Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Video Review: NARS Holiday 2011 First Impressions & Swatches

First look at NARS’ holiday collection along with swatches and brilliant (total sarcasm) commentary by yours truly :)

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

NARS Albatross Lipgloss
NARS Albatross Lipgloss

NARS Holiday 2011: Albatross Lipgloss

NARS Albatross Lipgloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is supposed to yield a “luminous glow” once slicked onto lips. I can get down with that; it’s virtually colorless but has a fair amount of white gold shimmer that deposits on the lips to give it a very glossy, shimmery look. It’s not quite as white as MAC Almondine or MAC A Quiet Roar.  It’s the kind of gloss I’d stow in a makeup bag for a quickie enhanced lip if I had nothing else on or add warmth and glow to a deeper shade (think red or berry).

While NARS describes their gloss formula as comfortable, glossy, and non-sticky, I can’t agree that they’re non-sticky. They’re not thick and sticky like some other glosses, but there is noticeable tackiness. They are comfortable to wear, though, and the gloss spreads evenly across the lips without being drying. In the past, some of NARS’ glosses have had a plastic-like scent, but I haven’t had that issue in the past six months or longer of their glosses (so maybe they fixed that under the radar!). With a lighter shade like Albatross, I get about two hours of wear before it needs a reapplication.

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Albatross Lipgloss Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
I like the gloss formula overall, except it doesn't wear well--I typically get four hours of wear out of lipgloss, but Albatross needs a reapplication after two! It does last a wee bit longer over a lipstick but not by much.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS Mandchourie Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Mandchourie Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Holiday 2011: Mandchourie Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Mandchourie Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new shade for the holidays described as a “gold-infused denim” and “rich navy.” It will be added to the brand’s permanent range. NARS line of pressed powder eyeshadows are supposed to be “highly pigmented, long-wearing, and crease-resistant.” They don’t wear all day on me without a primer, though some perform better than others. I typically get around eight hours with subtle creasing and marginal fading, but the usage of a primer will get me to twelve hours without any creasing or fading.

The first shade is a medium-dark navy blue with indigo undertones and golden shimmer. It had decent color payoff, but it wasn’t perfectly opaque, though the softness of the powder itself made it extremely easy to blend. The hue reminded me instantly of MAC Blue Spruce, though the two are noticeably different; Blue Spruce is greener and has more of a copper-colored sparkle, whereas Mandchourie is golden and distinctly blue.

The other shade is a dark navy blue with subtle indigo undertones and a matte finish. Make Up For Ever #147 is the only shade that seemed to compare at all, but it is shimmery and not quite as dark. Like the first shade, the texture is silky soft and smooth, but it is so soft that it is a little powdery. It blends easily, and you can tap it on for better color payoff on the lid, but be wary of fall out. I’d recommend doing the eyes first and foundation after when using this particular duo.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Mandchourie Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
There's a fine line between soft and powdery, and this duo seems to be caught between the two. The softness gives a beautiful, smooth application that's easy to blend out, but it also makes it prone to sheering out and powdery fall out during application.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow
NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Holiday 2011: Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a limited edition holiday offering described simply as “mink.” NARS describes their cream eyeshadow formula as lightweight, blendable, buildable, and it can be worn alone or paired with a powder eyeshadow for “longer-lasting wear and added dimension.” I’m glad NARS mentioned using a powder eyeshadow for longer-lasting wear, because without a powder on top, I only achieved an hour of wear before it was a creased mess of brown on my lid–and I don’t have oily lids at all.

Admittedly, I was a little torn on how to effectively rate this product, because “it can be worn alone” seems rather ill-advised if you end up with an irreparable makeup faux-pas on your eyes in an hour or less. I decided to meet NARS halfway; I wouldn’t expect or rate with the expectation of eight-hour wear but would expect it to last through a casual dinner at the very least! I also would not recommend wearing this as an eyeliner, because it smudged and migrated into the under eye area.

It’s a complex shade of brown, because it’s a cool-toned deep, dark brown with burgundy and bronze micro-shimmer. MAC Legendary Black reminded me of this color but not as deep or as cool-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone also has a similar shade that’s a bit warmer. MAC Smut is comparable but seems a smidgen darker. It comes together nicely, and there is plenty of pigmentation.

The consistency is extremely creamy, so it glides and applies well, but it sheers out easily. I recommend applying it layers rather than applying a lot at once if you want really rich, opaque color. By building in layers, you’ll also give each layer to set a bit so it will hold together better overall. It’s completely wearable and certainly more durable with a powder on top to set; you can try a translucent powder, which will give it a slightly more muted look, but it will enhance the wear to eight hours without creasing or smudging.

The Glossover

P
coming-soon

Ponderoa

B-
It doesn't work well alone, because it does seem to crease very quickly (even with a sheer layer of product), but if you use it in conjunction with a powder (translucent or otherwise), it holds up much better.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS G-Spot Multiple
NARS G-Spot Multiple

NARS Holiday 2011: G-Spot Multiple

If you weren’t impressed by racy names like Orgasm and Deep Throat, NARS G-Spot Multiple ($39.00 for 0.50 oz.) aims to work that much harder to make you blush–both literally and figuratively. NARS describes this shade as a “rich, gold-infused rose.” The Multiple formula is a cream formula that can be used on eyes, lips, and cheeks with a “sheer, natural finish.” The sheerer color payoff makes it “mistake-proof” and “quick and easy to apply,” according to the brand. It’s new for holiday but will join the permanent range.

For swatches, I did a heavier, layered swatch to show the actual color, but it would take several pats or swipes of color to achieve that kind of payoff (though it’s possible–options are always good!), along with a quick tap of product that was then blended out. The subtler color is more of a rosy plum with very little gold shimmer or sheen. In the heavier swatch, there is more noticeable god shimmer, but it was still rather downplayed. It was rosy with only a hint of plum in the heavier swatch. On cheeks, it yielded soft, natural color in a reddish-plum hue.

It applies easily enough with enough creaminess in the consistency for effortless blending but not so much slip that it sits on the skin and doesn’t dry down to a powdery finish. When I tested out this particular Multiple, it wore for six hours on my normal-to-dry skin type as a blush. I’m not keen on this on the lips, as I found it quite drying and uncomfortable to wear. My lips were painfully dehydrated after four hours, at which point I had to apply something else. I tested it alone on the eye lid, and it creased after four hours. It’s best used as a blusher, though it is marketed as a multi-tasking product (hence the name!).

The Glossover

P
product

G-Spot

B-
I imagine a lot of people love Multiples as blushes/bronzers, but they are multi-tasking products - and they are under-performing on lips! It's one of the drier lip products I've used in the past year. It performs best as a blush (but doesn't last long).

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush
NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush

For the holidays, NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush ($27.00 for 0.16 oz.) is designed to create “instant radiance” with a “soft, shimmering peach.” It’s new with the holiday collection but will become part of the permanent range. Miss Liberty is a sheer, peach-toned beige brown–it’s soft, light, but it’s not as pale as peach (like Benefit Georgia, which is very pale). It has silvery-white shimmer and sparkle, so the finish has a shimmer-sheen but there are larger flecks of sparkle, too.

On the skin, it gives the appearance of shimmering water, which may or may not be a look you want on your cheeks/face. I’m undecided on it; I think it’s too much on my skin type, which is certainly a personal preference. The larger sparkle does have a tendency to look too obvious on the skin and more like its just lying on top of it, whereas the shimmer-sheen is more natural and luminous. The way it looks almost wet is very interesting; it’s not something I’ve seen really and especially not in a powder product.

It’s a very sheer product, so I would not expect it to add much color to most skin tones but on lighter complexions, you may notice subtle warmth. On deeper complexions, I would expect shimmer and sheen but the underlying base color will keep it from turning ashy or looking powdery/chalky as some pale highlighters can appear. I was able to wear this for about seven hours before it started to fade; by eight hours, there was smidgen of luminosity lingering, but for the most part, it had worn away.

The Glossover

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product

Miss Liberty

B+

If you love your highlighters shimmery, almost frosty, and the opposite of subtle, I think you'll like NARS Miss Liberty! I really like that it can be worn on many skin tones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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