Apr 152012
 

Nars Summer 2012 introduces the NARS Marie-Galante eyeshadow duo ($34). The colors have a light, fairy light quality that NARS describes as an iridescent orchid and iridescent blue. The formula is pearly and looks refreshing, light and pretty–the formula is embedded with extremely small micro-sparkles that adds a beautiful luminescence to the eyes.

Close up:

The pan changes slightly as you move it in the light, because of the iridescent formula in this duo.

Here, Liz applied the orchid/purple color with the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush (reviewed here at The Beauty Look Book) to sweep the color across the lid.  This Edward Bess brush applies color with a light-to-medium touch, and so the first pass gives a beautiful sheer wash of iridecent purple across my lid. With a denser brush, or with two passes of the Edward Bess brush, Liz built the color in intensity. The blue color (which Liz used in the crease) of Marie-Galante has more pigmentation than the orchid right off the brush:

I was worried that the purple color would be too much, but Nars Marie-Galante gave me a very flattering wash of color. Another:

The formula has a lightness that is sort of pearly and gorgeous. I wore it out to dinner, and loved the look. Here are some swatches:

Here, I turned the swatches away from the light, you can see how the color changes a bit:

I loved the way that Francois Nars executed this duo. Here, I compare NARS Marie-Galante with two similar shades from MAC–Leisuretime and Wait Until Dark (both discontinued). As you can see, NARS Marie-Galante looks sophisticated, and has a pretty depth and complexity. By comparison, the MAC colors have a heavier, metallic quality that can overwhelm.

NARS Marie-Galante is a gorgeous, highly wearable duo. The lightness and iridescent quality, together with the gorgeous color, compliments the eyes by drawing attention. It’s an easy pop of color designed to work with bronzers and that even those with pale skin tones can confidently pull off. NARS Marie-Galante adds a welcome coolness to balance out the warmth of many summer color products. For example, the duo coordinates beautifully with the rest of NARS Summer 2012 collection, given that many of the pieces evoke warmth, bronzes, and deep terracotta reds.

For Liz (picture at top), the duo compliments her color without taking over.  In the top picture, Liz is wearing:

  • NARS Marie-Galante Eyeshadow Duo
  • NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil topped with NARS Buenos Aires Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil
  • NARS Orgasm/Laguna Duo on cheeks

The NARS Marie-Galante Eyeshadow Duo, NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil and NARS Buenos Aires Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil were sent to Cafe Makeup for consideration for review.

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Mar 032012
 

Spring ’12 brings the new Nars Paramaribo Eyeshadow Duo ($34), an lighter olive-gold-brass and a greyed green-bronze. As with many Nars eyeshadow duos, the texture of these was soft, easy to use and blended beautifully. The colors look vibrant in the pan, especially to one who has green/blue eyes and therefore doesn’t own many green eyeshadows. I was pleased to find that the yellow tones in the lighter shade seemed to recede on application into a pretty metallic green-brass that stayed wearable.

When Paramaribo is applied, the colors became gorgeous metallic neutrals. This is unquestionably an amazingly textured eyeshadow duo–the powder is extraordinarily fine and dimensional. One can tell that these colors were formulated with care and attention. Quick swatches:

When Nars Paramaribo is applied, the colors become instantly wearable. The colors neutral bases come out, giving just a subtle wash of color. Although Liz is warm toned, you can see that the yellow tones in the eyeshadow seem to recede when applied, and the olive tone becomes much more of an everyday shade. Is olive the new taupe? You decide.

 

Here, Liz is wearing Nars Gaiety blush. I’ve been wearing Gaiety several times every week–it’s a great Spring blush that looks fresh on warm-toned skin. Of course, it’s lavender tones will look amazing on cool skin tones as well. We did not add any other colors to the lid, and Liz is wearing Chanel Super lipstick.

Both Nars Gaiety Blush and Paramibo product was provided by Nars Cosmetics to Cafe Makeup for review.

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Jan 282011
 

NARS Nouveau Monde ($32) duo eyeshadow palette is new for Spring 2011, and is the perfect solution for  a very easy, sophisticated eye.  There are two medium-shimmer colors.  On the left is a soft, shimmery grey-lavender that adds luminosity without being jejune or overwhelming.  As a person with warm skin tones, I have to be careful about wearing lavenders, as it almost the opposite of my skin tone some lavenders can overwhelm or look cartoonish.  Fortunately, NARS understands colors so well, because there is not a hint of shrill tones–instead, this heathery lavender is very grown-up, very finely milled, and sets off my blue-green eyes perfectly.

The right green is a rich mossy-khaki green, that has a slightly more rich and soft metal tone.  It’s absolutely gorgeous, and quite complex.  It’s shockingly easy to do a very beautiful eye with these tones.  First, I tried a wash of the lavender on my lid with my MAC 217, then placed the green in my crease, smoked above it toward the brow bone.  It was perfect.

Another idea is to use the lavender as the lid color, and the green as a liner, smoked up in the outer corner.

Third, it’s quite easy to use the green as the main lid color, and a touch of the lavender in the center of the lid as a highlight.

Although these may not appear to be traditional pastel colors, they pair perfectly with the minimal neutrals that fashion is presenting this Spring.  Consider how gorgeous would this palette look with these soft, modern tones from Phillip Lim:


This is the type of palette that will carry into Summer:

Here’s some suggestions for coordinating the shade with other colors-here, with NARS Sex Appeal blush, OPI’s Not Like the Movies (Katy Perry collection), which goes really nicely with the lavender shadow of Nouveau Monde.  They both have a very silvery, light soft lavender glow.

Think about adding a peach or neutral lip (here, either Chanel Rouge Coco in Patchouli or Peregrina), or a very soft sheer cool pink, like Le Metier de Beaute Cap d’Antibes (not pictured, review to follow).  For me, the key is to keep the rest of the makeup luminous and with some sheerness, and keep in mind that the Nouveau Monde duo’s lavender side is a touch on the cool grey side.  I wouldn’t weigh this down with a bright or opaque tone, at least for my coloring:

Here are some swatches and comparisons–the lavender shade of Nouveau Monde with Chanel Lavande single eyeshadow.  For the mossy khaki green of Nouveau Monde, I compared this with MAC’s Scarab (from the Catherine Deneuve collection), Chanel Vert Khaki and Chanel Khaki:

The texture of Nouveau Monde is just perfection–the light shade is luminous and believable, the deep shade is rich and buttery.  Love this duo!

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