Skint vs. Mint: Revlon & Nars Lip Pencils

Welcome to the new feature on Hapless & Hopeless: Skint vs. Mint. Every month I will showcase 2 similar products to suit a lower and a higher budget. Products will include home-wares, fashion and beauty/skincare (which will be reviewed also). So whether your bank balance is Skint or Mint, you can cure your Monday Blues by treating yourself to something new.

I am obsessed with lipstick and this soon evolved into lip pencils so today we are featuring lip pencils by Revlon and Nars.

Revlon Lip Pencils

Skint – Average Price: UK£6, AU$15 and US$13

From left to right

  • The lacquer balm in Demure is super sparkly as contains lots of glitter and its one of those colours where a heavy application results in a thick baby pink layer of colour which starts to feel ‘bitty’. Whilst this might be en vogue for some, for me I find it very cheap looking, so I stick to a light coat for some slightly glam day wear.
  • The matte balm pencil is surprisingly moisturising and non-drying on the lips. It lasts most of the day, even through several meals. This colour is a beautiful pop of bright red which i often use to draw attention away from the bags under my eyes!
  • The balm stain in Rendezvous is a very deceiving colour as it can appear bright orange with a heavy layer and I find it again looks a little cheap. So I try to keep it light. This colour also lasts a long time but as it is a stain it feels dryer than the matte balm.

One thing I dislike, albeit a very minor point, is that all of these lip balms are scented with mint, but not a fresh mint, its more of an off-mint flavour – like the one you get when you’ve been chewing gum for ages! Not quite sure what they were thinking there. Also it took me ages to figure out that these pencils cant be sharpened (embarrassing moment that was) and instead you twist the bottom to push more of the balm through – so not really a pencil at all!

Nars Lip Pencils

Mint – Average price: UK£18, AU$35 and US$26

Nars not only offer a continuously growing selection of lip pencil colours, but they also offer them in a Velvet Matte range and a Satin range. The Velvet Matte are dry pencils but that isn’t to say they will dry your lips out. However if your lips are already dry and chapped to begin with, the colour will stick to the skin and look awful, so make sure you exfoliate your lips before applying (try gently rubbing a wet flannel over them). The satin range is much more moisturising and the colour glides on very easily. The colour is long lasting but looks better touched up after food/drink.

Starting from top left and working clockwise:

  • ‘Pop Life’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – I could not get a photo to do this colour justice, it is a bright red colour with a hint of orange to it which really makes it pop (hence the name no doubt!)
  • ‘Cruella’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – This is what I refer to as a foxy red. It is a beautiful deep red that looks very glamorous but also classic.
  • ‘Never Say Never’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – This is a lovely subtle pink with a slight purple colour that can be worn like a stain or built up into a more vibrant pink with several layers. As you can see I like to go for a more subtle hue.
  • ‘Damned’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – A gorgeous deep berry colour that is my go to in Autumn/Winter. It goes on very dark but I prefer to blot the top layer to leave a lighter sumptuous plum colour.
  • ‘Majella’ Satin Lip Pencil – Another deep sultry red with a beautiful shiny finish.

You will notice I only have one satin pencil – this is because I simply find them too greasy. That could partially be due to the fact that I am so used to wearing matte however I have always been sensitive to sticky or greasy lip coats. If you go to a shop (as opposed to purchasing online) ask if you can try it on first – they will sanitise for you first and then you can apply it directly onto your lips, which will give a feel for how to apply it. In Australia you can do this in Mecca Cosmetica and in London try Space.NK.apothecary.


Nars wins out for me, with their gorgeous range of matte colours that lasts all day. The odd stale mint flavour and cheap looking colours let the Revlon down in my books. However, for those hard weekends that leave my bank balance Skint on a Monday…….and also during winter when my lips are a lot dryer, I would definitely turn to the Revlon Matte Balm to keep me going.

Ferg x

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