Nov 022010

NARS Holiday 2010 includes Sex Appeal blush ($26).  This is a very, very soft light baby peach.

When applied, Sex Appeal provides only the faintest hint of color using a standard blush brush and normal application.

In some ways, NARS Sex Appeal reminds me of a MAC Beauty Powder called Tahitian Sand.  Both give the softest peach-toned color, although Tahitian Sand can be built up to a near-blush shade with heavy application.   Sex Appeal barely shows on my MAC NC15/Chanel Intensity 1.o (Cameo/Ivoire) skintone.  I’m afraid that I will not get very much use out of Sex Appeal–the color hardly shows at all.   My personal routine makes me more inclined to use a liquid or shimmery cream highlighter for a more pronounced glow.

Here is Sex Appeal heavily swatched next to a standard peach blush, Shu Uemura’s P Peach 47:

My feeling is that NARS Sex Appeal is very much a “your mileage may vary” blush.  For my fair, warm-toned skin, I believe that the color is truly a barely-there blush.  Does Sex Appeal work for you? Perhaps you can persuade me that I am wrong about this blush?

Please follow us on....

Oct 252010

NARS Sweet Disposition ($40/Nordstrom) is a set of three mini-multiples for eyes, lips and cheeks:  Malibu, Orgasm and Luxor.  At .14 ounces each, these mini’s make an adorable, gift-able way to play.  I was so excited when these arrived that I couldn’t wait to open the box.  First, they are mini’s and therefore automatically adorable beyond belief.  Second, these are products that I’ve always wanted to play with, but could never commit to just one.  Sweet Disposition gives me three options–a deep shade (Malibu), a medium shade (Orgasm) and a light shade (Luxor).  How could I not love this set?

I assume that this set is limited edition for Holiday 2010. If you prefer, each of these colors is available in a full sized version (.50 oz.) for $38 each.  One thing that I love about NARS is that their use of limited editions are very restrained. There is no tricky hook shade in this collection that is only in this set and then it is gone forever, leaving you with a lingering feeling that you needed to buy the whole set or be forever haunted that you didn’t.  Instead, NARS played it straight and thereby earns my undying loyalty (once again!).

The above picture shows the difference in size between the three mini’s in Sweet Disposition compared to the larger Cadaques Multiple Tint reviewed here.  The mini’s are packaged in similar matte black packaging as their larger sisters, although the smaller ones do not have the same rubberized cushiony feel.

Continue reading »

Please follow us on....

Oct 132010

Nars Full Metal Jacket ($16) is a cool metallic gray with a hint of frost.  Re-released as part of their Vintage Collection, this color is an edgy classic that is timelessly modern.

In sun:

In shade:

Truly a neutral-with-a-kick.  This color will work with any color that is cool or blue-based.  With warms, you’ll get a dramatic contrast so watch your step–it can go so right or oh, so wrong.

This was two coats without a top coat.  I was pleased to see that the shimmer/frost dried without streaking.  The formula is quite workable, but go quickly, courageously and definitively to lay down the polish to get the most even coverage. And after all, with a color like this “courage” is the attitude du jour.  Otherwise, you’d be wearing sheer pink.  Highly recommended.

Please follow us on....

Aug 262010

NARS Fall 2010 release of the NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow duo ($32), is a must have.  I’m not alone here.  If there is any possible way that you have missed bloggers, reviewers and me shouting from my rooftop, Rajasthan is an awesome eyeshadow duo.

This powder duo includes a medium toned greyed-down gold/bronze, together with a highly complex blue-grey-black.  Both shades have medium shimmer and excellent pigmentation.  The combination of the warm lighter shade with the deeper cool black is a perfect combination of warm-cool complexity that is both interesting and quite flattering.  Neutrals with an edge–just what I want this fall.

NARS Rajasthan is remarkably easy to use.  For the past few days, I’ve been using the lighter shade as a wash.  I then take my brush edge, and apply the darker color smudged over my eyeliner.  Done. Sometimes I use the darker shade to add some smoke to the outer edges of the lid, or a touch in the crease.  Literally, less than a minute with one brush.   Can it be used by those who love to spend hours crafting with several brushes?  Sure, but it’s easy for me to pull out when I do not have the time.

Despite some earlier conflicting reports and controversy, it now appears that Rajasthan is a permanent addition to NARS line.  Highly recommended.  You can compare Rajasthan to NARS Tzarine duo at this post, which has comparison swatches.

Please follow us on....

Aug 262010

In addition to NARS beautiful and versatile Rajasthan duo, NARS brings us Tzarine ($32), a softer and less dramatic warm-cool eyeshadow combination.  Like Rajasthan, Tzarine is a “cannot miss” powder duo that makes application so effortless, with a beautiful result, that I strongly recommend considering it.  I ordered it immediately after Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book posted her review, an impulse purchase that was later confirmed as the right choice by Joeybunny’s review at The Pink Sith.  Both of them were absolutely right–Tzarine is so pretty and enhances one’s individual features.  I can imagine that this duo will look lovely on a wide variety of skintones.

My schedule has been out of control the past few weeks, and Tzarine has been my makeup BFF.  It’s so easy to sweep on the lighter shade as an all-over lid shade, from lashline to crease.  I think work the deeper grey into my crease, then adding another layer over the top of my black eyeliner.  Like Rajasthan, it’s one brush, one minute and I’m done.  The effect is simple, polished and very pretty.


Comparison between Rajasthan and Tzarine:

At a reader request, I add this last picture, which compares the grey of NARS Tzarine with a few other greys in my collection.

The shades are left-to-right MAC Swan Lake, MAC Smoke & Diamonds, NARS Tzarine, Chanel Silvery and Gunmetal from the Urban Decay Naked Palette.  Of these, Urban Decay in Gunmetal is closest in color.  However, the texture of the two shadows is quite different. Urban Decay Gunmetal applies quite heavily and with a metal sheen.  By contrast, Tzarine has a lighter, softer look and must be built up to reach full pigmentation–even then, the grey in Tzarine does not have the metal of Gunmetal.

Please follow us on....

May 122010

I noticed that I’ve acquired a few pink blushes in either a liquid, cream or stain, so I thought that I’d post some comparisons of the following:

  • Nars Cadaques Multiple Tint
  • Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pale Pink
  • Benefit’s Posie Tint (this was a small version that was included in a recent Sephora value set)
  • Make Up For Ever’s HD Blush in Walk of Shame #4

It was surprised how differently all of these swatch.  NAR’s Cadaques is translucent with a sheen, it gives a beautiful lit-from-within glow that looks “natural but nicer.”

Posie Tint is the most sheer, and has stain-like liquidity compared to the others.  You need quite a bit more product with the Posie Tint to build up a real pink on my NC15 skin.

Make Up For Ever’s Walk of Shame is the lightest, is highly pigmented and applies matte.  Walk of Shame has a very cool blue-undertone compared to the others.  You need barely any product to get the right look with this.

Bobbi Brown’s Pale Pink is very easy to wear– a few dabs and it looks very natural.  Pale Pink is the deepest pink of all of them, and looks almost like a medium-pink compared to the others.

Please follow us on....

May 082010

NARS Summer 2010 includes a very small release of three Multiple Tints ($38), which are exclusively available online at NARS website.  These are sheer, almost gel-like tubes of color in a twist-up tube that can be used for a blush or lip color.  Unlike the Multiples, they have no bronzer effect and their highlighting effect is minimal.  They are meant to add a sheer wash of color.

This limited release has three choices– Beverly Hills is red-based, Turks & Caicos is orange-peach based.  I purchased Cadaqués, which is pink based, but looks fuchsia in the tube.

The traditional “NARS” lettering on the packaging had a cute–and very practical– touch with Cadaqués because it is printed with pink letters.  If you have other Multiples in your makeup collection, this helps distinguish this one from the others.

The color in the tube is very vibrant:

Once applied, this applies as a sheer wash of pink with a touch of shimmer.  This is several (10) swipes, and you can see that the color builds nicely on my arm.  However, applied to the cheeks, it only took 1-2 swipes to give me a healthy pink glow.  The product has a slight sheen when the light hits it.  The texture has a gel feel, not the opaque cream of the other Multiples. Click to enlarge:

This last one shows that these apply as a sheer wash of color–there are no shimmer or glitter bits in this product.  The sheen you see (especially the picture, above) is from the gel-texture in sunlight.  Again, click to enlarge:

These were taken with a combination of warm sunlight and flash.

I’m going to have check in later on the lasting power…

Please follow us on....

Mar 312010

Via Vanity Fair, a variety of new products announced from NARS:

  • New  Multiple Tints ($38)  in three new shades: Beverly Hills (bright red), Turks & Caicos (bright orange), and Cadaques (bright fuschia)
  • A new cream blush in Enchanted (this was used at the Oscars on JLo and others)
  • Nars Pure Sheer SPF Lip Treatments ($25 each)
  • Bains Douches Glitter Pencil ($24)

A bright fuschia Multiple?  This I must see!!!

EDIT:  I’m adding this information from this lovely site about Nars Summer 2010 Belle de Jour Collection (click to enlarge):

It appears from a rough translation of this site that the eye products are creams–Burn It Blue duo, a blue-green two-toned cream. The single is Cayenne, another cream.  The blush is a soft peach tone. The gloss is called Coup de couer, described as a brandy tone.  The multiple is apparently called Lamu, and is apricot with gold particles.  There is a shimmery gold-champaign nail polish.  I apologize in advance for any accuracies, as I’m not fluent in the native language of the original source.  If you have any corrections, kindly let me know so that I can edit this further.

Please follow us on....

Mar 042010

NARS Purple Rain nail polish ($16) plays tribute to the Prince song and film. Purple Rain is described on the NARS website as “intensely gothic purple” and “bright and audacious.” I have to agree with both the letter and the spirit of that description.  In addition, I’d add “complex,” “beautiful” and “rich”.

The nail polish delivers a deep and rich purple that would be incredible on its own.  Add little flecks of red, as well as a deep violet-blue, add a high gloss finish and you have something truly spectacular.  This nail polish gets noticed.

The application was easy.  The brush is permanently connected to the large black squarish rubberized cap, which is a bit unwieldy but manageable.  The polish is opaque in one coat.  I’ve done two coats in the swatches, below, out of habit.

Along with Nars Purple Rain, I’ve added China Glaze’s Let’s Groove, ($2.50 from Victoria’s Nail Supply);  Zoya Yasmeen ($7.00) and Chanel’s Vendetta ($23) (this last one wasn’t even close!).

Here’s a picture with my results.  China Glaze’s Let’s Groove was the closest.  The purple tones, and red/violet flecks looked very similar.   China Glaze’s polish took an extra coat but the price is dramatically lower when purchased online:

True to the namesake of its author, Purple Rain adds a dramatic touch to your nails.  It screams and shouts “Baby, I’m a star — might not know it now, baby but I are, I’m a star!”  Is it work friendly?  That’s hard to say.  This color draws major attention to your nails.  But remember, blacks and vampy red-blacks used rare in the workplace.  Maybe NARS is starting a trend?

EDIT: After wearing both NARS Purple Rain and China Glaze’s Let’s Groove for several days each, I can confirm that NARS does give me better wear.  Also, I’ve decided that NARS Purple Rain is work-friendly.  Either that, or it is so pretty that I don’t really mind if it isn’t.  It’s gorgeous and worth it.

P.S.:  Did you hear the rumor?  NARS is bringing back the greatest green ever–Zulu!  Next fall! I can’t wait!

Please follow us on....