Tuesday, September 4th, 2012


NARS Candy Says Larger Than Life Lipgloss

These Lipglosses Might Surprise You

NARS Larger Than Life Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) comes in five hues for the holidays: Candy Says (shimmering strawberry pink), Hollywoodlawn (bright orange-red), International Velvet (pink glace), Penny Arcade (raspberry), and Viva (rich rose). In the press release, these are described as having “brilliant shine” that “stays in place for hours” with “intense color” in a formula that keeps lips feeling “protected and moisturized.” NARS’ website describes these as “high-shine,” “long-lasting,” and “nourish[ing].”

Candy Says is a light-medium warm pink with subtle yellow undertones and a large dose of white micro-shimmer. It provides semi-opaque color coverage that is close to opaque, but the natural lip color does come through and will be more apparent the more pigmented your natural lip color is. This shade was hard to dupe, because of the more opaque color–most glosses that might be similar lacked the color in the background. It wore for five and a half hours. MAC Sewet Bean is sheerer and has multi-colored shimmer. MAC Karin has pink shimmer. Bobbi Brown Pastel is sheerer and has larger sparkle.

Hollywoodlawn is red-orange (more red than orange) with no shimmer. It yielded semi-opaque color coverage, but more importantly, it was very even, smooth-looking color that didn’t settle too noticeably into lip lines (and certainly, not noticeable from a normal viewing distance!). It lasted for six hours on my lips. NARS Wonder is similar, a smidgen darker, and has shimmer. MAC Knockout is creamier looking, slightly more orange. Illamasqua Temper is more orange.

International Velvet is a pale, milky pink with almost a neutral undertone–it looks almost cool-toned in the tube, but it doesn’t look very blue-based on. It is incredibly milky, though, which resulted in uneven color application and noticeable color settling into lip lines. This was my least favorite out of the five, because of the application problems. It lasted for four and a half hours. MAC Pagoda has shimmer. MA Angel is more opaque and has shimmer. Tom Ford Sugar Pink is darker and yellower. Bobbi Brown Pink Sorbet is darker, more yellow-toned, and has shimmer. MAC Japanese Spring is bluer in undertone.

Penny Arcade is a raspberry pink with no shimmer. It doesn’t apply as nicely as Hollywoodlawn did, but it was better than International Velvet. The color isn’t quite as even, and there is minor settling of color into the lip lines. The latter wasn’t so noticeable from afar, but the unevenness was. The color coverage was semi-opaque. It wore for five and a half hours. MAC Cherry Electric is lighter and has glitter. MAC Galaxy Rose is less fuchsia. NARS Mexican Rose is rather similar. Le Metier de Beaute Hibiskiss is similar but sheerer and has shimmer. Illamasqua Petulant is more opaque, brighter, less raspberry–more fuchsia.

Viva is a rose-tinted brown with mostly neutral undertones. In some ways, it’s almost like a subdued, browned coral. It has a creamy appearance, but it doesn’t look milky on. It does take a little more patience to apply, because any unevenness is noticeable. The color coverage was semi-opaque–not fully opaque but close–and allowed some of the natural lip color to peek through. This shade wore for five hours on my lips. MAC Strictly Plutonic is sheerer, softer. MAC Whoops! is darker, more orange. Hourglass Nectar is brighter, more coral. MAC Viva Glam Cyndi is lighter and has shimmer.

Overall, I found all five lipglosses to be comfortable to wear, on the longer-side of wear, and hydrating.  International Velvet was the under-performer, both because of application, as well as wear.  The texture is gel-like initially, but it gets progressively tackier as the color wears (it’s noticeably tacky after a half hour or so).  It has a tiny brush-type applicator, and I find that if I use it to apply, I really end up using the hard plastic applicator above it, too.  I know NARS wanted to make it smaller to increase precision, but it seems to leave a lot of brush strokes behind.

The Glossover

product

NARS Andy Warhol Larger Than Life Lipglosses Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
Overall, I found all five lipglosses to be comfortable to wear, on the longer-side of wear, and hydrating. The one that I would skip would be International Velvet.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012


NARS TV Party Nail Lacquer

Where’s the Remote? It’s Time for a TV Party!

NARS TV Party Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “vivid orange.” It’s a medium-dark orange with a cream finish. It’s vibrant without being neon. Nails Inc. Porchester Place is a bit less orange, almost subdued in a way. Illamasqua Gamma is brighter. Zoya Jancyn is lighter. MAC Morange is darker and more red-toned.  It’s bright without being blindingly neon, and it’s not too dark.  It also doesn’t have strong red undertones, so it is a bit different than some other oranges I have in my stash.

TV Party was opaque in two coats, and it was a cinch to apply:  flowed evenly and fluidly across the nail without bubbling, streaking, or pooling at the edge of the nail.  The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it dried down faster than the average polish.  It even has a glossy shine in the dried finish, so a top coat could be optional.  I usually get a full week of wear or longer with NARS’ polishes–no chips, just very minor tip wear.

P.S. — Am I the only one who wanted to wear black and orange nails after seeing both shades in this collection?

The Glossover

LE
product

TV Party

A+
Another solid polish by NARS--these are truly the highlight of the collection for me from what I have seen thus far--with excellent coverage and consistency.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012


NARS Self Portrait 3 Eyeshadow Palette

One Out of Three Isn’t So Bad, Right?

NARS Self Portrait 3 Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.42 oz.) features a variation on Warhol’s Self Portrait (1967) painting. This palette is described as “dark brown with shimmer overspray, rose pink, and heather blue.” It is the second of three palettes, and it will be available at department and specialty stores, NARS’ boutiques, and narscosmetics.com on November 1st (so you have some time to think about it, to the say least!).

Each of the Self Portrait palettes has a black overspray, which will disappear quickly. I recommend taking a large powder brush (I used MAC’s 134) to brush back and forth, up and down, to get the majority off. Now, I say that with the expectation that you’d actually like to use the colors in the palette. Assuming you only intended to keep it as a collectible, then I’d recommend not using it much and would say to avoid the silver-white to maintain the facial structure/details.

The first shade is actually a matte medium-dark brown with warm undertones. It had a stiff, dry texture and, subsequently, poor color payoff. However, when applied to the lid, it was able to pack a bit more color, and at least, it was buildable to mostly true-to-pan color. It required some extra effort to blend. Dior Aurora is more shimmery. Bobbi Brown Cocoa Berry is darker. Benefit Dandy Brandy has more shimmer. Urban Decay YDK has a frosted finish. MAC Lie Low is similar but more pearly.

The second shade is a softened, burnt orange with a faint satin sheen. It’s a little terracotta-like. It was soft without being powdery, smooth, and had good pigmentation. MAC Hot Paprika is a bit brighter.

The third shade is a dusty gray-tinged purple with a hint of blue. It had a matte finish, and it was a bit powdery, but the color payoff was good–some sheerness. It was harder to use on the lid, though, as it was prone to fading and disappearing. Blendable, yes, but so blendable that trying to blend it resulted in most of it billowing off the lid in a little puff of powdery smoke. As a result, it tended to look faded from the get-go. theBalm Matt Horowitz is darker.

Of the three shades, the only one I experienced major issues while wearing them was the purple shade, which faded quickly. The brown shade takes some extra effort, but it’s do-able, and it wears well. This, of course, shouldn’t be necessary at this price point. It’s better than the other palettes, but I don’t think it’s a fantastic palette overall. The color combination can work, but it’s an unusual one, so some may not feel it’s versatile enough.

The Glossover

palette

Self Portrait 3

C+
It's better than the other palettes, but I don't think it's a fantastic palette overall. The color combination can work, but it's an unusual one, so some may not feel it's versatile enough.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012


NARS Self Portrait 2 Eyeshadow Palette

A Trio of Shades for a Fading Smoky Eye

NARS Self Portrait 2 Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.42 oz.) features a variation on Warhol’s Self Portrait (1967) painting. This palette is described as “black, white, and silver.” It is the second of three palettes, and it will be available at department and specialty stores, NARS’ boutiques, and narscosmetics.com on November 1st (so you have some time to think about it, to the say least!).

Each of the Self Portrait palettes has a black overspray, which will disappear quickly. I recommend taking a large powder brush (I used MAC’s 134) to brush back and forth, up and down, to get the majority off. Now, I say that with the expectation that you’d actually like to use the colors in the palette. Assuming you only intended to keep it as a collectible, then I’d recommend not using it much and would say to avoid the silver-white to maintain the facial structure/details.

The first shade is a brown-based soft black that’s a bit dry, somewhat stiff, but it’s not nearly as difficult to use as the black shade in Self Portrait 1–even though they look exactly the same in color. The color payoff is noticeably sheer but such an improvement from the first that you’re almost impressed by comparison. As I mentioned in the previous review, there are numerous matte black eyeshadows that are comparable; finding the intensity you’re looking for is very personal. Brands like Urban Decay, Inglot, Make Up For Ever, and Sugarpill all make excellent rich blacks.

The second shade is a bright silver-tinted white with a frosted, metallic finish. It’s a bit sheer, but it has decent to good color payoff. The texture is soft, mostly smooth, and a little powdery. MAC Misty is slightly darker. MAC Filament is a smidgen darker. It is also a lot like the silver-white in NARS Flowers 1 (and 2 and 3). Buxom Sheepdog is similar.

The third shade is a medium silver-shimmered gray with a pearly sheen. The texture is on the drier side, and the color payoff is decent, though there it is not fully opaque. Chanel Furtif is similar. MAC Electra is more metallic. Inglot #448 is more silver.

From initial swatching, I had higher hopes for this palette, but I encountered some application and wear problems.  All three shades were prone to fading after six hours, both with and without a primer (photos show the look with primer, which was slightly better but still rather unruly).  The silver-white shade separated somewhat, while the gray shade faded more evenly.  The black hue faded quite a bit after being applied, though it was more blendable than the black shadow in the first palette.  The gray and silver-white shades were powdery.  I’d recommend applying your eye makeup first, and then cleaning up and applying your foundation afterward, with this particular palette.

The Glossover

palette

Self Portrait 2

C-
I wish this wore better and wasn't so powdery--it could have made for an easy, classic smoky eye. I think they had a good mix of finishes (matte, satin, frost) and wide range of colors (almost white to black), so you could have played with the intensity and drama of the smoky eye quite a bit.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012


NARS Self Portrait 1 Eyeshadow Palette

Best Left Untouched and Admired From Afar

NARS Self Portrait 1 Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.42 oz.) features a variation on Warhol’s Self Portrait (1967) painting. This palette is described as “black, bright periwinkle blue, and vibrant green.” It is the first of three palettes, and it will be available at department and specialty stores, NARS’ boutiques, and narscosmetics.com on November 1st (so you have some time to think about it, to the say least!).

Each of the Self Portrait palettes has a black overspray, which will disappear quickly. I recommend taking a large powder brush (I used MAC’s 134) to brush back and forth, up and down, to get the majority off. Now, I say that with the expectation that you’d actually like to use the colors in the palette. Assuming you only intended to keep it as a collectible, then I’d recommend not using it much and would say to avoid the blue to maintain the facial structure/details.

The first shade is a brown-based soft black that yields sheer, uneven color payoff and comes complete with a dry, stiff texture that doesn’t like to blend or move much. It was as fussy as MAC Carbon was in its most recent release. There are numerous matte black eyeshadows that are comparable; finding the intensity you’re looking for is very personal. Brands like Urban Decay, Inglot, Make Up For Ever, and Sugarpill all make excellent rich blacks.

The second shade is a cornflower blue–blue with a hint of violet–that’s powdery, sheer, and prone to fading. The texture is soft to the touch, but it is hard to maintain any vibrancy. I’d say the only way to do so would be to layer over a cream base with similar coloring (which is a rather cheater-cheater kind of way to make a really inferior product work). It absolutely needed at least a primer (I used NARS) to show up, because on dry lids, it just wasn’t getting there. I had to pack it on, and after I moved from this color to the next, I had to go back to pat more on, because it does a disappearing act. Bare Escentuals On the Rocks is brighter, and it also has an iridescent sheen. MAC Dynamic Duo 2 is bluer and darker. NARS Rated R is bluer. MAC Cobalt is darker, slightly bluer.

The third shade is a medium grassy green with subtle yellow undertones and a satiny sheen. It had below average pigmentation, and the texture was on the drier side. It was less powdery than the blue shade, not nearly as dry as the black shade. By those standards, it was the best performing shade out of the three, but still rather disappointing. I had to do quite a bit of packing of the color on itself, and over a primer, to get decent color intensity.  MAC Fresh Flare is darker, less yellow. MAC Wondergrass is similar but shimmery. Inglot #384 is darker, more intense. Make Up For Ever #91 is brighter.

It includes 0.42 oz. of product, which is plenty o’ eyeshadow, and it does make it cheaper by the ounce than buying the brand’s duos, trios, etc. However, you’re far better off going for a quality single, duo, or trio, because this palette is really lacking in quality. None of the three shades are redeeming; none of them are even as good as an average-rated eyeshadow.  I have nothing positive to say about the performance of this palette; I had to use an eyeshadow base just to get the colors to show up, and even over a base, there was noticeable (and uneven) fading of all three shades.  As soft as the blue shade is, it’s so powdery and disappears quickly.  If you want to blend the colors together, do so with the most feather-light touch you can muster.

The Glossover

palette

Self Portrait 1

F
If you're a huge NARS and Andy Warhol fan, and if your intention was to collect and admire without using, this review is not designed to talk you out of it. I'm assessing the quality and use of the product itself, and on that front, this was a major disappointment to see from a brand so many readers love.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012


NARS Superstar Nail Lacquer

Maybe Not Teal, But It’s Still Quite Nice

NARS Superstar Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “teal.” It’s a dark, smoky blue with just a hint of teal (which is more apparent in the bottle than on the nail) and a cream finish. Essie Go Overboard is quite similar, though I’d say it leans a bit closer to teal with less blue. MAC Deep Sea is darker and greener. Rescue Beauty Lounge Teal is darker and more teal.

It’s almost opaque in one coat, but you definitely need two for fully opaque color. The consistency is the right balance between thick and thin, so it yields good coverage and applies evenly without pooling along the edges of the nail. It dried down quickly and had a naturally glossy shine (swatches are without a top coat). I typically get a full week of wear with NARS’ formula with very minor tip wear and no chipping.

The Glossover

LE
product

Superstar

A+
Lovely formula, rich color, amazingly shiny dry down--there's nothing to criticize here!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →