Sunday, July 13th, 2014

NARS Thasos, Ikiru, Kalymnos Nail Polishes
NARS Thasos, Ikiru, Kalymnos Nail Polishes

Today, I have three of the more pastel-hued polishes from the newly reformulated NARS Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.), which will have a total of 43 permanent shades. The official launch is July 15th, and both the formula and the brush have been changed. According to the brand, the formula is supposed to “improve wear and strengthen nails” with a “flexible, high gloss finish.” In the past, I’ve experienced really strong, long-wear (up to ten days with minor tip wear; after seven, tip wear appears very minor). I tested five shades–Thasos, Elbrus, Obscura, Pastorale, and Zakynthos–for wear, and they were fairly consistent with minor tip wear after seven days but no chipping (no top or base coats were used). I really liked the brush, as it wasn’t overly wide; I could still apply polish to my pinky nail (which is my narrowest nail) without getting polish all along the cuticle/skin along the nail. Most shades dried down faster than average, and generally, they applied well without streaking, bubbling, or pooling along the edges with good color coverage.

NARS Thasos Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “mint green.” It’s a light-medium, sea foam green with a cream finish. It was opaque after two coats, and the consistency of the polish wasn’t too thick or too thin. It was really close to being opaque after one coat, which was impressive, but what was even more impressive was the lack of streakiness even on that initial coat. This shade lasted for seven days with minor tip wear. MAC In the Limelight (LE, $16.00) is bluer. Illamasqua Nomad (P, $17.00) is darker, brighter. China Glaze Keep Calm, Paint On (LE, $7.50) is greener, warmer. Zoya Wednesday (P, $9.00) is darker. Butter London Fiver (P, $15.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Ikiru Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “light blue.” It’s a softened, light-medium blue with a cream finish. It had full color coverage after two coats, and the polish applied evenly and smoothly without issue. The formula was slightly thick but not problematic. Cult Nails Nakizzle’s Shizzle (P, $12.00) is lighter. NARS Koliary (LE, $20.00) is brighter. Chanel Coco Blue (LE, $27.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Kalymnos Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “lilac.” It’s a muted, grayish lavender with a cream finish. It was very nearly opaque after two coats. The formula was slightly thick in consistency but applied evenly without streaking or pooling along the edges. Essie Warm & Toasty Turtleneck (P, $8.00) is warmer. Essie Full Steam Ahead (P, $8.00) is warmer, brighter. Rescue Beauty Lounge Forgiveness (LE, $20.00) is slightly darker. Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid (P, $12.00) is darker. Zoya Marley (P, $9.00) is a touch lighter. Essie Cocktail Bling (LE, $8.00) is darker. Essie Bangle Jangle (LE, $8.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

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product

Thasos

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Ikiru

A

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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product

Kalymnos

A-

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Here are five blushes worth considering for darker skin tones! Again, this is a short and sweet list but is by no means exhaustive; I tried to include a variety of colors, finishes, and undertones, but just because you don’t see a blush listed here doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work :) I’d love to hear your personal favorites for dark skin tones in the comments!

  1. Milani Bella Rosa — a bright, medium-dark pink with cool undertones and a matte finish
  2. NARS Lovejoy — a medium-dark plum with warm, gold shimmer and a soft satin finish
  3. Becca Papaya/Topaz — a gold-shimmered, copper-brown
  4. NARS Taj Mahal — a vibrant tangerine orange with a luminous sheen
  5. Kevyn Aucoin Fira — a rich, orange-red with a matte finish

>> See side-by-side swatches! <<

Friday, July 11th, 2014

NARS Gifting for Fall 2014 - Smokey Eye Kit
NARS Gifting for Fall 2014 – Smokey Eye Kit

Smokey Eye Kit ($59.00) (Limited Edition)

For Fall 2014, NARS Cosmetics introduces the NARSissist’s most coveted essentials for eyes with the Smokey Eye Kit. The limited-edition kit features a compact with three must-have shadows for captivating, compelling eyes, a mini Via Veneto Larger Than Life® Eyeliner and a newly designed travel size Wide Contour Brush #43 for easy application on the go.

  • Madrague I
  • Bali
  • Mekong
  • Via Veneto Mini
  • Wide Contour Brush #43 Travel-sized

Availability: July 15th at NARS online, August 1st at boutiques and department stores

Friday, July 11th, 2014

NARS pastorale, Milos, Amarapura Nail Polishes
NARS pastorale, Milos, Amarapura Nail Polishes

Today, I have three of the more metallic-finished polishes from the newly reformulated NARS Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.), which will have a total of 43 permanent shades. The official launch is July 15th, and both the formula and the brush have been changed. According to the brand, the formula is supposed to “improve wear and strengthen nails” with a “flexible, high gloss finish.” In the past, I’ve experienced really strong, long-wear (up to ten days with minor tip wear; after seven, tip wear appears very minor). I tested five shades–Thasos, Elbrus, Obscura, Pastorale, and Zakynthos–for wear, and they were fairly consistent with minor tip wear after seven days but no chipping (no top or base coats were used). I really liked the brush, as it wasn’t overly wide; I could still apply polish to my pinky nail (which is my narrowest nail) without getting polish all along the cuticle/skin along the nail. Most shades dried down faster than average, and generally, they applied well without streaking, bubbling, or pooling along the edges with good color coverage.

NARS Pastorale Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “rose gold.” It’s a light-medium, pinky-copper–it really is rose gold–with a metallic, foil-like finish. There were almost no visible brush strokes, as nearly all of them disappeared once the polish dried. The color was opaque after two coats of polish, and it dried quickly. This shade lasted for seven days with minor tip wear on me. Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Charm (112) (P, $18.00) is more shimmery, more orange. Estee Lauder Shimmering Bronze (LE, $20.00) is darker. Deborah Lippmann Glamorous Life (LE, $19.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Milos Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “rich gold.” It’s a shimmery, buttery yellow gold with a frosted finish. It was mostly opaque after two coats, and there were very subtle brush strokes–I really only noticed them at angles. The consistency was on the thicker side, and the drying time was longer than any of the other shades I tried, and it was unforgiving if you applied a second coat too quickly. Zoya Kerry (P, $9.00) is yellower. MAC Immortal Gold (LE, $16.00) is darker, cooler-toned. Dior Or Divin (LE, $24.00) is more orange. Chanel Gold Fingers (LE, $27.00) is darker, yellower. ORLY Flare (P, $5.00) is darker. China Glaze Champagne Bubbles (LE, $7.50) is darker, yellower. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Amarapura Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “silver chrome.” It’s a brightened, medium silver foil with a metallic, foil-like finish. It really looks a lot like tinfoil on the nails! It was fully opaque after two coats, though it was almost opaque after a single coat. The consistency is slightly thin but not problematic, and there are very slight visible brush strokes but most of them disappeared after the polish dried down. Cult Nails Lethal (LE, $12.00) is more shimmery. China Glaze Cheers to You (LE, $7.50) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

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product

Pastorale

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Milos

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Amarapura

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014

NARS Obscura, Elbrus, Paros Nail Polishes
NARS Obscura, Elbrus, Paros Nail Polishes

NARS Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) has been reformulated and gone through a packaging update with a wider brush (but the bottle and the rest are the same). According to the brand, the formula is supposed to “improve wear and strengthen nails” with a “flexible, high gloss finish.” In the past, I’ve experienced really strong, long-wear (up to ten days with minor tip wear; after seven, tip wear appears very minor). I tested five shades–Thasos, Elbrus, Obscura, Pastorale, and Zakynthos–for wear, and they were fairly consistent with minor tip wear after seven days but no chipping (no top or base coats were used). This is typical wear for me across most formulas, though the tip wear was more noticeable with the new formula than the old one for me. I really liked the brush, as it wasn’t overly wide; I could still apply polish to my pinky nail (which is my narrowest nail) without getting polish all along the cuticle/skin along the nail. Most shades dried down faster than average, and generally, they applied well without streaking, bubbling, or pooling along the edges with good color coverage.

NARS Obscura Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “lavender charcoal.” It’s a dark, smoky purple-taupe with cool undertones and a cream finish. It had full color coverage in two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. The polish lasted seven days on me with minor tip wear on me. NARS Crossroads (LE, $20.00) is darker, richer. Chanel Charivari (603) (P, $27.00) is lighter, warmer. Cult Nails Ms. Conduct (LE, $12.00) is warmer. NARS Manosque (LE, $20.00) is lighter, warmer. MAC Festive Finery (LE, $16.00) is purpler, lighter. China Glaze Below Deck (LE, $7.50) is lighter. Zoya Petra (P, $9.00) is coler-toned. Essie Smokin’ Hot (LE, $8.00) is very similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Elbrus Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “plum.” It’s a dark, reddish berry with cool undertones and a cream finish. It had mostly opaque color coverage after two coats, and the consistency was slightly thin but not watery or runny. At times, there was a hint of nail line coming through, but most of the time, it appeared opaque. It dried down quickly to a shiny finish without a top coat. I tested this shade for wear, and it lasted for seven days with minor tip wear but no chipping. MAC Dayflower (LE, $16.00) is lighter. MAC Rebel (DC, $16.00) is similar. Chanel Provocation (P, $27.00) is slightly darker, purpler. Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter (LE, $20.00) is darker. China Glaze Velvet Bow (LE, $7.50) is darker. Zoya Anja (P, $9.00) is darker, cooler-toned. Deborah Lippmann Single Ladies (LE, $19.00) is darker, warmer. Essie Masquerade Belle (LE, $8.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Paros Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “red brown.” It’s a medium-dark, slightly muted, warm-toned red with a cream finish. It was fully opaque after two coats, and it dried down to a glossy, high-shine finish faster than average. The consistency was slightly thin but not problematic. Tom Ford Beauty Shameless (LE, $32.00) is lighter. MAC Dangerously Fun (LE, $16.00) is darker. China Glaze Merry Berry (LE, $7.50) is slightly darker. China Glaze Adventure Red-y (LE, $7.50) is similar. Butter London Pillar Box Red (P, $15.00) is brighter, lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

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product

Obscura

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Elbrus

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Paros

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

NARS Fall 2014 Collection
NARS Fall 2014 Collection

The upcoming NARS Fall 2014 Collection features ten new shades, some limited and others new and permanent. Most of the collection was quite nice, with the exception of the Night Series Eyeliners, where the formula was a major miss in almost every way except for wear, as it really lacked “ultra-saturated color in a single swipe” and “glide.” The collection leans warm-toned with the exception of Jardin Perdu and the eyeliners.  The collection launches online at narscosmetics.com on July 15th, everywhere else on August 1st.

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