My husband and I recently celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary, and as a gift, he got me a ton of stuff from Sephora. He did this because he is incredible. And because I asked for it. I am a research nut when it comes to anything and everything. If I can make a spreadsheet, I will. I rarely impulse buy, so this purchase was a long time coming. I had a Sephora wishlist going for weeks. It was constantly being modified the more research I did. Adding things, taking things out, putting things back in. The only constant in that wishlist was a NARS Audacious Lipstick in the color “Liv.” I had wanted to try that line since its debut, but $32 is up there for me when it comes to a single lipstick. It required an (enjoyably) extensive amount of research. Everything I heard about it was great. The swatches looked gorgeous. The “cons” side of my list was empty, so I decided to go for it. It would be in just in time for our anniversary dinner! Pics first, full review after:
The packaging alone was worth the $32. It FEELS expensive. The metal tube is heavy and beautiful with a gorgeous matte finish. It looks like the Monolith. There is a “right way” to put on the cap, helped along by a magnet that gives a satisfying click when it is being placed on the tube. This helps ensure it won’t pop off in your bag. I stared at it on my counter for days, afraid to mess it up. That’s how pretty it is. I’d hold it in my hand, slowly twist the tube to reveal the lipstick, then freak out and put it away. Incredibly silly of me, yes, but not completely unwarranted. If I had to find a complaint with the packaging it would be that it shows fingerprints. But seriously, who cares?
Our anniversary rolled around and it was time to finally wear the damn thing. I tried applying it with a brush first (over primer) just to make sure I was giving it the treatment it deserved. This, however, proved to take ages. I switched to applying straight from the tube and the color payoff was tremendous. The formula is creamy but not thick. It made it easy to apply but it also made the color a little uneven, since it’s not as opaque as you’d think. I had translucent patches here and there that were a pain to cover up. The finish is shiny and luminous, which looks nice, but is another feature that adds to the translucency issue. It had a bad habit of bleeding on the edges, so make sure to pair it with either a clear liner or a close color match (NARS makes an exact match).
The color is described as a “deep aubergine” which…I had to google. Think eggplant. It has a cool, berry undertone to it that makes it look great in the sun. In a dimly lit restaurant, it’s as vamp as vamp can be. Unfortunately, because we went to a pizza place for our anniversary dinner, it was really hard to gauge the average wear time. Fortunately, I tested it again later! It lasts close to 5 hours (with little to no eating/drinking) and it fades into a gorgeous berry stain. Because of the consistency issues mentioned above, reapplication can be a bit tedious. I’d save this for occasions where you won’t be chowing down.
All in all, it was a gorgeous lipstick. It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty close. It’s terribly unfair to judge a whole line based on one shade, especially a vamp shade, so I have a few more (a lot more) on my soon-to-buy list. I think the light formula will work much better with lighter colors.
My local Sephora has a limited selection, and there are even more shades that are online only, so I highly recommend checking out all that’s available and swatching what you can. The whole line is comprised of some beautiful shades!