The reason why the middle-of-the-road rating is not due to color (gorgeous red cream with blue undertones), it's due to lack of shelf life. I ended up pitching this lipstick because over the years it became very dry and has a really strange, chemical smell. I was only halfway through the tube when I tossed it out.
It's too bad because I love the color, but I have other semi-high end lipsticks (Chanel, Paula Dorf, MAC) that are the same age and have not dried out or turned all chemical-smelling, which is why I chalk this up to a formula fail. But a color win.
This lipstick got given to me as a gift and I absolutely love it. It is, however, very expensive, hence why I would not repurchase it. It has a blue base which looks amazing, but MAC's ruby woo, russian red, and runaway red all have that apparently. This lipstick is not that long-lasting, but the pigment itself is absolutely phenomenal. Because of the intensity of the colour, it is very difficult to attain precision when applying this lipstick. Applying foundation/concealer first makes it much easier.
I was looking for a true matte red and came upon this after reading some of the reviews online. I have a love hate relationship with Nars. I love their colors but the semi-matte formula is still kind of drying to me. I always have to use a lip balm and you lips need to be perfectly smooth when you wear this. For $26 dollars, the formula should be better IMHO. I am also not a fan of the black rubber tube.
But I have been looking for a true red for some time now and after trying MAC's Ruby Woo ( also a matte that is even drier than Red Lizard), Russian Red, Chili, Lady Danger, Mac Red as well as countless other brands. I just couldn't find another true red that really flattered my NC 43/ Bobbi Brown Golden complexion (Mac does have some great darker burgundies like Diva and Dark Side ).
I am not sure that I would re-buy this,because it takes me so long to use lipsticks up as I have so many. By that time, there may be some other equally good red lipstick out there. We'll see. I am always on a quest for the perfect red lipstick. But this one will work for now.
UPDATE: This didn't turn out to be what I thought it would be.This lipstick is tomato red on me; I usually go for cherry reds. It didn't look tomato like in the store but once home the color was different. Also, they really need to just admit this is matte and not call it semi-matte. It is as dry or drier than Mac's Ruby Woo. When you put it on, it is almost like chalk. I have to have some moisture so I end of using lip balm or lip gloss otherwise it looks somewhat clownish on me. With a little luster it gets a lot better. All though most reds make you stand out, I don't think I can get away with this during the day unless I blot a lot. It's more of an evening look for me. I will use this tube but I will definitely not buy this again. Sometimes I mix it with a deeper red which makes it more wearable for a daytime look. At $26 I can't afford to toss it but it really requires some work to wear, it is definitely not a quick smear on and go type of lipstick for me so I have to be int the mood to deal with it, which takes some of the joy out of wearing lipstick. Still looking for my HG red lipstick.
The world's most perfect red lipstick! Well...the perfect red has a lot to do with what looks best on your skin and lip color, but this one is pretty universally flattering if you have cool undertones. You can use a lip pencil, but it doesn't bleed, so if you have a steady hand and are used to applying lipstick you don't really need it. The biggest complication is that it smears easily and the color is bold, so be careful! I like to keep a some chapstick on hand as well to keep your lips moisturized enough, as it can be a bit drying.
I have this in a palette with Dolce Vita and some glosses. I am surprised I can wear this red--usually blue reds are harsh on me, yet this red, applied with a brush, looks fantastic. It does change when you are outside, going more blue due to sunlight, so you need to make sure your teeth are whitened, as it brings up the yellow due to the blue contrast. However, even though I'm not a "red" girl, I can wear this when applied with a brush. If you get it in the tube, be sure to apply with a brush and use lipliner for neat outlines. A touch of gloss in the center lip helps to soften the matte texture if you don't like matte lips. I think this is one of the most perfect reds that can be worn by nearly anyone. My complexion is medium fair with neutral undertones.
I bought this product by mistake when I was trying to replace another amazing red Nars lipstick. This is quite a bold lip colour, and works well on my lips which are naturally quite pigmented, and I have very fair skin and dark hair. I recommend using it with the red lizard lip liner or some other red lipliner because although it only bleeds very minimally, a red lipstick is all about precision and a lipliner will achieve that.
Im really happy with this purchase, but my rating isn't 5/5/5 because of the following things:
Like most extremely matte lipsticks this one can be drying, and the maintenance is quite high. It's great for a really bold look for a night out, though. Perhaps not one for the office everyday, unless you are ok going to the bathroom for touch ups a few time. But that's like any bold colour.
NARS products are expensive, but I do think that some of their products, including this one, are really worth the money.
I've given the packaging a 3 because Nars packaging, whilst really stylish and chic when you first get it, gets really grubby very fast. The packaging is made of this silky feeling hard plastic, and it attracts any dust, powder and spills in my makeup bag.
A true red that doesn't look cheap, or clownish.
Goes on matte. Doesn't bleed. Doesn't bead up or cake.
Really there is nothing to complain of here and a lot to love.
Expensive..ish. But I think it is worth it, for the look, and for the sensuality of the formula.
Too matte. I think it is aging and is not for daytime. I have fallen out of love.
My go to red lipstick. Blue toned, darker red than a class red lip but compliments my extremely fair complexion well. Has the amazing staying power of all NARS lipsticks. Worth the money for everything it does, only need to reapply once during a night out.
Love this lipstick. Goes on very smoothly and stays put for hours. The color is a bit darker than Ruby Woo but it's a gorgeous shade of red. I expected it to be dry (based on previous reviews) but was surprised at how creamy and smooth it felt. I used my MAC cherry lip liner and some lip balm before that. It stayed through dinner and coffee as well. No smudging, no feathering and very lightweight. I just wish it was not so expensive but I'll definitely buy it again.
So I have pale, neutral toned skin (MUFE HD 117) and many reds look screechy on me, with either way too much orange or blue. This is 1 of 2 reds that looks good on me. The other is Jungle Red, which is a coral based, young, summer-y red.
This is a Russian spy, vintage movie star red. It is ever-so-slightly blue toned and very rich looking, but not bright or obnoxious. It is just luscious looking. I bet this would work on everyone who can wear reds.