Apr 142015
 

NARS Christopher Kane Breakthrough RenderingOn April 15th, US and UK fans of the brands can enter for a chance to win the entire NARS Christopher Kane Collection, along with a new accessory from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2015 Collection (open to US and UK residents only).

· To enter to win the NARS Christopher Kane Breakthrough for US residents, fans should tweet using #NARSChristopherKaneUS.
· To enter to win the NARS Christopher Kane Breakthrough for UK residents, fans should tweet using #NARSChristopherKaneUK.
· The contest will kick off at 11:00AM GMT on April 15th in UK time, as well as 1:00PM EST April 15th in US time.
· Fans will be able to watch the Breakthrough livestreamed on NARSCosmetics.com & NARSCosmetics.co.uk on April 15th until a winner is revealed.

How will it work? Like a high-tech, modern makeup piñata that’s been designed by a genius. This video explains:

In other words, every #NARSChristopherKaneUS or #NARSChristopherKaneUK hashtag to hit Twitter automatically triggers a strike on the orb. As hashtags get published, watch the spears chip away until the designer giveaway is revealed. The final tweet to break the orb wins. How cool is that?

The Christopher Kane for NARS Collection Logo - tif

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Apr 132015
 

Here are some things that I’ve got my eye on….

What do you think?

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Apr 102015
 

MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream
Having previously reviewed the MAC Lightful C skincare lineI decided to round out the review by trying the MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream SPF 30 with Radiance Booster ($35/ 1.3 oz.). I tried this in shade Light-Plus, which is my match in MAC’s mineralized skin finish powder. A combination skincare/tinted cream, MAC’s Lightful C Tinted Cream promises the following benefits:

  • A correcting cream that reduces imperfections while increasing the natural radiance of your skin instantly and over time.
  • Infused with a Lightful Radiance Booster and vitamin C, it works to correct your overall complexion by reducing the appearance of pores and diminishing dark spots and hyper-pigmentation
  • SPF 30 protects against UVA/UVB rays

This product is currently available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources.

Sunday05This easily packable tube seems like an ideal summer product, with a relatively high SPF for a product that offers coverage and color correction.  I add a separate sunscreen underneath.

Sunday07In my opinion, this is a niche product for those seeking the benefits of MAC’s brightening serum, color-correcting properties particularly for sun damage, and some protection against future sun damage. On these points, the product delivers. The product comes out of the tube deeper shade than expected, with a very warm–almost orange–tint.  Orange corrects for blue so this makes some sense. Surprisingly, once applied the product seems to both color correct and lighten to stabilize to my NC15/20 shade over a few minutes. It may be that the coverage is sheer enough, but it also seems lighter on my face during the day that it does on my arm. It doesn’t look orange on my face.

Sunday06The product has excellent longevity–this goes on and stays on all day without shifting, fading, moving, or breaking down. However, it does have a thick, stiff, creamy texture, much more than traditional foundations. It’s heavier in texture and scent compared to  NARS Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturizer (which fits into the same high-SPF, radiance-enhancing product niche). Although MAC promises pore-minimizing properties, I found that it had to be buffed into my skin to effectively blur pores. In fact, it looked amazing when I used the Wayne Goss buffing technique described in his short, snappy and video. I used Nars Soft Velvet Loose Powder and the Nars #23 brush. When I use these, MAC’s Lightful C Tinted Cream gives an airbrushed, long-day, all-day finish.  However, when I apply the MAC Lightful C Tinted cream without care, using fingers quickly, the thick texture its on the skin and can actually make pores look a little worse. I found that careful application is important. If you have little time, the NARS goes on much more easily. Overall, MAC’s solution feels heavier and has a sunscreen-like scent.

Sunday09Here are out-of-the tube arm swatches of MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream next to several other foundations. As you can see, it comes out of the tube quite a bit deeper than most of the foundations swatched here.

Sunday11

I’m really careful about removing long-wear products–I start with an oil cleanser, use a Clarisonic with a cleanser, and then a toner. This is really important with MAC Lightful C, because as we all know, long-wearing foundations are wonderful but no one wants to keep wearing foundation overnight to keep your pores clear.

MAC lightful C tinted cream 2aOverall, I enjoy the MAC Lightful C line. I’ve re-purchased the MAC Lightful Brightening Essence and find it effective. With seven shades in the range, it’s worth considering MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream. As I said earlier, using the Goss buffing technique makes this product really excel. However, some will not enjoy the scent, and I did have to take an extra minute (or less) to buff this in to meld the product to the skin. Here are quick counter-swatches from my local MAC (there was no Dark Plus in stock as of yet).

MAC lightful C2

NARS Radiant Tinted Moisturizer promises similar benefits–sunscreen protection at SPF 30, and gradual skin brightening–and has a lighter texture, less noticeable scent, and greater shade range. After blogging over this period of time, I’ve found that foundations, skincare, and tinted creams are highly subject to personal preference. I happy to see MAC’s offering, it’s well-priced, delivers on its promises, and properly applied looks absolutely wonderful. Ingredients:

mac lightful c ingredients

MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream is currently available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources.

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Apr 062015
 

Sunday13Sephora shipped over a few of their favorites looking forward to the upcoming Coachella and other spring music festivals. Because I travel frequently, I thought I’d share some thoughts on these goodies, and also highlight a few formula. Of course, if you are the festival-going demographic, there are definitely some things that you would love.

Sunday16

First up, I don’t know how these Sephora Luster Matte Long Wear Lip Colors ($16 each). This formula is amazing–it’s opaque, long-wearing and totally on trend. Next time I’m headed out, I’m going to check out the other shades in this line. Here, swatches of Nude Pink (left) and Electra-Pink (right):

Sunday19 The Luster Matte in Electra Pink is bright pink opaque neon. These are long-wearing, and benefit by putting a balm underneath. Here’s a super quick swatch:

Sephora Electra Pink

Here’s a quick swatch of Nude Pink, an neutral shade that goes a bit pink when applied. Like Electra Pink, it’s opaque and benefits from application over a balm. These are long-wearing.

Sephora nude pink lustre matte

The Sephora Shine Beautifully Metallic Gold Temporary Tattoos ($10 for three sheets) are very high shine, easy to apply and needed an oil cleanser to remove. Let the sunshine and rain come down–these lasted far longer than I imagined!

Sunday26 You just cut them apart, remove a plastic shield, and hold them wet against your skin for about a minute. Easy, peasy!

Sunday28 The shine in the sunshine was throwing off my camera settings–these are true metallics.

Sunday30The liners were festival worthy in their color range. The Sephora Colorful Shadow & Liners ($14 each) are truly waterproof–no kidding! I had them on my arm when I was doing the tattoo and even though I had water on them for a full minute, they didn’t budge. Nice for the price!

Sunday20

 

Here are swatches of the White Matte pencil, Fresh (the green), and the Sephora Long-Lasting 12HR Wear Eyeliner ($12) in Fancy Blue:

Sunday24 This Art of the Updo hair set is awesome:

Sunday27There are few more travel-ready goodies that look very useful for my next carry-on bag. I love the great closure/packability of these. Sometimes drugstore removers dry out on the plane, but these Express Cleaning wipes ($4 for 10) have a decent closure.

Sunday14 The Sephora Express Eye remover wipes ($9/20) and super gentle on eyes

Sunday15

 

Although work deadlines will prevent me from actually going to Coachella, I’ll probably just fire up my Spotify, rock some great liners and lip lusters, and let my Springtime state of mind roll.

These products were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information see About Cafe Makeup)

 

 

 

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Mar 252015
 

Nars Glenan Flibuste Nunavet Reykjavik Velvet Shadow sticks narsNARS has released some new Velvet Shadow Sticks ($28 each). Here, I’m testing four colors:  Glenan (deep blue), Filbuste (deep black), Nunavet (violet/purple) and Reykjavik (a steely grey).  These are currently available at Nars Cosmetics online, and Nordstrom, 

Nars Glenan Flibuste Nunavut Reykjavik Velvet Shadow sticksThese have a very rich, intense pigment that sets within about a minute or two and lasts all day. The deep color can be smudged out beautifully. You can use these to amp up a shadow by applying them as an all-over dark matte base on the lid. For a more subtle effect, I’ve been applying these along the lash line, then smudging them into a gorgeous line with the Nars #45 smudge brush.

Nars Smudge 45

I’ve been pairing them with a shimmery or metallic neutral all-over the lid, for example using Nars Eye Paint (pictured below), or Tom Ford’s cream eyeshadow in Platinum.

Nars Eye Paints Swatches allThe longevity of Nars Velvet Shadow sticks is excellent–I remove them with an oil cleanser at the end of the day. They don’t budge. Of course, NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks look awesome with the Nars eyeshadow palettes designed as part of this All About Eyes collection. This includes the NARS Unforgettable Eyes palette (reviewed here).

Nars Eyeshadow Palettes04….as well as the NARS Irresistible Palette (reviewed here):

Nars Eyeshadow Palettes01

Nars Velvet Shadow Stick

Swatches:

Nars all about eyes33

As you can see, these are pigmented, creamy mattes. I find them convenient because they have the impact of a gel liner, but without the need for an application brush (these can be smudged with a finger). I love the colors–of course, the black and gray and standards in my repertoire. The purple and deep blue are jewel-toned flattering colors that really can set off the white’s of one’s eyes.

Nars all about eyes34

Bottom line:  highly recommended.

Nars all about eyes03
Nars Cosmetics sent these items to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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