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A Guide to My Favorite NARS Lipsticks

When I look into my lipstick drawer, I see a sea of black tubes. This is partially because basically, every single brand uses black tubes, but also because I own a lot of NARS lipsticks. I mean, it probably doesn't seem like a lot, but I like to try out a lot of various makeup brands, so for me to have multiples from the same is pretty rare. If I could afford it, I'd have many, many more. Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to choose bill payments over new lipsticks. Is this what growing up is like?

NARS is well known for their Laguna Bronzer and Orgasm products, even their combination blush and bronzer palettes, but I never really heard much about their lipsticks throughout my time watching overwhelming amounts of beauty videos on Youtube. They seemed to have been the forgotten makeup products, hidden in the shadow of MAC.

The only time I really heard of NARS lip products being brought up was when it came time to use a gloss and the NARS gloss in Roman Holiday would come out to play. I've used quite a few of their formulas and I have to say...they're some of my favorites. I love the packaging, the formulas are very consistent, and the color selection is exciting, while still offering some traditional nude shades for those more conservative with their lip color choices.

NARS has about ten different lipstick formulas: Powermatte Lip Pigment (their newest), Velvet Lip Glide, Audacious, Semi Matte, Satin, Sheer, Pure Matte, Satin Lip Pencil, Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, and Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil.

Velvet Lip Glide

I'm not sure how many times I can talk about the Velvet Lip Glides without the topic becoming redundant on this blog. I've mentioned them in both their own first impressions post and again in my liquid lipstick roundup post. It's a highly pigmented formula that applies like an opaque gloss. The finish is semi-matte and is extremely comfortable to wear. It is not long lasting and doesn't withstand eating or drinking anything. Even talking for long periods of time will cause fading and a decrease in wear time. These are definitely for people who aren't a fan of drying lipstick formulas and don't mind touching up their lip color constantly. Luckily, this product does layer nicely so you can continue to apply it to your heart's content without worrying about buildup.

For reference, I own this product in the shade Bound, a soft rose shade.

Audacious Lipstick

The Audacious Lipstick is almost an update on their original formulas. They have a richer color payoff, apply smoother, and offer more pigmentation. They have a mixture of finishes along the spectrum of satin to matte. The wear time still depends on the finishes of each color, but these lipsticks provide a comfortable texture without product slipping and sliding off of your lips. If you're concerned about bleeding with the darker colors, you can always outline your lips in concealer (make sure it's well blended) or use a similarly colored lip liner. 

I'm not sure if I find these any more long-wearing than the original NARS lipstick formulas, but the certainly apply creamier and glide across the lips easier than, say, their Semi Matte lipstick formula. I own two Audacious Lipsticks: Claudia, a cool toned light pink with a creamy matte finish and Vera, a bright raspberry that transcends seasons with a satin finish that leans slightly matte. Both definitely require reapplication if I eat or drink, but given the comfort of their wear time and their pigmentation, it's a reasonable sacrifice.

Semi Matte

This formula name is fairly self-explanatory. The Semi Matte formula is what I would consider a creamy matte. The finish of the lipstick is completely matte and sans any shine, but the formula is still creamy and has a bit of slip to it rather than a drying liquid lipstick or something like the Retro Matte finishes from MAC that you have to aggressively drag across your lips to get the color to apply. Since the formulas are matte though, they are long-wearing and full coverage while still nourishing the lips.

I own this formula in the shades: Heat Wave, a bright orange red; Jungle Red, a blue-toned red; and Scarlet Empress, a deep berry shade. Full disclosure, I find that Scarlet Empress applies a bit patchy and isn't up to the standards of the other two I have with this finish. Also, the color is not nearly as dark as it appears in the tube, which was semi-disappointing.

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil 

In the midst of writing this post, I came to the realization that I completely forgot to photograph arguably my favorite lip products from NARS, if not one of my favorite formulas of all time. You all might know this product because Taylor Swift used to parade around in NARS' Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil and would frequently gift it to fans as well. I, of course, wanted to follow in her footsteps and I fell in love with these products. 

The difference between the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils and the Semi Matte Lipsticks are the creaminess, for sure. And you know, the whole shape and what not. The pencils allow for more precision when applying the velvet matte product. These are a bit more drying than the plain Semi Matte lipsticks, which means that they are even more long-lasting than any of their other formulas. Truly, my only complaint about this product is the fact that you have to sharpen it instead of twisting it up, which means you lose product when there's already not that much product to begin with.

I own the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in the shades Dragon Girl, a vivid blue-toned red (lighter and brighter than Jungle Red); Cruella, a deep crimson; and Train Bleu, a deep aubergine, nearing black.

Satin Lip Pencil

Again, this is another fairly self-explanatory name. It's the same lip pencil, just with a satin and creamy finish. There is a slight gloss, but nothing overwhelming. The wear time on this product is dramatically less than the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, but I still would say they last longer on your lips than the Velvet Lip Glides. Even with their glossier finish, the lip pencils still offer a richly pigmented lip color with a creamy and comfortable wearability.

I own this formula in the shade Rikugien, a rose pink (lighter in color than Bound, but very similar).

What's your favorite lipstick brand?


  1. I tried out their lip pencils and wasn't very impressed. The formula was very drying on me. BUT I definitely want to try out some of their other lip products! Great post :)

    1. Oh yeah, they're definitely drying but that's my preferred lipstick texture. If you don't like a dry texture, give their satin finishes or the Audacious ones a try! The Velvet Lip Glides could also be a nice option if you prefer a creamier, glossy feel (I just would pass on them in the darker shades because I think they would be really messy). Thanks Nicole! :)


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