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NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Highlighting Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “matte vivid red.” It’s a brightened medium-dark orange-red with a mostly matte finish. MAC Out for Fun is lighter, less red. MAC Modern Mandarin is lighter, more orange, less red. Benefit Cha Cha is more orange, slightly lighter. NARS Liberte is darker, rustier–not as bright.  On the cheeks, it can look as bright as the pan, or if applied more softly, you’ll get kind of a orange-coral look almost.

Exhibit A is famous for its pigmentation–it is wow! in the pan, because it’s truly a fiery sight to see in stores, but it’s just as intense when used. Using this shade absolutely requires a feather-light touch and the proper tools (I like a fan brush) as a result, particularly if you are really light in coloring.  Because of its excellent pigmentation, it will show up as readily on darker complexions as it will on lighter ones. Even though NARS describes it as red, there’s a lot of orange and not as much red in it as you’d expect.  Still, there’s red, there’s orange, but there’s not a lot of yellow–it’s only barely warm in tone.

I think what really makes this shade sing is the texture.  It’s soft, silky, and applies smoothly; it’s not too soft that it becomes powdery, but it’s not too dry that it becomes a pain in the behind to blend. It strikes a balance between softness and blendability that is really required with a shade like this.  I wore Exhibit A to see how well it would wear, and it lasted a full eight hours and started looking a bit faded after just under nine hours.

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Sunday Link Love, Volume #102

Happy Sunday!

There’s been so much to catch up on in the past few days, but it’s been really fun–there are just so many new things as we kick off the fall collections!  It’s hard to focus and decide what to test first, what to post about first, so I’m thinking about going with a mish mash of brands and products.  Stay tuned! 🙂

Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bubblegum pink sheer jelly polish with subtle multi-colored shimmer.” It’s a light-medium cotton candy pink with subtle blue undertones and light glitter (looked mostly white to me). MAC Saint Germain is a bit lighter and has a cream finish. MAC Vagabondage is a bit lighter as well and also has a cream finish. Zoya Rory looks a bit lighter because it has a ton of shimmer in it–cooler-toned, too. Zoya Lara is much darker. MAC Ice Cream Cake is a smidgen bluer-based and has a cream finish. MAC Galore Pink is less blue-based and has no shimmer.

It has that squishy, plush look of a jelly finish, and it is designed to be sheer, though it’s mostly opaque after two coats. If you wanted opaque color, I would recommend doing three coats. The consistency is just shy of being on the thicker side but typical to jelly finishes. Untamed isn’t dominated by the glitter, so it still looks mostly like a pink jelly polish more than anything else.  It does dry down to a naturally glossy finish and does so faster than the average polish. I typically get a full week or more with Cult Nails’ formula, which is absolutely stellar as far as wear goes.

Untamed
Untamed
A+

Limited Edition

10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
99%
Total

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China Glaze Love’s a Beach Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Love's a Beach Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Love’s a Beach Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Love’s a Beach Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Love’s a Beach Nail Lacquer ($6.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sizzling hot pink.” It sizzles, all right! It’s a brightened neon pink with subtle yellow undertones and fine white shimmer. MAC Girl About Town is darker, blue-based, and has no shimmer. Zoya Reagan is purpler, cooler-toned, and has a cream finish. MAC Toco Toucan is darker and bluer. Essie Super Bossa Nova is more fuchsia and a bit darker. Urban Decay Woodstock is similar but a cream finish. Illamasqua Collide is a cream finish and doesn’t have shimmer–so it doesn’t look as pink.

It was fully opaque after two coats, though the consistency was surprisingly on the thick side (as were many of the shades from this collection–at least the ones I’ve swatched so far). Not so thick that it’s really gloppy and unmanageable, but thick enough where you do have to be more concerned about pooling around the edges. I didn’t experience it with this shade, partially because I was more aware of the potential for it. It took a bit longer than average for each coat to dry, and I really recommend waiting between coats to avoid drag.

9
Product
10
Pigmentation
8
Texture
9.5
Longevity
4
Application
90%
Total

What We’re Wearing, Vol. #075


My favorite look this week was… Guerlain Les Fauves Eyeshadow Palette, Burberry Trench Eyeshadow, Tarina Tarantino Spark of Envy Eyeliner with Le Metier de Beaute Goldstone Eyeshadow blended over and underneath the lash line.

What was your favorite look you wore this week?  Share yours in the comments! 🙂

P.S. — Apologies for the photo quality; took it while on vacation, so I only had my awful point and shoot, which is probably just awful because I have no idea how to use it 😉