It has been years since I last purchased anything Nars. I like some of their eyeshadow (Tokyo and Habanera and Fuji) and blush (luster) but the packaging was a sticky, rubbery pain in the rear. At the end, I either got rid of the ones that were touched once or twice (via blog sale) or destroyed then while trying to depot.
A little while back Sephora was giving out this Nars minis as birthday perks, so testing time! The two small lip pencils are Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien and Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. There doesn't seem to be anything protracting mechanism and the tube is made of plastic, so I am guessing I should just sharpen the plastic off?
Rikugien (if it weren't for Google, which told me that it's a Japanese garden, I totally thought this was "lipstick" in some European language) is a medium to (somewhat) deep mauve rose with silver shimmer. And Curella is a matte brick/brown red that appears much more purple in sheerer layer/on my lips.
Rikugien (looks a tad lighter because of the allover silver cast) - is essentially a my-lips-but-frosty color. Beside the obvious what-is-the-point factor, I don't really like the color that much as it feels a little too mature. Formulation is opaque, creamy and not slippery. The formula feels comfortable enough without being drying or moisturizing.
Curella (sorry for that piece of dead skin and other shimmer bits) is a shade a like better is has a retro feel (non of that puppy-wearing bitchy red I perceive from the tube) and a texture that's neither waxy or crumbly (or Playdoh-like). The color is quite high maintenance that applying straight with the bullet and with a lip brush will both result a Joker's grin (and once it go outside the lip, it's super hard to come off).
The only way I got to to work on me/stay inside my lips is to apply in the center of mouth then rub them out with finger. The color is pretty, wear isn't uncomfortable but I just don't love bold matte red enough to want to bother.
Arm swatch. Overall: They are decent products. I just don't like them.