Apr 082014
 

Houglass Ambient blushes01

It’s Cafe Makeup’s turn to have some fun with the Hourglass Ambient Blushes ($35 each). I’ve been playing with four of the shades—Hourglass Radiant Magenta, Mood Exposure, Luminous Flush, and Diffused Heat. These blushes are available at Net-A-PorterBarneys New York, and Sephora.

Houglass Ambient blushes05

These soft shimmery blushes are gorgeous in their pans. The swirls of luminous highlighter and color look absolutely gorgeous, and it’s sort of fun to swirl a brush on these and find out the actual color that they give. Above are Radiant Magenta, Mood Exposure, Luminous Flush. Below is Diffused Heat.

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Because of their swirling pattern, no two blushes will be the same–even if their actual name is the same. Below are two different Radiant Magenta’s, and you can see that their swirl pattern is completely different.

Houglass Ambient blushes04

I’ve found that applying these to properly moisturized skin topped with a luminous foundation gives a gorgeous look. Although some have reported short lasting power, I didn’t find that to be the case with my skin and the colors that I tried. However, I did notice that one has to go slowly with these and build.  Specifically, when applying you might find that your brush is giving you very light pigmentation with these blushes. Then suddenly you add an extra layer and—voila!–maybe too much?  Then I had to powder down a bit. So I find that it is best to use a light hand and layer, holding back a bit from a heavy, over-confident amount that can become a bit too bright.

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Of the six shades that are in the current release, I think that I might have been happy with three total. I adore Hourglass Mood Exposure for natural, softly shimmered look.

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I am also very glad to have Hourglass Radiant Magenta. I love this softly bright pink color, and cool pinks can be so flattering.

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Of the remaining two, I could have gotten by with either Luminous Flush or Diffused Heat. Luminous Flush is pictured below.

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Diffused Heat looks very different in the pan, but applies in the same color family.

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Swatches of all four shades, taken in the light day sun with flash:

Hourglass ambient Blush swatches1

Another:

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My son’s friend, Yoojin, dropped by to play with some of the Cafe Makeup vault one recent afternoon. I must admit, we had fun. Here, Yoojin is wearing Hourglass Mood Exposure on cheeks, a very light dab of Estee Lauder Sculpting Lipstick in Intense Nude, and the Narsissist Palette (still available at Sephora, Nordstrom, as well as at Saks). You can see that Hourglass Mood Exposure can give a very natural, subtle, sophisticated look.

Hourglass Mood Blush applied2

One more, where you can see her cheek becomes a bit illuminated due to the subtle glow of the Hourglass Ambient blush:

Hourglass Mood Blush applied1b

Overall, I’ve been using and loving these blushes. Hourglass has captured some very pretty colors together with a touch of glow that is really very well done.

Hourglass provided Radiant Magenta to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. The other colors were purchased by me. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Mar 132014
 

NARS Artistry Brushes Stylized Group ShotThe buzz on NARS new Artistry Brush series is already getting around. According to the line:

NARS Cosmetics leverages its makeup artistry heritage with a 16 piece Artistry Brush Collection. From base to bristle, this comprehensive collection features an exquisite design conceived by Founder and Creative Director François Nars and Fabien Baron, of New York design firm Baron & Baron. Each brush is designed with the finest quality hairs and delicately weighted to provide the necessary balance for a professional and precise makeup application. The custom brush and packaging feature the iconic matte black finish with sharp debossed logo and signature pop of red.

FACE CATEGORY Refine. Blend. Conceal.

Powder Brush #10, $52 Blends, buffs, and diffuses loose powder for a lustrous finish. Double domed with layers of full, soft hair to pick up and deposit powder evenly.

NARS Artistry Brush #10 - Powder Brush

 

Bronzing Powder Brush #11, $52 An artist essential for controlled application. The dense concentration of soft, natural hair holds and applies product for an even, all-over glow.

NARS Artistry Brush #11 - Bronzing Powder Brush

 

Cream Blending Brush #12, $28 A versatile, multi-use brush for face and eyes. Designed for gentle application of concealer around the eyes and effortless blending of cream textures.

NARS Artistry Brush #12 - Cream Blending Brush

Precision Blending Brush #13, $26 For precision application of concealer. Ideal for focused use on spots, pigmented areas, or around the eyes and nose.

NARS Artistry Brush #13 - Precision Blending Brush

 

CHEEK CATEGORY  Sculpt. Contour. Highlight.

Blush Brush #20, $42 Professional domed shape deposits blush pigments perfectly. Diffuses as it blends for smooth, effortless application.

NARS Artistry Brush #20 - Blush Brush

Contour Brush #21, $42 Expertly angled for sculpting and highlighting the cheekbones. An artist essential to define and blend with controlled application.

NARS Artistry Brush #21 - Contour Brush

 

EYE CATEGORY Line. Define. Blend.

Eye Shadow Brush #40, $32 Deposits the perfect amount of pigment for a masterful sweep of all-over shadow.

NARS Artistry Brush #40 - Eyeshadow Brush

Diffusing Brush #41, $32 A must-have for blending and creating the smoky eye. Lush bristles softly apply shadow for a light veil of color.

NARS Artistry Brush #41 - Diffusing BrushBlending Eyeshadow Brush #42, $32 Ideal tool for applying high-shimmer shadows and effortless blending for a soft-focus effect due to softer, longer hair design.

NARS Artistry Brush #42 - Blending Eyeshadow Brush Wide Contour Eyeshadow Brush #43, $32 The go-to artist essential that does it all: tap, blend, or sweep shadow with ease. Angled shape allows for all-over or precise application.

NARS Artistry Brush #43 - Wide Contour Eyeshadow Brush

Precision Contour Brush #44, $28 The firm, flexible hair design of this brush is ideal for applying concentrated color in the eye crease.

NARS Artistry Brush #44 - Precision Contour BrushSmudge Brush #45, $28 The smoky eye artist essential. Expertly deposits color along the lash line and diffuses and softens eyeliner.

NARS Artistry Brush #45 - Smudge BrushPush Eyeliner #46, $28 Transforms any cream or powder eyeshadow into an eyeliner for a smooth, fine line at the base of the lashes. Use wet to apply powders for stronger color impact.

NARS Artistry Brush #46 - Push Eyeliner Brush Angled Eyeliner Brush #47, $28  Designed for impeccable glide when applying liquid and cream textures along the lash line.  Perfect for use with NARS Eye Paint to create a variety of effects, from natural to dramatic.

NARS Artistry Brush #47 - Angled Eyeliner BrushBrow Defining Brush #48, $26 Define, shape and fill in sparse brows. Firm bristles provide control and deposit powder for a hair-like effect.

NARS Artistry Brush #48 - Brow Defining Brush

 

LIP CATEGORY

Precision Lip Brush #30, $26  Designed with a wide, flat surface to evenly apply lipstick with precision.

NARS Artistry Brush #30 - Precision Lip Brush

As it happens, I’ve been going through a brush obsession lately. I’m just so completely excited for these. I cannot wait!

 

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Feb 262014
 

Nars Matte Multiples Full20 copy

Hallelujah! These beautiful Nars Matte Multiples ($39/.026 oz.) have just arrived and they are a beautiful addition to the makeup world. These versatile, well-formulated products are a dream to work with. In seven colors, I completely agree with Beautezine’s conclusion, “good luck choosing just one.” Depending on your skin tone, I suspect that many will want several.

Nars Matte Multiple poster format

I can tell that this is a completely new formulation, unlike anything that I’ve seen before. One of the best features of these is their softness, even when slightly warm they apply beautifully and can be blended into foundation, highlighter, and each other. The fact that these are designed to be used by working makeup artists certainly shows in their ease of use.  Their matte texture provides a very natural touch of color, and the variable pigmentation allows one to use these for a very natural “almost no makeup” look. If you like, you can use them to get strong color for a high glamour effect (adding a seperate highlighter if you wish).

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These are packed in the traditional matte-black tubes used by NARS, although with a slightly slimmer tube  (these have 0.26 ounces of product, while most traditional Multiples seem to have around 0.50 ounces). I suspect that part of the reason for the narrower tube is the softness of the texture–these seem softer than many of the Multiples in my arsenal. The  Nars Matte Multiples apply with the most pigment when used dry, and soften down to a water-color like stain when used wet.

Now, shall we talk about the colors?  Yes, yes, yes….

Nars Matte Multiples Full18 all colors brighter

 The four colorful shades are Siam, Laos, Exumas and Anguilla.

Nars Matte Multiples Full17 colors lighter

Siam is a highly-pigmented bright, warm red. Of all, Siam packs the most color in the smallest atom of product. Although this can be blended, those with lighter skin who are looking for a more natural effect must use this one wet. If you want a full-on power red, use Siam dry.

Nars Matte Multiples Full02 Siam

One of my very favorite colors is Laos, a go-with-everything soft rose pink. This crowd-pleasing color is perfect for almost any occasion.

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Exumas leans towards a soft, neutral peach.

Nars Matte Multiples Full03 Exumas

Anguilla is a very light, soft cool pink. This has the softest pigmentation of all of the seven Nars Matte Multiples. Those with very light skin will see this as a blush. Those with darker skin could use this to add a light soft pink to the upper planes of the face.

Nars Matte Multiples Full08 Anguilla

All four of these shades are watched dry:

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In this picture, below, I blended out all of the same swatches that you see on the image above. As you can see, the three on the left blend out very nicely. Siam’s high pigmentation really shows here–you do not need much of Siam to get a large splash of color.

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These four colors are much more subtle when applied wet. Here, I’ve applied the same colors with a wet Chanel foundation brush. You can see that Siam retains much of its vibrant color. The others are much more soft, creating an almost watercolor effect.

Nars matte multiples applied wet and blended

The nude shades are Altai, Cappadoce and Vientiane.

Nars Matte Multiples Full15 nudes brighter

 Altai is a soft, light bronze.

Nars Matte Multiples Full10 Altai Altai

Cappadoce is a milk chocolate color, a medium bronze.

Nars Matte Multiples Full11 edt Cappadoce

Vientiane is quite similar to Cappadoce. When sheered out, Vientiane has a slightly more espresso color and a touch of olive.

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Here are Altai, Cappadoce, and Vientiane applied dry:

Nars Matte Multiples Full28 swatches nudes

Here are the same three shades blended out:

Nars Matte Multiples Full30 blended faenudes

Here are the three shades applied with a wet Chanel foundation brush:

Nars matte multiple nudes wet blended

Just for fun, Liz tried out Nars Matte Multiple in Laos together with Tom Ford Summer Fling blotted lightly on lips.

Liz wearing Nars Laos

Here is Liz wearing Exumas:

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Overall, we recommend NARS Matte Multiples. Wonderful, versatile formula. Thoughtful color choice range. Easily packable, highly workable. Our favorites were Laos, Exumas and Altai.

Nars Matte Multiples are available at Sephora and Nars online (as well as Nars boutiques). These will soon be available everywhere.

Nars provided samples of the matte multiples without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

 

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Feb 212014
 

NARS Matte Multiple Campaign Image - jpeg

It was dark when I came home from dinner to find the NARS Matte Multiples ($39 each) had arrived. Although it’s too dark to take proper swatch pictures, I thought it would be useful to post a few pictures of the collection for you.

Nars Matte Multiples another1 copy

The colors are:

  • ANGUILLA Ginger pink
  • EXUMAS Pink apricot
  • SIAM Poppy red
  • LAOS Rose coral
  • ALTAI Rose bronze
  • VIENTIANE Copper bronze
  • CAPPADOCE Golden bronze

Nars Matte Multiples1

These are currently up for sale on Sephora.com, Nars online site (and Nars Boutiques), and will be available elsewhere soon.

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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Feb 202014
 

Nars spring items07

We have a few more Nars Spring 2014 items to review, so we’re doing a consolidated post for the following:

First up, Bimini Larger Than Life Lipgloss is a sheer orange shimmer.

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On Liz:

Nars spring feb 2011 copy

Annees Folles is a sheer cool lavendar shimmer with a high gloss finish.

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This gloss has a brightening effect:

NARS SPRING 14 lip purple2

Swatches of Bimini and Annees Folles:

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Timanfaya Satin Lip Pencil is a bright statement orange with a glowing finish:

Nars spring items06 copy

On Liz:

Nars spring oranges2

Liz played with layering Timanfaya lip pencil and Bimini lip gloss, which gave her an intense statement lip:

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I really loved the new Na Pali Coast Multiple. Although it’s easy to overlook this one among the variety of winning products from Nars this year, you really shouldn’t. Na Pali Coast has a gorgeous sheen and just a touch of red, which looks amazing and sun-kissed when applied.

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Here is a swatch of Na Pali Coast, together with some of the coordinating lip products:

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Overall, these are all excellent quality. If these colors are something that appeal, you really should check them out. Our favorites are the Na Pali Coast Multiple and Bimini Larger Than Life Lip Gloss–both are beautiful, brightening and elegant colors for Spring.

Available at Nordstrom.com, Barney’s, Nars Cosmetics and other sources.

Nars Cosmetics provided these products 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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