Wow, our first makeup review for 2019! I’ve been rummaging through some of my things and found this little duo from Nars in shades Cruella and Rikugien!
Believe it or not, I haven’t had much time playing with Nars; sure I have the Orgasm blush, played with the Creamy Concealor and I like the shades available in their Multiple sticks, but that’s really it.
So today I’m really excited to look at two of their lip products, in particular, their lipstick pencils. While it’s a packaging move you don’t see much of, me and my tiny lips actually like lipstick pencils as it gives you the coverage of a normal lipstick with more of the application ease of a lip liner.
Let’s look into it a bit more.
I can see that this one is mostly made of up skin conditioners, emulsifers and silicone make up most of the ingredients, as well as silica, hydrogenated coco-glycerides; a derivative of coconut oil, viteman e, vitamin c derivatives, citric acid, parabens, and disteardimonium hectorite, a clay compound from the mineral hectorite, which I assume contributes to the possible thickness of the lipstick and gives it the matte finish.
Really, the only ingredient I’m confused over why it’s included is Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate.
Has a few of the same ingredients as Cruella like skin conditioning and emollients, as well as coconut oil and glycerin, phospholipid (I think in this case, “Collagen PrePeptides“?), pomegranate seed sterols, hyaluronic acid, yeast extract, collagen peptides, and like above- lecithin, vitamin e, vitamin c derivatives, citric acid, and a gel-forming product called ‘stearalkonium bentonite‘ from, yes, bentonite clay.
Again, it has that dicalcium phosphate.
So from the ingredients, I expect Cruella to be an easy lipstick to apply, with a good thickness and a nice lip ‘feel’ with a moisture barrier from the clay and the silicone respectively, with the coconut oil and vitamin bringing that moisturising element.
Rikugien sounds quite moisturising and that stearakonium bentonite making sure it doesn’t bleed or move too much.
Performance & Swatches
Rikugien is super light and feels really nice on the lips, very comfortable. It’s also very easy to apply to my very thin lips so this would be a great product to have on-the-go.
They state that Rikugien is a rose pink and it is, my lips are naturally a rosy pink so I think these just give a nice, uniform colour to them, with a hint of a highlight (not frosty), which I’m sure is from the mica they’ve used. It is a very pretty colour that would suit many shades.
Cruella is such a beautiful red, and I know I never shut up about them, but man, I like this one, it just compliments my skin tone so well.
While the official description of it is a ‘passionate scarlet red’, when first looking at the stick it doesn’t look scarlet red. Scarlet red is a bright red with a slight orange hue to it and first looking at this lipstick, I could plainly see this is a blue-based red (the iconic Ruby Woo by Mac is a blue-based red).
Then when swatching and looking at it in different lighting, I was second-guessing myself. Is it actually a real scarlet red after all? In natural light it seems to have that tinge of orange, then when I see it in the mirror, it looks a bit blue. It confused me, and it seems like people either say it’s scarlet, blue-based, or neutral. This confusion actually leads me to believe it’s neutral because it includes Red Lake 6 (orange-based red) and Red Lake 7 (more of a blue-based), thus, actually makes it versatile and suiting all undertones.
Aside from shade it’s feels light on the lips and dry without being drying. I have a habit of dabbing some lip balm on before matte lipsticks and it probably helped doing that, but I think, unlike Ruby Woo, this isn’t thick and drying. It does slightly stain, but sometimes I find that to be an advantage, especially if they’re supposed to be long lasting.
As I said above I like lipstick pencils like this because it has the advantages of both a lipstick and a liner.
The one thing that seems small but really impresses me is the coloured base of the pencil as it gives an accurate insight into what the shades actually look like, much better than their official site.
However there is a massive disadvantage with this particular packaging. Instead of the being being twistable actually isn’t. In fact, you have to sharpen it with their sharpener, and yes, they say to use their sharpener, which is pretty annoying.
The reason for this is most likely because sharpening will continue to give you that point that will help you apply it without it going round and flat as you continue using it, however to buy something extra, especially for a bigger-than-usual pencil.
Now, I have a dual sharpener so I’m going to see if it makes a difference before I dig myself into a 23 foot hole.
As you can see from my little sharpen, it shaved it down smoothly. While my sharpener is quite sharp still, that smoothness is more from the packaging; this isn’t made out of some cheapo HB pencil packaging, so I don’t think any splintering would happen.
Tl:dr: you don’t need their sharpener, but this goes into another issue I have… the cost vs what you get.
This is a pencil. It’s $41AUD. That is pure insanity as pencils carry less product, and when you sharpen it, your shaving some away. The pencil is 2.4g and while it doesn’t have a heavy package to bring that net weight up, it’s about as much product you get in a slim lipstick, so if you don’t mind paying $27USD or £22 for the amount of product as you get in those lipsticks, then I think you’d like it.
I think these lipstick pencils feel and look really nice. Overall I like the packaging and having this lipstick-lip liner offspring makes it easy to apply especially if you’re pressed for time. However there are some disadvantages and depending on how you feel about it, are small or deal breakers.
Personally for me, the cost is just such a blow and no matter how much I love how it feels on, how much I like both shades, how much I like the packaging or how nice it looks on me, I can’t get past the price. It’s just too steep for me.
Cost: $41AUD, $27USD, $34CAD, £22
Would recommend: Yes
Good For: Anyone who wants to spend $41AUD for a the amount of product you get slim lipstick and want an easy application.
Would Try Again?: ksdfjdsklfjsdklf.. yes?