NARS Lip Pencil Dupes + Swatches

Last week I put up a post on MAC Velvet TeddyLipsticks Dupes and you all loved it. Today, I am comparing NARS Lip Pencils and Maybelline Velvet Lip Pencils. I already spoke about the NARS Lip Pencils over here if you are interested. The Maybelline versions have also been previously reviewed here but I have added a whole lot more to my collection since that review. So, let’s crack on...

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils
I am in love with majority of Maybelline makeup and these Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils definitely sealed the deal for me. Everyone and their mamas have sung praises for these lip pencils and it’s with good reason. They apply really well on the lips and they have such an amazing formula. I find that the brighter colours definitely have a velvety feel compared to the lighter/nude colours and this affects their application and lasting power on the lips. I picked up the Nude/lighter colours which include Minimalist, Nude Perfection and Love My Pink (all reviewed here) and then I went back for more because they were fantastic. I picked brighter/bolder colours for A/W and Spring and the shades include: Red Essential, Fab Orange and Keep It Classy. They only cost £4.99 and I can boldly say they are one of the best I have tried in the drug store.

NARS Lip Pencils (Satin + Matte)
When I received an email from Sephora Beauty Insider saying these NARS Mini Lip Pencils were birthday freebies for January, my heart skipped several beats. I really wanted to try these pencils but I definitely did not want to part with £18 without testing it out first. I got one Matte shade (Cruella) and one Satin shade (Rikugien) and I have a full review of these pencils here. Their pigmentation is insane and it applies like a dream. The Matte version is slightly more pigmented than the Satin version (based on the two products I received) but I love both of them. I have already made a wish list for  more shades I would love to try.  They retail for £18 a pop but these were the mini versions which I quite like. (I love anything mini)

NARS Velvet Lip Pencil (Cruella) vs Maybelline Velvet Lip Pencil (Red Essential)
I considered comparing different colours from both brands but I don't own many NARS Lip Pencils (I only have two) and the only proper dupes in my collection are the red shades; NARS (Cruella) and Maybelline (Red Essential). Honestly, they look so similar and I almost didn't remember which was which when I swatched them at the back of my hand. However, there are a few slight differences apart from their cost.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

Maybelline Velvet Lip Pencil
(Red Essential)
It is a true red shade with cool undertones
It is also a true red shade  but with neutral undertones (in my opinion)

It has a Matte finish but it definitely feels velvety on application

It has a Velvet (almost satin) finish which makes it noticeable different to the NARS version

Although this is a mini size, the full size is longer than this.

This is the actual size of the pencil and it is shorter than the NARS full size version (although it’s about the same size as the NARS minis as shown in the pix)

It applies really well and feels soft on the lips; you just have to glide it over your lips
It applies relatively well on the lips but the pencil in itself is not as soft as the NARS version

The pigmentation is insane; it’s really incredible.
The pigmentation is really good and I think it may be one of the best drug store lip pencils I have tried

Lasting power is about 5-6 hours but it may fade slightly (as expected) if you eat/drink

Lasting power is about 3-4 hours and it starts to fade especially around the inner perimeters of the lips.

Best Match
Although I tend to go for warmer shades of red and generally avoid cool toned reds,  the NARS Cruella looks really amazing on my skin tone and I think it may be a universal fit (just like Ruby Woo)

I think this is a neutral toned red and I believe it will suit many skin tones.

Needs to be sharpened which may lead to waste

Also needs to be sharpened and may get shorter more quickly than the NARS version (full size)

Full size retails  for £18 which is quite expensive
Full size retails for £4.99 but you can get it for less as it is always on offer in Boots and Superdrug.

Personal Thoughts
I absolutely love both of these pencils because they are amazing. I really have to commend Maybelline for putting in such good effort to develop a drug store version of the beloved NARS lip pencils. When I tried the NARS Lip Pencils, I instantly understood the hype and I think it's worth getting at least one pencil. The major difference between both pencils are the cost, lasting power and pigmentation. If you are on a budget, you should definitely  try the Maybelline version and if you are in a #feelingspendy mood or you want to give yourself a treat, the NARS Lip Pencils are the way to go. I hope you have enjoyed this comparison post and I have more coming up. If you have any suggestions, holla below in the comments box...toodles...xx


  1. I love these dupe posts that you write! You're so detailed and cover everything :') I can't wait for the next one! Xx

    Lauren |

    1. Awww thank you so much; I am so glad you enjoy it and I have more coming!!....xx

  2. This is a great review! I don't wear lip pencils but you've convinced me to try it!

    1. Thank you so much and I didn't like them before either (I thought they were too much hassle) but the Maybelline ones changed my mind and then

  3. This is such a helpful comparison :) I do hope Maybelline expand the colour range on theirs soon xx

    Magpie Jasmine

    1. Thanks a lot Jasmine and I am with you; fingers crossed they release more shades although I have to say they have almost as many shades (not finishes though) as NARS lip pencils...xx


I love to read all your comments and I ensure I reply all of them as much as I can. Blogger does not notify you of my replies unless you tick the "notify me" box under the comment box. Alternatively,Tweet me at @fashstyleliv


© FashStyleLiv All rights reserved . Design by Blog Milk Powered by Blogger