Monday, May 2nd, 2011

NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Summer 2011: Dogon Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) was named for Mali-based culture and features a metallic taupe with icy green sheen and charcoal black. It is a limited edition duo. I found the lighter shade to apply really smoothly and evenly, while the darker shade was smooth but slightly dusty and pigmentation was good–though it seemed to fade too easily when blended.

In the pan, the darker shade looks rather blue–almost like a really sooty, deep dark blue, but when swatched, it does have a tendency to look much blacker. It still reads a smidgen blue, though, and part of that is owed to the flecks of midnight blue shimmer running through the matte color base.

The lighter shade is a rosy taupe with a subtle green sheen. It’s like a softer, subtler version of MAC Club or Blue Brown pigment. I can see the duochrome nature of the lighter shade really catching peoples’ eyes, though, and of all the products for summer, this is likely to be one of the more coveted pieces.

As far as NARS eyeshadows go, their duos are your best bang for your buck. Most individual eyeshadows from high-end brands are 0.05 oz. on average, while these almost equal out to three of those for $33. NARS’ eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant. When I wear them alone, I tend to get around seven to eight hours of wear before there is a faint amount of creasing, so it isn’t a huge mess, but I’d recommend a primer for all-day wear (especially for those with oilier lids).

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
This duo has smoky eye written all over it! It is a cooler-toned set of shades, but I think both of them are workable across both skin tones because of their depth.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Friday, April 29th, 2011

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Summer 2011: Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “pink cantaloupe,” while the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil formula is all about “rich pigment” delivered via a “jumbo-sized crayon” that imparts a “velvet matte finish.” It’s supposed to be long-wearing without being drying, while still being creamy. This shade has been added to NARS’ permanent range.

I thought the color was closer to that of grapefruit, but I guess if cantaloupe was pink, it might look something like this (and then kind of like grapefruit, ha!). It’s a lightened pink with just a hint of coral. It looked more coral swatched than it did once I applied it to my lips, though.  It actually bears a lot of similarity to MAC Ever Hip, though ever-so-slightly paler and, obviously, the finish is different as Bolero is matte.

The finish is completely matte, and with the lightness of the color, there is a touch of settling into lip lines and emphasis on any imperfections of the natural lip but really quite little overall and not noticeable from a normal viewing distance (you know, not close-up!). It does have enough creaminess in the texture to easily apply it, smooth it out, and get a nice layer of even color, and the pigmentation is excellent–really dense, opaque color without having to wear the pencil down to a nub.

With some of the really deep shades of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil line-up, I can see six to eight hours of wear, but with a lighter shade like Bolero, it wore just over four hours (which is slightly above average for a light color like this, where I normally see three to four). The length of wear was good and above average, but it’s not excellent. I did find Bolero a little drying by the fourth hour.

These aren’t your best bang for your buck lip product, considering you only get 0.086 oz. for $24–a NARS lipstick contains 0.12 oz. but also costs $24.00. They do apply color more precisely than a lipstick, because it has a more chiseled tip, but the cap is not as secure on this jumbo-sized lip pencil than it is on a lipstick–such a game of trade-offs! I didn’t find that the cap was easy to come off, but I do acknowledge it is less secure by its nature than lipstick.

The Glossover

LE
product

Bolero

B
If the wear was more on par with long-wearing lipsticks (including other shades within this range, which tend to be six to eight hours), the product would have rated higher. I think the color is one that will appeal to many, and it should work well on both cool and warmer skin tones, as the pink dominates over the coral, making it flattering on both.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, April 29th, 2011

NARS Wonder Lipgloss
NARS Wonder Lipgloss

NARS Summer 2011: Wonder Lipgloss

NARS Wonder Lipgloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is described as a “shiny, sheer mandarin orange laced with pink and gold shimmer.” It was a very reddened orange with flecks of gold and pink shimmer but less distinctly orange when worn.

Funny enough, this is a product described as sheer but actually is rather semi-sheer to semi-opaque! It’s a very buildable gloss, so it can go from a sheerer wash of color to more medium coverage  (though you can still clearly see my natural lip color through the gloss–it has a lot of color but still a lot of translucence) without feeling like you have to apply half the tube to do so.  One pull of gloss gets you sheer, a second pull gets you to what you see here.

NARS Lipglosses have a thinner consistency that’s mostly non-sticky (though sometimes, there is the odd gloss out), and the past several shades I’ve tried, are also scent- and taste-free. (In the past, some NARS glosses had a plasticky scent.) Wonder applies smoothly and evenly, and it gives lips a really plump, juicy look with the high-shine finish. I typically get three to four hours of wear out of NARS glosses.

The Glossover

LE
product

Wonder

A

Surprisingly buildable, it is easy to wear at sheerer levels as well as more opaque levels. It wears well, evenly, and leaves lips looking really lush.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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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

Results
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Thursday, April 28th, 2011

NARS New Order Highlighting Blush
NARS New Order Highlighting Blush

NARS New Order Highlighting Blush

NARS New Order Blush ($27.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “soft pink with gold and silver glitter.” It’s actually listed as a “Highlighting Blush Powder,” which is important to note because then the pigmentation level here will be “soft” as described, rather than the intense pigment expected of NARS’ blushes. When NARS says glitter, they really mean it–the glitter flecks here are large and in charge. I found them incredibly noticeable on my cheeks, and later on, I found glitter in my brows and on my chin.

While a couple particles escaping wouldn’t have been a major cause for concern, the way the glittery bits just laid on the skin wasn’t flattering. It was obvious and accentuated any roughness in the texture of your skin. Instead of the glowy, luminous sheen of Albatross (which is NARS only other Highlighting Blush Powder), we have chunky glitter doing the reflecting–less glow, more disco ball, I suppose! The color of the product is a soft, cool-toned pink, and I was able to get some color on cheeks, though I would expect those with dark skin tones to find it too light. I found the texture to be on the powdery side, too.

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS New Order Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

C-

The texture is a miss--a little powdery, traveling glitter--and make it less appealing. I don't think the chunky glitter really does a good job highlighting or adding sheen/glow to the skin, either; it just seems to sit there and look just like... glitter. The blush lacks refinement, and from NARS, it's something unexpected.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

5.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, April 12th, 2011


NARS Summer 2011 Collection

The Summer 2011 Collection is a range of warm, sophisticated, shimmering shades, punctuated with shots of vivid, nature-defying color. Eyes are washed in icy sea foam, silver-green and frozen turquoise. Lips are infused with mandarin orange gloss and hot pink matte color. The look is finished with nails in bold sunflower yellow or matte opaque white for a modern, edgy effect that’s strictly NARS.

Trio Eyeshadow ($45.00)

  • Cap Ferrat Icy sea form, silver green, icy turquoise (Limited Edition)

Duo Eyeshadow ($33.00)

  • Dogon Metallic taupe with icy green sheen and charcoal black (Limited Edition)
  • Exotic Dance Metallic white with silver sheen and metallic gold (Limited Edition)

Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00)

  • Queen Modern citrus gold glitter (Limited Edition)

Lipgloss ($24.00)

  • Wonder Shiny, sheer mandarin orange with pink andgold shimmer (Permanent)

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00)

  • Bolero Pink cantaloupe (Permanent)

Pure Matte Lipstick ($25.00)

  • Carthage Matte, hot pink (Permanent)

Lipstick ($24.00)

  • Mayflower Sheer raspberry with shimmer (Permanent)

Blush ($27.00)

  • New Order Soft pink with gold and silver shimmer (Permanent)

Nail Lacquer ($17.00)

  • Ecume Opaque white (Limited Edition)
  • Kismet Metallic sunflower (Limited Edition)

availability: April 15th @ narscosmetics.com

Q&A with Francois Nars + promo photos!  Continue reading →

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