NARS Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow
NARS Holiday 2010: Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow
NARS Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) contains three shades: (as described by NARS) silver, deep cobalt blue, and black onyx. According to Sephora’s description of this trio, the eyeshadows can be used wet to double as eyeliners.
The colors included in the trio are not unique, but they have a beautiful, smooth texture and rich, intense pigmentation that glides on with ease. There is a light silver-white with a frosted finish, medium-dark blue with subtle shimmer-sheen, and a medium-dark black with a satin sheen. These felt smoother and softer than the average NARS eyeshadow.
The silver has the largest portion, while the blue is about half the size and the black a third. It makes sense to have the black be such a thin strip, since you really do not need much black in most looks, but it may be too thin for those who use bigger brushes (say the MAC 252). It’s not a major drawback, as most eyeshadow brushes should be able to maneuver in there, but it was worth noting.
I’m not sure why this is a whopping $45, which is rather killer for a product like this, even for high end. A NARS Eyeshadow Duo contains 0.14 oz. of product and retails for $32, which makes the trio more per ounce (but a better value than the single eyeshadows). The quality is phenomenal, though!
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- Product: 29/30
- Value: 7/10
- Ease of Use: 4/5
- Packaging: 4/5
RECOMMENDATION: I wish this was priced more in line with NARS Eyeshadow Duos. If you do not have similar colors in your stash already, though, it’s worth taking a peek at.
AVAILABILITY: NARS, Sephora.com
NARS Holiday 2010 Collection
Though not available until Friday on narscosmetics.com, according to NARS’ Facebook, all of the holiday collection is available at Sephora.com now!
Trio Eyeshadow ($45.00) (Limited Edition)
- Okinawa Lustrous silver, deep cobalt blue, black onyx
Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00)
- Melusine Pale silver lilac and bright deep purple
Single Eyeshadow ($23.00)
- Petit Monstre Rich berry
- Little Darling Nude beige
- Downtown Metallic pink lavender
- Bougainville Sheer pomegranate
Nail Polish ($16.00)
- Bad Influence Smoky taupe
- Pokerface Lilac
NARS Bento Box for Holiday 2010
Throughout all of his extensive international travels, Founder and Creative Director François Nars has always found Japanese culture to be a great source of inspiration, specifically the concept of Kabuki makeup. Years ago, after traveling to Japan, François brought back a small, porcelain pot with a red film of color– Kabuki makeup for the lips.
Debuting this holiday season after years of development is the NARS Bento Box Set – a limited edition set of two Kabuki cups that were hand-poured with a new exclusive-to-NARS lipstick formula in highly pigmented shades containing Vitamin E. Housed in a handmade bento box, the set also comes with a Kabuki lip brush, designed for precise application by dipping the brush into the cup and blending until desired coverage is achieved.
Fusing two inspirations together, François chose Daphne Guinness to once again be the face of NARS with her evocative portrayal of classic theatrical Kabuki makeup.
Only one thousand sets were created for sale in the United States and will retail for $125, and just over two thousand in total were created worldwide.
Availability: November 1st, 2010, but there is a notification list available at NARS.
Lipstick Comparisons: $13 to $25 (Part 2)
In this price range, lipsticks tend to be more pigmented, have less synthetic scents, and wear an average of four hours. I’m not typically disappointed beyond belief with a lipstick formula in this price range. Brands from MAC to NARS to Smashbox fall into this price tier, while designer brands like Chanel, Dior, and YSL are in the next tier. There are really SO many brands and formulas to choose from in this category that I had to split this post into two parts!
- PROS: Ridiculously large shade range, variety of finishes, wears from 3 to 6 hours (depends on finish/shade)
- NEUTRAL: 0.10 oz., Depending on finish, shades range from sheer to opaque; similarly, more matte shades are drier while lustre shades are more moisturizing, vanilla-scented
- CONS: If you’re not familiar with the MAC range and finishes, it can be overwhelming and difficult to choose the right shade; not all shades are great or consistent against other shades within a finish family
- MY REC: I like MAC lipsticks quite a bit. I think they have some incredibly flattering shades as well as fun colors in their permanent line, but without having some MAC product knowledge, I can imagine it being daunting trying to figure out which shade is opaque, which is sheer, what finish might be best, and so on. There is a lot of variance between shades and even within finishes. Lustres and glazes tend to be sheerer, while amplified cremes and satins are creamier and more opaque. Mattes are on the drier side with some being exceptionally so (Ruby Woo, I’m talking to you).
- PROS: Long-wearing (5 to 6 hours on average), pigmented, wide range of shades
- NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., range includes wearable shades as well as out of the box shades, scent0free
- CONS: Shades are a bit one-note, texture is a little dry (but it’s not drying)
- MY REC: If you have pigmented lips and struggle to find true-to-tube color translate onto your lips, Rouge Artist Intense is a good line to try out, because the colors really are opaque.
- PROS: Long-wearing (4 to 6 hours on average), moisturizing, creamy, good shade range
- NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., scent-free, some really sheer shades while others are opaque
- CONS: Can smell waxy, lighter/sheerer shades fade in 1 to 3 hours
- MY REC: Though NARS’ lipsticks are unscented, sometimes the waxiness of the lipstick itself comes through, and it’s not so pleasant. It’s a more moisturizing lipstick than your average lipstick, though if you have ultra dry lips, you may still want to prep lips with some balm. I’ve also found that their sheerer or lighter shades don’t last nearly as long as their medium to dark shades.
- PROS: Creamy, moisturizing, glossy, semi-sheer to opaque, wears 2 to 4 hours, good shade range
- NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., scent-free
- CONS: Numbering system can make it difficult to determine colors
- MY REC: I feel like I rarely see mentions for Shiseido’s Perfect Rouge lipstick line, and it’s really a top notch line. They’re creamy, smooth, and richly pigmented.
- PROS: Creamy, glossy, moisturizing, semi-opaque to opaque colors, wears 3 to 4 hours
- NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., vanilla-scented
- CONS: Limited shade range
- MY REC: It’s a shame that Smashbox doesn’t expand their lipstick range, because I’ve liked several of the ones I’ve tried from it–but there just aren’t many colors available. These are moisturizing with a glossy finish and creamy texture. Similar to Laura Mercier Stick Gloss and Korres Mango Butters.
- PROS: Creamy, moisturizing, wears 3 to 5 hours
- NEUTRAL: 0.13 oz., burnt sugar scent (“caramel” or “creme brulee”)
- CONS: Sheer to opaque variances make it difficult to buy online or sight unseen, sometimes has an off-taste
- MY REC: I know that one of the biggest drawbacks to Urban Decay is inconsistency in the scent and taste of their lipsticks. The more shimmery shades seem to have a stronger averse taste than creamier shades. I don’t notice the scent when I wear them, so it’s not a deal breaker for me.
The Lipstick Comparisons series is designed to provide a quick reference summary sheet for some of the many available lipstick formulas. It seems like most brands have at least a couple of formulas, if not half a dozen, and it can be difficult to find the formulas that will work best for your budget, coloring, style, or taste.
This is not necessarily a best of list, and it’s not exhaustive–it is based on actual lipsticks that I’ve tried; they are all, however, decent to excellent lipsticks. (And perhaps, some day, it will be an exhaustive list.) I have summarized my experience based on pros and cons, but also some “neutral” factors that may be pros or cons, depending on your preferences. I will update this series as I try new lipstick formulas.
King Kong, Mash, Zulu, Midnight Express, Full Metal Jacket
NARS Vintage Nail Polishes see the re-release of five coveted NARS shades. As of late last night, Zulu was back in stock, actually, though it was sold out for a time. These are all limited edition, and each shade retails for $16.
- King Kong is a orange-toned molten copper bronze with copper shimmer threaded through the base color. This was the most pigmented shade out of the five; I used two coats. This applied evenly and smoothly, and it didn’t show brushstrokes too much for a metallic finish.
- Mash is a darkened olive green base with green and gold shimmer that warm it up. This was my favorite color out of the bunch. You’ll definitely need three coats, and some brushstrokes ended up showing for me, so be patient.
- Zulu is a deep, dark blackened green jelly. It’s very inky and solid and virtually black in low lighting. In the sunlight, the green of its base is more apparent. You’ll need at least three coats, if not four, to get full, opaque color. I’d also recommend slightly thicker coats, because those thinner coats seem to cause some streaking.
- Midnight Express is a deep, dark blackened navy. Just like Zulu, this shade is mostly black in low light and brightens up to its bluer form in sunlight. I did three coats, but you may find four better. The application for this shade was exactly the same as Zulu for me.
- Full Metal Jacket is a bluish silvered gray with silver shimmer. It is the most metallic of the five, and it is incredibly prone to showing brushstrokes. Patience is key with these kinds of metallics–you want to minimize the pressure and the number of times you brush the polish on the nails. Three coats.
The application issues make me wary of recommending these. Part of me wants to tell you to scoop up any shades that catch your eye before they’re sold out or gone for good, but the other part of me just wants to say, well, they don’t seem super-freaking-awesome as some shades have been hyped up to be. (Zulu, I’m looking at you!) It can be fun own a piece of history, as it were, though, and with some patience and a steady hand, all of these shades are workable. Mash and King Kong were good, while the rest were decent, so they kind of balance out. What also saves these polishes is that they’re not easy to dupe, which makes them even more covetable.
If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ!
- Product: 25/30
- Value: 8/10
- Ease of Use: 3/5
- Packaging: 4/5
RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t normally purchase $16 nail polish, these might not be the best ones to go for first. They’re not as easy to apply as your average nail polish. Also, if you can’t be fussed to be careful and wait between coats, you’ll probably have a poor experience with these.
NARS Vintage Nail Polish for Fall 2010
Introducing the NARS Vintage Nail Polish Collection! Five shades, resurrected by popular demand, with NARS’ signature longwearing formula. Imparting an initial high gloss luster that is water and detergent resistant, these vintage polishes are being brought out from the archives for a limited time. With classic cinema as their common theme, below are the shades (with original launch dates), their descriptions and the movies that inspired them.
- Mash (1996) Army green infused with gold
- King Kong (1996) Copper brown infused with gold
- Midnight Express (1996) Deep navy
- Zulu (1996) Forest green
- Full Metal Jacket (1998) Gunmetal grey
Availability: October 1st at narscosmetics.com, all shades are limited edition and retail for $16 each.