Last fall, NARS launched a new line of lipsticks, Audacious, priced a little higher than the regular NARS lipsticks. I picked up Vera from Sephora, and if all the shades perform the way Vera does, then Audacious Lipsticks are well worth the price hike.
I was on a plummy/berry lipstick kick over the last year, and simultaneously bought NARS Vera and Givenchy Le Rouge in Framboise Velours. They turned out to be nearly the same lipstick color. I have to do a little more research, next time! I feel that I slightly prefer Vera, so I’m reviewing it first.
The new Audacious Lipstick packaging has a similar style to that of the original NARS Lipsticks, with a few key differences. While the overall square shape and black color are the same, and both have the NARS logo wrapped around the case, the Audacious casing is larger, metallic and has flat, rather than slightly curved, sides. The NARS logo is shiny black on semi-matte black, and on the bottom, rather than white on black and on the cap.
The cap is magnetic, but in such a way that if you don’t have the cap aligned the right way, the cap will snap itself around in place. Cool effect, but also slightly annoying. Other than that, I love the new packaging: even the lipstick bullet shape is beautiful.
The NARS Audacious Lipsticks are all cream finishes, and named for classic Hollywood film stars. I’m not a classic film buff, and can only assume Vera is named for American actress Vera Miles (although, apparently Rita Hayworth’s birth name was also Vera!).
Vera is described by NARS as a “bright raspberry”, which is pretty much on the nose. It’s a gorgeous rosy raspberry pink cream that works as well for day as it does for the evening.
As you can see below, it is very close to Givenchy Le Rouge in Framboise Velours (which I think means Raspberry Velvet…looks like NARS and Givenchy were on the same wavelength):
Framboise Velours is a touch pinker and cooler-toned. I prefer Vera on me.
The new formula is wonderful and feels quite weightless. I always found the older NARS lipsticks to be quite drying and a bit heavy-feeling. Vera applies so smoothly and is full-coverage and even with just one stroke. It has a lovely, creamy finish, as well, and doesn’t feel tacky or sticky. There is no scent or taste that I can discern.
I found the staying power to be ridiculously good. It lasted an entire day (over 8 hours), through eating and drinking. Granted, I wasn’t eating fried chicken, but I thought this was amazing. It wore off very nicely and I didn’t feel I needed to reapply. While it’s not particularly moisturizing, I also didn’t find it especially drying.
I think Audacious is a massive improvement over the original lipsticks, and while I still love some of the older colors, I can’t bring myself to buy them anymore because I always found them to go bad much faster than other brands. (I am shedding a tear for Spanish Red, Fire Down Below and Vera Cruz!) I’m not going to go wild and buy a bunch more of the Audacious Lipsticks, just in case they share their predecessors’ penchant for spoilage, but oh boy, do I want to.
I daresay this is a Holy Grail lipstick formula (if not color), for me.
NARS Audacious Lipstick is US$32 / CA$37 and 0.14 oz / 4.2 g. It is made in the USA.
NARS Cosmetics was founded in 1994 by François Nars. The company was acquired by Tokyo, Japan-based Shiseido Group in 2000.