NARS Scarlet Empress & Force Speciale Lipsticks Reviews & Swatches

01/06

NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick
NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick

Scarlet Empress

NARS Scarlet Empress Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, muted plum with subtle, cool undertones and a semi-matte finish. It wore down to a truer matte finish within an hour of wear. The texture was lightweight, thin but not clingy but there was a smidgen of product that sank into my deeper lip lines, though it wasn’t noticeable at a normal viewing distance. It had semi-opaque pigmentation that was buildable to full coverage with a second layer. The lipstick was firmer, stiffer in the tube, so it tugged a bit when applied initially but wasn’t uncomfortable to apply (I’d just recommend shorter strokes rather than a fluid stroke). It stayed on well for six hours, left a faint stain behind, and felt neither drying nor moisturizing while worn.

Formula Overview

$26.00/0.12 oz. - $216.67 Per Ounce

NARS has reformulated their core lipstick range, which now includes 72 shades across three finishes: matte, sheer, and satin. The formula is supposed to go on "smoothly and evenly with a light feel" that is "long-lasting" and "resistant to bleeding and feathering." The sheer finish has "subtle, sheer color that shines," while the satin finish has "creamy rich color" and the matte finish has "intense color with a velvety finish."

The matte finish has a very thin, featherweight feel to it, but they didn't feel clingy or too prone to dragging during application, though they were definitely a firmer texture in the tube. There was enough glide from the inclusion of dimethicone (first ingredient for the matte finish) that went on evenly, felt velvety but didn't feel as powder-like as some of the other more silicone-heavy matte lipstick formulas that have been released in the last couple of years. Most shades were pigmented and nearly opaque to opaque. The wear ranged from three to six hours with deeper, richer shades staying on a bit longer and leaving slight stains. They were comfortable to wear but felt more non-drying than particularly hydrating.

The satin finish has more slip, feels thicker (though not actually thick or heavy) compared to the matte finish, and of course, there was subtle to light shine/sheen. They applied smoothly, comfortably, and for the most part, went on evenly and didn't sink noticeably into my lip lines but there was some variance between shades. They were typically semi-opaque to opaque in coverage with four to six-hour wear that was lightly hydrating.

The sheer finish had coverage that ranged from semi-sheer to true medium coverage but most had some translucency to them, which gave them a sheerer finish. I found most of the shades I tried were buildable to some degree. The texture was a bit firmer, but they felt more emollient and "melted" a bit more against my lips than I recall the original line of lipsticks doing. Some shades applied well with even application and were flattering on, but there were a few that sank more noticeably into my lip lines. This finish tended to wear between three and five hours.

I don't have many of NARS' original lipsticks in my stash (I have mostly Audacious as they haven't been releasing many in the core range) to compare to. The matte finish was definitely thinner, more matte, and had a velvetier look on lips compared to the original which had a subtle sheen to it. The satin finish seemed a bit more pigmented and not quite as luminous/glossy as the previous formula, while the sheer finish was creamier, more emollient, and was easier to apply. It didn't feel like a vastly different formula, but it felt a bit easier to work with (smoother, more emollient but still lighterweight and thin, far less slip than any of the Audacious range) and was more comfortable to wear across the board for me.

I didn't notice any scent or taste, though there is "fragrance (parfum)" listed in the ingredients--it smelled neutral, not waxy but I just didn't get any scent.

Browse all of our NARS Lipstick swatches.

Ingredients

Dimethicone, Synthetic Wax, Polyethylene, Isohexadecane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina/Cire Microcristalline, Kaolin, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/Candelilla Cera/Cire De Candelilla, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Polysilicone-11, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Hydroxyapatite, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Propylene Carbonate ·Simethicone, Bht, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, [+/- ( May Contain): Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Mica, Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (Ci 15985)].

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01/06

NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick
NARS Force Speciale Lipstick

Force Speciale

NARS Force Speciale Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep red with strong, cool blue undertones and a semi-matte finish. It had nearly opaque color payoff in a single layer, which adhered evenly and didn’t emphasize my lip lines, though the actual product tugged slightly during application (though not painfully). The consistency was lightweight, very thin but not prone to clingy, and was comfortable to wear. The color was still going strong after six hours of wear and left a fuchsia stain behind, while the formula felt neither drying nor hydrating over time.

Formula Overview

$26.00/0.12 oz. - $216.67 Per Ounce

NARS has reformulated their core lipstick range, which now includes 72 shades across three finishes: matte, sheer, and satin. The formula is supposed to go on "smoothly and evenly with a light feel" that is "long-lasting" and "resistant to bleeding and feathering." The sheer finish has "subtle, sheer color that shines," while the satin finish has "creamy rich color" and the matte finish has "intense color with a velvety finish."

The matte finish has a very thin, featherweight feel to it, but they didn't feel clingy or too prone to dragging during application, though they were definitely a firmer texture in the tube. There was enough glide from the inclusion of dimethicone (first ingredient for the matte finish) that went on evenly, felt velvety but didn't feel as powder-like as some of the other more silicone-heavy matte lipstick formulas that have been released in the last couple of years. Most shades were pigmented and nearly opaque to opaque. The wear ranged from three to six hours with deeper, richer shades staying on a bit longer and leaving slight stains. They were comfortable to wear but felt more non-drying than particularly hydrating.

The satin finish has more slip, feels thicker (though not actually thick or heavy) compared to the matte finish, and of course, there was subtle to light shine/sheen. They applied smoothly, comfortably, and for the most part, went on evenly and didn't sink noticeably into my lip lines but there was some variance between shades. They were typically semi-opaque to opaque in coverage with four to six-hour wear that was lightly hydrating.

The sheer finish had coverage that ranged from semi-sheer to true medium coverage but most had some translucency to them, which gave them a sheerer finish. I found most of the shades I tried were buildable to some degree. The texture was a bit firmer, but they felt more emollient and "melted" a bit more against my lips than I recall the original line of lipsticks doing. Some shades applied well with even application and were flattering on, but there were a few that sank more noticeably into my lip lines. This finish tended to wear between three and five hours.

I don't have many of NARS' original lipsticks in my stash (I have mostly Audacious as they haven't been releasing many in the core range) to compare to. The matte finish was definitely thinner, more matte, and had a velvetier look on lips compared to the original which had a subtle sheen to it. The satin finish seemed a bit more pigmented and not quite as luminous/glossy as the previous formula, while the sheer finish was creamier, more emollient, and was easier to apply. It didn't feel like a vastly different formula, but it felt a bit easier to work with (smoother, more emollient but still lighterweight and thin, far less slip than any of the Audacious range) and was more comfortable to wear across the board for me.

I didn't notice any scent or taste, though there is "fragrance (parfum)" listed in the ingredients--it smelled neutral, not waxy but I just didn't get any scent.

Browse all of our NARS Lipstick swatches.

Ingredients

Dimethicone, Synthetic Wax, Polyethylene, Isohexadecane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina/Cire Microcristalline, Kaolin, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/Candelilla Cera/Cire De Candelilla, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Polysilicone-11, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Hydroxyapatite, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Propylene Carbonate ·Simethicone, Bht, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, [+/- ( May Contain): Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Mica, Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (Ci 15985)].

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Where to Buy

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About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

Compare Any Two Swatches

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

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5 Comments

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Force Speciale is such a retro looking red that I just love it! But would I buy it…? Probably not. I have far too many red lipsticks that I need to work through that I’m currently trying to avoid buying any others except perhaps MAC Ruby Woo.

You couldn’t have put two shades together, Christine, that would grab my interest. These are both stunning shades and right up my alley. I particularly like Scarlet Empress for winter. I am getting that for sure. I will deal with whatever issues it has just for the colour alone. I have Pat McGrath Executive Realness but it isn’t a close dupe. Thank you, Christine.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!