Lipstick Chronology #9: NARS Flamenco

Name: NARS Sheer Lipstick in Flamenco

Date of Purchase: Feb. 2012

Grade: A

Notes: NARS was the first beauty brand I fell in love with, and it remains my favorite to this day. (That said, my experience is limited; with the exception of two YSL lip products and two Chanel nail polishes, I haven’t made a foray into truly high-end brands, and let’s hope it stays that way for now.) NARS strikes me as a smaller, more subdued, and slightly more expensive version of MAC. Each brand offers a good blend of hardworking neutrals and crazy neons at a mid-range price point, but whereas MAC releases multiple huge collections per season, NARS’ seasonal collections are less overwhelmingly frequent and more carefully curated. I don’t own a huge number of NARS products, but I’ve been very impressed by almost all the ones I’ve tried. Which brings me to my first NARS purchase: the sheer rose-red Flamenco.

When I say I have dry lips, I mean that it’s a good day when they’re not bleeding. I’ve tried a number of ostensibly “moisturizing” lipsticks, with mixed results (looking at you, Revlon Lip Butters). So you can trust me when I say that NARS sheer lipsticks are as soothing as lip balm. They also smell wonderful—a faint herbal scent, like fruity tea. I haven’t worn Flamenco in a while, but when I swatched it this morning, I was reminded of why it’s the only lipstick I’ve ever used up and repurchased. (To be completely honest, I lost my first tube, but it was almost used up.)

Flamenco is pigmented for a sheer lipstick. You can easily build it up to near-opacity, but no matter how sheer you wear it, it’s always red. Which kind of amazes me: surely a sheer red would be, well, pink? Flamenco is not pink. It’s a neutral red that leans a bit cool; its warm-toned counterpart in NARS’ sheer lipstick line is Manhunt, a beautiful reddish coral.

Here, one coat of Flamenco:

Two coats, on my lips:

My other makeup is the combination I’ve been wearing almost every day this winter: NARS Lhasa eyeshadow over a coat of Maybelline cream eyeshadow in Tough as Taupe, and a bit of Lhasa on the lower lash line; Maybelline LashBlast Length mascara; NARS Coeur Battant blush.

I don’t have a good explanation for why I rarely wear Flamenco anymore. (I do have an ungood explanation: sheer fickleness.) I don’t even have any dupes for Flamenco in my collection; the closest thing I own is Revlon Red Velvet lip butter, which is much darker and browner than Flamenco.

How do normal people end blog posts? Cough mumble time to write an outline of a dissertation chapter I haven’t yet researched. The joys of grad school.

4 thoughts on “Lipstick Chronology #9: NARS Flamenco

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