Sunday, March 25th, 2012

NARS Surabaya Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Surabaya Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Surabaya Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Surabaya Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “brown sugar” and a “chestnut.” This is an interesting duo that desperately needs to be swatched! I can’t emphasize that enough, because it looks very, very different swatched and in practice than it does in its pretty pans. Both shades are much darker–so much so that not only did I swatch this duo twice, but I googled and looked through dozens of other images and saw similar results. In my old school NARS Duo product photos and swatches, the products look lighter than they do when swatched.

The left side of the duo is a rich, orange-red-toned dark brown with a smattering of gold shimmer and finer burnt red micro-shimmer. It has such a beautiful, silky texture with excellent color payoff. NARS Galapagos is slightly darker, more of a yellow-toned brown. Bare Escentuals Pumped is similar but not as red-toned. MAC Roasted Chestnut is similar, just a touch lighter and more metallic in finish. MAC Make Your Mark is not quite as intense or as red-toned. Laura Mercier Cedar is slightly less red-toned. MAC Swiss Chocolate is very similar but matte and a bit browner.

The right side of the duo is a warm, red-toned medium-dark brown with red shimmer. Like the left shade, this has a soft, smooth texture that yields rich, opaque pigmentation. Make Up For Ever #14 is more metallic and a deeper brown. theBalm Tres Moi is similar but more frosted. MAC Take Root is less intense and red-toned. MAC Antiqued is browner. theBalm Racy Kacy is a bit lighter and less brown.

This duo represents what NARS is capable of:  soft, silky smooth textures combined with rich pigmentation.  Both shades blended out beautifully and with ease, though a little goes a long way.  These shades could be used together, but you’ll find they work even better when paired with a lighter shade for more contrast.  When applied over the lid without a base, it lasted for eight hours with very, very minimal fading but no creasing; and when applied over the lid with a base, there were no issues after ten hours.

The Glossover

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NARS Surabaya Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A
Luxurious textures, intense color payoff, and beautiful colors to boot--NARS really nailed this duo. It's virtually an A+, if you always use an eyeshadow primer, since you shouldn't have any wear issues (NARS does, however, state these are long-wearing and crease-resistant).

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

NARS Demon Lover Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Demon Lover Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Demon Lover Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Demon Lover Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a duo of “iridescent storm blue” and “deep matte indigo.” It’s part of NARS’ permanent range of eyeshadow duos.  NARS’ eyeshadow formula is supposed to be long-wearing, highly pigmented, and crease-resistant.  They can also be used wet or dry.  I never get quite crease-resistant, long-wear out of NARS’ eyeshadow formula–typically about six to seven hours of good wear, but slight fading and/or creasing after eight hours.  I don’t have any problems over a primer, though.

On the left, there is a muted blue-based purple with a slightly frosted finish. There is some underlying sheerness to the color, so it doesn’t have a completely smooth appearance. It’s not as blue as MAC Wintersky. MAC Illegal Cargo is similar but not as blue. Urban Decay Blue Bus is brighter, less faded. Estee Lauder Untamed Violet is a bit darker, less shimmered.

On the right, there is a dark, faded purple with a gray-ish overcast to it. It has a matte finish, and while it looks a bit sheer swatched, it actually performs very well. It applies with good color payoff and doesn’t disappear once you start blending. theBalm All the Way Annie is similar but not as dark or as faded. Urban Decay Rockstar is more eggplant-hued, not as dusty. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard has a similar shade that’s just a touch purpler.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Demon Lover Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's a cool-toned purple eyeshadow duo that will look really lovely against paler skin tones, though it should work for a variety of complexions. The quality is good overall, but it could be a bit more pigmented.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, March 17th, 2012

5 Bold Blushes to Try

Want a blush that really packs a punch? Here are five outrageous blushes that will give you a bold cheek look!

  1. NARS Exhibit A — rich, matte orange-red
  2. Make Up For Ever Truth or Dare — creamy fuchsia-pink
  3. Make Up For Ever #75 — bright, nearly neon fuchsia-pink
  4. Make Up For Ever #99 — matte red
  5. MAC Full Fuchsia — brightened pink

What’s your favorite bold blush to wear?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

NARS Night Rider Nail Lacquer
NARS Night Rider Nail Lacquer

NARS Night Rider Nail Lacquer

NARS Night Rider Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “soft plum with silver glitter.” It’s a pink-plum with silver glitter–but the way the glitter sits against the pink-plum makes it appear almost like a really pale, silvered lilac. I couldn’t think of any good dupes for it, but Nubar Treasure Nail (darker purple) and Milani Hi-Res (holographic, darker) were the closest–I wouldn’t say they’re close, though.

Night Rider is opaque in two coats and requires no patience at all during application, because the formula balances consistency with pigmentation, so it applies evenly, fluidly, and without a hitch.  I typically get a week of wear out of NARS’ formula with minor tip wear but no chipping.  I’m not unforgiving to my nails, but I don’t make any attempts to preserve a manicure, so I definitely use my nails as tools!

The Glossover

LE
product

Night Rider

A+
If you loved the way the other Night shades looked but felt they were just too dark, Night Rider gives you the same fun finish and nuance with a more spring-friendly color.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, March 4th, 2012

NARS Night Porter Nail Lacquer
NARS Night Porter Nail Lacquer

NARS Night Porter Nail Lacquer

NARS Night Porter Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “black with green pearls.” The base is definitely very dark, more like deep, dark forest green, but there is a lot of emerald green, olive green, and copper-gold shimmer, so it ends up looking like a very dark, sleek forest green with multi-colored shimmer. China Glaze Glittering Garland is more of an emerald green with more yellow undertones. Zoya Edyta is similar but has more of a metallic finish. Nubar Verde is similar but, again, has a metallic finish, which gives it a much more reflective sheen. The shimmer in the previously two mentioned shades is larger, not as fine as in Night Porter.

Like the other shades in the series, Night Porter is richly pigmented–almost opaque in one coat–and needs two coats for full color coverage.  It does dry down to a semi-matte finish, so I’ would recommend using a shiny top coat to achieve that glossy finish.  NARS’ polishes typically wear a week on me with minor tip wear and no chipping.  I was so impressed with how fluidly Night Porter applied; the polish glided across the nail surface and gave great, even coverage.

The Glossover

LE
product

Night Porter

A+
I was so impressed with how fluidly Night Porter applied; the polish glided across the nail surface and gave great, even coverage. The color is beautiful, and there's this cool-warm vibe to it, so I think it would look good on both warm and cool complexions.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Friday, March 2nd, 2012

5 Playful Plum Blushes

Plum blush can be used in a variety ways, from subtle to bold, so it can really bring drama to the face and create a look that really emphasizes the cheeks if one desires.  If you have a cooler complexion, you may look for a plum with a subtle pink or berry tone, while warmer complexions may look for a plum with a subtle brown undertone.  Or throw away the rules and go for the one that strikes your fancy :)

  1. Bobbi Brown Plum — rich pink plum
  2. Burberry Cameo — softened brown-plum
  3. theBalm Cabana Boy — shimmered plum-berry
  4. NARS Oasis — dirty plum with gold shimmer
  5. MAC Plum Foolery — dirty plum with a shimmer-sheen

What’s your favorite plum blush?

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