Makeup: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red

Oh, I do love a Nars product. As do many of my readers I suspect, as my review posts for these products always seem to be well-read. This may be, however, because these products are high end and the commitment to buying one takes a bit more consideration and, dare I say it, research, than your average under-a-fiver beauty buy. I know that when I hear about a new high-end product I want to try, I get on Google’s image search and look at every picture of every person alive who’s ever worn it before me like some kind of creepy makeup stalker… However, you definitely end up more confused than when you started and my caveat for all of these reviews is you’re never going to know what it looks like on you until you try, but at least I can tell you if the texture’s rubbish 😉
So, another day, another red lipstick review. I hope I’m not boring my regular readers to tears with what must be the 50th one of these, but I just can’t convince myself I have enough red lipsticks in my life yet (surely nearly 20 isn’t enough?). You’d be forgiven for thinking I just really enjoy taking pictures of my face… But actually, taking photos for these posts is one of my least favourite things, but what’s the use in a make-up review if you can’t see what the person’s talking about? So I’m afraid we’re all stuck with my face until I think of a better way to demonstrate this…
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red review


Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red review
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red review
The colour above is fairly accurate, but I’d say it looks a touch darker in real life. It’s more on the deep crimson side than the bright red. It also definitely has a cooler tone to it than a lot of my reds.
I really love these Nars pencils and I do recommend anyone who can try them to give one a go, even if not this particular colour, and here’s some of the reasons why…
  • The most beautiful matte texture that is nowhere near as drying as the likes of Mac – these pencils probably have my favourite matte finish out of every lip product that I own
  • Easy to apply precisely as it’s a pencil – I can’t overstate this; I hate faffing with lip brushes!
  • I can get away without needing lip liner because of the two above points; this hugely pleases me
  • Stunning colour I haven’t found reproduced in other products (yet!) – all of the pencils I have fit this description, in fact
  • Fairly long staying power (but will need touch up after meals)
  • Expensive! This is the biggest downside by a long way
  • As with any pencil, there’s product waste when you sharpen, particularly if you don’t use Nars’ official sharpener (ain’t nobody got money for that)
  • This particular shade is limited edition (although still on sale everywhere from what I can see), so there’s a risk in getting too attached to it (but then, isn’t there with any cosmetic product? The shampoo I’ve been using daily since I was 18 has just been discontinued! I’m not over it.)
  • There’s no real way to wear it ‘toned down’ it’s full, bright, high impact colour or nothing… I mean, that’s what I bought it for, but don’t buy it if you want to use it as a stain too

Next in this series is probably going to be Besame’s Red Hot Red lipstick… I’m nowhere near done with these reviews! As amazing as this will probably sound, while I have several reds I really love (at least three of them are Nars in fact), none of them are my holy grail classic red yet. They lean too orange, blue, dark, light… Maybe such a thing doesn’t exist? Has anyone else found THE red for them?



  1. June 11, 2015 / 2:12 pm

    I love my red lipsticks but always kept them for 'special' but a few months ago I found what I think might just be my 'one' and now I wear it every day! It's bare minerals Moxie in Call The Shots. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Besames lipstick!

    • June 12, 2015 / 12:17 pm

      I've never tried any Bare Minerals – shame on me! Thanks for the pointer, I'm going to look out for that one in future… This is why I love blogging; so many great tips 😉

    • June 12, 2015 / 12:17 pm

      … and a fortune to spend! Which is unfortunately what happens if you start liking Besame or Nars too much…

  2. June 12, 2015 / 12:04 am

    what a nice color! good to know that's it's not too drying. i've never tried any nars products. i recently purchased my first besame (red velvet-1945), and it's my favorite shade of red EVER. i seem to have a hard time finding blue reds, and this is a really nice one. great staying power, too. i've been through so many reds, and they're always too bright or too orangey for me.

    • June 12, 2015 / 12:06 am

      oops, i meant red velvet 1946. 🙂 not 1945.

    • June 12, 2015 / 12:18 pm

      I probably wouldn't get along with that Besame shade as well as reds that are too blue look a bit odd on me (Russian Red is probably in this category). There's so many Besame reds to try though, I don't think Red Hot is my last…

  3. June 12, 2015 / 12:38 am

    Red lipsticks, like LBDs, are really and truly something that a person can never have too many of, IMO. Even if you strike up your perfect shade, it's still fun to keep experimenting and trying no reds at all kinds of price points (I find this applies even more to me with red nail polish – clearly it must be a vintage gal thing! :)).

    ♥ Jessica

    • June 12, 2015 / 12:19 pm

      I'm inclined to completely agree with you – and some reds go better with some outfits than others, so why not own as many as you do handbags to accessorise with 🙂 x

  4. June 12, 2015 / 12:10 pm

    You really can't have too many red lipsticks. I've got 5 or 6 now, and I still try on new ones all the time, so you'll get no judgement from me.
    I do like Nars lip pencils as well, but to me the amount that you get is just not worth the money. I bought Dragon Lady a few years ago, and as gorgeous as it was, I actually used the the entire thing in less than 6 months. Part of it was that my sharpener chewed it up a little bit every time I'd try to use it, but still. It's why I generally stick with more traditional tubes instead of the jumbo pencils – there's just so much more bang for your buck.
    Still, though, this color looks stunning on you, and it's amazing just how nice a more expensive lipstick can feel!

    • June 12, 2015 / 12:20 pm

      I actually can't walk past a make-up counter without seeing what new reds are there I haven't spotted before…

      This is true, you don't get a lot of product for the Nars pencils – particularly if you lose the ends when you're sharpening. I nearly broke up with B when he dropped my favourite Nars pencil on the floor and the lipstick tip broke clean off – so upsetting!! But yes, the quality is so nice of these ones…

  5. June 12, 2015 / 5:26 pm

    You can never have enough red lipstick! I've got lots too but still haven't found the holy grail red yet, we will find it one day!

    • June 15, 2015 / 12:52 pm

      Maybe no red is ever going to rule them all… I'm starting to think that more and more as I feel like I've tried on most of them that have ever been made!

  6. June 12, 2015 / 6:13 pm

    I have a serious red-lipstick addiction, as well. You just can't have too many! I do think it is a never ending quest to find just the right shade, in just the right finish, with just the right feel, and staying power. It seems that I am still on the quest to find the "perfect" one. But I will never give up. Just yesterday, I bought a new one to try from Rimmel London. So far I am very pleased with it (considering it is a drug-store brand) but I always seem to love them, at first. Keep the reviews coming, I love them.

    She Knits in Pearls

    • June 15, 2015 / 12:53 pm

      I quite like a Rimmel one I own but for me on that one the texture was a bit off… it does seem to be that you can't have it all in one lipstick! Revlon have always historically been one of my drugstore favourites, actually… Glad someone is enjoying the reviews 😉

  7. June 12, 2015 / 9:06 pm

    I'm tempted. I have John Lewis vouchers burning a hole in my pocket…

    As for 'the red' I thought I'd found it with Giorgio Armani, but recently I've returned to Bourjois Rouge Velvet. I had the perfect red once from Benefit then they discontinued it sigh.

    Really suits you anyhow, fab colour on you x

    • June 15, 2015 / 12:54 pm

      Go and play with these pencils in a store if you can – they're great! Worth the odd slurge I think… I haven't tried Bourjois Rouge Velvet, can you believe?! I've added that to my list… x

  8. June 13, 2015 / 9:49 pm

    The color looks very pretty on you. I hate falling in love with limited edition things. Whenever I run out and have to go buy more I am always thinking "Please still be in stock! Please still be in stock!" 😛


    • June 15, 2015 / 12:54 pm

      Definitely – I'm kind of relieved I only like this one enough to occasionally wear it because if it it was limited edition I'd probably have had to spend my savings on bulk buying it…

  9. June 15, 2015 / 12:39 pm

    Gorgeous photos, you are such a doll! I love the lip colour too, it is so lovely and vibrant! x

    • June 15, 2015 / 12:55 pm

      It is pretty vibrant – while still being quite moody and dark. Very pretty colour 🙂 x

  10. June 15, 2015 / 5:44 pm

    I bought this a couple of months ago, but the colour was too dark on me, unfortunately, which was a shame because I love lipstick in pencil form, too – it's just so much easier for me to invent my non-existent lipline with it! Definitely agree on the price, though – I have my eye on a few other shades of this but it's just SO expensive!

    • June 16, 2015 / 12:14 pm

      It is quite dark – it's on the very cusp of being a colour that I can wear vs a colour that makes me look seriously ill. I don't think I can get away with it in summer either… I do all kind of inventing of my lip-line with these little babies 😉

    • June 16, 2015 / 12:15 pm

      I don't think you can either – as long as we're all agreed!

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