Saturday, September 18th, 2010

NARS Palladium Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
The Culprit

Do you ever get angry at your beauty products?

Back in July, I first tried out NARS Palladium Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) in this look, and I really LOVED how everything came together, but of course, it was only a matter of time–fifteen minutes in fact–that this was creasing and melting into an eyeshadow catastrophe.

I was actually rather frustrated with it creasing so quickly, but I was angry with the product itself. Why? Because it was BEAUTIFUL! Palladium is a gorgeous shimmering aqua-teal with flashes of aqua-blue glitter strewn through. It even applied very smoothly to the lid, despite its grittier texture (from the glitter). I don’t like to be made to look like a fool, because I gave Aigle Noir a rather positive review (B, and while it creased without shadow on top, I had no issues using it underneath eyeshadow) [editor's note: revised grade to D- due to brand's marketing claims], and this shade creases like nothing else–alone, with shadow, over a base!

The only use I found for this product was as an eyeliner. Surprisingly, the staying power is ten-fold better on my lower lash line (I didn’t try it on the upper lash line), though it won’t last through twelve hours ofhumidity by any means. It stayed put for three to four hours before migrating and fading a bit, but it didn’t look terrible at the end of the day. However, since it’s such a thick pencil, it’s not very convenient to use it along the lower lash line, and the glittery bits mean it is rougher against the area, too.

Have you ever had a beauty product really anger you?

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Palladium Soft Touch Shadow Pencil Review, Photos, Swatches

F
Only if you love the way creased eyeshadow looks!

Product

2/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

2.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

NARS Coconut Grove Eyeshadow
NARS Coconut Grove Eyeshadow

Get Down & Dirty with Coconut Grove

NARS Coconut Grove Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a rich, decadent dark chocolate. This is an intense brown–there is no subtly here. It’s one of the darkest browns I’ve seen without veering into black.  I love the pigmentation of it, too.  It doesn’t quiver in its boots!  It charges straight ahead and goes on as dark as it looks in the pan.  You gotta love when an eyeshadow looks exactly the same in the pan as it does in practice.

Unlike Daphne, Coconut Grove has no problem showing up to the party, no matter where it’s at!  It swatches intensely, but more importantly, it applies the same way when used on the eye.  I wore it in this smoky eye, and I had to do some furious blending to keep it from being too dark and sultry (just because I was pairing it with red lips, but it could have easily been left in its stronger form and paired with a nude lip).  If pressed, I’d say this is a cooler brown, but I don’t think it leans very cool, and I liked it against my warmer skin tone as well.

According to NARS, this can be used wet as eyeliner, and since it’s incredibly deep in color and excellent in pigmentation, it could easily emphasize the eyes as eyeliner.  I don’t think you’d have any trouble getting this to look smooth and pigmented in a tight line at all.  From my experience, Coconut Grove is one of the best single eyeshadows by NARS to date.

Don’t forget — use code TEMPTALIA for a free mini lipgloss trio featuring Turkish Delight, Gothika, and Greek Holiday at NARS — expires 8/15.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

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

RECOMMENDATION: For an alternative to black, Coconut Grove would make an excellent multi-tasking “darkening” agent. It’s also lovely on its own!

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

NARS Douceur Blush
NARS Douceur Blush

Douceur… aka Softness!

NARS Douceur Blush ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a new and limited edition shade of dirty neutral pink-brown. This is a hard color to describe, because I think it’s going to take on a lot of the natural tones from each person. It’s not pink on me, at all, and it doesn’t even swatch very pink, but it almost looks pink in the pan. On my skin (warm, yellow undertones, medium in color), it adds just a touch of flush but almost just darkens my cheeks. I love a product that challenges me to describe it, but simultaneously, I get very frustrated since I’m almost at a loss for words. (Almost!)

According to my good friend Google Translate, Douceur means softness in French.  (Thanks for the lessons!) Foreign language, by the way, was never my strong suit (I took five years of French and yet I can’t even translate “douceur” on my own)!

Beyond the dirty neutral pink-brown shade (which is about as close as I think I’m going to get here), this is one of NARS’ least pigmented blushes. It is surprisingly subtle and light; it does not build to something more intense. I think those with medium to dark skin tones may want to try it out in person first. It’s very barely-there on me, so while I think paler beauties will love the near matte finish and subtler coloring of the blusher, darker beauties will find it less useful and maybe even invisible on their skin tone.

By the by, while the NARS imprint is gorgeous, it will disappear within one or two uses!

Don’t forget — use code TEMPTALIA for a free mini lipgloss trio featuring Turkish Delight, Gothika, and Greek Holiday at NARS.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

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

RECOMMENDATION: For those with light to light-medium skin, I think this would be a lovely shade to add depth without strong color.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Monday, July 26th, 2010

NARS Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Fall 2010: Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is new and permanent duo for fall that features a shimmering golden-toned champagne and darkened gray with silver sheen. If I had to pick between the two new eyeshadow duos, I would easily choose Rajasthan. The pigmentation and texture is better in the latter duo–Tzarine suffers from a bit of sheerness and less smoothness in the champagne shade, while the gray shade is just a little sheer but overall has the same texture of most NARS eyeshadows.

Admittedly, neither shade seems particularly unique or compelling, which might be why it seems a little dull when released next to Rajasthan. The champagne side reminds me of a lighter version of Alhambra, while the gray side is like a darker version of Underworld.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Not as smooth, richly pigmented, or as easy to apply as Rajasthan or the best of NARS eyeshadows–it falls just a little short for me.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Friday, July 23rd, 2010

NARS Daphne Eyeshadow
NARS Daphne Eyeshadow

Don’t Judge an Eyeshadow by a Swatch?!

NARS Daphne Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a rich shade of night violet purple. It’s dark and deep and bright. But I have to warn you: don’t judge by a mere swatching on your arm. I’ve often found that matte eyeshadows don’t swatch well on the arm but perform phenomenally when used on the eyes. A truly outstanding matte shade will do both well, but I’ve simply learned that you cannot judge a poor swatched matte without trying it, too.

When swatched with a sponge-tip applicator, I get a patchy mess of violet — it’s more of a red-based purple than blue-based, but it seems to flicker between the two depending on the lighting situation. (Sidenote, photographing this eyeshadow was a pain in the behind–it constantly wanted to photograph BLUE!) My arm wasn’t exactly the most moisturized environment to be sure, but wow! Daphne made it look like a desert. Even when I tried to use my finger to smooth out the color, it didn’t work out well (as reflected in the swatch).

Now, I say all this to show you that I did not get good results when I simply swatched for color. In fact, I had a sneaking suspicious this was going to be an issue. Nevertheless, I trudged on, and I tested it out by wearing it in a look. AND WE HAD LIFT OFF! Daphne looked as vibrant as pictured in the pan, but it applied smoothly, evenly, and it didn’t need much product at all–so it went on quite pigmented.

It’s similar to Make Up For Ever’s #92 Eyeshadow, but #92 is brighter and a little lighter–it’s not quite the darkened violet that Daphne is. #92 is also more pigmented and thicker/smoother, though they perform similarly on the eye–with Daphne having less fall out. You can see a couple of looks I did using #92, and you’ll notice it’s definitely not quite as dark.

Initially, they seem very comparable, but in use, they’re really not. Daphne is a several shades darker and not the bold, vibrant shade of violet that #92 is. They’re both nice shades to own that don’t dupe each other. I do, of course, wish Daphne was a little smoother, so it would swatch well even on skin.

P.S. — The first mini lipgloss set ran out, but NARS set y’all up with another set featuring Turkish Delight, Greek Holiday, and Gothika — use code TEMPTALIA at checkout, expires 8/15. :)

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Daphne Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches (Fall 2010)

C+
Give it a try in a look before dismissing it purely based on swatching--that is the biggest tip I can give you. If I had only swatched in-store, I would never have thought about picking it up, but after using it in a look, I'm much more inclined to recommend it.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

NARS Mangrove Eyeshadow
NARS Mangrove Eyeshadow

Finally, a Mustard I Like!

NARS Mangrove Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a mustard yellow with just a tinge of green. It has a satin sheen, and it’s nicely pigmented. This is a color you just don’t see very often, because it’s not always an easy to wear shade.

The only other comparable color I have in my stash is an old, discontinued shade by MAC called Jasmine (which is not quite as yellow). I’m not normally a big fan of yellow eyeshadow on me–if it leans gold or it’s more like a chartreuse, I’m totally for it, but truer yellows don’t seem to work well for me.

Mangrove is an interesting shade to work with, because it takes on much of the tones of whatever it’s paired with or layered on top of. When I used it with Palladium, it looked like a chartreuse green, but when I wore it over a regular eyeshadow base, I was able to get a much more true-to-pan kind of color. On my skin tone, I just can’t wear it easily — with golds and coppers, it works; with greens and teals, it works — but when I tried it alongside Daphne, I just couldn’t rock it myself.

I like the uniqueness of the color, which is something that would make compel me to get it. The quality is lovely, and it’s one of the better textured single shadows–very soft, smooth, but still pigmented. For those who have trouble pulling off warmer yellows and golds, Mangrove may be an answer to that problem–because it is as cool of a yellow as one can get!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

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

RECOMMENDATION: I think this may be more of a try-before-you-buy shade unless you’re always on the hunt for something a little different than the norm, because mustard yellow isn’t a common shade in makeup!

AVAILABILITY: NARS — Use code TEMPTALIA for a mini lipgloss trio featuring Turkish Delight, Gothika, & Greek Holiday, expires 8/15.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →