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NARS Iskandar, Mesopotamia, Snake Eyes Eye Paints

NARS Iskandar Eye Paint
NARS Iskandar Eye Paint

NARS Eye Paints ($25.00 for 0.08 oz.) is supposed to be a long-wearing, highly-pigmented gel formula that can be used as an eyeshadow or eyeliner. The consistency is very creamy, and just about every single shade I tried was incredibly pigmented. These dry down very, very quickly, so you have to work fast, and they take some work to blend with each other as a result. Using one or two isn’t so bad, but add a third into the mix, and it can be troublesome. The edges need to be blended almost immediately, or else layered with a similar-colored eyeshadow to help diffuse the drier edge. Yesterday, I wore these primarily as eyeshadows (but also two as eyeliner on the lower lash line) over bare lids. I experienced very slight creasing after seven hours of wear as well as some slight fading, which worsened and was noticeable after eight and a half hours of wear. As an eyeliner, they lasted better and did not fade or migrate over a nine hour period.

Iskandar was the easiest to apply and blend out, while Mesopotamia was the one that set the quickest and was most difficult to blend. I like a fairly flat, somewhat narrow, brush with a little thickness and a domed edge for applying these (I used MAC’s 242), because it’s useful for placing dense color but also has enough density and thickness that it can blend out the edges, too. Today, I’m testing a couple other shades for wear (alone) but as well as with eyeshadow on top (so more as a base) to see how they perform that way. Tomorrow, I’ll try them over NARS’ Smudge Proof Primer to wrap everything up with a neat little bow.  One last thing: the size on these is slightly smaller than average gel eyeliners (usually around 0.10 oz. or so).

Iskandar is described as “gold.” It’s a rich, medium-dark gold with orange and bronze undertones and a copper and gold shimmer. It has a frosted, metallic finish. The color payoff was rich and opaque whether applied as an eyeliner or as an eyeshadow–I used NARS’ #38 brush for the thinner swatch and then turned it horizontally for the larger swatch. NARS Campo de Fiori is similar. Maybelline Bold Gold is less warm-toned. MAC Going for the Gold is darker. Illamasqua Alchemy is yellower. See comparison swatches.

Mesopotamia is described as “brown.” It’s a deep brown with subtle warm, red undertones and a matte finish. It is richly pigmented and applied smoothly. Bobbi Brown Chocolate is warmer. Urban Decay Demolition is similar. MAC rich Experience is also similar. Buxom Two by Four is slightly warmer. See comparison swatches.

Snake Eyes is described as “black with green shimmer.” It’s a deep black with brown undertones with emerald green pearl. It had fairly good color payoff but to make the pearl stand out, two layers are needed. Urban Decay Loaded is lighter. MAC Dark Envy is greener. MAC My Next Indulgence is lighter. See comparison swatches.

NARS Eye Paint Iskandar
NARS Eye Paint Mesopotamia
NARS Eye Paint Snake Eyes
Snake Eyes

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How to Contour & Highlight with Cream Foundation

Before Contouring / After Contouring with NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

Contouring with cream foundation is an easy way to achieve seamless, blended contours and highlights because you’re using products designed to work together in order to create a canvas that transitions from shadow to skin to highlight beautifully. Highlighting and contouring bring back definition and shape to the face, especially after you’ve created a beautiful, flawless blank canvas with your foundation. Because foundations are one color, and depending on the coverage, they can leave the face looking flat and shapeless.

More of us are familiar with highlighters–shimmering powders and creams patted along the high planes of the face to reflect light–but contouring can be a more difficult and daunting task. The best part about makeup, though, is freedom of choice; you can go as defined as you’d like, so you don’t have to go for a dramatic contour and highlight but something subtle that just defines and helps lift the face. I’ve tried to show a more dramatic contour (but you could go further and make it even more dramatic) so that you can clearly see the differences before and after.

Don’t be afraid if you’re new to contouring!  Uzo, NARS International Lead Stylist, recommends beginners to use cream foundations for contouring “because they are easier to blend” as “powders in an unskilled hand can make contouring look harsh and un-blended while liquids don’t give enough definition. It is not about having a stripe of darker, un-diffused color along the sides of the face but subtly blended dimension that defines the cheekbones (and jaw line).”

With the full range of NARS Radiant Cream CompactAdvertisement at my disposal, I matched my skin tone match to Santa Fe, which is described as a “medium with peachy undertone,” and it is categorized as “Medium 2.” This is the product I used to create the blank canvas (as my regular foundation) to even out my skin color and cover any blemishes and imperfections.

Find your shade match using our NARS + Temptalia Foundation Matrix–just enter your current foundation and out pops your new shade match!

To highlight, I chose Siberia. Generally, your highlight shade should be two to four shades lighter than your actual skin color. To contour, I used Cadiz along with Benares. I opted for two, because I wanted a subtler contour on areas like my nose and eyes, but I wanted a deeper, more dramatic contour for slimming and defining my cheekbones and jawline. Generally, you will want to select a shade that is two to four shades darker than your natural complexion and opt for a shade that has similar undertones to your skin tone or one that is more neutral.

Now, get the step-by-step! 

5 Gorgeous Lipsticks for Autumn (2013 Edition)

From blushes to lipsticks, I have my personal five favorites for fall lip color! This idea is courtesy of readers Maribel, Sara, Shahnaz, Camille, and Rebecca, who all wanted to see some great shades for autumn. As always, I look forward to hearing about your top five!

  1. NARS Train Bleu — matte, purple berry
  2. Burberry Bright Plum — bright, bold berry-pink
  3. MAC Endless Drama — deep red
  4. Buxom Runaway — rusty plum
  5. Urban Decay Venom — shimmering berry

What are your top five fall lip colors?

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Top 5 Blushes for Autumn (2013 Edition)

With fall coming around the corner, reader Maribel’s suggestion for a top five on blush picks for fall was spot-on! In this list, I wanted a good variety in color, not just a bunch of plums. I thought about the colors we tend to see more often during fall, like berries, plums, and burgundies, but not just on cheeks but lips, too. When I wear a stronger lip, I like pairing it with cool pinks or neutral browns/beiges, so cheeks can still have color and definition but not too much color.

  1. NARS Dolce Vita — medium-dark, rosy plum with a satin finish
  2. Burberry Earthy — satin-finished medium brown-beige
  3. Chanel Inspiration — slightly cool-toned, light-medium pink
  4. MAC Ambering Rose — warm, rusty plum
  5. NARS Oasis — shimmering plum

What’s your favorite blush for fall?

Introducing NARS + Temptalia Foundation Matrix! Find Your Shade Match for NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

We’re so excited to unveil the NARS + Temptalia Foundation Matrix to make finding your shade of NARS’ newest Radiant Cream Compact Foundation that much easier. With the power of our Foundation Matrix–which has over 10,000 shades now included–and photos and swatches of the Radiant Cream Compact Foundation and its full twenty-shade range, we know there’s a match for you!  Simply let us know what your current foundation and shade is (any brand!) and out pops your results–like magic!  If you don’t have a foundation to match to, you can view swatches of the full range arranged from lightest to darkest, complete with descriptions, to help you decide.

NARS’ newest foundation is described as a “lightweight formula combines the supple feel of a cream foundation with the weightless coverage of liquid makeup for a truly glowing complexion.” It is “[e]nriched with the NARS exclusive Advanced Emulsion Technology, the velvety cream formula blends seamlessly and uniquely allows for the modern artistic versatility of a wet or dry application.” It’s a buildable, medium to full coverage foundation that comes in a portable compact.

Check out the NARS + Temptalia Foundation Matrix and share your shade in the comments! I’m Santa Fe 🙂

Full Shade Range

  • Siberia Light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
  • Mont Blanc Light with pink undertone
  • Gobi Light with yellow undertone for Asian skin
  • Deauville Light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
  • Fiji Light with yellow undertone
  • Ceylan Light-medium with yellow undertone
  • Punjab Medium with golden, peachy undertone
  • Vallauris Medium with pink undertone
  • Santa Fe Medium with peachy undertone
  • Stromboli Medium with olive undertone
  • Barcelona Deeper medium with golden, peachy undertone
  • Syracuse Medium-dark with brown undertone
  • Tahoe Medium-dark with caramel undertone
  • Cadiz Medium-dark with caramel and red undertone
  • Macao Medium-dark with deep yellow undertone
  • New Guinea Dark with red undertone
  • Trinidad Dark with warm, yellow undertone
  • New Orleans Dark with yellow undertone
  • Benares Dark with golden undertone
  • Khartoum Dark with espresso undertone

NARS Hearts LA Set & Blush Palettes for Fall 2013

For Fall 2013, NARS debuts a new limited edition gift set, based on the glamorous city’s top-selling shades. Elevate any look with four evocative Eyeshadow hues and the brand’s iconic Deep Throat Blush and Laguna Bronzing Powder for cheeks – paired with cult favourite Nail Polish and Lip Gloss shades.

NARS Loves Los Angeles Set ($75.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Deep Throat Flirty sheer peach (Blush)
  • Abyssinia Delicate pearl sheen (Eyeshadow)
  • Etrusque Antique (Eyeshadow)
  • Outremer Bright true blue (Eyeshadow)
  • Bali Neutral brown (Eyeshadow)
  • Laguna Brown with golden shimmer (Bronzing Powder)
  • Trouville Seashell pink (Nail Polish)
  • Turkish Delight Pink sherbet (Lip Gloss)

Availability: September 1, 2013 at Barney’s Beverly Hills, Nordstrom (Topanga, Glendale, Westside, Farmers Market, Santa Anita, Santa Monica), Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills, narscosmetics.com

Makeup artists have long used multiple shades of blush to give the face depth and dimension. Now beauty lovers can get creative with their own cheek technique at home, with two new limited edition blush palettes, each featuring four of the brand’s top-selling shades. Sculpt, highlight, and define the face for a variety of bold, modern, and artistic beauty looks.

Adult Content ($49.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Zen Natural beige
  • Miss Liberty Soft, shimmering peach
  • Deep Throat Flirty, sheer peach
  • Desire Cotton candy pink

Killing Me Softly ($49.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Gilda Perfect coral with a hint of red
  • Albatross Luminous glow
  • Orgasm Peachy pink with golden shimmer
  • Outlaw Soft rose tone with golden shimmer

Availability: September 1 at department and specialty stores, NARS boutiques, and narscosmetics.com

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