Nars Gaiety Blush

 Blush, NARS  Comments Off on Nars Gaiety Blush
Jan 152012
 
Nars Gaiety1

 Nars Gaiety blush ($27) is a cool candy pink matte blush with a touch of orchid.  Nars description says “joyful exuberance”–Cafe Makeup says “love.”

Of course, Gaiety is going to work beautifully for cool skin tones. Although I have warm-toned skin, I’ve long loved the look of a cool pink blush. It really makes me look healthy and glowing. The contrast is not jarring, instead, it adds a soft glow of color that adds a dash of interest. Yes, I love my reds, peaches, and bronzes, but candy pink awakens my skin like nothing else.

Lately, Nars blushes seem to have a more consistent formula. Some of the older designs (Mounia, now discontinued) required careful control with a stippling brush.  Perhaps it’s just me, but lately I can use a standard blush brush and average pressure to get a good glow every time. I put Gaiety in this same line–I love the formula, quality and sleek packaging of Nars blushes, and that there is also a vibrant pink-pink that I can apply without special care. Really, this one’s easy.

Of all my cool candy-pink blushes (oh, I can hear the comments already! Yes, I have a few), Gaiety is closest to the long-ago limited edition Chanel Turbulent, but does not require the special care and handling that Turbulent does (for more about this, see this review–really, it’s nuclear).  Unlike the vibrant, pearly Chanel Tubulent, Nars Gaiety can be applied normally and has a matte finish.

You can see the tonality difference here, with Nars Gaiety and Chanel Turbulent being the closest friends. Bobbi Brown’s French Pink (in the old round pot) is far less bright and clear.  Chanel Rose Tourbillon has a touch of rose red, but Nars Gaiety leans more blue/orchid.

Another comparison–here is MAC Full Fuchsia (reviewed here) which is an amazing color, but far more blue and fuchsia compared to Nars Gaiety.  Chanel Pink Explosion (reviewed here) is a soft cool pink, but not as cool as Gaiety. Finally, Chanel Tweed Fuchsia (reviewed here) has much more red and is deeper in tone.

I swatched some of the closest shades. As you can see, Chanel Turbulent was the closest. Keep in mind that Turbulent is applied very lightly here, because I tried to keep the tonality the same.  Turbulent shows as a more pearly texture, compared to the matte Nars Gaiety.  You can see that Chanel Rose Tourbillon is slightly more red and has a pearl texture.  MAC Full Fuchsia is a much deeper violet tone.

Same blushes:

Overall, one of my favorite pieces from this Nars collection. I’ve been worried that I might run out of Chanel Turbulent, and regretted the time investment needed to make it work. Nars Gaiety is a far more workable formula, in more sleek and packable packaging. I love the color, the forumla and the final effect. Again, my apologies that Liz isn’t here to model–she’s working quite hard and I hope that sometime soon her schedule will allow her to return.

Nars Gaiety was sent to Cafe Makeup for review without charge.

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Jan 142012
 
Nars Lhasa1

Nars Lhasa eyeshadow ($23/ 0.07 oz) is a perfect eyeshadow for understated elegance. If you love a neutral with a kick, you need this.

Part of Spring 2012 now online, Nars has a way of releasing must-have staples seasonally. Lhasa is a soft lavender gray that manages to emphasize one’s natural eye color and add a little sophisticated polish. It’s a beautiful wash, or staple lid color that could be supplemented with a touch of deep gray/black in the crease or a touch of shimmering ivory in the inner corner.

Is this a taupe? I’d say it’s not. The lavender has a mink-brown tinged with gray, but it’s different enough from my taupes to declare it one-of-a-kind. It brings out the warmth of my skintone and a touch of green in my eye color. I found that my closest color is Chanel Fauve, although Fauve is comparatively shimmery compared to Nars Lhasa’s satin-matte finish. Here, I compare Lhasa to some “true taupes”–Chanel Safari and Shu ME 945 Silver.  For fun, I added the right half of the Nars Habanera duo, which is clearly more purple, more deep in tone and more shimmery than Lhasa.

Swatches of all shades:

Do you need? Yes. This one is a must.

 

Cafe Makeup received this eyeshadow from Nars Cosmetics without charge for consideration for review.

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Jan 122012
 
Zoya fleck05a

I’ve sort of fallen in love with Zoya’s Fleck Effects, three polish topcoats that give a glass fleck-opal effect over any nail polish.  They give a holographic flake with mylar suspended in a very sheer jelly.  They dry beautifully–they leave a smooth finish (you’re free to add a shine topcoat over them if you like). Unlike glitters, they feel smooth to the touch and are easy to remove. I can’t stop staring at my nails when I wear them. They’re sold here on Zoya’s website, and at local stores for $8 each.

There are three colors–First Maisie is a gorgeous blue. It gives a green-blue iridescent effect:

 Second, Opal based on green:

Last, Chloe for pink tones:

Zoya Fleck Effects are true topcoats–by themselves, they are sheer with a bit of fleck.  They have little drama all alone like that, and they are almost entirely transparent:

Here are the three topcoats over Chanel Black Satin–on the far left, I’ve used two coats of Maisie, and on the rest of the fingers of single coat of Maisie, Chloe and Opal.

Here are some other combinations. First, Nars Zulu (a deep amazonian green) topped with one coat of Zoya Opal:

Zoya Opal and Nars Zulu

 Here is Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Au Chocolat (a deep red with chocolate undertones) topped with one coat of Zoya Chloe, and then Lancome’s limited edition Indigo Paris (a medium navy with shimmer) topped with one coat of Zoya Opal:

I love the transformative quality of these. They really come alive in the light. Here’s one last picture, with the same combinations as above and adding a pure white (Essie Marshmallow) topped with one coat of Zoya Chloe:

I’ve been looking for a pretty multishimmer fleck effect, and couldn’t believe my luck with these. They are very easy to use–just add over any other color and wait for the magic. Love.

Zoya sent these polishes to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration and review.

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Zoya Spring 2012: True Collection

 Nail Polish, Zoya  Comments Off on Zoya Spring 2012: True Collection
Jan 122012
 
Zoya spring

Zoya Spring 2012 True Collection

Zoya is just set to release the True Collection for Spring 2012, a wardrobe of soft on-trend colors with enough of an edge to keep things interesting. I really like Zoya’s product and have for years.  Their polish is free of toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (phthalates) and camphor. Zoya polishes has a reasonable price point– $8 per bottle, really good service, lovely colors and occasional deals.  As a whole, their polishes have always performed extremely well for me. They have 300 colors, and some are absolute standouts.

The True collection has two purple-violets.  Lotus is soft with shimmer, and is infused with a greyed down tone. It’s a pretty transition color to take you from the cooler winter months into Spring.

 Lotus on nails:

Tru is a more dramatic violet–the red tones and high shimmer give Tru more drama:

  Tru on nails:

One of my favorites is Skylar, a soft shimmering wedgewood blue with little glass fleck.

Skylar’s cool blue looks nice with my warm skin tone and really came alive in the light:

Another of Skylar:

Another one of my favorites is a soft, sage green called Bevin. This doesn’t have the fleck of Skylar, but there is a soft pearly sheen that is very soft and pretty.

Here’s Bevin on nails:

Zoya’s True collection includes two light nudes–one cool and one warm.  Cho is a pearly cafe au lait color that has a touch of warmth:

Cho on nails:

Zoya Cho

Farrah is very similar, but slightly cooler and a touch deeper in tone:

Here is Farrah on nails:

The formula on these were extremely good.  The first four–Lotus, Tru, Skylar and Bevin go on smoothly and beautifully in two coats. As might be expected from a light opaque, Cho and Farah took a little more care–I had to practice on one nail to make sure I could apply it evenly.  Also, colors like Cho and Farah can be invaluable. They’re light neutrals that give a gorgeous, sophisticated nude look. Sometimes, colors like this can make my skin tone look a little redder but that’s the nature of this type of color.

Ultimately, these went on without a problem with two coats. These were far easier to work with than some of the light opaques that I’ve tried (cough–Chanel Mimosa–excuse me!). All pictures are without a topcoat.

Overall, I’d recommend the colors from this collection. Zoya makes a fun, sophisticated and highly wearable collection. Lovely colors, lovely price point. I understand that these will be released very soon.

Zoya’s True collection were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Jan 112012
 
NARS Bilbao Lipstick

Nars Spring 2012

Here’s an upcoming preview of Nars Spring 2012, a collection that is a study in contrasts: bold color underscored by sophisticated shimmer. For eyes, either tones of lavender and pink or bronze accented with navy on eyes. Cheeks are flushed with candy pink. Lips gleam in topaz or pop with berry. Metallic violet nails add a finishing touch to a collection that’s bright, strong and iconic. Here are the details of the complete Spring 2012 Nars collection.

Douce France Trio Eyeshadow ($45), with three gorgeous powder eyeshadow variations on pink—a cool light pink highlighter, a medium rose-petal pink and a deep rose with a touch of brick:
A minky silver-lavender single powder eyeshadow Lhasa ($23), named for the Tibetan region that hosts many Buddhist palaces:
An powder eyeshadow duo, Paramarimbo ($33) with a soft metallic green-brass and green-bronze tones. These are both shimmery textures with a rich complexity.

Gaeity Blush ($27), which I’ve been waiting for with my breath held. This is an extremely cool-toned pink:

Mexican Rose Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24). I love this formula. This is a red/hot pink combination made to make your lips look gorgeous and glossy:

Valpraiso Pure Matte Lipstick ($25), an deep rose with a touch of coolness:

A shimmering gold-topaz deep nude in Bilbao Lipstick ($24)

Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24)

Diamond Life nail polish ($17) (not yet arrived)

In person, everything so far looks gorgeous. I’ll be providing you with updates and reviews on these products in the coming days.

These products were provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration and review.

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Jan 042012
 
Dior Waterlilly1

Dior Spring 2012 brings Dior Vernis Garden Party nail polish in Waterily ($23 #504). This is a soft green with microshimmer that reminds me of some of Chanel’s more unique polish shades. As always, the bottle has that wonderful Dior brush that–although it seems to have a mind of its own–certainly knows what it’s doing.

The polish is labeled as “scented.” When the polish is wet the scent is that of….nail polish. However, when it dries down there is a faint, pleasant floral scent that evokes roses and perhaps lilies as well. To me, the scent is not strong and the sillage does not travel far. I catch the scent as I take a sip of water or use the phone, but I cannot when my hands are on my keyboard. Application was smooth and opaque in two coats.

Here, I’ve swatched two (2) coats of Dior Waterlily together with three (3) coats each of Chanel Jade, Chanel Nouvelle Vague and Chanel Riva. No topcoat or base.

Dior’s formula is more pigmented than any of the Chanel.  Although it is close to Chanel Jade in color, Dior Waterlily is deeper in tone and slightly less yellow. Both have very subtle microshimmer.  If you like a high-shine look, you’ll want to add a topcoat–on its own, the polish dries down to a satiny texture. One more.

I don’t know whether Dior Waterlily will sell out as fast as Chanel Jade did, but the Dior will sell out. It’s an unusual, high-fashion color that’s going to look interesting and trendy during Spring. It’s delicate and pretty in two coats, and it unquestionably makes a statement. I love the color, and think it will look beautiful with creams, peaches and pinks as the weather warms.

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Dior Garden Pastels 5-Color Eyeshadow

 Dior, Eyeshadow  Comments Off on Dior Garden Pastels 5-Color Eyeshadow
Jan 032012
 
Dior Spring 201208

Dior Spring 2012 includes a limited edition 5-color eyeshadow palette, Garden Pastels ($59/ #441 / Couture Color 5-Coleurs Eyeshadow Palette Garden Collection in Garden Pastels). Like its twin Dior Garden Roses, the texture of this palette is beautifully pearly. All of the shades have a dimensional, shimmery quality that lights up when struck by the light.

Dior Garden Pastels

Like Garden Roses, the palette is embossed with a beautiful rose design:

You can see that the roses are raised:

Dior Garden Pastels

These colors are so far outside my comfort zone that I was very close to canceling my order for this palette. I was afraid that these colors would be very similar to a vintage palette that my friend had shown me, called Yardley Glimmericks, released in 1969:

Fortunately, Dior’s Garden Party is greatly updated and wearable on my warm skintone so long as I keep the look sheer and contained. Unlike the use of Yardley Gimmericks in the ad, I can do a simple wash of one or two colors on the lid area only, with perhaps a light shade in the inner corner. I use a soft matte liner (cool toned, either black or gray) and no shimmer on the brow bone. Otherwise, the cool shimmering tones might be overwhelming. Otherwise, they make beautiful little pearly accents used with other soft-toned mattes.

I can picture that some women are going to look incredible wearing these shades all over the eye area. The green is really unbelievable.

Another set:

This palette is beautiful, and will be a welcome addition for Spring. I have to use these colors with care, because they are so striking. Although these colors won’t work on everyone (what does?), this is a gorgeous and unique palette to pick up. Honestly, I don’t know of anything quite like it.

 

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Jan 032012
 
Dior Spring 201207

Dior’s Spring 2012 collection includes a Garden Edition Garden Roses 5-Color Eyeshadow palette ($59/.016 oz. / #841 / Couture Color 5-Coleurs Eyeshadow Palette Garden Collection in Garden Roses), a series of roses and grey with an incredibly pearly texture. The format of the packaging is familiar. For these, the palette is embossed with beautiful rose shapes that catch the light.

The colors of Garden Roses is quite outside my comfort zone. These are cool pinks and violets, with a soft gray. The texture is incredibly fine–it virtually melds to the skin without a hint of powder. There is a trace of powder as I dug into the pan, but on the eye the application was smooth and without fallout.

Dior Garden Roses

The texture of these is remarkable–they have a shimmer and sheen that resembles an actual pearl. I’ve applied them sheerly, so that they look like shimmery watercolor shades. I found that I need to “anchor” the shades with either a matte eyeliner or a matte crease color (typically, a soft gray from Bobbi Brown). Otherwise, I use just a touch sheerly.

Another set of swatches:

Dior Garden Roses is indisputably beautiful–the question is whether it will work for you. The colors are a gorgeous combination of roses with a single gray tone. This is well worth a look, unlike some Dior shimmery shades, these colors do not turn frosty.  They are very high-sheen, which can be both dramatic and may require a matte foundation finish to compensate.

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Jan 032012
 
Dior Spring 201219

Dior Rosy Glow Blush

Dior Spring 2012 includes Rosy Glow Blush ($44/0.26 oz.), otherwise called “Healthy Glow Awakening Blush No. 1.” In the pan, the blush is remarkably cool–a fuschia that contains a hint of violet. According to Dior, Rosy Glow includes Fresh Color Reveal, a technology that is intended to adjust to your coloring to develop a rosy radiance to match your skin tone. I can say that the technology works on me–the blush applies as a pink with red undertones when applied on my cheeks worn over foundation.

The compact is the heavy silver type that is used for several other Dior special edition face products:

Open:

The split pan and the luxe brush:

 

 Dior Rosy Glow applies very sheerly and light at first.  Please do not judge your application by these first swipes.  The color intensifies and becomes more visible over the next several minutes–as Dior describes, “the halo of color gradually intensifies as if my magic, revealing an ultra-natural and customized rosy glow.” On my, I got a strawberry-pink sheer matte wash. It was very pretty, and reminded me a bit of a red-pink fruit punch color. It was medium deep in tone.

I suspect that most arm-swatches that you see on others will not be helpful at all, and I don’t expect these to be any different. The color looks different on your cheeks –it’s intended to change color and it does in a magic sort of way. Really, to know you’ve got to wear the color on your own.  Nonetheless, I’ve swatched this next to Chanel Turbulent and Chanel Tweed Fucshia. The color on my face is more similar to Guerlain’s Rouge G Blush, although a bit deeper and rosier in tone:

Overall, Dior Rosy Glow Blush is a bit of an experiment–do try it at a counter if you can before you buy. It’s a very flattering color, so the technology works for me personally. It’s a little disconcerting to wait to see how the blush will look for several minutes afterwards. The powder applies without caking–the powder melds to the skin so it looks like a natural part of my skin. Although the texture is matte, the overall impression of the color is a “rosy glow.”

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