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Lipstick - NARS - Fire Down Below



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rated 4.5(93 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.5
  • 88% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.3
  • Price: $$$

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 1/11/2014 11:16:00 PM More reviews by julalg

Age: 30-35 Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Blue

I really liked vampy lips-on other people. My search to find one that looks good on me ended in colors that were purple (made me look like a corpse) or brown (too unnatural for me). I tried fire down below, and it is in fact a deep, blood, red. It is a really pretty garnet color. That said, I want to wear it in winter, and it does not agree with chapped lips. Exfoliate and moisturize your lips well with this one. Also, keep a clean face, but I do need eyeliner and mascara to make sure this doesn't wash me out. This takes preparation, but it is worth it.

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rated 3 of 5 on 12/18/2013 3:54:00 PM More reviews by Lipstick4Lunch

Age: 30-35 Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

First of all, the color is amazing--a deep yet vibrant blood red without a hint of muddy brown tones. I have never come across a shade quite like this. Other reviewers have commented that this is brown based, but I don't see a hint of 90's brown. On me at least, it is a deep garnet shade. That being said, the coverage is fairly sheer for a full coverage lipstick. If you have brown toned lips, the color will pull brown. My lips are naturally very red, hence brown tones are absent.
My love for the product ends there. I own 7 other NARS Semi-matte lipsticks (mostly vibrant red shades) and all offer exceptional coverage. Unfortunately, Fire Down Below does not live up to the other shades in this line as it goes on patchy no matter how I apply it. Primers, lip liners, lip brushes make little difference. The color tends to migrate to the edges on my lips for that unattractive "I've purposely over-lined my lips with mismatching lip liner" look. When I tried this on in the store before purchasing, I noticed that the formula was drier and less smooth than my other NARS lipsticks, but I chalked it up to the tester and not necessarily a flaw in the product. I probably should have returned it, but the color is so fabulous that I grudgingly decided to keep it in the rotation despite my reservations.
After much trial and error, I've developed a preferred method for application:
1. Exfoliate and moisturize lips.
2. Apply a base layer of lipstick with a firm brush and allow to set for several minutes.
3. Apply a second layer with lip brush.
4. When the formula has mattified, apply a light coat of lip balm with a lip brush and fill in patchy areas.
5. Allow to set again and blend out harsh edges.
6. Do not rub lips together, ever.
7. Be prepared to touch up frequently--10-15 minute intervals.
8. Repeat the entire process after you eat, sip coffee, or talk for any length of time.
Even after the elaborate lipstick application ritual, the coverage is not perfect. This is definitely not an apply-and-go type of lipstick. I've received many compliments when I wear it but I'm not sure it is worth the effort. If you have an extra 30 minutes in the day to touch up your lips by all means try this, just be warned that this lipstick is like a nagging toddler that demands constant attention. For all the effort, the finished look is unpolished and I have relegated this to casual/non-professional wear. Most of the time, I can't be bothered with the hassle. Mac Dubbonet (while not an exact dupe colorwise) can be used to achieve a similar look.
Given the caveats, the price is exorbitant. NARS' other red semi-mattes are still my absolute favorite everyday lipsticks. I don't think I'll purchase this color again unless the formula changes dramatically.

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/14/2013 3:53:00 AM More reviews by 90sbaby4eva23

Age: 25-29 Skin: Dry, Deep Dark, Neutral Hair: Black, Kinky, Coarse Eyes: Brown

A beautiful neutral brown based red it's dark but not too vampy versatile to wear day or night. This creamy semi matte lipstick glides on smooth doesn't accentuate dryness, something matte lippies have a reputation for. Fire down below looks amazing alone no need for liner cause it doesn't smear. Sometimes I use clear gloss on top (Nars triple x) for a luscious old Hollywood glam look. Also noticed adding clear gloss brings out more red tones.

I'm a Becca skin radiant shade mahogany, YSL b80. In my opinion every DDD should own Fire Down Below. Forever a staple in my collection love it just as much as the infamous Ruby Woo. Well worth my $25.

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/8/2013 1:44:00 PM More reviews by dragongirl26

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm Hair: Red, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

I am very pale (ghostlike, in fact) with red hair, and have found I can wear this color. I was afraid it would look too dark on me and wash my skin tone out even more, but it doesn't seem to have that effect. In fact, when I wear red, it's a flattering complimentary shade. I sometimes add a little sparkle with some silver or gold eyeshadow since I'm not the biggest fan of matte colors, but it has good staying power. I had lunch earlier and the color mostly stayed put. It's very hard to find a red lipstick that works for me, but I definitely like this one. I would purchase it again.

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/26/2013 11:47:00 AM More reviews by lookof1939

Age: 36-43 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is quite likely the darkest that a makeup company could go in creating "The Darkest of Rosy-Reds." (Am I right, Mr. Nars?)

I don't see "vamp" or "vampire"--or much brown (if any!)--when I wear this. I just see super-dark rosy-red.

But this is why I like it. I bought it thinking "I want vamp!" but I got what I have been looking for for a long time anyways, a very dark rosy-red that is hard to find without also getting a lot of purple/plum tones--now those drain me and make me (a cool/blue-undertoned, pale golden olive, ruddy-cheeked girl) look like a vampire.

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/25/2013 9:42:00 AM More reviews by StarCat74

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I am a nude kind of girl when it comes to lips and even though I love the darker colors I never really feel like I can pull it off. When I have tried to wear red I felt more like Bozo the Clown than anything that resembled sexy. I read about Fire Down Below and went and tried it on about 6 months ago. I walked around the mall with it on and just decided it was too much for me (even though I loved the color) and didn't buy. Yesterday I was planning on going out and wanted a different look so I stopped by Sephora and ran in to get this. I was a little nervous because once you put it on you are really committed to this color for the night but the shade is perfect and it looked fantastic so I went with it. I got a ton of compliments and one friend even said that she couldn't believe how well it was staying on. I had it on for about 7 hours and I touched it up one time. We were having drinks and snacking and it never smudged or got on my teeth. It goes on really easily, I forgot to get a liner so I just used it by itself and had no problems. I didn't use a brush either, I probably should have but it was fine without. It is definitely drying but I just felt dry it didn't look dry and since it lasts so long and stays put so well the dryness is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

I love this color so much that I think I will be sporting red lips a lot more often.. This was also my first time wearing a NARS lipstick ($28! EEEK) but if they all are this awesome and long lasting I can see myself purchasing more in the future!

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rated 5 of 5 on 6/15/2013 12:09:00 PM More reviews by snowglow

Age: 19-24 Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium Eyes: Blue

Holy HG Batman. The most beautiful shade of red I have ever found - inimitable, cannot be duped, must be seen to be believed. Even men who have a strong aversion to red lipstick on women tell me that this shade is a knockout. For reference, I am platinum blonde hair, very fair cool skin, blue eyes. The formula is long lasting, with gradual even fading -- I prefer to wear it with a flawless face (no blush but a bit of highlighter, preferably MAC Soft and Gentle MSF, NARS Copacabana multiple or illuminator, or Benefit Watt's Up), a tiny bit of black eyeliner on my upper lids, and heavy pinup girl style mascara.

Because it's so long lasting, Fire Down Below is not the most moisturizing formula in the world, but any balm applied under or over this lipstick will prevent dryness. I'd recommend this shade to any woman of any skin tone, fair or dark, warm or cool.

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rated 4 of 5 on 1/14/2013 5:25:00 PM More reviews by JuliaGhostX3

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

I do agree with others that sometimes this shade is a bit drying, and on me sometimes I feel it goes on patchy, or comes out patchy after a few hours, but I love this red lipstick. It is my darkest red, and I love that effect! It just suits me so perfectly. I will definitely re purchase once I run out!

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/7/2013 1:00:00 AM More reviews by tyeryann

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I have been searching for years to find the perfect shade of red lipstick. Everything I have ever tried has either been too pink, too orange, too bright, too dark, too brown...you get the idea. Fire Down Below showed up on my Pinterest a few days ago and people seemed to be raving about it. I immediately thought "$24 for a lipstick? REALLY?!" but I resigned myself to at least go try it on.


I went into the store thinking there was no way I would justify paying so much for a lipstick when so many had already failed. One swipe of the shade, however, and I was sold. It felt great going on, and it was the PERFECT shade of red that I have been looking for! I happily paid the $24 and bought a liner pencil to match and this is now my go-to lipstick for everyday wear (light swipe from a lip brush for a light stained look) or nighttime wear (a heavier application for a lucious "va va voom!" look). If you are at all hesitant, go try it on. I am definitely not disappointed and I am praying they don't do away with this color for a long time.

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 11/30/2012 1:59:00 PM More reviews by stilagrrrl

Age: 30-35 Skin: Oily, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

FINALLY! I found the perfect dark blood red shade that doesn't turn fuchsia on my lips! It's not too dark (my lips are on the thinner side so I can't wear anything super dark; otherwise they disappear) and not too brown. I did give this a four out of five though because the formula isn't so great - my lips feel as dry as the Sahara within minutes of application. It definitely seems drier than other NARS lipsticks, which are on the dry side to begin with. But for me the texture is worth it because I have searched everywhere and couldn't find this exact shade, plus the color lasts pretty well (and your lips don't LOOK dry, they just feel parched), so I'm willing to put up with it.

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