Unsung Makeup Heroes: NARS Yu Satin Lip Pencil

Published in: Lips, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews, Unsung Heroes

nars yu

Me and Yu! Wearing minimal makeup and NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu ($26)

Hey, Yu!

Yeah, Yu, homie. Right there. No, not that dude behind you… I’m talking to Yu.


I have to tell you something and it’s…well, important? And awkward. But you see, this — you and I? Well, basically, I’m absolutely, positively madly in love with Yu.

YES, YU! I’m ride-or-die for life!

OK, enough of that, LOL! Let’s talk about Yu… 🙂

Yu. Oh, NARS Yu. It’s another one of my perennial summertime NARS Satin Lip Pencil jams. A bright hot pink lipstick with a satin finish, I love it for many of the same reasons I also love NARS Lodhi — the smooth, creamy formula, opaque coverage and 4-5 hour wear time. It’s another example of perfection in a pencil.

nars yu

And speaking of pencils, spirit fingers and high kicks for practicality, because I can literally get this on my lips in 10 seconds. Sometimes less. And thank goodness for that because you never know when your tabby tyrant of an employer will want you to take him for a walk outside.

Yu is one of those versatile vibrant shades that somehow, some way manages to go with everything in my makeup bag — I guess because of the color temp. It doesn’t lean too cool or warm, so even though it’s bright and pink, it’s still sort of neutral. Golds, teals, grays, purples, greens, browns, silvers — all of them go well with Yu. I’ve worn it with looks ranging from full-on smokey eyes, to bare skin and mascara.

BONUS! — it also sits well with whatever gloss I happen to wear with it (but I really like it with NARS Easy Lover).

nars yu

NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu

With Yu, though, or most bright lips, I think it helps to do your lips first, and then after that, apply cheek products like bronzer and blush.

The long-running Unsung Heroes series here on Makeup and Beauty Blog features some of my all-time favorite permanent collection products.

Take it from someone who learned this lesson the hard way (that would be moi), but a lighter application of blush seems to look more balanced with Yu, which goes against my natural inclination to put on a lot of blush. (Because I lurves it! It’s seriously one of my favorite parts of putting on makeup.) But it’s easier for me to gauge how much blush I actually need when I do my lips first.


I hope that makes sense…

And I also hope you fall in love with Yu, because I think Yu two would make a cute couple. 😉 It’s $26, and you can find it now online and at NARS counters and Sephora in the permanent collection.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Happy hump day!


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So far, 27 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Good to hear it’s so quick and easy to apply! The shade looks great on you.

    P.S.: I think I hear Tabs meowing for his walk, Karen…
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Make-up look | A Bobbi Brown make-up smoothie with peach, melon & orange (+ one very secret ingredient!)

  2. Vijaya says:

    Yu is one of my favorites, Karen!

    Yu are one of my favorites..?

    For real, though, I used to wear this like every day.

  3. Cherie says:

    oooohhhhh…..pretty….I have a question though, how different is it from Jardin de Plantes? If you had to choose, which one would you go with? I know that with Jardin de Plantes it’s only available online…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cherie,

      Jardin des Plantes is very pretty too. It’s a touch more blue and closer to fuchsia and has a soft sheen. I like them both, but wear Yu more. 🙂

  4. Kwmechelle says:

    Thanks for the tip. Seriously, I did my eye makeup using MAC Antiqued the other day & it totally clashed with my lippie. Which, of course, I didn’t realize until AFTER I’d worn it out my bronzer (the “OG” bronzer from the Cover Girl Queen collection). It had the right depth & coverage amount but the lippie clashed, man. #LessonLearned #FirstWorldProblems

  5. Kristina says:

    Yes!! I love YU 😉
    Kristina recently posted … butter London Bloody Brilliant Lip Crayon’s

  6. Lulle says:

    Blue-based pinks are not usually shades I go for, but I wonder how it would look on my lips, which tend to make everything look warm. I really like the Nars lip crayons, whether the Satin or Velvet Matte, I just wish they were twist-up instead of traditional pencils you have to sharpen. I ain’t got time to sharpen and I hate the waste!
    Lulle recently posted … Giorgio Armani Eye Tint in Senso: a luxurious cream shadow

  7. Dee says:

    Yes I love YU on you:)) Thats a great tip when doing bright lips..to do em first!! Youd think its common sense but it aint that common:)
    Dee recently posted … Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column Vol.10: ​What are essential makeup brushes everyone should own?

  8. Jessica says:

    That’s a fun color! 🙂
    Jessica recently posted … Assorted Oddities

  9. Pavithra says:

    Eerrmagawd, I usually walk past Yu because it looks SO bright, but you’ve totally sold it to me! What stands out to me in this picture though, is your skin! So luminous and glowy!
    Pavithra recently posted … June Pretties – What I’ve Been Loving So Far

  10. Absolutely not my color, but it looks lovely on Yu.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Favorite Face of … June

  11. Allison C says:

    I love the NARS satin lip crayons. I have one and it’s so easy to wear. I have a couple of gorgeous red matte NARS crayons, and I cry thinking about them because they’re so drying and I can’t wear them
    Allison C recently posted … Sneak Peak: Exuviance Bionic Oxygen Facial

  12. Agata says:

    I love this color and I would definitely fall in love with it, def something I’d wear! And it looks beautiful on you!

  13. That color is so gorgeous and bright!! The only thing is that I personally dislike thick wooden pencils – it’s a pain to sharpen and there’s always a lot of product waste!

  14. Fancie says:

    I still can’t believe I don’t already own this lol. It’s so me! I think it’s included in one of the upcoming lip sets so I’m gonna grab it then. It looks beautiful on you!
    Fancie recently posted … On Wednesdays We Wear Pink!

  15. Kim says:

    This looks great on you (naturally) and terrifies me (also, no surprise). 🙂 I hear you on the blush; I’m always slightly concerned that I’m headed into Bozo territory, particularly since our bathroom has terrible lighting.

    This is off topic, but did you try the newer Algenist 10 day samples from Sephora? They’re the Anti-aging Vitamin C packets. I’ve been stretching them out for about 2 months and really like the product. Of course, I loved the samples of their Retinol Firming & Lifting but was disappointed with the full size.

    • Karen says:

      I haven’t! But now that you mention it I’ll be putting it on my list. I’m a huge fan of Vitamin C. Did you notice an immediate difference?

  16. Nicole says:

    This is the shade you wore when you ran around SF and it hardly budged!

  17. Makai says:

    Thanks for this review, Karen! I missed out on the Tom Ford “boys” lipstick collection and “Yu” resembles several of the shades I was interested in from the “boys” collection–so I’m really pleased to find a super wearable hot pink. I also have a Tom Ford “aphrodisiac” which I’ve been rationing, but “Yu” is a lot like “aphrodisiac” so thanks for introducing this to me! Love it!

  18. Kim says:

    Your unsung heroes series has provided me with some of my “all time favorite will never do without ” products. I wouldn’t have discovered any of these gems had it not been for this series. And I have been remiss in never picking up this shade tho I adore the Matte lip pencils such as Cruella and Dolce Vita and Never Say Never. Heading to order this now as I already know based on your post that it will love forever in my lifetime loves for some products. Ah u always give us the most fun diverse posts- not to mention make me feel like I HAVE to get my hands on certain things beit new or older like this pencil. Best always and thanks!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim,

      This was so sweet of you! You just made my day. 🙂 I’m happy that you’ve found some gems to love from the series; I hope that Yu becomes your new favorite lip color.

      Thank you again for this sweet note and keep in touch!

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