Monday, July 2nd, 2012


NARS Foreplay Palette for Sephora

A chic cheek palette featuring four dazzling shades based on the bestselling Orgasm blush.

The gorgeous afterglow of classic Orgasm is reinvented in this quad that combines Orgasm blush plus vivid shades of pink and peach and a shimmering gold to create your own signature glow.

Shades

  • Peach matte blush
  • Gold highlighter blush
  • Orgasm blush
  • Pink matte blush

Availability: $49 @ Sephora

Sunday, July 1st, 2012


NARS Creates the Looks for Don Giovanni

James Kaliardos for NARS Cosmetics collaborated with designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte who custom designed all of the costumes for this production to create the beauty looks for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s production of the famed opera Don Giovanni, which opened Friday, May 18th.

The renowned Gustavo Dudamel conducts the opera, and architect Frank Gehry designed the set at the landmarked Walt Disney Concert Hall, a building of his own design.

“The makeup is abstracted but rooted in classical theatre,” said James Kaliardos for NARS Cosmetics who created the exclusive looks for the eight principle characters and 24 member choir. “Everything about the space – both on stage and in the concert hall’s structure – is about angled planes, no straight walls. So I created a facial architecture as a base, letting the characters drive each look. We chose a stony palette and strong lip color for each of the female leads.

NARS gave us a great platform of color and texture to leap off of onto the stage. It’s totally different than fashion work.”

“Working with NARS and makeup artist James Kaliardos for Don Giovanni has been an exciting collaboration,” said Laura and Kate Mulleavy. “The brand’s depth of products and line of colors, in addition to James’ talent, has helped bring our vision to life!”

Donna Zerlina

  • Skin: Siberia Sheer Glow Foundation
  • Eyes: Lili Marlene Cream Eyeshadow/ Lhasa Eyeshadow/ Nuits Blanches Eyeliner Stylo
  • Lips: Amazon Lip Liner Pencil/ Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil/ Damned Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
  • Cheeks: New Order Highlighting Blush/ Blondie Eyeshadow
  • Act 2: Add Damned Velvet Matte Lip Pencil to eyes

Donna Anna

  • Skin: Siberia Sheer Glow Foundation
  • Eyes: Pandora Duo Eyeshadow/ Nuits Blanches Eyeliner Stylo/ Zardoz Eyeshadow/ Santa Monica Blvd. Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner
  • Lips: Damned Velvet Matte Lip Pencil/ Red Lizard Semi Matte Lipstick/ Amazon Lip Liner Pencil
  • Cheeks: Blondie Eyeshadow
  • Act 2: Add Zardoz Eyeshadow to lids, and Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil to lips

Donna Elvira

  • Skin: Siberia Sheer Glow Foundation
  • Eyes: Zardoz Eyeshadow/ Pandora Duo Eyeshadow/ Nuits Blanches Eyeliner Stylo/ Damned Velvet Matte Lip Pencil/Santa Monica Blvd. Larger Than Life(R) Long-Wear Eyeliner
  • Cheeks: Blondie Eyeshadow
  • Act 2: Add Zardoz Eyeshadow across the nose as a mask

Photo credit: LA Phil’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Walt Disney Concert Hall led by Gustavo Dudamel, in collaboration with Frank Gehry, Rodarte and Christoper Alden. Images by Autumn de Wilde

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Saturday, June 30th, 2012

NARS Angelika Highlighting Blush
NARS Angelika Blush

NARS Angelika Blush

NARS Angelika Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “cotton candy pink with gold and silver sparkle.” It’s a blue-based light-medium pink with larger silver sparkle and a very subtle gold sheen. MAC Peony Petal is bluer in undertone and lighter. MAC Florida is more magenta. Tarte Amused is slightly darker and more vibrant. MAC Amazon Princess is more magenta–purpler, less pink.

Even though I have warm undertones, I think this is still flattering, because it has a darker hue overall. Sometimes if it’s a paler, lighter blue-based pink, it can make me look a little dead. The texture of Angelika is soft, silky-smooth, and it’s very easy to blend and apply to the cheek. There’s no stiffness here, but it doesn’t kick up a lot of excess powder, so it is just right balance of softness. It packs plenty of color, so it will show up on darker skin tones, too, even though it’s not a deep pink blush. The silver sparkles get lost between the pan and the face; either they disappear into the ether or get trapped in the bristles of the brush, but very few wind up on the cheek.  Angelika wore close to eight hours on my cheeks with some minor fading shortly after.

For nostalgia purposes, I actually reviewed this blush two years ago here. The way this blog has evolved over the past six years is incredible, but sometimes I’m just amazed at how much can change in a couple of years, too. It always seem “The Best Way” when I do it, but clearly there’s always room for improvement!

The Glossover

product

NARS Angelika Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

A
Don't let the blue undertones fool you--this is one of the more wearable blushes in NARS' line for cool, warm, pale, and dark skin tones (and everything in-between).

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Saturday, June 30th, 2012

5 Must-Have Shimmery Blushes

This was a tough one, because I wanted to have diversity in color, and preferably, diversity in brand, too.  ‘Cause let me tell you, there were 239847234 corals I’d love to have included, too.

  1. Le Metier de Beaute Echo — coral-orange with a golden shimmer-sheen; lovely texture and wear
  2. NARS Taj Mahal — golden shimmered orange; lots of great warmth, plenty of pigment
  3. Benefit Bella Bamba — medium-dark pink with a subtle shimmer-sheen; very wearable, buildable
  4. theBalm Cabana Boy — shimmered plum; simple, wearable, beautiful on
  5. Tom Ford Wicked — subtly blue-based medium-dark pink with a shimmer-sheen; long-wearing and super soft

What’s your favorite shimmery blush?

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

NARS Amour Highlighting Blush
NARS Amour Blush

NARS Amour Blush

NARS Amour Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “peachy pink.” It’s a darkened pink-tinted coral. It doesn’t read peachy-pink to me, which tends to be a lighter, warmer color. The finish is matte. Illamasqua Dixie is brighter, less pink. Tarte Blissful is more orange, slightly lighter/softer. theBalm Frat Boy is slightly lighter. MAC Posey is very close, perhaps pinker. MAC Fleet Fast is more coral and has golden orange shimmer. On my cheeks, it looks more pink than coral, but it’s not strictly pink.

The texture of this is drier, stiffer–not really difficult to work with, it just has a thinner, drier texture, so it’s not a really dense blush. You wouldn’t describe it as buttery, for instance. Some powders are really buttery and dense, others are still soft and finely-milled, but they’re thin and feel drier. Amour is the latter.  It packs plenty of pigment, so you can go from subtle tint to full-on color with a tap of the brush, but you won’t have to worry about applying too much too quickly (not like Exhibit A).  The drier texture does mean that you need to spend a little more time blending the color, and because of the matte texture, it can be easier to apply over completely dry foundation (if you’re using liquid).  When I tested Amour to see how long and well it would wear, I was able to get seven hours of good wear; after eight hours, there was some fading along the tops of my cheeks.

The Glossover

product

NARS Amour Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Amour is dark pink-coral blush that's more pink than coral. It can be used sparingly or built up for a more intense cheek color, so it works well paired with more dramatic eyeshadow or alone with just a little eyeliner.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Friday, June 22nd, 2012

NARS Blush
NARS Blush

NARS Blushes — Preview Photos

I’m planning to review the majority NARS’ permanent blushes, which as you can see above, number at 27 (I know I am missing Zen). I also have cream blushes and bronzers in the works, too. :) But for now, enjoy some blush photos!

  • Row 1: Albatross, Amour, Angelika, Deep Throat, Desire, Dolce Vita, Douceur;
  • Row 2: Exhibit A, Gaiety, Gilda, Gina, Lovejoy, Luster, Madly;
  • Row 3: Mata Hari, Miss Liberty, New Order, Nico, Oasis, Orgasm, Sex Appeal;
  • Row 4: Silvana, Sin, Super Orgasm, Taj Mahal, Taos, Torrid

See more photos! Continue reading →