Because I’m obsessed with edgy neutrals, I had to try NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Madere ($25), released for Spring 2011. This is a very light matte nude that nearly matches my NC15 skintone.
Mattes are tricky, nude mattes are even trickier. About five years ago, Angelina Jolie seemed to wear a matte nude everywhere. She made Guerlain’s Divorna 480 famous by suggesting it was her favorite shade (it was discontinued a few years later). Jolie did not become famous by cultivating a girl-next-door image. The matte nude lip complimented her other-worldly glamour. As you can from the movie poster (below) matte nude lipstick can look drying on even the most glamorous celebrity. It seems to go with the territory.
NARS Madere is lighter and slightly pinker than Guerlain’s Divorna 480. Chanel Rouge Allure Mythic is between them in tone, but has a glossier, moisturizing texture (and avoids the drying effect by forgoing attempts for the matte effect). If your monitor is not very sharp, you might not see NARS Madere on the far left:
Liz and I tried Madere and, predictably, found the lipstick nearly matched our skintone. This light matte color nearly disappears. Liz disliked both the drying effect and the color, I thought this is pretty normal for a matte nude:
On Friday, I saw that Francois Nars used the Pure Matte Lipstick in Madere on the Thankoon runway for New York Fashion Week, topped with the Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Hopi:
I began to suspect that there was more than meets the eye to Madere. Liz and I tried Madere lipstick with Hopi lip pencil ($24) (review forthcoming), to see if we could recreate the look:
The Velvet Gloss lip pencil changed Madere completely, giving it a glossy gold finish.
I tried Madere topped with the deep purple Nana Lipgloss ($24) (review here) which is a highly pigmented deep purple gloss. Madere provided a neutral, creamy base that made Nana sparkle and shine. The look was very modern and edgy, and I absolutely loved it. Below is a picture on Liz. Although Liz still wasn’t sold, I loved the Madere/Nana combination, in part because my skin tones are more mauve-based (Liz’s undertones are more pink), and also because our tastes are different:
Here, we compared Nars Velvet Gloss Pencil in New Lover. On the left, no base or lipliner (just the pencil). On the right, New Lover is applied over Madere:
NARS Madere Pure Matte lipstick is a niche product, targeted to those looking for an unusual and edgy look. I was ready to return Madere on the first few tries, but now I realize that I’m going to be able to achieve some interesting looks with it.