Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

NARS Anardana Nail Lacquer
NARS Anardana Nail Lacquer

NARS Anardana Nail Lacquer

NARS Anardana Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as an “azalea pink.” This is a vibrant pink-red with a cream finish. The undertones almost read neutral to me, but there is a subtle warm undercurrent that gives it an almost coral-red look to it against my skin tone. MAC Toco Toucan is much pinker. Zoya Kimber has a similar base color, though it’s a bit lighter, but it also has shimmer. China Glaze 108 Degrees is pinker and has shimmer. Illamasqua Collide is a smidgen pinker. China Glaze Heli-Yum is similar but not as vibrant. Zoya Dana is a touch pinker.

Thakoon was inspired by the vibrant hues of an Indian spice market and translated it into polish for your nails. Anardana is a star within the collection–it’s so, so rich in color, you could almost get away with a single coat. It’s bold, vibrant, and nearly turns neon but manages to stay a notch away so it has a little more depth. The formula had a good balance between thick and thin, so the polish flowed evenly and fluidly across the nail during application.  I typically get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping with NARS’ lacquer formula.

The Glossover

LE
product

Anardana

A+
Anardana applied effortlessly--the formula itself was flawless and the color rich in pigmentation. It was perfect in two coats but you could almost get away with just one.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

NARS Lal Mirchi Nail Lacquer
NARS Lal Mirchi Nail Lacquer

NARS Lal Mirchi Nail Lacquer

NARS Lal Mirchi Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “mandarin red.” It’s a vibrant, medium-dark orange-red with a cream finish. It’s more orange than red, but it has enough red in it to give it that really deep, intense coloring without looking burnt. MAC Kid Orange is very similar, perhaps a smidgen redder. MAC Morange is more orange. MAC Oriele Orange is a little more burnt looking. Essie Braziliant is redder. Essie Meet Me at Sunset is much redder. Essie Vermillionaire is significantly more orange and lighter.

It’s really rich in color payoff, so it’s opaque in two coats easily, but it’s almost opaque in one. The consistency was excellent; not too thick or too thin, so it applied beautifully, evenly, and fluidly. There was no bubbling, pooling, or streaking during application.  I typically get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping with NARS’ lacquer formula. This was one of the best shades out of the NARS and Thakoon collection–it is exclusive to NARS’ website and their boutique.

The Glossover

LE
product

Lal Mirchi

A+
This was one of the best shades out of the NARS and Thakoon collection--it is exclusive to NARS' website and their boutique. It appears to be one of the more dupeable shades in the collection, though.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, April 26th, 2012

NARS Amchoor Nail Lacquer
NARS Amchoor Nail Lacquer

NARS Amchoor Nail Lacquer

NARS Amchoor Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright yellow.” It is definitely that! It’s a bright, sunshine yellow, so it has slight golden orange undertones. It’s lighter and more opaque compared to MAC Al Fredo. It’s similar in color but more opaque compared to Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road. Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever is the closest I could find, though it has faint gold shimmer and is a smidgen lighter.  This kind of color just screams summer to me.  I think it could be really cute on toes whenever sandal weather happens in your part of the world!

It’s opaque after two coats, and for a yellow, it’s actually really good–but being that it is a yellow, there is some streaking, especially in the first coat. The second coat covers the majority of it, but a third coat would probably be best here. Luckily, the consistency isn’t too thick or too thin, so a third coat wouldn’t compromise the wear as a result of thicker layers.  Aside from streaking, it didn’t pool or bubble during application, and the second coat went on fairly fluidly compared to the initial coat.  I typically get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping with NARS’ lacquer formula.

The Glossover

LE
product

Amchoor

A-
It's opaque after two coats, and for a yellow, it's actually really good--but being that it is a yellow, there is some streaking, especially in the first coat. The second coat covers the majority of it, but a third coat would probably be best here.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

NARS Kutki Nail Lacquer
NARS Kutki Nail Lacquer

NARS Kutki Nail Lacquer

Thakoon for NARS will debut on May 1st at NARS’ website, and the collection features six shades.   NARS Kutki Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “powder blue.” It’s a pale, pastel sky blue–a little more muted than the perfect sky blue, I’d say–it does have a powdery/dusty quality to it. Nubar Blue Hydrangea is a richer blue, less white in its base. Chanel Riva is very similar in color, but it is more translucent and has shimmer.

Kutki is mostly opaque after two coats, but it is streaky, and even after two coats, it’s still noticeable in places, so I would recommend a third coat or ensuring your second coat was on the thicker side.  For me, it was one of the worst performers in the six-shade collection.  The consistency was just a smidgen on the thicker side, but I wouldn’t describe as thick.  It flowed easily across the nail and didn’t pool–just streaked.  The drying time was about average.  NARS nail polishes typically last a week on my nails with minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

LE
product

Kutki

B+
If you don't mind the streakiness of such a pale shade (it's not uncommon), you may enjoy Kutki. Once you even out the streakiness, it is lovely on the nails, but it will require a little more patience to apply.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, April 23rd, 2012

NARS Odalisque Larger Than Life Lipgloss
NARS Odalisque Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Odalisque Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Odalisque Larger Than Life Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) is described as “cantaloupe.” It’s a beige peach with a creamy, almost milky, finish. MAC Woo Me is pinker. MAC Super is browner, darker. MAC Lust is a bit darker. MAC Pretty Quick is warmer, peachier.

It’s in the nude family, but it’s very different from Spring Break. This is actually a more wearable nude because it is darker–less pastel, less pale. So while the color is lovely and a nude that suits a lot of skin tones, the way it looks and applies leaves something to be desired. Because of the creamy/milky finish, it settles into lip lines quite a bit, and there is some streakiness to the application.  I think this gloss is best worn over a lipstick than it is on its own, because it just doesn’t look that great alone.

This particular shade had a slightly thicker consistency, though still best described as gel-like, as it slides around and feels smooth. It develops a tackiness over time (non-sticky for the first half hour or less, then progressively stickier as it wears). Odalisque wore for four and a half hours. It’s scent- and taste-free.  The color coverage is semi-opaque, and it’s really the overall streaky feel that gives it that less-than-opaque look.  It is hydrating while worn, though, as my lips never feel like they’re in need of balm post-wear.

This lipgloss formula has a really small brush-type applicator, which I find to be too small–I’d have liked to have seen a smaller brush, sure, but I think it could have met in the middle, rather than going to the opposite extreme. The idea behind the smaller applicator was to make application more precise, which it does, but the trade-off is that it takes much, much longer to apply it. I can’t apply this gloss nearly as well without a mirror as I can with others, and I feel like I’m going back three to five times to get enough color to cover my lips.

The Glossover

P
product

Odalisque

B+
While I'm not sold on the applicator (I think it's an interesting idea to go smaller, I just think they went too small--there's a happy medium to be achieved), I'm also not thrilled with the gloss itself. The settling, streaking, and milkiness work together to create a less appealing finish and result--the color doesn't look smooth and even. Such a shame, because the color itself would work well as a nude on many skin tones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Monday, April 23rd, 2012

NARS Makeup Removing Water
NARS Makeup Removing Water

NARS Makeup Removing Water

NARS Makeup Removing Water ($28.00 for 6.7 fl. oz.) is touted as a “soap-free, oil-free, and alcohol-free water that removes face makeup and tones the skin.” It’s designed as a gentle formula that will remove makeup without requiring rubbing while hydrating skin.

This is a makeup remover that is best described as gentle, because that’s exactly what it is, but it’s gentle in every way–it’s not at all stinging, burning, or irritating against the skin, even around the eyes, but it doesn’t effectively remove all your makeup, though it specifically says “face makeup” and not “eye makeup.” Just so we’re clear: if you wear eye makeup, don’t expect this to do much in the way of removal. All it ever seems to accomplish is smudging everything around so I end up looking like a mutant. I absolutely would not use this for anything that says “long-wearing” on the label, including face products.

If you want it to remove light eye makeup, I recommend gently pressing the soaked cotton pad against the eye for 15-20 seconds before gently swiping the product away. You’ll get some, perhaps not all, of it removed this way. Since NARS only mentions face makeup, it seems like you would use something else for your eye makeup.  It’s packaged in a clear plastic bottle with a flip-top that has a small hole so only a little comes out as you need it.

I’d like to think of this as a remover for gentle makeup; lightweight, natural, soft makeup. However you want to term it, it’s good for lighter makeup days. For me, it seems to remove face makeup as well as most facial cleansers are able to. It is very lightweight, doesn’t feel greasy or oily against the skin, and it leaves no trace of residue once it’s wiped away with a cotton pad.  It really does have the consistency and feel of water.  There’s no stickiness, dried, or tightened skin after use either. I need at least two cotton rounds in order to remove about 90% of face makeup.

It doesn’t remove makeup completely, so I feel like I need to use a cleanser afterward or yet another cotton pad. Instead, the way I found this product to be most useful was after using a facial cleanser, so it was only responsible for removing the last bits of makeup the cleanser missed.  You can definitely use it before your cleanser of choice as well–I just like the visual of seeing the cotton pad just picking up stray makeup and knowing that my face is clean.  It also means that I can better control how much product or how many cotton pads I use since this doesn’t eliminate a cleanser.

It’s a superfluous product in my night time regimen; it seems to be an extra step rather than a time-saver. It’s more like a toner in my routine–I don’t trust it to remove all my makeup, but I do trust it to remove the last vestiges of makeup my cleanser may have left behind (especially around my hairline and the edges, which I don’t push the cleanser around as much so it doesn’t get into my hair!). And if I’m going to use NARS as my toner, I’d rather use their Hydrating Freshening Toner, which is one of my favorites, and for me, hydrates a little better than the remover does.  You can use this like you would a toner, however, so if you do include one in your regular routine, this could take its place.

If you’re a fan of micellar water removers, then you may enjoy this recently launched remover by NARS, which has all the earmarks of one (though I didn’t see NARS officially billing it as such).  There are quite a few on the market internationally and a couple in the U.S., but this year has shown major progress with more U.S. brands launching their own versions.  Bottom line:  this will remove some but not every type of makeup, particularly longer-wearing products and heavier textured products, but it’s not designed to do much more than it does do, so it’s pretty good from that standpoint.

Ingredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Peg/Ppg-35/40 Dimethyl Ether, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trisodium Edta, Cucumis Sativus [Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract], Chamomilla Recutita [Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract], Sodium Hyaluronate.