By that I mean low-grade slippy without being bleedy, and semi-translucent without significant patchiness. You're not going to get monster opacity out of this shade without layering it onto a much deeper pencil base- something like MAC Nightmoth- so I wouldn't come at it looking for a super-ho naughty cabaret-type thing.
You can build it to 90% opacity, but that's just wasting product; there are plenty of dedicated nightbitch lipsticks out there just waiting to oblige your more dramatic inclinations.
Better by far to enjoy Afghan Red for what it actually is- relatively subtle, safe for most work situations, almost universally flattering, and all-day comfortable.
Nars Afghan Red is my first foray into the classic Nars tube formula. Its many devotees certainly know a decent lipstick when they find one. It's a deepish antiqued rose, the sort of colour that would result from crumbling a handful of pot pourri made from old-school blooms like Rein des Violettes and Mme Issac Pereiere to dust. Or an icy home-made boysenberry sorbet. So forget the warm earthy elements that Afghan possibly implies. I was aware of this and bought it looking for something with a bit of muted daytime depth and forgiving slip, which is exactly what it offers.
I find it 100% comfortable to wear, even on winter-worn lips. And because it's not a million miles from my natural lip colour, Afghan Red is for me one of those rare 'zipless fuck' lipsticks i.e. the kind you can smoosh on blind without looking like a drunk clown. All my drunk clown homies will know that's almost worth the price of admission on its own.
The finish is close to a good MAC cremesheen or say Guerlain Rouge G-lite.
There is a slight, brief petitgrain/geraniol scent but I don't experience any perfume-burn or irritation so I presume it's a by-product of citrus wax.
The shot to the right is quite cool. The final larger swatch directly below is almost perfectly neutral so you can see there's no real difference. It's like a sheerer, more daytime Terre de Feu, or MAC Diva. Bite Amarone pencil isn't as similar as it appears on the hand since it heads in a far more fuchsia direction. The only thing that pisses me off about Afghan Red is the time it took to acquire it.
Nars Afghan Red
MAC Hot Tahiti
Nars Terre de Feu
With a medium-thickness application I get about 3-4 hours, a nice fade-out into a very slight stain and a modest moisturising effect.
Afghan Red is a pretty light-stable colour in that it doesn't morph significantly according to the time or day or your lighting source. Under warm sunlight or yellow indoor situations you might get slightly rosier happening but nothing dramatic- good news for those of us who worry about the sometimes icky effect of colour shift.