Jan 142014
 

NARS Kaui Eyeshadow Duo2 copy

Nars has released some unbelievably beautiful eyeshadows for Spring 2014–Kauai and China Seas ($34 each). I hope they’ve made enough of these. They’re so gorgeous.  You can order them right now on NARS website, and they are up for backorder sale shipping 1/31/14 on Nordstrom.com. Particularly for Kauai, which is absolutely must-have in my opinion, I would get one as soon as circumstances allow.

NARS Kaui Eyeshadow Duo1

We’re seeing some stunning mettalics this season, and so far Nars Kauai is the most stunning of all. The soft cool gold metal can be buffed into the eye for a beautiful sheen. The multidimensional, complex purple on the right provides a stunning accompaniament in the crease.

NARS Kaui Eyeshadow Duo5

Here are some very quick arm-swatches, which do not do justice to the beauty of these shades. I’ve found that the best way to use these is with a flat-paddle shaped brush (similar to this one). You don’t need to place much on the brush. Then buff, buff, buff the shade into your lid in a back and forth, windshield-wiper motion. This prevents migration and fall-out. These colors are so complex and vibrant, you still retain much of the complexity and sheen. I used these with Nars eyeshadow primer for wear that only began fading after a 14-hour work day (no creasing either). This is a dream duo, the colors are so elegant. The gold is not too warm, and the purple goes violet on my lid and brings out the green in my eyes. I love, love, love Nars Kauai.

NARS China Sea Duo1

China Seas is an unusual combination of two incredible shades. The light blue is a pretty, complex, and yet not overpowering shade. The red-purple is a deep and mysterious color that I cannot imagine finding anywhere else. The combination of the two is brilliant.  Who else but Francois Nars would imagine that these work together as well as they (in fact) do?

NARS China Sea Duo3

Both shades are beautifully pigmented, but can be sheered out for a less dramatic effect. They are complex satin shimmers. I’ve been pairing the right red-violet shade with a taupe-mauve in the crease. As the weather warms and the sun begins shining again, I’ll add the blue shade under the eye together with a cool bronzer.

NARS China Sea Duo5

Here are the shades applied a touch sheerly (they can be built up to full force easily enough). You can see that they have a slight duo chrome effect that is simply stunning.

Nars Kaui and China Seas1 copy

I was so excited about both of these duos that I could not wait to post these swatches. I urge you not to let these go without picking them up, or at least a good look as they begin to arrive at counters. Both are absolutely stunning.

Available at Nordstrom.com and  NARS website, and other Nars counters and boutiques.

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup) These eyeshadows were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Apr 232012
 

Nars Calabria Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil ($24) is a beautiful soft and complex deep purple.

 

 

Although the pencil and swatch appear to be a deep saturated purple, the color applies a little bit like Chanel Taupe Grise on my lid.

The difference is that, as a creamy pencil, Nars Calabria has much more of “sheen” to it. As a deep violet-taupe, it’s very flattering on pale skin tones. In fact, I absolutely love this color.

Other bloggers have observed that Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencils tend to crease. Temptalia’s review of Calabria found some creasing. I was hoping that would not be the case for me–my lids are not very oily.  I applied the pencil much more lightly than Christine at Temptalia, hoping that would do the trick. I tested the pencil for several days, both alone and over Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Primer. Without the primer, I found that the color tended to fade after 8-10 hours of wear. With the Nars eyeshadow primer as a base, I found color migrating into my lid crease.  It is something that I was able to easily sweep away once I noticed, however I thought you should know that I did experience this.  Bottom line–amazing color, but not as long-wearing as I would have liked. If anyone has any suggestions for making these pencils last longer, I’m happy to try them out because I really do love this color.

Nars sent this eye pencil to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Apr 182012
 

Summer 2012 brings the new NARS Ramatuelle Eyeshadow Trio ($45/ 0.15 oz.), which has a soft shimmery cool silver, a soft shimmery peach and a matte deep apricot. The trio coordinates beautifully with the new NARS Liberte blush (reviewed here). This mix of warm and cool shades appears designed to be a crowd-pleasing, universally flattering palette.

I found myself reaching for Ramatuelle every morning lately. The soft, pretty shades are natural, neutral, and add a slight bit of subtle shimmer and contour to the eye. Unlike most neutral palettes which run brown and gray, Ramatuelle introduces a pretty, wearable soft color that adds a brightness and draws subtle interest to the eye.

I must admit, since I saw Adele’s eye makeup at the Grammy’s, I’ve been craving a pretty wearable peach for an easy, elegant eye look. Here are some arm swatches that show the very subtle sheen of the silver and middle peach shades:

Here’s a quick comparison between NARS Ramatuelle and NARS Douce France (released for Spring 2012). As you can see, although both trios are light and soft, Douce France is more in the pink family and entirely matte.  NARS Ramatuelle has two shimmer shades (a cool silver and a warm peach shimmer), with a matte apricot. Women who are reluctant to wear pinks near the eye should investigate Ramatuelle–you get the soft, pretty color without any pinkeye effect.

NARS Ramateulle has been a lifesaver for me. It’s extremely easy to use. I put the center shimmery peach shade all over my lid. Then I put a little bit of the silver color in my inner corner, and sometimes in the center of my lid as well.  The deep apricot shade goes in the crease.

Here is the look that Liz did with Ramatuelle, paired with NARS Liberte blush:

You can see that the look is very soft, natural, and polished, here with Liberte blush on the cheek:

NARS Liberte has been a welcome, fresh, and on-trend addition to my eyeshadow collection. The colors are finely-milled, blendable, soft and brightening.

The layout and pigmentation make application foolproof. It really is very easy–peach on lid, cool silver on inner corner, and matte apricot in the crease. It’s a beautiful, refreshing look for summer that doesn’t look heavy or overdone. Beautiful. This is currently available on Nars website, and should soon be on counters everywhere. It is listed as “limited edition” on Nars’ website.

Nars sent Ramatuelle and Douce France to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

 

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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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Apr 062012
 

NARS 413 BLKR ($24) is designed and named for its beautiful New York City boutique at that same address, 413 Bleecker Street. It’s a soft shimmering gray-mauve that exemplify that mix of gray and brick, and the general universal attitude, of the boutique. If you haven’t been there, you really should go. Not only is the space a beautiful oasis of luxury, with an elegant and classic design, but the area is scattered with numerous Marc Jacobs boutiques and a Magnolia Bakery.  It makes for a very pleasant area to explore and shop.

The boutique features the entire NARS line, including some products that are available only at this boutique and online at Narscomsetics.com.

This includes NARS 413 BLKR eyeshadow:  

 This is packaged in the traditional NARS single format, with a small mirror and rubberized black exterior.

 The color is a shimmery mauve-silver-gray neutral that is medium to light in tone.

Here’s a pan comparison between NARS 413 BLKR and NARS Lhasa, released for Spring 2012 (reviewed here). Essentially, NARS Lhasa is deeper and more brown/gray in tone.

I also lined up a few more of my mauve-taupe eyeshadows to compare. Here are NARS 413 BLKR, NARS Lhasa, MAC Moth Brown, Chanel Gris Exquise (reviewed here), and Chanel Fauve (reviewed here).

Here are these items swatched (I’ve also added Chanel Taupe Grise (reviewed here). As you can see, Chanel Gris Exquis is a true gray matte, not a dupe at all.  Chanel Fauve is closer, but with more obvious shimmer.  NARS Lhasa is deeper in tone, slightly less shimmery and with more brown/gray tones.

As  you can see, none of these are a match for NARS 413 BLKR.  All are deeper in tone, and have more gray. NARS 413 BLKR actually makes a beautiful lid color, to wear with NARS Lhasa in the crease, particularly for those with pale skin. There’s a nice compliment of tones between them. This would be true of any other deeper taupe in in the lineup.

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