Edited Sunday 7:45 AM: I just had one of those “oh no!” moments realizing I mislabeled the lip swatch colors. I have corrected the labeling errors and included three colors instead of two.
After more testing & swatching I have to say these new Velvet Gloss Pencils from NARS are an enigma to me. They’re totally different than what I expected on the lips. Has anyone else experienced the same results? Maybe there is something with my natural lip tone and skin type causing them to change with my body chemistry? They apply on the lips a lot more vibrant than what I see in the tube or swatched on the hand. Here are lip swatches of Hopi (brownish peachy nude), Happy Days (bright peach) and New Lover (raspberry gold).
Hopi (brownish peach) in daylight:
Hopi at night:
Happy Days (peachy) take lip swatched at dusk:
New Lover (raspberry gold) swatched with 1/2 my lip in direct sunlight:
There are 6 Velvet Gloss Pencils from NARS which I arm-swatched a few days ago. I’m going to split up my lip swatches into three parts because my lips turn really pink after removing product. First up are Frivolous (sheer iridescent blue-pink) and Baroque (brick red with silver sparkle). I’ve been playing around with these for a few days and find it interesting how different these look on the lips compared to what you see on the hand.
I’ve included two sets, one taken during the day, one taken at night so you can see the difference based on lighting. I’ve noticed that I get 4 applications before these wear down to the point you need to re-sharpen. There is a noticeable plastic smell when you apply these but once your application is finished, you no longer smell chemicals. I sniffed my pencil a bit more and decided it’s not the actual lip product that smells but the pencil part.
Lasting power is like any regular glossy lipstick. The finish is glossy and beautiful but I do find you need to either use a regular lipliner or apply these with detailed accuracy or else you will end up with lopsided lips. Applying a regular liner first and blending will help make the edges appear seamless and more natural.
These are sheer but show up better on the lips. I do find your lip needs to be clean or evened out with your underneath color. Any overlap of foundation will show through since these have a semi-transparent finish, even for the darker ones.
So here are Frivolous and Baroque swatched on my hand. You can see all the colors lined up here.
Frivolous is a gorgeous pink in the tube but goes on clearish on the hands and lips. Layering is required to get it to show up on the lips. It’s very subtle. It might not show up on everyone. I wish it was just the slightest bit more pigmented but I’ve worn it several times since getting it already because it’s so naturally pretty. You definitely need a fully-cleaned lip or a darker pink lipliner beneath to make the most out of this. Here it is in daylight, without anything underneath.
Here it is at night, with a flash:
Bad blurry pic but you can see the glossy finish:
Baroque was a surprise for me. It looked really sheer on the arm and more brown. On the lips it turns into a vibrant red without any hints of brown. I’m not sure if it’s just me or if there’s something about how this pencil reacts with warmth from my skin? I highly recommend you try this out before judging the color. Again, I can’t emphasize how much of surprise this one was. You definitely do not get on the lips what you see in the tube. Here it is on me, again on bare lips, no liner or foundation underneath. In daylight:
The newest items from NARS: Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils, $24 each. All photos my own. I loved all the colors so much I had to get one of each. The finish is similar to those MAC Lipglass Pencils from the In 3D collection back in 2007. I have on Club Mix today and it’s a lovely plum with a pretty sheen. With the exception of the two lightest shades, Hopi and Frivolous, the other colors have decent pigment. They do have a natural finish so if you’re expecting a high impact type of pay off you might be disappointed. The texture is smooth with a soft gloss finish. I have yet to try Hopi/Frivolous on the lips. I am hoping to do lip swatches this weekend with a more detailed review. In my excitement I didn’t double check the boxes to see if these came with sharpeners. I know NARS Lip Pencils usually do not, however at $24 each it would have been nice, especially for a chubby stick. I’m not in love with the price but the formula and finish is lovely and the colors are just beautiful.
* On the nails, Chanel Rose Paradise Le Vernis (has been reviewed here)