Monday, July 16th, 2012

NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio
NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Fall 2012: High Society Eyeshadow Trio

NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as “lavender,” “matte forest green,” and “iridescent amethyst.” It’s new and limited for fall. I love that NARS has individual wells for each shade of the trio, but it’s a little disappointing that the amount of product is only 0.03 oz. more than a duo yet $11 more. Their eyeshadow formula is described as highly pigmented, long-wearing, and crease-resistant.

The first shade is a smoky light-medium purple with noticeable pink–it’s almost too smoky/dark to be lavender, though it looks a little lighter in the pan than how it does applied. It has a slight powderiness to it when you press your brush against the surface, and it’s a little sheer. I did have to pack it on somewhat to get opaque color. Bobbi Brown Cool Lilac is lighter and pinker. MAC Daylight is more mauve. Bare Escentuals Azure is purpler.

The second shade is a smoky medium-dark brown-toned green. Kind of like a muted army green to me. The texture was soft, just barely powdery, but applied fairly smoothly. Like the first shade, it was a little sheer. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is greener, brighter. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard is slightly more intense. Bare Escentuals Utopia is cooler-toned. MAC Flourishing is greener, warmer. Make Up For Ever #84 is rather similar but has a shimmer finish, so the two aren’t as close as they seem.

The third shade is a darkened purple with subtle red-brown undertones and a satiny finish. It had a drier, stiffer texture than I’d liked to have seen, but it was easier to use on the eye with a brush–it wasn’t as blendable as the other two shades, though. Urban Decay Rockstar has a more metallic finish and has less purple (almost more mauve/plum). Bobbi Brown Black Violet is comparable but less smoky. Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac is more frosted. theBalm All the Way Annie is a hint lighter. Make Up For Ever #142 is a smidgen brighter.

I love the color combination; it’s dark and sultry but it really works. The colors and tonal differences flatter each other immensely!  I’m less impressed by the overall texture and quality of the trio, though.  Two shades were powdery, while the other was dry and stiff.  They were easy enough to work with on the lid, but I did have to pack on the lavender shade during application.  Without a primer, I had noticeable fading after six hours, especially of the lavender shade.  With a primer, the results were better, but there was still enough fading after eight hours to be disappointing.

The Glossover

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NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
It's frustrating to have problems with the colors fading even over primer (and NARS' primer, to boot!), especially when the formula is supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant on its own merits. It's a shame as the color combination is perfect for fall in an unusual way.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.15 oz.) consists of a “silver, icy peach, [and] matte apricot” as described by the brand. This is the only limited edition product within the summer collection. I like how NARS’ trios are packaged with three individual wells, which means that there’s less cross-contamination from excess powder. The downside is that the trios are only 0.15 oz., whereas their duos are 0.14 oz.–but the duos are only $34, which is a $11 difference!

The first shade is a light gray with a silver shimmer and subtle silver metallic sheen. It has good color payoff–there’s an underlying sheerness in the swatch, but it is more pigmented when applied to the eye. Tarina Tarantino Lovely has a similar shade that’s a touch lighter and frostier. Guerlain Les Aquas has a similar shade, which has a more metallic finish.

The middle shade is a soft, pale peach with a satiny sheen–it’s a little more amped up and reflective than your average satin, though. The color payoff is good, though there is a touch of sheerness to the color. Tarina Tarantino Delightful has a shade that’s a few shades darker. Inglot #328 is similar in color but is darker. Inglot #330 is very close in color but has a matte finish.

The last shade is a warm, muted orange with a matte finish. This shade was also on the sheerer side, but I didn’t have any problem getting it to show up closer to opaque color when I applied it on the lid, which is not an uncommon result with matte textures. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa has a shade that’s a bit richer, darker, more orange. MAC Fresh Daily is deeper, brighter. MAC Rule is more orange, darker. Inglot #368 is more tangerine.

NARS’ eyeshadow formula is supposed to be long-wearing, crease-resistant, and highly-pigmented according to their website (and it still drives me batty that they have it listed as “highly-pigminted“).  NARS’ eyeshadow formula can also be used wet or dry, depending on your preferences.   I applied the light gray shade to the very inner tearduct, pale peach to the inner half of the lid, and the orange shade on the outer half of the lid and into the crease to test out the wear.   Without a primer, it wore for eight hours without creasing and just very minor fading around the edges.  All three shades were easy to apply and blend together; the matte shade is very workable and while it feels dry, it’s just as blendable as the shimmery shades.

This should be very flattering on warm and neutral skin tones, and cooler complexions should still be able to wear this, because of the inclusion of gray as well as the softer, lighter feel of the other two distinctly warm shades.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This should be very flattering on warm and neutral skin tones, and cooler complexions should still be able to wear this, because of the inclusion of gray as well as the softer, lighter feel of the other two distinctly warm shades.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

NARS Douce France Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Douce France Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Spring 2012: Douce France Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Douce France Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “shimmery icy pink, shimmery rose petal pink, and matte deep rose.” The trio is a limited edition shade from this spring’s collection.

The first shade is a very light ivory with a hint of pink and a touch of white sparkle. It’s almost a bit on the chalky side, which is partially because of how light the color is, and how the texture has more of a matte finish underneath the sparkle. I had a tough time getting this shade to adhere well to the lid, and I noticed it seemed to fade away, even over a primer, after eight hours. It’s similar to a shade in Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse. MAC Golden Flurry is pinker and more iridescent. Bare Escentuals Muse is frostier and brighter.

The center shade is a rosy pink with subtle yellow undertones. The finish is satiny; not too matte, but not shimmery or frosted. It has a very, very soft feel, but it will blend out easily if you are not careful. The color payoff is good but could use a little more (or else bind together a bit better). Inglot #359 and MAC Rose are slightly pinker.

The right-most shade is a matte, muted dark red. It’s not red red, but it’s not really berry or burgundy. There’s a muted quality to it that really makes it ring true to its description–it looks like the dark hues of a real rose. The texture of this shade is so soft and finely-milled without being powdery, and the color payoff is very good (the best out of the palette). It blends out well, too, because of the soft texture. Inglot #450 has more of a berry hue, plus it has a shimmery finish. I couldn’t think of any other potential dupes.

I love that NARS created their trios with individual pans, but it’s a bit of a let down that the price/quantity ratio makes the trios more expensive (by the ounce) than duos (but less than individual eyeshadows). Typically, there’s a bit of a “discount” when you buy duos, trios, quads, etc. Each eyeshadow is still a healthy amount (just over 0.05 oz. each), so you won’t run out of any shade easily.

NARS designed their powder eyeshadow formula to be crease-resistant, long-wearing, and highly pigmented, but I do experience some light fading and noticeable creasing afiter seven to eight hours of wear. The lightest shade in this palette was really faded after eight hours, but the other two shades were more intact. I still experienced a fair amount of fading with the lightest shade over a primer as well, which was disappointing. Thankfully, because it’s so light, the average onlooker wouldn’t have noticed it.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Douce France Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

B
The fading is a big issue for me; it really affects the usefulenss and wearability of the palette. Who wants a shade that disappears even over a primer? The combination of hues work together exceptionally well, though, and on light and much deeper skin tones, this will work nicely. I felt like these shades got a little lost on my skin tone personally (which is not reflected in the grade).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, July 25th, 2011


NARS Delphes Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Fall 2011: Delphes Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Delphes Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a trio of “sparkling sheer peach, matte dove grey, and frosted sage.” It is a limited edition piece from the fall collection, which is slated to hit retailers in August but currently available online at NARS.

  • The first shade in the trio is a soft, shimmering peach champagne that’s a little sheer with chunky, silver glitter. It is similar to Inglot #397, while Urban Decay Virgin has a less shimmery finish and a pinker look. The texture itself has a subtle grittiness from the glitter, and it does leave behind some glitter fall out, and if one uses it as a brow highlighter, you’ll probably find a few stray glittery bits in your brows a few hours later.
  • The second shade is a bluish-gray with a matte finish but the shade itself has little specks of sparkle. Like the first shade, it is sheerer than expected. Inglot #339 is similar in color but darker. This color blends out easily, but because it starts off sheerer, it requires some building for good color intensity when applied and a light hand to blend.
  • The last shade of the trio is a springy green with a part frost, part metallic finish. This was the most pigmented shade of the three. It has more of a silver sheen compared to Urban Decay Urb, while theBalm Run Around Rebecca has a brown-like sheen in comparison.

This trio of colors should appeal to those who prefer their eyeshadows soft, subtle, and generally sheerer. One of the three shades is nicely pigmented, but the other two are on the sheerer side, while the peach shade is described specifically as sheer, the other two are not and should conform to NARS’ description of the trios (“highly pigmented, long-wearing, and crease-resistant”).  Generally, I get about seven to eight hours of decent wear before there is subtle creasing when these are worn alone–I always recommend an eyeshadow primer underneath these. (I don’t think that, on its own, is a deal-breaker–most of us use eyeshadow bases regularly–but I include it because it is part of the product’s claims.)

I like the packaging that NARS has embraced for the trios, because the divider between each shade (and even distribution of each color) makes it easy to use the shades individually without blending the two together. The rubberized packaging makes these less prone to breaking upon impact (because it absorbs some of the impact better than a hard plastic would), and it’s easier to hold. Each compact also includes a mirror inside, which is a nice bonus.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Delphes Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
Not NARS' best trio--I can see this appealing to a set of buyers who gravitate towards subtle, softened colors, but it's not really what this palette is supposed to be, based on NARS' description.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Thursday, April 28th, 2011

NARS Cap Ferrat Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Cap Ferrat Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Summer 2011: Cap Ferrat Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Cap Ferrat Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) has launched an Alpes-Maritimes inspired (and limited edition) trio featuring shades of icy sea form, silver grewen, and icy turquoise. Something that readers complained about before was the composition of NARS’ trios–a gradual fading of light to dark with each section a different size, but here, we have three separate pans with each being the same size. I definitely hope to see this design going forward–I think it is more practical.

Cap Ferrat is my favorite NARS trio to date (I know, there have only been three, including this one), but I think it’s much more in line with NARS’ typical textures. The lightest shade is a very pale, green-tinted silvery white with this very subtle undertone of yellow; it is a little sheer, so it’s not perfect, but it applies smoothly. The middle shade is a seafoam green with a teal pull and a frosted finish with excellent pigmentation and soft, smooth texture. The darkest shade is a vibrant, sea and sky mix of blue with a subtle silvery shimmer and sheen. Like the middle shade, it has beautiful color payoff that’s true-to-pan and a very smooth feel.

One thing I don’t love about the trios is the way they’re priced–usually, the more products in it, the more of a “value” it becomes. Instead, NARS singles are $328.57/oz., duos are $235.71/oz., while the trios are $264.71/oz. NARS’ eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant. When I wear them alone, I tend to get around six hours of wear before there is a faint amount of creasing, so it’s pretty good and isn’t a huge mess, but I’d recommend a primer for all-day wear (especially for those with oilier lids).

The Glossover

narsCapFerrat

NARS Cap Ferrat Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
If we excluded the lightest shade, the trio would earn a full 10 on both product and pigment, but the sheerness of the first shade resulted in the drop (as the score is averaged out). It's a very summer-esque trio channeling ocean blues, and if it's in your budget, definitely something to consider.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Spring 2011: Calanque

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a mix of gold infused platinum with silver flecks, light matte caramel, and rich antique bronze infused with gold. NARS does an admirable job describing their shades, because the official descriptions are quite apt.

The largest shade is a part-shimmer, part-glitter sheer overlay of a pale white-gold color. In all honesty, I do not like it at all–it applies unevenly, makes a mess, and the “silver flecks” aka silver glitter get everywhere. To make this shade manageable, try using it over a sticky base and wet, because dry, it proves to have far more fall out than it is worth. It’s more of a layering shade, too, because there isn’t much of a base color so much as a dusting of shimmer and glitter.

In the middle, there is a soft beige-tan with a subtle sheen; it’s not exactly matte–seems more like a satin to me, because of the sateen finish. This shade had a beautiful finish, very smooth and silky, with nice color pay off, too. The thinnest shade is a dark bronze brown with soft bronze shimmer. It has a softened frost sheen; it’s not a true frost finish, but it is a little more than a satin.

my thoughts on the formula: NARS states that you can use their eyeshadows wet or dry, though. The texture is soft, smooth, and very blendable, with the colors being nicely pigmented more often than not.   Here, two of the three shades are true to the NARS formula, but the largest and lightest shade is more difficult to work with than one would expect.  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).

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: Given that the largest shade is also the most difficult one to work with, I’m hard-pressed to recommend this trio, because I only think two shades are worth having.  The amount of glitter fall out from the lightest shade is quite bothersome.

where to buy: NARS

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