If you are part of Sephora's free rewards program, you get a free birthday gift every year. Last year was a Make Up Forever mini mascara and mini lipstick, which I found to be really cheap feeling and didn't like at all. So when they announced that this year's gift was from Nars, I was ecstatic. Nars is a very expensive brand so the chances of me every buying anything from them are slim to none. So getting two items from them (and both lip products, my personal favorite) was an awesome birthday gift. They are deluxe mini size, which if fine by me since a full sized costs a whopping $26! You receive a Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in the shade Cruella (a classic red) and a Satin Lip Pencil in the shade Rikugien (an almost shimmery neutral pink).
Rikugien is the most wearable of the two, since it is a lovely neutral shade of pink. The satin finish means it's slightly glossy, slightly shimmery. This is what I'd call an everyday shade, something you could put on to go grocery shopping or out to lunch with friends. I keep forgetting how much I like this particular shade, but every time I wear it I think I need to wear it more. I'd love to find an affordable dupe for this shade, since $26 is my total monthly beauty budget typically.
Cruella is a gorgeous red shade, and the matte finish makes it much easier to wear than a full gloss red. I don't reach for this particular red very often though, I find it uneven in how it fades and it does feather quite a bit so it takes some planning to wear. I wish this had the lasting power you typically associate with matte finishes, then I'd probably wear it at least once a week. The shade is stunning, and a matte red goes great with the retro look I like to do quite a bit.