Friday, November 19th, 2010

NARS Melusine Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Melusine Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Holiday 2010: Melusine Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Melusine Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is one of two new and permanent products from NARS’ Holiday Collection (the other is Sex Appeal). NARS describes these shades as “pale silver lilac” and “bright deep purple.”

From NARS: In folklore tales, a melusine was described as a feminine, free spirited woman. Similarly, this duo eyeshadow is an ultra-modern union of two colors working in harmony. Sweep the bright deep purple across the lid and highlight under brow with the pale silver lilac.

First things first–this is by no means a dupe for NARS Daphne. The swatch tells the whole story! Daphne is a brightened violet with blue undertones, while Melusine (the purple side, of course!) is an eggplant purple with red undertones. Bottom line: they are quite distinct.

The light shade of the duo is a silvery gray, and if I look close enough, I can make out the finest misting of lilac–so light that it’s almost pink. On cooler skin tones, I imagine the lilac will be more pronounced, but the effect is still quite subtle. The finish is a frosted shimmer, smooth overall, but does have shimmer kick up. The darker shade is a rich eggplant purple with red undertones and has a matte finish. It swatches better than Daphne did, but they’re both lovely in use–very rich, smooth, and true-to-color.

I threw this duo on before running some errands, and I had three sweet ladies compliment me on my eyeshadow. There is a lot of contrast in the duo, with the silvered shade being so much lighter than the deeper purple, so it works well on its own. When I wore it, I wore the silvery shade all over the lid with the purple hue in the crease (to highlight, I used Burberry Trench Eyeshadow, which is just my-skintone-but-better!). I’ll try and post that look soon!

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think as a duo these shades work really well together; you have the mix of textures, nice contrast, and overall, two nicely pigmented, smooth textured eyeshadows.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

NARS Bougainville Lip Gloss
NARS Bougainville Lip Gloss

NARS Holiday 2010:  Bougainville

NARS Bougainville Lip Gloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is described as a “sensual pomegranate … with dramatic, diva-esque color.” The description also goes on to say “deep in pigment yet sheer on the lips,” which is an interesting statement. NARS’ Lip Gloss is non-sticky and scent- and taste-free, though they have been known to smell a bit like plastic or wax. I did not notice any scent whatsoever with my Bougainville, though.

It is similar to fall’s Strawberry Fields in the way it is pigmented, creamy, lacks shimmer, and is non-sticky. The colors, however, are noticeably different. While Strawberry Fields is a bright raspberry pink-red, Bougainville is a rich berry. It has the same color-rich look with a glossy shine but no shimmer, though. This is Strawberry Fields’ older, more sophisticated best friend.

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

RECOMMENDATION: Because of the richness in color, it would look lovely on cooler, paler complexions for a strong contrast, but it would also flatter deeper skin tones. I think this is more wearable than Strawberry Fields, because it’s dark without being ultra vampy.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

NARS Sex Appeal Highlighting Blush
NARS Sex Appeal Blush

NARS Sex Appeal Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “soft peach.” It’s a pale, subtly warm-toned peach with a satin finish. Buxom Swept Away is pinker. MAC Stay By Me is a touch darker. MAC Peaches is darker and more orange.

It is absolutely a color and product that will work better on very, very pale skin tones. On my medium complexion, it just barely shows up, and it may turn chalky/ashy on deeper skin tones because of the light base color. For lighter skin tones, though, especially those with natural redness occurring in their cheeks, this will work quite nicely. The importance here is that the pigmentation is still good, as it appears true-to-pan; it’s just that the color won’t show itself to its full potential on my complexion. (Pale readers who’ve tried this, speak out!)

From what I could tell, the color lasted around six to seven hours on me, but it was even harder to see after eight hours (it’s so much harder to see wear when it’s barely visible to begin with!).  The texture is very soft, finely-milled, and a smidgen on the powdery side but it lies nicely on the skin–it doesn’t look powdery on the skin, and if you buff it into the skin, it turns just slightly luminous from that satin finish.

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Sex Appeal Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This is a blush that will work best on lighter complexions, and it can help to reduce the appearance of redness from the peachy coloring.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

NARS Pokerface Nail Polish
NARS Pokerface Nail Polish

NARS Holiday: Pokerface

NARS Pokerface Nail Polish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a new and limited edition shade described as a “vibrant lilac.” It’s one of two new polishes from NARS’ Holiday collection. I’m curious as to why NARS has started to push out more and more limited edition products; often, in the past, seasonal items were rolled into the permanent range.

Pokerface is a medium lilac with subtle pinky-red undertones and pale lilac micro-shimmer. It took three coats, but the end result was opaque, smooth, and beautiful. I see this looking particularly striking on paler, cooler skin tones, as well as deeper skin tones for a stunning contrast.

I’ve had good luck with NARS polish in terms of wear–about a week with just minor tip wear but no chipping–and this shade applied nicely. It wasn’t too thick or thin, and I didn’t experience any bubbling.

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

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a very feminine without being over-the-top girly; there’s still that bit of edge despite the lilac base color.  I think it would work well on cooler skin tones, because it does lean towards the cool spectrum, but I still thought it worked with my warmer skin tone.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

NARS Etrusque Eyeshadow
NARS Etrusque Eyeshadow

NARS Holiday: Etrusque

NARS Etrusque Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a rich, metallic true yellow gold with a flashy shimmering sheen.   Ooh, I’m all over it!  It’s similar to MAC’s Goldmine, but it has more depth, and the finish is more metallic-sheen than frosted-sheen.  The texture is phenomenal–soft, smooth, nearly buttery–with rich pigmentation.  This is easily NARS’ best gold eyeshadow to-date; finally, a gold eyeshadow that’s not also accompanied by flecks of glitter.

It’s a bit pricey for high-end eyeshadows, but it is a shade that actually merits the hype often accompanying NARS eyeshadows, not just in color, but in the texture and application.

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

RECOMMENDATION: Yes, yes, and yes if you love gold, though not the most unique shade ever, the texture is fab.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Saturday, October 30th, 2010

NARS Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow
NARS Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow

NARS Holiday 2010: Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow

NARS Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) contains three shades: (as described by NARS) silver, deep cobalt blue, and black onyx. According to Sephora’s description of this trio, the eyeshadows can be used wet to double as eyeliners.

The colors included in the trio are not unique, but they have a beautiful, smooth texture and rich, intense pigmentation that glides on with ease. There is a light silver-white with a frosted finish, medium-dark blue with subtle shimmer-sheen, and a medium-dark black with a satin sheen. These felt smoother and softer than the average NARS eyeshadow.

The silver has the largest portion, while the blue is about half the size and the black a third. It makes sense to have the black be such a thin strip, since you really do not need much black in most looks, but it may be too thin for those who use bigger brushes (say the MAC 252). It’s not a major drawback, as most eyeshadow brushes should be able to maneuver in there, but it was worth noting.

I’m not sure why this is a whopping $45, which is rather killer for a product like this, even for high end. A NARS Eyeshadow Duo contains 0.14 oz. of product and retails for $32, which makes the trio more per ounce (but a better value than the single eyeshadows). The quality is phenomenal, though!

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I wish this was priced more in line with NARS Eyeshadow Duos. If you do not have similar colors in your stash already, though, it’s worth taking a peek at.

AVAILABILITY: NARS, Sephora.com

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