Texture is where the Nars stick shines, even though Diva is one of MAC's nicest heavy-duty mattes. Terre de Feu differs in that it is buildable which is something you do not expect in this colour and finish; with mattes you're always bracing for dryness and patchiness, no matter how hard you try to tame that bitch with a brush. This Pure Matte formula is nice to wear and work with, I'll give it that.
Soooo.... Nars, eh? There's a first time for everything and this is my Pure Matte cherry getting well and truly popped. I chose Terre de Feu because it seemed like one of those intense velvety raspberries that I've been hankering for lately and the other reds in the range leaned too close to those in my MAC collection. But it looks like I outsmarted myself in that respect; check out the swatches below and marvel at its separated-at-birthness from MAC Diva. DOH!
On the hand they are indeed virtually identical. On my dark lips there is maybe a 2 to 5% difference in hue, and that's mostly attributable to pigment density; Diva is more opaque and appears slightly darker though it really isn't, chromatically speaking. They are berry twins. So I'll say right off the bat that if you already own Diva, you don't need Terre de Feu, unless you're just dying to blow your discretionary on textural nuance.
and on top is Urban Decay Shame.
I've represented Terre de Feu twice in this hand swatch to demonstrate how workable it is, even in a hasty straight-from-the-tube application. The first on the left is one pass, the next is about three. With a brush you can achieve a translucent stain-like effect in a deep boysenberry pink, with fairly good lasting power. You can shade and contour and get painterly; MUAs should look into TdF for this reason. With a heavier hand you get a sophisticated medium berry; go a bit harder and you can set the dial to full-on goth. If this is where you usually come out, I'd stick to Diva- you'll go through a lot less product and that's important to remember since Terre de Feu brings a shitty little two grams to the party compared to the standard MAC three. Here in NZ, Nars is more expensive and that is not cool. The twist-up mechanism seems okay, but the thinner product is more vulnerable to breakage than the MAC sticks; me no like that either.
Overall, I'd give Terre de Feu a conditional thumbs up. It's a nice formulation with some conditioning properties, a classic if not startlingly original colour and an unexpected range of applications. But I have a hard time convincing myself that I'd have shelled out the $ if I'd known it was this close to the MAC equivalent. Confused? Don't be. Put it this way- if your lips tend to be rough and texture is your big thing, go for the Nars. If you're more concerned with value for money and the shade packing a big-arse punch, Diva is your best choice.