The recently released NARS Velvet Lip Glide range caused some confusion among lip color aficionados. People have been hoping for a while that NARS would join other brands and release a full-on matte liquid lipstick of the kind that holds on to lips for dear life, only in NARS's unique and uncompromising shades. There were rumors that the formula Velvet Lip Glide is going to be just that, the liquid lipstick to end them all.
It isn't, and that's mostly a good thing.
Two years ago, before the onslaught of liquid lipstick as we know them today (think of the brands that are heavily promoted on Instagram and YouTube) I might have called NARS Velvet Lip Glide a "liquid lipstick". It's a liquid lip color with an opaque pigmentation and no glossiness. As a matter of fact, this NARS formula reminds me f a Lorac liquid lipstick that existed about twelve years ago, Lip Intensity. It gave full coverage, high pigment intensity, and a creamy finish. It also got everywhere, especially on my teeth until I've learned how to apply correctly.
It's a similar story here. NARS Velvet Lip Glide feels absolutely wonderful on the lips. It's a very smooth and light product that hydrates reasonably well (without the plumping effect of hyaluronic acid formulas, for better and worse). It's as comfortable as these things get while providing an intense pigmentation and full coverage. The finish is labeled as "semi-matte", but I'd say it's more of a cream-to-satin, but that might be dependant on particular colors.
Now, here's the bad news: the robust doe foot applicator is completely wrong for the Lip Glide. It picks up too much product and lacks precision. The results could have been comic if it weren't my own face and reputation. No matter how many times I've wiped the tip of the applicator on the rim of its tube, I still had on twice the amount needed for my lips, and any excess landed immediately on my teeth, and kept crawling there even after the finger-in-mouth trick. It was exasperating. The only solution I've found was to pick up the color from the applicator or from the tip of the tube itself with the smallest lip brush I could find (or a wide eyeliner brush, like the classic Bobbi Brown), but only after I make sure there isn't a gloop of product there to begin with. The amount of color you need to cover your lips is tiny, and the Velvet Lip Glide stretches to infinity.
Once the color is on, you still need to remember that this is NOT a liquid lipstick in the modern sense. It transfers onto tea cups, husbands, and cats, and needs to be fully reapplied after a meal, which might not be the most convenient thing considering ne should use a brush. My best advice is to anchor the Lip Glide with a matching lip liner first, and to wear it on regular days when you can take a quick break with your makeup bag, and not on a dinner date with a new prospect.
Now to the colors I was sent:
|From left: Bound, Danceteria, 54, Toy|
Bound is a classic nude rose, a "my lips but better" shade for any (it's half a tone lighter than my own natural lip color, which has its uses). I'm guessing that Bound is the most popular shade in this range because it's so easy to wear.
Danceteria sounds like the name of a disease (actually, the whole line is named after dance clubs from the 1970s), and is so bright and pink that I cannot wear it on its own (true pinks are hard for me). However, a touch of Danceteria mixed with any of the other colors makes them that much better, so in reality it has somehow became one of the most used.
54, named after the legendary studio, is a gorgeous red with a hint of a pink base. There are two other bold reds in the Velvet Lip Glide range, Mineshaft (a warm red) and Le Palace (blue based), so I'd say that everyone can find her or his poison here. There's also another red, Deviant , which is exclusive to narscosmetics.com and their freestanding boutiques, which might be more of an everyday red. Had the formula been less finicky I would have bought it in a heartbeat.
Toy is a dark and vampy purple. I don't look good in it on its own, but mixed in equal parts (which means a pin drop of each) with Danceteria is my perfect plum, as you can see below:
Bottom Line: Use responsibly.
NARS Velvet Lip Glide ($26 each, made in ) is available from select department stores, Sephora, NARS boutiques and narscosmetics.com. The products for this review were sent by PR.