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Lipstick - NARS - Semi-Matte in Heat Wave



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rated 4.7(71 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.7
  • 87% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.4
  • Price: $$$$

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rated 5 of 5 on 7/30/2012 10:35:00 PM More reviews by lovelyvi

Age: 19-24 Skin: Very Dry, Medium Brown, Warm Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I was looking for a red/orange lipstick that would give me coverage and work with my skin tone. This is perfect! Great for WOC. It's a semi-matte formula which means you get all the color and look of a matte lipstick without having it cake and dry up like other matte lipsticks. It's the best lipstick I've ever had.

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 7/22/2012 5:33:00 PM More reviews by GucciDiva

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

I love NARS lipsticks...but this is so not my color. Looks extremely garish on me. Some brights (such as Jungle Red) look beautiful, but this looks TERRIBLE on me. I am pale with neutral undertones, blue eyes, and light brown hair

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 7/12/2012 7:17:00 PM More reviews by csquared14

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

I never thought that another red could make me cheat on MAC's Ruby Woo.


Well, I was wrong. I love this lipstick. LOVE. THIS. LIPSTICK. I literally cannot find a fault in it (for me, Ruby Woo has one--I don't like that it's so dry). Heat Wave goes on creamy and soft, but by some miracle this does not mean that it disappears instantly once one hour passes. You can swipe it on your lips without a worry about them looking dry or cracked for a casual, everyday look, or it can also be built up and worn with lip liner for a cleaner, fancier look. The color is bright and vivid--I am South Asian, but I haven't seen it look bad on any of my friends. It won't dry out your lips and stays bright for hours. I am not usually someone who is comfortable with wearing lipstick every day, since it usually takes a bit of maintenance, but this is so easy to just put on and not worry about. You don't need the layers of balm, pencil, and lipstick to make it look good, and I've found myself wearing it almost every day.


This is my new go-to lip color (I really am sorry, Ruby. I'm still keeping you around, just in case). I HIGHLY recommend it. It is a bit pricey, but it really just blows every other lipstick in my arsenal out of the water. As with all NARS products, it's packaging is that beautiful, classic black and white. It's sturdy enough to toss in my bag without the packaging getting messy-looking or, worse, the case opening and the bullet of lipstick getting ruined. If you are looking for a flattering, wearable red, I highly recommend going over to Sephora and giving the tester a shot, because this little guy is so worth it.

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rated 5 of 5 on 6/6/2012 2:07:00 AM More reviews by celialove

Age: 19-24 Skin: Oily, Fair, Warm Hair: Red, Wavy, Coarse Eyes: Blue

LOVE this color! After dying my hair, I found out that my pinkish red lipstick didn't work for me. I tried on Heat Wave at Sephora and fell in love. I love that it's actually a very buildable color - a light layer looks gorgeous, just as much as a heavy layer. When it does fade (and that takes awhile), it does so very nicely. It's a little dry, but applying lip balm beforehand helps a lot.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 1/28/2012 5:29:00 PM More reviews by RustGospel

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Black, Curly, Fine Eyes: Brown

I have to say that if you've never tried a NARS Semi-Matte, you really don't know what you're missing. Even if you're not a lipstick purveyor like myself or you're not really a fan of matte lipsticks of any kind in general, these might really surprise you. Heat Wave has to be one of my favorite lipsticks genuinely in part because of it's amazing texture. Actually, it has to be my absolute favorite where texture is concerned.
The pigmentation isn't so dense as in say, MAC's Lady Danger, which comes out as being an almost toxic, neon red-orange whether you attempt to dab it on or give it a full swipe. This lipstick is quite adaptable in a way that other red-oranges don't seem to be because the texture is so buildable and the color it's self isn't ridiculously trendy looking or over the top. Heat Wave is certainly a color that can be worn as a very light and beautiful blush of color on the lips for occasions when a much more natural look is desired.
I might be the minority here, but I don't think Heat Wave is *that* unique where the actual shade is concerned. While I own quite a few red-orange, corals, and vermilion type shades in my (ashamedly) massive red lipstick collection, I have yet to find an exact duplicate but do have many shades that are quite similar and in lower price ranges. I most certainly couldn't deny that Heat Wave is a gorgeous color though. When I saw it in Sephora I knew that I had to try it on and once I did, I was 100% sold. On me it appears to be more red than orange (say a 6:4, red/orange ratio) but is still sophisticated and classic. It's definitely the most serious and grown-up of the similar hues that I own and much more versatile as a result.
However, like I said before, Heat Wave has all of them beat as far as texture and lasting power is concerned! In the winter, when the moisture balance of my lips is seldom where it should be, Heat Wave is the only matte lipstick I can wear for hours on end without excessive flaking or utter discomfort. It takes so little of this lipstick on my lip brush to cover my entire mouth completely and once it's there, it truly stays put unless I wipe it off deliberately. When I do wipe it off, I find myself relieved time and time again because it never smears or stains my skin.
If there could ever be a perfect lipstick formula, I'd believe that NARS has it down pat with their Semi-Mattes! Heat Wave is one of those colors that puts a little pep in your step without being gaudy or obnoxious. Sure, the price is kind of steep but I feel like the texture alone genuinely justifies it. The hue is absolutely divine and the texture makes it a real dream to wear.

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rated 3 of 5 on 1/5/2012 4:10:00 AM More reviews by mya2403

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Medium, Cool Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

On me this pulls orange more than red. I love it definatly not one for all the wall flowers out there.

Heatwave demands attention.

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/3/2012 6:04:00 AM More reviews by Sheccid

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Other

I absolutely love this colour, it is more orange than red but definitely suits any skin colour. I have been looking for a nice red for months, and I have bought a couple that even though are nice they were not giving me the wow factor. This shade is amazing, the makeup artist at NARS was wearing it and I asked her to try it on me even though our skin colours were totally opposite. The colour absolutely suited me and I wear it every time I go out as it definitely stands out as a statement. The problem is the price as here in Australia this brand is ridiculously expensive but I would definitely buy it again since this is something you must have.

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/20/2011 7:24:00 AM More reviews by escapade

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm Hair: Brunette, Curly, Coarse Eyes: Brown

My #1 favourite red lipstick! Its a gorgeous warm orangey red. Love love love it! (Mac C4 for reference)

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rated 5 of 5 on 11/20/2011 3:56:00 PM More reviews by TipBee

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I have been on the hunt for the perfect red/orange lipstick. Because I am Southeast Asian, my skin has a yellow undertone and usually red lipsticks do not look too great against my skin. This is perfect! Because of the hint of orange, it makes this much more wearable. I have applied it on my lips directly and also used my fingers and both ways look great. It is a semi-matte lipstick and it glides on smooth. The color is so pigmented, it is stunning! It does not leave my lips dry or crackly-- which is a problem I have had with lipsticks in the past. I have worn this with a clean face, little bit of bronzer, a thick black liner and mascara. This color deserves to be the center of attention! This is the first non-drugstore brand lipstick I have purchased in a long time, and I have to say, I am very pleased! Will purchase another color from NARS soon!

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 10/19/2011 12:33:00 PM More reviews by lookof1939

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

I will settle the question of why this was named "Heat Wave": Marilyn Monroe sings "We're Having a Heat Wave" in the film "There's no Business like Show Business"--and this color, of course, is a "spring" (see the book "Color Me Beautiful"), Marilyn Monroe/1950s/Mad Men-inspired, classic warm red. That can be worn today because it is classic. This is retro. No one does anything this retro, classic, and universally flattering anymore, hence why everyone finds this color so unique and great. If it works on me with my dark hair, ruddy cheeks, and light olive skin, then it can work on anyone.

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No