Friday, April 29th, 2011

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Summer 2011: Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “pink cantaloupe,” while the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil formula is all about “rich pigment” delivered via a “jumbo-sized crayon” that imparts a “velvet matte finish.” It’s supposed to be long-wearing without being drying, while still being creamy. This shade has been added to NARS’ permanent range.

I thought the color was closer to that of grapefruit, but I guess if cantaloupe was pink, it might look something like this (and then kind of like grapefruit, ha!). It’s a lightened pink with just a hint of coral. It looked more coral swatched than it did once I applied it to my lips, though.  It actually bears a lot of similarity to MAC Ever Hip, though ever-so-slightly paler and, obviously, the finish is different as Bolero is matte.

The finish is completely matte, and with the lightness of the color, there is a touch of settling into lip lines and emphasis on any imperfections of the natural lip but really quite little overall and not noticeable from a normal viewing distance (you know, not close-up!). It does have enough creaminess in the texture to easily apply it, smooth it out, and get a nice layer of even color, and the pigmentation is excellent–really dense, opaque color without having to wear the pencil down to a nub.

With some of the really deep shades of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil line-up, I can see six to eight hours of wear, but with a lighter shade like Bolero, it wore just over four hours (which is slightly above average for a light color like this, where I normally see three to four). The length of wear was good and above average, but it’s not excellent. I did find Bolero a little drying by the fourth hour.

These aren’t 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. They do apply color more precisely than a lipstick, because it has a more chiseled tip, but the cap is not as secure on this jumbo-sized lip pencil than it is on a lipstick–such a game of trade-offs! I didn’t find that the cap was easy to come off, but I do acknowledge it is less secure by its nature than lipstick.

The Glossover



If the wear was more on par with long-wearing lipsticks (including other shades within this range, which tend to be six to eight hours), the product would have rated higher. I think the color is one that will appeal to many, and it should work well on both cool and warmer skin tones, as the pink dominates over the coral, making it flattering on both.











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NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

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46 thoughts on “NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. I ordered this as well as the Dogon e/s duo – both products look great! By the way, I love the whole makeup look you did in the full-face pic! You look great (as always)! :)

  2. Polly

    Awww… cute color! :3 How can I don’t like it?

    *Love It*

  3. egon

    it doesn’t look good =( dry & IDK something about it is off

    • Steph

      Yes it does look very dry. Maybe nice with some gloss?

      • Marie

        It isn’t dry at all, it’s creamy. But I bet this looks great with a thin layer of Wonder lipgloss.

        • Steph

          Great that it feels creamy, but the finish looks dry to me.

          • Marie

            If you apply a thinner layer than Christine, it doesn’t. :)

            • Maggie

              I don’t own this color, but I also own several Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. I agree that the formula is creamy–but it doesn’t feel like it’s designed to put up a moisture barrier (it’s not a lip moisturizer). Before dabbing this formula on, I either use lip balm first and blot or exfoliate my lips with an oily sugar scrub and wipe it off.

  4. baby in a corner

    I think is a beautiful colour but I think it would go patchy on my super pigmented lips! I can’t wait for your review of Dogon. I think it is absolutely gorgeous – one of my favourite duos ever.

  5. Viv

    Look too pale on you…better for paler skins tbh

  6. It looks a bit dry. xP

  7. Jacquelin

    I’ve got a general question about your lip product reviews. When you rate a product based on wear time, are you going about your day normally (eating, drinking, etc.) or are you evaluating how long it lasts before fading on its own?

    • Fading on its own. I deliberately do not eat/drink to do so. For long-wearing products, then I do eat/drink, and I will always specify and mention this.

  8. Ashley Tatton

    Wow it does not look the same on skin as in the tube! In the tube it doesn’t look opaque, almost glossy. It does look very dry on the lips and almost chalky and thick.

    • Marie

      I own several of these velvet matte lip pencils, and I love them. I’ll try this one, it looks very nice for summer.
      I see a lot of people saying it looks dry. Well, it may *look* dry, but the texture is actually lovely and creamy. It’s not dry or chalky at all.

      • Marie

        I didn’t mean to reply to you. 😉

        • Evelyn

          The problem is though, while it feels like that on, it looks chalky from another person’s perspective. I’d hate for people to think I have chalky lips.

          • Marie

            From up close, maybe. From afar, no.
            And when I apply mine, it doesn’t look like what you see on Christine. Maybe that’s because I apply a thinner layer.

  9. Gina

    Eeek it looks so dry, and you have such nice lips, so I can only imagine what it would look like on my lips.

  10. Adria

    I think the color is great, but I am not so sure about the finish. Do you think a similar colored gloss would make it look less dry? My lips tend to dry out anyways, and this lip pencil might make it worse…

  11. Vvn

    girls in the UK, I feel like Topshop has a permanent one that is very similar- their “Lip Stick” in COY, check it out!

    • Yes, I have the topshop lip stick in ‘coy’. It is quite similar but much paler. A very bright, pale coraly peach! And very drying.

  12. I think a color this bright would look better with a bit of shine to it.

  13. Sam

    I used to have 3 of these, and I really really do not suggest them. Everytime I would sharpen them, it would shave off a TON of product. I mean, it was a couple days worth of lipstick that got shaved off each time I would sharpen them. So, I decided to try to depot them. HUGE MISTAKE!!! DO NOT TRY TO DEPOT THEM!!! The lipstick would not come out of the tube! There are spirals inside of the pencil that keeps it from coming out when you are trying to depot them. I tried using the hairdryer method, and the microwave method, and I wound up ruining all 3 of them! I was so dissiappointed!

  14. helen

    I adore you for equal-opportunity swatches but this one (IMP) isn’t the most flattering.

  15. Bribri

    I’m confused. Is it suppose to be worn alone or paired with a lip stick or lip gloss as any other lip pencil. If so then does the appearance of dryness really matter?

    • It’s like lipstick in pencil form, so it is meant to be worn alone, though you can certainly pair it with other lip products if that is your desire.

  16. Camille

    this looks gorgeous on you!

  17. I actually really like this color!! And the fact that its matte makes it more appealing! It seems to go on really smoothly!

  18. Strange; it seems that coral is one of the few colors I don’t like matte [on lips]. Ha ha. Maybe it’s just that it looks lighter compared to your skin than it does on its own, and I’d like it more on my paler skin.

  19. Emma

    I love the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, and this one is gorgeous! Perfect for summer, I can see myself wearing it the entire season.
    Also I’ve never had a problem with these being overly dry…when I prefer a finish other than matte I just pat a bit of balm or Aquaphor over the product and it makes my lips look healthy and full while still vibrant

  20. Daniel

    it looks exactly like NYX’s rose lip pencil and the finish is the same

  21. Maria

    On the pencil itself, it looks so beautiful, but then I don’t know, maybe it needs some chapstick to look less chalky, or maybe it depends on the different skin tones. Either way, I want to try this one before buying it, I don’t want to risk it!

  22. This on your lips looks so similar to illamasqua’s obey – and the finish is the same as well! Hopefully it applys a little bit better :(

  23. tiffany

    I WANT THIS!!! ugh why does it have to be soo expensive… :(

  24. Hey, Christine! What kind of exfoliating do you do to your lips? They always look great! I know you like the jack black lip balm, but what other tips can you give me for dry, peeling lips? Thanks so much!

    • I use Sara Happ’s Lip Scrub every 3-4 days, depending on what kind of lip swatching I’ve done (if I’ve done a LOT, then I don’t need more exfoliation).

  25. Mary

    The color is pretty and if it was a bit shimmery or glossy then it’d be great, but the way it stands I just can’t get into it. It looks so dry on the lips and sorry to say very unappealing. Glad to see a review of it though, because based on the color in the tube I like it, but once I see it swatched I know it’s not for me.

  26. Kate

    I’m sorry but I don’t think this does you any justice.

  27. Erin

    I bought this yesterday and LOVE it. For those who are saying it looks dry, I think the direct lighting from the camera is emphasizing what you wouldn’t normally see in person. I bought it and put it on instantly and got three compliments while walking around the mall of women wanting to know what it was. I LOVE the fact that it’s matte. I’m tired of all the shimmery crap out there, it’s over played. Matte delivers more of an opaque color…which is what i’ve been searching for. If you want gloss or shimmer, you can always add something over it…but what I discovered with this is, it’s best if you put it over top of a regular lipstick, it creates a new shade all it’s own, and the lipstick underneath makes the texture perfect.

  28. Lip Addict

    how do you sharpen it?