MAC Too Fabulous Collection: Lip Pencils Review, Photos, Swatches
Too Fabulous also included the release of six lip pencils, five of which are limited edition (Chestnut is the only one that is permanent/pre-existing). Why they have limited edition lip pencils… I’m puzzled. It’s like when they release limited edition skincare! These should be staple items, so they’re not a passing trend so much as something that might become part of your daily routine.
Lip Pencils ($13.00 U.S. / $15.50 CDN)
- Naked is a flesh-toned beige.
- In Synch is a peached-pink in a way. It’s not quite your typical pink–it’s definitely yellow-based. This would work really well with some more coral-pink lipsticks or glosses.
- Mouth Off is a coral-orange–I see this working with more orange-coral lipsticks and glosses.
- Boldly Bare is a deepened brown-nude with a little mauve in it.
- Trimmed in Pink is a brightened blue-based pink. It’s not quite fuchsia or ultra hot pink, but it would work well to brighten up pink glosses and help keep your favorite hot pink lipstick in check.
- Chestnut is a deep chocholate brown. I’m not sure what I’d wear this myself, since I don’t typically wear brown lipsticks (or dark lipsticks, for that matter… what, I like eyes!). This is the permanent shade–it was already existing in the Lip Pencil line-up.
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil: Pop Life & Toudra
NARS Pop Life & Toudra Velvet Matte Lip Pencils ($24.00 for 0.086 oz.) are two new shades from NARS’ Holiday Collection. These are jumbo-sized lip pencils that are designed to be used more like a lipstick than a lip pencil. The product is “enriched with Vitamin E” and is designed to last for “hours.” NARS describes Toudra as a “richly pigmented Barolo wine shade is creamy, long-lasting and matte for strong, seamless color and a perfectly defined pout,” while Pop life is a “bold, bright and modernly matte holly–red hue that slips on with a velvety texture – a new holiday staple.”
Toudra is a bronzy, not quite coppery, brown-based wine. It’s not really what I’d think of when someone tells me it’s a wine shade, though. It’s in there, and yet it’s distinctly different. It has a bit of a frosty/shimmery look, and I didn’t find it applied as easily as some other Velvet Matte Lip Pencils have in the past. It even felt a little gritty, and dare I say… drying? (Which these are specifically stated to not be!) It is reasonably pigmented, though since it doesn’t apply smoothly, you end up using a fair amount of product get an even, full coverage look.
Pop Life looks very holiday-red when you check out the product, but on my lips, it was definitely not the case. It was more of a brightened up orange-based coral shade. It was smoother and gave a better look overall compared to Toudra, but even this still felt a little drying to me. I didn’t get “hydrating” when testing either of these shades out myself. If you’re looking for a red, you might consider Dragon Girl or Cruella instead–both of which are a lot redder than Pop Life.
These aren’t really your best bang for your buck lip product, considering you only get 0.086 oz. for $24–a NARS lipstick contains 0.12 oz. but also costs $24.00. NARS has plenty of pigmented lipsticks in their collection (along with sheer shades, of course), so I’d probably start there in a lip color hunt. I like these, in terms of the actual product (and discounting the price differential), more than NYX’s Jumbo Lip Pencils, because they feel a little more high quality and they do last much longer on me (about four to five hours).
Bottom Line: I don’t love the new shades from holiday. I don’t own any of the permanent shades, but I’ve tested them in-store and have been more drawn to them there than I was when I swatched these two (and liked them even less when I actually used them!). Neither color really pops for me, and I’m not sure why these aren’t as hydrating as NARS touts the product line to be.
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- Product: 21/30
- Value: 7/10
- Ease of Use: 4/5
- Packaging: 4/5
Recommendation: I’d recommend trying these in-store before purchasing, to see if the texture meets your expectations!
Availability: Beauty.com, NARS Cosmetics, Sephora
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NYX Jumbo Lipstick Pencils: Hot Red, Hera
NYX Jumbo Lipstick Pencil ($3.50 each) is available in thirty different shades, as listed on the brand’s website, from browns to pinks to reds. I recently tested out two shades: Hot Red and Hera. Hot Red is a vibrant shade of orange-based tomato red, while Hera is a shimmery pink raspberry color.
I found Hot Red to apply quite opaque and has a very solid look to it. Hera, on the other hand, was sheerer and applied unevenly when used as an all-over lip color. Ironically, I didn’t find that the Jumbo Lip Pencils were stellar as lip liners, but they did make for quick and easy lip color. I’m not entirely sure what their official purpose is – is it to line lips and make them look defined? I want to say no, it can’t be, because they’re just too jumbo to work well for that purpose. The size alone makes them more suited for filling in lips entirely than actually providing definition. Plus, it is a Lipstick Pencil, so I think the idea is more of a two-in-one lipstick and liner combination, but it works better as a lipstick.
I found this to be true through trial as well, because neither shade I tested gave me clear, crisp definition. In fact, Hot Red feathered quite a bit, and I’d definitely use a lip liner before applying the pencil itself in the future. Hera didn’t feather as much, but it was decidedly uneven compared to Hot Red as well. I think the shimmer/frost of it makes for a less opaque product. The product itself feels fairly soft and creamy, with Hot Red definitely creamy and Hera only mildly creamy. I do, personally, detect a bit of “plasticness” to the taste/feel of the products, but it’s not really noticeable.
I really wish NYX’s website had a better showcase of color swatches, because the majority of the lip pencils actually look unappealing (seems like a lot of browns/mustards almost!), so I’m not sure if I’ll try additional shades or not. I also didn’t like how messy the pencil itself got when you use it directly – lip color kind of smudges and smears on the pencil edge, so it looks fairly dirty.
Bottom Line: For the price, I don’t think you could go wrong if you were looking for a product to use to create layered lip color. Alone, they didn’t have that precise application needed to really pull it off, but they could certainly be layered or used in conjunction with a lip liner for better definition.
- Product: 24/30
- Value: 10/10
- Ease of Use: 4/5
- Packaging: 3/5
Recommendation: If you’ve been curious about more opaque lip color, NYX Jumbo Lipstick Pencils are an affordable way to try out different shades. For those with naturally defined lips, these are an excellent choice for lip color. Others may want to double-up and use a lip liner for more intense shades like Hot Red.
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