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NARS Launches Its Audacious Lipstick Collection — And The World Swoons!


When you’re as brilliant, talented, and well-respected as NARS Founder and Creative Director François Nars,  you not only get to climb to the very top of the makeup artistry realm, masterminding some of the most memorable editorial and runway beauty looks in recent decades, but you get to build your very own beauty empire (he famously launched his eponymous cosmetics brand in 1994); steer your company to commercial success without sacrificing its innately and effortlessly cool DNA; then sell it to Shiseido (which he did in 2000) while retaining complete creative control of the brand, its product development, and the imagery associated with every new campaign and initiative. And then, you can ultimately, buy your own private island and spend your free time cultivating another of your passions: photography. This last part is no hyperbole, I might add — Farnçois Nars actually owns the Motu Tané island off the coast of Tahiti. In fact, in just a few weeks, Nars is officially releasing the stunning coffee table book Tahiti: Faery Islands, featuring artful black-and-white imagery of landscapes and portraits of native Tahitians – all shot by Nars over the course of 10 years.

The book’s launch is only one of the ways in which NARS is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The second entails François Nars’ first love: makeup. Seeing as the celebrated makeup artist launched his namesake brand with only 12 lipsticks — all of which became instant sensations — it seemed fitting to return to the product that sparked the brand’s success. And so, this month, NARS has unveiled its most luxurious, seductive, fearlessly vibrant and richly pigmented lipsticks to date with the launch of the NARS Audacious Lipstick collection ($32 each at NARScosmetics.com).

Not only can you achieve full coverage with a single swipe of your NARS Audacious Lipstick shade of choice, but you’ll be astounded by how hydrating the lipstick feels on your pout — and, moreover, how radiant the color remains even hour after application. And, since a woman can never have too much of a good thing (especially when it comes to lipsticks, shoes, and handbags!), the collection incorporates an impressive 40 shades, ranging from sophisticated neutrals to azalea pinks, blue-toned raspberry reds, oxbloods and deep aubergines.

Here are 30 of the NARS Audacious lipstick shades available (another 10 shades are available exclusively at select retailers and are not listed here):

  • CLAUDIA: Cool pink
  • MICHIYO: Shocking pink
  • GRETA: Wild azalea
  • ANGELA: Pink orchid
  • JANET: Deep magenta
  • FANNY: Rich berry
  • VERA: Bright raspberry
  • CHARLOTTE: Oxblood burgundy
  • AUDREY: Red currant
  • ANNA: Smokey rose
  • ANITA: Antique rose
  • JANE: Terracota rose
  • BRIGITTE: Nude rose
  • BARBARA: Tan rose
  • RAQUEL: Pink beige
  • CATHERINE: Sunny guava
  • JULIETTE: Pink coral
  • NATALIE: Flamingo
  • GRACE: Bright pink coral
  • GERALDINE: Tangerine
  • LANA: Vivid orange red
  • ANNABELLA: Poppy red
  • RITA: Scarlet
  • MARLENE: Red brick
  • OLIVIA: Garnet
  • LESLIE: Cherrywood
  • JEANNE: Cherry red
  • DEBORAH: Chestnut
  • BETTE: Bordeaux
  • LIV: Deep aubergine

 My first NARS lipstick ever was Jungle Red, which is still a classic (and which I still wear regularly), but I have to admit that, from a textural perspective, the Audacious Lipsticks are unlike anything I’ve experienced — not just from NARS but from any brand. The colors are vivid and full-bodied, the lipsticks’ texture is creamy but not heavy or clump-prone, the finish is mainly matte but with just a hint of sheen, and the coverage is superb — you can literally run the lipstick bullet atop the lids and enjoy complete opacity. And, while they’re not necessarily billed as being long-wearing, they do last an extraordinary length of time (albeit as more of a stain but, nevertheless, the color lingers on the pout beautifully.

Backstage during New York Fashion Week, I saw quite a few looks involving different Audacious Lipstick shades. sometimes the color was applied using a lip brush. Sometimes it was dabbed onto lips for more of a flushed effect. And, at one show, the color was applied to the center of the lips and then diffused using a fluffy eyeshadow brush for a natural-looking stain. Really, the possibilities with these lipsticks are endless!

Another major draw: the luxe yet practical packaging. All NARS Audacious Lipsticks are housed in perfectly rectangular matte black cases that look timelessly elegant, and they feature a magnetic closure so that once you position the cap atop the base, you can feel them being pulled together. Not only does this magnetic closure system make it easy to snap your lipstick shut in a rush, but it ensures that the cap won’t come undone inside your makeup bag.

I’ve been tinkering with two amazing shades, Angela and Claudia, and I really can’t decide which I love more. The NARS Audacious Lipstick in Angela is a saturated medium-toned pink with blue undertones, the type of color you’d find on pink orchid petals. If anything, it’s the most innovative and stellar take on radiant orchid (which you might remember was heralded as the “it” color for 2014). The Audacious Lipstick in Claudia, meanwhile, is a lighter pink with warmer, albeit still cool undertones. It’s the type of color you might associate with Barbie’s Corvette but, of course, with a couture twist.

Check out swatches of the two lipstick hues below:



Already smitten with these colors? Well, check out who they look on lips! I’m pleased to say that they’re as intense on lips as they are when swatched (which, as you know, is not often the case). Here’s a few shots of me wearing the Angela shade:



Next, here are some pictures of em wearing the Claudia color:



Amazing coverage, right? I’m literally obsessed with these lipsticks and have a shortlist of shades I plan on purchasing very soon (among them Fanny, Annabella, Audrey, Charlotte, Dominique, Geraldine, and Lana).

As you might have noticed, all the lipstick hues are named after women, so it’s fun to imagine who might have inspired them. Did Annabella Sciorra inspire the Annabella color? Is the Lana lipstick a tribute to Lana del Rey? Is Brigitte an homage to Brigitte Bardot? I’m not quite sure, but I do love when a lipstick bears a name that channel a celebrity with that very same moniker.

Hope you love these lip colors as much as I do and that they make you want to indulge your audacious, risk-taking, and beautifully brazen side.

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