The Sephora Beauty Insiders birthday gift this year includes a deluxe sample of NARS’ Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien. A full size Satin Lip Pencil is 0.07 oz and retails for $26. The one included in the gift is 0.05 oz, so it’s a very generous sample plus it comes with a 0.06 oz Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella.
The value of this freebie is awesome. If you aren’t already signed up to Sephora’s Beauty Insider program, you should just for the gift. Unfortunately, the lipstick formula simply didn’t work out for me.
I’ll start off by naming the positives.
The color payoff is impressive — nearly opaque in one pass and full coverage in two — and the consistency is creamy with a nice, easy glide across the lips.
Rigkugien is a warm rosy pink with a frosted finish that would probably serve as a good everyday neutral color for many people.
Now on to the negatives…
The first issue I have with the pencil is it’s not automatic and you have to sharpen it when the point dulls down. I prefer the convenience of chubby lip pencils that you can twist up.
Second, I’m not fond of the scent. Technically, it’s fragrance-free but that just means NARS didn’t add anything to disguise the natural scent of the product. The pencil has a very strong silicone-y, plastic scent that’s very similar to the way face and eye shadow primers smell.
Third, I’m not a fan of Rigugien’s frosty finish because it draws attention to and exaggerates the fine lines on my lips.
Fourth, I find the formula kind of drying. After the lipstick’s worn off I definitely feel like I have to moisturize with a lip balm.
I’m glad I was able to try Rikugien because now I know for sure that the NARS lip pencils are just not for me. There are so many other lipsticks out there that I prefer, those with glossier and more moisturizing formulas that minimize the appearance of my lip lines. The Revlon Lip Butters, Too Faced La Creme Lipsticks, and Clinique Chubby Sticks just to name a few.
In the photo above, I’ve swatched some of the warm pink lipsticks in my stash to compare with NARS Rikugien. Rikugien’s shine comes from it’s frosty finish but the other lipsticks are glossy and shimmer-free.