Monday, February 21st, 2011

NARS Nana Lipgloss
NARS Nana Lipgloss

NARS Spring 2011: Nana

NARS Nana Lipgloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a blackened plum that applies semi-opaque. It is still quite dark, but it is nowhere near as dark applied as it appears in the tube (which almost photographs black!). Though I really liked the color itself, and it gave a rather stained glass look to lips, it isn’t so easy to work with by itself. I would recommend layering it over a lipstick or lip liner in order to minimize the gloss settling into lip lines. I also found that if you touch your lips together at all, it really moved the gloss around and made it look blotchy.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of this particular gloss felt so different from other NARS’ Lipglosses, it was rather sticky. It wasn’t thick like holiday’s Downtown, but I still found this gloss rather tacky, while other NARS glosses are non-sticky (and it is a trait that these lipglosses are known for). In the past, NARS glosses have had plastic-y smells, but I haven’t noticed this in the latest seasonal launches, including Nana.

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

final thoughts: If you don’t mind some prep work (like lip liner) or layering (over a lipstick), I think it’s a nice shade. It should suit both cooler and warmer skin tones, though it is naturally cool toned. It is a more high-maintenance kind of lip color, unfortunately!

where to buy: NARS

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Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

NARS Tzigane Lipstick
NARS Tzigane Lipstick

NARS Spring 2011: Tzigane

NARS Tzigane Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sheer, pink brandy” that gives “a whisper of subtle color to the lips.” The name was inspired by Maurice Ravel, a French composer, and it translates to “gypsy.” I can get down with the “pink brandy” descriptor, actually. I would describe it as a lightened, rosy brown with a subtle peachiness. It has a subtle shine but nothing glossy or over-the-top. While described as sheer, I found it surprisingly pigmented–I would say semi-opaque rather than semi-sheer.

my thoughts on the formula: NARS Lipstick typically wears four to six hours, with a shade like this lasting just under four. It has a creamier texture that’s moisturizing, and this particular shade is more opaque (some shades can be quite sheer). I didn’t notice any waxy scent, as NARS lipsticks are typically unscented but the scent of the waxy base sometimes come through.

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

final thoughts: I recommend this for both cool and warm undretones; I think it works well with both. Despite being described as sheer, I found it rather opaque, so while the color is more muted, it may be too dark for a really bold or dramatic eye. It should work nicely everyday to semi-dramatic looks, and it will pair best with neutrals, bronzes, and berries.

where to buy: NARS

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Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Video Review: NARS Spring 2011

This is an actual review of the entire NARS Spring 2011 collection, not just first impressions/swatches. I tried not to rant too much on those Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, but I’m not sure how successful I was there, ha! I will be reviewing Nana and Tzigane here on the blog soon.   Would love it if you subscribed to our YouTube channel, too! :)

Friday, February 11th, 2011

NARS Madere Pure Matte Lipstick
NARS Madere Pure Matte Lipstick

NARS Spring 2011: Madere

NARS Madere Pure Matte Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a pale pink-toned white-beige with a matte finish. It has great coverage, going opaque with little product, but as a matte, tends to cling to lips more than your average lipstick.

my thoughts on the formula: Pure Matte lipsticks have a matte finish, and while they’re not moisturizing, they don’t rob my lips of moisture. Lighter matte shades can take prep work, because the matte texture will emphasize any imperfections on your lips. Mattes do, however, last longer on lips, and NARS’ Pure Matte lipsticks last between four and five hours on me, though lighter shades like Madere are only three to four hours.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: I will say that this is by no means a flattering shade on me, and I don’t see it working for a wide variety of skin tones. It’s so pale that it will provide great contrast on darker skin tones, but it is borders on zombie-lips when I wear it. The slight pink in the color does bring it up a notch, but I see this working best for a certain look or on paler skin tones.

where to buy: NARS

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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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Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2011: Celebrate

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “parrot green” by NARS. The Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are supposed to be “smooth, creamy, and long-wearing.” They are touted as the “ideal base for layering with powder eyeshadow to increase color intensity.” It’s a multi-tasking pencil that can be used to “Shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye.”

Celebrate is a bright, chartreuse green with a strong yellow base. It applied semi-opaque but glided on easily. The problem with this shade was its complete inability to not crease. I tried it alone, and it creased within minutes. I layered eyeshadow on top (Giorgio Armani Transluminence palette–the teal–I just used whatever I had nearest to me), and it still creased in less than an hour. It’s not even a little creasing–it’s painful to see. Not to be daunted, I also tried it over NARS’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base with the same eyeshadow layered on top, and I still had the same results (a veritable creasing bonanza).

my thoughts on the formula: More often than not, the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are a bust for me–they crease alone but also when layered with powder–and Celebrate continues to show that NARS’ Soft Touch Shadow Pencils really can be hit or miss.

The Glossover

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product

Celebrate

I'm not even sure what you can really use this with or for, if it's going to crease with two additional helpers (a base and shadow to set). It migrates on the lower lash line, too, so it's not something one could line with, either. Five points for the glide and color pay off!
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