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NARS Taos Blush

NARS Taos Blush
NARS Taos Blush

NARS Taos Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “desert rose with shimmer.” It’s a warm-toned, burnt rose with a subtle golden shimmer/sheen. Illamasqua Allure is more muted, not quite as red. MAC Hidden Treasure is darker. Tom Ford Savage is lighter, less red/more brown. MAC Fleet Fast is lighter, less reddened.

Taos is incredibly pigmented–a little goes a long way–so a light hand and a feathery brush are must-haves if you want a subtle look. It has a soft, silky-smooth, and very finely-milled texture that sits well on the skin and blends out as desired. The delicate gold shimmer, once blended, looked like a satiny, golden sheen that didn’t emphasize pores.  It lasted nine hours well, and I didn’t notice any fading until ten hours, so Taos is one of the longest-wearing blushes I’ve tried from NARS.

NARS Powder Blush Taos
Taos

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Milani Violet Volt Color Statement Lipstick

Milani Violet Volt Color Statement Lipstick
Milani Violet Volt Color Statement Lipstick

Milani Violet Volt Color Statement Lipstick ($5.49 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “purple metallic.” It’s a rich, red-toned violet magenta with violet shimmer and a frosted, metallic finish. MAC Heroine has no shimmer, so it is a bit darker and purpler. MAC Seductive Intent is very similar in color but has no shimmer. MAC Violetta is slightly purpler (not as red/magenta) but also has shimmer–but it is smaller so it doesn’t appear metallic.

Milani recently revamped and released their lipstick range, and one of the first shades I tried was Violet Volt (because who doesn’t love seeing a new purple lipstick?). The new formula is supposed to have “one stroke, full coverage application” with a “lightweight, creamy formula [that] contains vitamins A, C, and E to moisturize and nourish lips.”  It has mostly opaque color payoff, though it takes a little more than one stroke to get it there, but my biggest issue with it was how dry the lipstick felt.  I imagine part of that is due to the high frost content in this, as I could almost feel all the bits of shimmer as I applied it.  It definitely tugs and pulls at the lips, so “one stroke” is hard to achieve from a technical standpoint.  Unsurprisingly, the dryness does mean it wears like iron–no problem getting this color to last six hours (and it will stain).  It was neither drying nor hydrating, which was surprising, given how it felt on, I expected it to be drying.

Milani Color Statement Lipstick Violet Volt
Violet Volt
Violet Volt
8
Product
9
Pigmentation
7
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
84%
Total

Fyrinnae Electric Stardust Arcane Magic Eyeshadow

Fyrinnae Electric Stardust Arcane Magic Eyeshadow
Fyrinnae Electric Stardust Arcane Magic Eyeshadow

Fyrinnae Electric Stardust Arcane Magic Eyeshadow ($6.80 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “light, glowing, mint green sparkle.” It’s a light, pastel green with a subtle cool undertone and a frosted, sparkling finish. It is quite a bit darker and has a more frosted finish compared to Fyrinnae Jade Ghost, which I reviewed recently. Guerlain Coup de Foudre #3 is slightly gray in comparison but is close. Cinderella Cinderelly is nearly matte and is more cooler-toned. Make Up For Ever #34 is close in color, perhaps appearing darker because it has a satin finish.

Arcane Magic eyeshadows are designed to “[change] hue depending on how the light [hit them].” With this particular change, Fyrinnae has noted that the change is subtler compared to other shades in the range. Applied damp, it has semi-opaque color, and applied and patted over Fyrinnae’s Pixie Epoxy, it applied more smoothly and had better opacity. The way this particular shade seems to change is that it turns cooler-toned, almost like a bluish-aqua at a distance. It has a soft, silky texture and feels fine with a little sparkle in it. Applied damp over bare lids, it lasted without creasing for seven hours, over Pixie Epoxy, seven and a half hours (which is designed to minimize fall out, not to prevent creasing or act as an eyeshadow base); and layered over an eyeshadow primer, no creasing after nine hours. There was some minor fall out when it was not worn with Pixie Epoxy–a little but not noticeable unless you get really close and start looking for it.

Also: Fyrinnae tweaked the formula on their loose eyeshadows slightly in January of this year (I purchased this in 2012), and it is supposed to be a subtle reformulation, and the changes may minimize fall out during application and wear and increase wear time. The colors and opacities are supposed to be the same.

Fyrinnae Arcane Magic Eyeshadow Electric Stardust
B+

Permanent

8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
88%
Total

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Color Club Kismet Nail Lacquer

Color Club Kismet Nail Lacquer
Color Club Kismet Nail Lacquer

Color Club Kismet Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a warm, pale, chartreuse green with holographic shimmer. The only shade that I thought might be similar was Milani Hi-Tech, which is also a green polish with holographic shimmer, but it is sheerer, has larger green and holographic shimmer, and is darker, overall.

Kismet was opaque after two coats of polish, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. It spread and flowed evenly across the nail without streaking, bubbling, or pooling along the edges of the nail. It also didn’t emphasize ridges or the nail’s surface, like some holographic polishes can. The drying time was slightly faster than the average polish. The holographic effect of this polish is so strong and entrancing–there’s no worry that you won’t see it. I saw flashes of rainbow glimmer even in low light. I usually get a week of wear out of Color Club’s formula with minor tip wear but no chipping.

Color Club Nail Lacquer Kismet
Kismet
Kismet
A

Permanent

10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

NARS Vertebra Nail Lacquer Pair

NARS Vertebra Nail Lacquer Pair
NARS Vertebra Nail Lacquer Pair

NARS Vertebra Nail Lacquer Pair ($29.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is described as a “coral” and “dusty rose.” Each nail lacquer duo comes in a “shoebox” with a NARS dustbag. The individual polishes don’t have names, but one is labeled as “Left” and the other as “Right” (building off the inspiration, which was Pierre Hardy’s spring shoe collection). However, each bottle is a full-sized bottle (0.50 fl. oz.), like regular NARS’ polishes, which retail for $19.00 normally–so the set is priced at $29.00 but has a value of $38.00. I typically get a week of wear out with very minor tip wear and no chipping with NARS’ formula.

Vertebra (Left) is a warm, pink-tinted coral cream. It was opaque in two coats, and I didn’t have any issues during application–no streaking, bubbling, or pooling along the edges. The consistency was nicely balanced so it wasn’t too thick or too thin. Butter London Trout Pout is a smidgen lighter. Essie Tart Deco is lighter. Essie Haute as Hello is similar. China Glaze Pink Plumeria is brighter and pinker.

Vertebra (Right) is a rosy, beige-brown with a cream finish. It applied beautifully with even, opaque color in two coats, and there were no streaks or bubbles in sight. The consistency was just slightly on the thicker side but not in any way that impeded application. Nubar Taffeta is darker. Barielle Cashmere or Loose Me is darker, warmer.

NARS Vertebra Nail Lacquer Pair

A
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

NARS Venemous Nail Lacquer Pair

NARS Venemous Nail Lacquer Pair
NARS Venemous Nail Lacquer Pair

NARS Venemous Nail Lacquer Pair ($29.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is described as a “gunmetal” and “black.” Each nail lacquer duo comes in a “shoebox” with a NARS dustbag. The individual polishes don’t have names, but one is labeled as “Left” and the other as “Right” (building off the inspiration, which was Pierre Hardy’s spring shoe collection). However, each bottle is a full-sized bottle (0.50 fl. oz.), like regular NARS’ polishes, which retail for $19.00 normally–so the set is priced at $29.00 but has a value of $38.00. I typically get a week of wear out with very minor tip wear and no chipping with NARS’ formula. This duo is exclusive to NARS’ online and its boutiques.

Venemous (Left) is a high-shine, reflective silver metallic that dries down to a semi-matte finish–it’s not glossy shine, but it’s not a flat matte. It was opaque in two coats, and the consistency was thin but not watery. There were some visible brush strokes but a lot of them faded/disappeared as the polish dried down, and the polish leveled out a bit, too. I don’t have an extensive catalog of silvers that I’ve seen, but China Glaze Cheer You has a more textured/shimmery finish.

Venemous (Right) is a blue-based black cream. It was opaque after two coats, and it had a glossy, shiny finish. It really looked like NARS Back Room. MAC Beyond Jealous looked similar in the bottle but has a greener base.  Back Room is one of my favorite black creams, because it’s so rich, easy to apply, and shiny, but you may already have several black creams in your arsenal so it may be too much of a basic to be a must-have.

P.S. — NARS has confirmed that it is called Venemous (with an E, not an O).

NARS Venemous Nail Lacquer Pair

A
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
96%
Total

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