6.06.2015

Sephora VIB Rouge Set | NARS Via Veneto, Rikugien, Cruella


NARS Via Veneto Rikugien Cruella


Liz of Beauty Reductionista generously gifted this fabulous mini set to me when she found out I was hankering after a similar set from Sephora. I had practically broken up with Sephora (Currently I'm going out with Beauty.com and Nordstrom. Happily.) but was thinking about ordering something (totally unnecessary) for the set. It is a wrong reason to go back to an old relationship, you know. A crisis averted.






This is indeed an amazing set consisting of all the essentials - a black long lasting eye liner, a soft nude lip pencil with a satin finish, and a mesmerizing matte red.


NARS Rikugien Cruella
Unlike the eye liner, these lip pencils must be sharpened and I would be heartbroken everytime I see the precious shaves falling down in the trash. 
But don't they look like they are retractable as they should be? (NARS?)


NARS Cruella Rikugien Via Veneto swatches

Two more Via Veneto liners are in my possession and one of them is always in my makeup bag. They glide on without tugging and last for a long time. The consistency is perfect for me as well- not too creamy, not too waxy. The color shows up intense enough with a perfect amount of slip. It never migrates to my contacts like some soft pencil liners with similar color payoffs. 


NARS Rikugien swatch
Rikugien is a public garden in Tokyo (according to Wiki).
It is such a friendly and soft nude that will suit anyone.
I am wearing this in my recent Instagram selfie.

NARS Cruella swatch
Cruella is obviously from "Cruella de Vil".
It is a gorgeous gorgeous dark red with a soft matte finish.
(BTW, I love this classical/jazz version of the Disney song sung by the soprano Barbara Hendricks.)



NARS Rikugien FOTD

NARS Cruella FOTD


Do you see how dramatically different I look with these lip pencils? This is precisely the moment when I am reminded why I love makeup.


Thanks for looking.
Wish everyone a great weekend!




45 comments

  1. Whoaaa Cruella looks so hot on you! It's incredibly brightening!

    By the way, why did you break up with Sephora? Any juicy details?

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    1. Love Cruella so much! Thanks to its soft matte finish, it is wearable in the daytime as well.
      I guess Sephora didn't do anything terrible but she slowly got on my nerves. Everything is conditional with her, you know? (the minimum for free shipping, points, petty sales, etc.) ;p

      Delete
  2. The Nars birthday gift set is one of the best sets for the past few years. I love the Rikugien so much and am almost out. Will definitely buy it in full-size.

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    1. I have to say Sephora birthday sets are pretty awesome. However, I dislike that I feel compelled to order unnecessary things just for the perks or to meet the free shipping minimum. And I do think their CS could improve as well as the quality of SA.
      Isn't Rikugien so effortlessly flattering? I don't buy these nude colors any more but it feels good have one. :)

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  3. Both look amazing on you!
    I wish we had more places to shop beauty in Canada. Shopper's Drug Mart is my fave, but every boutique sells different brands so it's a little annoying. And the sister store Murale doesn't sell everything online that they have in store. Sadly, Sephora still is a must for me.

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    1. Thanks, Tracy! :)
      Since Nordstrom has landed in Canada, I think it'd much better for you from now on. I don't like the idea of one giant retailer dominates everywhere, but Nordstrom has been really outstanding in everything. Beauty.com also has limited selections, but at least I can buy NARS from them plus they run so many sales with 5% back. :)

      Delete
  4. CRUELLA, girl! *__* So beautiful, Lena!

    I have Rikugien (gifted as well, since my birthday is not until November, lol!) and I think it is an easy shade to wear, but I find it a bit tacky. And the sharpening is annoying, if you are taking it on the go...it has to be sharpened before you leave, or else you have to carry the sharpener, and honestly, I don't carry much in the way of makeup around with me (blotting sheets and the lip product of the day, at most).

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    1. Haha, thank you, Larie! :D I think makeup is really magical. I wasn't trying to look fierce (or rather bitchy). It's Cruella's doing for sure. ;p
      What you said is so true! The sharpening part sucks. NARS should remedy this as soon as possible. It's not like they don't know how to do it since they have done it with the eyeliners!

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  5. I have the two as well and yet to use them...Sephora is ok with me ( and I never purchase enough to be vib anyway) I like their check out aisle (of temptation).

    Since beauty.com/drugstore have a warehouse in jersey so I have to pay sales tax (to me, takes out the perk of online shopping). My current favorite site is rakuten global since everything became so affordable as they are sold in yen...so I am getting a great deal even after paying ems shipping.

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    1. LOL. I think everybody is using the tactic of temptation aisles (Forever21, Trader Joe's, etc.) these days!
      Yeah, the no sales tax thing was beautiful for a while, but New York residents also have to pay taxes with them. It's been years already. It is still cheaper than shopping from a local drugstores and they do $5, $10 off thing very often which makes it more affordable for me.
      I should definitely look into rakuten especially for Japanese things! Thanks for the tip. :)

      Delete
  6. I'm so jealous that you got this set! Even though there's a Sephora in Sydney, they don't have an online store or do VIB points or whatever, which I think is so stupid. I love the NARS satin lip pencils though, I'd love to try the matte ones!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

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    1. Awww, that's not nice! It's not the first time hearing about how often unfair the beauty shopping situation for aussie bloggers, but I didn't know Sephora is weirdly operating over there!
      You should definitely give their matte pencils a try. The formula is very nice and comfortable on lips. :)

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  7. Oh yes, they are just soooo gorgeous! At first on the close up lip swatch for some reason I thought that rikugien looked too sheer but in your face shot I can see that it's a gorgeous natural peachy lip color which I totally could use! I've yet to try any of their lip pencil but would LOVE to try a satin lip pencil! Also to hear that their pencil liner doesn't migrate and get on your lenses is fabulous! As a long time lens wearer, that is crucial!

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    1. Rikugien might have shown sheerer and glossier than what it really is because of the strong lighting or the emollient lip balm I put on underneath. It has good color payoffs with a very soft sheen. I think everyone would enjoy this shade.
      The line is also very nice so I don't complain I have three minis. :)

      Delete
  8. Cruella is amazing!!! Love the color on you :))
    I love NARS lip pencils, the matte ones are great ! I actually had and used up my mini Rikugien - such a nice everyday shade :)

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    1. Thanks, Pam! :D
      I happened to be wearing blue/grey contacts and it kinda worked out the "Cruella" effect, but it actually would work so well for bare minimum + eyeglasses kind of days. :)

      Delete
  9. I have to admit I've never got one of these lip pencils because of having to sharpen them! Both look fantastic on you, wow especially Cruella!

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    1. Thanks, Sofia!
      NARS is bringing out lots of exciting new things and might as well update the classics, too. I'm really impressed with the quality of these pencil lippies. :)

      Delete
  10. I love both on you Lena. Red photographs really well, of course, but personally, I'd probably prefer Rikugien for daily wear. It looks like such an easy color to pull off. The only pencil lip color I have from NARS is their matte one - Dolce Vita. I hate that I have to sharpen it. You're so right, they should have it retractable!

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    1. Thank you, Lily! Rikugien would look beautiful on you especially with your signature smoky eyes. No doubt! :)
      Dolce Vita is a beautiful shade but is tad too warm on me. A matte Dolce Vita would be something, though. That reminds me that I wanted to get a matte pencil in BLKR a while ago..(a similar yet darker and redder shade). Hmmm ;p

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  11. Hi Lena,

    Both shades look beautiful on you! I have yet to try a NARS pencil, since I'm not much for sharpening either. I'm definitely looking to trying this set on my bday as well (though like you, it's been quite some time since I stopped in a sephora!)

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    1. HI Dovey :)

      Thank you! I really hope NARS would make their lip pencils retractable. I would be compelled to buy some other colors if they do. I also wish they would make a mini lip pencil set. Wouldn't it be something? ;)
      Sephora has become a less credible makeup shopping source for me over the years. Having so many competitions especially in the U.S., Sephora seems lackluster.

      Delete
  12. Both shades look wonderful on you! I'm trying to shop less at Sephora, but I'm really excited to get this birthday set!

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    1. Thanks, Vicky!
      If you have something purchase from them around your birthday, why not? The issue with me was that I was contemplating on something totally unnecessary just to get this set. I'm happy that I have the set now, though. LOL

      Delete
  13. You're right, such different looks! One soft and pretty, other one is sexy and almost deadly (if looks could kill). Rikugien for some reason doesn't look good on me, I'm not quite sure why, it could be washing me out but when I put it on I get a "meh" kind of feeling. When you run out let me know if you want mine!

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    1. Haha, thank you, Meiko! I think those blue grey contacts were a bit too much, but it was fun! I like wearing color contacts when I don't want to wear deep smoky eye makeup. Cruella suits better for my no makeup days, actually. ;)
      And it is very sweet of you to offer! I don't think I'd run out any time soon, but I will ask you. Thank you. <3

      Delete
  14. This lip crayon set looks like the perfect duo for day to night makeup! I especially love the lighter, pink shade - it's such a natural, flattering colour ;)
    Best wishes,
    Arabesque

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    1. Thank you. Rikugien is one of the better MLBB colors out there, I think. Everything about the shade is so well-balalnce. :)

      Delete
  15. I came to wish you happy birthday until I read the explanation of where you got the set! I'm breaking up with Sephora, too... after I get this set and the ambient lighting palette I ordered for my birthday gift to myself ;-)

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    1. Haha, thank you so much, Sarah! My birthday was in April.
      Sephora is so meh...They push tons of brands (sometimes questionable ones, too) and I don't really get that. Their perks and point system have gotten more of a jumping hoops for us, and I don't know if anyone is really up for that, you know?
      But self-gifting for one's birthday is always righteous. Might as well get the set! :D

      Delete
  16. ooh, i like the nude color! i use LAQA and Co. lip pencils and they don't have to be sharpened, which is good...not just for losing the shavings, but because sometimes you lose the whole tip!!

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    1. Ah, the horror! You're right! Sometimes a whole chunk gets lost. ;o
      I hope NARS makes this improvement very soon because they are really awesome. :)

      Delete
  17. You wear Rikugien so well, Lena! It looks barely noticeable on my pigmented lips! :( So nice of Liz to give you the set! Cruella, however, is one of my most favorite reds! It's so sexy yet subtle in a way. I can't get enough of it. :D

    I agree... Sephora CS is a joke... don't even get me started. LOL

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    1. Thanks, Jaa! :)
      Turns out Rikugien is one of the few nude shades that work for me. I also love wearing this over an emollient balm (like Smith Rosebud Salve). It becomes semi-sheer so my natural lip shade is pronounced more.

      The truth is, I don't miss Sephora at all. Since I am unsubscribed from their mailing list, no temptation whatsoever! ;p

      Delete
  18. So glad you're enjoying the set! Me, too. Good thing I had extras ;) ;) I only tried on Cruella for the first time last week and felt like such an idiot for not listening to everyone about how AWESOME that shade is. I agree, NARS needs to redesign the lip pencils to retractable and non-sharpening. I'm thinking they'll do it sooner rather than later... and then raise the prices by a few dollars, lol.

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    1. Thanks again, Liz! It was like the greatest closure, ever. LOL
      Cruella is really something as you said. I love wearing it with no makeup and glasses. The FOTD above is a bit theatrical. I actually swatched a bunch of lippies with those contacts on. You'd have to suffer a few more similars. ;p
      And I am afraid you are right about the new packaging/new price bit. Personally I'd still welcome the change than seeing new things audacious, though.

      Delete
  19. Wow! You look beautiful in both of these. Approachable and beautiful in Rikugien and Stunning and "like whoa" in Cruella! I loved that you said you're happily going out with Beauty.com and Nordstrom! :) I love Beauty.com, too! And Nordstrom! Plus Nordies carries a lot of brands Sephora doesn't. Though I'm still pretty much BFF with Sephora as I'm a Rouge so I get free 2 day shipping and early access. Can't deny the love I have for that site.

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    1. Thank you so much, Kristen! :D I think those contacts make me look fierce and bitchy at the same time, which is the effect I enjoy wearing colored contacts. LOL.
      Well, there is no monogamy in this. I think I used to love Sephora and could spend hours swatching and playing with makeup. Now ignorant sales reps (who are busy spraying those display perfumes every 30 minutes and try to suffocate us shoppers) and their not-so-great customer service turns me off. It's good to have options, though! :)

      Delete
  20. Such a fantastic little set! All the products seem like they would be put to good use. I've heard so many good things about Via Veneto, but can't bring myself to fork out that much money on a black eyeliner. I do think the lip pencils NARS do are excellent (though I personally haven't loved all the shades I've tried) - they definitely need to make them retractable though! Sharpening is such a pain and wasteful!

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    1. Via Veneto is a great example of how a black liner can satisfy many different needs, imho. I personally do not like really strong black eyeliners with wet finish, but I also want some intensity. After all, I am wearing a black eye liner, you know?
      It does appear NARS know how to do retractable pencils (Via Veneto is retractable!). They better make this happen otherwise I won't fork my money over for more of them. ;-p

      Delete
  21. This is truly a fantastic kit :)
    I love NARS products... well I should say that they really interest me cause saying that I love them is a bit weird since I have never tried any ;)
    Cruella and Rikugien both look absolutely amazing :)
    I have a hard time finding liners that work for me. Either they will smudge like crazy on my eye lids or they will sting my eyes and make my eyes go red when I wear them on my waterlines :/
    Via Veneto looks really good though :)
    xx

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    1. Hi Anna :)
      I really like NARS presentation and their core products. Not a big fan of new offerings with intense color payoffs though, because they don't really suit my makeup style.
      These days I find hard to just commit to one products since I have so many yet I don't like samples, so these mini sized ones are just perfect!
      I really enjoy Via Veneto since it isn't as intense as UD liners for example but still gets the job done and is very easy to use. I also like Prestige automatic liner in charcoal grey a lot. :)

      Delete
  22. I know that sentiment exactly - I have been lusting after this set and given my sister's birthday is in about a week and she gets to get this set, I'm thinking to ask her for it... I'm a fan of Rikugien - I wouldn't have immediately wanted to reach out for it, but the colour is just so me!

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    1. Now I don't hold a high opinion about Sephora in general but can't deny this set is really awesome! LOL. Hope you get the set from your sister.
      Rikugien is one of the prettiest nude I've tried as well. Love it. :)

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  23. This set is so good! Cruella is a very hyped up colour so would be great to try it along with that beautiful nude and the also popular Via Venetto eyeliner. Gutted we don't have Sephora in the UK. xx

    Renata | Speaking Beauty UK

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