So I got 4 lipsticks to try out. Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense #44 & #32 and NARS Shanghai Express and Fire Down Below.
I dislike the NARS tube a bit because I think it's too easy to turn the tube. What if I accidentally turned it when I don't want to?
The MUFE are Satin texture. I was really upset with #32 because I had wanted a lipstick that would give my lips a light/ gentle/ sort of baby pink effect. Instead, it just looked like a shiny version of my natural lip color in a tube.
The #44 is a lovely red. I would say blood red, but it's not quite a blood red. It looks like a true red in the tube, but when swatched on paper, I can see it's actually a little on the cool side. I think it's described as a brown red on the site, but I'm not sure. The texture is not drying and it didn't seem to feather. Of course with all these strong lip colors I worry anyways that they get smudged or something.
NARS: these lipsticks are matte and therefore ever so slightly drying. This can't be helped though due to the properties of a matte lipstick. I feel like it feathers ever so slightly- barely noticeable.
Now you may be wondering what's the difference between the three red lipsticks. Let me tell you, it's really hard to tell when they're swatched on the lips. Shanghai Express is lighter- has a little less rich color than the other two. It's cool toned and more similar to the MUFE one than the Fire Down Below.
The MUFE one is more of a cherrier red than the Fire down below. It has less brown so it's more vibrant looking. Fire Down below is the darkest of the three, but with the little extra bit of brown it's probably the most wearable for everyday life in the morning.
Shanghai Express is again, less intense than Fire Down Below, less brown, and more on the cooler side. It's lighter in color and pops a bit more.
Even though Fire Down below looks really warm toned on the swatch in comparison, when I put it on my lips it turns a bit cool toned when viewed in natural light. All the colors change a bit depending on lighting. Strange how I have fluorescence lights and they all turn a bit yellow.
I can see where people get the idea that red lipstick lets your teeth look whiter. For me, it doesn't look so much whiter as more intense, probably from the contrast.
Turns out I can pull off all three shades equally well.
I'm at a dilemma because I can't pick one!! I decided that I don't want Shanghai Express. I want something that gives impact. The Fire Down Below is more natural a bit. The step of brown makes it more wearable for daytime. The MUFE pops ever so slightly more (due to less brown and mostly likely the satin finish). I like the matte finish of NARS as well because I don't have to worry about it slipping/ sliding as much.
I like them both equally as much!! the MUFE is $19 and the NARS is $24, I know I should take the NARS back because of the pricing, but I do like having that lipstick that's a little more wearable. What to do... what would you do?
If it's all the same to you and you don't care about slight color differences or finishes then I do recommend the MUFE #44 over NARS Shanghai Express, only because they do look similar and MUFE is less drying and cheaper.
It was REALLY hard to get the color differences to show on camera for the lip swatches. Originally I had swatched them all separately, but then looking at them later I couldn't tell which was which, so I just did one with them all together. The picture only shows the lipsticks in indoor/ flash light. In natural light they look more cool toned. Apologies for the sloppy application, but I originally did a lot of combinations, so no point in perfectly applying them.
MUFE Rouge Artist Intense #32 (irl it's a tidge more coral)
MUFE Rouge Artist Intense #44 (Imagine a color between the two swatches- I know, not helpful)