NARS Fall 2011: I’m Anything But Neutral on These Latest Lip Colors from François Nars

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

We’re taking a page from Vanessa Williams today by saving the best for last. 🙂 The new nine-piece NARS Fall 2011 collection is getting all dolled up backstage, preparing for its big debut (on counters “soon,” which usually means any day now, and online July 15). Lips feature prominently in the release, making up more than half of the collection, with five different pieces in varieties of pink, red, rose and violet.


When I think of fall makeup, visions of dark, opaque matte lips cross my mental runway. There are a couple of those kinds of colors here, but NARS spiced things up by varying the finishes and levels of coverage, which range from the sheer Pago Pago to the full-coverage Train Bleu, Montego Bay and Mascate.

While overall I think the lip colors, like the other pieces in the collection, lean cool, making these colors potential paramours for gals with cooler skin tones, a few of them approach neutral, which also gives ladies with warmer skin tones (like moi) reason to smile.

It’s like there’s a little something for everyone this time around.

nars pago pago
Pago Pago Lipstick

Pago Pago Lipstick ($24) If you’re looking for a neutral pink lip, Pago Pago is a South Pacific kick in the pants! The silver sparkles in this sheer petal pink, which is named after the capital of American Samoa, make it something special to behold. A single layer produces a light wash of shiny color; two deliver about the same coverage as a MAC Lustre. But one layer or two, I think it looks like destiny opposite the bright blue NARS Outremer Eyeshadow Single. MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: A+

nars oasis
Oasis Lip Gloss

Oasis Lip Gloss ($24) NARS describes it beautifully as a sparkling pink champagne, and, sure, I’ll take a glass of that. 🙂 On me, I characterize it as a pinkish berry sprinkled with flecks of golden glitter. I think François totally nailed the pigmentation here, giving Oasis just enough color to make a statement without taking over the entire show. Sure, it comes with that notorious trademark plasticky NARS gloss scent, but it’s super easy to wear, and I bet it looks fabulous on a wide range of skin tones. MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: A

nars train bleu
Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

Train Bleu Velvet matte Lip Pencil ($24) Okay, now doesn’t this deep, dark purple remind you of an eggplant? Dramatic and goth, I think it looks amazing in pictures. I never expected to like this pencil as much as I do, and I almost didn’t give it a chance. For a modern look, try it with soft, shimmery eyeshadows like the shades in the NARS Delphes Trio. MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: A

nars montego bay
Montego Bay Pure Matte Lipstick

Montego Bay Pure Matte Lipstick ($25) Practically speaking, I love practical products! This sweet, matte rosy pink is probably the most wearable shade at this fall party, and I can see myself pulling it from my makeup bag daily. I can’t wait to try a layer of it beneath MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass. MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: A+

nars mascate
Mascate Bay Pure Matte Lipstick

Mascate Pure Matte Lipstick ($25): It’s a bit challenging — like a slightly darker, brick red version of MAC Russian Red. The first time I saw it in the tube, I thought, “OOH! Pretty!” The first time I tried it on (straight from the tube), I thought, “HOT MESS!” This one could benefit from a lip brush and liner (and the hand of a patient person to do the applying). MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B

nars outremer single eyeshadow
Pago Pago Lipstick

Oasis Lip Gloss (Dude, Tabs looks downright ginormous in this pic, doesn’t he?)

nars delphes trio eyeshadow
Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

nars delphes trio eyeshadow
Montego Bay Pure Matte Lipstick

Mascate Pure Matte Lipstick

Lip products from the left: Oasis Lip Gloss, Train Bleu Velvet matte Lip Pencil, Pago Pago Lipstick, Montego Bay Pure Matte Lipstick, Mascate Pure Matte Lipstick

nars fall 2011 oasis lip gloss
Oasis Lip Gloss (Limited Edition), $24

nars fall 2011 train bleu velvet matte lip pencil
Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, $24

nars fall 2011 pago pago lipstick
Pago Pago Lipstick, $24

nars fall 2011 montego bay and mascate pure matte lipsticks
Montego Bay Pure Matte Lipstick (left) and Mascate Pure Matte Lipstick (right), $25 each

What do ya think? See anything you might add to your lust list?

For more on the NARS Fall 2011 collection…

About those earrings…


The silver ones I’ve been wearing lately? They’re the Double Feathers Earrings from Kris Nations. She has lots of dainty silver and gold pieces, and many of her designs are based on natural shapes like leaves, flowers and feathers.

I love her stuff, even though I thought it might be too Lady of the Canyon/hippie-dippy for me.

Apparently not! 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 61 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Sasha says:

    That NARS Outremer eyeshadow blows me away! I wish I could pull it off the way you do:)

    Already calculating how much dough I have to cough up to get these babies LOL:) Definitely picking up the Outremer eyeshadow, Pago Pago, Montego Bay, and maybe the Oasis lip gloss. Still on the fence with the other eyeshadows in the collection, so will read up on your reviews.

    Thank you as always for sharing, Karen! You look amazing in your pics!:)

  2. Zin says:

    Oh Karen, I lust for every single one of those. I should start saying my good byes to my future pay cheques.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Zin,

      Your lips will look AWESOME come fall. 🙂 These are great shades to invest in as they’ll easily carry you into holiday and even spring.

  3. Arianne says:

    Oooh the lipsticks are definitely the best part of this collection. Montego Bay is a great work lipstick. Buuuut, there’s just something about that eggplant lipstick that makes me wanna say “come to mama!”
    Arianne recently posted … Summer Must-Have: Vasanti Micronized Silky Blush in Andes.

    • Karen says:

      Oh, I know! You know the great thing about it is it’s non-sticky, so when Sherbie comes up to you to give you a kitty hug her hair won’t get caught in your lips.

  4. xMissxAndristx says:

    truly a crazy cat lady.. i saw the pic with tabs and just though “ooooh kitty wanna snuggle!” in my talking-to-my-cats voice.

  5. Dani/NotAVampireLvr says:

    That lip pencil is gorgeous!!!!

  6. sillylilacs says:

    Definitely loving Pago Pago and Montego Bay!

    Also the earrings are super cute! I love leaves designs for jewelry =D
    sillylilacs recently posted … Zoya Zara – Review and Swatches

  7. Kaoyee says:

    Ack! I haven’t even bought NARS Carthage yet and now I’m hankering for fall 2011. My bank account hates me!

  8. Jessi says:

    Oooh, you’re right, Montego Bay would look great with EvRev. I want the lipstick just so I can try it!
    Jessi recently posted … elf’s $1 Essential Lipsticks- Swatches and Review

  9. Nina says:

    Montego Bay and Moscato are the clear winners for me — i love the colors and the way they apply on your lips!

  10. LOLA says:

    Sugarsnatch, wanted to say your Evo Revo lipgloss is awesome. wearing it now, perfect for us tan broads. Great job!

  11. alex says:

    I’ve been wearing Oasis since it released with the Blush collection and I love it. It’s the only Nars lipgloss I’ve ever felt the need to buy a back up for. Good thing, too… cuz I’ve almost hit bottom on the first tube!

  12. steph b says:

    One of my fav trips was to Pago Pago. Wish I liked the lipstick better so that I could wear it and smile.

    • Karen says:

      I would love to go there some day. Did you go for vacay or for work?

      • steph b says:

        How about we call it “work.” And since the work was focused on coral reefs, we had to go diving. Absolutely spectacular. Added bonus, there are only 2 flights a week so after work was over, I was “stuck” for a few extra days.

        • Karen says:

          Sounds rough (ha!). So, did you full-on dive — with tanks and everything?

          • steph b says:

            Yep. First we had to ask the village elder for permission to dive on their reef and promise to respect it. The giant clams were amazing. Didn’t see another boat out on the water all day.

          • Karen says:

            Diving into deep water freaks me out (it’s a claustrophobia thing), but that sounds really, REALLY cool. I bet the water was crystal clear too!

            What I’d give to be able to swim in a warm ocean right now…

  13. Rachel says:

    Oooh la la! Looks like you had fun playing with different looks! Those eyeshadows are so stunning on you too! Love the earrings!

  14. yuri says:

    Montego Bay is my favorite color

  15. Julia says:

    Want this collection NOWWWW! Pago Pago is calling my name!!

  16. Amy P says:

    How do Montego Bay and Mascate compare to Bangkok and Vesuvio?

  17. BeautyMaven says:

    HAHA I’m glad you said that about Tabs– I was like WHOA THAT’S A BIG CAT.
    It’s funny– I LOVE Train Bleu in the close-up, but far away it’s almost a bit much. Very chic, though!

  18. Naj says:

    I love how Montego Bay looks on you. It looks nude with a touch of pink. And I’m more of a stud girl(mainly cause I end up feeling overdressed with big dangly ones), but this feather one is so pretty and sweet!

  19. lexi says:

    Is this the same Oasis gloss that was released at Sephora to match with the blush? If so, I have this and I absolutely love this color!

  20. Advah says:

    That Oasis lip gloss is really pretty! I’m also warming up to matt lipsticks, I think it’s time I give those a try. As for Tabs, I love how he decided that the photo session wasn’t going to intrude on his right-shoulder-cuddle schedule.

    Also I look at that jewellery website yesterday, they’ve got beauuuutiful things on there!!

    • Karen says:

      He was being REALLY bratty that day. I eventually just gave up and ended up carrying him around like a big, hairy baby!

      Ooh, speaking of jewelry, I have a crush on this bracelet: Blade Cuff.

      • Advah says:

        It’s beautiful!! Over the last year I’ve become obsessed with gold and coppery cuffs and chunky necklaces. Love this one.

        • Karen says:

          Me too! I wasn’t into gold for most of high school and college and have only recently come to appreciate it. Bold pieces like this look so pretty with simple black tops and dresses, you know? It’s such an easy way to jazz things up.

  21. Lucy says:

    Oasis and Montego Bay look lovely!

  22. Faye says:

    Oh dear. Why do I click on these posts when I know it will only lead to more makeup I don’t need but lust after? 🙂 Love the lippie-eye shadow combos here, especially with the blue eye shadow (is that the new NARS shadow?

    (By the way, this is the same Faye, but I am posting under a different last name (also following on Twitter that way) — after nearly 8 years of marriage, I finally legally changed my last name to my husband’s :))

    • Karen says:

      Yes, the blue/pink combo is the new NARS single, Outremer. It’s HOT stuff!

      Congrats on your new name change. 🙂

      OH — kinda random, but I know you’re Kate Spade fan. They’re hosting an online sale right now. It’s not as intense as the sample sale, but there are some pretty good deals!

  23. Kim says:

    All of these look great on you (as usual!). 🙂 I think I would like Oasis best for me and the pic of you wearing it with Tabs makes me laugh. Mostly because I’m thinking that one snuggly face rub from him and you’ll be sporting hair lips. At least that would be the case with my shedders and a sticky gloss! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Oh gosh, about the picture… he was being such a diva that day! He kept insisting on crawling into my arms and being carried around like a chubby, hairy infant. Finally I couldn’t take it any more and just picked him up so he’d stop bugging me. 🙂

      You should go for Oasis, girl! It would be a great everyday gloss.

      • Kim says:

        It must be going around because our gals are the same way. I keep checking to see if they have food and water because that’s usually the only time they’re all over me, non-stop. It must be the time of year when kitties are looking for love! 🙂

        I’ll have to check Oasis out, but I can’t imagine anything outdoing EvRev for my everyday (for a long, long time!) 🙂

        • Karen says:

          I think it’s related to the weather. It’s been really warm and sunny here for the past couple of days, which always sends Tabs into crazypants mode.

          And aww… I’m so glad to hear EvRev is your everyday gloss. That makes me really, REALLY happy.

  24. becca says:

    I was considering Mascate but you’re saying it’s difficult to apply? I wonder why?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Becca,

      Well, I’m a “put it on and go” kind of girl when it comes to lipstick, and this one takes time and care. It’s a very vibrant, pigmented red, so I need to spend the extra time lining my lips and applying it with a lip brush.

  25. Anjali says:

    love those earrings! all sold out online though …

  26. Bernice says:

    You’re really beautiful! You can rock pretty much any look <3

  27. Aleksis says:

    Karen, I loved your blue look so much from the other day, that I went ahead and purchased a matte cobalt shadow from MUFE, I still really want a matte lipstick from NARS though, they look amazing! xox

  28. Salveen says:

    PLEASE tell me u have dupes for the Montego Bay Pure Matte Lipstick 😀

  29. Heather says:

    These are seriously some of your best pics and swatches yet! Everything looks so pretty! 🙂

  30. Larie says:

    the purple matte pencil looks gorgeous on you, but I’m pretty sure it would make me look like a zombie. D’ya think that’d be a cool look? 😀
    Larie recently posted … June Favorites

  31. Karen B says:

    Montego bay is most definitely calling my name 🙂

  32. Phyrra says:

    Wow, I love Train Bleu
    Phyrra recently posted … Concrete’s Kinky

  33. Andrea says:

    Hi Karen, I’ve been reading your blog for a while but I’ve never actually commented on your posts, but these pictures… I swear Nars is a genius! When I saw the product photos I thought ‘okay this is nothing new, nothing special…’ but now that I see those swatches and how it can be worn I feel the urge to own Grand Palais, Outremer, Delphes and Train Bleu. Thank god my birthday is coming up :p By the way, I think you look especially gorgeous with dark colours, those shots of you wearing Outremer and Train Bleu are amazing!

  34. jennyleah31 says:

    I purchased the Nar Montego Bay and love it BUT it’s only 0.07 ounces of lipstick!?!?!?! WTF what a rip off. I’m so disappointed in Nars right now. $357/ounce of lipstick vs even chanel at $250/ounce is just ridiculous!

  35. Hing says:

    Hi, Karen!
    Just wondering, what’s the difference between Mascate and Vesuvio?
    Thanks in advance!

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