Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Bateau Ivre Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Bateau Ivre Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Spring 2011: Bateau Ivre

NARS Bateau Ivre Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “rich sky blue” and “deep denim blue” by NARS.  It is a new and limited edition eyeshadow duo from NARS’ Spring Collection (now available).

Bateau Ivre is a combo of a rich periwinkle blue with a satin-matte finish (seems more periwinkle than sky blue to me, though I can see the sky blue reference working) and dark, grayish-cast blue with a matte finish. This is a really beautiful combination of colors; it is also a very pretty way to wear blue in a less neon/vibrant way. These softer, almost muted blues remind me of sailors and boats and cruise ships. The texture of the eyeshadows are both soft and smooth, with the lighter blue shade seemingly more pigmented but both work nicely when applied to the lid.

my thoughts on the formula: NARS Eyeshadow Duos usually contain complementary colors, though sometimes you’ll see a duo and go, “There’s no way!” NARS states that you can use their eyeshadows wet or dry, though. The texutre is soft, smooth, and very blendable, with the colors being nicely pigmented.

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

final thoughts: The classic way to wear this duo would be to use the lighter blue all over the lid with the darker blue in the crease, then highlight with your favorite highlighter. These blues will suit the gamut of skin tones with their slightly muted appearance.

where to buy: NARS

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

MAC Sophisto Lipstick
MAC Sophisto Lipstick

The Sultry Season: MAC Sophisto Lipstick

MAC Sophisto Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a semi-sheer berry pink with gold shimmer. It is a lustre finish, which means it is on the sheerer side but has a glossier finish (more like a lip gloss than a traditional lipstick).

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. I typically get four hours of wear, but some of the lighter lustre and glaze finishes tend to disappear by hour three. Amplified cremes and amplified finishes, however, tend to go beyond four. I find the formula comfortable to wear and not drying (but not moisturizing–a couple of the matte and lustre shades can be drying).

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

final thoughts: This shade will work well across all skin tones, because it’s not too bold, bright, or pigmented; it’s soft and sheer but still deposits noticeable color on the lips. It will work best on those with less pigmented lips, however, because it is a sheerer shade.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Guerlain D'une Etreinte Eyeshadow
Guerlain D’une Etreinte Eyeshadow

As White as Snow

Guerlain D’une Etreinte (143) Eyeshadow ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a bright snow white; it’s not quite icy–there is some hidden warmth there that keeps it from being cool-toned. It is definitely a near-blinding kind of white, though, with a rich metallic finish. When applied dry, it is still nicely pigmented, but used wet, it seems slightly smoother and the metallic sheen is more visible.

my thoughts on the formula: Guerlain’s eyeshadow texture is phenomenal in their singles–smooth, silky, very buttery. The color is true-to-pan and delivers rich results with little product needed. This particular formula can be used wet or dry, though the color already reaches full intensity used dry. Guerlain’s eyeshadows are massive–over double the average single eyeshadow–and so by the ounce, Guerlain is as expensive ($300/oz.) (or as affordable) as MAC eyeshadows ($290/oz.).

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This could work really nicely with a smoky eye–think blacks and whites and shades of gray.  It has a beautiful texture:  silky smooth, buttery, and excellent pigmentation.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Bobbi Brown Blackberry Lipstick
Bobbi Brown Blackberry Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Bobbi Brown Blackberry Lipstick

Bobbi Brown Blackberry Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep red-brown with opaque color coverage and a glossy, cream finish. It’s a nice way to go brown without going full-on chocolate, and it’s also a way to go red on a much deeper, less in-your-face kind of way.

my thoughts on the formula: Bobbi Brown’s Lip Colors are scent- and taste-free. With a vibrant shade like this, I easily get four hours of wear, but it usually extends to five or six. Many of the shades from the Lip Color range are incredibly rich in pigmentation–lots of creamy, opaque shades to go around.

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

final thoughts: This is a suitable shade for both cool and warm skin tones, and it should look lovely on light to dark complexions, too. Pair it with neutrals to let the lips be the star!

where to buy: Bobbi Brown

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Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

NARS Desperado Nail Polish
NARS Desperado Nail Polish

NARS Spring 2011: Desperado

NARS Desperado Nail Polish ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is deep yellow gold with a golden-bronze base. NARS describes it as an “antique brass.” I think it’s a gorgeous take on gold–it’s clearly gold but so much deeper and richer. It’s kind of like NARS Etrusque in polish form. This polish is a bit sheer, though; at two coats, it was almost opaque but there was still visible nail line, and the thickness of NARS’ formula made me hesitant to put on a third coat (I also didn’t feel confident that it was going to get me to total opaqueness).

my thoughts on the formula: NARS’ Nail Polish wears a solid week on me with minor tip wear (along with a proper base and top coat, of course).  The polish tends to be on the thicker side but not goopy.  Desperado had a mix of being thick but seemingly watery, which I imagine is why it was still semi-sheer after two thicker coats.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The color is spectacular; I see it really complementing skin tones with yellow and olive under tones.  It’s rich and deep and luxurious.  As a polish with a slightly metallic finish, some brush strokes are visible though.

where to buy: NARS

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Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

MAC Decorative Lustreglass
MAC Decorative Lustreglass

The Sultry Season: MAC Decorative Lustreglass

MAC Decorative Lustreglass ($14.50 for 0.17 oz.) is a semi-sheer, darkened red-plum with gold, pink, and red shimmer.  It has a thin texture but still delivers some color along with plenty of shimmer and glossiness.

my thoughts on the formula: Lustreglass is thinner and less sticky than MAC’s Lipglsas.  Lustreglass still has a very glass-like shine, though.  It also comes with a brush-type applicator, rather than a sponge-tipped one.  Opacity varies from shade to shade, with some being ultra sheer and others being semi-sheer to semi-opaque.  I get three to four hours of wear with Lustreglass.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If lipglass is too heavy, thick, or sticky for you, consider trying Lustreglass.  I think MAC’s Lustreglasses are a bit underrated, because they have the same beautiful sparkle and shine of Lipglasses but a thinner texture and are barely tacky.  Decorative works well with both cool and warmer skin tones, though it does pull a bit cool on me.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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