Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

NARS Pro-Prime:  Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base

NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base ($24.00 for 0.26 oz.) is much-needed primer addition to NARS’ core range. In addition to the eyeshadow base, NARS also launched their Pro-Prime Face Prep ($30.00) (which, at this time, I am not planning to review).

I picked up a sample tube of the primer with a recent Sephora order, and the sample tube allowed me about four or five uses. From the images I’ve seen online, the packaging is similar–just a longer tube for the full-size version. They both have a doe-foot applicator (like the kind you see in lipgloss). It has an incredibly thin, slightly creamy consistency. When applied, it looks white on the applicator, but it is virtually colorless. This colorlessness is actually my only–albeit marginal and nitpicky–complaint.

It’s so colorless, even from the get-go, that it is difficult to determine where you’ve applied the primer. This makes covering the entire lid a little more difficult than when one would use a colored, even subtly so, primer. I’ve noticed that if I’ve missed an area, that area will look duller and flake, since there is no primer there. The problem is just it’s really difficult to tell if you’ve missed an area!

Aside from that, if you’ve covered your entire lid, it works really well. It lives up to all the claims NARS makes about it: lightweight, extends the wear, smooths the surface, and maximizes color. I didn’t experience any budging, smudging, creasing, or migration when I used this as a primer underneath my eyeshadows. It is a clear, matte primer that merely smooths over the lid and acts to hold and bond all the eyeshadow together. Colors definitely didn’t look muted at all, and they held their intensity throughout the day.

NARS Smudgeproof is most comparable to Urban Decay Primer Potion and Too Faced Shadow Insurance. The consistency is very similar–they are all very thin and a little creamy.  However, NARS definitely feels more velvety once it dries–which is very quickly.  They are all nearly colorless, though NARS is definitely truly colorless–UDPP has a slight nude tone to it and TFSI even less nude. I’ve always found that UDPP seemed to have a slight shimmer to it, and NARS is completely matte (which is a good thing, if you want to keep your matte eyeshadows matte!). Of course, the major difference between the two is the price — UDPP goes for $18 for 0.34 oz. while NARS is $24 for 0.26 oz and TFSI is $17 for 0.35 oz.

Between the three, I’d actually go NARS. I really didn’t think I’d like it more than the other two, but I would. One of the issues I have with TFSI is the product can separate a bit in the tube. I do really like that you can squeeze out what you need and easily apply with a brush. Both NARS and UDPP have doe-foot applicators, but NARS is a simple tube, so it’s not nearly as wasteful as UDPP is. I’ve never finished a bottle of primer in my life, so even if $24 is a higher upfront cost, I really don’t see it not being worth the investment, since a tube should last you many, many uses.

Fun Fact: Ironically, since I revisited my TFSI review, which was made back in 2008–OMG!–TFSI, at the time, was $1 more than UDPP, which was $16.  The whole point?  UDPP has raised its price $2 in two years and is now more expensive than TFSI.

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: If you’re looking for a lightweight, colorless eyeshadow primer that stays on all day without budging, smudging, or fading, you may want to give NARS Smudgeproof a try.

Availability: Sephora

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Thursday, May 13th, 2010

MAC Marine Life Dupes

MAC Marine Life Dupes — Sorry, Keep Looking

When I think of dupes, I think of something that is pretty close to it — I’m talking 90% or closer — not just similar. There are plenty of similar shades to Marine Life; after all, it’s really just a vibrant coral-red with minimal shimmer in it. NARS Deep Throat and MAC Foolish Me come the closest, though the texture of Deep Throat is obviously different and Foolish Me is a little more orange. It’s not quite as red/orange and intense as Marine Life, but it’s the closest I found of the many shades I do own that were in the running.

  • MAC Ripe Peach (Limited Edition) is lighter, more peach-coral than vibrant red-based coral. Verdict: not really a dupe, maybe a cousin.
  • Benefit CORALista is a pinker, less distinctly coral version with a significant amount of shimmer in comparison. Verdict: not a dupe, but a good friend.
  • MAC Instant Chic (Limited Edition) is much softer pink-coral with a bit of peachiness to it. It has a more powdery look and feel, but it’s so, so subtle. Marine Life is like Instant Chic if it took steroids for a year. Verdict: similar color but so, so much lighter–like a fruit picked too early.
  • MAC Hipness is much pinker in comparison to Marine Life. It’s not quite as intense, and it doesn’t have the strength of the redness that Marine Life as. Hipness is a less shimmery, pinker version of CORALista, though. Verdict: not a dupe, too pink.
  • Illamasqua Hussy is similar in its intensity, but it’s definitely pinker. It’s a more pigmented, matte version of Hipness/CORALista. Verdict: not a dupe, too pink.
  • NARS Super Orgasm is a peachy-pink concoction that pulls a noticeable gold sheen. It has a lot more shimmer (and even Orgasm, which I don’t own, would still be pretty shimmery in comparison). Verdict: not a dupe, too peach, not pink/red enough.
  • MAC Springsheen is very similar to Super Orgasm–it’s that same mix of peach and pink with a gold shimmer-sheen. Verdict: not a dupe, too peach and shimmery.
  • NARS Deep Throat is a pinker version of Super Orgasm/Orgasm, and it’s probably the closest to Marine Life, but it’s still not quite as red or as intense–plus it has the sheen/shimmer that Marine Life definitely doesn’t have. Verdict: almost a dupe, like sisters.
  • MAC Dainty is a sheer peach-coral with a smidgen of pink in it. It’s way too sheer and light to be a great dupe for Marine Life. Verdict: not a dupe, too light and peach.
  • MAC Foolish Me is everything that Marine Life is, except a little more orange.  The two are very similar, both in finish and color, but Foolish Me does run a little on the orange side.  Plus, it’s discontinued, so that sucks. (I thought about this one originally, but it looks so orange in the pan… just swatched it at the last second, and yep, they are indeed surprisingly close.)  Verdict:  similar, like fraternal twins.

I don’t own Fleur Power or Style, but I did swatches here last year, and by referencing those, I can tell you Style is most definitely not a dupe — too orange/peach. Fleur Power comes a little closer, but it seems a bit pinker in comparison to Marine Life.

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Saturday, May 8th, 2010

NARS Schiap Lipstick
NARS Schiap Lipstick

The Summer Season: NARS Schiap Lipstick

NARS Schiap Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a bright, fuchsia-pink with a semi-matte finish. It has no shimmer, but it does have a slightly glossy sheen, so it doesn’t a completely matte finish. Schiap applies beautifully–soft, smooth, and the color looks even with little effort. I like that it’s not totally matte, because I think if it was, this shade might be drying. The slight creaminess and glisten to it give it enough moisture to keep from drying your lips out (but if you have really dry lips, I recommend prepping well before wearing this). NARS lipsticks are scent-free and taste-free (though you might detect a wax-y scent). I got about four hours of wear before it started fading, but it held on pretty well.

Is this the right pink lipstick 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 →

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

NARS Multiple=

NARS Multiple Tints for Summer 2010

Bright yet translucent tints, give cheeks and lips a sheer pops of color. The NARS Multiple Tint provides sheer, buildable color. The multi-purpose tool can be worn alone for flush cheeks or stained lips. For a bolder effect it can be layered with other NARS face and lip products. The convenient tube is easy to carry and makes application a snap. To give cheeks and lips subtle color, apply directly from the tube, or apply the Multiple Tints on the fingers before blending across the cheeks or lips. Firmly replace cap after use.

Multiple Tint ($38.00 for 0.52 oz.)

  • Beverly Hills Bright red
  • Cadaqués Bright fuchsia
  • Turks & Caicos Bright orange

Availability: NARS, for a limited time only

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

NARS Love Devotion Lipstick

NARS Summer 2010:  Love Devotion Lipstick

NARS Summer 2010 Collection featured a new lipstick called Love Devotion ($24.00), which NARS describes as a “sheer guava.” It’s a good thing they put me on notice about the color, though, because it’s definitely sheer!

Love Devotion is a sheer coral-orange with a glossy finish rather than shimmer. It evens out my natural lip color, gives them more of a orange-tinted look, but it’s definitely a sheer shade. I think those who prefer lipglosses and the ligher coverage of those may find comfort in Love Devotion, which has the same lightweight, moisturizing feel of a gloss along with the subtler color. Those who are all about the ultra-pigmented lipsticks will probably want to skip this shade.

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: If you love sheerer shades of lipstick, Love Devotion offers subtle color with a great feel and texture.

Availability: NARS

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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

NARS Pure Sheer SPF Lip Treatment

NARS Pure Sheer SPF Lip Treatment nourishes and hydrates chapped lips, while giving a sheer yet noticeable tint. Infused with SPF 15, the rich and creamy texture protects lips throughout the day. Wild Mango Butter, with superior moisturizing benefits, leaves lips feeling soft and supple, while repairing dry or scaled skin. Vitamin E, Polar Berries and Acai Oil provide antioxidants and long lasting hydration for the lips.

The convenient slim-stick can be applied directly to lips or with the NARS Retractable Lip Brush for more control. No matter the usage, NARS Pure Sheer SPF Lip Treatment is sure to provide kissably soft lips.

Pure Sheer SPF Lip Treatment ($25.00)

  • Aurore Seashell pink
  • Greta Mauve
  • Paloma Cantaloupe
  • Lara Pastel pink
  • Angelique Strawberry
  • Bianca Pearl

Availability: May 2010

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