Saturday, March 7th, 2015

NARS Jubilation Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Jubilation Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Jubilation Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a warm-toned duo that is for those who love shimmer and metallic finishes. The texture of both shades is a bit firmer, so using ultra-soft brushes may get you poor results (e.g. blue squirrel haired brushes don’t work well, but goat hair and synthetic brushes worked fine). The color payoff was good regardless of dry or damp application, though the shimmer in the finishes was amplified when I used the shades damp. The “translucent wash of color” for damp application continues to elude me–I get nothing but intense color (and my brush is lightly misted, not sopping wet!). I would recommend a duo fiber brush like MAC’s 159 for applying these damp, rather than NARS’ own brush, as the damp application easily lifts base products and/or moves the brush around together while lifting it from place to place rather than blending it out, and I’ve had the best luck with the duo fiber brushes as they swirl without lifting the best. Damp application is a lot more work, because it is quite fussy.

Jubilation (Left) is described as a “sparkling yellow gold highlighter.” It’s a brightened, light-medium yellow gold with warm undertones and a metallic finish. It is actually rather metallic whether it is used dry or wet, though it is even more metallic when used wet and the pigmentation is richer. It emphasized pores very slightly when applied dry, and it lasted for seven hours. When I tested it with a dampened application, it definitely made my pores look bigger and skin more textured, and it wore well for eight hours.
NARS Frenzy (Left) (P) is much lighter. Dior Transatlantique (LE, $58.00) is similar. MAC Centre of Attention (Inner) (LE, $30.00) is similar. Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder (LE, $70.00) is darker. Chanel Or (LE, $45.00) is lighter. bareMinerals The Shining Moment (LE, $26.00) is less shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Jubilation (Right) is described as a “shimmering soft nude peach.” It’s a softened peachy-orange with a warm, golden metallic sheen. It had rich color payoff regardless of wet or dry application, but a wet application brought out the metallic shimmer and also tended to give it a chunkier, more textured look (the powder seemed thicker). Applied dry, it illuminated the skin and added warmth without emphasizing the skin’s natural texture and lasted for seven hours. Applied damp, it was thicker and more metallic, which amplified pores and my skin’s texture but wore well for eight hours. NYX Beach Babe (P, $6.50) is darker. Laura Mercier Rosegold Shimmer (LE) is less shimmery. Becca Guava/Moonstone (P, $27.00) is a cream product. MAC Fairly Precious (LE, $30.00) is lighter. bareMinerals The Many Splendors #3 (LE) is darker. MAC Perfectly Poised (Outer) (LE, $30.00) is darker. Becca Rose Gold (LE, $38.00) is less warm-toned, less metallic. MAC Trace Gold (P, $21.00) is very similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

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palette

Jubilation

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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product

Jubilation (Left)

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Jubilation (Right)

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Monday, March 2nd, 2015

NARS Craving Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Craving Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Craving Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a highlighter and bronzer duo. The two work together well, and when applied dry, they can be quite flattering on the skin, though dry application doesn’t have the best staying power. Both shades tended to emphasize the skin’s natural texture and any imperfections when applied with a damp brush, unfortunately, as the shimmery finishes intensified. To reiterate what I’ve mentioned in previous reviews: NARS describes the damp application as a sheer wash of color, but the reality is that this type of application yields deeper, richer, more opaque coverage than dry, and it also makes it harder to work with, as it doesn’t blend as readily as the formula does used dry.

Craving (Left) is described as a “sparkling seashell pink highlighter.” It’s a pink-tinged iridescent white with a metallic shimmer-sheen finish and cool undertones. Applied dry, it was semi-sheer with a frosted, metallic finish, which didn’t emphasize pores and lasted for seven hours on me. Applied damp, it was semi-opaque with a metallic sheen, which did emphasize pores and stayed on for eight hours before fading. NARS Devotee (LE, $29.00) is more sparkly. Urban Decay Luminous (P, $29.00) is less pink. Lancome Moonlight Rose (LE, $42.00) is darker, pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Craving (Right) is described as a “shimmering beachy bronze.” It’s a medium-dark orange brown with warm undertones and a gold shimmer. Applied dry, it had opaque color coverage that was fairly blendable and had a lovely satin sheen that didn’t emphasize pores. It wore well for seven hours this way before fading. When I tried to apply it with a dampened brush, the finish was more like a high frosted sheen, which did give my skin a more noticeable texture, though the color lasted for eight and a half hours. NYX Beach Babe (P, $6.50) is lighter. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $45.00) is more muted. Urban Decay Strip Bronzer (P) is darker. MAC Alpine Bronze (LE, $27.00) is less shimmery. Too Faced Sun Bunny #1 (P) is darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is less shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

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palette

Craving

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Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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product

Craving (Left)

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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Craving (Right)

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Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Sunday, March 1st, 2015

NARS Wet/Dry Blush Brush
NARS Wet/Dry Blush Brush

NARS Wet/Dry Blush Brush ($42.00) is a brush designed to work the brand’s new wet/dry blush formula. It’s a smaller-sized, circular dome-shaped brush; it reminded me of a mini buffer brush with a longer brush handle. The dome seems a bit too rounded and raised, so you lose surface area to apply it on the cheeks and don’t get a great “buffing” diameter. The brush head is 21mm in width, 25mm in height, and 21mm in thickness. It had a total length of 15 centimeters with an open ferrule. I’ve been using this brush for a week, but I’ve exhausted so many ways trying to make it work.

I had really poor luck using this brush with NARS’ formula, and it wasn’t much better with other brand’s powder and cream blushes either. In general, I’ve found NARS’ brush range to be extremely disappointing. There is a real lack of quality when it comes to the cut, shape, and fibers used, and this brush has an uneven cut with noticeably sharp or rough bristles when the brush is patted or buffed against the skin. The fibers felt finer than some of the other NARS’ face brushes and wasn’t quite as scratchy. It’s a much denser brush (again, like a buffer or kabuki brush!), so in theory, you would expect it to apply a lot of color, but it doesn’t. It seems to pick up a fair amount of powder when you tap and swirl it against the blush’s surface, but the color doesn’t transfer well from the brush to the skin. I could feel the bristles, and some are irritating/scratchy, whenever I tapped, patted, or swirled the color in; the only time it seems smooth is if I only do a very gentle, slow sweeping motion outwards. It was impossible to even out or blend NARS’ blush formula when this brush was damp, as the brush would lift the color without blending it out, so there were whole areas where it would show bare skin.

The Glossover

product

Wet/Dry Blush Brush

It seems to pick up a fair amount of powder when you tap and swirl it against the blush's surface, but the color doesn't transfer well from the brush to the skin. I could feel the bristles, and some are irritating/scratchy, whenever I tapped, patted, or swirled the color in; the only time it seems smooth is if I only do a very gentle, slow sweeping motion outwards.
Results
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Sunday, March 1st, 2015

A tried and true favorite of mine, coral lipstick is a shade I reach for throughout the year. If you’ve been looking for a way to warm-up your spring, consider these five beautiful shades:

  1. YSL Peach Passion — a glossy, peachy-coral
  2. NARS Julie — a soft, pink-coral
  3. Estee Lauder Eccentric — a light-medium pink-coral
  4. Urban Decay Streak — a medium coral-pink
  5. Maybelline Coral Burst — a luminous pink-coral

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

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

NARS Panic Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Panic Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Panic Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a vibrant duo featuring a bright pink and rusty coral. This seemed to be the least forgiving of the duos releasing as we’re working with much richer shades to begin with, so any weakness in blending is easily seen, and it is lacking that blendability that is so necessary when you have deeper shades like these two. The texture of the product dry is firm and a little stiff, so getting a really even, smooth layer of color dry wasn’t easy and required some buffing with a separate brush to get everything in place. Applied damp, it was hard to avoid splotchy color. Worth repeating, NARS described the formula to have richer color payoff applied dry with more of a wash of color applied damp, and the latter isn’t true whatsoever–applying with a damp brush results in much richer, deeper color and a more intense finish (typically more shimmery).

Panic (Left) is described as a “shimmering shocking fuchsia.” It’s a brightened, medium fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and a soft, frosted finish. Applied dry, it had mostly opaque color coverage, was somewhat blendable but not easy to apply, and the shimmer very slightly emphasized pores, but with enough buffing, it’s possible to tamp it down, while the color itself lasted for seven and a half hours on me. Applied damp, it was fully opaque with really rich color coverage but lacked blendability as it adhered and “dried” in place and didn’t want to diffuse/blend out after a few seconds. The finish is more noticeably shimmery on the skin and tended to emphasize the skin’s natural texture. The damp application lasted eight and a half hours. NARS Adoration (Right) (P) is warmer. Clinique Berry Pop (03) (P, $21.00) is brighter, darker. Tom Ford Beauty Narcissist (LE, $55.00) is darker. MAC Supernova (LE, $27.00) is warmer. MAC Feeling Flush (LE, $27.00) is more muted. Burberry Hydrangea Pink (P, $42.00) is less shimmery, darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Panic (Right) is described as a “shimmering orange-pink.” It’s a brightened, medium coral with a hint of pink and a gold, frosted shimmer. Applied dry, it had mostly opaque color payoff with a fairly shimmery finish, so it did make my pores more noticeable, and the color stayed on well for seven hours before fading. Applied damp, it deepened and turned a reddish-orange coral with a more metallic sheen, and definitely made my cheeks look very textured as a result, though it lasted a bit longer than dry application at eight hours. It was also rather difficult to blend the color out when I tried using it damp. MAC Secret Admirer (LE, $20.00) is a cream product. Surratt Beauty Ponceau (P, $32.00) is less shimmery, lighter. IT Cosmetics Pretty in Peony (P, $24.00) is pinker. Clinique Ginger Pop (01) (P, $21.00) is less shimmery. NARS Realm of the Senses (Together) (LE, $29.00) is pinker. MAC Simmer (LE, $27.00) is pinker. Tom Ford Beauty Flush (P, $55.00) is less shimmery, lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

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palette

Panic

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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P
product

Panic (Left)

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Panic (Right)

C

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes

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Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Do you rock lavender lipstick? I love the color but must admit that it’s not my favorite on me, so I tend to forget about how pretty it is until spring hits and all I hear about are pastels. Something like NARS Dominique is a really wearable way to wear lavender without it being too pastel or bright, whereas NYX Violet is a great option for almost-lavender but not a true lavender since it is brighter and has stronger purple tones to it. What are your favorite lavenders? What kind of eye/cheek do you pair with them?

  1. OCC Digitalis — a pink-lavender cream
  2. ColourPop Brills — a satiny lavender with a hint of pink
  3. NARS Dominique — a muted, lavender pink
  4. NYX Castle — a gold-shimmered lavender pink
  5. NYX Violet — a brightened, lavender purple

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

P.S. — Do you have any top five lists from me that you’d like to see? Taking requests for various color-themed top five lists! :)