Monday, April 23, 2012

NARS Sheer Lipstick Damage, Review, Swatches, Comparison

This is more or less a pictorial "review." I won't blather on with all the gooey adjectives about NARS Sheer Lipstick ($24) formula, but you can read them here (Manhunt) and here (Flamenco) and here (Dolce Vita), if you like.



After reading a comment by LPC (Privilege blog), who called NARS Damage her "MLBB shade," I was curious enough to pick it up because we seem to have similar coloring.

The NARS web site describes Damage as "sheer muted grape."



When I think of grape, I immediately conjure up the dark-purple Concord grape, but then I remember those delicious red harvest/holiday grapes that pop up in November and then disappear right after Christmas.

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When compared to red grapes, Damage has a similar dusky, blue-red hue.




Maybe more like this, only not as dark.


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Damage has a silky translucent formula. Application below is in two swipes, so you can see how sheer it is, but it's not difficult to build up grapey goodness on lips.

Indirect sunlight

The difference in color between indoors and out is very subtle. Indoors, Damage appears moderately deeper, but it is still sheer and juicy looking.

Indoors, natural light, no flash


Indirect sunlight


Indoors, natural light, no flash


Damage is similar in color to Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Bonheur (reviewed here).




Compared to the red-based plum of Bonheur, Damage contains more blue. I prefer the weightlessness of the Rouge Coco Shine formula, but I don't love shimmer, and Bonheur contains a little bit of shimmer. Damage sits very nicely on the lips, but I do feel it ever so slightly.


Bottom line: Damage is another NARS winner, and it's an excellent choice for those of us who love color but not so much heavily-pigmented lipsticks. Great for spring/summer.

All photos taken by me except for the grapes
Disclosure: I purchased Damage at Sephora

24 comments:

  1. Both NARS Damage and Chanel Bonheur look like excellent colors for you.

    I didn't know you read LPC's Privilege blog! So do I. Great stuff.

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    1. Hi Emma, yes I love her blog. It's so thought provoking and the comments are always very insightful.

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    2. The comments are usually the best part! Hello you two:, thank you both for reading). I love this blog.

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  2. I wonder if it was named for the book Damage by Josephine Hart which was quite definitely not for tweens - there was a movie with Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche too.

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    1. Interesting. I've read that book at least 5 times—as well as Sin—and saw the movie at least twice. (I own all three, though my favorite book by the author is The Reconstructionist). Josephine Hart's creative thought process certainly travels to some very dark places, which are definitely not for tweens. It never occurred to me about the lipstick's name, but the color of Damage would probably look fantastic on Juliette Binoche.

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  3. GreatSheElephant is right, Mr. Nars named the lipstick after the movie with Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche. Another one of those bits of trivia I can retrieve easily, even though I frequently can't remember where I left my car keys. :)

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    1. Thanks, veuve! That's fascinating, though I admit to a bit of an ick feeling now that I know that little factoid.

      As a total aside, I am currently enjoying Jeremy Irons in The Borgias. I keep waiting for him to say, "You have no idea," which he did in the Lion King, reprising his famous line from Reversal of Fortune. :)

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  4. Damage is gorgeous-- just the kind of color that I love! Did you find it at all drying? After my experience with the Mexican Rose Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil drying out my lips I'm just a tad concerned about trying this unless you think it won't be drying on me.

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    1. You know, Lola, I find all NARS lipsticks drying over time, even the sheer formula but especially the satin and mattes (but you already knew that). Damage feels wonderful on my lips all day, but if I were to wear only NARS lipsticks, my lips would feel the effects. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, on the other hand ... come to mama.

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    2. I suspected that you might say that. I might pass then, but RCS...come to mama is RIGHT!!!!!!!

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  5. It's funny, because I'd always associated the name of the lipstick with the book and/ or film Damage, but I assumed that was just me. This shade has been on my Nars wish list forever, since it's the sort of shade I wear all the time. Must get around to it.

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    1. I am starting to feel like such a weenie for not thinking about the book/film. Hellooooo, Captain Obvious! Maybe NARS will do a Crying Game lipstick next. :)

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  6. the colour looks right up my alley, I am afraid I will have dupes but I guess I have to have it :P I love any kinds of reds and just can't resist <3

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    1. Claire, I know exactly how you feel and probably have eleventy billion similar shades of rose and red.

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  7. Damage looks great! I have not one NARS lipstick-not one! I have Chanel Destinee and this kind of reminds me of it, just not as sheer and maybe not as grape too.

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    1. I think you might be the first NARS lipstick virgin I have ever met!

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  8. Hmmm I think I like Chanel more. Which I might have to get...someday!

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    1. I highly recommend Chanel Rouge Coco Shines, but it's true that they aren't terribly long lasting. I don't mind because I like to reapply my lipstick if the formula feels like balm, but many reviewers find that $32 isn't worth what you get. I disagree. I'd rather have a $32 lipstick that I use up until I am scraping out the bottom with a lip brush than a bunch of $20-25 lipsticks where I use up only a third before losing interest. Since lipstick has a much shorter shelf life than most other makeup, my losing interest isn't usually in that lipstick's best interest. ;) But that's just my personal opinion.

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  9. I have very pale cool coloring with pigmented lips and I absolutely love this lipstick. It's definitely an MLBB shade for me -- so much so that I'm actually on second tube.

    I always find it interesting when people tout the Rouge Coco Shines. I seem to be the only one around who actually find them incredibly drying. Or rather, I think they feel nice when I first apply them, but they quickly dry down to an ugly cracked cakey look. By contrast, the NARS sheer lipsticks are noticeable on my lips, but still look and feel nice after time.

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    1. Hi Kit, I have heard other people say the Chanel RCS dries their lips over time, so I am shocked I am not one of them. I expect my lipsticks to behave as lip balm because I wear then sunup to bedtime, so if by the second or third day my lips are starting to get that puckered feeling, out the lipstick goes. ALL Bobbi Brown and MAC products do this to me, and you can bet the old Chanel (Hydrabase) and even the satin and matte NARS did the same.

      With the NARS sheer formula, I love that I can have so many beautiful options without shimmer, which also feel wonderful on my lips over time. Damage now is my favorite among his sheers.

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  10. Hi Zuzu, I love your comparisons to actual grapes. When I saw the description to Damage, I was imagining a more purple Welch's grape juice kind of grape. While it does have purple tones, I think your comparisons with red grapes were spot on!

    Damage seems like it would be quite a dramatic color in person, because of the blue leanings. It seems like something you would be able to pull off! I love the NARS sheer formula too. It's comfortable and has just enough color.

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    1. Hi Dovey, thanks! I don't find Damage to be particularly dramatic on me, but it might be on someone with warm skin. If your cool-toned, the grapiness harmonizes fairly well, while it would have more oomph against warmer skins and also people with light pigment in their lips. And you're right, I do love it!

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  11. The name actually reminds me of Damages, the TV series. Glenn Close! Not so teenagey! It looks like a lovely shade. :)

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    1. Ooh, love that show. Damage would be a great color on Ted Danson, lol.

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