Round-up: NARS Audacious Lipstick Overview & Thoughts

NARS Audacious Lipstick
NARS Audacious Lipstick

NARS Audacious Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is available in forty shades and is a new, permanent formula. For a list of which shades are available at which retailers, see this post. The formula is characterized by rich color payoff paired with a creamy, satiny finish that gives lips a smoother, fuller look. The formula was fairly consistent with only a few shades performing outside of the norm, but the lowest rating was a B-. 32 of the 40 shades were As. The only downside is that the formula isn’t really moisturizing in my experience, and for the price point, I wish it was.

Report Card

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NARS Audacious Lipstick Comparisons

  1. Claudia (A)
  2. Marisa (A)
  3. Angela (A)
  4. Michiyo (A)
  5. Silvia (A)
  6. Dominique (A)
  7. Fanny (A)
  8. Janet (A)
  9. Vera (A)

NARS Audacious Lipstick Comparisons

  1. Julie (B+)
  2. Brigitte (A)
  3. Juliette (A-)
  4. Catherine (A)
  5. Jane (A)
  6. Natalie (A)
  7. Kelly (A)
  8. Grace (A)
  9. Greta (A)

NARS Audacious Lipstick Comparisons

  1. Geraldine (A)
  2. Lana (A)
  3. Marlene (A)
  4. Annabella (A)
  5. Carmen (A)
  6. Rita (A)
  7. Olivia (A-)
  8. Sandra (A)
  9. Jeanne (A)
  10. Leslie (A)
  11. Deborah (A)
  12. Charlotte (A-)
  13. Bette (B)
  14. Ingrid (B-)
  15. Liv (B)

NARS Audacious Lipstick Comparisons

  1. Raquel (B)
  2. Barbara (A)
  3. Vanessa (A)
  4. Anita (A)
  5. Anna (B+)
  6. Vivien (A)
  7. Audrey (A)


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Jane Avatar

Wow, a line of 40 lipsticks where the worst performer still earned a B-. I hope Kat von D is paying attention. This is what a lipstick launch should look like.

KJH Avatar

bing bloody go! i’m awestruck + breathtaken + all the KVD colors i looked forward to, are off the table. we’re all going to spend a lot of time in the dupes + swatches section to whittle down our lists. Maybe it’s time for the vanity feature that i never used yet! i think i’ve whittled to 20, by eliminating anything under A rating, and colors that do not suit me (but are drop dead gorgeous, anyway!) Hah, FN only made 20 this fall that i crave! Whatta launch! I don’t think my bank gives personal loans just to buy l/s. thank god, they’re permanent. maybe i’ll start with barneys exclusives, oh, yeah, their beauty website is dreadful. gotta go there. oh, forget it. blue mercury + big S are closer. Want ’em + want ’em NOW!!!! Hope the comparisons to classic nars colors, e.g. heat wave, are on dupe list.

Thanks a bazillion for the comparison swatches, Christine. But when they’re all so good, it’ll still be hard to choose. Thanks for all your hours of work. At least this was a labor of love, rather than a labor of ‘oooh, yuck!’

Polly Avatar

Great reviews and posts as always Christine – Ugh, this was such a great collection, and from a brand that I was starting to lose a bit of faith in,
Bye bye No-Buy!

Wednesday Avatar

What a fantastic round-up. Thanks for categorizing by colour..wicked helpful.. In fact, you’ve really done a stellar job on this collection and it is truly appreciated.

Kvetch: The red section is overwhelmingly similar ..either warm bright red or red/brown.. and in this area, I find the collection very disappointing.

Rave: Still, there are some more unique finds in there are all are on my list to pick up. My favs pretty much echo yours perhaps because they will be perfect to round out the stash.

Marieke Avatar

Very cool to see all these swatches side by side. I have had my eyes on Dominique, but my dream of purple lips just crashed because it’s a Barneys exclusive. They won’t ship to the Netherlands… Do you know if there’s a trick for this? I’d really love to get my hands on Dominique..

Christine Avatar

I have no idea how distribution is going to shake out for international locations, since NARS is a global brand, it is possible they’ll set-up distribution differently (e.g. often a Selfridge’s exclusive may be another retailer’s exclusive here).

Marieke Avatar

Hmmm, that could create more options. Unfortunately, Nars isn’t sold in the Netherlands (we don’t have Sephora anymore either) so I’d order through or .fr but I’ll do my research on other stores.

Ruby Avatar

Just what I was waiting for! Many, many thanks for the incredible amount of diligent work (and lip power) you put into this one item alone. This is so helpful to see what stands out. Right now, I have Janet and Anna (even with its B+, I dig that color) on my mind . . .

Michelle Avatar

Wow, that was an award-winning roundup Christine!! Thank you so much, and very nicely done!! And very much appreciated too. So I think I narrowed down my list to: Anna, Vanessa or Anita, Julie or Brigitte, and Barbara. 🙂

Taslima Avatar

I really need a few of these shades! thank you for reviewing these. I shall be running over to the NARS counter once these launch in the UK

Sarah S. Avatar

I’m definitely going to splurge and get one, but how can I choose?! Life is so hard when you love makeup but are on a tight budget, hahaha!

Karen Avatar

Beautiful job Christine! Well done!! I’m loving your round ups, especially with the lip swatches!! The work you put into categorizing into colour groups is awesome!! There are a bunch I would love to own, althought Dominique and Vivien are Barney’s exclusive.. They do not ship to Canada, or a P.O. box… 🙁 I may need to be more patient to get those ones…

Sarah Avatar

Bless you, Christine. How would anyone navigate the beauty world without you.

I reluctantly narrowed my wishlist shades down from nine to four, so as a treat for being responsible I think I deserve to get some of these as soon as they’re at sephora.

Brimbelle88 Avatar

Thank you for the wonderful job of swatches and comparisons!
I think I will finally give a first try to Nars lipsticks with Audrey and Vivien.

Francesca Avatar

Thank you for the great job Christine 😉
Do you know where the names come from? I suppose Audrey is for “Audrey Hepburn”, but the others? Just for fun!

Sarah Avatar

Great job Christine. I can only imagine how time consuming this would have been. Just wanted to thank you for the amazing work and the immense help you provide. Love this collection from NARS, I can be in two minds about their line at times. This seems to be a good step in the right direction for them.

Helene Avatar

What an excellent round up this is. So helpful with the grouping, easier to compare. I want Vivien, Olivia, Grace and maybe Silvia to begin with. I have to buy Vivien and Olivia as soon as they launch here. After all they co starred in the iconic movie Gone with the Wind 🙂

KJH Avatar

OOOOh, computer glitches in responding to Wwendy. Maybe tomorrow… maybe i’ll pull an all nighter just looking at how incredibly beautiful these are, and marveling at all the hours you put into this. Thank you so much! This is an incredible collection, with something for everyone’s coloring and personal taste. I’m sure to spend hours comparing and contrasting these, to winnow it down. Curious as to how these compare to original nars shades… will check dupe list. now back to gazing lustfully at this superb collection.

Christine Avatar

I wish I had more of NARS” original formula to compare but only have a few. There are definitely shades that overlap (whether 100% dupe or not but similar enough that it makes one wonder whether a bunch of the original formula will be discontinued down the road).

Rachel R. Avatar

Thanks for reviewing and swatching all of these. It’s nice to know they perform well, since it’s a splurge item for a lot of us. It sounds like Kat von D’s lipstick team needs to send in a corporate spy to take notes/steal the formula from NARS’ lipstick team.

Emily Avatar

Wow Christine, this is such a thorough round up. I love how you reviewed them in little groups by color first and then finished up with a review of the entire collection. They look gorgeous — wish I could justify spending more than $10 on a lipstick!

Amber Avatar

I just bought Anna, Anita & Janet over this past weekend. They feel amazing on the lips, very rich & creamy but not at all heavy. And the color payoff is really very nice. I will definitely be buying more of these!

Gail Avatar

Thanks so much for including the “Muted” category Christine! Muted is exactly what I need and while I love the idea of so many shade choices in this new line, most of them are well…a bit too audacious for me, lol. My favorite (Anita) is in your muted category and I’ve been thinking about trying Vivien. I was happy to see it’s among your muted shades as well. 🙂

Grey Avatar

I already have a list of those I wanna get. I cannot thank u enough for always doing the best swatches and best reviews. When a new product launch is about to happen I always always check your page first. TY TY

Barbara Avatar

How do this compare to MAC lipsticks in general? Because the price difference is huuuuge! and they look somewhat similar (formula wise) to amplified or satin by mac

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