Monday, August 1st, 2011


NARS Caravaggio Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Caravaggio Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Caravaggio Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “azalea pink” and “iridescent violet.”

The pink shade is a rich, vibrant raspberry-fuchsia with a pearled sheen–it’s not full-on fuchsia, but it’s not as red or as dark as a raspberry would be (as in the real fruit!). It has such a lovely texture–really dense, smooth, and silky to the touch, plus the color payoff is excellent! The hue is quite similar to Urban Decay’s Woodstock–perhaps the slightest bit darker. MAC Bright Fuchsia is brighter but still similar. MAC Hepcat has a similar base color but has much more purple in it.

The purple shade is a softened, jewel-tone purple with red undertones and a pearled sheen. It, too, has great color opacity with a silky smooth texture that’s rich and dense and a breeze to work with. The color is similar to MAC Double Feature 2 but lighter. MAC Vibrant Grape is also similar but has a much more matte finish.

Per NARS, their eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant. In my experience, they still need to be worn over an eyeshadow base for all-day wear, but alone, they wear seven to eight hours with subtle creasing. They don’t fall apart immediately after application, but an eyeshadow base is recommended for best results.

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NARS Caravaggio Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A
The most important characteristics of an eyeshadow--color payoff, blendability, and texture--are amazing here. The only downside is NARS' claims these are long-wearing (on their own), and they just aren't on their own.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, July 31st, 2011


NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss

Launch Date:  Now — available exclusively at Sephora

Outrageously lustrous color meets serious shine in this NARS gloss. Its stay-in-place dramatic shade glides on smoothly and evenly for lips that are more luminous and voluminous than ever before. Long-lasting, high-shine hues are infused with ingredients that nourish and fight free radicals while natural lip enhancers pump up with volume. A new, shorter bristle brush delivers the most precise application possible. However you want to express yourself, Larger Than Life Lip Gloss says it boldly, brilliantly, and brazenly.

Larger Than Life Lip Gloss ($26.00)

  • Place Vendome Strawberry pink
  • Norma Cherry red
  • Piree Rosy pink
  • Como Shimmering berry
  • Tiber Cool beige
  • Odalisque Cantaloupe
  • Spring Break
  • Gold Digger Sparkling peach shimmer
  • Coeur Sucre Shimmering bright pink
Saturday, July 30th, 2011


NARS Fall 2011 Collection

Launch Date: July 15th @ narscosmetics.com, August at all other locations

The Fall 2011 campaign was designed and photographed by NARS Founder and Creative Director François Nars. Under his supervision, makeup artist Diane Kendal created the season’s look on model Mariacarla Boscono. The Italian beauty was chosen for her sophistication and chameleon-like ability to become the character she is made up to portray.

Diane began by creating an immaculate complexion, applying Siberia Sheer Matte Foundation to the center of the face with her fingertips, blending outward, and setting with Snow Loose Powder. To add contour to the cheeks, she brushed Oasis Blush just below the cheekbone and blended the color toward the temple. Mariacarla’s eyelids were prepped with PRO-PRIME Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, blending with a fingertip for a fresh finish. Diane then applied Outremer Single Eyeshadow to the lid, layering the color to build intensity.

To create a winged effect, she extended the color to the inner corner of the eye and up along the outer corner toward the brow bone. Next, she swept the sheer white side of Pandora Duo Eyeshadow on the brow bone, blending it softly into the bold blue hue. She lined the upper lash line with Rue Saint-Honoré Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner Pencil and the lower lash line with Rue Bonaparte Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner Pencil to open the eyes. The silvery taupe shade of Grand Palais Duo Eyeshadow was blended along the lower lash line, extending the color into the inner corner of the eye.

Brows were defined with Bali Single Eyeshadow, and lashes were curled and finished with two coats of Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara. Lastly, Diane lined and filled the lips with Fantasia Lipliner Pencil—blending with a finger to soften the color—followed by Striptease Lip Gloss topped with Pago Pago Lipstick.

The Fall 2011 collection is resolutely avant-garde. Daring shots of color are tempered with softer, subtler tones. Eyes range from bright true blue to silvery taupe, dazzling peach and matte dove gray. Lips run the gamut from statementmaking matte red to sophisticated plum and sparkling champagne pink. A stormy gray nail color adds a mysterious finishing touch. The effect is confident, edgy and intense.

Pure Matte Lipstick ($25.00)

  • Mascate True red
  • Montego Bay Rose pink

Eyeshadow ($23.00)

  • Outremer Bold blue

Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00)

  • Grand Palais Silvery taupe and dusty rose (Limited Edition)

Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00)

  • Delphes Sparkling sheer peach, matte dove gray, frosted sage (Limited Edition)

Lipgloss ($24.00)

  • Oasis Sparkling pink champagne (Limited Edition)

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00)

  • Train Bleu Deep aubergine

Lipstick ($24.00)

  • Pago Pago Petal pink

Nail Polish ($17.00)

  • Galion Deep gray (Limited Edition)

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Friday, July 29th, 2011


NARS South Pacific Eyeshadow Duo

NARS South Pacific Eyeshadow Duo

NARS South Pacific Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “shimmering blue turquoise” and “dark aquamarine.”

On the left, there is a twinkling sky blue with a hint of teal and white frost finish. Inglot #415 is similar but it leans a touch greener and has a subtle golden sheen. The color payoff of this shade was excellent–so densely packed with color with a rich, smooth texture that made it easy to blend and apply.

On the right, there is a muted, silvered blue with a silver-white shimmer-sheen. It’s paler and bluer compared to MAC Moon’s Reflection, while Urban Decay Mary Jane is much darker. It has good color payoff, but it is a touch sheerer compared to the left shade. It’s very soft, though, and it applies well onto the skin.

Per NARS, their eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant. In my experience, they still need to be worn over an eyeshadow base for all-day wear, but alone, they wear seven to eight hours with subtle creasing. They don’t fall apart immediately after application, but an eyeshadow base is recommended for best results.

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NARS South Pacific Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
Both shades are distinctly blue but not over-the-top blue. I liked how one shade is a brighter blue, while the other is subtler, more muted.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, July 25th, 2011


NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner ($23.00 for 0.02 oz.) is a new (and permanent) long-wearing pencil eyeliner that is available in nine shades (though two have not yet been made available online). They’re touted to have 12-hour wear with no smearing or caking. Each eyeliner twists up and also has a built-in sharpener.

I posted sneak peek swatches a couple of days ago, and I’ve spent the time since then testing different shades out to see how they wear. I had high hopes for this product, especially because the initial wear test (which had only been four hours or so) made it seem promising. First, these are infinitely better than NARS Eyeliner Pencils. When I had these on the back of my hand, I can’t smudge them after they set–really vigorous rubbing will cause them to flake a bit, though.

  • Santa Monica Blvd. is a pure white a matte finish. This one applied a bit unevenly, and it seemed less opaque than the other shades. It seems similar to MAC Pure White.
  • Rue Bonaparte is a soft beige with a matte finish. This works well to give eyes a more awake appearance when used on the waterline–the problem is getting it to stay there, though. It seems a touch lighter than MAC NC15/NW20.
  • Abbey Road is a blue-teal with soft blue shimmer. It seems similar to Urban Decay’s Covet.
  • Rue Saint-Honore is a royal purple with strong blue pull–it’s described as a deep royal blue but looks more purple than blue on me.
  • Via Appia is a dark, copper-shimmered brown. It’s not as dark (or as warm) as Urban Decay Corrupt.
  • Madison Ave. is a medium-dark gray with a matte finish.
  • Via Veneto is a deep, dark black with a matte finish. It reminded me of Urban Decay’s Perversion and MAC Black Black.

I’m not sure if these are waterline-safe or not–the press release nor the website indicate that they are–but typically, matte shades are usually suitable for the waterline while shimmery/glittery shades may not be. I wore Via Veneto (which is a deep, dark black) on my lower waterline and lash line, and I get about an hour of wear on the waterline before the majority has faded away.

The eyeliner on the lash line lasts much longer, and what I noticed is when I wore foundation, the eyeliner wore better and had no smudging eight hours later.  By 12-hours (the claimed wear time), there was very, very faint smudging underneath the lash line, and the eyeliner wasn’t as intense or as thick as it was originally.  When I wore no foundation, by the sixth hour, there seemed to be a faint, but noticeable, darkness beneath the line–a subtle smudging.  I don’t have oily eyelids, and when it’s not allergy season (and it is not), I don’t have very watery eyes.

The built-in sharpener is best used when you twist-up the pencil a good amount, because you really need to get a good portion of it into the sharpener to get it to work.  You do lose some pencil in the process in order to achieve the slanted, pointed tip.  It seems a bit less than a traditional pencil eyeliner per sharpening, but I’m not sure it’s significant enough that one would be persuaded solely by that–after all, most pencil eyeliners are 0.04 oz. and this is half the size at 0.02 oz. and you do still waste some when sharpening.  It is more than most mechanical eyeliners (which are around 0.01 on average), though.

They’re creamy and deposit mostly even color when applied (except Santa Monica Blvd., which is sheerer overall). They glide across the skin and lash lines with ease, so there is no tugging or pulling. The texture of these–overall–is really nice and easy enough to apply. The wear is good, and of course, when it comes to eyeliner, wear is the defining factor.

The Glossover

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NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
They're shy of the 12-hour mark that NARS' claims, but they do wear fairly well for eight hours. The pencils glide on easily and deposit a good amount of color in one stroke.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, July 25th, 2011


NARS Delphes Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Fall 2011: Delphes Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Delphes Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a trio of “sparkling sheer peach, matte dove grey, and frosted sage.” It is a limited edition piece from the fall collection, which is slated to hit retailers in August but currently available online at NARS.

  • The first shade in the trio is a soft, shimmering peach champagne that’s a little sheer with chunky, silver glitter. It is similar to Inglot #397, while Urban Decay Virgin has a less shimmery finish and a pinker look. The texture itself has a subtle grittiness from the glitter, and it does leave behind some glitter fall out, and if one uses it as a brow highlighter, you’ll probably find a few stray glittery bits in your brows a few hours later.
  • The second shade is a bluish-gray with a matte finish but the shade itself has little specks of sparkle. Like the first shade, it is sheerer than expected. Inglot #339 is similar in color but darker. This color blends out easily, but because it starts off sheerer, it requires some building for good color intensity when applied and a light hand to blend.
  • The last shade of the trio is a springy green with a part frost, part metallic finish. This was the most pigmented shade of the three. It has more of a silver sheen compared to Urban Decay Urb, while theBalm Run Around Rebecca has a brown-like sheen in comparison.

This trio of colors should appeal to those who prefer their eyeshadows soft, subtle, and generally sheerer. One of the three shades is nicely pigmented, but the other two are on the sheerer side, while the peach shade is described specifically as sheer, the other two are not and should conform to NARS’ description of the trios (“highly pigmented, long-wearing, and crease-resistant”).  Generally, I get about seven to eight hours of decent wear before there is subtle creasing when these are worn alone–I always recommend an eyeshadow primer underneath these. (I don’t think that, on its own, is a deal-breaker–most of us use eyeshadow bases regularly–but I include it because it is part of the product’s claims.)

I like the packaging that NARS has embraced for the trios, because the divider between each shade (and even distribution of each color) makes it easy to use the shades individually without blending the two together. The rubberized packaging makes these less prone to breaking upon impact (because it absorbs some of the impact better than a hard plastic would), and it’s easier to hold. Each compact also includes a mirror inside, which is a nice bonus.

The Glossover

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NARS Delphes Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
Not NARS' best trio--I can see this appealing to a set of buyers who gravitate towards subtle, softened colors, but it's not really what this palette is supposed to be, based on NARS' description.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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