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NARS Skin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer Review

NARS Skin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer
NARS Skin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer

Lightweight, Quick-Absorbing – Better for Oily Skin Types

NARS Skin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer ($58.00 for 1.8 oz.) is described as a “aqua-rich gel-cream that hydrates, revitalizes, and fortifies the skin.” It’s supposed to improve water retention, keep skin feeling supple, and soften fine lines. It is “synthetic fragrance-, paraben-, alcohol-, and oil-free,” according to NARS.

In the past, I’ve used the previous version of the Aqua Gel, and I really liked it and found it hydrating enough for my skin type (normal-to-dry; more normal when I was testing this, as it was during the summer). It was actually a go-to product for when my skin was getting dry.  A lot of what was great about the original is true here:  it’s lightweight, feels and glides on like a gel-based moisturizer, and it sinks into skin quickly.  There is a little tackiness, though, even if it doesn’t look or feel oily/greasy.  It has a pleasant smell, though it is hard for me to articulate the scent; it’s not quite herbal, but it seems natural enough–not perfume-y or anything like that.  During the summer, it was lovely against the skin, because it felt cool when applied.

This moisturizer is much more suitable for combination to oily skin types; it was not hydrating enough for me with normal skin.  I would use it at night, but my skin really need more moisture.   NARS says it is ideal for normal to combination/oily skin types, but it was not hydrating enough for when my skin was normal. I went through the jar in a month, only using it at night time.   I didn’t notice an impact on minimizing or softening fine lines.

Ultimately, this is a lightweight, quick-absorbing gel moisturizer that will be most suitable for oilier complexions.

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NARS Gentle Cream Cleanser Review

NARS Gentle Cream Cleanser

A Truly Gentle Cleanser

NARS Gentle Cream Cleanser ($29.00 for 4.2 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a “gentle, non-drying cream cleanser with a luxurious lather designed to pamper the skin while washing away makeup and surface impurities.” NARS says it is best for normal, dry, and seasonally dry skin, and it is “synthetic fragrance, paraben, and alcohol” free.

I’ve been using this for the past two and a half months as my morning cleanser (though I have also used in the evenings on occasion). It’s lightweight, incredibly gentle, non-drying, and a little goes a long way. I don’t even think I’m half-way through the tube, even though I consistently use it every morning. It lathers up quickly, but it’s not at all drying. I tend to have normal-to-dry skin, which is more normal than not during the spring/fall, but it gets drier as we head into winter. What I like most about the cleanser is really how genuinely gentle it is; there’s no stinging or burning sensations if this gets into your eyes at all. It doesn’t cloud your eyes or anything like that either.

It cleans well, and for something marketed as “gentle,” it is surprisingly effective at removing makeup. It won’t get long-wearing products off fully, but it did break down my liquid foundation well.  I like how it leaves my skin post-cleanse, which is soft and supple–my skin never feels stripped or dried out. Given how long I’ve been using it, and how much is left, the price tag stretches out a bit.

I have one complaint, though, and for me, it’s enough to look for something else:  the packaging.  It looks sleek, and just looking at it, everything seems in order.  Using it, however, is another matter.  It leaks cleanser, mostly into the cap, but unscrewing the cap will leave you with half an inch of cleanser just sitting inside the cap.  More leaks out as you unscrew the cap, so then the cleanser runs over and down the sides.  A little goes a long way, and it’s hard to get just a little out, because it has such a fluid consistency.   I feel like a lot of cleanser has gotten washed down the drain as a result, and it keeps the tube perpetually slippery and sudsy.  It might be better with a pump or if you could stand it on the opposite side (the tapered end).

Bottom Line: I really enjoyed the cleanser itself, but the packaging made it hard to use and wasted product.

NARS Mitzi Sheer Lipstick

NARS Mitzi Lipstick
NARS Mitzi Lipstick

One Sheer, Shimmery Lipstick Coming Right Up!

NARS Mitzi Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sheer muted strawberry pink with soft shimmer.” It’s a soft, rosy brown with a natural sheen. Chanel Superstition looks similar on the lips, though it more golden-shimmered and less pink-toned. Clarins Rosewood is more opaque. MAC Viva Glam V is pinker. Guerlani Rose Ensoleille is darker, pinker.

This shade is part of NARS’ Sheer lipstick range, which is designed as sheer color with long-wear and has a hydrating formula. Mitzi is lightweight, sheer, and wears three and a half hours on me, which isn’t bad for such a sheer shade. This particular lipstick imparts more shimmer than actual color, so the more pigmented your lips are, the less you’ll notice your lip color changing, but you will see a soft, frosted sheen/shimmer on them instead. It was lightly hydrating but not a full-on moisturizing lipstick; after wearing it twice in a row, I needed lip balm an hour later.  It is scent- and taste-free.

NARS Sheer Lipstick Mitzi

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NARS 413BLKR Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS 413BLKR Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS 413BLKR Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

One Vibrant Fuchsia in Pencil Form

NARS 413BLKR Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.086 oz.) is described as a “fuchsia.” It’s a vibrant fuchsia-red with the barest flecks of iridescent blue sparkle that just peek through the color. Tom Ford Aphrodisiac is less matte and has no sparkle. MAC Moxie is similar, but it is completely matte and less blue-based. Illamasqua Atomic is extremely comparable–it even has the iridescent shimmer; it appears to have more of it.

NARS’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil is supposed to combine the convenience of a pencil with the application of a lipstick . The formula is meant to be rich in color, long-wearing, non-drying, and have a “velvety matte finish.” It can be used for lining, all-over lip color, or paired with another lip product.  It has opaque color coverage, and the finish is definitely matte–there’s a tiny sheen from the sparkle, but it really looks rather matte on.  I found this particular shade a wee bit drying.  It wore for six hours on and left behind a slight stain, but my lips were parched after wearing it.  The pencil itself did tug and pull at lips during application, so getting even color took more effort than your typical lipstick would have.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil 413 BLKR
413 BLKR

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