It’s been a long time since I did a beauty review!  If I’m correct, I only did one, but I definitely have drafts of other ones… I just never posted them, BUT it’s 2015 and I’m just going to do it!

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Anyway, do you remember when that show, The Blacklist, first came out?  I was on a mission to find the perfect pinky-berry lip, much like the main character of that show.  Her makeup was great, even as she was taking down bad guys.  I thought, hey, I don’t usually wear a shade like that, but maybe if I find a matte version, I would be more likely to wear it.  I don’t know why I thought that to be true, especially since I typically NEVER wear matte lip products.  Little did I know…

Remember the Guy Bourdain Nars collaboration from 2013?  I totally picked up a lip pencil set back then during a sale at Sephora.  I had heard so much hype about how awesome these lip pencils are and there was a great pinky-berry shade included in that set.  It was a steal, especially considering how pricey an individual lip pencil typically costs.  There were five lip pencils:  four of them were the velvet matte lip pencils (Cruella, Dolce Vita, Sex Machine, and Never Say Never) and one was a velvet gloss lip pencil (New Lover).  The Velvet Gloss lip pencil is not photographed because truthfully, I can’t find it.  It’s in one of my bags somewhere…

Nars Lip pencil swatches

According to the Sephora website, the velvet matte lip pencils are like a combination of lip pencil and lipstick.  They are supposed to be hydrating, super pigmented, long-lasting, and glide on.  The shades are described as follows:

  • Never Say Never: lilac rose, the shade I was looking for! I love it!
  • Sex Machine: pink mauve, has slight shimmer to it
  • Dolce Vita: dusty rose, a really nice, everyday shade, one of my favorites
  • Cruella: scarlet red, one of the most popular shades in this line

DSC_0417So, why am I posting about an old set I bought a year ago?  Well…  it’s because it’s taken me about that long to figure out how to wear these and actually like how it looks.  I’ve been experimenting with them during my time in Chicago because I left a lot of my makeup in California.  These lip pencils were definitely on my list of regretful purchases until recently.

My advice is, if you have dry, peeling skin on your lips, you may want to use a lip scrub.  Here’s a DIY recipe you can use, no need for super fancy stuff!  If my lips are doing okay, I’ll just put on some lip balm (Nivea’s A Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon is my current one) and apply the Velvet Matte lip pencil.  I usually use the side of the pencil, not the very tip, to fill in my lips.  If my lips still look a little sad and dry, which happens, I will sometimes apply a tiny bit of Buxom gloss (in Sophia) pictured above to make things look a little more hydrated.

Now that I’m actually using these, I will say, they are rather long-lasting and unfussy after you put it on.  There are 14 different shades currently, so there’s plenty to choose from.  My favorite shades are Dolce Vita and Never Say Never, but maybe one of these days, I’ll be bold enough to rock a red lip.  Sex Machine is kind of meh…  it doesn’t inspire me to wear it, maybe because it’s a more cool toned pink with shimmer…  Meh.

The downsides:  unfortunately, you have to sharpen them.  Word to the wise – my generic pencil sharpener is not quite the same size/shape as these lip pencils, so it wastes even more product than sharpening already does.  I’ve read reviews saying you probably need to get the $6 NARS pencil sharpener…  You decide what’s more annoying to you: shelling out $6 for a sharpener, wasting product, or high-maintenance, expensive products to begin with.  :p  Another thing is you still have to re-apply these after meals.  This doesn’t really bother me though because I don’t expect lipsticks to survive after meals.  The biggest downside for me, however, is the price.  It’s $25 for a 0.09 oz pencil.  Wha?!  The good news, though, is you can find limited edition holiday sets.  The set I’m talking about is over and done with, but if you’re looking for a current Nars lip pencil gift set, you can check it out at Sephora at $49.  This one has two velvet mattes and three satin lip pencils and cool packaging. It’s a better deal if you know you like these lip pencils or if you want to try a bunch of shades without paying for them individually.

Me?  I’m just going to work on the ones I have until they run out.  The jury is still out on whether or not I’ll repurchase, but I’m glad I’ve been forced to find a way to use them.  What about you?  Have you been forced to revisit old items in your makeup collection?  Do you know of any dupes for these lip pencils?  Any tips or tricks to make them apply better?  Please leave suggestions in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!

* This is not a sponsored review.  These are my honest opinions and I bought these items with my own money.

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