Jun 262013
 

Nars Summer Shock

Nars Summer Shock 2013 includes a number of edgy products that are worth a look. The collection is available at Nars online, Nordstrom, Sephora and other Nars sources.

As an artist’s line, I always love to see Nars’ take on the cutting edge to see whether there are a few items that I might use to update my own beauty routine.

Nars summer 201301

The collection contains:

Madness Nail Polish ($19)

Paris Follies Larger Than Life Lip Gloss ($26)

Tolede Satin Lipstick ($24)

Fashion Rebel Duo Eyeshadow ($34)

Euphrate Single Eyeshadow ($24)

Puerto Vallarta Multiple ($39)

Tender Night Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (Limited Edition, $25)

Barrow Street Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner ($24)

Swatches of all products:

Nars summer 201307

Here are some thoughts on the individual products.  First, Nars Madness ($19) is a bright orange cream that is the typical, well-executed Nars formula.

Nars Madness1

 Nars Madness was the brightest of all of my oranges–here, OPI A Roll in the Hague, Nars Lal Mirchi, Deborah Lippman’s Lara’s Theme, and L’Oreal L’Orange:

Nars Summer 2013d1a

Nars Madness has a slightly less glossy finish compared to the rest (although you can add a topcoat if you prefer to do something other than this satiny finish).

Nars Paris Follies Larger Than Life Lipgloss is a sheer strawberry red:

Nars summer 201302

Liz fell in love with this one immediately, as a light, summer, easy everyday color (applied full force, although this can be patted on lightly for a soft pink):

Nars Summer gloss3

Nars Tolede Satin Lipstick ($26) is a sheer pink with a slight touch of warm coppery brown.

Nars Summer 2013e3

Nars Tolede is somewhat sheer. On Liz’s very light lips, the color applies as a soft warm pink. On my darker toned lips, the color is much darker.

Nars summer 201309

Here are some Nars Tolede comparisons with Nars Bilboa, Nars Autumn Leaves, Burberry Rosewood, and Burberry Lip Mist in Copper.

Nars Summer 2013d2

Nars Fashion Rebel is a striking yellow and violet combination.

Nars summer 201304

I have to hand it to Nars–“Fashion Rebel” is well named.

Nars summer 2013a1

On Liz, who quickly created an eye (no base, using Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush):

Nars summer 201310

I suspect with bases and layering, you could get more vibrancy. As applied here, it reminds me of a flower.

Nars summer 201306

Nars Puerto Vallarta is a shimmery soft peach cream.  It’s more subtle than some of the corals and oranges we’ve seen during the year, and would work beautifully for a subtle touch of color. Here is a comparison with Nars Puerto Vallarta (two swipes), Nars South Beach Multiple (two swipes), Nars Sex Appeal powder blush (piled on and it’s still subtle), and Chanel Frivole (2 swipes):

Nars Summer 2013f1

Tender Night Velvet Matt Lip Pencil ($25) (swatched above) is quite sheer–it is nearly invisble on my pigmented lips.

Nars Summer 2013e4

 Nars Barrow Street Larger than Life Longwear Eyeliner ($24) is a light creamy mint.

Nars Summer 2013e1

This is going to look amazing on a cool toned person as a lower waterline color, especially with Euphrates eyeshadow single on the eye and the Puerto Vallarta multiple on the cheek.

Nars Euphrate eyeshadow2a

There is a full review of my new love, the Euprhate eyeshadow single, here.

The collection is available at Nars onlineNordstromSephora and other Nars sources.

Here’s a lovely video with application suggestions:

 

This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup). Nars sent these products to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration for review.

 

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Jun 222013
 

Nars Euphrate eyeshadow2a

Lately, I’ve been reaching for Nars Euphrate ($24) eyeshadow to add subtle visibility to a cool eye. New for Summer 2013, this is a cool off-silver with some complex blue undertones. It’s effect differs significantly depending on how heavily you apply it. I prefer Euphrate applied lightly as a soft wash, or to add subtle drama when integrated into a smoky eye palette (in particular, the Edward Bess Soft Smoke eyeshadow trio). Unlike some silvers, Nars Euprhate does not have any big shiny obvious glittery bits.

Nars Etrusque comparions1

Unlike some silvers in my collection (Shu ME Silver 950 and MAC Elite), Nars Euphrate doesn’t have quite the sharp highlight effect that forces those into the ‘evening only’ category.  Instead, Nars Euphrate is more of a brushed silver effect–glowy rather than reflective–and slightly deeper in tone.  It’s daytime appropriate, but very nice at night with a thicker black liner and more smoke.

Here is Nars Euphrate with Shu ME Silver 950, MAC Elite, MAC Silver Ring (darker), Chanel Starlight (has visible microglitter, which Nars Euprhate does not) and Chanel Silvery (much deeper in tone).

Nars Etrusque comparions2

Overall, Nars Euprate is a color that’s extremely useful and well done. It’s easy to miss–but don’t.  It’s worth a look. This type of color can be beautiful with soft cool pinks (like Nars Undress Me Multiple) and roses.

Available at Nordstrom, Sephora, and Nars, and elsewhere.

Euphrate was sent to Cafe Makeup by Nars without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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May 292013
 

Chanel Moon River1

Chanel has released a collection of six shimmering cream shadow sticks for Summer 2013.  Cool to the touch, most of these are vibrant colors that include a warm gold, an electric blue, and a shimmering jade green. I understand that these look fabulous on dark skin tones. Unfortunately, these are not colors that I can wear. A sales associate at a major retailer didn’t even try to contradict me when I confessed that “these don’t look like my colors.” However, she did convince me that one of them–the shimmering champagne Chanel Moon River ($34)–was necessary.

Chanel Moon River12

Summer calls for simplicity, particularly for day. Chanel Moon River is a twist-up pencil in a chic slim cylinder. This is an easy-to-swipe-on lifesaver that, when paired with a black liner and a brown powder crease color, gives me an effortless eye that looks polished and pretty.

Chanel Moon River16

Applied by itself in very warm weather, a few swipes gives a cool silver-cream sheer wash of shimmer. It’s so glowy and pretty, adding a touch of a moonlight-toned lightness to the lid.  The formula is a little unusual–it’s tenacious, but it creases on me after several hours (no primer, warm weather).  A quick swipe in my crease will allows the creasing to dissipate, and there is still plenty of shadow left for a pretty look.  It feels cool to the touch, and very calming, which is helpful when the thermometer starts pegging.

Chanel Moon River15

You might be surprised to find me recommending Chanel Moon River anyway. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. No one does shimmer sparkle like Chanel. No one. Their imperfect, creasy crazy cream eyeshadow is glowy, elegant, magical and lovely.  It just looks so good, and adds something to my face that no other shimmering eyeshadow does. It makes my eyes and skin look better, even though it isn’t a textbook-perfect formulation.

Burberry Dark Spices

Liz and I discovered that a soft matte brown is key to making Moon River work. Here, we used the second shade from Burberry Mocha quad.  Using a powder in the crease also seems to keep Moon River from creasing.

Chanel Moon River Eye11b

Here’s a look on Liz using Chanel Moon River, Chanel Rouge Coco in Gabrielle, Burberry Light Glow Blush in Hydrangea Pink, and Laura Mercier Matt Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight (review to come soon), over Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation. Overall, this gives her skin and eyes a pretty, elegant glow.

Chanel Moon River look 1

Here are some swatches of Chanel Moon River, next to MAC Powerchrome in Rich Glance (the most tenacious, most crease-proof, and most pigmented), Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Rosegold (runs pink-gold and is a more standard metal cream formulation compared with Chanel’s fairy-ephemeral glowy-sparkle), and Dior Twin Set in Beige Ribbon (messier, more subtle compared to Chanel).

Chanel Moon River swatches10a

Another:

Chanel Moon River swatches12

Aside from the nail polish (review to come) and Moon River, I didn’t get anything else from Chanel Summer 2013. For the first time in my memory, Chanel did not release a bronzer, blush, highlighter or other product. I didn’t fall in love with the lip products.  As I am a tried and true Chanel fan, I feel like I’m missing something. Did you find yourself getting anything?

Chanel Moon River is available at Nordstrom.com and other sources of Chanel makeup.

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May 252013
 

Nars Pierre Hardy Nail2a

Nars Pierre Hardy collaboration includes six sets of nail polish colors ($29 per set) that are pre-coordinated for your tips and toes. These are fun for summer, when sandal season brings our bright-colored nails out in the open. These bottles are marked as containing 0.5 ozs., and are packed in shoe-box styled packaging that includes a little shoe-type dust bag, all of which evoke Hardy’s core reputation as a shoe designer.

Nars Pierre Hardy Nail3a

Taking the shoe theme on step further, each bottle has a theme with each bottle named “left” or “right.” How you choose to wear the colors is, of course, entirely up to you. I love the concept, and it’s as well-executed as any that I’ve seen.

Nars Pierre Hardy Nail4

Here’s an overview of all pairs, each swatched with two coats on my nails. All nail pictures were taken with a top coat (Dior Gel Coat), unless otherwise noted.

Continue reading »

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May 242013
 

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster01

Two weeks ago, I picked up Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster ($51/ 1.3 oz.) in Light, the palest color of the two available. This new product is described by the line as follows:

Guerlain’s new BB Cream is a multi-action skin perfector which offers skin protection with SPF 30, hydration and color correction while evening skin tone with a fresh, lightweight texture. The bio-fusion micro-mesh combination of linen and silk fibers creates a second-skin effect to boost the natural beauty of the skin as hyaluronic acid intensely hydrates for a younger-looking complexion. The benefits are proven with staggering results: over 97% of subjects experienced fresh and beautiful skin all day long.

This release of this product is timely for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. With a respectable SPF 30 sun protection, and all-day wear in warm weather, this could easily become a go-to summer face product.

Guerlain BB cream

The product comes packaged in a easy-to-pack plastic tube topped with a pump to keep things sanitary and leakage-proof.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster06

The pump top and cap:

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster10

This comes out of the tube a bit on the thick side, with a texture similar to a traditional BB creme, and dries to a near-matte finish. This applies with a medium-to-heavy coverage if you apply this with fingers as a traditional foundation. The makeup artist who sold me the product highly recommend that I dab this on with a sponge, then buff the product into the skin with the sponge as well.  This was his polite way of telling me (I think) that the thicker texture needs delicate treatment to prevent the product from becoming mask-like.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster08

I’ve applied this several ways over the past two weeks, and realized how right he was. The product does look much better applied lightly and buffed in.  If I am too careless, the product can “sit” on the skin exposing pores for the first hour or so until it settles in and mixes with my natural oils.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster07

Because of its thicker texture, this mixes well with other products. I’ve “cut” the foundation with MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid Lotion ($31) (limited edition). I absolutely loved the effect. It gave the Guerlain BB creme a bit of warmth and glow, and made the texture more foundation-like.  Because MAC’s Golden Elixir is a light fluid, you can use quite of bit of it and retain the light color of the Guerlain BB creme. Another product that could be used for the same purpose is Guerlain’s Meteorites Light Reflecting Diffusing Primer for summer ($71/limited edition). Back of the tube (click to enlarge):

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster09

Pros:

  • One of the best qualities of this product is the all-day wear.  With or without a primer, Guerlain’s BB cream does not budge. I’ve worn this on very long, warm days without any fading, shift, or disappearing acts.  Truly one of the better “long wearing” foundations.
  • The SPF 30 rating– again, I’m a big fan of sun protection where ever I can find it. I do wear a sunscreen under this foundation, still it’s nice to have a long-wearing foundation that includes it as well.
  • The finish, coverage, and look.  It’s worthy of the price tag. I like the finish better than Guerlain Lingerie de Peau liquid foundation–only the names are similar. This is a completely different formula (not even close). It does look luminous, beautiful, and polished, when buffed into the skin.
  • If you need coverage, get this foundation.  It’s got it.  I’d apply this normally, and then buff it in afterwards with a brush of sponge. If you want less coverage but still want the other features of this product, Guerlain’s BB creme does apply beautifully if dabbed on lightly and buffed.

Cons:

  • Some will find the texture a bit thick (see, the “cutting with primer” trick, above). 
  • Those looking for very light barely-there coverage should keep looking (Urban Decay’s BB Creme, for one).
  • You should buff this in, particularly if applying heavily.

Ingredients for the sunscreen properties:

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster03

The rest of the ingredients (click to enlarge):

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster05

More advice:

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster04

Here are comparisons of the Guerlain Lingerie BB Beauty Booster compared with a few other color tones in my stash, including the Shiseido Urban Environment Tinted UV Protector in #20, Dior Diorsnow BB Creme in Shade 010, Nars Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska, Chanel Perfection Lumiere in BR 32, MAC Pro Longwear in NC15 and Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in #118.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster11

When I swatched Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster in the second available shade (No. 3 Medium), I thought that it was not very dark–I believe it is roughly equivalent to a MAC NC30 but not much deeper. One more, same foundations:

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Beauty Booster12

Overall, Guerlain’s BB Beauty Booster is a winner for me. I liked it far more than Dior’s standard BB Creme offerings and I find it’s a good substitute for the now-unavaible Diorsnow BB Cream. After sampling several other BB creams on this market, this Guerlain is coming out on top. This is a good, no-budge, good SPF product that looks elegant and won’t move during the hot summer months.

Available at Nordstrom, and other Guerlain counters.

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