NARS Velvet Rope Mini Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set ($40.00 for 0.24 oz.) contains four shades–one new and three from the permanent range–in the brand’s natural matte pencil formula. I felt like the pencils actually had more of a velvety glide to them, which resulted in sheerer coverage than anticipated for three shades. They had medium, buildable coverage to mostly opaque coverage with a smooth, velvety texture that was thin and lightweight.
A full-sized Velvet Matte Lip Pencil contains 0.08 oz. of product and retails for $27.00 or costs $337.50 per ounce, which gives the set a total value of $81.00.
Bad Girl is a medium beige with warmer undertones and a matte finish. It had semi-opaque, buildable pigmentation with a smooth, velvety texture that glided easily across my lips. It had a powdery look to it after actual application, though it didn’t feel particularly dry during wear. For as matte in finish as it was, I was impressed by flattering it was to my lips and lip texture. It stayed on well for four hours and was neither drying nor hydrating over time.
Sex Machine is a muted, rosy mauve with subtle, warm undertones and slight shimmer running throughout that gave it a more frosted finish, despite being rather matte (as in no shine). The pencil had a smooth, velvety consistency that was comfortable to work with as it skated across my lips without tugging, but there was a bit of emphasis of lip texture and a tendency to cling to imperfections. It had medium pigmentation in one stroke, which was buildable to semi-opaque coverage. This shade wore well for four hours and was slightly drying while worn.
Dolce Vita is a medium, reddish-plum with warmer undertones and a matte finish. It had sheer coverage, which was hard to build up, and it applied a bit unevenly with significantly more emphasis of lip texture than I expected. This shade is part of the permanent range, so I’m not sure why it ended up being so sheer. It almost seemed too heavy with whatever gives it the velvety feeling–almost like an overly waxy pencil that glides but has little payoff. The color lasted for three hours from what I could tell, and the formula felt a touch drying over time.
Dragon Girl is a bright, raspberry red with cool, blue undertones and a matte finish. It had medium pigmentation in a single stroke, which was buildable to semi-opaque coverage. It was such a bright, rich hue that it didn’t seem like it was lacking pigment at a glance, but you can definitely see my lip freckle peeking through. The pencil had a smooth, velvety feel that glided and maneuvered easily across my lips and applied color evenly. It stayed on well for six hours, left a stain behind, and felt neither drying nor hydrating over time.