NARS VIP Red Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

NARS VIP Red Lipstick
NARS VIP Red Lipstick

NARS VIP Red Lipstick ($27.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “dark brique.” It’s a medium-dark red with soft, warm undertones and a satin finish. It’s not strongly orange-toned–it has deeper, almost orange-brown tones to it that keep it from being a brighter red, but it isn’t a dark burgundy either. The finish will wear to more of a traditional matte finish within an hour of wear.
See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

NARS’ lipstick is supposed to be richly pigmented, long-wearing, and comfortable to wear. I typically have good luck with their pigmentation and wear, but the hydration/comfort tends to be the area the formula misses more on. VIP Red is mostly opaque with a barely creamy consistency that just slightly tugs on the lips, though it doesn’t drag or skip, but it is best applied in shorter strokes rather than one continuous glide. The texture is light-medium in weight, clings without being painfully clingy, and wears for over six hours while leaving behind a stain. It was slightly drying after four hours of wear on me. There was no discernible scent or taste from the formula.

See more photos & swatches!

NARS VIP Red Lipstick
NARS VIP Red Lipstick

NARS VIP Red Lipstick
NARS VIP Red Lipstick

NARS VIP Red Lipstick
NARS VIP Red Lipstick

NARS VIP Red Lipstick
NARS VIP Red Lipstick

NARS VIP Red Lipstick
NARS VIP Red Lipstick

NARS VIP Red Lipstick
NARS VIP Red Lipstick

Makeup Look
On face:
  • Make Up For Ever HD Foundation
  • Urban Decay Naked Loose Setting Powder
  • NARS Tribulation


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Tessa Avatar

This is my faaaaaavorite color of lipstick. I melt. I swoon. Do I need another slightly bricked red? Probably not. An I gonna buy it?

…yes. Obviously.

Tessa Avatar

Yes! Exactly! I remember when I bought Golshan and thought “Yes, self, this is The Tessa Red.” (And I already like virtually all reds, from neon to burgundy.)

But why not try variations on perfection, right? This is the kind of red that makes me get all giddy and remember why makeup excites me. It shall be mine!

Nerdy Avatar

Ohhh do share your other favorites! Golshan was my perfect red but I recently lost it and was tempted by other colors last time I went makeup shopping, so I might be justified in picking up VIP. I picked up Bite Apricot recently, in fact, so it sounds like the same colors would flatter both of us. I could use advise as I only recently started getting into lipstick (less than a year, and I don’t purchase often).

Tessa Avatar

Oh, goodness. I’m certainly not a Christine level expert!

But sure, I like a challenge. 🙂

In addition to the suggestions below, you might try Estee Lauder Emotional or Bobbi Brown Orange (yes, it’s called “Orange” — and I guess it is, but a very red leaning one, super easy to wear).

But I really can’t emphasize enough how underrated Guerlain Love Kiss is! So pretty, and somehow the brightest lipstick I feel I can wear in my office without feeling weird (I’m the only woman in an office of 12 – 15 people). Sophisticated or something.

For a sheer option, YSL Sheer Candy Glossy Balm in Sheer Fig is ALWAYS in my purse. I’m on my third tube. Oops?

Ginny Avatar

Tessa what are your favorite brick reds? I love them too but they usually pull cool on me… I need one that’s truly warm.

Tessa Avatar

I know just what you mean! Even NARS Golshan and Dior Sunset Blvd pull neutral at best, on me. I just about had a fit when it happened with the Dior fluid stick in Vie D’enfer… where do those cool lip tones come from?! Argh!

Mmmm, wish I were at home so I could check properly. But I’d try MAC Dubonnet, maybe — or yes, Golshan, which reads warmer if I make sure to apply it densely.

NARS Leslie is maybe a bit brown for some, but depending on your skin tone also might read as a truly warm red. Oooh, also try NARS Rita! That’s a good ‘un.

My favorite trick is probably using a slightly orange red liner under a brick red (I like Dior 999 liner under whichever brick red is pulling too cool)…

Or vice versa! — a brick red liner under a slightly brighter red (try Bite Beauty Apricot or Guerlain Kiss Kiss in the color Love Kiss; both of these also sometimes photograph as warm brick red on me, with or without liner).

Ginny Avatar

I ordered a bunch of them when they came out and I loved them all, but told myself I could only keep two, so I kept Rita and Audrey. Marlene definitely maintained its warm tones on me, so totally worth a try!

kjh Avatar

What you said! My favorite, as well. Funny how you can detect the slightest shade differences in a color you really like. That’s part of the justification for BUYING THEM ALL! I think I have virtually every Nars brick since he started, though some audacious are still on the list. This is drop dead gorgeous. Who cares if we have >5 dupes? If I could never wear another shade of l/s. this would be it. Ooooooh!

Katherine T. Avatar

The color is gorgeous!! I would pick up, but have a couple of dupes in my stash already, including the NARS Amsterdam

Ginny Avatar

I actually don’t have a red like this so I might buy it. Most reds pull cool on me and I have plenty of burgundies that do just that. Maybe this one will retain its golden undertones.

Nancy T Avatar

While I love the shade itself, with it having an A- , I *may* instead get one of the 2 MAC dupes. Besides, I’ve really been wanting VG1 for quite some time anyway, so this makes me want it even more!

Nicole Avatar

This is pretty. But, I typically prefer the audacious formula over the regular formula. I’m not keen on the drying issue. I like the looks of both Sandra and Velvet Cherry more than this one. I have Divine Wine. Hmm.. I think I’ll wait to see this in person. Probably taking a pass. I wonder why Nars doesn’t put the LE lipsticks out in the audacious formula.

Grace Avatar

Hi Christine, when I click on “see dupes side by side” every single dupe of VIP Red is VIP Red. I’ve never seen this before, is it on my end or yours? Or is this color unique and only duped by itself :)?

Christine Avatar

Try this link:

I accidentally hit a comma when I was closing the code which changed the URL, but why it kills the page and loads VIP Red as its own dupe is a mystery to me, but the right URL loads the right dupes up!

Nancy Avatar

Hi and thank you for the wonderful reviews you always give. Where and when will this be available?I can not find this anywhere!

Thank you and keep up the wonderful work you do.

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!