Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Grace Review, Photos and Swatches

NARS, the world-renowned makeup brand founded by make-up artist Francois Nars, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year. To celebrate, they've released a brand new line of lipsticks in a brand new formula. They're called Audacious, which is such a fantastic word, isn't it? 

These lipsticks are extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless and you'll feel that way wearing them, I bet. 

Here is NARS' model for the Audacious lipsticks, Charlotte Rampling. I presume she's wearing the Charlotte shade, an "oxblood burgundy". 

Here's what NARS has to say about the formula:

Modern lipstick so shamelessly seductive in touch and texture the sensation is audacious. Unadulterated luxury glides on like satin across skin with single-stroke coverage. A spectrum of 40 shades for unstoppable impact.
    • one-stroke, full-coverage creamy wear.
    • luxurious texture and enriched with ingredients to smooth and nourish lips.
    • long-lasting.
Each lipstick has a woman's name, and while there's no explanation as to which woman the lipstick was named for, there are many you can guess at. Or at least I think I can. Here are some of my guesses based on the lipstick shades. I've linked to photos of the ladies in similar shades to the NARS Audacious lipsticks I think are in homage to them. To me, it seems fairly obvious to some of them, for example, Anita is an "antique rose" which would fit perfectly with the 60s sex kitten look of Anita Ekberg. Catherine is a "sunny guava", which I bet Catherine Deneuve would have worn as Belle de Jour. Jane is a "terracotta rose" which looks exactly like a shade Jane Birkin would have worn. It's tough to guess what shade of red Marlene Dietrich is wearing since most of her films and photos were black and white, but we know she wore red, and I bet the Audacious lipstick described as "red brick" would have suited her.

Do you have any guesses? Let me know!

I have the NARS Audacious lipstick in Grace to show you today. Grace is a "bright pink coral" and one I was immediately drawn to. I was also drawn to Anita, but my Sephora was out of stock, so that will possibly be a future purchase. 

The NARS Audacious lipsticks are pricey - $37 CDN each, so while I typically balk at high pricetags, and initially did for these, the quality of them convinced me to splurge.

Ingredients part one.

Ingredients part two.
I've got to say a few words about the packaging. The lipstick case is square widthwise and rectangular lengthwise. It's matte black with NARS written around the bottom half. 

These lipsticks are nicely heavy. They feel good in your hand. I mean, really good, in your hand. This isn't some dainty, delicate, ordinary lipstick.

I have to talk about the lids too. Unlike most lipstick cases, the Audacious lipstick cases are magnetized, so they slip into place on their own. This is awesome, because we've all had lipstick lids come off in our purses, and that's a pain in the ass. These lipstick lids won't ever come off on their own. 

The best part is that because they're magnetized, they'll only fit on a specific way. Despite the fact that the case is square widthwise, the lids will only slip into place when certain edges line up with certain edges. If the wrong edges are lined up, you'll feel a resistance, and the lid will not slip into place. Sometimes, at certain angles, the lid will spin to fit correctly. It's quite delightful and satisfying. Another mark of the high quality of this product.

Onto the the lipstick itself. The Audacious lipsticks are 0.14 oz, which is about average for a lipstick, but to me the actual length of the product in the tube seems shorter than say a MAC lipstick.

Below, it's twisted all the way out of the tube. Perhaps it's slightly thicker than other lipsticks, so that can explain the seemingly shorter length. Also, this lipstick is very opaque with one swipe, and long-lasting, so you need to wear less of it.

Each lipstick has NARS stamped into on the squared-off side. You can hopefully see this in the photo above and the photo below. This squared off side gives the tip (traditionally tear drop shaped) a flat edge which perhaps makes it easier to apply. I'm not sure if it does, but it seems to me that it might. 

Grace is a "bright pink coral" and yes, that's accurate. It's a beautiful, bright colour. I can picture the elegant and beautiful Grace Kelly wearing this colour. It feels fresh and bright, but not overly dramatic.

Texture-wise, here is another way the Audacious lipsticks might make you gasp (I did). They are so creamy and so light, but opaque and richly pigmented. One swipe is all you need to build up the colour on your lips. The Audacious lipsticks all have a semi-matte or a satin (matte with a bit of sheen) finish, so if you're looking for something shimmery, you'll want to skip past these. 

Grace has a satin finish, so it's matte with a slight sheen. It glides on smoothly, smoothes out the texture of my lips and doesn't catch on any dry patches.

Swatched on NW15 skintone.

Swatched on NW15 skintone.
Grace wore very nicely on me. The colour stayed true for at least four hours. I did find it a touch drying, so I will have to make sure my lips are well exfoliated and moisturized next time I wear this for an extended period of time. 

I absolutely adore this lipstick formula. It's remarkable. For a lipstick that's not shimmery or glossy to go one so creamy and so opaque is fantastic. It goes on easily, wears well and packs a real bunch. This is a high quality product from packaging to application to wear and the $37 CDN price tag is not so shocking when you've tried these lipsticks.

I kind of want them all. 

Grade: B+

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