Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

NARS Angelique Lip Treatment
NARS Angelique Lip Treatment

When Quantity Matters

NARS Angelique Lip Treament ($25.00 for 0.06 oz.) is an ultra sheer neutral rose that almost leans coral–it just brightens up my natural lip color a bit. It has a glossier finish than your average lipstick, but it feels very lightweight and is moisturizing if you have healthier lips. It’s not overly creamy, bit it glides on lips easily and doesn’t feel like you’re wearing enough, but this also means that it’s just as easy to over-apply the product. (And trust me, with the amount you get, you don’t want to do that.) It doesn’t keep my lips moisturized all day though, and I do find myself needing to reapply every three to four hours.  It also carries a rating of SPF 15 (titanium dioxide).

So, this is a situation where I’m really bothered by the product’s price/quantity ratio. I’m willing to give all products a fair shake, and I recognize that there are brands at different price points with some brands trying to be more accessible and others remaining at arm’s length and obviously in the luxury category. I expect pricing to be in line with the brand’s image, similar products, etc., and I expect quantity to be around the average for that brand and/or direct competitors.

I don’t understand why NARS’ Lip Treatments are $25 (which is $1 more than their lipsticks and glosses) and HALF the size.  This is not a product that packs a ton of pigment in a single swipe so you can put it up to using less, or it’s full of innovative, never-before-seen ingredients/technology.  This is a product I’d easily use 3-4 times a day:  two weeks of usage and it’s already over half gone.

And so many thought Fresh was a splurge at $22.50 (but for 0.15 oz.)… Dior (which tends to be pricier than NARS) has their Lip Glow ($28.00 for 0.12 oz.), Fusion Beauty has LipFusion Balm Lip Conditioning Stick ($22.00 for 0.17 oz.), and so on. If you want to go NARS, I’d suggest one of their lipsticks instead, which are quite moisturizing as far as lipsticks go (on average) with some colors on the sheer side, others more semi-opaque, but at least you’ll get twice as much product.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 5/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I would pass, because they’re just way too pricey for what you get. There are plenty of other more moisturizing tinted lip balms (that come in stick-form) with twice as much product for about the same price. If NARS was just a little below the average, it wouldn’t be so bad, but they’re half as much and the size is half as much as their own lipsticks (which are fairly moisturizing!).  If you have dry or peeling lips, this won’t be enough.

AVAILABILITY: NARS, Sephora

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Saturday, August 21st, 2010

NARS Pure Matte Lipstick for Fall 2010

The NARS Pure Matte campaign, photographed by Creative Director and Founder François Nars, features Canadian model Heather Marks. Under Nars’s direction, makeup artist Diane Kendal designed a makeup look that emphasized a bold and matte lip. The end result is audacious, sultry and sophisticated.

Kendal began by applying Siberia Sheer Matte Foundation to the center of the face and blended outward. Vanilla Concealer masked imperfections. Snow Loose Powder was pressed into skin and the Botan Brush buffed away excess powder. Using the Yachiyo Brush, she applied Desire Blush to the apples of the cheeks and blended up towards the temples. For the eyes, Abyssinia Single Eyeshadow was brushed onto the lids with the Eyeshader Brush, followed by Blondie Single Eyeshadow into the crease with the Large Dome Brush to achieve depth. The inner corners were highlighted with the left side of All About Eve Duo Eyeshadow using the Eye Contour Brush. Iceberg Eyeliner Pencil lined the inner membrane of the lower lash line and Nuits Blanches Eyeliner Stylo created an impactful upper lash line. Brows were defined by applying Blondie Single Eyeshadow with the Brow Brush. To complete the look, two coats of Larger than Life Lengthening Mascara were applied to the lashes. Jungle Red Lipliner Pencil was used to define the shape of the lips. To create the luscious matte hue, Vesuvio Pure Matte Lipstick was swiped directly onto the lips.

Pure Matte Lipstick ($25.00)

  • Volga Deep aubergine
  • Bangkok Soft rose
  • Tonkin Cinnamon plum
  • Terre de Feu Black cherry
  • Tashkent Nude beige
  • Vesuvio Full bodied red

Availability:  September 2010

See more photos and Q&A with Francois Nars… Continue reading →

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

NARS Hot Wired Lip Lacquer
NARS Hot Wired Lip Lacquer

The Summer Season: NARS Hot Wired Lip Lacquer

NARS Hot Wired Lip Lacquer ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a jelly textured raspberry pink with bright, iridescent fuchsia micro-shimmer.  NARS’ Lip Lacquers are incredibly moisturizing and feel very slick–but not sticky–on lips.  The color pay off yields a nice semi-opaque look.  It works well on its own or layered over a lipstick, too.  The only thing I have to note is that the scent was like crayons/wax–a scent that has plagued more NARS’ lip products than I’d like.  It doesn’t linger, but it was quite potent in the jar.

Is this the right pink for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

NARS Coconut Grove Eyeshadow
NARS Coconut Grove Eyeshadow

Get Down & Dirty with Coconut Grove

NARS Coconut Grove Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a rich, decadent dark chocolate. This is an intense brown–there is no subtly here. It’s one of the darkest browns I’ve seen without veering into black.  I love the pigmentation of it, too.  It doesn’t quiver in its boots!  It charges straight ahead and goes on as dark as it looks in the pan.  You gotta love when an eyeshadow looks exactly the same in the pan as it does in practice.

Unlike Daphne, Coconut Grove has no problem showing up to the party, no matter where it’s at!  It swatches intensely, but more importantly, it applies the same way when used on the eye.  I wore it in this smoky eye, and I had to do some furious blending to keep it from being too dark and sultry (just because I was pairing it with red lips, but it could have easily been left in its stronger form and paired with a nude lip).  If pressed, I’d say this is a cooler brown, but I don’t think it leans very cool, and I liked it against my warmer skin tone as well.

According to NARS, this can be used wet as eyeliner, and since it’s incredibly deep in color and excellent in pigmentation, it could easily emphasize the eyes as eyeliner.  I don’t think you’d have any trouble getting this to look smooth and pigmented in a tight line at all.  From my experience, Coconut Grove is one of the best single eyeshadows by NARS to date.

Don’t forget — use code TEMPTALIA for a free mini lipgloss trio featuring Turkish Delight, Gothika, and Greek Holiday at NARS — expires 8/15.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For an alternative to black, Coconut Grove would make an excellent multi-tasking “darkening” agent. It’s also lovely on its own!

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

NARS Douceur Blush
NARS Douceur Blush

Douceur… aka Softness!

NARS Douceur Blush ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a new and limited edition shade of dirty neutral pink-brown. This is a hard color to describe, because I think it’s going to take on a lot of the natural tones from each person. It’s not pink on me, at all, and it doesn’t even swatch very pink, but it almost looks pink in the pan. On my skin (warm, yellow undertones, medium in color), it adds just a touch of flush but almost just darkens my cheeks. I love a product that challenges me to describe it, but simultaneously, I get very frustrated since I’m almost at a loss for words. (Almost!)

According to my good friend Google Translate, Douceur means softness in French.  (Thanks for the lessons!) Foreign language, by the way, was never my strong suit (I took five years of French and yet I can’t even translate “douceur” on my own)!

Beyond the dirty neutral pink-brown shade (which is about as close as I think I’m going to get here), this is one of NARS’ least pigmented blushes. It is surprisingly subtle and light; it does not build to something more intense. I think those with medium to dark skin tones may want to try it out in person first. It’s very barely-there on me, so while I think paler beauties will love the near matte finish and subtler coloring of the blusher, darker beauties will find it less useful and maybe even invisible on their skin tone.

By the by, while the NARS imprint is gorgeous, it will disappear within one or two uses!

Don’t forget — use code TEMPTALIA for a free mini lipgloss trio featuring Turkish Delight, Gothika, and Greek Holiday at NARS.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For those with light to light-medium skin, I think this would be a lovely shade to add depth without strong color.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, July 26th, 2010

NARS Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Fall 2010: Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is new and permanent duo for fall that features a shimmering golden-toned champagne and darkened gray with silver sheen. If I had to pick between the two new eyeshadow duos, I would easily choose Rajasthan. The pigmentation and texture is better in the latter duo–Tzarine suffers from a bit of sheerness and less smoothness in the champagne shade, while the gray shade is just a little sheer but overall has the same texture of most NARS eyeshadows.

Admittedly, neither shade seems particularly unique or compelling, which might be why it seems a little dull when released next to Rajasthan. The champagne side reminds me of a lighter version of Alhambra, while the gray side is like a darker version of Underworld.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Not as smooth, richly pigmented, or as easy to apply as Rajasthan or the best of NARS eyeshadows–it falls just a little short for me.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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