NARS Damage Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sheer muted grape.” It’s a translucent raspberry pink with a subtle shine; it looks a bit like tinted lip balm than a lipstick, because it’s so weightless and merely tinted lips. The effect is very my-lips-but-better in the best way. There’s definitely a difference between my natural lip color and how they look with Damage on top, but it’s subtle and very natural. This would be an excellent every day shade as it is extremely wearable but it will also go well with many looks. MAC Laugh-a-lot is a bit less berry. MAC Capricious is a bit darker.
Guerlain Coque d’Or (120) Rouge Automatique ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant coral-red with gold and copper micro-shimmer. It’s mostly opaque on lips, but you can see my lip freckle peeking through–from afar, it appears more opaque. I can see this working really well in the summer–so good thing this is part of the permanent range. This particular formula is supposed to be semi-opaque to opaque in color, so Coque d’Or is right on target.
NYX Chic Red Round Lipstick ($4.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a vibrant pink-red with strong blue undertones. It’s more vibrant compared to Guerlain Liu and just a touch more compared to MAC Prolong. It’s a very cool-toned lipstick, which means it really makes teeth look white, and it will naturally flatter cooler complexions better. I find that the intensity of reds (along with plums, berries, etc.) make them appropriate on warmer complexions, too, because of how rich and deep in color they are. It’s opaque in color and a little goes a long way!
MAC Fervent Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “glossy blackened berry” with a satin finish. Fervent is a slightly red-toned purpled berry with semi-opaque color coverage. It’s lighter and more berry compared to MAC Faultlessly F/W. MAC Smoked Purple is darker, more opaque, and more matte in finish. It’s interesting that they describe the finish as satin but also glossy, because it looks and feels a bit more like a glaze finish. With a color as dark as this, it’s really obvious when it doesn’t apply evenly, and Fervent is a real trickster. It does not apply evenly, disappears into lip lines, and even when you manage to get it just right, the minute your lips touch and pull away, you’re back to square one!