Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

NARS Afghan Red Lipstick
NARS Afghan Red Lipstick

NARS Afghan Red Lipstick

NARS Afghan Red Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.086 oz.) is described as a “garnet.” It’s a muted, medium-dark raspberry red with a subtle sheen. MAC Rebel is purpler and more intense. Guerlain Guet-Apens is lighter, less opaque. MAC Deliciously Forbidden is pinker. Milani Sexy Rose is frostier. Guerlain Bee is just slightly purpler. YSL Forbidden Burgundy is redder.

It is part of the satin finish range, which is supposed to be “a lustrous, long-wearing lipstick infused with conditioners to provide comfortable wear and sumptuously, silky color.” Afghan Red applies opaque with little product, and the texture is soft, lightly pliant, and barely creamy. It glides across the lips with nary a pull or a tug. The wear is good, though not as outstanding as some of the other reds by NARS; I get a solid five hours with some lingering color after six hours. It’s comfortable to wear, and it doesn’t cling as much to the lips as a true matte finish would. I found it marginally hydrating but no substitute for a good moisturizing gloss or balm, so it didn’t dry out lips or leave me fishing for gloss as soon as this wore off. It’s scent- and taste-free.

The Glossover


Afghan Red

It's not quite as moisturizing as NARS calls out (I wouldn't say this "nourishes" lips, but it doesn't dry them out), but the color is opaque, comfortable to wear, and long-wearing.











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NARS Afghan Red Lipstick
NARS Afghan Red Lipstick

NARS Afghan Red Lipstick
NARS Afghan Red Lipstick

NARS Afghan Red Lipstick
NARS Afghan Red Lipstick (Diffused Flash)

NARS Afghan Red Lipstick
NARS Afghan Red Lipstick (Studio Lighting)

NARS Afghan Red Lipstick
NARS Afghan Red Lipstick

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

Sephora, $24.00.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

MAC Rebel is purpler and more intense. Guerlain Guet-Apens is lighter, less opaque. MAC Deliciously Forbidden is pinker. Milani Sexy Rose is frostier. Guerlain Bee is just slightly purpler. YSL Forbidden Burgundy is redder.

What makeup are you wearing?

On eyes: Guerlain Capri Eyeshadow Quad, Guerlain Blu Acqua Khol Kajal, Guerlain G Mascara. On cheeks: Guerlain Sunny Pink Terracotta Blush.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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37 thoughts on “NARS Afghan Red Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Marie

    It’s one of my favorite lipsticks from the brand! It looks lovely on you. :)

  2. This is pretty cool, i used NARS lipsticks in the past but this one is tempting.

  3. Dominique33

    It looks gorgeous on you, Afghan Red is not a matte lipstick that’s why it’s not so intense as the others ( Jungle red, red lizard, fire down below, scarlet empress etc.. ), I love it because it lasts long without drying the lips.

  4. Ravn94

    Hey Christine, I was wondering if I could ask a favor? I don’t know if I should maybe e-mail you this? Anyway, there’s this picture of Dita Von Teese, where she’s wearing this gorgeous, gorgeous lipstick. It’s sort of a plummy, purple-red. If I leave a link to the picture, or mail you it, could you possibly see if you knew of a dupe, or something close to it? I’ve yet to find anything similar. If it’s too much trouble, then nevermind. :)
    Thanks anyways!

  5. Love it Christine! It’s Winter in Australia and this NARS lippie is perfect for the cold seasons.

  6. You look great in this shade, Christine!  There is something special about it for me and maybe it’s just that it skims the line of a really bright powerful shade like MAC Rebel.. but it really packs some great saturated colour without being over the top in your face.  Lovely!

  7. One of my favourite reds from NARS. It’s a very wearable red on my warm-leaning complexion, not too dark and muted enough not to be obtrusive. It also has just enough slip that you can apply it precisely without needing a brush.

  8. xamyx

    I passed on even swatching this one at Sephora, as I felt it looked a bit too cool in the tube, but now that I’ve seen your swatches, I’ll have to revisit this one. I’ve been looking to add a NARS lippie to my stash, and because I have sooo much lipstick already, I’ve been trying to figure out which would be the most prudent choice. Now it’s between three-Mascate, Fire Down Below, and now, Afghan Red. The funny thing is, they’re all three different formulas, so I’ll probably justify picking up all three at some point.

    • Kafka

       @xamyx   Do it, Amy! Buy them! Let me enable you! ;P  <grin> I don’t think you’ll find Afghan Red as long-lasting as the other three but the colour is pretty. Do me a favour and when you go in to buy them, please — pretty please — swatch Scarlet Empress. Given your love of crimsons, I think that you’d really like that one. It’s not as dark as it looks in the tube but what a colour on the lips! (OT, I sent Christine an email to forward onto you but she doesn’t have your addy under the new Livefyre system. You have to write to her first. She’s agreed, very sweetly, to do the exchange. And I really *have* to tell you about this eBay steal I got because I thought of you so much. 5 NARS products for $50!! 3 Full size products, including the Mascate (I lost mine on a trip to Sweden last fall), the Eurydice eye duos & a Copacabana Multiple!! Plus, half-size of the new NARS tinted moisturiser and a travel Super Orgasm (which is the only thing I didn’t actually want). But $50! For about $130 worth of stuff. My cheapskate side was in ecstacy. LOL.) 

      • xamyx

        @Kafka Yay, Eurydice duo! I *love* that one; you have to use the “pat on” method to get the blue tones to show, and a primer or sticky base is a *must*. Even if you swipe it on, the color is still really pretty, but different. On the plus side, it’s really like getting 3 shades in the duo, or 4, if you mix the two colors, which results in a color beyond description. It’s definitely my favorite duo, ever. As for Scarlet Empress, I’ve seen swatches online, and it seemed a little too bright/pink, but then unless the swatches are Christine’s, I really can’t gauge the accuracy. Afghan Red is so me, though. A bit OT, I was going through my boxes of lippies (so many never even touched), and I came across a L’Oreal shade from several years ago, when they had a matte line. One in particular was Matte Maraschino, which is such a near dupe for Mascate. Aparently I really liked it, because I found one brand new one (I rarely buy a back up of anything), and one that was nearly gone. I’ve *never* gone through nearly a whole lippie! I’m always on the hunt for something better, but this one must have been close. I have no idea why I stopped wearing it,though. It was probably just before my pinky-nude phase. Also, I found 4 Revlon mattes, but I haven’t even tried them, and I think I bought them last spring.

  9. Surraya

    I originally bought this colour for the name because I’m Afghan, but I didn’t realize just how pretty the colour was until I actully tried this on!

  10. corallista

    I love this color family, I already have MAC Rebel, Deliciously Forbidden and Scandelicious, this one goes to my wishlist!

  11. Megan

    That looks so beautiful on you.  The whole look, not just the lipstick.

  12. DavidDiaz34

    Such a pretty color! Gotta have it! :p
    xo – David

  13. martapietra

    this is lovely on you! too bad we don’t have nars here.. :(

  14. helen

    I like the lipstick shade but LoViNG the Guerlain eyes!!  I’ve been on the fence about the quad but this is just the clincher.  Simply gorgeous!!

  15. Melody

    Nice.  I’ll have to keep this in mind for fall.  I’m drowning in vampy lip shades but this lippie is a bit different from what I have. 

  16. mayanas

    Amazing color

  17. Kafka

    I’ve always loved this shade but I don’t do Satins. It looks really lovely on you. A lot pinker and lighter than it would initially appear from the tube (or on me when I swatched it). The colour I’d like to see on you is Scarlet Empress. I know from past reviews that you’ve tried it and really like it, but I’d love to see a photo of you in it. (That’s *not* a hint, btw, but mere idle curiosity.) I imagine you’d look positively ravishing!

  18. Mariella

    That is MY kinda lipsticks. You can keep all  your nudes, just give me something like this!

  19. It’s funny, because this was the first Nars lipstick I had my eye on- it’s such a me kind of colour- but I’ve never ended up purchasing it! Thanks for reminding me.

  20. Patty

    Pretty! I really want to wear this with Chanel April nail polish. Think they’d be a (pretty close to) perfect match.

  21. The first time I put this lipstick on I turned to my friend JacyHumphries and told her “now THIS is my lipstick!” It was the first red that looked absolutely perfect on me. I only wish the wear was a bit better, but I can live with it for the color. 

  22. Natasha

    Hi Christine,
    How does this compare with NARS Mexican Rose? 

  23. Angel Carmen Castaneda

    Holding off for taliban blue. lol

  24. Maria Delatorre de Romero

    @ Angel seriously! Lol

  25. Shelly M Askew

    I have this, it’s borderline too dark for me.

  26. Caro Malagon

    Love it but it’s too dark for me :(

  27. Gorgeous! I love that this is muted, but still intense – super, super pretty :) 

  28. Leenie

    I love the color, I have to check this one out, thanks Christine

  29. Sofia

    how does it compare to craving by mac?

  30. Lisa

    This s the most gorgeous shade you have ever worn.