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.