Friday, October 10th, 2014

NARS Kabuki Brush Set
NARS Kabuki Brush Set

NARS Kabuki Brush Set ($149.00) includes three, kabuki-style brushes: Mie Kabuki, Mizubake Kabuki, and Kabuki Eye Brush. The Mie and Mizubake brushes are both $55 each, so that is $110 value there, and then $39 for the eye brush (which seems about right–the Kudoko, an eye Kabuki brush NARS released earlier this year is priced at $40). The brushes come housed in a thick, plastic rectangular box (it feels like acrylic storage containers to me). There’s a thin, removable plastic insert that holds the brushes upright in the box.

Mie Kabuki is supposed to be used for “all-over face application of loose and pressed powders.” It’s a medium-large powder brush that flares from the bottom, rounds out in the middle, then gradually tapers to a soft point at the top. It felt exactly like the full-sized version I’ve tested previously (see my original review here, and consistency is good, but the brush is unimpressive due to the rougher, scratchier bristles.

Mizubake Kabuki is supposed to be used for “contour and sculpt[ing].” It is a short-handled, flat-topped brush that flares out from the base. It had moderate density with light spring, so it worked well for buffing product into the skin, stippling, blending, and sweeping. This felt the same as the original, full-sized brush I reviewed previously (see review here). When NARS rolled out their Kabuki series brushes earlier this year, the Mizubake was the only one I liked, as it wasn’t scratchy/rough. The cutting is slightly uneven, so that could be improved.

Kabuki Eye is supposed to be used for a “soft-focus, seamless effect” for eyeshadows. It is a limited edition brush. It is a large, tapered brush that looks like a jumbo-sized crease brush. The brush head was 0.75 inches / 2 centimeters in length and 0.5 inches / 1.2 centimeters in width/thickness. The brush had a total length of 7 inches / almost 18 centimeters. It has good spring so that it flexes and diffuses powder eyeshadow easily, while it is dense enough that it still deposits color. Most of the time, it doesn’t feel scratchy (but I wouldn’t describe it as really soft or silky), but occasionally, there’s a bristle or two that seems to be scratchy/thicker. If you can, you may want to see this brush in person, as it is quite large, and that may or may not work for you depending on your routine. If it was softer, I would have liked it for diffusing and blending out concealer, but I prefer something with a silkier feeling against the under eye area.

The Glossover

product

Mie Kabuki Brush

A medium-large all-over face powder brush with rougher/scratchier bristles, which makes it more unpleasant to use as an all-over face brush. The lack of softness is more noticeable when tapping or patting the brush against the skin and slightly less apparent when doing a sweeping motion.
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product

Mizubake Kabuki Brush

Moderately dense, light springiness that made it work well for buffing and blending out powder products on the skin for a really diffused look. The bristles were fairly soft, and the brush is similar to how one might use a buffing brush but with a flatter edge and a longer handle (but it is a short handle compared to face brushes in general).
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LE
product

Kabuki Eye Brush

If you can, you may want to see this brush in person, as it is quite large, and that may or may not work for you depending on your routine. If it was softer, I would have liked it for diffusing and blending out concealer, but I prefer something with a silkier feeling against the under eye area.
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Friday, October 10th, 2014

NARS  Hardwired Eyeshadow
NARS Hardwired Eyeshadow

NARS Hardwired Eyeshadow ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new, limited edition formula for the holiday color collection. It’s described as “powdered pigments with intense iridescence.” When I was swatching, it felt like a wet/dry formula, and I was able to use all three shades wet/dry without any consequences to the powder later on. The texture is soft, a little dry, and very sparkly. During application as well as during wear, there is a noticeable amount of fall out. The eyeshadows seem to have flecks of sparkle–larger than shimmer, smaller than glitter–that stick best once they’re blended out, which means it isn’t easy to remove the excess fall out merely by brushing it away. The wore well for almost eight hours on me (no primer), and they were easy to blend on the lid. They were fairly pigmented, though it varied shade to shade.

NARS Canberra Hardwired Eyeshadow ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “shimmering lavender.” It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned purple with a sparkling, frosted finish. It had mostly opaque color payoff applied dry or damp, though it was smoother and easier to blend with a slightly dampened brush. When it was used dry, it had a drier quality to it. It wore well for seven and a half hours before creasing slightly, and there was a fair amount of fall out during wear. Cle de Peau Cosmic Aura #1 (P) is less shimmery, darker. NARS Jardin Perdu (Right) (LE, $24.00) is warmer. NARS Kauai #2 (P, $24.00) is brighter. Too Faced Jingle All the Way Eyeshadow #6 (LE, $16.00) is lighter. Sleek MakeUP Romance in Rome (LE, $9.99) is similar. Urban Decay Voodoo (LE, $18.00) is less sparkly. MAC Black Grape (P, $21.00) is more glittery. theBalm Lavish Latoya (LE, $16.00) is less sparkly. Urban Decay Gravity (LE, $18.00) is brighter, less sparkly. Urban Decay ACDC (P, $18.00) is less sparkly. Milani Purr-fect Purple (P, $6.99) is less sparkly. MAC Grand Galaxy (LE, $19.50) is less sparkly. bareMinerals Encore (P) is less sparkly. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Gabon Hardwired Eyeshadow ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “bronzed green.” It’s a dirty, dark olive green with lighter golden khaki sparkle and shimmer. This one was the driest of the three, and it takes some buffing to blend out the edges so it doesn’t look dry on the lid as well. I also felt like this one had less pigment when applied damp than dry, though it was buildable. There was some fall out during wear, and this shade lasted for eight hours before creasing. Dior Pied de Poule #5 (P) is less sparkly. theBalm #30 (P, $6.50) is lighter, less sparkly. MAC Greenluxe #4 (P) is darker. Giorgio Armani #24 (LE, $33.00) is warmer. Giorgio Armani #14 (LE, $33.00) is lighter, warmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Opal Coast Hardwired Eyeshadow ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as an “iridescent white.” It’s a light, golden white with warm undertones and a sparkling, metallic sheen. It had semi-opaque color coverage both wet and dry (application didn’t seem to be impacted either way). This one was one of the easiest shades to apply, and it had less fall out during wear. The texture was only slightly dry, but I thought this was the best of the three, despite being less pigmented. It wore well for eight hours before creasing. MAC Regal Affair (LE, $19.50) is more metallic. MAC Plumluxe #1 (P) is more shimmery. Too Faced La Croisette (P, $16.00) is less sparkly. Estee Lauder Bronze Dunes #2 (LE, $21.00) is less sparkly. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

These will launch online on October 15th and in-stores on November 1st.

The Glossover

LE
product

Canberra

B-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

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Dupes
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LE
product

Gabon

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
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Opal Coast

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Thursday, October 9th, 2014

NARS  Hardwired Lipstick
NARS Hardwired Lipstick

NARS Hardwired Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a new, limited edition formula created for the holiday collection that’s supposed to have a “rich texture” while “deliver[ing] brilliant, glossy shine with full coverage.” The formula felt less clingy and more comfortable to wear than NARS’ permanent range, though it isn’t like their Audacious range, which has a lot more slip and is heavier. The finish has a light shine (like a satin), but it’s not what I would describe as glossy. Two of the three shades have good color payoff (but not fully opaque).

NARS Deadly Catch Hardwired Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “crimson.” It’s a rich, medium-dark red with cool, blue undertones and a satin finish. It had mostly opaque color coverage, a light creaminess, and lasted for seven and a half hours. It was lightly hydrating while worn. I doubt it’s a real surprise that it being a medium red that there is a slew of dupes out there. Guerlain Rouge Parade (820) (LE, $51.00) is pinker. MAC Sparks of Romance (LE, $16.00) is more muted. MAC Dangerously Chic (P, $23.00) is more muted, darker. MAC Oblivion (LE, $16.00) is slightly pinker. MAC Frank-n-furter (LE, $16.00) is darker. Too Faced Melted Ruby (P, $21.00) is brighter. Estee Lauder Vengeful Red (P, $30.00) is similar. Bite Beauty Rioja (P, $28.00) is more muted. NARS Future Red (LE, $26.00) is a touch glossier. Givenchy Grenat Initie (307) (P, $36.00) is glossier. Marc Jacobs Beauty Neo-Noir (126) (P, $30.00) is brighter. Urban Decay F-Bomb (P, $22.00) is similar. Buxom Provocateur (P, $21.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Femme Fleur Hardwired Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “shimmering brick red with gold pearl.” It’s a muted, medium-dark copper brown with warm undertones and a soft dusting of gold shimmer. It had mostly opaque color payoff, which went on evenly and smoothly. The color lasted for five hours, and it was lightly moisturizing over time. Kat Von D Gothica (P, $21.00) is more shimmery, lighter. Kat Von D Thin Lizzy (P, $21.00) is more metallic, redder. Guerlain Gaetane (16) (P, $51.00) is glossier, lighter. Revlon Sandstorm (LE, $7.99) is more shimmery. Maybelline Maple Kiss (925) (P, $7.49) is lighter. Chanel Synopsis (P, $34.00) is more shimmery. Maybelline Mochachino (P, $7.49) is more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Adriatic Hardwired Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “glistening soft cream.” It’s a light, pink-tinged beige with metallic shimmer. It had semi-opaque color coverage, but this one didn’t apply as evenly as the other two. It didn’t seem to have more slip, but it sure looked as if it did. The color pulls into lip lines over time, so it is a very high maintenance color to wear. It lasted for three and a half hours on me and was neither drying nor hydrating. Kat Von D Agatha (P, $21.00) is more matte, less shimmery. MAC Peach Beige (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery, more opaque. MAC Strip Poker (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery, more opaque. MAC Siren Song (LE, $16.00) is sheerer. Maybelline Bare All (910) (P, $7.49) is lighter. NYX Fortune Cookie (P, $4.00) is more metallic. MAC Annelie (LE, $22.00) is darker. MAC Crème d’Nude (P, $16.00) is less shimmery. Buxom Nudist (P, $21.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
product

Deadly Catch

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
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Femme Fleur

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

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Dupes
LE
product

Adriatic

C-

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Thursday, October 9th, 2014

NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Set
NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Set

NARS Holiday 2014 Gifting Collection includes several sets and kits featuring new, limited edition shades along with several permanent shades. These set launch on November 1st. Enjoy this early preview!

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Thursday, October 9th, 2014

NARS Nail Polish
NARS Nail Polish

NARS Barents Sea Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sparkling deep blue.” It’s a metallic, medium-dark blue with very fine medium blue shimmer that runs through it. The metallic finish leaves some threads of shimmer that you can detect, but it the majority fade as it dries down. The formula on this was thicker, and it had a tendency to pool along the edges if you weren’t careful. It took much longer to dry as well, and it dried down to a semi-matte finish. Marc Jacobs Beauty Blue Velvet (132) (P, $18.00) is darker. Chanel Bel-Argus (667) (LE, $27.00) is lighter, brighter. China Glaze Blue Bells (LE, $7.50) is brighter. Zoya Song (P, $9.00) is darker, less metallic. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Algonquin Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sparkling lilac.” It’s a muted, medium-dark lavender purple with neutral-to-cool undertones and lighter, silvery-lavender flecks of sparkle and shimmer. It had mostly opaque color coverage, but there was visible nail line after two coats. The finish had a light shine to it, but I would recommend a top coat with it, as it isn’t as glossy as other polishes in the range. The formula seemed slightly thicker, though it wasn’t problematic to work with. NARS Kalymnos (P, $20.00) is much lighter and a cream. L’Oreal The Reign of Studs (LE, $6.99) is more glittery, brighter. Rescue Beauty Lounge Forgiveness (LE, $20.00) is lighter, less sparkly. NARS Night Rider (LE, $20.00) is warmer. Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid (P, $12.00) is less sparkly. Zoya Nimue (P, $9.00) is darker, finer shimmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Sherwood Nail Polish ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “shimmering violet rose.” It’s a rosy plum with fine rose gold and copper shimmer. It had semi-opaque color coverage after two coats, so there was visible nail line. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, so I think a third coat would be possible without it feeling too thick or taking too long to dry. This shade dried down to a lightly glossy finish, so a top coat wouldn’t be necessary. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one–everything I considered was much more copper-hued or a cream (Essie Hot Coco has a similar tone but is a cream).

The Glossover

LE
product

Barents Sea

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Algonquin

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Sherwood

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, October 9th, 2014

NARS Almeria Blush
NARS Almeria Blush

NARS Almeria Blush ($30.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a “tan rose.” It’s a muted, medium-dark reddened plum with subtle, warm undertones and a mostly matte finish. There’s a hint ofvery fine shimmer, but on the skin, it isn’t noticeable. Gucci Beauty Cherry Nectar (P, $49.00) is brighter, warmer. Tom Ford Beauty Contour (Softcore) (LE, $55.00) is lighter. NARS Realm of the Senses #2 (LE, $29.00) is more shimmery. NARS 413 BLKR (LE, $39.00) is a cream producct. NARS Seduction (P, $29.00) is darker. NARS Oasis (P, $29.00) is lighter, more shimmery. NARS Lovejoy (P, $29.00) is warmer, more shimmery. NARS Dolce Vita (P, $29.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Hidden Treasure (LE, $21.00) is slightly warmer, m ore shimmery. Illamasqua Allure (P, $26.00) is lighter, more muted. See comparison swatches/ view dupes.

The texture was soft, silky, and very finely-milled, so it looked nice against the skin–not powdery or dry–and blended easily, which is a real must with a deeper, richer shade like this one. It had good color payoff, which could be a little buildable if you used a very light touch, but it didn’t feel like the lightest touch still yielded a ton of product. I was surprised by how many blushes NARS has that are similar to this–both past and present–so you may find that your stash already has something similar enough that this wouldn’t be a must-have. On my cheeks, the color wore well for eight and a half hours before fading.

This blush is part of NARS’ holiday color collection, which will be available online on October 15th and at retailers on November 1st.

The Glossover

LE
product

Almeria

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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