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.) Here is the entire set (click to enlarge):

Nars Artistry Brushes All Labeled

This post will cover the Nars Aristry Cheek Brushes–numbers 20 and 21. As an overview, I’d like to note that this entire series of 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. The brushes are balanced and substantial, without being heavy.

Nars Blush Brush 20a

The NARS #20 Blush Brush ($42) is a beautiful brush for diffuse, fool-proof application of blushes and other cheek products. This Blush Brush is a flat paddle shape. Side view:

Nars Blush Brush 20b

One more:

Nars Blush Brush 20c

The Nars #21 Contour Brush is a beautifully shaped for more precise application for contouring and highlighting.

Nars Contour brush 21

What a thing of beauty! This brush has a flat shape that looks a bit narrower when turned to the side:

Nars Contour brush #21c

One more:

Nars Contour blush 21e

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.) Here is the entire set (click to enlarge):

Nars Artistry Brushes All LabeledThis post will cover the Nars Artistry Face Brushesnumbers 10, 11, 12 and 13.  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. All of the face brushes using a numbering system in the tens–so, here is a look at NARS Brushes #10, #11, #12 and #13.

The NARS #10 Powder Brush ($52) is used for all-over finishing application and is designed for even, diffused application of powders.

Nars Powder Brush 10Another of the NARS #10 Powder Brush:

Nars Face Brush #101

Here is the NARS #11 Bronzing Brush ($52):

Nars Bronzing Brush 11This brush is thick, and has a dense concentration of natural hair. This is very similar to the former NARS Bronzing Brush. A seriously gorgeous brush, that works well for denser, blended application. Another picture:

NARS Bronzing Brush 11a

 

The NARS #12 Cream Blending Brush ($28) is designed for cream concealer, whether used on larger areas of the face or in the eye area. This acrylic, paddle-shape is perfect for applying and blending cream products, including cream shadows.
Nars Cream blending brush 12d

Turning this paddle-shaped brush to the side:

Nars Cream blending brush 12c

One more:Nars Cream Blending Brush 12e1The NARS #13 Precision Blending Brush ($26) is used for very precise concealer application on the face. Essentially, this round, acrylic brush can be used for very precise application of small areas such as spots, small areas of pigmentation, around the nose, and in smaller areas around the eye.

Nars Precision Blending Brush 13a

Another of NARS #13 Precision Blending Brush:

Nars Precision Blending Brush 13c

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 132014
 

This summer, Nars has released the Adult Swim collection. Never afraid of a little edge, Francois Nars had added some quirky–yet surprisingly workable–eyeshadow duos to his line. One is Nars Lost Coast ($35), a duo that excels because of its subtleness. This is All About Eve with a twist because the effect is brightening, illuminating, and enhancing of one’s own natural beauty.

Nars Summer Eyeshadow Duos13This duo has a soft brown-beige and a cool soft lavender. This one is very easy to miss-but don’t. The magic is in the application. It doesn’t get any more daytime-friendly.  Other makeup companies just don’t do this enough–Nars seems to know how to design colors that do not look like they should work together, yet somehow do in a really beautiful way.

Nars Summer Eyeshadow Duos18Here is Nars Lost Coast applied lightly on Liz. Here, she simply applied the beige shade, then added the pink shade directly over the beige:

nars Lost coast close up a

This adds a touch of mauve shimmer to Liz’s lids, which is both flattering, simple, and sort of genius:

lost coast a

Nars Tropical Princess ($35) is a high-metal modern duo that combines silver-white and chartreuse. Okay, this is going to sound odd but ever since I’ve seen a punk revival, I’ve been hoping for a really good chartreuse. You know, there are days when I just get really really tired of rules, in general. Tropical Princess  is remarkable for its formulation–in other lines, shades this light tend to look cakey or frosted.  Somehow, the pigment in Tropical Princess stays true-to-texture with a super-light coating of powder. It seems a little magic, but I suspect that Francois Nars was very precise and demanding in this formulation. Tropical Princess does some amazing things with its high-reflectivity with a remarkably thin layer of powder. Something about this formula is just right for using a very subtle touch of this electric shade.

Nars Summer Eyeshadow Duos03This one is pure fun. Tropical Princes in the light:

Nars Summer Eyeshadow Duos11Nars did a gorgeous video using this duo–really, if you need a touch of metal in your makeup wardrobe this is truly a “best in class” beautiful and unusual duo of this summer.

Swatches of all shades:

Nars summer duosa1Bottom line–Nars Lost Coast is not to be missed. If you have a touch of rebellion in you, pick up Tropical Princess as well. These shades are available at Nars online site, Nordstrom, Barneys, and coming soon to Sephora. If you order from Nars online, you can  receive a Complimentary mini Laguna Bronzer with any purchase with the code MAYMINI14 at checkout.

These 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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Mar 132014
 

NARS Artistry Brushes Stylized Group ShotThe buzz on NARS new Artistry Brush series is already getting around. According to the line:

NARS Cosmetics leverages its makeup artistry heritage with a 16 piece Artistry Brush Collection. From base to bristle, this comprehensive collection features an exquisite design conceived by Founder and Creative Director François Nars and Fabien Baron, of New York design firm Baron & Baron. Each brush is designed with the finest quality hairs and delicately weighted to provide the necessary balance for a professional and precise makeup application. The custom brush and packaging feature the iconic matte black finish with sharp debossed logo and signature pop of red.

FACE CATEGORY Refine. Blend. Conceal.

Powder Brush #10, $52 Blends, buffs, and diffuses loose powder for a lustrous finish. Double domed with layers of full, soft hair to pick up and deposit powder evenly.

NARS Artistry Brush #10 - Powder Brush

 

Bronzing Powder Brush #11, $52 An artist essential for controlled application. The dense concentration of soft, natural hair holds and applies product for an even, all-over glow.

NARS Artistry Brush #11 - Bronzing Powder Brush

 

Cream Blending Brush #12, $28 A versatile, multi-use brush for face and eyes. Designed for gentle application of concealer around the eyes and effortless blending of cream textures.

NARS Artistry Brush #12 - Cream Blending Brush

Precision Blending Brush #13, $26 For precision application of concealer. Ideal for focused use on spots, pigmented areas, or around the eyes and nose.

NARS Artistry Brush #13 - Precision Blending Brush

 

CHEEK CATEGORY  Sculpt. Contour. Highlight.

Blush Brush #20, $42 Professional domed shape deposits blush pigments perfectly. Diffuses as it blends for smooth, effortless application.

NARS Artistry Brush #20 - Blush Brush

Contour Brush #21, $42 Expertly angled for sculpting and highlighting the cheekbones. An artist essential to define and blend with controlled application.

NARS Artistry Brush #21 - Contour Brush

 

EYE CATEGORY Line. Define. Blend.

Eye Shadow Brush #40, $32 Deposits the perfect amount of pigment for a masterful sweep of all-over shadow.

NARS Artistry Brush #40 - Eyeshadow Brush

Diffusing Brush #41, $32 A must-have for blending and creating the smoky eye. Lush bristles softly apply shadow for a light veil of color.

NARS Artistry Brush #41 - Diffusing BrushBlending Eyeshadow Brush #42, $32 Ideal tool for applying high-shimmer shadows and effortless blending for a soft-focus effect due to softer, longer hair design.

NARS Artistry Brush #42 - Blending Eyeshadow Brush Wide Contour Eyeshadow Brush #43, $32 The go-to artist essential that does it all: tap, blend, or sweep shadow with ease. Angled shape allows for all-over or precise application.

NARS Artistry Brush #43 - Wide Contour Eyeshadow Brush

Precision Contour Brush #44, $28 The firm, flexible hair design of this brush is ideal for applying concentrated color in the eye crease.

NARS Artistry Brush #44 - Precision Contour BrushSmudge Brush #45, $28 The smoky eye artist essential. Expertly deposits color along the lash line and diffuses and softens eyeliner.

NARS Artistry Brush #45 - Smudge BrushPush Eyeliner #46, $28 Transforms any cream or powder eyeshadow into an eyeliner for a smooth, fine line at the base of the lashes. Use wet to apply powders for stronger color impact.

NARS Artistry Brush #46 - Push Eyeliner Brush Angled Eyeliner Brush #47, $28  Designed for impeccable glide when applying liquid and cream textures along the lash line.  Perfect for use with NARS Eye Paint to create a variety of effects, from natural to dramatic.

NARS Artistry Brush #47 - Angled Eyeliner BrushBrow Defining Brush #48, $26 Define, shape and fill in sparse brows. Firm bristles provide control and deposit powder for a hair-like effect.

NARS Artistry Brush #48 - Brow Defining Brush

 

LIP CATEGORY

Precision Lip Brush #30, $26  Designed with a wide, flat surface to evenly apply lipstick with precision.

NARS Artistry Brush #30 - Precision Lip Brush

As it happens, I’ve been going through a brush obsession lately. I’m just so completely excited for these. I cannot wait!

 

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Feb 262014
 

Nars Matte Multiples Full20 copy

Hallelujah! These beautiful Nars Matte Multiples ($39/.026 oz.) have just arrived and they are a beautiful addition to the makeup world. These versatile, well-formulated products are a dream to work with. In seven colors, I completely agree with Beautezine’s conclusion, “good luck choosing just one.” Depending on your skin tone, I suspect that many will want several.

Nars Matte Multiple poster format

I can tell that this is a completely new formulation, unlike anything that I’ve seen before. One of the best features of these is their softness, even when slightly warm they apply beautifully and can be blended into foundation, highlighter, and each other. The fact that these are designed to be used by working makeup artists certainly shows in their ease of use.  Their matte texture provides a very natural touch of color, and the variable pigmentation allows one to use these for a very natural “almost no makeup” look. If you like, you can use them to get strong color for a high glamour effect (adding a seperate highlighter if you wish).

Nars Matte Multiples1

These are packed in the traditional matte-black tubes used by NARS, although with a slightly slimmer tube  (these have 0.26 ounces of product, while most traditional Multiples seem to have around 0.50 ounces). I suspect that part of the reason for the narrower tube is the softness of the texture–these seem softer than many of the Multiples in my arsenal. The  Nars Matte Multiples apply with the most pigment when used dry, and soften down to a water-color like stain when used wet.

Now, shall we talk about the colors?  Yes, yes, yes….

Nars Matte Multiples Full18 all colors brighter

 The four colorful shades are Siam, Laos, Exumas and Anguilla.

Nars Matte Multiples Full17 colors lighter

Siam is a highly-pigmented bright, warm red. Of all, Siam packs the most color in the smallest atom of product. Although this can be blended, those with lighter skin who are looking for a more natural effect must use this one wet. If you want a full-on power red, use Siam dry.

Nars Matte Multiples Full02 Siam

One of my very favorite colors is Laos, a go-with-everything soft rose pink. This crowd-pleasing color is perfect for almost any occasion.

Nars Matte Multiples Full05 copy

Exumas leans towards a soft, neutral peach.

Nars Matte Multiples Full03 Exumas

Anguilla is a very light, soft cool pink. This has the softest pigmentation of all of the seven Nars Matte Multiples. Those with very light skin will see this as a blush. Those with darker skin could use this to add a light soft pink to the upper planes of the face.

Nars Matte Multiples Full08 Anguilla

All four of these shades are watched dry:

Nars Matte Multiples Full33

In this picture, below, I blended out all of the same swatches that you see on the image above. As you can see, the three on the left blend out very nicely. Siam’s high pigmentation really shows here–you do not need much of Siam to get a large splash of color.

Nars Matte Multiples Full36

These four colors are much more subtle when applied wet. Here, I’ve applied the same colors with a wet Chanel foundation brush. You can see that Siam retains much of its vibrant color. The others are much more soft, creating an almost watercolor effect.

Nars matte multiples applied wet and blended

The nude shades are Altai, Cappadoce and Vientiane.

Nars Matte Multiples Full15 nudes brighter

 Altai is a soft, light bronze.

Nars Matte Multiples Full10 Altai Altai

Cappadoce is a milk chocolate color, a medium bronze.

Nars Matte Multiples Full11 edt Cappadoce

Vientiane is quite similar to Cappadoce. When sheered out, Vientiane has a slightly more espresso color and a touch of olive.

Nars Matte Multiples Full27 vientiane

Here are Altai, Cappadoce, and Vientiane applied dry:

Nars Matte Multiples Full28 swatches nudes

Here are the same three shades blended out:

Nars Matte Multiples Full30 blended faenudes

Here are the three shades applied with a wet Chanel foundation brush:

Nars matte multiple nudes wet blended

Just for fun, Liz tried out Nars Matte Multiple in Laos together with Tom Ford Summer Fling blotted lightly on lips.

Liz wearing Nars Laos

Here is Liz wearing Exumas:

Nars multiples on liz8

Overall, we recommend NARS Matte Multiples. Wonderful, versatile formula. Thoughtful color choice range. Easily packable, highly workable. Our favorites were Laos, Exumas and Altai.

Nars Matte Multiples are available at Sephora and Nars online (as well as Nars boutiques). These will soon be available everywhere.

Nars provided samples of the matte multiples without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

 

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