Saturday, May 26th, 2012

NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.086 oz.) is described as a “siren red.” This is an extremely intense, vibrant cherry red with pink undertones and a blue base. It’s very cool-toned and equally bright. It’s bluer than Maybelline Very Cherry. It’s more vibrant than Giorgio Armani #406. CoverGirl Hot has a similar brightness level but not the same blue undertones. Chanel Rouge Byzantin is darker. MAC Ruby Woo is redder and darker.

The Velvet Matte Lip Pencil formula is designed to allow you the precision of a lip pencil with the ease of all-over application like a lipstick. It’s supposed to be opaque, matte, creamy, long-wearing, and non-drying. Dragon Girl wears and wears and wears; its strongest suit is in how well and long it wears–a full six hours of excellent coverage and looks good enough not to need a reapplication until eight hours. It hardly transfers, so it lasts through a cup of coffee with ease. It’s not moisturizing, but it isn’t drying; you’ll want to properly moisturize and prep lips in advance (or just have a good lip health routine), since it’s not adding any moisture over the course of the day.

Dragon Girl has to be one of my favorites within the range, because it applies evenly and easily without tugging or pulling on the lip, so there’s just enough glide and waxiness in the base to get that even, opaque color, but it clings to lips so it wears a long time (not in a bad clingy way, though). It has a matte finish, but it appears so bright that it almost has a sheen.

The Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are large, jumbo-sized crayons, and you’ll need to sharpen them periodically. You will lose some product, but because the texture of this is fairly dry and firm, there is less product loss than from the brand’s Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils. Many readers have suggested freezing a pencil briefly prior to sharpening to help minimize waste.

The Glossover

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product

Dragon Girl

A+
Everything about this product is fantastic--except for some of the waste that happens when you sharpen the pencil, which is something that occurs with most pencil packaging--the color is rich and opaque, and this shade wears six to eight hours with ease.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Saturday, May 26th, 2012

5 Fantastic Matte Blushes to Try

I’ve had several requests to share some more matte finishes in the 5 Ways posts, so I thought blushes might be a nice way to go!

  1. Tarte Blissful — vibrant coral
  2. NARS Exhibit A — rich orange
  3. MAC Mocha — dirty plum pink
  4. Tarte Exposed — neutral beige with pink undertones
  5. Burberry Tangerine — neutral brown-tangerine

What’s your favorite matte blush?

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

NARS Koliary Nail Lacquer
NARS Koliary Nail Lacquer

NARS Koliary Nail Lacquer

NARS Koliary Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “cyan blue.” It’s a rich, light-medium blue–it’s almost cyan, though I’d say it’s a touch less intense. It doesn’t have the same brightness that traditional cyan has. Zoya Phoebe is darker and dries matte. Zoya Robyn is a smidgen lighter.

Koliary is opaque in two coats, and the formula is a dream to work with: not too thick or too thin, so it applies fluidly, evenly, and easily across the nail without pooling along the sides or bubbling. There wasn’t even streaking on the first coat, which made the resulting finish flawless. NARS did a tremendous job with their Thakoon nail collaboration; some really top notch shades with excellent formulas. I typically get a week of wear with NARS formula without chipping and just minor tip wear.

The Glossover

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product

Koliary

A+
NARS did a tremendous job with their Thakoon nail collaboration; some really top notch shades with excellent formulas. Koliary is an example of what high-end nail polish should be.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, May 19th, 2012

5 Intriguing Green-Teal Eyeshadows

Finding a perfectly teal eyeshadow is difficult, because teal is a mix of blue and green and inevitably leans one way or the other.  Who knew that Make Up For Ever would have so many fun ones?

What’s your favorite green-teal?

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

NARS Falbala Lipstick
NARS Falbala Lipstick

NARS Falbala Lipstick

NARS Falbala Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “shimmering rose.” It’s a a berry-rose with gold shimmer. MAC Offshoot is more plum. Chanel Bel Ami is redder. MAC Oh Oh Oh is a little more plum. MAC Fun Bathing is a little darker with a more golden sheen. Clarins Blackberry is more plum. Chanel Impertinente is browner. Bobbi Brown Plumberry is redder. Chanel Etole is a little darker. Guerlain Gracia is a bit lighter.

It’s part of the Sheer lipstick family, so it’s designed to be “sheer, long-lasting” with a “sophisticated shine” and contains hydrating ingredients. It’s more semi-opaque than sheer, but there is a distinguishable translucency where you can see the natural lip color coming through. There’s also a glossy sheen in the finish. Falbala actually reminds me of a sheerer, more muted version of NARS Christina.

I really like NARS’ line of Sheer Lipsticks, though they tend to be more semi-sheer to semi-opaque than sheer.  They have this really great lightweight feel that’s comfortable to wear, and they look almost like a stain–they sit very naturally against the lips.  It’s scent- and taste-free–good news for those more sensitive to scents and tastes!  Falbala wears just over five hours, while the glossy sheen does fade away after three to four hours.  The only downside is that it’s not moisturizing (and it’s supposed to be), though it is not drying.

The Glossover

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product

Falbala

A-
I really like NARS' line of Sheer Lipsticks, though they tend to be more semi-sheer to semi-opaque than sheer.  They have this really great lightweight feel that's comfortable to wear, and they look almost like a stain--they sit very naturally against the lips.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

NARS Ratin Jot Nail Lacquer
NARS Ratin Jot Nail Lacquer

NARS Ratin Jot Nail Lacquer

NARS Ratin Jot Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as an “orchid purple.” It’s a muted magenta pink with a cream finish. Illamasqua Obsess is more vibrant, less pink. Deborah Lippmann Makin’ Whoopee is more fuchsia. Zoya Areej is dustier, pinker, less vibrant. SpaRitual Color Trip is pinker.

The formula on Ratin Jot was lovely–richly pigmented (opaque in two coats, but almost in one), not too thick or too thin, and flowed beautifully across the nail without streaking, bubbling, or pooling. This color is very saturated and almost neon, but it’s shy of it.  There’s a slightly muted quality that keeps the pink hues from turning fuchsia, but there’s still enough richness that it pulls very magenta. I typically get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping with NARS’ lacquer formula.

The Glossover

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product

Ratin Jot

A+
NARS and Thakoon know how to collaborate--they've created some really incredible, standout shades that live up to the bottle color and come with a high quality formula that's pigmented and has an easy-to-use consistency.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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