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NARS Yu Satin Lip Pencil

NARS Yu Satin Lip Pencil
NARS Yu Satin Lip Pencil

NARS Yu Satin Lip Pencil ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “shocking pink.” It’s a bright, bold shade of blue-based, medium pink with cool undertones and a soft, natural sheen. MAC Pink Pigeon is less pink, more magenta. MAC Lickable is slightly redder. NARS 413 BLKR is redder, darker, and matte. MAC Gulabi is very similar. MAC Catharina has a glossier sheen. NARS Schiap is more magenta.

The new formula is based on NARS’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, but the finish is satin, so it has more of a sheen, but it is still supposed to deliver “high-impact color” with a “long-wearing, vitamin-enriched formula” and “decadent moisture.” Yu is fully opaque, and it takes very little product yield full color coverage. It wore for a lengthy six and a half hours, and it did stain.  The texture is interesting; it feels creamier and softer than it actually appears on lips. Initially, I thought that was a result of all my hot lighting equipment, but all of the shades made me do a double-take in regards to the texture. Press it to your lips, and it feels almost like it’s melting against them, but look in the mirror, and it’s a lightweight, thin layer of opaque color with a very subtle sheen (no glossiness in sight). This formula felt just slightly hydrating, and it was more comfortable to wear overall compared to the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils.

The biggest downside is that it is packaged in a pencil you haven to sharpen (like NARS’ other Lip Pencils), which means product will get wasted. The waste is on par with the Velvet Mattes (the Velvet Glosses are a lot more), and it’s just a problem inherent in pencil packaging. It’s clear, though, that the industry is able to use twist-up packaging (Clinique and CoverGirl, for example).

NARS Yu Satin Lip Pencil

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

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Bobbi Brown Vanilla Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick

Bobbi Brown Vanilla Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick
Bobbi Brown Vanilla Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick

Bobbi Brown Vanilla Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick ($28.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “warm cream.” It’s a warm-toned beige with a creamy, mostly matte finish. Estee Lauder Halo is a touch lighter and frosted. Maybelline Barely Branded is also lighter and more frosted. MAC Soft Ochre is less warm-toned (more neutral).

Of the shades released, Vanilla is best-suited for a (mostly) universal base for your favorite eyeshadows.  On lighter lids, it can also work simply to brighten.  It has a very creamy finish, and it goes on with opaque color coverage without needing to build up the color.  The texture is lightly creamy; enough creaminess to help it glide on without pulling or tugging on the lid but not so much that it creases.  It does set a bit faster than other shades, so work quickly if you want to blend out the edges or blend it with other shades.  Even after ten hours, the color remained opaque and crease-free (and it’s rated to last for eight).

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick Vanilla
Vanilla

KBShimmer Spring Training Nail Lacquer

KBShimmer Spring Training Nail Lacquer
KBShimmer Spring Training Nail Lacquer

KBShimmer Spring Training Nail Lacquer ($8.75 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “soft mint green polish filled with a palette of floral colored glitters.” It has a pale, pastel green base with subtle warm undertones (at least, it reads just slightly warm-toned on me) paired with a variety of coral, yellow, and blue glitters; some small, some hexagon-shaped and larger. It is lighter and less cool-toned (in base) compared to Illamasqua Mottle, which I recently reviewed. The base color is a bit warmer than Butter London Fiver. Nubar Baby Sprout is a bit brighter but very close to the base color.

One of the things I really like about KBShimmer’s polishes is that you can find more opaque glitter polishes within the range, so you don’t have to worry about finding the right pairing for it. It has a creamy, slightly jelly-like finish–again, there’s a squishy look to the nails after two coats–but it has a fair amount of creaminess. It was mostly opaque after two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. The glitter dispersed evenly across the nail, and I didn’t have to push, pull, or fish for glitter.  I typically get a week of wear out of KBShimmer’s formula with minimal tip wear but no chipping.  This polish is scented with freesia, and I was able to smell once the polish dried (so whether that’s for you depends on if you like freesia!).

KBShimmer Spring Training Nail Lacquer

A
9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total

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NARS Oasis Blush (2013)

NARS Oasis Highlighting Blush
NARS Oasis Blush

NARS Oasis Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sparkling pink champagne.” It’s a softened, reddish-plum with a hint of golden shimmer that translates to a shimmer-sheen when applied to the skin. NARS Debbie Harry #1 is similar but has silver sparkle. theBalm Cabana Boy is slightly less red (more plum).

This blush is nicely pigmented, and you should have no trouble building up color to true-to-pan payoff or going for something softer and sheerer. There are a few bits of golden sparkle but they seem to get lost before they even hit the skin, as I couldn’t detect them on the skin. Instead, there was a faint golden sheen that was quite lovely on the skin as it did not emphasize pores.  Oasis should be flattering across skin tones, because it’s not too dark or too light, not too warm or too cool-toned.  The texture is soft, finely-milled, and very blendable on the skin.  It applies evenly and sits well on the skin, and then it wears well–a solid eight hours and only minimal fading after nine hours.

NARS Powder Blush Oasis
Oasis

Tom Ford Frolic Lip Shine Color

Tom Ford Frolic Lip Shine Color
Tom Ford Frolic Lip Shine Color

Tom Ford Frolic Lip Shine Color ($48.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a soft coral with a subtle frost finish. Clinique Curviest Caramel is more beige and opaque. Chanel Pimpante is a touch brighter. Cle de Peau Comtesse de Cayla is slightly darker and less warm-toned. MAC Razzledazzler is a touch pinker. Guerlain Jicky is redder.

The formula has a creamy, slightly wet-like consistency (and it feels much like a creamy lip balm). It glides over lips easily–no skipping or tugging–but seems to hang on better than other tinted lip balms I’ve tried. It feels more like a lipstick with extra boost of hydration than a true tinted lip balm. I tested this particular shade over eighteen hours, which involved four re-applications. Though creamy and slick, it is lightweight and has a thinner feel once applied (give it about ten to fifteen minutes). It starts off glossy, but the glossiness disappears after an hour or so. The color remains, and it’s buildable from sheer to semi-opaque color coverage. Like the best kind of sheer, it is an even layer of sheer color that has some translucency, so the natural lip color shines through.

I was impressed by the wear, because a lot of these lipstick/lip balm hybrids have a tendency to slip away within a couple of hours, but it consistently wore for a solid four hours. But over time, these feel more like a sheer lipstick than they do traditional lip balm, so I expect that’s part of it. It was nicely hydrating, and I needed no lip balm to supplement the wear, and after wearing it all day, my lips were in tip-top shape. I think whether these are “worth it” is (which is always true to some degree) going to come down to your personal preference. Personally, I would recommend splashing out for Tom Ford’s Blush over the lipstick, if you were curious to try a single product.

At least the product amount is 0.12 oz., which is the size of most lipsticks, and sometimes with the more balm-like formulas, they give you a bit less. With a product like this, more is infinitely better, because the creamier, slicker, more balm-like consistency means it’s easy to over-apply. The Lip Colour Shines come in brown lacquered, square tubes with gold detailing, and they have a sweet, vanilla scent (not too cloying; very similar to MAC’s).

Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color Shine Frolic
Frolic
Frolic
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
93%
Total

Illamasqua Mottle Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Mottle Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Mottle Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Mottle Nail Varnish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “speckled green.” It’s a pale, pastel green with very subtle yellow undertones with small black glitter and larger, hexagon-shaped black glitter pieces. I couldn’t even think of a dupe for the base color, let alone one with both components! I was totally stumped. A few readers have mentioned that Hard Candy has dupes for Illamasqua’s speckled polishes. I haven’t seen Hard Candy’s in person, but from promo photos, it looks like the glitter is smaller and more circular with a combination of white and black glitters (and it seems to vary depending on the base color), but both brands are using pastel base colors with glitter to give it a speckled/sprinkled effect. Deborah Lippmann’s Staccato Collection also features three pastel-hued colors with small black glitter (bottle photos suggest that Deborah Lippmann and Hard Candy’s are closer to each other).  I haven’t seen Deborah Lippmann’s in person either. You may prefer the effect or composition over the other, so pick your poison! 🙂

Mottle is incredibly pigmented in one coat, though not opaque, I still thought it worth showing and left my pinky fingernail with a single coat, so you could see how much color is deposited in one coat.  You can also see how there’s almost no streaking to speak of, which is always a relief after working with a pastel color!  The consistency of the formula wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it applied evenly and fluidly. I didn’t have any issues with it pulling, pooling, or bubbling.  It has an interesting finish that seems like a cream, but there’s a slight squishy look to it, too, that makes me think of jelly polishes.  Illamasqua’s formula is one of the longest-wearing polishes on me (as long as fourteen days with minimal tip wear and no chipping).

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Mottle
Mottle
Mottle
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

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