Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick
NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick

NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “matte, hot pink hue saturates lips with rich, bold color.” It has a slight sheen to it–I wouldn’t say it’s completely matte–and really rich, vibrant fuchsia pink with blue undertones. The color coverage is excellent, and it really takes no more than a pass and a half or so to get even, full color coverage.

my thoughts on the formula: Pure Matte lipsticks have a matte finish, and while they’re not moisturizing, they don’t rob my lips of moisture. Mattes do, however, last longer on lips, and NARS’ Pure Matte lipsticks last between four and five hours on me, though deeper shades like Carthage last five to six hours.

The Glossover



It's a bright pink that still brings depth to the table--and that isn't always easy to do. The cooler undertones in this lipstick will make it slightly more flattering on those with pink undertones, but the brightness should enable it to be workable on warmer complexions, too.











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NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick
NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick

NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick
NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick

NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick
NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick

NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick
NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick

NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick
NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase Carthage? How much is it?

NARS, $25.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

It's a slightly deeper pink than MAC Girl About Town.

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90 thoughts on “NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. This colour look amazing on you! I love matte lipsticks, may have to check this out :) x

  2. Marie

    I was waiting for this review, thanks! It looks lovely on you.

  3. Courtney

    What a gorgeous color! I must try this one on. ^_^

  4. Steph

    This is very lovely, especially because it doesn’t look completely matte.

  5. Chelsea

    This colour looks so beautiful on you!

  6. wow, this pink is gorgeous!

  7. Love it- it reminds me of Candy Yum-Yum.

  8. Naz

    I got this. I’m pretty happy with it. The color seems universal in my opinion and topped with a gloss it’s absolutely stellar!

  9. wow this is so gorgeous! Don’t know if I can pull it off though… :/

  10. i have schiap and i’m going to buy funny face buuut is this very similar to them?

  11. Mary

    So pretty! I really must get this lipstick, thanks for the review.

  12. Mo

    That’s very pretty! How does it compare to MUFE’s #36 Rouge Artist Intense?

  13. That color is beautiful! I don’t own any NARS lip products, but this one is making a good case for itself!

  14. Kara

    It’s crazy how NARS seems to be so hit or miss! i love this color.

  15. maryelle

    i thought this would be similar to NARS Schiap, but I looked at your swatch of it, and they’re different! I’m somewhat tempted, but it reminds me of MUFE rouge artist lipstick #34

  16. Ellie

    Wow, that’s a beautiful colour. Luckily it’s not limited edition so I don’t have to make up my mind right now about paying $25 for a lipstick.

    • Queentut

      I know NARS is an investment, but I’ve never regretted a penny spent. I epecially love thier lipsticks! Great quality. What is your favorite shade?

  17. Tiffany S

    How is it different from illamasqua’ s atomic lipstick?

  18. Mariella

    WOW! What a vibrant colour. And for a matte lipstick, it looks so moist and doesn’t make your lips look drawn or lined,the way some matte lipsticks can. Very stunning on you!

  19. Candy Yum Yum dupe?

  20. Angela

    I love the colour! Doesn’t look matte when its on though. I wish I could justify spending 25$ on a lipstick right now </3

  21. Leticia Centeno

    The color is pretty and quality may be pretty good since it is NARS but it doesn`t look matte to me. It is more like a semi-matte or just cream with no shimmer. However it doesn`t make this lipstick any less gorgeous. Cannot wait to have it in my collection. I just think it would look better on fair skin tones. Thanks Christine for the awesome review.


  22. Usha

    Hi Christine,
    Lovely shade! Do you know how this colour compares to MAC Gulabi?

    I am trying to find a dupe since I never bothered buying multiples of Gulabi and now I am stuck :(


  23. Jess

    Gorgeous color! How does this color compare to Urban Decay lipstick in Jilted??

  24. Jackers

    What a gorgeous color on you!

  25. Kaoyee

    What a beautiful color! I have the Pure Matte in Madere, which looks like concealer on me. I think I might just spring for this color!

  26. Elvi

    Great review as always :) How do you think it compares to MAC’s Girl About Town? I’m looking for a new hot pink lipstick :) Thanks!

  27. Love this! I think it’s very similar to Guerlain Champs-Elysees Automatique…but it’s matte so I might justify getting it anyway lol

  28. Whoa, that’s pink! This looks lovely on you! Carthage reminds me of The Aeneid and the doomed Dido, queen of Carthage. This is what I get for taking 3 English classes in one semester. :)

  29. Sam

    I love it! It looks great on you Christine! :)

  30. Heather

    How does this color compare to MAC Rebel?

  31. Adelita

    I was waiting for you to review this, thanks Christine, now I can skip this because I think I prefer my lovely Schiap over this one. Good news for my wallet!

  32. Jennifer

    Would you say other than being a different finish it is like MAC’s Gulabi LE l/s ?
    Gulabi turns out a rich medium fuchsia on my lips.

  33. Queentut

    This shade would terrify me in the tube..and even the swatch. But seeing on you I think I might be able to pull it off! It looks gorgeous with your eyes and dark hair. So glad you do these swatches and looks!

  34. Queentut

    It appears you are wearing a cool-gray eyeshadow with this..am I right? It’s a great combo, whatever the case!

  35. Queentut

    P.S. I’d kill to have those nice full lips you have. LUCKY!! LOL!:)

  36. This color is really gorgeous on you!

  37. I can definiely see the coolness you mentioned, and it scares me! Lol. I think I’d rather purchase OCC Anime.

  38. Vanessa

    It’s the same lipstick that Emma Stone wore at MET Ball but the color is so much different on her. It frustrated me… =/

  39. Jackie

    How do you think the color compares to MAC’s Candy Yum Yum, from the quite cute collection?

  40. Emily O.

    Now that I’m off MAC I think maybe I need to take a break from NARS as well. I’m wondering if my MAC Immodest mattene is similar to this gorgeous color. I’m not prepared to spend $25 on a new lippie as I think, and trust me this was a difficult decision, I would rather have my rent check go through then expand my already ludicrous makeup collection. I also just bought Bateau Ivre and South Pacific duos so that will have to hold me.

  41. aradhana

    nice! looks very bright yet wearable…
    this might work better for me than candy yum yum did. but i seem to end up not really wearing any of my bright fuchsia pinks out of the house so maybe i will hold off…!

  42. ellie

    Thanks Christine for reviewing this. I’ve been really waiting for this one. Good thing for my wallet though, i didn’t think the color is unique schiap is much lovelier.
    How does it compare by the way to mac’s full fuchsia lipstick?

  43. lustrebonbon

    When I first moved to TN I lived in a tiny town called Carthage. No one there would EVER wear this color. So, I’m thinking they were inspired by maybe the Biblical Carthage. As a matter of fact, I’m hoping!

  44. aimster

    Hi christine, loving this color on you ! I’m really interested with this lipstick ever since seing it on Emma Stone . However , I have Mac Candy Yum Yum & Milani Rose Hip , do you notice the difference of carthage color to them ?

  45. Miss Silver

    Hot pink that will leave you reeling from it’s sheer ka-POW! factor. Love it~!

  46. nessa

    so buying this now.. it’s so lovely on you..

  47. This is such an amazing fuchsia! I’m not even a fan of pinks that are this bright, but this is just a great color. And it looks awesome on you! I’m so glad I like this, the rest of this collection was kind of falling flat.

  48. Pang

    Gorgeous. Do you think this would look nice with Mac Hot House on top?

  49. Ginina

    Christine, this is one of the best lipsticks I have ever seen on you. It’s just a great color for you, and the finish looks amazing.

  50. What a pretty color! I like how this doesn’t make your lips look dry.

  51. The colors is awsome. I love matte lips and bright pink lips.

  52. the_izzle

    I love it!

  53. ak

    This Carthage is pure hotness!

  54. Laura

    Absolutely beautiful!

  55. This looks AMAZING!!! It looks so smooth on your lips and that color is ‘for your nerves’!! *I got that quote from the guy on the TV Show Color Splash =)

  56. JessicaM

    Dear Christine, you don’t know how long I’ve been searching for this shade. Thank you so much for posting this. 😀

  57. Lioness

    Gorgeous! Love it!

  58. Melissa

    Would you reomend for NC 55 skin christine?

  59. Tiffani

    So pretty, but I don’t know if I could find something suitable to wear it with. It looks a lot like Candy Yum Yum, except maybe a bit darker and bluer. I may just have to order some when I put in my next Sephora order!

  60. how different is this from schiap? :)

  61. meme

    I cannot get away with this bright of a shade. And I adore fuchsias! I can wear it in clothing – not lipstick or blush. I do like matte however. When BE came out with their natural lipstick – most of those were matte and I was a happy camper – matte lasts longer on me. But right now a huge sucker for Josie Maran Birthday Suit really nude look with various pops of high contrasting gloss over it depending on my mood. This shade looks great on you Christine. I don’t have any Christina Agulara in me to be able to go for that full make up look I would need. I have her coloring – only not the faux bleached hair – rather natural blond with bleached highlights scattered into that.

  62. timea

    does this lipstick run, do i still need to use a lip pencil with it or will it be ok without?

  63. Sophie

    such a gorgeous colour!
    i’m considering buying this, although i don’t know if i could pull this bright colour off. :/

  64. Angie

    How does Carthage compare in color to Bobbi Browns Rich Color Mod Pink or Cosmic Raspberry?

  65. Danae

    Hi Christine- is this close to Chanel Super from Les Pops De Chanel from spring 2010?

  66. Anika

    I just got this after reading this and I am super disappointed to the point I want to cry :'(

    In the pics it looks slightly similar to MAC’s Full Fuschia… I mean its intense, rich and perfectly yummy fuschia with bit blue tone in the pics!

    However when I got it, i couldn’t see the blue tone in it. In fact it was warm pink and looked more similar to a mixture to MAC’s Gulabi, Girl About Town and Catherina Marcel Wanders (I dont own these mac lipsticks but Nars Carthage looks like these MAC colors from the pics on Temptalia!).

    Also, i was hoping for nice matte finish like MAC. However, I have to say the color payoff isnt too great (regardless of how many times i glided the lipstick back and forth). really reall sad :'( :'( :'(

    ps. I’m still looking for the perfect fuschia lipstick (matte preferably) which looks exactly like the ones in the pics on this page!

  67. This looks great on you! Do you know how it compares to smashbox Electric Pink Matte lipstick?

  68. Stacey

    Did you need to use a lip liner as well?