All Of The Nars Lip Pencil Shades, Ranked


A moment of rejoice for the Nars Lip Pencils, some of the best pigments ever made to decorate your lips. There are so many reasons we love them (The ease! That glide!) that when National Lipstick Day came around, it was clear which product deserved honors. In celebration of the holiday, editors Emily Ferber and Brennan Kilbane gathered in a conference room one afternoon (with a plate of hot wings, delivered from Maple with love) and got to work ranking each shade in the Velvet (matte) and Satin (not matte) ranges. General attractiveness of shade was taken in consideration with a host of other things; shade name, connotations, and first impressions were all fair game.

This is an official ranking, from least to most favored:
27. Belle du Jour: This is basically a concealer and does not rank for category. Sorry, Catherine Deneuve. —Emily Ferber
26. Bolero: Bright, almost fluorescent pink. Constantly mocking me that I'm not tan. —EF
25. Luxembourg: Sephora calls this shade "watermelon." I call it "maroon." Disagreement makes for low rankings. —EF
24. Floralies: Apricot. So, yeah. —EF
23. Yu: Bright pink. What Tyra Banks wore as Eve in the classic post-consumerism documentary Life Size. —EF
22. Rikugien: English rose. If I could have correctly pronounced it, it would have gotten a higher ranking. —Brennan Kilbane
21. Bettina: Rosy beige. “Bettina” was the name of a woman who was once rude to my mother in high school. Bye, Bettina!! –BK
20. Lodhi: Sherbert. But inedible. Don't even think about it. —BK
19. Timanfaya: True orange. Orange you glad they made Heat Wave into a pencil? Just kidding, this is way more orange than that. —BK
18. Bansar: Warm taupe. Ranking all of these is harder than expected. —EF
17. Train Bleu: Purple. That train’s not bleu! That train is purple. Points for being the only true purple, deductions for lying about being purple. –EF
16. Damned & Hyde Park: Magenta. Literally indistinguishable. But pretty! –EF
15. Red Square: Tomato red. Very touching that the iconic Russian plaza will be remembered as it should be—with an orange-red lipstick shade from Nars. —BK
14. Isola Bella: Beige peach. Italian for "beautiful island." Clever! –BK
13. Golshan: Spicy brown. What is a Golshan? –EF
12. Het Loo: '90s brown. What is a het loo? —BK
11. Roman Holiday: Bubblegum pink. Perfectly encapsulates the glamour of Aubrey Hepburn, riding around Rome on a moped looking for her Airbnb. Is that what happens in the movie? I’ve never seen Roman Holiday. –BK
10. Dragon Girl: Bright red. A gorgeous shade of red, inspired by Rooney Mara, I think? I don't know, I didn't see that movie either. The only movie I've ever seen is The Holiday. —BK
9. Walkyrie: Pinky brown. Actually the perfect pinky brown. —EF
8. Never Say Never: Purple-pink. Great Justin Bieber song, fine shiny pink. –EF
7. Majella: Siren red. This one is actually my favorite but Brennan wouldn't let me rank it higher because he'd never heard of it. —EF
6. Dolce Vita: Dusty rose. Sono un ragazzo sciocco che indossa il rossetto. That! kisses hand is Italian for, "I am a silly boy who wears lipstick." –BK
5. Sex Machine: Mauve. Low-hanging fruit aside, this is one great lip color. Good on you, Nars! –Both of us
4. Palais Royale: Deep red-brown. What Marie Antoinette would have worn had she not been so obsessed with pastels, or decapitated. —BK
3. Biscayne Park: Nude pink. Wrist blang, got a condo up on Biscayne, still got brain from a thang ain’t shit changed. –Drake
2. Mysterious Red: Crimson. Was almost #1, except too mysterious. Couldn't figure it out! —EF
1. Cruella: True scarlet. And a life motto, really. Without the cruelty to animals, of course. —EF

Photographed by Tom Newton.

More of ITG's best of lipsticks: read all about our very favorite pinks, reds, nudes, and more.