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.

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  • 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

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Friday, July 23rd, 2010

NARS Daphne Eyeshadow
NARS Daphne Eyeshadow

Don’t Judge an Eyeshadow by a Swatch?!

NARS Daphne Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a rich shade of night violet purple. It’s dark and deep and bright. But I have to warn you: don’t judge by a mere swatching on your arm. I’ve often found that matte eyeshadows don’t swatch well on the arm but perform phenomenally when used on the eyes. A truly outstanding matte shade will do both well, but I’ve simply learned that you cannot judge a poor swatched matte without trying it, too.

When swatched with a sponge-tip applicator, I get a patchy mess of violet — it’s more of a red-based purple than blue-based, but it seems to flicker between the two depending on the lighting situation. (Sidenote, photographing this eyeshadow was a pain in the behind–it constantly wanted to photograph BLUE!) My arm wasn’t exactly the most moisturized environment to be sure, but wow! Daphne made it look like a desert. Even when I tried to use my finger to smooth out the color, it didn’t work out well (as reflected in the swatch).

Now, I say all this to show you that I did not get good results when I simply swatched for color. In fact, I had a sneaking suspicious this was going to be an issue. Nevertheless, I trudged on, and I tested it out by wearing it in a look. AND WE HAD LIFT OFF! Daphne looked as vibrant as pictured in the pan, but it applied smoothly, evenly, and it didn’t need much product at all–so it went on quite pigmented.

It’s similar to Make Up For Ever’s #92 Eyeshadow, but #92 is brighter and a little lighter–it’s not quite the darkened violet that Daphne is. #92 is also more pigmented and thicker/smoother, though they perform similarly on the eye–with Daphne having less fall out. You can see a couple of looks I did using #92, and you’ll notice it’s definitely not quite as dark.

Initially, they seem very comparable, but in use, they’re really not. Daphne is a several shades darker and not the bold, vibrant shade of violet that #92 is. They’re both nice shades to own that don’t dupe each other. I do, of course, wish Daphne was a little smoother, so it would swatch well even on skin.

P.S. — The first mini lipgloss set ran out, but NARS set y’all up with another set featuring Turkish Delight, Greek Holiday, and Gothika — use code TEMPTALIA at checkout, expires 8/15. :)

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Daphne Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches (Fall 2010)

C+
Give it a try in a look before dismissing it purely based on swatching--that is the biggest tip I can give you. If I had only swatched in-store, I would never have thought about picking it up, but after using it in a look, I'm much more inclined to recommend it.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

NARS Mangrove Eyeshadow
NARS Mangrove Eyeshadow

Finally, a Mustard I Like!

NARS Mangrove Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a mustard yellow with just a tinge of green. It has a satin sheen, and it’s nicely pigmented. This is a color you just don’t see very often, because it’s not always an easy to wear shade.

The only other comparable color I have in my stash is an old, discontinued shade by MAC called Jasmine (which is not quite as yellow). I’m not normally a big fan of yellow eyeshadow on me–if it leans gold or it’s more like a chartreuse, I’m totally for it, but truer yellows don’t seem to work well for me.

Mangrove is an interesting shade to work with, because it takes on much of the tones of whatever it’s paired with or layered on top of. When I used it with Palladium, it looked like a chartreuse green, but when I wore it over a regular eyeshadow base, I was able to get a much more true-to-pan kind of color. On my skin tone, I just can’t wear it easily — with golds and coppers, it works; with greens and teals, it works — but when I tried it alongside Daphne, I just couldn’t rock it myself.

I like the uniqueness of the color, which is something that would make compel me to get it. The quality is lovely, and it’s one of the better textured single shadows–very soft, smooth, but still pigmented. For those who have trouble pulling off warmer yellows and golds, Mangrove may be an answer to that problem–because it is as cool of a yellow as one can get!

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think this may be more of a try-before-you-buy shade unless you’re always on the hunt for something a little different than the norm, because mustard yellow isn’t a common shade in makeup!

AVAILABILITY: NARS — Use code TEMPTALIA for a mini lipgloss trio featuring Turkish Delight, Gothika, & Greek Holiday, expires 8/15.

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Monday, July 19th, 2010

NARS Strawberry Fields Lip Gloss
NARS Strawberry Fields Lip Gloss

Who knew NARS could do opaque lipgloss?

NARS Strawberry Fields Lip Gloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a richly pigmented, near-opaque shade of deep strawberry pink (but I almost want to call it raspberry–the product name makes me want to stay on track, though). It’s the most pigmented lip gloss I’ve ever tried by NARS–and I’m really quite (pleasantly) surprised by it.

Of course, not every lip gloss needs to be opaque, and there is certainly a time and place for even the sheerest glosses. I’ve just come to accept that NARS glosses are generally sheer and that’s that. Strawberry Fields is a dominating shade in comparison to the NARS range. It’s bold and bright without being too much; it will give your lips definition and zero in the focus to them, but it’s not a traffic-stopping shade.

I got about three hours of wear this shade, and then a slight stain that wore on for another hour or two. It was scent- and taste-free (not even a hint of waxiness/plastic!). I do like NARS glosses for their moisturizing properties, too. Though $24 may seem steep for a lip gloss, NARS delivers much more than the average lip gloss does–0.28 oz.–which makes them as expensive (by the ounce) as MAC lipglasses.

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

RECOMMENDATION: NARS is really stepping it up with their fall collection from the select pieces I’ve tried so far. If you dig opaque lip glosses and have been looking for something in a deep pink shade, Strawberry Fields may be something to check out.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Monday, July 19th, 2010

NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo

Prettiest NARS Eyeshadow Duo? Perhaps!

NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a stunning mix of golden taupe brown and smoky peacock blue. I’m not always a huge fan of NARS eyeshadows, to be honest–I’ve had a lot of misses, particularly with their singles in the past few seasonal collections–but Rajasthan blew me away. It is such a gorgeous duo that’s wearable and so perfect for fall. I love that it’s not a smoky plum but a charcoal black smoked out base with layers of metallic and navy blue all woven together. It may look a little on the cooler side, but warmer beauties will have no problem turning this into something lovely on the eyes.

The pigmentation is spot-on–it looks just like it does in the pan–while the texture is exactly what you’d expect from NARS: smooth and buttery. NARS’ eyeshadow duos are always a better value than their eyeshadow singles–you get twice as much for only $9 more.

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

RECOMMENDATION: This is a must-have in my book. The pigmentation and texture are exactly where they should be, and the colors are incredibly wearable for both cooler and warmer as well as lighter and deeper skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Saturday, July 17th, 2010

NARS Exhibit A Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

Baby, I Think My Cheeks are on Fire!

NARS Exhibit A Blush ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a fiery orange that’s as pigmented as it looks in the pan.  It is an intimidating shade to be sure, because it does go on something FIERCE! even when you are careful.  Exhibit A has a matte finish, so it won’t accentuate fine lines or pores, and it can easily be buffed and blended onto skin so it looks natural and not quite so obviously orange.

When I wore this the other day, I used MAC’s 184 Brush, because it gave me the ability to really apply it subtly and softly against the angle of my cheek.  The width of the brush allowed me to deposit the initial burst of color onto the majority of my cheek, and then I could feather it out with soft strokes.

It doesn’t pull too red, and it certainly doesn’t pull yellow, which makes it wearable regardless of your undertones.  I particularly love this blush on our darker skinned beauties (plus, it shows intensely even on darker skin tones).  Don’t let this blush scare you — it can be worn and worn without fear.  Just be sure to have your buffing brush and some loose setting powder on hand to blend and diffuse it!

P.S. — U.S. NARS customers can get a trio of miniature-sized lipglosses in Stolen Kisses, Risky Business, and Moonfleet with code TEMPTALIA on orders of $25 or more, 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: Whether you want a subtle touch of orange or a heart stopping shade of fiery orange on your cheeks, Exhibit A is capable of both.

AVAILABILITY: NARS, Nordstrom, Sephora

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