Monday, May 9th, 2011

NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “majestic and modern citrus gold glitter, can be swiped on lids and blended with a fingertip.” Although I haven’t had good experiences with NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, I still held out hope, but Queen also disappointed. Despite NARS saying it can be applied to the lid and blended with a fingertip, it only lasts for a half hour or so, and even then, I’m not exactly sure what look NARS was going for.

Queen contains chartreuse glittery bits suspended in a colorless base–there is no color whatsoever, just glitter. It’s not a very densely-packed glitter, either, because it applies sheer and doesn’t seem to be buildable at all. The glitter is large and chunky, and though it didn’t feel quite like sandpaper, it wasn’t soft or smooth when used against the lid. I could definitely feel the grit and unevenness of the glitter as I attempted to apply it on my lid (I applied it directly, using the pencil against the lid).

When I used my fingertips to “blend,” I ended up with half the glitter on my finger with the rest on the lid. Just like several other shades I’ve tried, it creases within an hour (faster, too, but I just took a photo after an hour). The glitter migrated into the crease and collected with its friends. There was even some that had traveled beneath my lower lash line.

I attempted to apply it over an eyeshadow look to add glitter, but it made the look crease, and even before it creased, the glitter didn’t seem to apply evenly or smoothly at all. I also applied it over a clear eyeshadow base, and I still experienced the same creasing and migration of the glitter as without a base. When applied to the lower lash line, it travels down to cheeks and with the sheerness of the product (you can’t get a really dense, rich line of glitter), it just doesn’t apply well.

The Glossover

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Queen

It doesn't work alone, over a base, over eyeshadow, and if you apply eyeshadow over it, you end up covering a lot of the color of the glitter. You'd be better off applying glitter eyeliner (many are colored glitter suspended in a clear base) and applying that onto the lid, because at least it'll adhere for more than an hour.
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Monday, May 9th, 2011


NARS Laguna: Portrait of Paradise

This summer, NARS introduces a limited-edition collection of products inspired by the cult classic Laguna Bronzing Powder. Taking a cue from Founder & Creative Director François Nars’ island, Motu Tane, the collection evokes vivid images of the exotic French Polynesia. Gorgeous glistening skin begins with the Laguna Body Illuminator, with a delicious scent inspired by the Tiare flower that grows wild on Motu Tane. A gold-flecked Laguna Multiple provides a natural bronzed brilliance to the face, and cheeks are highlighted with NARS’ first Blush/Bronzer Trio. Sweep on, and be swept away.

Laguna Body Illuminator ($45.00)

After the high demand of light-reflecting golden bronze face Illuminator comes an Illuminator designed for body application that won’t transfer onto clothing. Perfect for legs, neck and décolleté, the Body Illuminator is a limited-edition product.

Laguna Multiple ($39.00)

Fusing an iconic shade with a cult classic formula, the brown with golden shimmer shade will debut for the first time as a limited-edition Multiple – perfect for highlighting, lightly contouring, or all-over bronzing.

Orgasm, Albatross, Laguna Blush/Bronzer Trio ($55.00)

Three iconic NARS products, one portable zip-around compact. With Orgasm Blush, Albatross Highlighting Blush Powder, and Laguna Bronzing Powder, this limited-edition trio makes a flawless complexion more attainable than ever.

availability: Now @ NARS

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Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011


NARS Club Mix Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.09 oz.) was a new product, released for spring, as a twist on NARS’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. It’s a glossy, moisturizing jumbo-sized pencil available in six “glazed” shades. The range includes: Baroque (raspberry sorbet), Club Mix (sheer grape), Frivolous (iridescent seashell pink), Happy Days (pink coral infused with gold shimmer), abd Hopi (honey beige), and New Lover (gold infused strawberry pink).

  • Baroque is a dark, pink-tinged red with silver and pink shimmer. It’s nearly opaque on lips.
  • Club Mix is a berry plum with soft pink and burgundy with a slight metallic finish. It’s semi-sheer to semi-opaque on lips with a glossy shine.
  • Frivolous is a sheer pink nude with soft gold shimmer that applies semi-sheer to semi-opaque. For me, it’s a rather my-lips-but-better shade.
  • Happy Days is a sheer coral-red with coppery gold shimmer that gives medium color coverage.
  • Hopi is a darkened, coppered tan with gold and copper shimmer. It is almost semi-opaque on lips, but you can still see my lip freckle.
  • New Lover is a dark, cool-toned pink with iridescent pink-peach shimmer. Like Hopi, it is almost semi-opaque in color coverage.

It’s hard to determine just what kind of color coverage to expect from these, because it seems to range from semi-sheer to semi-opaque overall, with Baroque being the most opaque and Frivolous being the sheerest. Given NARS’ gloss range and lipgloss in general, they are typically not opaque, so I think the pigmentation level in these is good and above average.

The finishes of each is a glossy enough to be a gloss but the thin texture of the pencil won’t give lips as full of a look as thicker lip gloss does. These are a great alternative to those who want the shine of the gloss but the texture of a lip balm.

These are smooth and glide on effortlessly, and the coverage is fairly even without having to work at it. They also deposit color well without requiring lots of layers to achieve the results seen in swatches. I get about three hours of wear with these, which is about average. I detected no scent or taste, and the texture of these is not at all tacky.

My concern with these lip pencils is how soft the pencil is–though it lends to easier application, these are so soft that they don’t do well if the temperature is 70 degrees or higher and end up rather melty. Jumbo-sized pencils like these can waste product when sharpened, and the softness of the pencil seems to exacerbate that problem.

Iwish NARS had gone with twist-up packaging, like Clinique, which would make these more convenient (no sharpening required) and eliminate the waste. The amount of waste does seem to vary from sharpener to sharpener, and I usually reach for Urban Decay’s Grindhouse, which gives me minimized waste, but there is still some.

The Glossover

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NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If the packaging didn't waste product every time you sharpened it (or conversely, if they gave you a lot more product!), I'd love these more (they'd be rated a B+ if packaging was fine!). The color range is really workable and wearable across skin tones, and I can see New Lover being a favorite.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, May 2nd, 2011

NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Summer 2011: Dogon Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) was named for Mali-based culture and features a metallic taupe with icy green sheen and charcoal black. It is a limited edition duo. I found the lighter shade to apply really smoothly and evenly, while the darker shade was smooth but slightly dusty and pigmentation was good–though it seemed to fade too easily when blended.

In the pan, the darker shade looks rather blue–almost like a really sooty, deep dark blue, but when swatched, it does have a tendency to look much blacker. It still reads a smidgen blue, though, and part of that is owed to the flecks of midnight blue shimmer running through the matte color base.

The lighter shade is a rosy taupe with a subtle green sheen. It’s like a softer, subtler version of MAC Club or Blue Brown pigment. I can see the duochrome nature of the lighter shade really catching peoples’ eyes, though, and of all the products for summer, this is likely to be one of the more coveted pieces.

As far as NARS eyeshadows go, their duos are your best bang for your buck. Most individual eyeshadows from high-end brands are 0.05 oz. on average, while these almost equal out to three of those for $33. NARS’ eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant. When I wear them alone, I tend to get around seven to eight hours of wear before there is a faint amount of creasing, so it isn’t a huge mess, but I’d recommend a primer for all-day wear (especially for those with oilier lids).

The Glossover

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NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
This duo has smoky eye written all over it! It is a cooler-toned set of shades, but I think both of them are workable across both skin tones because of their depth.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, April 29th, 2011

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Summer 2011: Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “pink cantaloupe,” while the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil formula is all about “rich pigment” delivered via a “jumbo-sized crayon” that imparts a “velvet matte finish.” It’s supposed to be long-wearing without being drying, while still being creamy. This shade has been added to NARS’ permanent range.

I thought the color was closer to that of grapefruit, but I guess if cantaloupe was pink, it might look something like this (and then kind of like grapefruit, ha!). It’s a lightened pink with just a hint of coral. It looked more coral swatched than it did once I applied it to my lips, though.  It actually bears a lot of similarity to MAC Ever Hip, though ever-so-slightly paler and, obviously, the finish is different as Bolero is matte.

The finish is completely matte, and with the lightness of the color, there is a touch of settling into lip lines and emphasis on any imperfections of the natural lip but really quite little overall and not noticeable from a normal viewing distance (you know, not close-up!). It does have enough creaminess in the texture to easily apply it, smooth it out, and get a nice layer of even color, and the pigmentation is excellent–really dense, opaque color without having to wear the pencil down to a nub.

With some of the really deep shades of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil line-up, I can see six to eight hours of wear, but with a lighter shade like Bolero, it wore just over four hours (which is slightly above average for a light color like this, where I normally see three to four). The length of wear was good and above average, but it’s not excellent. I did find Bolero a little drying by the fourth hour.

These aren’t your best bang for your buck lip product, considering you only get 0.086 oz. for $24–a NARS lipstick contains 0.12 oz. but also costs $24.00. They do apply color more precisely than a lipstick, because it has a more chiseled tip, but the cap is not as secure on this jumbo-sized lip pencil than it is on a lipstick–such a game of trade-offs! I didn’t find that the cap was easy to come off, but I do acknowledge it is less secure by its nature than lipstick.

The Glossover

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Bolero

B
If the wear was more on par with long-wearing lipsticks (including other shades within this range, which tend to be six to eight hours), the product would have rated higher. I think the color is one that will appeal to many, and it should work well on both cool and warmer skin tones, as the pink dominates over the coral, making it flattering on both.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, April 29th, 2011

NARS Wonder Lipgloss
NARS Wonder Lipgloss

NARS Summer 2011: Wonder Lipgloss

NARS Wonder Lipgloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is described as a “shiny, sheer mandarin orange laced with pink and gold shimmer.” It was a very reddened orange with flecks of gold and pink shimmer but less distinctly orange when worn.

Funny enough, this is a product described as sheer but actually is rather semi-sheer to semi-opaque! It’s a very buildable gloss, so it can go from a sheerer wash of color to more medium coverage  (though you can still clearly see my natural lip color through the gloss–it has a lot of color but still a lot of translucence) without feeling like you have to apply half the tube to do so.  One pull of gloss gets you sheer, a second pull gets you to what you see here.

NARS Lipglosses have a thinner consistency that’s mostly non-sticky (though sometimes, there is the odd gloss out), and the past several shades I’ve tried, are also scent- and taste-free. (In the past, some NARS glosses had a plasticky scent.) Wonder applies smoothly and evenly, and it gives lips a really plump, juicy look with the high-shine finish. I typically get three to four hours of wear out of NARS glosses.

The Glossover

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Wonder

A

Surprisingly buildable, it is easy to wear at sheerer levels as well as more opaque levels. It wears well, evenly, and leaves lips looking really lush.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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