NARS Russian Doll is precisely the sort of lipstick I imagine on pale Slavic models marching down the runway of a moody fashion show, blond hair slicked back in severe buns.
The color is hard to describe. One wants to call it a plum-brown, even though it's too dark for a plum and actually contains no brown tones at all. A plum-wine, perhaps. NARS calls it a "true boysenberry," which works as well as anything else.
Russian Doll is not as unforgiving as it could be due to its satin finish. The slightly pale sheen and the intense dark color creates an intriguing tension. I continued the theme by pairing the lip with a white sweater, which made it wearable as a daytime winter look. I can see it also being a rather stunning lip color to wear out to a nightclub with an Ann Demeulemeester ensemble.
Russian Doll has good lasting power, though like most NARS lipsticks I have tried, it has no chance against a meal. Because the finish is satin, it has some slip and you have to take some care not to let it migrate beyond the lip edge, especially around the corners of the mouth. You can fade out the center of the mouth and darken the edges to create a beautiful ombre effect.
NARS Russian Doll may appear impossible in the tube, but it turns out to be an attractive avant-garde plum.