Lipstains are lovely, especially if you enjoy that "just bitten" look. Usually, the stain is buildable, so you can go sheer or pretty intense. The downsides you already mentioned: if your lips are chapped the chapping will be very noticeable; lip stains can be streaky.
I suggest buffing lips with a mixture of sugar and olive oil and/or a wet washcloth. I then apply a balm and let it sink in before using the stain.
Lipstains are also nice under lipglosses or even lipsticks to give color to the lips that stays put after the gloss or lipstick wears off.