Saturday, March 6th, 2010

NARS D Gorgeous Eyeshadow

NARS Spring 2010: D. Gorgeous Eyeshadow

NARS D. Gorgeous Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new single eyeshadow from NARS’ Spring Collection. It’s a light lilac with a matte finish, and it really looks absolutely stunning in its pan–it’s this lovely pale color against matte black packaging, but the product doesn’t come through on quality.

D. Gorgeous is a chalky matte with very sheer, light color. It’s an almost gray-lilac when swatched, but it has this dusty, chalky look to it that’s not very flattering. It’s also incredible sheer and powdery–the minute I dipped my brush in it, it was like, poof! The only good thing I can say about the texture is at least it isn’t a hard-to-swatch matte that just looks like it drags. D. Gorgeous is smooth and soft to the touch, it’s just much chalkier than other NARS’ eyeshadows.

By the way, NARS also raised the price on their single eyeshadows (from $22 to $23). You’re always better off purchasing a NARS eyeshadow duo over a single, because the price per ounce in singles makes it more expensive than MAC, Smashbox, and Make Up For Ever.

It’s really too bad that this went so powdery on me, because it seemed like such a nice shade for spring. It’s not the worst matte I’ve tried, but with the dustiness and lack of pigmentation, it’s not the best, either. Considering its NARS, I expect pigmentation to never be a problem!

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

  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  Pass and opt for an eyeshadow duo!

Availability: Blue Mercury

See swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

NARS Kuala Lumpur Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Spring 2010:  Kuala Lumpur Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Kuala Lumpur Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00) is a newly-released eyeshadow duo from NARS Spring 2010 Collection.

On one side, it’s a melon-y peach kind of shade with a shimmery, slightly frosted finish–it would appear that this is just one of those shades for the spring season (like Benefit Nice Melons, MAC Flip, Urban Decay Muchness; or even MAC Melon Pigment).  The other side is a reddened burgundy with a softer frost finish and sheen.

I don’t love this eyeshadow duo, and I really thought I’d be all over it, given the way it looks.  However, this is an eyeshadow duo one really needs to use wet, because the color pay off is not up to my expectations for a brand like NARS when they’re used dry.  When used dry, particularly on the lid, they tend to look incredibly sheer and have a good deal of fall out (primarily of the shimmer).  I didn’t expect to have any fall out troubles with this, considering they’re pressed powder shadows with shimmer, rather than glittery bits!

The texture of Kuala Lumpur is very soft–the shadows are smooth and soft to the touch but powdery, and when swatched, they look nicer than it was when I attempted to use the colors dry in a look.  In order to make the look come together better, I ended up using the colors wet, which definitely helped quite a bit.  I didn’t love it even wet, though, because once it dries, it does fade back a bit.  It’s like, when you use the eyeshadow wet, it doesn’t remain looking like it does when wet, but it doesn’t completely become how it looks when dry.  Instead, it settles somewhere in between.  (You can see me wearing this duo in this look.)  I also found that when used dry, it just didn’t seem to apply evenly and I really had to pack on the color to get an even (though sheer) application.

For $32, I want an eyeshadow I can truly use wet or dry, not just wet.  I also don’t want to have to work too hard to make it work for me, either.  I can get down with having to experiment a bit for just the right application method when we’re talking about a $2 eyeshadow, but if you’re going to buy high-end, it should work right outta the compact, you know?

The good news, for those concerned with the $32 price tag, is you get plenty for your money.  The math works out to NARS eyeshadow duos being cheaper by the ounce than both MAC and Make Up For Ever.  But maybe you’re better off picking up a different duo…

Oh, p.s. if you dig these colors, you may find that layering them over a more metallic base will help enhance their colors.  Like say MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot.  I always find poor performing shadows seem to work better when layered over colored and shimmery/metallic bases.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you like your colors soft, I think you’ll still enjoy this new shade for spring.

Availability: BlueMercury

See photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

NARS Purple Rain Nail Lacquer

Stunning Spring Nails with  NARS Purple Rain Nail Lacquer

NARS Purple Rain Nail Lacquer ($16.00) is a deep jewel-toned purple with red undertones shimmered with flecks of violet and wine red shimmer. It looks kind of like a dark grape purple when there’s no real light, but I like that it doesn’t look black in low light conditions. Of course, like many polishes, this one really shows off best in the light. Even just regular lighting will catch the shimmer in such a lovely way. This is a richly pigmented nail lacquer; it needs only one thick coat and it goes opaque, though I did two coats for good measure. It wears well (one week with just tip wear, no chipping), and it applies easily–doesn’t streak or drag. The formula is thick without being goopy, so it doesn’t require any experimentation in application–it’s just apply, dry, and enjoy!

I was surprised by how much I liked this shade, even though it doesn’t conjure up any spring images in my mind, I’m really glad NARS put it out, spring season or not!

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: If you love purple nails, Purple Rain is really one of those must-see shades!

Availability: BlueMercury

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

NARS Cosmetics Spring 2010 Collection

Inspired by Catherine Deneuve’s role as Lucille in La Chamade, the NARS Spring 2010 Collection features soft, sexy shades that are as elegant as they are versatile.

“I love Catherine’s makeup look in this movie,” says François Nars, Founder and Creative Director of NARS Cosmetics who chose supermodel Amber Valletta for the campaign. “It’s very sophisticated and bourgeois in a Parisian ‘16th Arrondissement’ way. She is the perfect reference for this collection, and apropos for spring, a time to embrace color and get noticed.”

Nars created a look that is confident, cosmopolitan and polished. On skin, he applied NARS Fiji Sheer Glow Foundation, followed by NARS Eden Pressed Powder for a perfectly smooth finish. He contoured Amber’s cheeks with NARS Amour Blush then highlighted her complexion with NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush Powder.

On the eyes, François applied the golden moss shade of the NARS Camargue Duo Cream Eyeshadow over the entire upper lid, then blended outward. The sienna shade was used to define the lower lash line with the NARS Push Eyeliner Brush. He then layered the sienna side onto the lid and brow bone, and swept the hue into the lash line. For additional brightness, NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush was dusted onto the eye, and NARS Nabucco Eyeliner Stylo was swept on to line the top lashes. NARS Blondie Single Eyeshadow was used to create an impactful brow. Lastly, two coats of NARS Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascara were applied to the top and bottom lashes.

To complete the look, François lined the lips with NARS Borneo Lipliner Pencil, filled them in with NARS Cruising Lipstick and layered on NARS Easy Lover Lip Gloss for extra shine and fullness.

Lipstick ($24.00)

  • Cruising Pink nude

Lip Gloss ($24.00)

  • Easy Lover Sheer hot pink
  • Ophelia Strawberry nectar

Nail Polish ($16.00)

  • Purple Rain Gothic purple

Eyeshadow (Single) ($23.00)

  • D. Gorgeous Dusty lilac

Eyeshadow Duo (Cream) ($32.00)

  • Camargue Golden moss / sienna

Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00)

  • Kuala Lumpur Rose-gold / boysenberry

Eyeliner ($24.00)

  • Bains Douches Bright sky blue, silver glitter-infused hue

Availability: January 15th, 2010

See more photos… Continue reading →