Feb 152011
 

One of the most edgy items from Nars Spring 2011 collection is Nana Lip Glosss ($24), described as a “deep black grape” that is “quintessentially French.”  As anyone who loves Chanel Rouge Noir as much as I do knows, a deep vampy lip is an essential part of a women’s color wardrobe.  My question was whether this gloss had the same power as the famous deep red-black lipsticks.  You can see a runway deep lip on pale models at this recap of Theyskens’ Theory show earlier this week at New York Fashion Week (MAC was used there).  Could Nars Nana let the deep lip translate to women in the real world?

I have to admit, the tube of the NARS Lip Gloss looks pretty cool.  It’s rare to see a lipgloss with that deep pigmentation in a department store line:

“Deep purple grape” certainly describes how the product looks in the tube, although I found more red in the color when applied:

Nars Nana absolutely fits within the vampy dark lipstick category.  Here, swatches compare with Guerlain Rouge G in Bee (reviewed here), and Chanel Hydrabase in Rouge Noir and Rouge Coco in Rouge Noir (both here).

My thoughts:

  • Nana is a gorgeous deep wine color.
  • It applies with a cushiony gel feel, with minimal stickiness.
  • It is super pigmented,  you can get the super-pigmented deep vampy lip pretty easily.
  • It is relatively long-lasting for a gloss (a few hours with sips).
  • The texture is very high gloss, in a good way.
  • One point of caution–this sinks into liplines.  It shows it all.  There are glosses that skim over the texture, Nana is not one of them.
  • Another point of caution–the super pigmented gloss is unforgiving when you apply it.  Small mistakes show.  Be ready for clean up.
  • Third point of caution-it’s a little tough to spread this evenly.  It grabs and pulls as you put it on, even when your lips are newly exfoliated.

If you want my advice, use a lipliner with this gloss. I grabbed Chanel Beige, and it created a little cushion fill between my lips and the gloss.  Although Chanel Beige diluted the strong color, you won’t have that effect with a deeper lipliner.

Here’s Nana on Liz with no lipliner (just Nana gloss, nothing else):

You might say that Liz is quite an expert at applying gloss by now, she’s been wearing Chanel Glossimers since she was thirteen (not a typo). The uneveness that you see is not because she isn’t applying it properly-she knows how to apply lipgloss (it’s a lip. gloss.) and this is still our result.  I found that the gloss applies much, much smoother over a lipliner.  But we wanted to give you the straight up pure gloss version, ’cause that’s how we roll.

Here’s Nana over Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Madere (reviewed here):

As with Madere, Nars Nana is a niche product that requires some thought and care.  Not for everyone.  If you’re into the vampy look, and go with a good lipliner, you’ll adore Nana.

Please follow us on....

Feb 062011
 

I had a few reader requests to compared the Spring 2011 NARS Calanque Trio with Urban Decay’s Naked Palette.  Here are the results, together with some thoughts about the NARS Calanque now that I have been living with it for a few days.

NARS lightest shade is more olive compared with Urban Decay’s Virgin and Sin, both of which have a softer pink tone by comparison.  By far, the biggest difference between these colors is the texture.  The Urban Decay is soft and buttery, with virtually no fallout.  NARS has fallout, which I could control somewhat by patting the shadow on the lid.

However, over the pasts few days I have noticed that the NARS lightest shade does go on in patches both on the arm and the lids–the texture of this eyeshadow does not meld to the skin like Urban Decay’s shadows do.  Instead, there are areas of the skin to which this shade does adhere, and others where it does not.  Unfortunately, I noticed that this did not adhere smoothly to my brow bone either.  Also, the NARS does have far more sparkle that Urban Decay’s lightest tones.  I found this amount of sparkle overwhelming on the brow bone.

NARS middle shade is a soft latte creamy brown with a sheen.  You can see that Calanque’s middle shade is lighter than the deeper, matte Naked and Buck colors from Urban Decay.

NARS deepest shade leans very slightly more olive green than the deeper brown Darkhorse and more bronze Smog:

Since living with NARS Calanque for a few days, I’ve concluded that it doesn’t work for me.  Although I love the two deeper shades, the lightest shade goes on too patchy and sparkly to reach for with any frequency.   As you can see, these two palettes are roughly the same price and Urban Decay’s texture on the lightest shades is far more wearable.  In the meantime, I’ve seen that Best Things in Beauty and The Beauty Look Book are concluding similarly.  Although you might find Calanque workable with a cream base, after several attempts I’ve concluded that there are too many other options out there that don’t require that level of effort for a similar or lower price point.

Please follow us on....

Feb 032011
 

EDIT: Since posting this “first look” review, I have posted comparisons with Urban Decay’s Naked Palette and have further thoughts about the Calanque Trio here.

NARS Calanque Trio ($45) is a limited edition palette released for Spring 2011.  This is my first experience with a NARS trio.  This comes is the same standard sized palettes as NARS eyeshadow duo’s and blushes, with a full sized mirror in the lid.

There are three colors pressed together into a single pan:

  • The lightest shade, a light gold infused with platinum, cream and silver sparkles
  • The center carmel with a pearl texture
  • The deep green infused with bronze and gold

Continue reading »

Please follow us on....

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!

Please follow us on....