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Summer Loves: Nars Hot Sand Orgasm and Laguna Duos

May 30, 2016

NARS Hot Sand Collection - 17

It feels like this weekend has turned the corner from spring to summer. This is the perfect time to stock up on some summertime staples, NARS Hot Sand  – Orgasm and Hot Sand – Laguna powder duos. ($42 each). These slim compacts are full of summer goodness. Typically, I think of NARS staple highlighter as Albatross. For me, Hot Sand has a warmer, softer color that’s beautiful and very flattering. Of course, Laguna is an amazing bronzer that looks wonderful on a wide range of skin tones.  Of course, Orgasm is a glowing, flatter shade.

The formulations on these powders is superb.  As I go about my summer travels, these two will definitely be slipped into my carryon.  They’re gorgeous.

NARS Hot Sand  – Orgasm is available at Nordstrom and NARS online.

Hot Sand Palettes - 3

To go with these beautiful powders, this collection includes a limited edition brush, the NARS Hanamachi Kabuki Brush ($42). This fluffy, dense brush is designed to work with the Hot Sand palettes. It’s gorgeous, easy to work with and control. Here’s a comparison with the gigantic Givenchy Bronzer Kabuki ($50) and the MAC 182 brush ($53) (this one, from the Catherine Deneuve collection from several years ago).

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The same brushes, set on their sides:

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As you can see, NARS is a comfortable travel size but large and fluffy enough to provide a beautiful, diffused and blended looks.

The NARS Hanamachi Kabuki Brush ($42) is available at Nordstrom and Nars online.

Affiliate Links / These items were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for review.

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Photos: NARS Biggest Orgasm Blush

May 13, 2016

Nars Orgasm 1

NARS Limited Edition Orgasm blush ($39) is a wonderfully giftable item (or something that you might like to gift to yourself!). Essentially, this big beautiful compact holds 3.04 ounces of NARS’ classic at $39, compared with 1.92 ounces for the $30 regular-sized version. Of course, this blush has a well-deserved reputation for looking good on virtually everyone. Perfect for year-round wear, Orgasm is a soft pinky-peach with soft shimmer that gives beautiful light and color to wake up almost all skin tones. It’s lovely.

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NARS Limited Edition Orgasm is available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Nordstrom, Nars Boutiques, and Nars online.

The outer sleeve is beyond adorable with the summer sunglass theme, which is repeated on the plastic protector that protects the blush during shipment.

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The full-size mirror has “#what makes you blush” inscribed to make you smile.

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I can think of one or two girlfriends that will love this as a gift. As always, I love the travel-friendly packaging, the oversize mirror, the glorious texture, and the gorgeous flush of color. The formulation is superb. This big Orgasm is one yes, yes, YES!.

NARS Limited Edition Orgasm is available at Sephora, Nars BoutiquesNars online, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom.

Affiliate links, product provided without charge for consideration for review

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Blush Tom Ford

Tom Ford Bicoastal Blush Duo Review

April 17, 2016

Tom-Ford-Bicoastal

I picked up two items from Tom Ford Summer this year–first, a refill of Tom Ford Gold Dust Bronzer ($98) as a replacement for one that I’ve used to pan. But the new item that created the most excitement is Tom Ford Bicoastal Blush ($78). I find this formula, which echoes the same from the Moonlight Sculpting duo, to be excellent. As others have warned, I’m sure that Tom Ford Bicoastal will sell out quickly. Please move quickly.

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Tom Ford Bicoastal is currently available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sephora (this goes in and out of stock here).

Tom Ford Bicoastal includes a highly pigmented deep pink-red blush that applies with virtually no powdery texture. It melds beautifully to the skin to delivery a soft healthy glowing color. As its name suggests, there is an additional soft pink highlight shade included that provides a highly sophisticated cool shimmer. I absolutely adore Bicoastal–to me, this is going to make a top ten list of 2016. The soft glowing look that it imparts gives life and youth, and these are beautiful colors that are face-brigtening to an entire range of skin tones. Yes, you need this one.

Of course, I’m a big fan of Tom Ford Gold Dust as well. Liz has worn this in countless photographs on this blog, and in her real life. I find myself reaching for Gold Dust on my high-stress days, when I know I want to look cool, confident, and softly tanned. I love it.

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I’ll look at Tom Ford Summer at least one more time before I decide whether I’ve gotten everything that I love from it. However, I knew that Bicoastal blush was a must-have, given my love for this incredible texture. This is well worth your attention. Please do not hesitate on this one–it’s beautiful.

Tom Ford Bicoastal is currently available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sephora (this goes in and out of stock here).

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MAC’s Flamingo Park Blushes: Let’s Be Friends, This Could Be Fun, What I Fancy, Spring Flock, Life’s a Picnic, Oh My!

February 2, 2016

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MAC Cosmetic’s Flamingo Park blushes ($22 each) released late last week, and so I thought I’d put up a few swatches before leaving town. Because most of these are so pigmented, I also ordered the MAC 184 duo-fibre fan brush ($25) to use the bolder colors more gently on my fair skin tone. I find this blush collection welcome, because MAC does blushes very well and these in particular are quite good. The powder is nicely milled, the colors last well, and the colors are fun and Spring-like. I love a nude look, but I also love beautiful wash of color. Some of these shades integrate more complex tones, such as Oh My!’s dash of red/pink and Life’s a Picnic red/coral.

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The two lighter shades–What I Fancy and Spring Flock–are both easy to wear colors that do not require special care in application for those in the medium to light skin tones. However, the more nuclear-pigmented shades (This Could Be Fun, Let’s Be Friends, Life’s a Picnic, and Oh My!) definitely require a fan brush. I found the duo-fibre MAC 184 fan up to the task–it’s baby’s whisper application allowed me to apply Let’s Be Friends without any problem when these arrived this morning.

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Keep in my that Oh My! is a MAC exclusive. The rest are easy-breezy to pick up at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and other MAC sources.

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If you are looking to keep your blush game strong, this is a collection well worth your time. Of course, care is needed with the deeper shades on fair skin, but nothing that a good brush can’t solve. Remember, Oh My! is a MAC exclusive. The rest are at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and other MAC sources.

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Blush Eyeshadow Highlighter NARS

NARS Fall 2015: Tribulation Blush, Pasiphae and Teslesto Dual Intensity Eyeshadows

September 19, 2015

NARS Fall 2015 Color Collection Stylized Image - low res

NARS Private Screening Fall 2015 brings some outstanding limited edition products worth highlighting.  The first is Tribulation Blush, a glowing nude.  This makes a beautiful skin-finishing highlighter on many skintones or can be worn as a nude blush on those in the NC10-25 range. It’s so unique, I don’t know of any other blushes that come close to Tribulation.  The finish is so gorgeous.

Nars Tribulation blush - 1

These products are available at Nordstrom, Sephora, Nars online, Barneys New York (Tribulation blush, Parsipahe  and Teslesto), Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

NARS Private Screening Fall 2015 also includes two new, limited edition shades of the Dual Intensity Eyeshadows:  Pasiphae and Telesto. Frequent readers of this blog know that I am head-over-heels for this format. Pasiphae is a extraordinary, unusual shade that evokes the many complex colors of a peacock feather.  Telesto is a shimmering brown with a slightly metallic edge.

Nars Fall 2015 Eyeshadow

These products can be used to give a glowy, intense gorgeous Fall look.

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These products are available at Nordstrom, Sephora, Nars online, Barneys New York (Tribulation blush, Parsipahe  and Teslesto), Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

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Products sent without charge for consideration for review

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Preview: Nars Pro Palettes

September 5, 2015

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As a leader and authority in makeup artistry, NARS Cosmetics is excited to introduce the NARSPro Palette – the first offering in a line of products designed especially for the professional makeup artist community. The ultimate tool for makeup artists on-the-go and backstage, NARS invites you to curate your very own palettes with over 64 refill shades now available for purchase at NARS’ freestanding boutiques and on E-Commerce. Mix and match the artistry essential shades of eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers and pressed powders in one palette or create a comprehensive palette of blushes or eyeshadows. Pop in color, open up your inner artist.

Empty large palette: $18

Empty small palette: $14

Blushes: $21

Duo Eyeshadows: $25

Single Eyeshadows: $18

Pressed Powder: $25

Bronzer: $27

Contour duos: $30

On Nars website, you can choose from a suggested version, or play with the easy to use palette-creator to make your own.

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Blame It on Nars Blush Palette Re-stock

August 19, 2015

Do you ever want something and then miss out? I was in Paris during most the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, but I thought it would be best to pick the Blame It On Nars palette as a gift for a friend. To my delight, I’ve found it. In case you missed out too, the item restocks here. I’ve seen it for the past few days, hopefully it stays around. It’s a beautiful combination of these:

  • Highlighting Blush in Satellite of Love (0.14 oz.)
  • Blush in Day Dream (0.14 oz.)
  •  Blush in New Attitude (0.14 oz.)
  • Bronzing Powder in Casino (0.15 oz.)
  • Travel-size Ita Kabuki Brush

Here’s the original Nars Day Dream on Liz:

Nars Holiday Blushes13

These items were sent to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review. Affiliate links

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Nars: More from the Christopher Kane Collaboration

July 11, 2015

In addition to the surprisingly lovely Nars + Christopher Kane Quantum and Violet Atom (reviewed here), there are a few more items that you shouldn’t miss considering.

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Nars Christopher Kane Collection: Quantum and Violet Atom Multiples

June 6, 2015

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The Nars Christopher Kane collection is based on the concept of neon neutrals. There are a few surprising, never-seen-before colors and textures in this collection that you shouldn’t miss. A little background on fashion designer Christopher Kane:

The designer has always been acknowledged as both a precocious and truly gifted talent. Christopher Kane has quickly matured and grown to become one of the powerhouse labels of British fashion with one of the biggest international profiles. The catwalk shows, held during London Fashion Week, are a widely acknowledged highlight of the international fashion calendar. Developing his highly creative and playful signatures of constant innovation, rebellious femininity and extraordinary skill, his clothes continue to surprise and seduce with their ineffable sense of chic.

Nars Christopher Kane Header

Two truly unique, over-the-moon items that I’ve never seen before from any line Nars Multiples in Violet Atom and Quantum ($39 each). Please be very, very careful about missing these. We aren’t likely to see something this special in a high-end line very often–these are well-executed special edition items. Quantum is exclusive to Nars online (and Nars boutiques), which has the full collection. Violet Atom is currently available at Nordstrom, BarneysNeiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
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I’ve been reaching for Quantum as a summer blush nearly every day. It’s gorgeous applied, although it may look a little intimidating in the tube. Before I say more, here are too-heavy swatches of each:

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Here’s the surprise– Quantum sheers out to the prettiest duo-chrome pink/violet that looks stunning on both warm and cool skin. It’s amazing over a bronzer–it gives that perfect summer pink that looks heaven-sent. There’s a glow and luminosity to it that I’ve never been able to obtain from any other cool pink blush:

Nars Violet Chris Kane - 1aViolet Atom is a must for anyone that loves unusual highlighters and/or has cool skin. There’s a violet undertone to it that’s very unusual. I would think it’s going to look amazing on deeper skin tones. Here’s a video featuring Violet Atom so you can see it (applied heavily) on lighter skin:

Of the two, Quantum is the one not to miss. If you can, both are well worth a look. Quantum is exclusive to Nars online (and Nars boutiques), which has the full collection. Violet Atom is currently available at Nordstrom, BarneysNeiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

 

These items were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This post includes affiliate links.

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Nars Dual Intensity Blush: Swatches of Craving, Jubilation, Adoration, Frenzy, Fervor and Panic

May 4, 2015

Nars Dual Instensity blushes all - 1

Here they are! As you know, genius Francois Nars has a line of wonderful, complex, pressed powder blushes. Those are the gold standard for so many shades. Still, never shy of looking at the world through fresh eyes, the Nars Dual Intensive Blushes ($45 each) use a unique formula for those of us that love to shake things up a bit. Who doesn’t?  These are currently available from Nars online, Barneys New York, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, and Nordstrom.

Nars Dual Instensity Blush - 2

These blush duos can be worn wet or dry. Generally, dry application gives the highest pigment level. A dampened brush gives a pretty watercolor effect that melts into the skin with a really pretty stain. Like the Dual Intensity eyeshadows, these duo-blushes have a magical texture and formula that gives a beautiful glow and dimension.

Nars Dual Intensity Blush swatches

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