Mar 082015
 

Nars Eyeshadow Palettes04

NARS Inoubliable Coup D’Oeil Palette (which translates to “Unforgettable Eyes”)($48) is a beautifully formulated neutrals-with-a-twist that is both work-friendly and suitable for a smokey evening eye. It’s a matte-lover’s dream. The pigmentation is gorgeous. These six shades pull from the black-and-white Pandora eyeshadow duo (on the bottom row, left and right) and add some beautiful deep shades for versatilithis is available exclusively at Nordstrom.

Nars Eyeshadow Palettes07Dalliance is the soft grey/taupe in the top left, an excellent matte with a quality that is rare to see in a palette.  Pyla is a smokey matte mossy green. Sidi Bou Said is a rich, vibrant violet-purple matte that leans slightly red. The satin white from Pandora (Pandora I), and the matte black from Pandora (Pandora II) are beautifully formulated. Luberon is the soft satin peach in the center bottom, which makes an excellent all-over lid shade. Here are swatches (except the bottom shades are on the top, and vice versa):

Nars Eyeshadow Palettes08aMore:

Nars Eyeshadow Palettes10b

 

Beautiful!

Nars Eyeshadow Palettes09bPackable, beautiful, and applies like a dream. This is available exclusively at Nordstrom.

NARS provided this to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review. This review includes affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

 

 

 

 

 

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Jan 202015
 

Nars dual intensity eyeshadows02

The geniuses at NARS have released a palette of a selected number of their incredible dual-intensity eyeshadows–the Narsissist Dual-Intensity Palette ($79) (limited edition). This lovely palette comes in a modern, minimal shape with a mirrored top (as well as a full size mirror inside the case). This formula was previously reviewed here. Available at Nars online and Saks Fifth Avenue. This one is limited edition, so please don’t wait long.

Nars dual intensity eyeshadows06

This palette includes:

  • Europa – Gossamer Pink Peach
  • Himalia – Shimmering Topaz
  • Ursa Major – Chocolate Glaze
  • Subra – Black Orchid
  • Andromeda – Alabaster
  • Lysithea – Shark Grey
  • Giove – Navy
  • Sycorax – Black

A closer look at the four left shades– Europa, Himalia, Andromeda, Lysithea:

Nars dual intensity eyeshadows07The four right shades– Ursa Mijor, Subra, Giove and Sycorax.

Nars dual intensity eyeshadows10

As you likely know, the formula can be used dry for a more subtle effect, or wet for more intensity. As you can see from this previous post, this formula has gorgeous dimension.  The pigment plays with the light in a lovely, flattering way. Here are the shades applied dry:

Nars swatches1Another set:

Nars dual intensity1Here are the shades applied wet:

Nars dual intensity3Another set applied wet:

Nars dual intensity6a

I think that the colors for this palette are extremely well-chosen. This palette includes a lovely range–from glowy light colors to deep ones that can be used as a liner or crease. I just love the way that this formula catches the light. It relies on a thin, impact-full formula. Drama with elegance–not glitter!  Just that beautiful, pearly sheen.

Overall, I love the fact that those who do not want to invest in several singles can get a great selection in a single package. There is a range of neutrals, but enough beautiful jewel-deep colors that can be used for chic drama. With both wet and dry application options, this makes a beautiful option to add beautiful interest to the eyes.

Ingredients (click to enlarge):

Nars dual intensity eyeshadows01

Bottom line:  highly recommended. Available at Nars online and Saks Fifth Avenue. This one is limited edition, so please don’t wait long.

Cafe Makeup received this palette without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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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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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 142012
 
Nars Lhasa1

Nars Lhasa eyeshadow ($23/ 0.07 oz) is a perfect eyeshadow for understated elegance. If you love a neutral with a kick, you need this.

Part of Spring 2012 now online, Nars has a way of releasing must-have staples seasonally. Lhasa is a soft lavender gray that manages to emphasize one’s natural eye color and add a little sophisticated polish. It’s a beautiful wash, or staple lid color that could be supplemented with a touch of deep gray/black in the crease or a touch of shimmering ivory in the inner corner.

Is this a taupe? I’d say it’s not. The lavender has a mink-brown tinged with gray, but it’s different enough from my taupes to declare it one-of-a-kind. It brings out the warmth of my skintone and a touch of green in my eye color. I found that my closest color is Chanel Fauve, although Fauve is comparatively shimmery compared to Nars Lhasa’s satin-matte finish. Here, I compare Lhasa to some “true taupes”–Chanel Safari and Shu ME 945 Silver.  For fun, I added the right half of the Nars Habanera duo, which is clearly more purple, more deep in tone and more shimmery than Lhasa.

Swatches of all shades:

Do you need? Yes. This one is a must.

 

Cafe Makeup received this eyeshadow from Nars Cosmetics without charge for consideration for review.

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Aug 012011
 

Nars Grand Palais Eyeshadow Duo ($33) is a part of the Fall 2011 collection.  The combination is named for the Parisian landmark built just after the Eiffel Tower, reflecting a similar vision in its open latticework structure.  A landmark in its own right, the interior has vast open spaces and has been a frequent backdrop to many couture fashion shows (including Chanel), as well as prominent location for numerous artistic events.

Nars describes this palette as “silver taupe/dusty rose.”  After comparing different colors, that’s a very accurate description.  The silver taupe is an unusual mix of shimmery pewter, silver and taupe.  The dusty rose is a soft deep rose mixed with soft gray tones with a faint hint of mauve.  Both are nicely pigmented and very smooth. The matte is impressive–the fallout was very minimal and the color went on very strong (although not uncontrollably so).

 The shimmer on the silver-taupe was very nice.  Although not as luminous as a metallic, it’s not promoted as such.  Those who enjoy a good, smooth wash of shimmer will be pleased.

 For the left silver taupe of Grand Palais, here are comparisons with a true silver (Shu Uemura ME Silver 950), a silvery grey shimmer (MAC Swan Lake, limited edition from the Danse Collection), and a true taupe (Shu Uemura ME Silver 945).  You can see that the left side of Grand Palais is more silver / lighter than a true taupe but more brown than a true silver or gray.

 

I wondered whether Grand Palais’s silver taupe was similar to a pewter tone, but found that Grand Palais is more firmly in the silver taupe category.  You can see that some pewter shades in my collection (here, Shu Uemura ME Brown 851 and Bobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter), lean much more warm metal with a touch of silver and green.  By comparison, the left side of Grand Palais is quite brown/taupe.  (Karlasugar’s swatches of Bobbi Brown Pewter show the warm greenish tone as well).

Just as in the rest of his line, Nars develops colors that don’t seem to have exact duplicates anywhere else. In other words, NARS Grand Palais includes a shade that you could drive yourself crazy trying to find.

The next question is, how does Grand Palais work as a duo?  If your coloring is just right, Grand Palais is going to deliver a unique modern vision–really, I imagine it might be very striking on some.  You can see a lovely look here on Messy Wands. 

Personally, I found that Grand Palais took a fair amount of work to create a wearable eye on me.  I have no colors comparable to the dusty rose because this is not a flattering color for me to wear in the eye area.  I tried every lid/crease combination that I could think of, without success, washing the colors next to each other.  My recommendations to make this duo wearable:

  • Layer the colors –The top swatch pictures swatch (far right), shows how the shimmery wash changes the dusty rose.  Later, I found that this was the solution that Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog derived as well.
  • Use with a soft neutral brown — Using a crease or outer corner deep brown tone (similar to MAC Espresso) seemed to neutralize the combination and add a pleasant depth and contrast.  It is important the brown that you use have no red undertones, or it will just become worse.
The quality of NARS Grand Palais is excellent. The formula is lovely, and I love that the palette has a contrast of shimmer and a great quality matte.  Unfortunately, this color combination is very tricky for someone with my skin tones.  As a combination, I know that I will not reach for this very often.

 

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