At NARS, Lips Play With Purple, Red and Rose for Summer 2012

Published in: Lips, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

nars never say never
NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

Man, I’m so tired… (How tired am I?) I’m so tired that I could go to bed right now. In my work clothes. Without removing my makeup.


I actually tried to take a nap this afternoon — which I almost never do because it throws off my sleep schedule — but the phone rang right as I was dozing off.

Rinnng! Rinnng!

“Wha!? Hello? This is Karen.”

“Did I wake you?”

“Oh, hi Mom. No, I was just napping…” 🙂

My mom’s superpower is her ability to call right as I’m about to fall asleep (“Did I wake you?”), or at the exact moment I’m contemplating doing something potentially unwise (“What are you doing?”).

After the call, I considered just blowing off the rest of the afternoon, grabbing some fro-yo, and passing out on the couch, but then I wouldn’t have been able to share the revelations I had about the NARS Summer 2012 collection at the dentist earlier today.

Yes, girl, I thought about makeup at the dentist’s office. It was the only thing I could do to keep from losing my sh*z!

nars summer 2012 never say never calabria buenos aires
Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24), Calabria Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24) and Buenos Aires Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24)

A little back story…

When I was a kid, I had a really mean dentist who seemed to derive great joy from making me cry (I’m pretty sure he was a masochist). To this day, I bawl like a baby during cleanings.

But my current dentist, who looks like Steve Martin, he’s an angel. He’s so nice and patient, and he’s great about walking me through the process, which I really like. He even reminds me to relax my shoulders and unclench my fists while I’m sitting in the chair.

But yeah, he looks like Steve Martin, and whenever he’s hovering over me with that little silver hook, I start playing tunes from Little Shop of Horrors in my head…

nars moscow
Moscow Pure Matte Lipstick, $25

Luckily, today’s cleaning went great (no cavities, yay!), but the anxiety of wondering things like, “What if an earthquake strikes while he’s scraping at my molars and he crochets my gums with that hook?” left me physically and mentally drained.

nars vendanges
Vendanges Lipstick, $24

Between swishing, spitting and trying not to cry, my mind wandered to the new NARS 2012 collection. I thought about François and how the team at NARS must have had lips on their minds when they created it, since four of the nine pieces in the release are lip products.

nars summer 2012 swatches
Vendanges Lipstick, Moscow Pure Matte Lipstick, Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil and Buenos Aires Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

Did they play it safe with a summery selection of shiny coral, gold and pink? Not hardly. Instead, they took a risk on mattes and played with purple, red and rose.

Was it worth the risk? Let’s find out. 🙂

nars never say never
NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24): Was it named after the Bieber song? The world may never know (well, never say never…). Either way, this lilac rose has a matte finish that turns the idea of a bright summer lip on its head. Long lasting and non-drying, it’s my favorite lip product from the launch. I think it’s darn near perfection paired with the Marie-Galante Duo.

nars moscow
Moscow Pure Matte Lipstick


Moscow Pure Matte Lipstick ($25): Now that’s bold, baby! A matte red lip for summer? Cool and crazy. I probably wouldn’t wear this strawberry matte red lipstick to the beach, but everywhere else sounds good. I like that I don’t have to bother with a lip pencil, so it’s easy to apply. And it lasts for hours. I expect to wear this one well into fall.

nars vendanges
Sheer Lipstick in Vendeges

Sheer Lipstick in Vendeges ($24): Sheerness kept this crushed grape from going all the way to goth. It could look extra lovely on pigmented lips with purple undertones. Neat color, but it only lasts about 90 minutes on me.

nars buenos aires
Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Buenos Aires

Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Buenos Aires ($24): I love a good nude lip as much as the next girl, but this one makes my lips disappear! — unless I pull some trickery, like lining them first with a warm peach or coral pencil. It could look really pretty with the Ramatuelle Trio, with the beige shades playing off each other. Only thing is, it doesn’t last long on my lips. We’re talking one or two hours, tops.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Time for bed. Zzzz…


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So far, 20 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Jenn says:

    Thanks for the swatches!
    By the way, about Buenos Aires, is it beige pink or beige peach??
    Nars official description said it’s beige pink, but people who already have it said it’s beige peach rather than beige pink because they couldn’t see any pinky color in it.

  2. Erin says:

    Your dentist looks like Steve Martin?? Have you seen Little Shop of Horrors? :0

  3. frckls says:

    I’ve been really liking all your looks lately, Karen! You look stunning in all 4 pictures! Now you got me wondering in Never Say Never hmmmmmmmm…..

  4. I think I need Never Say Never! Super gorgeous and a color that doesn’t seem too intimidating.

    I’m glad your dentist appointment went well. I’ve always had nice ones, so I’m not too fussed about going to the dentist’s. I really love mine back in Taipei. I get super excited about going every summer when I’m home haha

  5. Nivedita says:

    Hahahaha! Looks like my mum and yours have something in common. Only, whenever I fall asleep she would bring in something to eat and wake me up :p

    Never Say never!! Not too loud yet loud enough!! It’s amazing! Karen, I feel the first and the second are your best looks ever this summer! I’m gonna try that out 🙂
    Nivedita recently posted … February and March Empties 2012

  6. Monika says:

    Your shot with Moscow lipstick + the eyeshadow and blush that also came out with this collection is BOMB. It’s obvious that those colors were meant to be used together, but it’s really lovely to see them all in person working with each other. They also look especially amazing on your skin (which is a lot like mine in color and undertone!), so you sealed the deal! I’m without a doubt getting all three now!

  7. Nina says:

    I really really love the lip colors that comes w/ this collection — they look soooo gorgeous on you!

  8. Belle says:

    Hi Karen!

    How does Moscow compare to Mascate? XX

  9. Chris25 says:

    I love Moscow. If only Vendeges were longer lasting….but maybe this is the universe’s way of telling me to save my money. 😛

  10. Tekoa says:

    Moscow! Yeah! I’m liking a red lipstick named Moscow.

  11. GinaTheresa says:

    Hi Karen! I actually really like the Buenos Aires lip gloss pencil on you. For a natural every-day look that’s still finished.

    Anyway I’m really lemming the Vendanges lipstick, but it looks a lot like Fast Ride, which I already have. Do you have any idea how they compare?


  12. Kim says:

    Moscow looks awesome on you! And I really like the look of Never Say Never (I’m having another Bond moment). 🙂

    Nice job getting through your dentist visit with your sanity. I’m very proud of you. I totally laughed at your Steve Martin comment and immediately thought of Little Shop of Horrors as well. HAHA!

    And I hear you on being tired. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I had my eyes closed on the Tread Climber last night and the only thing that kept me from falling off was holding onto the hand rails. I felt like I actually nodded off a couple of times! Oh, hey… sleep exercising. I might be on to something!

  13. Ro says:

    Karen, you have to see the movie ‘Novocain.’. Steve Martin plays a dentist! It’s a dark comedy. Actually maybe you shouldn’t see it ;). Btw, Never Say Never is my fav on you too.

  14. bisbee says:

    I’ve got a box from Nars waiting for me at home – with Never Say Never, Vendanges and the blush. Can’t wait!

  15. Vive says:

    How does the color of that sheer lipstick compare to Nars Fast Ride lipstick?

  16. Becca says:

    Aw, and I had such high hopes for Buenos Aires too. I have yet to find a nude lippie that doesn’t make me look like a corpse.

  17. Jess Lee says:

    omg K! ‘Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil’ looks amazing on ya!!! xox

  18. Sophie says:

    Wow, I don’t know what highlighter you use (or maybe its your skincare?) but your skin looks amazing! It glows! Really, really pretty. 🙂 Would you mind sharing what you’ve used on your skin?

  19. Liz says:

    Hi Karen, I just had to comment…the opening photo is one of the prettiest looks I’ve seen on you – and you share so many that are gorgeous. This color combination is especially stunning!

  20. Angel says:

    Hi Karen! Does Moscow lean cool or warm? It looks more orange red in your swatch, but you described it as strawberry, which sounds cooler.

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