Thursday, April 12th, 2012

NARS Spring Break Larger Than Life Lipgloss
NARS Spring Break Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Spring Break Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Spring Break Larger Than Life Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) is described as a “pale golden beige sheen.” This shade is exclusive to Sephora. It’s a pale, light beige with peach-gold micro-shimmer. MAC C-Thru is very similar, perhaps a smidgen darker. MAC Scottish Lilt is warmer. MAC Jest for Fun is more peach-pink. MAC On the Scene is warmer, no shimmer. MAC Fashion Whim is just slightly warmer. Urban Decay Max is darker, peachier.

I actually really like the way this looks on the lips; for such a pale, light color, it applies fairly evenly and doesn’t settle too noticeably into lips (at least not from a normal viewing distance). The soft peach-gold shimmer gives it necessary warmth and dimension. The color coverage is not quite opaque but close.  When I tested this shade for wear, it did surprisingly well for such a pale shade–a solid five hours.  It was also hydrating enough that my lips didn’t feel any worse for the wear while I wore it.

Larger Than Life Lipglosses have a gel-like texture, which slides across lips well and enables mostly even application.  Though it doesn’t feel sticky when you first apply it, it does get noticeably tacky after a half hour and gets tackier while it wears.  It never approaches super sticky territory, but it’s definitely not non-sticky. The only downside to this product is the really, really tiny brush-type applicator.  It could be about double the size and still be several sizes smaller than the average lipgloss applicator while retaining the ability to apply precisely.

The Glossover

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product

Spring Break

A-
It delivers well on most of the claims that NARS made with respect to the formula--the only downside is the applicator with this particular shade. It's just too small; there's nothing wrong with going smaller than a doe-foot applicator, but I think this is the other extreme.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, April 7th, 2012

NARS Norma Larger Than Life Lipgloss
NARS Norma Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Norma Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Norma Larger Than Life Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) is described as a “cherry red.” It’s a bright subtly blue-based red with no shimmer, just bold, bright color. It’s mostly opaque once applied. MAC Driven by Love is darker, more opaque, and has gold shimmer. Illamasqua Succubus is less blue-based, more opaque, brighter. MAC Wicked Ways is comparable in color but does have some shimmer. Illamasqua Fume is just slightly brighter. MAC Russian Red is a bit brighter.

I like the texture and overall quality of the Larger Than Life formula. It delivers rich, intense pigmentation with a really lovely consistency that’s not too thick or too thin–it has an almost gel-like feel on the lips, so it slides and moves around for easy evening out of color but doesn’t slip around and feather around the edges. While it doesn’t feel sticky initially, it gets progressively tackier while it wears. I’ve already expounded on the attribute I dislike most about the product, which is the incredibly small applicator. Precision is certainly possible with something that’s not quite so tiny, because it’s a little annoying having to go back multiple times to get enough product to cover my lips.

Norma managed to hang on and look good doing so for just under six hours.  I felt like reapplication was necessary by the seventh hour.  It fades evenly, too, so you don’t have a ring of color around the edges of your lips.  While it wears for such a long time (at least for a gloss), it keeps lips hydrated–mine never felt dry after wearing one of these glosses for hour after hour.  NARS talks about a natural plumping effect, but I didn’t see anything other than an enhanced shape as a result of the ultra shiny finish, which gives an illusion of fuller lips.

The Glossover

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product

Norma

A-
It delivers well on most of the claims that NARS made with respect to the formula--the only downside is the applicator with this particular shade. It's just too small; there's nothing wrong with going smaller than a doe-foot applicator, but I think this is the other extreme.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, April 6th, 2012


NARS Summer 2012 Collection

The Summer 2012 campaign was designed and photographed by NARS Founder and Creative Director François Nars. Once again, the inimitable Ginta Lapina personifies the look.

To begin, St. Moritz Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF30/PA+++ was applied to the center of the face with the fingertips and blended outward, then set with Eden Loose Powder to create an immaculate complexion. To lend the skin a light bronzed look, Laguna Bronzer was dusted onto the face in the shape of a ‘3’, starting at the forehead, swept on to the cheek, and then along the jawline. The apples of the cheeks were warmed with Liberté Blush and the face further defined by softly dusting Taos Blush along the hairline.

A mixture of the silver and icy peach shades of Ramatuelle Trio Eyeshadow were brushed onto the lid and blended up into the crease. The apricot shade of the Trio was added in to the crease, with the silver shade swept along the lower lash line. The upper and lower lids were lined with Via Veneto Larger Than Life® Long-Wear Eyeliner. After curling the lashes with an eyelash curler, two coats of Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara were brushed on to the lashes.

Finally, the lips were lined and filled with Borneo Lip Liner Pencil—blending with a finger to soften the color. Moscow Pure Matte Lipstick was applied, then topped with Risky Business Lip Gloss for shine.

Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Ramatuelle Silver, icy peach, matte apricot

Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00)

  • Marie-Galante Iridescent orchid / regal blue

Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00)

  • Calabria Shimmering plum

Lipstick ($24.00)

  • Vendanges Sheer grape

Blush ($28.00)

  • Liberte Burnished apricot

Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24.00)

  • Buenos Aires Nude beige pink

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00)

  • Never Say Never Lilac rose

Pure Matte Lipstick ($25.00)

  • Moscow Strawberry red

Nail Polish ($18.00)

  • Trouville Seashell pink

availability: April 15th, 2012 at narscosmetics.com

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Friday, April 6th, 2012


Thakoon for NARS Nail Collection for Summer 2012

Fashion and beauty have always gone hand in hand. Now, those hands have the nail polish to match. Introducing the Thakoon for NARS Nail Collection, the brand’s first collaboration with a fashion designer in the nail category. Already frequent collaborators at New York Fashion Week, founder and creative director Francois Nars has partnered with Thakoon Panichgul to develop a limited edition, six-shade nail collection.

In conceptualizing the shade range, Thakoon was inspired by the vibrant colors found in Indian spice markets. The highly saturated, high-shine shades come in an opaque finish, perfect for spring. Formula is long-wearing, chip-resistant and toluene-, formaldehyde- and DBP-free.  Since his first collection in 2004, the Thailand-born, Nebraska-raised designer’s clothes have graced chic, modern women around the globe, including Jessica Alba, Marion Cotillard, Rachel Bilson, and First Lady Michelle Obama.

  • Anardana Azalea pink
  • Ratin Jot Orchid purple
  • Amchoor Bright yellow
  • Kutki Powder blue
  • Koliary Cyan blue
  • Lal Mirchi Mandarin red (exclusive to 413 Bleecker Street Boutique)

availability: May 1st, 2012 at narscosmetics.com (except Lal Mirchi), $18.00 each

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Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

5 Fantastic Coral-Pink Blushes

If you’re not enamored of corals as much as I am, you may lump them all together as “coral,” but there is a definite distiction between a coral-pink and a coral-orange (and to an extent, coral-red!). There are corals that pull pinker, so they appear less warm, peach, and orange on the skin tone, while there are corals that pull warmer, so they appear redder, more orange, and peachier.

  1. Tarina Tarantino Parasol — shimmering coral-pink with a champagne shimmer-sheen
  2. NARS Orgasm — classic pink base with golden sheen that translates to a pink-coral
  3. theBalm Frat Boy — coral pink with just a faint sheen
  4. MAC Posey — pink-coral cream blush
  5. Tarte Glisten — medium-dark pink base color with a golden sheen

What’s your favorite coral-pink blush?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

NARS Coeur Sucre Larger Than Life Lipgloss
NARS Coeur Sucre Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Coeur Sucre Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Coeur Sucre Larger Than Life Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) is described as a “shimmering vibrant pink.” It’s a medium cotton candy pink with blue undertones and a silver-white micro-glitter/shimmer. I couldn’t think of too many shades that came close to this. MAC Vanity Fair is much lighter and has no shimmer (more like a liquid lipstick formula). NARS Angelika would be much closer, except it’s not as opaque and applies fairly streaky. MAC Sassy Lassy is darker and brighter.

The Larger Than Life formula is designed to give “intense color” with “brilliant shine” while being long-wearing. It also has moisturizing ingredients and “natural lip enhancers” that will plump lips. The consistency of Coeur Sucre isn’t too thick or too thin, and it’s not a gloss I’d call lightweight, but it doesn’t feel thick and goopy either. It has a gel-like texture initially, which is non-sticky, but after a half hour or so, it delivers a tackiness that gets rather sticky after an hour and a half (much as I experienced with Giorgio Armani Gloss d’Armani). It delivers semi-opaque color and applies surprisingly evenly for a gloss in this color–there is some minor settling into lip lines that is barely noticeable because of the high-shine finish.

Coeur Sucre wore for five and a half hours, which is longer than the average gloss wears (three to four hours; as little as two for lighter shades).  I found the formula to be hydrating–sometimes when you wear just gloss all day long, your lips can easily show signs of dehydration, but even after twelve hours of wearing the Larger Than Life formula, my lips felt lush and lovely.  I don’t see (or feel!) any plumping effect; the glossy shine does give lips a larger, more luminous appearance.

Here is what I loathe about this product–and I don’t use the word lightly–the applicator. It is like applying lipgloss with a toothpick, or nearly so. It’s just absolutely miniscule, and if you have very thin lips, I think this may be the applicator you’ve been looking for, but even you may find it takes several pumps of gloss to get enough product to cover your lips. I get that NARS is hoping this applicator will give you the precision you want, but it’s unnecessarily small. You can maneuver around the lip lines with something double the size. In order to cover my lips, I had to go back five times for color.

The Glossover

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product

Coeur Sucre

A-
It's not quite the "intense color" that NARS promises, and the applicator is too small--it makes applying this a more painstaking process than it should be. I think there is a happy medium available; something slightly larger (perhaps wider), that's still a bit tapered and smaller than a doe-foot gloss, could still achieve precision without taking so much time.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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