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NARS SHEER LIPSTICKS
There is no getting away from the fact that the Nars lipsticks I am about to review come with a hefty price tag. Not as big as those high end brands like Chanel or Burberry, but certainly paying £18 for a lipstick is not something I would normally suggest doing, or even do myself, but I had heard some very good things about Nars Sheer lipsticks and decided to think about a possible purchase. I think what really attracted me to them is that for everyday I tend to prefer natural shades, and those that are really easy to wear and to apply. I have several very good lipsticks that fall into this category from MAC, my favourite of all time being Velvet Teddy which is a matte pink brown shade, and many other makes offer fantastic products to fulfil this need, such as those from MUA which can be purchased for £1 in Superdrug. However I had heard great things online about a shade called Dolce Vita which is in the Nars Sheer range, and thought I would do some research to see if I could justify this expense or not.
WHERE TO PURCHASE
Nars Sheer Lipsticks are not widely available, and unfortunately are not sold by Debenhams which is where I tend to purchase my beauty products as they have an excellent loyalty scheme. Instead you have three easy options, the first is through John Lewis stores or online through their mail order service, Nars themselves (items are shipped from France) and finally HQ hair. I tend to choose either John Lewis, as online you can collect Avios points if you are a member of that scheme, or HQ Hair as they have the cash-back availability from cashback sites such as Topcashback. Additionally HQ Hair also has regular offers on Nars and 10% off is not unusual.
Nars describe their sheer lipstick range as-
"A beautifully sheer formula infused with ingredients to improve the condition of the lips. Sheer, long lasting colour pigments have been suspended in this translucent formula to provide a sophisticated shine.
Lightweight formula glides on smoothly
Lush shade range
Patented blend of conditioners and antioxidants hydrate, nourish and protect lips"
So let's look in detail at the product to see if these claims can be substantiated. There are 30 shades to choose from - my first purchase Dolce Vita has a cult following and has been in the collection for over 10 years.
I always do a great deal of research before I purchase a beauty product, and for this I tend to focus on the consumer site Make-up Alley. This is a review website that is absolutely fantastic as it collates opinions on beauty products even down to the shades in every range you can think of. I love this as before you make a purchase you can really understand what a product is going to deliver, and for shades in particular this is so important. Just looking at a stand at a make-up counter can be misleading, especially if you have an over enthusiastic make up artist in attendance. Nars Dolce Vita lipstick is awarded 4.1 out of 5 with 71% saying they would repurchase. This is a good result, but I was aware that it wasn't as good as it could be, but with some reservations I decided to purchase as the colour was described as a warming dusty rose ideal for a lazy day so this was excellent. Also noone mentioned it had mauve undertones, as this is not a colour I suit and is sometimes found in neutral lipstick ranges.
ALL ABOUT THE LIPSTICK AND MY OPINION
The lipstick is presented in an attractive black case and is supplied in a cardboard box. The packaging is good, but not high end in appearance in my opinion. The lipstick goes on very sheer and you can build it up with several coats to increase the intensity. The formula is very moisturising and it feels comfortable on the lips. I have a pale complexion (NW20) in MAC and it highlights my face and imparts a lovely warm glow which I really like.
It isn't particularly long lasting, which is a slight contradiction to the long lasting pigment claims by Nars. It fades gradually over several hours but the lasting time can be extended by using lipcoat over the top if needed. Being sheer I wasn't expecting longevity so the claim by Nars is not something I particularly trusted initially anyway.
I was very pleased indeed with the lipstick, however, and over the past year I have purchased two more from the range- Mindgame which I was lucky enough to see on the discount store Cheap Smells. They do stock Nars from time to time and this gave me the opportunity to try this shade, which on me is a lovely warm rose brown described by Nars as a sheer brandy. My favourite purchase however was a shade called Mayflower, which I love so much that this has become the lipstick of choice for me on a regular basis and one I would now consider to be a holy grail lipstick. Nars describe this as a sheer raspberry, but on me it is a warm rose pink brown which I absolutely love as it imparts such a warm look to my face.
The Nars website suggests using these sheer formulas over your favourite matte lipsticks to impart more dimension and shine. This isn't something I have tried to do, as I just love the simplicity of being able to apply these shades effortlessly and simply as part of an everyday look. Nars also say that buying these lipsticks in their darker shades gives the opportunity to wear reds for example. This is ideal if you are normally not comfortable with the intensity that these dark shades impart, as the look is more like a stain than a deep wash of solid colour. They have a shade called Autumn Leaves which is described as a warm brandy- I have been considering this for some time but am so happy with Mayflower that I haven't gone ahead to buy anymore as yet.
Removal of the lipstick is easy with any make up remover or soap and water. Additionally I have found it doesn't transfer onto cups or glasses particularly as some sheer lipsticks can do.
I think the only negative for me with these sheer lipsticks is the cost as they are expensive, and there are many other options on the market that are cheaper and offer similar shades and finishes. For this reason I am not saying go out and purchase, as I think it is certainly not something I did lightly and I do choose cheaper alternatives a lot of the time. I love make up and am trying to create my holy grail collection, so that I have a complete set of choices for all occasions, I am also aware that these lipsticks being sheer are not long lasting, so I would not advise them for occasions where touching up is necessary but not convenient.
Having said all this I absolutely love them, and Mayflower in particular is holy grail material because it lifts my complexion imparting a healthy radiance which I really love. Dolce Vita and Mindgame are also lovely shades, and I will re-purchase them again in the future. I already have a back up of Mayflower as I love it so much. All the shades are excellent choices for work or the office environment as they give a polished professional look.
In conclusion I would say these lipsticks are excellent quality but expensive, and are by no means a must purchase as they can be duped in lower end collections on the high street. Having said that I am delighted with them, and I feel that they offer enough attributes to justify a repeat purchase, especially if I can secure an offer code and cash-back in the future.
This review will also be posted on Ciao under my user name Violet1278