Product Review: Nars Lip Pencils

It quite possibly took me 25+ years to wear a colored lipstick out of the house that wasn’t either for Halloween or some shade of nude/clear/light pink/balm.  Lipsticks can be tricky and ESPECIALLY when you are a natural redhead (hello clown face) and uncomfortable with the wrong formulation.

There are less than five lip colors that I own and have purchased with my own money.  Two of them (and my favorites!) are Nars lip pencils: the Satin Lip Pencil in Palais Royal and the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella (gasp – a red!!).

The Difference:

The names are pretty indicative of what you’re getting with each. The Velvet Matte is a true matte (meaning without any shine) that gives you that sultry-looking pout.  The Satin Lip is a bit more buttery – closer to your standard lipstick – but still maintains the pencil application.  It does have a slight satin shine finish to it.

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil: Cruella

Color – this is a great classic red that is versatile. It is in between vampy and ring the alarm red. Highly rated by almost every beauty blogger out there, it goes on with precision due to it’s chubby pencil formula which means you can go without a lip pencil if you like.  It provides a brightness to the face, a whiteness to your smile, and is daring enough for those like me who have typically steered clear of reds in the past, while still approachable for an everyday red for those who are used to pulling it off. It can withstand the idea of either playing up your eyes or your lips so that you can go from girl next door to glam.

Application & Wear- as mentioned it goes on really easily with it’s pencil-like tip that isn’t as thin as a typical lip pencil, but easy enough to grip, creates a defined line and you can hold it with ease and no worry of breakage.  It glides on smoothly without much tugging, which can happen especially with matte lipsticks.  This is not meant to be a 24-hour lasting formula, and it doesn’t but I find that it has enough staying power to last you a few hours and it’s fade, although lighter, doesn’t become a blotchy mess.  Typical to most matte lipsticks, it was a bit drying on me so it would require some good exfoliating and moisturizing before application.

Satin Lip Pencil: Palais Royal

Color – this one is a beautiful sangria color, perfect for the winter months or glamourous night out on the town. To me, this one feels more at home than a typical red, and is probably my favorite lip color I’ve owned to date.  It goes on a true burgundy color, but can be softened or fades on it’s own to a brighter plum.  It’s the perfect color to bring some pop and brightness to your face, while bringing an elegance and refinement.

Application & Wear – similar to the above matte version, this goes on as a pencil which has precision to it.  However, the final product is noticeably different.  The Satin Lip comes out with a sheen.  Not a shine, but will reflect some light.  Whereas I see the matte as giving you a smoky, sultry look, these will give you some added moisture and a brighter look without any high wattage.  This one also wears and fades very well but can tend to cling to dry pieces on your lips. Both options should be removed with a good oil-based cleanser.

Overall

I really like these options, and in particular, these colors.  This blog is geared towards redheads, but these colors would look gorgeous on just about everyone.  At $27 for both options, they rival your typical higher end beauty counter purchases. The matte has slightly more to the pencil (.086 oz vs .07 oz per Sephora’s website) but it wouldn’t be enough to sway me either way given the varying finishes.  They look sleek in a black outer package with the color block at the tip.  I will say that these are slightly tricky to sharpen, but contrary to what you think it can be done.  That is the only con in it’s presentation in my opinion.  I will also say that Nars was cruelty free for a while, but seems to have dipped it’s toes back into no longer being so.

Overall: 4/5 

Price: $$$$$

Packaging: 4/5 

Have you used Nars Lip Pencils before?  Drop us a line in the comments.

Why I don’t wear makeup to work everyday. And it’s not what you think

Makeup and skincare is a beautiful thing.  It’s something that I love (clearly, since I’m devoting my precious little free time to proclaiming to anyone who will listen to me how awesome it is).  As much as I love makeup, I also shy away from it.  Why you ask?  It’s pretty simple.

Yes, not wearing makeup saves money and time, but it’s not really about that for me.  It’s more of a philosophy.  When you grow up with skin that turns on you at any second, you make conscious choices – almost negotiations – before you layer up on the next product. A sort of quid pro quo, Clarice – ok that was a little creepy but if my skin had a voice it would be something that would instill a bit of fear of the unknown.  I just know if I wear that amazing full-coverage foundation that makes me look airbrushed that I’ll pay the next week with breakouts.  Constantly curling and adding 5 coats of mascara will eventually cause my lashes to be brittle and break.  So, because my level of effort to keep my skin calm caused me to make some choices, I developed a new relationship with makeup that is purely serving a need want of self expression.

Doing so became my own beautiful thing.  If I don’t feel like enhancing myself that day, I don’t.  I don’t know if my work friends appreciate my down to earth vibe when I show up with no makeup on (is she sick?) but it does something for me physically – by letting my skin calm down – and emotionally.  It forces me to be comfortable in my own skin and almost always creates this subtle approachable vibe.  I run the same meetings, and talk to the same people. I may have a rager on my forehead, and speaking of, let’s talk about that cowlick that looks like it’s thinning…but I am still there just like I always am to get *ish done.

Why am I posting about this?  Because tis the season where people get down in that dark cold place of the holidays.  Where you start folding in, instead of branching out.  And it’s true that you are just beautiful the way you are.  This amazing thing happens to me when I haven’t worn mascara in a while.  I decide to curl my lashes and do my thing and BOOM I feel like Adriana Lima. I cover up my redness with a great primer and foundation and wow…I look flawless – cha- ching! I fill my eyebrows in and it’s me against the world.  But I don’t need it to feel like me. It’s the same face I was staring at but I got used to the done-up drag that becomes routine. I got rid of half my gadgets and extras. I realized that people don’t really care.  And if they do, well, they probably aren’t my cup o’ probiotic & protein infused tea.

So I challenge you this wintry season to focus on the things that helps your skin heal and thrive.  Try a few days or weeks without the full face of makeup and see how you feel.  Go up and talk to a stranger at the bar when you just would NEVER if your hair and lip liner wasn’t tip top.  You’ll be surprised how liberated you’ll feel (so many guys loathe lipstick anyway) and when you decide you want to do you and pamper yourself up to the hilt you’ll just know you look so. dang. fine.

Don’t believe me on the benefits? Check out what this writer at Cosmo had to say.

What do you think? Could you do a makeup-free challenge? Drop us a line in the comments.