Lip Look: Effortless Red Holiday Lips with NARS Forbidden Red and Greek Holiday

Published in: Makeup

nars greek holiday gloss forbidden red velvet matte lip pencil

Bling-a-ling-a-ling! Pick up your the iPhones, my Blanche Deverauxs. The holidays are calling (bonjour!), and they look smokin’ in this glossy, tomato-red lip from NARS.


Oh, did I mention that it’s totally easy to use?

I would have never thought to layer NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Forbidden Red ($24, a warm red with a touch of orange) beneath NARS Lip Gloss in Greek Holiday ($24, a sheer, shimmery golden pink), but a friend insisted I give it a go.

SO glad I did, because not only is it sexy as hell, but it wasn’t hard at all to do.

I used to be totally scurred of red lips. Lining and then filling them with with lipstick and lip brush, blotting and layering — it was all too much!

I wish I’d known about NARS Forbidden Red (or products like it) way back when… Velvety smooth and packed with pigment, this fatty-bo-batty lip crayon is like a lipstick and liner rolled into one. The no-tug formula glides across my lips, applying with ease.

No need for separate lip products or brushes, the red lip becomes streamlined and simple — just line the lips, fill them in and you’re done. It’s perfect for makeup enthusiasts wanting to spread their wings.

nars forbidden red velvet matte lip pencil

I dig Forbidden Red by itself, but topping her off with Greek Holiday gloss adds a little something extra without taking the look over the top.

nars forbidden red velvet matte lip pencil greek holiday gloss top

Party-hopping girls could wear this lip to holiday cocktail parties later this year. Or, if you’re like me, you could rock it in your living room while watching The Golden Girls on Lifetime while you down frozen yogurt with your cat.

This is the face you make when your cat unexpectedly jumps on your back

This is the face your cat makes when he hates you. Coincidentally, it’s the same one he makes when he loves you.

My tart will go on…


Let’s tawk for a second about my second favorite thing in the world (besides makeup): DESSERT! Last night I tried this new Tart Natural flavor from Haagen-Dazs. Have you tried it yet? It’s SO frickin’ good. I went to bed thinking about it, and even now I’m still drooling. ๐Ÿ™‚

It tastes like the top half of a container of fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt — tart, with just a hint of fruity sweetness. I sprinkled some chopped strawberries on top, and I heard angels singing somewhere in the distance (*tummy rumbles*). If you like tart, you gotta give it a try!


All fro-yo talk aside, how’s your Wednesday coming along? How do you feel about 9/9/09? I’m not really into numerology, but nine is still my favorite number.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Bay Area makeup lovahs, if you’ve got some free time on Saturday, September 19, consider hitting up the Nordstrom Cosmetics Trend Show at the Valley Fair Store in Santa Clara. The show features the latest products and seasonal makeup trends, and national artists like Janice Daoud will be on hand to deliver insider tips and tricks. I attended one earlier this summer and had a lot of fun.

It’s $15 to attend (redeemable towards makeup purchases), and you even get snacks, drinks and a goody bag. Several lines, including NARS, will have special gifts with purchase. Doors open at 8 a.m., but get there early for good seats. Fun! For more information, call (408) 248-2180.


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So far, 79 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. shontay says:

    Very pretty Karen. I love Nars so much. I’ve always been tempted to try a velvet matte lip pencil, but I never can decide which color to get. Tabs is so awesome and your face in the 1st photo is priceless.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shontay,

      I heart NARS, too. I took out a few blushes and lip glosses today and just spent some time playing. So much fun!

      Are you back to work this week?

  2. Tavia says:

    Karen your photos put a smile on my face really. It’s kind of funny to see Tabs like this, he was always so calm:). The red colors looks good on you, but unfortunately will look terrible on me. Some girls are just not meant to have red lips.
    .-= Tavia’s last blog post… Chic Preview รขโ‚ฌโ€œ Urban Decay รขโ‚ฌโ€œ Book of Shadows vol II รขโ‚ฌโ€œ Holiday 2009 =-.

  3. Rachel says:

    Ack! Your poor back lol. Tabs is so cute. Love his expression in the 2nd pic. That red is ravishing!
    .-= Rachel’s last blog post… Look of the day (description) =-.

  4. Carla says:

    This is going straight on my shopping list. Love the combo.
    .-= Carla’s last blog post… Stila Kitten and Black Cat Smudge Pots =-.

  5. Kelly says:

    That is a hawt red lip! I’m looking for something red and moisturizing for my trip to Vegas next weekend and that might be it!

    LOL at the Tabs pics I just died laughing!

    I’m totally not into numerology either but I am loving 9-9-09 for some reason. I was going to get married on 7-7-07 (my lucky number) but apparently everyone else on earth was also so we did in in May instead ๐Ÿ˜‰
    .-= Kelly’s last blog post… Technorati test =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kelly,

      El Hub and I got married in 7/06 and I remember the wedding coordinator talking about how everything for 7/7/7 had been booked years in advance.

      Are you headed to Vegas for work or for fun? You gotta bring a feather boa if you’re rocking the crazy red.

  6. Sonja says:

    Wow didn’t even notice the day today. Nice, I love no.9 very much.

    Aw, isn’t Tabs the cutest. This happens to me a lot. The last incident was when she, my 13y.o. cat jumped on my head, while I was asleep on the bed (tried to jump on the window, didn’t see the glass of water, thus-on my head)

    The red looks great on you! I have tons of red lipsticks, but never wear them- I look like a Lolita with them (although I’m in my 20’s). I prefer berry and fuchsia. Doesn’t stop me from buying them all the time, nevertheless.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sonja,

      Oh no! I can imagine how that morning went. Tabs has yet to jump on my head (knock on wood).

      Hmm, maybe you can do a light stain with your reds. That way you can still wear ’em without the Lolita factor. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Tiffany says:

    great lip look! I love the matte velvet pencils so much! also love the tabs photos, and now am craving some frozen yogurt. I will have to pick some up this weekend. I wish they were doing the nordie’s trend show in my area ๐Ÿ™

  8. mcnallyme says:

    you are too cute! that is a GREAT holiday lip, and i really LOVE your blog. I am glad I am not the only one thinking about holidays! have you seen the opi holiday nail polishes?

  9. Janet says:

    lksjfalkdfjd I live in Santa Clara ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I might just have to check that out…

  10. Nancy says:

    omg, karen, you don’t know how happy i am to see you! LOL looks like you’ve been working to solve the probs some of us were having…it’s 7:32 p.m. ohio e.s.t. and things (*crossing fingers*) look good. i was even having probs at work too on IE, and was just losing heart. i’ve gotten my fix of your fab-u-lous blog, *sigh*…thanks for all of your hard work. WE LOVE YOU!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nancy,

      AWWWW! You make me smile. ๐Ÿ™‚ Things are still getting worked out… hopefully it’ll all get 100% sorted out soon, sigh.

      How was your day?

  11. Catherine says:

    Oh man that is HOT. And it looks like exactly the red lip I’ve been looking for! Please do a FOTD w/ these!?
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… Fuzkittie’s Birthday Butterfly Princess Style Bracelet =-.

  12. Stefanie says:

    I’m going to the Nordie’s Trend Show here in Portland, OR this Saturday – SO excited!!
    I’ve been to a couple in the past and they are always fun.
    I have an appointment at the MAC counter too ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m not sure how much of a MAC girl I am, but I suppose I’ll give it a go! Any favorite products I should be sure to check out?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Stefanie,

      There’s a ton of fun stuff — their brushes, eyeshadows, blushes and lipsticks are my faves. If you’d like, I could recommend a few good neutral/basic colors from their permanent line. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Mica says:

    Hi Karen. I’ve been reading your blog for a while but have never left a comment. Bad blog reader! I would love to experiment more with layering gloss over lipstick, but I am always afraid that I will contaminate the gloss wand/gloss container with the lipstick color. How do you avoid that? Or am I being too paranoid? I’ve tried dabbing the gloss onto my hand then putting it on the lips with a different brush, but that is just way too much of a hassle. The Nars lip pencil is fantastic! Must add it to my bright red lipstick collection!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mica,

      Yay! I’m glad you decided to pop by to say hello. You’re question is a great one, btw. I hate “contaminating” lip glosses with lipstick, too. Often I end up just swiping it on the back of my hand, and then transferring it to my lips with my fingers or a lip brush. It’s not the quickest way, but it keeps your lipgloss color true.

      I hope you try Forbidden Red soon!

  14. Rae says:

    Holy crap — gorgeous!! There goes the rest of my night: experimenting with layering lip products. Readings and essays? What are these foreign terms you speak of??! ๐Ÿ˜›

    (Also, you and tabs are hilarious, and I might just have to try that frozen yoghurt!! I never would have thought of picking up something named “tart”, but it sounds delish.)
    .-= Rae’s last blog post… The Perfect Red =-.

  15. Marisol says:

    oh man that sounds so good! Gotta try it next time I am at the store.

    You can totally pull off a red lip. I am too skerred to try it.
    .-= Marisol’s last blog post… We Are God In The Chrysalis =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marisol,

      Dude, you could totally do it! Just wear it around the house for a bit (sounds silly, but it helps) so you can get used to it at first. Then, bust that bad boy out for a night on the town!

  16. Meghan says:

    Hey Karen!

    This look is totally hot! Blanche would be proud!

    I don’t know if it would work on me (warm reds are hit or miss) but I’m gonna swatch at Sephora next time I go.
    .-= Meghan’s last blog post… An Ode to Liquid Liner Pens =-.

  17. Lana says:

    Those pictures are so funny! My late kitty Mo used jump on your back when you were bent over untying your shoes! He was such a friendly little guy!

    Awesome lip look. Hawt.
    .-= Lana’s last blog post… Punch It Out =-.

  18. Nadine says:

    OMG, thank you for posting about the new tart low-fat froyo from Haagen-Dazs! My boyfriend and I lurrrrrve tart froyo!

    Oh, sorry, you posted about makeup? Haha! Red lips are my signature makeup look (yup, I’m obsessed) so you know I must be way too excited about supermarket tart froyo to zoom right past blazing hot red lips! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Glosslizard says:

    You are so awesome! I don’t know anyone else who would post a pic of that moment of abject terror when something unexpectedly lands on your back! Fantastic! ๐Ÿ˜€

    That lippie is gorgeous… I got Cruella for my girl Paula for her birthday this year! She loves it!

    I’m going to try that yogurt too….

    • Karen says:

      Hi Glosslizard,

      Oh nice! I can so see that working for her!

      The best part of the yogurt is it’s low fat. Plus, it’s sooo tart you only need a little bit of it to satisfy the itch.

  20. lexi says:

    cool I have Greek Holiday gloss and I don’t know what to do with it.

    Also, we lost our cat to liver failure and old age about 2wks ago…I didn’t think I miss as much as I do. He was my husband’s cat for the past 13yrs. I think he’s just about over it. Cherish everyday you have with Tabs but it doesn’t look like you don’t!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lexi,

      I am sorry for your loss. I do cherish every day I have with Tabs… we have a dysfunctional relationship but it’s based on love. I will give him extra hugs today for you.

  21. Stephie says:

    I’ve always been interested in the NARS lip pencils. Now I have a reason to check them out. That lip combo is sexxxy!

    And I had a great Wednesday. Ditched Stat class for an afternoon of driving and eating w/ the BF and I got the night off for work and found some great little buys at TJMAXX and small Japanese store. Best hump day EVER!
    .-= Stephie’s last blog post… A few new friends.. =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Stephie,

      Nice! What did you get at TJMAXX?

      I gotta say, every time I type TJMAXX I think of that old commercial, “La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la TEE JAY MAX!”

  22. Vonvon says:

    Wow!! That’s a very pretty red and if I could get NARS over here, I’d get the Greek Holiday lip gloss, even if it’s just for its name “GREEK HOLIDAY”! ๐Ÿ˜€
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… Tiring Morning But Relaxing Afternoon =-.

  23. Vonvon says:

    Oh yea, Karen, just a little request…can you show us what kind of eye makeup that will best go with such red lips?

    Thanks a bunch! ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… Tiring Morning But Relaxing Afternoon =-.

  24. Ruth says:

    Awwwwwwww Tabs is in lurv <3 Love the lip combo, just gorgeous.

  25. amy says:

    My cat likes to secretly attack me sometimes too but she would tear up my legs. The red lipstick is hot. I wish I could try more Nars products, but it is not as budget friendly for me right now. BOO!
    .-= amy’s last blog post… FOTD MAC Starflash R-Rated and The Balm Risque Renee Eyeshadows =-.

  26. Kylie says:

    OMG, that sneak attack pic is priceless! When I saw it, I laughed so hard that A.) I was wheezing, and B.) I almost choked on a Cheez-it. Good stuff!

  27. CC says:

    I love this lip look. I thought that surely a nude lip gloss over a red lip liner would just give a pinkish bronzish mess, but it looks amazing! As far as cats jumping on people’s shoulders – don’t ever let Tabs out of his pet carrier while you’re driving to the vet, unless you’d like a very painful cat hat and scared passengers!:P

  28. Nina says:

    Karen you are such an enabler! After all these years of looking for that perfect warm red I finally found one!
    .-= Nina’s last blog post… Review: Code Geass รขโ‚ฌโ€œ All That Glitters Is Not Gold =-.

  29. Nina says:

    Okay that was weird, the blog linked to me isn’t mine!

  30. Abbie Johnson says:

    That looks fantastic

    I love using red lipstick during the holidays to spice up my winter look. I defiantly am going to take a look at the NARS line, currently I use lipslicks by Bepro and have great success, though I am always open to new ideas

  31. Lana says:

    LMAO this is the best post EVER! I know all to well the pain and surprise that comes with a clawed pet! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Alison says:

    Wow that combination of lipstick and gloss looks amazing on you, I wish I could carry off red lippie but I always look like I’ve been smacked in the mouth! Maybe it’s just because I’m not used to it, or maybe it is too harsh against my super pasty skin, I don’t know!

    Love the unexpected pouncing pic! Tabs is so cute though, bet you can’t stay angry at him for long! It’s weird what pets do sometimes, my dog, Toby, used to bury his toys and bones in the bottom of my bed. When I slipped into bed on a night there would be this gross smelly thing in there! My Mum said he did it out of love but sometimes I’m not so sure, I think he just found it funny!

  33. Dao says:

    Tabs did the Edward Cullen move on you again? He probably thought he was still a kitten. I got a box of Edy’s Slow Churn ice cream with yogurt during the Labor Day weekend and it was gooood. Did you try it yet?
    .-= Dao’s last blog post… Lรขโ‚ฌโ„ขOreal EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System UV Protect Spray =-.

  34. Dani C says:


    That looks o great on you. I am really pale(think Dita von T) but I’m such a fan of the red lip, I have so many red lipsticks I think its actually a fetish lol. And I’m forever on the hunt for new ones…….I have MAC red and thats the only one that really SCARES me its just so strong on me, whatever I do with it, I think maybes its too blue toned or something?

    Please do some more red lips and what eyemakeup to do go with it? I tend to go neutral eyes a la Dita Von Teese, but would love some more looks to do!!

    Your blog is great, I read it alllllllllll the time!x

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dani C,

      Sure — truth be told, I tend to stick to neutrals (a la Dita… LOVE HER!) w/thick cat liner on the eyes too when I do red lips. I’ll see what I can whip up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Tiffany says:

    Hey Karen! I think it’s called dolce vita? The color is great! I still haven’t started the host ๐Ÿ™ football season has taken over my free time! I need to get to reading b/c it’s due back in the 23rd!

  36. Kelly says:

    I’m headed to Vegas for fun! Going to see my BFF who lives in Boise and I haven’t seen her in 7 years! Also going with another good friend ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Kelly’s last blog post… Color Club Master Of Disguise =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kelly,

      Do you like to gamble? When you go you’ve got to play some Wheel of Fortune slots for me. I’m sooo not a gambler but I love that thing for some sick reason. ๐Ÿ˜€

  37. Mica says:

    Hi Karen

    I think it’s a sign of my stash being too big (is there such a thing?!?). I actually do have a Nars matte lip pencil, but in a different shade. I have Cruella – couldn’t resist the name! I love the ease of application, love the color, but was quite disappointed by the staying power. Do you have any problems with that? I seem to remember that it also bleeds more than I was expecting, but don’t quote me on that.

    It’s good to hear that I’m not the only OCD person that worries about things like lipstick contaminating a tube of lip gloss:)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mica,

      Mine stays on a pretty long time — then again, when I’m wearing reds I consciously try not to rub my lips together and am mindful of not it getting it all over the place (I had to learn this lesson the hard way, LOL!).

      Oh yah, nobody wants a wacked out tube of gloss that’s got like 5 different colors up in the mix! Do you put some on the back of your hand, too?

  38. Marce says:

    That lip combo looks FIERCE, yo.
    LOL I wouldn’t have appeared in the picture if my dog unexpectedly jumped on me, I’d either be 1. face on the floor, or 2. a couple of mts above the floor. ๐Ÿ˜€
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… Givenchy Maharani Jewels – Swatches =-.

  39. Hyzenthlay says:

    Hi Karen,
    I have to tell you that you are so beautiful, even if Tabs IS jumping on your back! The pictures made me laugh, and all, but, seriously, you are amazingly beautiful!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Hyzenthlay,

      Awww. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Guess what! I just saw on lifetime that Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? is gonna be on this weekend. Time to fire up ye olde Tivo!!!

  40. Alexandra says:

    Awww Tabs is one crazy kitty. The second picture,he has such a look of love on his face. I think he just wanted to be close to his mum ๐Ÿ™‚ lol

  41. Kizzy says:

    Haha! Those pics with Tabs! You’re so crazy, I love it!
    .-= Kizzy’s last blog post… What really happens at Marie Claire =-.

  42. Dani C says:


    I LOVE Dita Von T, she’s just soooooooooo glamourous!! I don’t know how she does it!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to seeing what you whip up ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m no good with the eyeliner though, am useless with it, not so bad that I got a cheaper avon brown glimmersticks one to play with tho ;). I whip a bit of MAC modest tone e/s on all over, remember that? heck I need something similar to it, any ideas? mines nearly done! A bit of my eyeliner hehe, a touch of blush and red lips and good to go!! So simple!

  43. kit says:

    Wow, that’s a beautiful lip color combination. I have a red glossimer from Chanel that I’ve used but not sure if I can carry this off.

    Love the candid pics on Tab’s sneaky approach.

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