Nars Gaiety Blush

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Jan 152012
 

 Nars Gaiety blush ($27) is a cool candy pink matte blush with a touch of orchid.  Nars description says “joyful exuberance”–Cafe Makeup says “love.”

Of course, Gaiety is going to work beautifully for cool skin tones. Although I have warm-toned skin, I’ve long loved the look of a cool pink blush. It really makes me look healthy and glowing. The contrast is not jarring, instead, it adds a soft glow of color that adds a dash of interest. Yes, I love my reds, peaches, and bronzes, but candy pink awakens my skin like nothing else.

Lately, Nars blushes seem to have a more consistent formula. Some of the older designs (Mounia, now discontinued) required careful control with a stippling brush.  Perhaps it’s just me, but lately I can use a standard blush brush and average pressure to get a good glow every time. I put Gaiety in this same line–I love the formula, quality and sleek packaging of Nars blushes, and that there is also a vibrant pink-pink that I can apply without special care. Really, this one’s easy.

Of all my cool candy-pink blushes (oh, I can hear the comments already! Yes, I have a few), Gaiety is closest to the long-ago limited edition Chanel Turbulent, but does not require the special care and handling that Turbulent does (for more about this, see this review–really, it’s nuclear).  Unlike the vibrant, pearly Chanel Tubulent, Nars Gaiety can be applied normally and has a matte finish.

You can see the tonality difference here, with Nars Gaiety and Chanel Turbulent being the closest friends. Bobbi Brown’s French Pink (in the old round pot) is far less bright and clear.  Chanel Rose Tourbillon has a touch of rose red, but Nars Gaiety leans more blue/orchid.

Another comparison–here is MAC Full Fuchsia (reviewed here) which is an amazing color, but far more blue and fuchsia compared to Nars Gaiety.  Chanel Pink Explosion (reviewed here) is a soft cool pink, but not as cool as Gaiety. Finally, Chanel Tweed Fuchsia (reviewed here) has much more red and is deeper in tone.

I swatched some of the closest shades. As you can see, Chanel Turbulent was the closest. Keep in mind that Turbulent is applied very lightly here, because I tried to keep the tonality the same.  Turbulent shows as a more pearly texture, compared to the matte Nars Gaiety.  You can see that Chanel Rose Tourbillon is slightly more red and has a pearl texture.  MAC Full Fuchsia is a much deeper violet tone.

Same blushes:

Overall, one of my favorite pieces from this Nars collection. I’ve been worried that I might run out of Chanel Turbulent, and regretted the time investment needed to make it work. Nars Gaiety is a far more workable formula, in more sleek and packable packaging. I love the color, the forumla and the final effect. Again, my apologies that Liz isn’t here to model–she’s working quite hard and I hope that sometime soon her schedule will allow her to return.

Nars Gaiety was sent to Cafe Makeup for review without charge.

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Jan 142012
 

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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Jan 122012
 

Zoya Spring 2012 True Collection

Zoya is just set to release the True Collection for Spring 2012, a wardrobe of soft on-trend colors with enough of an edge to keep things interesting. I really like Zoya’s product and have for years.  Their polish is free of toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (phthalates) and camphor. Zoya polishes has a reasonable price point– $8 per bottle, really good service, lovely colors and occasional deals.  As a whole, their polishes have always performed extremely well for me. They have 300 colors, and some are absolute standouts.

The True collection has two purple-violets.  Lotus is soft with shimmer, and is infused with a greyed down tone. It’s a pretty transition color to take you from the cooler winter months into Spring.

 Lotus on nails:

Tru is a more dramatic violet–the red tones and high shimmer give Tru more drama:

  Tru on nails:

One of my favorites is Skylar, a soft shimmering wedgewood blue with little glass fleck.

Skylar’s cool blue looks nice with my warm skin tone and really came alive in the light:

Another of Skylar:

Another one of my favorites is a soft, sage green called Bevin. This doesn’t have the fleck of Skylar, but there is a soft pearly sheen that is very soft and pretty.

Here’s Bevin on nails:

Zoya’s True collection includes two light nudes–one cool and one warm.  Cho is a pearly cafe au lait color that has a touch of warmth:

Cho on nails:

Zoya Cho

Farrah is very similar, but slightly cooler and a touch deeper in tone:

Here is Farrah on nails:

The formula on these were extremely good.  The first four–Lotus, Tru, Skylar and Bevin go on smoothly and beautifully in two coats. As might be expected from a light opaque, Cho and Farah took a little more care–I had to practice on one nail to make sure I could apply it evenly.  Also, colors like Cho and Farah can be invaluable. They’re light neutrals that give a gorgeous, sophisticated nude look. Sometimes, colors like this can make my skin tone look a little redder but that’s the nature of this type of color.

Ultimately, these went on without a problem with two coats. These were far easier to work with than some of the light opaques that I’ve tried (cough–Chanel Mimosa–excuse me!). All pictures are without a topcoat.

Overall, I’d recommend the colors from this collection. Zoya makes a fun, sophisticated and highly wearable collection. Lovely colors, lovely price point. I understand that these will be released very soon.

Zoya’s True collection were sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

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Jan 112012
 

Nars Spring 2012

Here’s an upcoming preview of Nars Spring 2012, a collection that is a study in contrasts: bold color underscored by sophisticated shimmer. For eyes, either tones of lavender and pink or bronze accented with navy on eyes. Cheeks are flushed with candy pink. Lips gleam in topaz or pop with berry. Metallic violet nails add a finishing touch to a collection that’s bright, strong and iconic. Here are the details of the complete Spring 2012 Nars collection.

Douce France Trio Eyeshadow ($45), with three gorgeous powder eyeshadow variations on pink—a cool light pink highlighter, a medium rose-petal pink and a deep rose with a touch of brick:
A minky silver-lavender single powder eyeshadow Lhasa ($23), named for the Tibetan region that hosts many Buddhist palaces:
An powder eyeshadow duo, Paramarimbo ($33) with a soft metallic green-brass and green-bronze tones. These are both shimmery textures with a rich complexity.

Gaeity Blush ($27), which I’ve been waiting for with my breath held. This is an extremely cool-toned pink:

Mexican Rose Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24). I love this formula. This is a red/hot pink combination made to make your lips look gorgeous and glossy:

Valpraiso Pure Matte Lipstick ($25), an deep rose with a touch of coolness:

A shimmering gold-topaz deep nude in Bilbao Lipstick ($24)

Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24)

Diamond Life nail polish ($17) (not yet arrived)

In person, everything so far looks gorgeous. I’ll be providing you with updates and reviews on these products in the coming days.

These products were provided to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration and review.

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Jan 042012
 

Dior Spring 2012 brings Dior Vernis Garden Party nail polish in Waterily ($23 #504). This is a soft green with microshimmer that reminds me of some of Chanel’s more unique polish shades. As always, the bottle has that wonderful Dior brush that–although it seems to have a mind of its own–certainly knows what it’s doing.

The polish is labeled as “scented.” When the polish is wet the scent is that of….nail polish. However, when it dries down there is a faint, pleasant floral scent that evokes roses and perhaps lilies as well. To me, the scent is not strong and the sillage does not travel far. I catch the scent as I take a sip of water or use the phone, but I cannot when my hands are on my keyboard. Application was smooth and opaque in two coats.

Here, I’ve swatched two (2) coats of Dior Waterlily together with three (3) coats each of Chanel Jade, Chanel Nouvelle Vague and Chanel Riva. No topcoat or base.

Dior’s formula is more pigmented than any of the Chanel.  Although it is close to Chanel Jade in color, Dior Waterlily is deeper in tone and slightly less yellow. Both have very subtle microshimmer.  If you like a high-shine look, you’ll want to add a topcoat–on its own, the polish dries down to a satiny texture. One more.

I don’t know whether Dior Waterlily will sell out as fast as Chanel Jade did, but the Dior will sell out. It’s an unusual, high-fashion color that’s going to look interesting and trendy during Spring. It’s delicate and pretty in two coats, and it unquestionably makes a statement. I love the color, and think it will look beautiful with creams, peaches and pinks as the weather warms.

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