lead to negative long-term outcomes.
Using products that contain these alcohols will cause dryness, erode skin’s protective barrier, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.
The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from the alcohol can actually lead to an increase in breakouts and enlarged pores. As we said, the alcohol does have an immediate de-greasing effect on skin, but it causes irritation, which eventually will counteract the de-greasing effect and make your oily skin look even more shiny.
There are people who challenge us on the information we’ve presented about alcohol’s effects. They often base their argument on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2007, pages 74–81) that concluded “alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing….” But, the only thing this study showed was that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash, which contained sodium lauryl sulfate. So, the study is actually just telling you that one irritant, sodium lauryl sulfate, is worse than another irritant, alcohol.
Not all alcohols are bad. For example, there are fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be beneficial for skin. Examples that you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, all of which are good ingredients for skin. It’s important to differentiate between these skin-friendly alcohols and the problematic alcohols.
What about very low levels of denatured alcohol? These sometimes show up in products because the alcohol may be part of the preservative system or may have been used to make certain ingredients more soluble in the formula. In these instances the amount of alcohol is typically below 0.1%, so is unlikely to pose a risk to skin.
References for this information:
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, April 2017, pages 188-196
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, pages 1–16
Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, pages 542–551
Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366
Alcohol Journal, April 2002, pages 179–190
The first transfer-proof, kiss-proof lip gloss on the market that delivers up to 8 hours of wear time. The innovative formula combines the comfort and shine of a gloss with the lasting power of a stain. A blend of polymers in this stain delivers intense, vibrant color with zero transfer. Long-lasting, moisturizing formula provides mirror-like shine and intense glossy color that melts into the lips.
Wet 'n' Wild At-A-Glance
Strengths: Inexpensive, good tinted moisturizer with sunscreen; some attractive bronzing powders; mostly good eyeshadow and lipstick options.
Weaknesses: Unimpressive concealers; large assortment of average to poor eyelining products; the mascaras do little to impress; some lip products suffer from the inclusion of irritants; the makeup brushes.
Wet 'n' Wild is one of the few cosmetics companies around that prides itself on being extraordinarily cheap, although the prices have increased across the board since we last revisited this brand. But don't let its hokey name and pre-teen marketing tactics deter you, because there are some great options available, and the packaging has improved in almost every category. The best-performing products will seem like steals, while the less impressive to horrible products will quickly have you thinking, "you get what you pay for." It is not very often that a line offers such a procession of clear-cut winners and dismal losers, but once you know what to focus on, you won't get soaked by Wet 'n' Wild. This line is available in most major drugstores across the country, and, like most drugstore lines, does not offer testers. Interestingly, the selection of Wet 'n' Wild in Canadian drugstores tends to be better than what U.S. shoppers will find.
For more information about Wet 'n' Wild, visit www.wnwbeauty.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.