Nars became a fixture on the beauty map with its iconic Orgasm—a peachy pink powder blush shot with gold shimmer which, when applied on the cheeks, mimicked the dewy, rosy glow a woman exudes while in ecstasy.
What woman wouldn’t want to have that sexy flush readily available in powder form?
Soon, other shades from the brand reached cult status—lipstick in Dolce Vita, voted by makeup junkies as the perfect YLBB (your lips but better) shade; Jungle Red, which shot to fame as a must-have red in a woman’s vanity.
Nars’ bronzer Laguna was a favorite of “Sex and the City” actress Kristin Davis. Even Carrie Bradshaw was immortalized on film dipping her fingers into a pot of Nars lip lacquer while looking out the window of her Manhattan apartment.
To celebrate 20 years of creating well-loved makeup, Nars released the Audacious Lipstick Collection, a whopping 40-shade line named after women who have inspired founder and makeup artist François Nars.
These 40 shades are well on their way to achieving cult status, too.
Rustan’s flew in Nars’ lead makeup stylist Jenny Atwood Smith during the collection’s launch where she explained the shades and held a workshop for Narsissists (what Nars fans are called).
The Audacious Lipstick collection is so vast that one can get overwhelmed choosing among five different nude shades with subtle yet important variations, so we asked Smith for a cheat sheet.
Smith, who was wearing Angela (an orchid shade which she loved as a makeup artist because pure orchid/lilac lippies are hard to come by), says every woman needs a good red or pink in her lipstick armoire.
“My personal favorites are Michiyo, a beautiful, bold pink, which looks good on any skin tone, and Annabella, a red that has a little orange in it—it’s timeless and different than any red we have in our collection.”
The collection also promises “single-swipe” coverage, which is no easy feat considering how challenging it is to create an opaque nude that does not turn chalky or ashy.
“It’s luxurious coverage; you can apply straight from the tube or use a lip brush for precision,” says Smith.
For those looking for a nude shade, Smith recommends Brigitte (inspired by French seductress Brigitte Bardot). “Brigitte is creamy and long-wearing, which is hard to find in nudes. It provides good coverage without requiring gloss for depth.”
For everyday use, Smith recommends Raquel, which is described as a “pink beige.”
The Audacious Lipstick Collection is available at Nars counters at Rustan’s The Beauty Source. Follow Nars on Instagram @narsissist, and Rustan’s The Beauty Source @rustansthebeautysource.