Jul 152014
 

Nars Liquid Highlighters02

NARS has recently expanded its illuminator range to include two new colors. I love these liquid aluminizes. To me, the liquid form can look more natural than some powders because they can be worked into foundation (and even worn mixed in or under foundation for a subtle effect). Unlike some lines, NARS Illuminators are beautifully formulated, never sticky or heavy, and give the perfect amount of sheen to add a healthy-fabulous glow. Their generous size and travel-friendly packaging make these perfect additions to your makeup collection this summer.

nars 413 blkr highlighter

NARS 413 BLKR ($__) adds a classic pearl shade to its Illuminator line. This color is so universal, or all skin tones and types. It looks amazing with many of the NARS BLKR line as well–those burgundy-based classics really look amazing with this beautiful shade.  This shade is part of NARS 413 BLKR Collection additions, and at NARS Boutiques.

Nars Liquid Highlighters04

NARS Hot Sand ($30/1.0 oz.) adds a pearlized warm peach-gold to this line. Unlike the existing Orgasm and Super Orgasm (which have a strong pink-peach tone), Hot Sand is a softer, more neutral color. This is available at Nordstrom, NARS online (part of the NARS Summer 2014 Color Collection: Adult Swim, Bloomingdales and Barneys New York.Nars Liquid Highlighters05

Here are swatches of both NARS 413 BLKR, Hot Sand and a touch of Armani’s summer Fluid Sheer #13 (a limited edition shade which went quickly).Nars Liquid Highlighters08

Another:Nars Liquid Highlighters10Both of these are standards, and must-haves in my collection. You should note that NARS Hot Sand is limited edition, and some are still available available at Nordstrom, NARS online, Bloomingdales and Barneys New York. Don’t miss them.Nars Liquid Highlighters05

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

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Jul 112014
 

Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows All ShadesHere is an entire line of the new formula NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows ($29 each/0.05 oz.), which has a mix of a unique texture, wearable colors with a touch of NARS-edge, and gorgeous reflectivity.  I’m posting this from Colorado using pictures that I took in the drought-million-degree temperatures of California, and playing with these shadows every day as I ready myself for a day of conferencing. Part of this is my excitement of this new line, and the other part is that I genuinely love you all and don’t want you to miss out on these beautiful new shadows. These are currently available at NARS online, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s New YorkBloomingdaleand Nordstrom.Nars Dual Intensity Shadows All 31 The shade names have a celestial inspiration, which is appropriate given that these resemble stars. What is difficult to understand from a single static image of the line is the amazing way that these eyeshadow interact with changes in light, and yet still retain their ability to hold onto their beautiful color. So my reviews of these shadows will include more pictures than usual to convey how they look when you are holding and using them. All shadows are in the same order as they are in the pictures above: Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows05According to the line, these shades can be applied dry for a sheer finish, or wet for more intensity. All swatches in this post are dry, and in many cases with a few swipes. So you can see that you do not have to use these wet to get intense colors. With many, I got intense color with a soft brush and a single pass. The other aspect of these is how beautifully these shadows coordinate together. I put together a few “quads” (groups of four) without much thought, hoping to show that these are a well-thought out set of colors that integrate well together. Here’s a mix of cools and warms:   Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows09 I love the way that these colors play off of each other for a beautiful mix:Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows08 This mix has two metallic shades–Dione and Himalia-which are extraordinary accent colors that will coordinate well with the satins and mattes that you likely already have in your collection.Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows10 Here are some sets of swatches of all shades. First up is the satiny, complex black NARS Syncorax and the deep starry navy Giove that has pink-purple reflects. This set also includes two ephemeral highlight shades, which primarily reflect color. Cassiopeia reflects pink, and Andromeda reflects a soft gold similar to the NARS Alabaster highlighter for face. Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows15a Swatches: Nars Sycorax Giove Cassiopeia Andromeda Another: Nars Sycorax Giove Cassiopeia Andromeda Here is another set. It was important to me to swatch the last three shades (Subra, Phoebe and Desdemona) together, because there are some similarities looking at their pans in that there are violets/mauves/purples throughout all. As you can see, on the skin they are completely different. First is the soft peach-with-a-touch-of-pink Europa, a beautiful highlight shade that is a smoother version of many soft highlight shades. NARS Subra Nars swatch shadows3 Here are the swatches (please note that these are a different order than the picture, above, but properly labeled in all pictures). You might click on this one to enlarge it so that you can see the complexity of these shades.

NARS Subra Desdemona Europa Phoebe1a

Another, slightly tiling away from the (blazing!) sun. Of these, shimmery Phoebe changes the most when moved in the light:NARS Subra Desdemona Europa Phoebe2a

 

One more:

NARS Subra Desdemona Europa Phoebe3aFinally! The gorgeous metallic shades. These will not look “soft and buttery” in their pans but let me tell you that if you place a brush on these and sweep them across your lid these are heaven. The pigment is highly layer able, so if you want a subtle “sheen” on your lid, do a single sweep (use a soft neutral matte in the crease, and you have an amazing eye). You can layer these up to full metallic intensity if you keep building them up. On my eye, I do one or two sweeps. For evening and on my arm, I built up three to four layers.Nars swatch shadows2All of the above shades have the same metallic qualities. Nars Callisto has soft pink/mauve undertones and pairs well with Phoebe and Subra. NARS Himalia and Dione are currently both killing it with soft golden tones. Himalia is more of a soft true gold, and Dione is a “cool gold.” Because I have been searching for years to find a pretty cool gold, I’m delighted to see it in this collection. NARS Lysithea is a remarkable silver with a slight sage tint, which looks remarkably good on warm tones (and of course is made for cool skin tones as well). Lysithea looks amazing with Sycorax smudged into the lash line, by the way. Nars Callisto Himalia Dione Lysithea If you think that all of these look too good to choose between them, you are right. In my opinion, you need them all. They are different enough that they aren’t really substitutes. If you have to cut out one, I’d get Dione if you have cool skin tone, and Himalia for warm. Yet I am  not taking my own advice, because I’ve worn Dione for several days and I cannot seem to stop (I have warm skin tones). More: Nars Callisto Himalia Dione LysitheaTilted away from the California sun: Nars Callisto Himalia Dione LysitheaThe NARS dual intensity metallics change the most in the light. Here are the same swatches in shade, you can see that these are far more subtle: Nars Callisto Himalia Dione LysitheaOverall, I adore these. They are all winners, honestly. The question is going to be which to get first, and when to get the rest. I’m going to keep playing with these and update with another post focusing on the individual shades. Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows06

These are currently available at NARS online, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s New York, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom.

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

 

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Jul 092014
 

Note: Shop the NORDSTROM Anniversary Sale for Beauty Exclusives. Plus, get free shipping & returns on every order. To see them prior to July 18th, you might sign into your account linked to a Nordstrom charge card.

Nars Nordstrom Anniversay 2014NARS is offering three Summer Gifting sets as part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Event. If you are a Nordstrom cardholder, you’ll get access to these items (and the rest of Nordstrom’s Anniversary Event items) on July 10th. For everyone else, the event begins the following week.

summer2014_narsgifting004

NARS Uninhibited Set: $52: A trio of intrigue and seduction – Dolce Vita Lipstick, Lip Gloss and limited edition Nail Polish presented in a sleek black lacquered box. I must admit, Dolce Vita is a perfect color for so many people. This would make an excellent gift, because these shades are so universal.

summer2014_narsgifting003

NARS Climax Set, $52: A fantasy of shocking pink in the legendary Schiap – featuring a Lipstick, limited edition Lip Gloss and Nail Polish housed in a matching pink, lacquered box. Is there a woman who doesn’t need Schiap? This entire set looks so confident, summer-ready, and beautiful.

Nars Domination Palette

NARS Domination blush palette, $49 A rush of blush – delivering insatiable glamour for cheeks, this exclusive palette features three signature Blush shades (Orgasm, Laguna and Mistinguette) and Devotee Highlighting Blush. I was fortunate enough to receive this item from NARS for review, and as usual the quality is absolutely stellar. This is a perfect palette for a sculpted cheek, with a touch of bronze, highlighter, and two beautiful blush shades. In sun:

Nars Domination palette 2

In shade:

Nars Domination Palette 3Here are swatches of the beautifully formulated palette:

Nars Domination Palette 4I think if I had to choose, I’d give the Dolce Vita set to my good friend (who is a bit conservative), Domination as a gift for my niece, and keep the Schiap for myself. What would you do?

Shop the NORDSTROM Anniversary Sale for Beauty Exclusives. Plus, get free shipping & returns on every order. To see them prior to July 18th, you might sign into your account linked to a Nordstrom charge card.

This post contains a product sent by Nars for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

 

 

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May 182014
 

NARS Artistry Brushes Stylized Group Shot

Nars Artistry Brushes are a new series of lovely tools that I will be examine over the next few posts. Given the breadth of this collection, I’m going to proceed by first showing pictures of all of them in detail. I will be offering some thoughts about the brushes in some later posts.) These are available at Nordstrom.com, Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nars Cosmetics online.

Here is the entire set (click to enlarge):

Nars Artistry Brushes All LabeledThis post will cover the Nars Artistry #30 Precision Lip Brush ($26). This was way, way cooler than I imagined a lip brush could be, and the price is quite modest given the ingenuity of the design. This slim, elegant little brush comes capped to ensure that product doesn’t migrate throughout your purse or elsewhere.

Nars Precision Lip Brush 30d

With the cap off, the bristles remain hidden inside the slim case:

Nars Precision Lip Brush 30c

That is, until you put the cap onto the back. The pressure from the cap on the back of the handle pushes the bristles upward. The action is quite smooth and intuitive. Awesome! And you can use your brush in your gorgeous bag, which can stay clean.

Nars Precision Lip Brush 30g

This little brush is ingenious! Flat side:

Nars Precision Lip Brush 30

 

Side view:

Nars Precision Lip Brush 30a

I’ll be offering more thoughts about these in upcoming posts. These are available at Nordstrom.com, Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nars Cosmetics online.

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

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May 182014
 

NARS Artistry Brushes Stylized Group Shot

Nars Artistry Brushes are a new series of lovely tools that I will be examine over the next few posts. Given the breadth of this collection, I’m going to proceed by first showing pictures of all of them in detail. I will be offering some thoughts about the brushes in some later posts.) These are available at Nordstrom.com, Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nars Cosmetics online.

Here is the entire set (click to enlarge):

Nars Artistry Brushes All LabeledThis post will cover the Nars Artistry Eye Brushesnumbers 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47 and 48.  First up, I’d like to note that these brushes are beautifully designed. They have a matte black wood handle embossed with a subtle black-on-black Nars logo, and are finished with a red lacquer accent.

Nars logo brush

The design is well balanced. The brushes are balanced and substantial, without being heavy. The eye brushes all use a numbering system in the forties. The NARS #40 Eyeshadow Brush ($32) is the classic eyeshadow brush that we all use so much for all-over lid application, blending, and 1,000 other things. I have several, yet always seem to need another.

Nars Eye Shadow 40

Turned sideways:

Nars Eyeshadow Blending 42a

One more of the Nars #40 Eyeshadow Brush:

Nars Eyeshadow Brush 40b

Next is the NARS #41 Diffusing Brush ($32), which is lovely for blending, layering and light veils of color:

 

Nars Diffusing Brush 41b

Turned to the side:

Nars Diffusing brush 41c

And one more of the #41 Diffusing Brush:

Nars 41a

The NARS #42 Eyeshadow Blending Brush ($32) is the type of brush that I adore. According to NARS, this is “ideal for applying high-shimmer shadows and blending effortlessly for a soft-focus effect. The softer, longer hair design is perfect for a final sweep across the eye, blending and diffusing shades seamlessly.” I find that this shape is ideal for soft and natural application of almost any eyeshadow.

Nars 42b

Another:

Nars 42c

The NARS #43 Wide Contour Brush ($32) is an unusual shape, yet I find myself reaching for this type often. The wide shape allows me to dab on a bright spot of shimmer in the center of the lid, or to do a pigmented, all-over sweep. The edge allows me to do precise placement when needed. This can also be useful for lightly patting powder on the under eye concealer area.

Nars 43a

The flat top is an oval, and the bristles are dense and stiffer than many other eye brushes:

Nars 43b

 

One more:

Nars 43c

The NARS #44 Precision Contour Brush ($28) has a firm design for concentrated color. This is nice for dense crease colors, because the shape allows for deposit and blending. This is also nice for precise application of a highlighter color in the inner corner.

Nars 44a

Another:

Nars 44b

The NARS #45 Smudge Brush ($28) is the perfect shape for smudging liner either above or below the lid. The brush has a set of relatively stiff bristles and small size that allows for excellent control.

Nars Smudge Brush 45a

The NARS #46 Push Eyeliner Brush (#28) is perfect for applying gel liners, or making your mascara or eyeshadow into a liner. I use this type of brush so frequently –this is what is needed to really make the most of gel liners.

Nars Push Eyeliner brush 46a

I do not usually love white brushes, but in this case I get the point. When using this brush, you will know for certain whether there has been any remaining pigment from your prior use. This avoids the frustration of an unintended color mix that can occur close to the eye (which requires a re-do of almost everything else).

Nars Push Eyeliner Brush 46b

The bristles are acrylic, which is perfect for using creme eyeliners (or damp powders). The precise edge is ideal for eyeliner use. The brush can be applied using a series of lines, blended together, or slightly jiggled around for a softer line.

Nars Push Eyeliner 46c

NARS #47 Angled Eyeliner Brush ($28) is designed for liquids and creams along the lash line, including with NARS Eye Paints and the like.

Nars eyeliner brush 47c

NARS Brow Defining Brush ($26) is used for filling and defining brows:

Nars 48a Brow Defining Brush

I’ll be offering more thoughts about these in upcoming posts. These are available at Nordstrom.com, Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nars Cosmetics online.

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

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