Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NARS Sheer Lipstick Dolce Vita: Review, Swatches


There's not much to say about NARS Dolce Vita Lipstick ($24) that hasn't already been said. NARS calls this extremely popular lipstick a sheer dusty rose, and that's exactly right. I won't bore you with all the blah blah blah about quality and formula, but if you want to be assaulted by adjectives, see my reviews on Manhunt and Flamenco.

Otherwise, suffice it to say that Dolce Vita is a subtle ... dare I say ladylike lipstick, giving the lips a muted, rosy hue. I bought it, hoping it would be my version of a nude lip, but I have finally accepted that some of us are not meant to wear such low-contrast color on our lips.

Indirect sunlight


Indirect sunlight


Slightly different angle,trying to capture DV's rosiness


Indoors, natural light, no flash. This muted image is how it looks on my lips.


Swatched on my NW15 skin, you might be able to see the warmth in this lipstick.




Swatched on white paper shows how muted (dusty) this lipstick is. Here I see hints of brown undertones.

The white paper swatch


Don't be fooled by the following picture, where the color seems flattering on my lips in isolation. When I see my whole face wearing Dolce Vita, I looked washed out because the color is too warm and muted.  "Dusty" should have been my biggest sign, and as pretty as DV is in the tube and on other people, I should just stick with what I know works for me, clear, slightly-brighter lipsticks, and give up on looking for the MLLB shade.

Dolce Vita worn on medium-pigmented, mauvish lips


Bottom line: Excellent go-with-everything rosy pink lipstick.

What do you think? Is Dolce Vita your perfect natural/nude lipstick or do you prefer a bit more oomph?

All photos mine.

34 comments:

  1. I love this lipstick!! It´s a little bit dry though!
    xx

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    1. Padme, I agree that Dolce Vita isn't quite as slick as other NARS lipstick I own. I'd feel more grumbly about it, but since the color isn't my best, I guess I don't much care. :)

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  2. Zuzu, with the little I can see of your skin color and tone in the pic, I think it is very flattering on you. It does look like a natural color and not an in-your-face kind of color....which I prefer. But that's just me; I have tried to get over myself and branch out into more vibrant color but I just can't pull it off. Somehow, when I do that I'm saying "hey everybody, look at me". Don't have the confidence to rock those colors like you do.

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    1. Hi, Deb, thanks! I keep hoping to find the perfect natural lip color for me, and I should have posted my whole FOTD to show how drawn/wan this lipstick makes me look, but I'd be mortified if anyone at work found out what I do in my spare time. ;)

      I don't go too bright or vibrant with my lipstick colors, at least not anymore. I look for colors that are moderately bright but then they need to be sheer, not matte/pigmented or the lipstick wears me. Of absolute import is that the color be cool. There can be no warmth in makeup I wear on my face, and I think that's the problem with DV.

      Because I have medium contrast between skin, lip pigment, hair, and eyes, I need at least medium contrast in lipstick. I still keep everything else (blush, eyeshadow) quite natural. But I have coloring that can make it a real challenge to find makeup that's appropriate for me. I'd have a much easier time of it if I were a Winter type, but as a True/Cool Summer type, I have to pick cool colors that aren't too vivid. Blah.

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  3. I always used to wear NARS Damage as my Lips But Better - then they discontinued it. Or, wait, was it called Rampage? I can't remember:).

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    1. Damage! Wasn't that a sheer, juicy-grape color? So pretty.

      My current MLLB appears to be Jean Queen by Lipsick Queen.

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    2. Aaah. LipSTICK. I am sure Poppy, the Lipstick Queen, would take me to task for insinuating that her lip products are sick.

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    3. I was going to recommend Damage if you found Dolce Vita too warm, but it sounds like you've already tried it. However, it is definitely not discontinued.

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    4. Hi Kit, it was LPC who mentioned her MLLB NARS shade had been discontinued, so maybe she meant Rampage after all. I've worn many NARS lippies that have been d/c, like Mongolian Red and Kink (years ago and probably too warm for me), but I never tried Damage, and you're absolutely right! I just checked the NARS web site and Damage looks A MAY ZING. If Sephora sells it, I am adding it to my basket and taking advantage of their Beauty Insider sale!

      Thank you for the suggestion. It looks perfect, and the one color I don't have in my lipstick collection is something purply. Lots of reds and roses, but a distinct absence of plum and grape—two colors I love. ♥

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  4. I've had my eye on Dolce Vita for a while now. The colour looks lovely in your swatches, and in the photo of you wearing it! It's a shame it doesn't quite work for you.

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    1. Hi, Nat. I'm working at home today, so I swatched DV on my lips and asked Mr. Petals for his opinion. He said something like, "It almost completely disappears into your own lip pigment but not before adding warmth." So, yeah, not good.

      He'd roll his eyes if he knew I was posting this, but he has an incredible eye for color, even if he can't tell magenta from fuchsia.

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  5. I think I've given up the hunt for the "perfect nude" lipstick, as well. The right color doesn't seem to exist, and really, do I want concealer lips? I'm not sure. It's often the "go-to" pairing with a smokey eye, but...they are always too peachy or too brown or too pink for me. For all that effort, I could find a killer red, you know? Haha! Which isn't nearly the same idea, but the level of satisfaction is much greater, I suspect.

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    1. Yes, I think we're in the same boat, preferring more oomph! "Concealer lips" gag.

      Some women look lovely with nudish lips, but I am not one of them. Give me color or give me death. Certainly a Founding Mother said that first.

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  6. I do love Dolce Vita and all things Nars, however my perfect nude lipsticks are the Mega Melon (for brown toned outfits) and Super Strawberry (for non-brown toned outfits) Chubby Sticks.

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    1. Those are Clinque, yes? I was curious about the Strawberry one, but I always forget to look when I am in the store.

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    2. Yep, Clinque, they are super simple to apply and wear on the go.

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  7. I love Dolce Vita and all things Nars but my perfect nude lipsticks are Mega Melon (for brown-toned outfits) and Super Strawberry (for non brown-toned outfits) Chubby Sticks.

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  8. It's such a pretty color and looks gorgeous on your lips, too bad that you feel that it does nothing for you! Muted colors often do that with me as well. I really like them, but my true winter skin prefers clear cool colors not muddy muted ones!

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    1. Ah, I didn't realize you were TWi. You're like my more vibrant sister. As True seasons we can't handle the warmth, but I can handle more muting than you because most of my colors have at least a little grey in them.

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    2. Absolutely true! It doesn't stop me from dipping into the palettes of the other seasons- well, I avoid the Spring palette, but I dip into Summer because I love your colors, and I also do the no-no of dipping into the Autumn. Things like the NARS Paramaribo Duo get to me, but I can only semi pull them off because I have hazel eyes. It looks great on my eyes, but is a bit off with my skintone.

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    3. My mom, sites and I got "draped" back when I was about 14! I have known that I was a true Winter for many many years!

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    4. I have carnal thoughts about NARS Paramaribo Duo! If just my eyes were supermodels, the eyeshadow would do crazy gorgeous things to my blue-green-grey eyes, such as pull out the amber starburst around the pupils. But if you saw my whole face wearing Paramaribo you'd think I was Phyllis Diller with hepatitis C. See? Gaaaaaaaa!

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    5. You're so lucky to know your season for so many years. I always suspected Summer, but I didn't see True in me, so I spent the last xxx years living as a Soft Summer, and it's no wonder I never felt completely satisfied and ended up with a crap-ton of makeup.

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    6. OK WHOA! I am on full sensory overload. Check your email, if you haven't already I wrote you back! I just looked at your posts on my blog- will respond shortly. Your DH is Russian?! My father was born in Russia! My mom is part Russian (and Scottish, etc.). My dad had a Russian accent until the day that he died despite the fact that he lived in Paris for years, and then in the US for more than 50 years! I think perhaps we were separated at birth!

      With respect to these comments-- I meant to say that my mom, sister & I got draped (I think that auto correct changed my sister to sites--LOL! My mom was adamant that the three of us get draped so that we would know what to, and not to, wear. Even though I do break the rules- I know what looks best on me. I really do look better when I stick to my colors though! It really is easy to avoid buying stuff that doesn't work when you know what to avoid. Take for instance this whole Pantone Tangerine trend-- you will never see be jump on board! I would look ghastly ill wearing that color!

      I agree about having carnal thoughts about Paramaribo-- now that's the color he should have named Orgasm!! I never "got" the hype over his Orgasm products! Phyllis Diller with Hepatitis C-- you are killing me! Your eyes sound insanely gorgeous- the amber starburst around the pupil would really pop with this duo, but can't have you wandering around approximating a sick Ms. Diller!!

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    7. Sorry, not Russian. He's a Viking, but he speaks with a Russian accent because he knows it makes me swoon. I work with lots of Russians in my industry, and I could just listen to them all day. Mr. Petals is Norwegian/German, and I am almost 100% British descent with a tad of French thrown in. My husband does lots of accents, including Lobster Boy and Clingon Prison Guard (don't ask).

      What an interesting life your father must have led, and how luck you have such a rich heritage. Mine ... meh, not so much. Ancestors with noses like a knife blade. I do have one famous ancestor who supposedly fathered a child at age 130. ;D

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    8. A Viking?! That's awesome! My dad wasn't Russian either- he was actually Armenian born in Russia. He didn't think he had an accent at all! He was a language professor- spoke about 10 languages fluently, but never lost his accent when speaking English. He did have an interesting life. I miss him. Your husband's proclivity for accents sounds HILARIOUS!! I can only imagine how funny Lobster Boy and Clingon Prison Guard are!

      My heritage is pure melting pot- I am basically a mutt! I've got Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Mediterranean, British Isles, German, etc.!

      Fathering a child at 130 is quite an accomplishment-- I would imagine that it would be hard to get up (as in out of a chair, that is) much less...

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    9. LOL on my great grandpappy. He was quite the ... ladies man, considering it was the middle of the 15th century; I guess he had nice wooden teeth or something.

      On the first night of our honeymoon, Mr. Petals sang "Splish splash I was taking a bath," in Donald Duck's voice. The WHOLE SONG! And he acted it out, dancing in a circle with his thumbs under armpits and elbows flapping. After I finished peeing my pants I wanted to marry him all over again.

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    10. OMG you are hysterical!! Between the wooden teeth and Mr. Petals singing "Splish Splash" and dancing- I'm peeing in my pans- I can only imagine how you must have been!! He's a keeper!! That's AWESOME!

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    11. oops- not peeing in my pans-- that would truly be gross-- meant my pants!!

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  9. I don't own a NARS lipstick. I think it's the price. If I'm going to pay that much for a lipstick, I might as well get Chanel or Dior or Armani, ya know?( Here in Canada they're definitely more than $24) My lips are so dry, so I need lipsticks with moisture in them and I've always heard these are a bit dry. It is a lovely shade though! The only other one I'd be remotely interested in is Roman Holiday, just because I like the movie so much!

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    1. Track-eeeeeeee .... no NARS?? Yes, NARS satin and mattes are horribly drying, but the sheer formula feels really good. It's like a cross between MAC luster and Creamsheen but not as goopy.

      I want Fast Ride because I like the name. ;)

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  10. I had only three NARS lipsticks and I still have only three! It's a measly collection for sure. Morocco, I love (only the colour - the formula's too drying). Dolce Vita, I like. It's moisturising and I was quite surprised how it well it worked on me (sheers don't usually do). A subtle but flattering-enough wash of colour. :)

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    1. It seems like I only ever have around three NARS lipsticks at one time, too. I think I remember Morocco. Is that a brick red? I do agree this his mattes and semi mattes (satins) hare very hard on the lips. The sheer formula, on the other hand, are great!

      If you like pigmented, have you ever tried Besame?

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