Wednesday, September 3, 2014

NARS Audacious Lipstick Swatches and the Allure of Audrey

Today, as a reward for finishing an article draft and setting up a meeting with my adviser, I headed to the local Bluemercury to check out the new NARS Audacious lipsticks. I limited myself to seven swatches (as many as would fit on my hand), since I'm not audacious enough to swatch a collection of 30 lipsticks all over my upper body. These were the seven that caught my eye when I first looked at the display. The testers had been very lightly used, and many of them were still pristine. Is there anything more satisfying than being the first to use a lipstick tester? Probably, but let me keep my low bar for satisfaction, at least for now. I'm a grad student. Our pleasures are few.

Outside, in shade. Left to right: Liv, Audrey, Grace, Vera, Annabella, and (barely visible) Fanny and Bette. Liv is a deep reddish purple; Audrey is a rich plummy red; Grace is a hot pink coral, similar to MAC Impassioned; Vera is a reddish raspberry, similar to Revlon Cherries in the Snow; Annabella is an almost glowing coral-red; Fanny is a berry-fuchsia; Bette is a dark brick-red.


Same light, different angle: Liv, Audrey, Grace, Vera, Annabella, Fanny, Bette. This photo makes them look slightly cooler than they are.


Outside, direct sunlight:


Same light, different angle:


Indoors, indirect natural light:


Same light, different angle:


I was really impressed with the formula of these. The only shades that weren't intimidatingly opaque at first swipe were the darkest ones, Liv and Bette, and even those built up nicely. I tried on Audrey, and it felt extremely soft and comfortable on my lips (though I removed it 15 minutes later, before eating lunch). I came away uncertain whether to buy it, though. I'd anticipated a soft, faded berry red, but Audrey looked darker, more purple, and more intense on me than online swatches had led me to expect. That might be the fault of my pigmented lips, which tend to pull every lipstick cooler and darker. There really is no substitute for seeing makeup in person!

Here's a lip swatch indoors, in natural light:


And a full-face photo, same light. I didn't plan today's eye makeup to coordinate with a dark red lipstick, but I actually like the interaction between Audrey and the mint eyeshadow from the NARS Habanera duo.


What do you think? Does Audrey look too similar to Rimmel Across the Universe or YSL Belle de Rose? Should I go for a different color? Fanny is undeniably beautiful, though I can't help but associate the name with a certain 18th-century novel...

8 comments:

  1. First of all, congratulations! :)
    Your swatch set looks perfectly sensible and helpful as well. I am glad to hear they are not too opaque nor intimidating.
    Audrey is so pretty on you and I think you should go for it if you think the wear and the texture are different enough. Audrey is one of those more unique colors from the bunch. I was also thinking there were too many similar colors introduced at once. Having said that, I still want at least one. Vera looks awfully pretty, too. ;)

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    1. It's such a relief to be done with the first draft of this article, you have no idea. Thanks! :D

      Having tried on Audrey, the one I'd really like to check out next is Vivien, but it's only available online and at Barneys and I doubt I'll have a chance to see it in the near future. I'm also thinking of waiting until spring and buying one of those beautiful coral shades, but Audrey is still the front-runner for now. Such a hard choice!

      Which one are you thinking of getting?

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    2. I can't imagine myself picking up any neutral color from the line. It is Audacious, and it needs to be respected! It has to be something like Audrey, Vera or even Liv. ;)

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    3. I agree! And I confess I expected a more audacious color selection from this range. Not that I expect NARS to release a teal or blue lipstick anytime soon, but I'm getting neutral fatigue looking at all the swatches...

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  2. SCANDAL! How did I not comment on this?! I know I read it, but sadly I neglected to comment. I shall blame my own article-laden state, and rectify this forthwith!

    I think Audrey looks gorgeous on you - I agree, it looks darker and more berryish than I thought it would too, but it's stunning nonetheless. You look like a flapper/bright young thing, but, you know, without the cocaine/black coffee diet and moral laxity and stuff. ;-)

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    1. Aww, I read things and forget to comment all the time! It's just part of life on the internets.

      Of course my life goal is to look like a BYT 24/7, but I do like my coffee sweet and creamy. That might be a dealbreaker.

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  3. "I'm a grad student. Our pleasures are few."

    Oh, yes, I remember those days. XD

    I absolutely LOVE that color on you. I do think that an orange red might be even more striking, though..if you want to buy another shade. ;)

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    1. I love Annabella and some of the more orangey reds in the Audacious line, but I don't think I wear warm reds often enough to justify a $32 one. That said, I've been getting a lot of use out of Wet n Wild Purty Persimmon recently, so who knows!

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