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NARS Carthage Pure Matte Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

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.

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


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maryelle Avatar

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

Ellie Avatar

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 Avatar

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?

Mariella Avatar

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!

Leticia Centeno Avatar

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.


Usha Avatar

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 πŸ™


Kaoyee Avatar

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!

Elvi Avatar

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

Chris25 Avatar

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. πŸ™‚

Adelita Avatar

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!

Jennifer Avatar

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.

Queentut Avatar

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!

Vanessa Avatar

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

Emily O. Avatar

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.

aradhana Avatar

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…!

ellie Avatar

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?

lustrebonbon Avatar

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!

aimster Avatar

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 ?

Sarah Avatar

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.

Ginina Avatar

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.

JessicaM Avatar

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

Tiffani Avatar

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!

meme Avatar

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.

Anika Avatar

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!

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