Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

NARS Storm Bird Nail Lacquer
NARS Storm Bird Nail Lacquer

NARS Fall 2012: Storm Bird Nail Lacquer

NARS Storm Bird Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “moody gray.” It’s a medium-dark blue-toned gray with a cream finish. Deborah Lippmann Stormy Weather is darker, less blue-tinted. Zoya Kelly is a smidgen darker, almost purple-tinged.  I think this shade is named perfectly; it’s such a stormy kind of color.  What makes it stand out is that it isn’t super dark, like a lot of grays can be.

It was completely opaque after applying two coats.  The consistency had a nice balance; it wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it applied fluidly without bubbling or pooling along the sides.  I think NARS has become one of the more consistent high-end producers of polishes–and I love that they still give you a full 0.50 fl oz. This is pretty much the typical nail polish size, but some high-end brands have cut the size down to 0.30 to 0.40 fl. oz.  The handle isn’t as comfortable or as natural to hold, because it’s rather wide and square.  I have larger hands/longer fingers, but it doesn’t feel right to hold.

The Glossover

LE
product

Storm Bird

A+
I think this shade is named perfectly; it's such a stormy kind of color. What makes it stand out is that it isn't super dark, like a lot of grays can be.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, July 16th, 2012

NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio
NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Fall 2012: High Society Eyeshadow Trio

NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as “lavender,” “matte forest green,” and “iridescent amethyst.” It’s new and limited for fall. I love that NARS has individual wells for each shade of the trio, but it’s a little disappointing that the amount of product is only 0.03 oz. more than a duo yet $11 more. Their eyeshadow formula is described as highly pigmented, long-wearing, and crease-resistant.

The first shade is a smoky light-medium purple with noticeable pink–it’s almost too smoky/dark to be lavender, though it looks a little lighter in the pan than how it does applied. It has a slight powderiness to it when you press your brush against the surface, and it’s a little sheer. I did have to pack it on somewhat to get opaque color. Bobbi Brown Cool Lilac is lighter and pinker. MAC Daylight is more mauve. Bare Escentuals Azure is purpler.

The second shade is a smoky medium-dark brown-toned green. Kind of like a muted army green to me. The texture was soft, just barely powdery, but applied fairly smoothly. Like the first shade, it was a little sheer. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is greener, brighter. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard is slightly more intense. Bare Escentuals Utopia is cooler-toned. MAC Flourishing is greener, warmer. Make Up For Ever #84 is rather similar but has a shimmer finish, so the two aren’t as close as they seem.

The third shade is a darkened purple with subtle red-brown undertones and a satiny finish. It had a drier, stiffer texture than I’d liked to have seen, but it was easier to use on the eye with a brush–it wasn’t as blendable as the other two shades, though. Urban Decay Rockstar has a more metallic finish and has less purple (almost more mauve/plum). Bobbi Brown Black Violet is comparable but less smoky. Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac is more frosted. theBalm All the Way Annie is a hint lighter. Make Up For Ever #142 is a smidgen brighter.

I love the color combination; it’s dark and sultry but it really works. The colors and tonal differences flatter each other immensely!  I’m less impressed by the overall texture and quality of the trio, though.  Two shades were powdery, while the other was dry and stiff.  They were easy enough to work with on the lid, but I did have to pack on the lavender shade during application.  Without a primer, I had noticeable fading after six hours, especially of the lavender shade.  With a primer, the results were better, but there was still enough fading after eight hours to be disappointing.

The Glossover

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NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
It's frustrating to have problems with the colors fading even over primer (and NARS' primer, to boot!), especially when the formula is supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant on its own merits. It's a shame as the color combination is perfect for fall in an unusual way.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, July 15th, 2012

NARS Vent Glace Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Vent Glace Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Fall 2012: Vent Glace Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Vent Glace Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “platinum” and “silver smoke.” It’s new for fall but will stay in the permanent range.  NARS’ eyeshadow formula is supposed to be “highly pigmented, long-wearing, and crease-resistant.”

The first shade is a pale silvery white with a shimmery, frosted finish. It has so-so color payoff, which does improve slightly when applied to the lid, but I did pack it on to get an opaque layer. If you like sheerer eye color, you’d like the way this applies, as it’s a general all-over sheerness, rather than patchy. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels is a smidgen lighter. Dior Garden Pastels is slightly green-tinted. MAC Misty is darker and more metallic.

The second shade is a dirty beige-shimmered brown with a hint of gray. It’s an interesting color and hard to describe, though it gets lost against my skin tone so it might sing better on a lighter or deeper complexion. The pigmentation is good, and the texture is soft without being powdery. It reminded me of a much lighter theBalm Selfish. MAC Vex has a duochrome and is grayer, less brown. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is similar but slightly frostier. MAC Patina is darker, browner. MAC Hazy Day is much darker.

I wore the duo with the lighter shade all over the lid and just into the inner crease and applied the darker shade into the crease with a fluffy brush.  I highlighted the brow bone with my trust Burberry Trench and lined the lower lash line with Tarina Tarantino Ammunition Eyeliner.  I didn’t have any fall out during application or later on while I wore the products.  Over a primer, there wasn’t any creasing and only a little fading of the crease color after eight hours.  Without a primer, I did get faint creasing and more noticeable fading after eight hours.

The Glossover

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NARS Vent Glace Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
I personally like the duo a lot, because it's a very easy to use set of colors that are subtle but still noticeable. The pigmentation was a little lacking in the lighter shade, and the fading (even over a primer!) of the darker shade was unexpected.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, July 15th, 2012

NARS Exhibit A Highlighting Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “matte vivid red.” It’s a brightened medium-dark orange-red with a mostly matte finish. MAC Out for Fun is lighter, less red. MAC Modern Mandarin is lighter, more orange, less red. Benefit Cha Cha is more orange, slightly lighter. NARS Liberte is darker, rustier–not as bright.  On the cheeks, it can look as bright as the pan, or if applied more softly, you’ll get kind of a orange-coral look almost.

Exhibit A is famous for its pigmentation–it is wow! in the pan, because it’s truly a fiery sight to see in stores, but it’s just as intense when used. Using this shade absolutely requires a feather-light touch and the proper tools (I like a fan brush) as a result, particularly if you are really light in coloring.  Because of its excellent pigmentation, it will show up as readily on darker complexions as it will on lighter ones. Even though NARS describes it as red, there’s a lot of orange and not as much red in it as you’d expect.  Still, there’s red, there’s orange, but there’s not a lot of yellow–it’s only barely warm in tone.

I think what really makes this shade sing is the texture.  It’s soft, silky, and applies smoothly; it’s not too soft that it becomes powdery, but it’s not too dry that it becomes a pain in the behind to blend. It strikes a balance between softness and blendability that is really required with a shade like this.  I wore Exhibit A to see how well it would wear, and it lasted a full eight hours and started looking a bit faded after just under nine hours.

The Glossover

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product

Exhibit A

A
Because of its excellent pigmentation, it will show up as readily on darker complexions as it will on lighter ones. Even though NARS describes it as red, there's a lot of orange and not as much red in it as you'd expect.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, July 12th, 2012

NARS Douceur Highlighting Blush
NARS Douceur Blush

NARS Douceur Blush

NARS Douceur Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “soft pink brown.” It’s a subtly warm-toned light-medium brown with a pinky sheen. It does look a bit pinker in the pan than on my skin tone (which has yellow undertones), so if you have pink undertones, you might see those pink undertones come through on you more than they did on me. Tarina Tarantino Neopolitan Lane is similar, though a bit more pigmented and matte in finish. MAC Pressed Amber is darker, browner. MAC Darkly My Dear is darker, slightly more plum. Tarte Exposed is pinker. MAC Her Own Devices is lighter, kind of peach. MAC Prim & Proper is darker and more plum.

Douceur is best for light to medium skin tones, as it seems like it will disappear on darker complexions. It might work as a subtle highlight or all-over powder on some deeper skin tones.  I’m a huge fan of this type of blush, because it gives natural color and contour to the cheek in a subtle way.  I often reach for Korres Natural for this purpose, and Douceur can be used in the same fashion.  Finding a blush color like this that works for your skin tone can be challenging, because like a my-lips-but-better color, one size doesn’t fit all (or even most).

This is certainly a softer color. It’s one of the sheerer NARS blushes I’ve swatched so far.  The color isn’t easily buildable; there’s no need to be careful with this one–you don’t need a light-hand at all. It is very easy to use because of that, making it one of the more foolproof blushes.  On lighter complexions, this could be used as a contouring color.  The texture is soft and blendable on the skin, but I did feel like I had to pile it on a bit to get it to show up on my skin tone. The color payoff is on the sheerer side.  Douceur wore six and a half hours on me when I was trialing it, and it was noticeably faded after seven hours.

P.S. — I did write review Douceur previously (two years ago–wow, I swear this came out “recently!”  Time really does fly!

The Glossover

P
product

Douceur

B
It's on the shorter side of wear (six and a half hours), which is a bummer in my book. The color is more appropriate for light to medium complexions rather than the entire spectrum, as it is light in color but also a little sheer.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, July 9th, 2012

NARS Dolce Vita Highlighting Blush
NARS Dolce Vita Blush

NARS Dolce Vita Blush

NARS Dolce Vita Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “matte dusty rose.” It’s a dark berry rose-red. It’s red, but it’s not red-red; it’s pink, but it’s not your average pink–there’s a muted quality, but there’s still depth. MAC Supernova is pinker, less red. MAC Mocha is a bit lighter, but it’s similar, especially when worn. NARS G-Spot is more orange/warm.  I kind of feel like Dolce Vita is a very underrated NARS blush; it’s one of my favorites, because it’s low-key but dramatic. It’s everyday with a twist.  It can be a barely-there rosy blush with a flick of the brush or kind of a plummy-berry-rosy-red shade when built up.

The color payoff is rich and you can true-to-pan color with little product, but it doesn’t feel like you have to be as careful as you have to be with some other blushers. It’s a bit more foolproof.  Dolce Vita has a supremely flattering finish, because it has a subtle sheen that’s not shimmery or frosty, but it doesn’t give a flat look because it’s too dusty or matte.  If you love your skin-but-better, this is that type of finish.  I think the color is suitable across skin tones and under tones, and the only comment I’d make about wearability is that those with a lot of natural redness in cheeks might find this accentuates it.

It has a soft, finely-milled texture that applies smoothly against the skin, and it is beautifully blendable with a fluffy or stippling blush brush. I didn’t have any stiffness or difficulty diffusing and blending out the color once I applied the initial payoff.  When I tested out Dolce Vita for wear, it managed eight hours well with some minor fading along the edges after eight and a half hours.

 

The Glossover

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NARS Dolce Vita Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

A
If you love your skin-but-better, this is that type of finish. I think the color is suitable across skin tones and under tones, and the only comment I'd make about wearability is that those with a lot of natural redness in cheeks might find this accentuates it.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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