In a world of creatively-shaped doe-foot applicators and lipstick bullets in the shape of cats, the humble lip pencil, I think, could use some appreciation. Nars's Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, in particular, are the gold standard of lip pencils — choose to @ me if you disagree, but you're not changing my mind.
As with many things sold at Sephora, I was first introduced to Nars's Velvet Matte Pencils when I got a mini birthday sample, which included two colors: Cruella, a rich scarlet, which I wore over and over again, and a nude color which was too ashy on my lips, so I immediately gave it away. I always loved how Cruella looked on me — sophisticated and timeless. Though, by the time it ran out, I became distracted by the flood of matte liquid lipsticks that were popping up on the market, so I never got back around to using one of Nars's lip pencils. That is until this version in Dolce Vita came across my desk.
Nars describes the hue as a dusty rose, which is exactly the kind of color that reads as a very pinky nude on my lips. The pencil itself isn't super pointy — it's got a soft, rounded tip like an extremely buttery crayon, which applies smoothly so there's no snagging and dragging as you swipe it on. The pigment factor is definitely there, so you won't be fighting with the product for color payoff. Plus, this little pencil's also got staying power. Dolce Vita lasted through snacking and sipping, and when the color fades, it does so gracefully. Also, reapplication is a breeze, and doesn't leave your lips cracked and cakey.
The obsession with "French Girl" beauty is definitely lost on me, but I have to admit that this pencil kind of gives me that feeling of low-maintenance, effortless glamour. When you apply it, the edges will never be too sharp, so it doesn't look perfect-perfect. You can also blot this on for a pretty wash of color.