I started at my local NARS counter since they offer several different formulas in a wide range of colors. My initial test was with the Velvet Matte Pencil, a long-wearing, super-saturated coverage in matte formula that nourishes the lips. This product seems more like a lipstick to me; however, it had a creamier texture than most lipsticks. I tested several different colors before choosing Pop Life. It's described as a shimmering true red, yet on me it pulls a bit warmer. It wears extremely well and fades gently without bleeding or leaving ugly residue behind.
My second test was with the Velvet Gloss Pencil, a gorgeously glossy color in an ultra-lightweight, moisture-rich formula. This pencil is comparable to a lip gloss. It is extremely buttery and feels good on the lips. I immediately gravitated towards Happy Days — a pink coral infused with gold shimmer. The only drawback is that this shade is super sheer. It didn't last too long on its own. Also, it's a pain to sharpen due to its soft consistency. Each time I've tried to sharpen it, I massacre the poor pencil. Someone suggested putting it in the freezer first before sharpening since it will harden it and allow for an even sharpening.
The unexpected joy in using these pencils is how well they complement each other. I've been applying Pop Life first and then topping it off with Happy Days for a glossier finish. Pure loveliness!
If you're looking to shake up your lip product routine, definately give these babies a try. There are oodles of shades to choose from so the options are limitless.
Purchase info: NARS Velvet Matte and Velvet Gloss Pencils are available at local NARS counters, Sephora, and online. They retail for $24.00 each.