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Beautiful Beginnings with Make Up For Ever

Beautiful Beginnings with Make Up For Ever

What was the first Make Up For Ever product you ever tried?  Did it pave way for a real romance or did it put you off the brand entirely?  What was the first Make Up For Ever product you purchased?  Did you love it? Hate it? Still own it?

my answer:  The first product I remember trying (and reviewing) was their HD Powder, which I like (and still like). After that, I remember spending an unholy amount of money on the brand when I attended IMATS a few years ago (since it was 40% off) and did a series called 30 Days of Make Up For Ever. I love their products and find the brand to be high quality overall.

Share your first time experiences with Make Up For Ever in the comments! 🙂

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NARS Liberte Blush

NARS Liberte Blush
NARS Liberte Blush

NARS Liberte Blush

NARS Liberte Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “burnished apricot.” It’s a burnt orange-red with a very subtle sheen. Fans of NARS Exhibit A will probably enjoy this–it’s just a bit darker, more muted compared to Exhibit A. It’s not as bright; it reads softer, and the subtle sheen gives it a more luminous look on the cheeks. MAC My Paradise has a similar feel, though it is a touch lighter.

Admittedly, it’s horrible on me, but I think this is something that will look absolutely stunning on deeper complexions. There’s just something about this color and my particular skin tone that makes it read “terribly sunburnt” rather than “gloriously blushing.” It is also an interesting shade, because it reinforced my feelings that this collection was more of a split personality than anything else–this blush would complement the Ramatuelle trio, but it doesn’t work at all with the Marie-Galante duo (similarly, Moscow looks awful with Marie-Galante but would work with Ramatuelle).

It can be used both intensely and more sheered out, depending on how heavy-handed you are and what brush you use.  I’d recommend a stippling or really fluffy brush if you wanted a softer look, because this powder is rather pigmented.  The texture is a little on the drier, powdery side, so blending wasn’t effortless–it did take some maneuvering to get the edges to diffuse properly.  I ended up cheating a bit and using a pat or two of foundation over the edges, because it just wasn’t getting there for me.  A good method to try is to apply a very soft layer first, diffuse that, and then apply a bit more exactly where you want it.  I wore this yesterday for wear, and it wore for seven hours with just a little fading along the cheekbones.

NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.15 oz.) consists of a “silver, icy peach, [and] matte apricot” as described by the brand. This is the only limited edition product within the summer collection. I like how NARS’ trios are packaged with three individual wells, which means that there’s less cross-contamination from excess powder. The downside is that the trios are only 0.15 oz., whereas their duos are 0.14 oz.–but the duos are only $34, which is a $11 difference!

The first shade is a light gray with a silver shimmer and subtle silver metallic sheen. It has good color payoff–there’s an underlying sheerness in the swatch, but it is more pigmented when applied to the eye. Tarina Tarantino Lovely has a similar shade that’s a touch lighter and frostier. Guerlain Les Aquas has a similar shade, which has a more metallic finish.

The middle shade is a soft, pale peach with a satiny sheen–it’s a little more amped up and reflective than your average satin, though. The color payoff is good, though there is a touch of sheerness to the color. Tarina Tarantino Delightful has a shade that’s a few shades darker. Inglot #328 is similar in color but is darker. Inglot #330 is very close in color but has a matte finish.

The last shade is a warm, muted orange with a matte finish. This shade was also on the sheerer side, but I didn’t have any problem getting it to show up closer to opaque color when I applied it on the lid, which is not an uncommon result with matte textures. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa has a shade that’s a bit richer, darker, more orange. MAC Fresh Daily is deeper, brighter. MAC Rule is more orange, darker. Inglot #368 is more tangerine.

NARS’ eyeshadow formula is supposed to be long-wearing, crease-resistant, and highly-pigmented according to their website (and it still drives me batty that they have it listed as “highly-pigminted“).  NARS’ eyeshadow formula can also be used wet or dry, depending on your preferences.   I applied the light gray shade to the very inner tearduct, pale peach to the inner half of the lid, and the orange shade on the outer half of the lid and into the crease to test out the wear.   Without a primer, it wore for eight hours without creasing and just very minor fading around the edges.  All three shades were easy to apply and blend together; the matte shade is very workable and while it feels dry, it’s just as blendable as the shimmery shades.

This should be very flattering on warm and neutral skin tones, and cooler complexions should still be able to wear this, because of the inclusion of gray as well as the softer, lighter feel of the other two distinctly warm shades.

NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio

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NARS Trouville Nail Lacquer

NARS Trouville Nail Lacquer
NARS Trouville Nail Lacquer

NARS Trouville Nail Lacquer

NARS Trouville Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “seashell pink.” It’s a soft pink with a hint of coral and yellow undertones. It’s nearly opaque in two coats–under diffused flash, there’s faint visible nail line, but in studio lighting, I couldn’t tell it wasn’t 100% opaque. OCC Femme is a yellow-toned pink, but it’s a bit pinker and has shimmer. Chanel Mistral is also a yellow-toned pink but darker, pinker, and has shimmer. Chanel Morning is the closest in tone, but it’s darker.

The consistency of Trouville was just slightly thicker than ideal, but it applied fairly evenly and easily. Each coat takes a little longer to dry, and if you go too quickly, you risk pulling up the color of the first coat a bit.  I think this is a really lovely choice for spring and summer; it’s warm, breezy, and feminine without being too pastel or too bright.  I could see this working well on toes, too!  I’ve had excellent luck with NARS’ formula–it wears like iron and lasts a full seven days without chipping.

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NARS Calabria Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Calabria Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Calabria Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Calabria Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Calabria Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “shimmering plum.” It’s a dark burgundy plum with softer plum shimmer. Bare Escentuals Passion is slightly redder, less frosted. Le Metier de Beaute Fig is very similar, perhaps a little warmer. Guerlain Boulevard de Montparnasse is plummier. Tarina Tarantino Fantastical is purpler.

I have to emphasize how NARS markets the formula: “easy, portable, long-wearing application,” “functionality to shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye,” “an ideal base for layering with a powder shadow for increased color intensity,” “smooth, creamy, long-wearing formula.” Then, from the press release for this collection and specific shade, “This versatile, shimmering plum Soft Touch Shadow Pencil is the ideal complement for color on lids. Named for the region south of Naples, at the “toe” of the Italian Peninsula—it can be worn solo, as a base for powder shadows, or as a liner.”

The reason why this pencil can’t make it past five minutes (let alone an hour) without creasing is that it never dries down. It remains glossy and creamy for as long as I wear it–after three hours, I removed it and tried using it as a base with powder eyeshadows over it, but it creased horribly after an hour. The areas where the product has creased and accumulated are very slick, while the color on the lid will transfer onto my finger even with the slightest tough. There’s always a fine line between too quick and too slow when it comes to a cream eyeshadow/base product, but this one takes “too slow” to new lengths. I used it as an eyeliner and set it with eyeshadow, but it was entirely smudged after two hours and I had to remove it. The consistency is very, very creamy, which means it doesn’t tug or pull on the lid or lash line when it’s used, but it has a tendency to apply unevenly as it slides around the lid.

I am often asked why do I keep reviewing this formula only to give it a bad rating:  would (or should) I stop reviewing new shades of a good product? I don’t think so.  My policy is to review as many products as I can, whether or not they are good, bad, or just so-so.  Aside from the idea that all shades are individual and may perform better/worse than other shades in the same formula, there’s still value in reviewing a product, even if it’s consistently good or bad.  There’s opportunity to confirm that it is or isn’t consistent, how it may differ, the color, better alternatives on the market, and the like.  I wouldn’t seek this product out, but if NARS keeps making them and sending them to Temptalia for review, I’ll keep letting you know how they perform.

If you’ve been able to work these, I’d love to hear your thoughts! A review is always bolstered by reader comments – shared experience is what creates a fuller picture of how a product does and doesn’t perform.