Monday, March 4, 2013

Hello, Gorgeous: NARS Mascate Review and Swatches

Larie has given this lipstick no end of praise, so after I survived last term, I decided to pick one up for myself, because I don't already have enough reds (never enough!).

I first tried applying it from the tube to bare lips. Not the best idea–it's dry and somewhat firm, so it caught on my lips and applied horribly. I next applied it over recently belipbalmed lips, and found that it smeared. Fortunately, third time was the charm, over lips from which lip balm has been lightly blotted. That makes the surface moisturized and slick enough for it to glide on, but not so slippery it spreads every which way. I like swiping it on my bottom lip, pressing my lips together, and spreading it out with my finger, then applying around my cupid's bow and repeating. Doing that a few times (~3) ensures even application, smooth finish, and excellent longevity. I can get 3 hours of nearly perfect wear, and even after that it fades evenly. Prepping with lip balm also helps keep it from being too drying; I don't find it leaves my lips parched, but it's not a moisturizing lipstick, either (unsurprising, given its matte finish). And the color! Oh, the color. In the tube, it's dark and nearly bloody, but on my lips, it's a rich neutral red, very classic.

The matte finish makes it mature and less in-your-face than many reds, so it's very versatile and I've worn it to school several times, as the fuss-free wear is great for teaching––no need to awkwardly stop mid-lecture to make sure my lipstick hasn't migrated!
It looks a little pinker here than in real life, but it's pretty close. Ain't it purty?

Overall? A winner. Beautiful and long-lasting, what more could you want from a red lipstick?

$26 for 0.07 oz, available from Sephora

Quality: 9.25
Effectiveness: 3.5 (they claim it has "the supple feel of a hydrating lip treatment", which is definitely not the case for me, but it is "ultra matte" and "super-rich")
Ease of Use: 4.25 (a little bit of a hassle to apply, but once it's on, you're good to go)
Senses: 4.5 (no smell or taste, but a wee bit drying)
Pigmentation: 5
Duration: 4.75
Consistency: 4.5
Price: 1.5
Value: 4 (comparably sized to other rich matte lipsticks, but still, .07 oz isn't much)
Packaging: +0.5 (I really like the slim black rubberized tube!)
Grade: B
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