When you hear Dragon Girl, do you not think of someone or something formidable?
Surely a lipstick titled thusly should knock shit out of the park in some way. That was my expectation. And Nars Dragon Girl Velvet Matte pencil is... well, nice enough... a cheerful, blue-toned raspberry with the whisper-soft suede finish we expect from this line of mattes. It's just not the great roaring eyefucker that its name and legion of fangirls imply.
Let's face it- there are a lot of contenders for hardcore red status. And beside something as iconic as MAC Ruby Woo, Dragon Girl is, to my jaundiced eye, diminished. DG is definitely less saturated than RW, a good 20% bluer, and maybe 10% brighter on the lip, which is somewhat ironic since I always think of Ruby Woo as bright, cool and raspberry. But it's more strawberry, really, isn't it?
> Here they are side by side, with Ruby Woo to the left. This is shady indoor daylight, probably the only setting in which you can photograph either without the camera sensor rendering them as streaks of nameless, identical red. As you can see, Dragon Girl makes RW look so much warmer and more classically red.
It really is this pink. There's a magenta-y fuchsia element to Dragon Girl that makes it a dodgy prospect for many warm-toned wearers; on a lot of faces it just looks wrong, in a cheap chemist/drugstore sort of way.
Nars Velvet Matte pencils vary in their levels of pigmentation and I don't find DG tremendously opaque- achieving coverage on a par with a couple of swipes of Ruby Woo required a surprising amount of bloody expensive product.
I will say it is an easy shade to control; you can dial it up or down to your heart's content and at 50% it's a very pretty, doll-like bright berry. There's certainly no bleeding or migration to worry about. A good beginner's red, perhaps?
MAC Just A Bite + MAC Russian Red. indoor daylight.
But while sitting here with a certain level of product on my mouth, I'm making the kind of fish-face that means I'll be making a run for the balm. Not even Ruby Woo inspires quite so much itchy need to divest.
So while Dragon Girl is okay-pretty and obedient, I won't be investing in another round. It's just not enough of a thing in any particular direction. And there are too many other, far more compelling reds out there to love. Just sayin.