I’m sorry, but rambling about my feelings surrounding makeup is like tension release for me:
I think I’m beginning to understand why some people like NARS. I bought one of their lipsticks about a year ago and was initially disappointed because it wasn’t as pigmented as I expected. I usually opt for rich, matte shades, but I was really drawn to this burnt, peachy coral shade called Barbarella and broke down. I wasn’t used to wearing sheer lip color and seldom did up until that point.
As time goes, I find myself going back to that shade time and time again because it’s the closest thing to a neutral lip I have been able to pull off. People don’t emphasize the flexibility of the term “neutral” in this capacity either. There are many different neutrals for many different people. For me, neutral often errs to the side of peach tones, sometimes veering into crazy oranges and rust depending upon the product and where it’s being applied to the face. I think that NARS does the sheer lip best, and if I am to drop money on a sheer lipstick I would much rather opt for that brand versus more popular picks like YSL.
Also, I think that the brand is a victim of its cult product “Orgasm.” They actually make very complementary and good quality blushes and the like, but they are totally overshadowed by that collection and naturally not everyone is going to go crazy over a single color and thing.
Along the vein of sheer lip color, “Black Honey” by Clinique is probably the coolest and closest to attaining the trait of “universally flattering.” It’s great because you can almost apply it in layers, creating a range color going from rose to raisin. The best part is the color itself looks so different on different people. It almost has the sheen of wood varnish. It’s not running the risk of giving off a vinyl shine.