Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

NARS Gifting Collection for Summer 2014
NARS Gifting Collection for Summer 2014

NARS Cosmetics introduces three exciting new gifting items for Summer 2014. From cheeks to lips to nails, NARS exclusive sets of iconic color consume every thought, every look. Two limited edition lip/nail sets and one limited edition cheek palette heat up the season with color so rich and indulgent, fascination turns to fixation.

Uninhibited ($52.00) (Limited Edition, Nordstrom Exclusive)

A trio of intrigue and seduction – Dolce Vita Lipstick, Lip Gloss and limited edition Nail Polish presented in a sleek black lacquered box.

Climax ($52.00) (Limited Edition, Nordstrom Exclusive)

A fantasy of shocking pink in the legendary Schiap – featuring a Lipstick, limited edition Lip Gloss and Nail Polish housed in a matching pink, lacquered box.

Domination Cheek Palette ($49.00) (Limited Edition, Nordstrom Exclusive)

A rush of blush – delivering insatiable glamour for cheeks, this exclusive palette features three signature Blush shades (Orgasm, Laguna and Mistinguette) and Devotee Highlighting Blush.

Availability: July 1st; exclusively at Nordstrom

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Sunday, June 1st, 2014

When I thought about what my top picks for orange blush would be for summer, I had to go for at least a few of the bolder, more vibrant shades. Perhaps I could put together a post about peachy shades as an alternative to these bolder shades? If that’s something you’d like to see, let me know in the comments! :) Onward to my current recommendations…

  1. NARS Taj Mahal — a bright, tangerine orange with a gold shimmer
  2. NYX Cinnamon — orange-red with a satin finish
  3. Make Up For Ever #420 — a slightly muted, medium orange in a cream formula
  4. MAC Modern Mandarin — a shimmery orange with warm, red undertones
  5. NARS Exhibit A — a bold, orange-red with a matte finish

>> See them all side-by-side! <<

What are your favorites?

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Neutral Eyes with Teal Eyeliner
Neutral Eyes with Teal Eyeliner

Last week, a few readers said they missed seeing looks posted on the blog (as in, cohesive ones!), so I’ll try to post some periodically–depending on whether there’s time for a more “free” day.  Sometimes there are so many products to test, I can’t give up the facial real estate :)  On Saturday, we spent all day with my husband’s family, which is usually a 14-hour minimum, so it’s a day where I prefer to just go with something that works.  I remember several readers wanted to see Stila Smudge Stick Mint Julep in action, so I thought this might a good opportunity to showcase that as well.  Going forward, I will try to post looks using recently reviewed products, but this was a very “for me” look more than anything, so hopefully you can forgive the excess of older products in it.

Eyes

A lot of the times if I’m not specifically testing something for wear, then I’ll reach for products that I really, really love that are, more-than-likely, discontinued or long ago limited editions. I love the two shades of cream eyeshadow Tom Ford released a year ago so much that I keep them in my basics/regular routine drawer, and I always take them with me when I travel. I’m so used to not using primer these days, but when I know I’m going out and about all day and am not testing, then I’ll still start with a primer!

I used NARS Smudge Proof spread all over the lid to the brow bone with a finger tip. I also like to take a little and apply it to the lower lash line for extra hold for the eyeliners I’ll use as well. Next, I applied Tom Ford Escapade Cream Eyeshadow to the first two-thirds of the lid, starting from the inner lid and moving outwards. Tom Ford Pink Haze Cream Eyeshadow was applied to the outer third of the lid and into the crease, blending outwards and upwards. To soften the edge of the crease eyeshadow, I applied Burberry Trench Eyeshadow to the brow bone (this is my go-to highlighter). For the lower lash line, first I applied Marc Jacobs Beauty Ody(sea) (62) Highliner Gel Crayon, and then I applied Stila Smudge Stick Mint Julep underneath the inner two-thirds of the lower lash line and along the water line. The effect made it look as if the eyeliner was glowing–I was quite in love with it! For lashes, I used a mascara fan brush to apply MAC Opulash Mascara.

Face

Normally, I find primer an unnecessary step with my skin type (normal-to-dry) for regular, everyday wear, but yesterday was going to be a longer, 14+ hour kind of day, so I started by applying Hourglass Mineral Veil all over my face. Then, I mixed two shades of Guerlain Parure de Lumiere Foundation with half of a pump of Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion as my base. For blush, I applied Troy Surratt Duchesse Blush  on the apples of cheeks. I set with Urban Decay Naked Loose Finishing Powder and finished with Guerlain Wulong Pressed Meteorites Powder.

Lips

I mixed two shades of OCC Stained Gloss in Aurora and Dune (reviews are forthcoming).

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Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Next in our look at all things bright lips is orange! You can see swatches here in the Swatch Gallery.

  1. Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin — a bright orange-red
  2. Urban Decay Bang –a pop of bright orange
  3. Inglot #103 — a bold, orange-red
  4. Milani Sweet Nectar — a yellow-toned orange
  5. NARS Timanfaya — a satin-matte orange with yellow undertones

What are your favorite bright orange lipsticks?

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

NARS Lipglosses
NARS Lipglosses

NARS Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.18 fl. oz.) launches a reformulation on April 15th, and the new permanent range features 30 shades, which I have now reviewed in full. 23 of the shades are shades that have been carried over from the original formula, and seven of them are brand new. NARS says the new formula is supposed to have “longer, more comfortable wear,” while being hydrating and smoothing with a “silky texture.” The texture is thin, somewhat tacky (the more shimmery shades seemed slightly tackier than the creamier ones), unscented (and no signs of a plastic, waxy, or crayon-like scent), with two to five hours of wear time, and is moderately hydrating. The formula is thinner and less sticky (5 or 6, compared to an 8 on the original formula, on a 10-point scale), and I found it more comfortable to wear overall. Note, the reformulated glosses are more expensive and contain less product.

You can view swatches of all of the lipglosses here in the Swatch Gallery.

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Individual Shades

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Saturday, April 12th, 2014

NARS Lipgloss Comparison
NARS Lipgloss Comparison

I wish that I could compare all of the original NARS Lipgloss shades to how they appear in the reformulation, but alas, I only have nine of the 23. In this post, I’ve swatched the new and original in the same photo–half and half–so that it is easier to compare.

  • Angelika was more pigmented and applied much more smoothly in the original version, which was probably due to the thicker consistency.
  • Belize is slightly pinker and darker.
  • Dolce Vita had the most noticeable difference; the undertone is much cooler-toned in the reformulated shade. It was an interesting difference to capture, because when merely swatched on the skin, it sometimes looked similar, but it depended on the light. When I blended each swatch out, so it wasn’t as thick/opaque, that undertone difference became more and more prominent.
  • Orgasm is sheerer in the reformulated version, but the base is also darker/sheerer, so it doesn’t appear as light on the lips.
  • Rose Gitane seemed pretty much the same!
  • Stella seemed more pigmented in the reformulation.
  • Super Orgasm is noticeably pinker and less sparkly in the reformulated version.
  • Supervixen seemed about the same, perhaps a little more shimmery in the reformulated version.
  • Wonder seemed the same.

See more swatches! Continue reading →