Category Archives: Lipliner

NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Review, Swatches, Photos

I think my favorite lip product formula is the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil formula.  They are super long lasting (he darker shades easily last 6+ hours on me), they don’t dry out my lips, and they doesn’t transfer or smudge if blotted.

I recently added the shade Dolce Vita, a my-lips-but-better (mlbb) shade to my growing collection of NARS Velvet Matte Pencils.  This pencil has the same velvety texture as the other shades I own (Cruella – my favorite red of all time – and Damned), though it seems a touch more moist.  Because it’s a much lighter shade, it definitely doesn’t last as long. I’ve tried to do a wear test a couple times, but it’s close enough to my natural lip shade that it’s just too hard for me to accurately tell when it wears off.   My best guess is that it lasts around three hours, which is decent (though not great), for a lighter shade like this.

NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Swatch

The color of this is very pretty, though not especially unique.  As noted above, it’s a my lips but better type shade on me – though on someone with less pigmented lips, it might be more of a deep pink/ rose color.  NARS also makes a Dolce Vita lipstick, which I do not own; however, the Dolce Vita pencil is similar to a different NARS lipstick that I do own, Gipsy.  Gipsy is one of my favorite lipsticks, so it’s not suprising that I love the color of Dolce Vita!

NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil; NARS Gipsy swatches comparison

NARS Dolce Vita; NARS Gipsy

Because this is fairly close to my natural lip color, I’ve included a photo of both my bare lips and a lip swatch of Dolce Vita, so you can see that it does actually add some color!

Bare lips

NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Swatch

Dolce Vita

I would love to hear your thoughts on the Velvet Matte pencils – do you love them like I do, hate them, or are you just “meh” on them?

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NARS Damned Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Review, Swatches, Photos

As regular readers know, NARS Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (review) is one of my very favorite makeup items.  And now, NARS Damned – another Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – is about to join the ranks of my favorite lip products!

The Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are chubby lip pencils. I like NARS’s packaging because is sleek and minimal, which is exactly my style.    Note that this is a pencil you sharpen, not a twist – up. However,  I’ve used Cruella approximately ten times without needing to sharpen it; so, you don’t need to sharpen them frequently.

I love the texture of the Velvet Matte lip pencils. They are creamy, velvety, and feel weightless on the lips.   They are very pigmented and have a completely matte finish. I haven’t tested out Damned for wear time yet, but Cruella lasts until removal for me, unless I eat something greasy – I accidentally slept in it once, and it was still perfectly intact in the morning.  I find them very comfortable and non-drying.

Damned is described by NARS as a “rich magenta.”  I have trouble describing this color, but it’s a bold, beautiful statement lip.  I’ve also swatched it next to NARS Cruella so you can see it compared to a red; I think that helps show the true color of Damned.

And finally, a lip swatch! My lips are not in great shape right now, and the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils actually work quite well with that – they don’t emphasize dryness or flakiness, and actually hide it a little bit. carries NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils in twelve shades, including both Damned and Cruella. I highly recommend this product!

This post contains an affiliate link. For more information please see my disclosure policy.


This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.

Chubby Lip Pencil Comparison, Review, Swatches

Chubby Lip Pencils are one of my favorite types of lip product.  I own three different brands of chubby lip pencils: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, Ulta Lip Crayons, and NYX jumbo lip pencils, so I decided to put together a comparison post.  Obviously the colors I own are are not comparable across the brands, but I’m going to talk about packaging, texture, pigmentation, and shade range.
The shades I own are NARS Cruella, Ulta Must Have, Daredevil, and American Girl, and NYX Iced Coffee.
All of the lip pencils need to be sharpened; none twist up.  The NARS has a classy black cap; the Ulta and NYX have rather unattractive clear caps.  I think the NYX packaging is particularly unattractive – but, it’s the cheapest of the bunch. Overall, they all have similar packaging – the only difference is aesthetic.
Texture / Finish / Pigmentation
The three different brands have very different textures.  The NARS Velvet Matte pencil is the only matte of the bunch. Velvety is a good way to describe it – it’s very dense, soft, and has a unique matte texture that I’m finding difficult to describe. I don’t find it drying at all.  It’s extremely pigmented, and thus very long lasting – one of the most long-lasting lip pencils I own.
The Ulta Lip Crayons have what I would consider a more typical lip pencil texture – dryer than a lipstick, but definitely not dry. They have a satin finish, and while they aren’t moisturizing, they definitely don’t dry my lips out.  All three of the Ulta lip pencils are moderately pigmented – Daredevil is the most pigmented, and Must Have is the least pigmented. They last fairly well; pretty average for a lipstick.
The NYX Jumbo Lip Crayon has an odd finish – it’s more of a lipstick, with a very creamy finish. It goes on very thickly if you’re not carefully, and is sort of goopy. I am not a fan of the texture.  Because I do not like the way this feels on my lips, I don’t know how long it lasts – I always wipe it off immediately – I just can’t stand wearing it.

swatches - NARS Cruella; Ulta Must Have, Daredevil, American Girl; NYX Iced Coffee

NARS Cruella; Ulta Must Have, Daredevil, American Girl; NYX Iced Coffee

Shade Range & Availability

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are available in twelve colors on  – and many of the colors are gorgeous. I have my eye on Dragon Girl and Damned. They are, of course, also available at other retailers, but I’m obsessed with Sephora points so I do all my makeup shopping at Sephora.

Ulta Lip Pencils unfortunately appear to be on clearance, but Must Have – my favorite! – is still  available at

NYX Jumbo Lip Crayons are available in 23 shades at, and I believe that there are more shades available on the NYX website or via ebay.


I love and recommend both the NARS pencils and the Ulta pencils (I’m sad to see they are being discontinued; I’d snap up Must Have while you have the chance, and hope that Ulta releases a similar product!).  My experience with the NYX pencils is not positive, but I know that a lot of people love them, so I might give them another try anyway!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosure policy


This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.

NARS Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Review, Swatches, Photos

In my Five High End Products post I told you that I am totally LOVING my new NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. Now that I’ve had several chances to wear it, it’s time for a full review!

NARS Cruella is a chubby lip pencil.  The packaging is pretty standard – there’s really not much to say about it.  This is a pencil you sharpen – not a twist-up. It seems firm enough that I won’t have trouble sharpening it, but I haven’t needed to yet, despite wearing it several times.  (As a side note, I use the Urban Decay Grind House pencil sharpener. It’s $10, which seems a bit pricey for a pencil sharpener, but it works beautifully on all my soft and creamy pencils.)

The texture of the Velvet Matte pencils is different from other lip pencils that I’ve used. It’s not quite dry, but it’s certainly not glossy either. I can understand why they call it a velvet matte – I would describe the texture as soft and velvety.  It’s very creamy, but has a matte finish.


This is incredibly long-lasting; it might even beat out my beloved Sleek Pout Paints as the most long-lasting lip product I own.  When I wore it out to dinner, it lasted through sushi, salad (with oil-based dressing), and champagne fairly well; it faded a bit, but didn’t smear, smudge, and the fading was even so it still looked good. When I accidentally fell asleep in it, I woke up the next morning with perfectly-applied red lips. The wear time is just plain fantastic.

Cruella is, for my coloring, a really perfect true red.  The NARS website describes it as a passionate scarlet red, and I can get behind that description as well.


Overall, I really love this product, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a long lasting, matte red lipstick!


This post is from Project Swatch. All rights reserved.