Monday, December 11, 2017

Brights and Vamps

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils have been on my radar for years, but they never seemed like an essential product I had to have. I had a somewhat disappointing experience with their Satin Lip Pencils, so I wasn't rushing to add more NARS lip pencils to my collection. Don't get me wrong, the quality is generally excellent, it's more the price and the shades I'm iffy about. Recently, I saw in Mecca Maxima a duo of travel-sized Velvet Matte Lip Pencils in Train Bleu and Intriguing for $28. Considering one 2.4g lip pencil is $39, and the minis were 1.8g each, the set represented far better value, plus you had more variety. I tried Train Bleu in the shop and really liked how it looked as a stain, so I researched my options if I wanted to purchase it and came across selling the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils for $26 each. (I just checked the website and Train Bleu is currently further discounted to $21.) I had a coupon code with Catch, so I ended up buying two lip pencils for $41. I would've preferred the two minis for $28, but I really wanted to order the shade Red Square along with Train Bleu as it's been on my wishlist since 2014.

l-r: Red Square, Train Bleu

Red Square is a bright, vivid, orangey red. Train Bleu is a vampy dark purple with burgundy tones. Both are non-staining (though Train Bleu sticks around longer than Red Square) and can be wiped off with just some lip balm and a tissue. Lasting power is not as good as a lip stain or liquid matte lipstick, but still better than a conventional lipstick.

l-r: Revlon Strawberry Suede, NARS Red Square, NARS Train Bleu, Revlon Black Cherry

l-r: Revlon Strawberry Suede, NARS Red Square

I'd long suspected Revlon Matte Lipstick in Strawberry Suede to be very similar to Red Square, and that hunch proved correct. Strawberry Suede is probably a touch pinker than the more orangey/fiery Red Square, but the tone and vibrancy is comparable. The Revlon is also a tad shinier in finish compared with the more matte NARS.

l-r: NARS Train Bleu, Revlon Black Cherry

I didn't have anything as similar to Train Bleu as I did Red Square, but Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry probably comes the closest. Black Cherry is more glossy and not as pigmented as Train Bleu, plus more berry/burgundy red as opposed to blackened purple.

NARS Red Square

NARS Train Bleu (as a stain)

NARS Train Bleu

Red Square delivers a glamorous retro/supercharged summer look and applies very smoothly to the lips without accentuating texture or dryness, whereas Train Bleu does the complete opposite and highlights every dry patch that previously never existed. Despite the striking, gothy, nighttime colour, Train Bleu is patchy and tricky to apply evenly ... you need a steady hand and considerable patience to get it looking semi-decent. I do like how you can control how opaque and dark you want it to be. I much prefer it as a lighter stain, with the pencil dabbed onto the lips then the product blended with the finger. It looks far fresher and prettier against my complexion, and less harsh and intimidating that way.

Like the Satin Lip Pencils, I appreciate how little product is required for full pigmentation. You'd have to wear the pencil many times for it to reduce down to the point where it needs its first sharpening. I can't imagine how long it will take to use up, hence why the product contained in the minis would've been more than sufficient for me. At the discounted price I paid (just over $20 each), I don't have too many complaints, however I'd likely be singing a different tune if I paid the retail price of $39 for one.


  1. They look beautiful! I love how vampy train bleu is x

  2. I understand you!
    I have one of these and I don't find myself reaching out for it. I have been peeking through the idea of getting a mini set with cruella (because everyone apparently loves it)

    I really like Train Bleau, but I wish it would look more like the finish of Red Square.

    Take care!


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