For the Fall 2015 Color Collection (Tribulation blush reviewed here), NARS introduces three new lip products: VIP Red lipstick (CAN $34.00, limited edition) described as a ‘Dark Brique’, along with Chelsea Girls & Baby Doll Lip Glosses (CAN $32.00 each), described as ‘Pink Beige’ and ‘Shimmering Candy Pink’, respectively. For those who have been fans of this brand for years now, you might find that the names of the lip glosses sounds familiar; originally released in jar format (now discontinued) the brand has revived and reformulated these two best-selling shades, and I for one couldn’t be happier as I loved the originals – but let’s just say that the jar style of gloss does not always stand the test of time.
NARS | Chelsea Girls, Baby Doll, VIP Red
VIP Red (limited edition) | a warm toned deep brick red hue in an opaque formula with a shiny, but not glossy, finish. Velvety smooth in application, this colour screams “Fall” to me and strikes just the right balance between vampy dark & sophisticated bright, making it easily wearable for a wide variety of skin tones.
As this shade is highly pigmented, it can still be made office-friendly by being applied as more of a stain; simply swipe on a layer, blot, then add a balm on top for a touch of extra moisture (this is my daytime method of wearing such colour-saturated lipsticks), or amp up the intensity with another [unblotted] swipe for an after-hours look. As is usually the case with such intense lipstick shades, a matching liner will help define the edges and keep the colour within bounds, although I’m really into the more relaxed ‘slept-in’ look of makeup that’s trending right now (plus it makes application so much more fuss-free). Wear time is excellent – easily 9 hours of wear, and even after eating and drinking you’ll find you still have plenty of solid colour, with minimal migrating/bleeding into any surrounding lip lines, most likely because this formula is so dense; dark/vibrant lipsticks that are in a more emollient format don’t fare so well on my lips.
NARS | VIP Red
NARS | VIP Red
NARS | VIP Red swatch
Chelsea Girls | a nude rose hue with beige undertones that leans more warm than cool, in a shimmer-free formula. Housed in a clear rectangular tube so you can easily see which shade you’re reaching for (as well as monitor product usage), there is no discernible scent (at least, for my nose) and the applicator is of the sponge doe-foot variety. The formula has en interesting texture, with enough weight to help it spread easily along the lips but not so watery that it gets pulled into the skin, non-sticky and coming to a glossy finish.
I’m a total sucker for anything neutral and nude/beige shades are my comfort zone, and finding one that doesn’t clash with my skin tone (light-medium with yellow undertones) can be an effort, but this shade works – providing enough colour to not make my lips disappear, but still staying well within the neutral range. As my lips are quite lined (ugh), lighter colours have a tendency to overly-emphasize said lines and while initial application of Chelsea Girls falls into that category, within about 10 minutes of wearing the product seemed to almost fill out and fuse better with my lips, a definite point in its favour. Wear time was surprisingly good for a colour so light, lasting easily 3.5 hours before fading into oblivion (wearing away much faster with eating & drinking, naturally), and leaves my lips feeling well hydrated long after all traces are gone.
NARS | Chelsea Girls
NARS | Chelsea Girls swatch
Baby Doll | a soft rose/candy pink that leans more cool than warm, bearing tons of ultra-fine silvery shimmer and in the same format as Chelsea Girls. The formula feels slighter thinner in consistency but can be built up slightly for more opacity, while the shimmer has absolutely no gritty feel to it at all.
Even though Baby Doll is tailor-made for those with fair complexions, I am surprisingly able to wear this shade and it manages to not clash with my skin tone – possibly because it’s not an all-out cool colour. And while I personally have a hard time wearing pink anything, I like the fact that I can wear this shade without looking juvenile. Plus the name pushes all the right buttons for me (seriously).
NARS | Baby Doll
NARS | Baby Doll swatch
Two of the first NARS products I ever purchased, were Chelsea Girls and Baby Doll lip glosses, in their original jar formats and while I loved the colours (and the cute chubby little pots), there were serious drawbacks as well; for starters, you needed a lip brush to apply them and the formula itself was sticky & goopy from the get-go. Then there’s the fact that they seemed to go rancid quite quickly, upping the ick factor. So, I had them condemned in my pile of beauty products to throw out, but for some reason I never got around to actually getting rid of them – and now I’m glad I didn’t, as I’m able to properly compare the two versions (something to be said for being a beauty-product hoarder!)
As seen in the swatches below, there are differences in both colour and consistency:
- Chelsea Girls (original) – more beige leaning, more opaque hue
- Baby Doll (original) – deeper rose, thicker formula
NARS | Chelsea Girls comparisons (new vs original)
NARS | Baby Doll comparisons (new vs original)
Launching just three lip products in the Fall 2015 Color Collection is an interesting move and possibly means that NARS is that confident with their shade offerings; personally I find it makes my selection relatively easy, and while I have no problem with having options, too much of a good thing can also be a little overwhelming at times (or not, lol). Of the three items shown here, my picks are VIP Red for being such a strong and perfect Fall red (with a killer application to sweeten the deal), and Chelsea Girls, well, because I love neutral glosses and this is a great counterpart to smokey eye makeup.
The NARS Fall 2015 Color Collection is supposed to be available now through all NARS retailers across Canada (Sephora, The Bay, Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew and Murale). Find more information via www.narscosmetics.com
Press samples kindly provided for my unbiased consideration