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Lips - NARS - Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

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rated 4.4(61 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.4
  • 81% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.8
  • Price: $$$$

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/15/2013 10:05:00 PM More reviews by snowglow

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

The truest of true blood reds. Doesn't pull too cool or too warm, and it will not turn fuchsia on cool toned ladies. For such an intense color, application is a breeze and the color stays true and stays put. Unlike virtually every MAC red, Cruella does not require a lipliner underneath. It remains my favorite color to pair with a high bun, flawless dewy skin, simple eyes, and sunglasses for easy weekend glamor. I am so grateful to François Nars for creating this masterpiece.

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

rated 4 of 5 on 3/22/2013 9:42:00 PM More reviews by NKS

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

I have very little confidence wearing red lipstick - I think it looks fabulous on other people and have always felt a little envious of their confidence to carry off such a vibrant colour. But I'm also a closet red lipstick/gloss junkie and have bought so many variations from so many places including YSL, Tom Ford, Bobbi Brown's Red Carpet, MAC's Ruby Woo and Lady Bug, and goodness knows how many lip glosses from Mary Kay, Armani, Laura Mercier, Dior and Chanel. When I'm experimenting with looks before a night out or upcoming events, I quite often settle on a red lipstick look the night before and chicken out minutes before stepping out. I thought I'd found the solution when I discovered the Clinique Chubby Sticks - both the original and intense variety - and although great, are very much like coloured lip balm with the texture and finish that goes with it.

My main problem has been applying it neatly to the corners of my lips and v bit of my upper lip - on me, red lipsticks leave no room for error otherwise it spoils the entire look. I've tried lip liners (including a clear one), applying them with lip brushes of various types, finishing by going round the outsides of my lips with concealer, etc,etc,etc but I can't get a neat outline without several attempts. My other worry is the amount of transfer from red lipsticks and the unsightly red smudges it can leave if I accidentally brush my mouth with my hand and also the dreaded worry of getting it on my teeth. I've seen it happen on other people and it makes me apprehensive.

Cruella solves a multitude of problems. It has a more solid consistency on application - like the ideal balance between lipstick and lip liner giving more control over how it's applied. It's soft enough that it doesn't drag over lips like lip liners do though. The chunky pencil makes for easier handling. I though it would be tricky in the corners because the tip was too thick but it's absolutely fine. I find it easier to 'draw' rather than apply with a lip brush or straight out the tube (because once the tip of a new lipstick has worn down, it gets trickier to apply with a shapeless end without a brush).

The colour is phenomenal and so flattering. I bought it because the MUA was wearing it and she was ivory fair with bright blue eyes and dark hair but convinced me it would suit me with my asian skin tones, black hair and brown eyes. I have a darker natural hue to my lips so on me it comes out a deep scarlet and the extremely matte tone gives it a professional and sexy edgy. There is very little transfer after applying - there were no deeply coloured lip marks left on glasses. The staying power is something that needs to be tried to be believed - I went for a meal after work having touched it up once after lunch whilst there, and during dinner I dabbed my lips a few times and saw colour on the napkin - when I went to the bathroom, I expected the colour to be gone but it wasn't!. Perhaps slightly faded but still completely even.

Teamed with black liquid or gel eyeliner and retro flicks, this gives an instant glamorous look that is definitely good enough for a night out and I'm even brave enough to start wearing to work. I've had lots of compliments on it and it's made me so much braver to try out other red colours. Now the other ladies at work have started asking about 'that matte lipstick' and I've been spreading the word.

I appreciate the gripe about sharpening the pencil and losing product but I personally find having a point easier to work with in terms of application so I'll run with it. The lid definitely becomes a little loose over time and I wish the had a cap that clicks on like Dior eyeliners do. The one other thing I noticed and it goes for all the matte lip pencils by NARS - they can be a little drying and after removing it along with the rest of my makeup, I find that my lips are a little tingly - nothing that smudge of lip balm doesn't fix.

I am so glad I found this product and it will remain a staple in my makeup collection for a good while. At the moment, I don't think many other lip colours can rival its shade, texture, finish and staying power.

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

rated 5 of 5 on 3/8/2013 6:44:00 PM More reviews by vgirlygirl

Age: 30-35 Skin: Oily, Olive, Warm Hair: Blond, Wavy, Other Eyes: Green

Love this red. Blue-based, creamy, doesn't require a lipliner, and has good staying power. I love the pencil consistency because it's more like a moisturizing lipstick rather than a drying pencil. Looks great when I'm anywhere between NC25-NC35.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 12/17/2012 9:11:00 AM More reviews by OMGURTEEF

Age: 25-29 Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Brown

I probably would repurchase this because a. it's a gorgeous color, b. it's a great matte red shade, and c. it doesn't feather, bleed, or fade in any bizarre way.
The packaging leaves a lot to be desired. In a world where those dreadful Tarte Lipsurgence crayons can have a twist-up design, one might imagine that another lip crayon at the same price point with far superior quality would follow suit. I can deal with having to sharpen a less expensive product, but when I drop $25 on any product, I don't any of it to be wasted. At all. This would be my only road block in terms of repurchasing this lip color.
The color itself is so wonderfully glamorous and chic. I love the true matte finish (not like the Bite pencils which are more of a satin finish than matte) and it works so well against my skin tone. I feel like a classic film star when I'm wearing this.
The staying power is superb. I didn't think it would be because the Train Blue (or however it's spelled) color faded and bled horribly within a couple hours of trying it on. This one doesn't do that at all. It stays beautifully within my lip line, leaving a gorgeous sharp border and perfect definition. I don't need liner or lip primer underneath. I just swipe this beauty on and I'm good to go.
It can be a tad drying, but I always prep my lips with plenty of moisture before applying. I rub in coconut oil until it absorbs, then a lot of lip balm, let it seep in, then blot the balm off and apply the color. Perfect!
All in all, I'd say the product itself is fantastic. I just hope they give the packaging a makeover so less product is wasted.

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

rated 4 of 5 on 10/8/2012 9:28:00 PM More reviews by sarahmascara

Age: 30-35 Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Warm Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Blue

I have been admiring "Cruella" on a friend of mine and, put off by the price tag, I went in search of a drug store dupe that was cheaper. However, I failed to find one that had the staying power of NARS. This stuff STAYS PUT on my lips, which is a huge deal, because I am not exceptionally careful when wearing lipstick and I am always smudging it. This stuff is magnificent. Great color, great application, even the fact that it is matte and therefore "dry" doesn't bother my prone-to-chapping-lips.

I will probably buy this again, but will need to start saving up... At twenty-four bucks a pop, these are not cheap!

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

rated 4 of 5 on 7/2/2012 4:34:00 AM More reviews by fictionalize

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Brown, Curly, Fine Eyes: Brown

As other reviewers have noted, the shade is very flattering on my fair-medium, roughy NC30 skin. I find it very similar to MAC's Russian Red, my first proper red lipstick and a color I truly love. The formula is definitely better than MAC's--it's still matte, and therefore drying and a little difficult to apply, but it emphasizes flakes much less than Russian Red IMO. It doesn't bleed and really lasts ages, and survives snacking/tea drinking on me but not a full meal. I'm not a huge fan of the pencil-like packaging. Though it does make application a bit easier on the go, I tend to use a lip brush for greater precision anyway. What I don't like about it is having to sharpen it quite often, which wastes a lot of the product :(

I like this a lot, but because of the high price for a small amount of product, of which a lot is wasted, I don't think I would repurchase. It's a gorgeous, glamorous shade, but undoubtedly dupe-able and I think I'll explore other options once I'm done with this.

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 6/21/2012 4:10:00 PM More reviews by EternityintheRain

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Medium Brown, Warm Hair: Brunette, Kinky, Coarse Eyes: Brown

Just like it's namesake, this lip color is the perfect balance of modern and classic, elegant and fun, and vibrant yet subdued. I'm fairly new to red lipstick and as much as I love a bright lip, on me red can make me feel self conscious and awkward as I feel it shows off negatively my wide mouth and full lips. I was looking for a color to wear on special occasions, "low maintenance", and most of all, flatters my skin tone. I tried this out at Sephora and loved it. It filled all the tabs.

When swatched it looks like a perfectly neutral red but on me it looks exactly like the color of red delicious apples. It shows off my mouth area in the best way possible, makes my teeth look even more gorgeous, and makes my drowsy eye area look sharp and bright. It makes me look and feel sexy. I'm told I usually have a sweet, gullible look to my expression. People have stopped to gawk, point, awe, and compliment when I wear it. I feel amazing when I wear it. I really felt like I'd imagined Cruella felt in the 101 Dalmantions series and movies...just plain unstoppable, glamorous, and fabulously fabulous. I'm a MAC NC42 and NC 45 in the Summer (right now) and it looks great. You cannot do wrong with this product. In fact, if you're a makeup newbie (maybe even a progressive makeup dummy like me) you will not, cannot fail. I sometimes abhor the packaging, as you have to sharpen it, but I also think that helps to have a better control of the color and apply the color beautifully. You don't need a lip brush, a lip liner, maybe a sealer or anything like that. A sharpener and some lip gloss and you will be in the bridge to gorgeous yet simple perfection. For me it is my staple when I want to glam up with no effort.

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 6/14/2012 6:24:00 PM More reviews by wakeupdiana

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

This is such a sexy, vampy red. I love how smoothly it goes on and STAYS on. Just make sure to exfoliate and moisturize your lips before applying. I'm not the biggest fan of the packaging since it is in pencil form and you have to sharpen it every once and a while, but I would recommend sharpening it with a sharp x-acto knife in order to waste less product.

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/27/2012 9:15:00 PM More reviews by jen314

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Coarse Eyes: Brown

I don't think I have ever received this many compliments in one day before. I wore this at work (retail) and so many customers complimented me on my lips! The colour looked absolutely amazing on my NC20 skin. Some of my coworkers said I reminded them of a geisha.

This lip pencil is very creamy, pigmented, and easy to apply. I applied it straight from the stick and then used my lip pencil to smooth the edges. Then I put a bit of lip balm on top and it looked and felt awesome! The only thing that would make this product perfect is if it came in a twist-up form; I really hate sharpening pencils since there can be a lot of waste and mess.

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 3/29/2012 5:22:00 PM More reviews by bruisepristine

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown


The only reason I can't rate this lip pencil perfect is because of the price. $35 in Canada after taxes...yikes.

Other than that - SO impressed. Glides on effortlessly, the colour is SUPER pigmented, and the finish, like the name, is like velvet.

I adore it.

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