Monday, September 3rd, 2012


NARS Flowers 2 Eyeshadow Palette

Another Flower Blossoms and Fades

NARS Flowers 2 Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.45 oz.) features three shades, which are described as “white and heather blue against a shimmering lavender grey background and black overspray.”

The first shade is a bright silver-white with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, but it was a bit powdery. It is exactly the same shade that is in all three palettes, so note that you will have overlap if you were to purchase all three of at least two colors (the silver-white and gray-ish purple); the finishes of the third palette are slightly more metallic. There are several similar shades, including MAC Crystal Avalanche (slightly cooler-toned), Buxom Sheepdog, Maybelline Too Cool (a bit cool-toned and more metallic in finish), theBalm Sassy, MAC Forgery (has a grittier texture), and theBalm Tempting Tara.

The shade in the background (which has the black powder overlay) is a gray-ish purple with a pearled finish. This shade is exactly the same in all three palettes, though it seems more metallic in finish in the third palette. The pigmentation was decent, but it was powdery and on the sheerer side. Urban Decay AC/DC is similar but more pigmented and less subdued. theBalm Matt Patel is darker, grayer. NARS Charade is matte and has less gray in it. MAC Joy & Laughter is a smidgen grayer. MAC Winterized is a touch darker.

The third shade in this palette is a blue-toned icy lavender with a satiny sheen. It had disappointing color payoff, as it was on the sheerer side, but the texture was also stiff and dry, which made applying it more difficult. MAC Blue Orbit is similar but a smidgen darker. MAC Water & Ice is less blue-based. MAC Beautiful Iris is less blue-hued. MAC Digit is lighter.

I would skip this palette and pick up one of the other two, because this only has three shades and two of them overlap with the other ones. (Though, I recommend none, as none of them have high enough quality to merit a purchase.)  This palette was a nightmare to apply and looked horrific after a mere six hours (both over and without primer, but the photo is over a primer, showcasing the best it looked).  The silver shade faded and separated, while the purple shade required a lot of packing to get decent color payoff, but it was hard to blend and faded unevenly.  The gray-purple shade almost disappeared entirely after six hours.

The Glossover

palette

Flowers 2

D+
The quality is completely lacking here; not just in pigmentation and texture, but the actual wear was surprisingly awful. Whether used over bare lids or over NARS' own primer, the eyeshadows wore away well before the six hour mark.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

4/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Sunday, September 2nd, 2012


NARS Flowers 1 Eyeshadow Palette

The First of Three Flower Palettes

NARS Flowers 1 Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.45 oz.) features five different shades with a black overlay over one shade (the background shade). The palette is a variation on Warhol’s painting Flowers (1965), and this one is described as a “white, brown rose, dark lavender, and gold against a shimmering lavender grey background and black overspray.”

The first shade is a bright silver-white with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, but it was a bit powdery. There are several similar shades, including MAC Crystal Avalanche (slightly cooler-toned), Buxom Sheepdog, Maybelline Too Cool (a bit cool-toned and more metallic in finish), theBalm Sassy, MAC Forgery (has a grittier texture), and theBalm Tempting Tara.

The shade in the background (which has the black powder overlay) is a gray-ish purple with a pearled finish. The pigmentation was decent, but it was powdery and on the sheerer side. Urban Decay AC/DC is similar but more pigmented and less subdued. theBalm Matt Patel is darker, grayer. NARS Charade is matte and has less gray in it. MAC Joy & Laughter is a smidgen grayer. MAC Winterized is a touch darker.

One flower is purple, and when swatched, it is a sheer violet purple with a soft satiny sheen–it is really quite stiff as far as the texture went, and the color payoff was dismal. I really had to pack it on to get any color to show up on the lid, and it had to have a base used under it to get any visible color. Clarins Enchanted Summer is more intense, stronger red undertone. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is brighter, more opaque. MAC Plush is more pigmented and a smidgen more red-toned.

Another flower is a rusty red with subtle warm, orange undertones and a soft, frosted finish. This shade had the best pigmentation out of the five shades in the palette. MAC Spicy Smoke is comparable. Milani Primary is a bit redder. MAC Raving Mad is more orange. Urban Decay Gash is more burgundy.

The third flower is a bright pop of sunshine yellow with a soft sheen. This had good color payoff, but it was somewhat powdery and loose. It’s best to pat it on, rather than sweep. Illamasqua Hype is similar but matte. Make Up For Ever #24 is a little darker, warmer. MAC Bright Sunshine is a smidgen lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea is slightly softer. Inglot #323 is a bit darker and has a matte finish.

I know a lot of readers are really excited for the collaboration between NARS and Andy Warhol, and I wanted to like the palette, but I didn’t.  Some shades were sheer, others were powdery, and a couple of them were less blendable than I’d like (or even expect from NARS).  The silver is kind of chunky; it adheres in a way that emphasizes the texture of the skin, while the yellow needs to be patted on to avoid a powderiness (and blending it is difficult, because it disappears).  The purple was the most disappointing shade out of the five, because it was sheer, stiff, and dry–it didn’t want to apply (and faded almost instantly), and it was hard to blend it once on the lid. I had to use primer (NARS’) underneath the purple shade just to get color to show up.  The best-performing shade was the rusted red, which had good color payoff, fairly smooth texture, and was easy to blend.  The wear was all over the map; the purple faded so quickly (even over a primer!), while the rusted red shade was slightly faded after six hours, and the silver-white shade had some post-application fall out (minor but noticeable), and the yellow shade didn’t seem to fade too much after six hours.

NARS gives you plenty of product in the compact, which is over-sized (larger than their blushes), so for your $55, you’re getting nearly half an ounce of eyeshadow, which works out to be ~$122/oz., while a duo works out to be ~$243/oz. (Trios are the worst value at ~$265/oz.) You’re just not getting the highest quality product.  For the most part, each color is accessible enough to work with when using eyeshadow brushes, but you will get excess powder kicked up, so you may find that some of the colors mix.  I recommend using a large face brush to brush off the black overlay, because it just makes everything kind of sooty the first time you use it.

The Glossover

palette

Flowers 1

C
I think if you're a big fan of NARS and Andy Warhol, then it might appeal as a collectible. I think if you're just concerned about the overall quality, then it's something I would skip over.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Sunday, September 2nd, 2012


NARS Back Room Nail Lacquer

There’s One Last Polish in the Back Room!

NARS Back Room Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “black.” It’s a rich, deep dark black with a glossy finish. I know it’s going to sound bizarre, but I don’t have a lot of black cream polishes. MAC Nocturnelle is one of the few I have (and for some reason, I have a few of them). It’s not quite as dark and doesn’t dry down to the same naturally glossy finish. MAC Beyond Jealous is a tiny bit teal but mostly black. What’s your favorite black cream?

love this polish.  You have to wait for it to dry to understand what makes this polish sing, and it actually dries down quickly, and when it does, there’s a beautiful glossy shine. It’s not necessary to apply a top coat if you’re looking to add shine.  The formula was just the right consistency, not being thin or watery, but not too thick either.  It was a cinch to apply the polish, as the fluid flowed across the nail evenly and smoothly. It was almost opaque in one coat, but I did need two for fully opaque color. NARS’ polish wears exceptionally well on me, lasting as long as ten days without chipping and only showing minor tip wear.

The Glossover

LE
product

Back Room

A+
This is definitely going to be my go-to black from now on! It's so rich in color, applies easily, and the final shiny result is amazing.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Saturday, September 1st, 2012


NARS Satellite of Love Highlighting Blush

Reach to the Stars for a Satellite of Love

NARS Satellite of Love Highlighting Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sparkling gold sand.” It’s a peachy brown with a hint of orange and pale gold shimmer and sparkle. It adds warmth, a little tan coloring, and noticeable sparkle and sheen to cheeks. Chanel Lucky Stripes is similar but more shimmery than sparkly. NARS Miss Liberty is lighter, more beige. MAC How Beautiful! is very light and beige. Chanel Empreinte de Chanel is more golden, yellower.

The Highlighting Blush formula is supposd to impart a “luminous glow” that can be worn alone or paired with other cheek products.  This particular shade has a bit more sparkle than sheen, though a lot of the sparkle gets lost between the pan, your brush, and your cheek, but it did emphasize my pores just slightly.  It has decent color payoff (it’s about what you see in the pan) and buildable to the color you see in the pan.  Because it is a lighter shade overall, on deeper complexions, it is going to add very subtle warmth but not visible color–more a highlighter than anything else. Lighter complexions can use it as both a highlighter as well as a blusher (well, probably bronzer).  The texture was a bit on the dry side, but it was nice and blendable on the cheek.  It wore for seven hours before there was noticeable fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

Satellite of Love

B
I think the color is a nice pop of warmth for most complexions, but the larger sparkle seems to emphasize pores to a noticeable degree, while the drier texture is less forgiving on cheeks. It is blendable and buildable, though.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Saturday, September 1st, 2012


NARS New York Dolls Nail Lacquer

Be a Doll, Grab That Purple For Me!

NARS New York Dolls Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as ” purple.” It’s a dark purple with a subdued quality to it, so it doesn’t have a strong red undertone, and it seems just barely blue-based–but it’s so subtle and changes depending on the lighting conditions. Illamasqua Faux Pas is closest inc olor, but it is lighter and had a rubberized finish. Zoya Mira is lighter and more red-toned. SpaRitual Illume is lighter, bluer-based. Orly Purple Pleather is cooler-toned and has a rubberized finish.

This polish dries down pretty quickly, and the best part is it has a high-shine finish that’s glossy and reflective without need of a top coat at all (swatches show what it looks like with no top coat used). It’s almost opaque in a single coat (90%), so I still applied two swatches, but you could almost get away with just one.  The formula wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it flowed easily and evenly across the nail without pooling along the sides or streaking.  NARS’ polish wears exceptionally well on me, lasting as long as ten days without chipping and only showing minor tip wear.

The Glossover

LE
product

New York Dolls

A+
Top notch formula, rich in pigment, and long-lasting, NARS really nails this new and limited edition shade for the holidays. I love how shiny the end result is without a top coat!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Saturday, September 1st, 2012


NARS 47th Street Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner

It’s a Starry Night on 47th Street

NARS 47th Street Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “black with silver shimmer.” It’s a dark black with chunky silver sparkle–it’s definitely larger than what you’d expect of shimmer. I couldn’t think of anything similar to this (not to say that there aren’t dupes, just nothing I know of). The closest that I could come up with was MAC Black Swan, which is black with more of a blue shimmer-sheen. MAC Smooth Manoeuvre is also black with a couple of bits of silver shimmer but hardly any. Update: A few readers suggested Urban Decay Oil Slick, which is a silver-shimmered black, and it is a softer, lighter black (almost looks gray in comparison), and the sparkle is a lot subtler/smaller, so it’s not quite the same, but it is similar!

It applies well and evenly, with just enough glide to slide on smoothly without tugging, skipping, or pulling but not so much that it impairs the wear.  The black seems to stay put, even after eight hours–no budging or smudging or fading–but some of the silver glitter travels below the lash line where it was originally. It doesn’t appear to travel far and wide, but it does migrate somewhat.  47th Street had good color payoff in a single pass, and it provided a nice dark black line with silver sparkle–not a super intense black, but it’s darker than a soft black. I liked this shade more than some of the past shades I’ve tried in this formula.

The Glossover

LE
product

47th Street

B+
47th Street had good color payoff in a single pass, and it provided a nice dark black line with silver sparkle--not a super intense black, but it's darker than a soft black. I liked this shade more than some of the past shades I've tried in this formula.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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