Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NARS Tech Fashion Lipgloss Coffret


NARS has so many beautiful holiday gift sets this year. So far I've managed to limit myself to one. I ordered the NARS Tech Fashion Lipgloss Coffret ($39 for a set of 4 mini glosses, 0.12 oz/4 ml each). I'm a major sucker for minis and the lip gloss set was too cute to pass up. The colors don't have names but are labeled with numbers:

  • Shade I is a super sheer sparkling light peach with silver flecks
  • Shade II is a mix of rose and bronze with gold and silver sparkles, also very sheer
  • Shade III is a cool plum orchid with silver flecks
  • Shade IV is a soft red with a hint of shimmer


Left to right, I, II, III, IV

Shade I and II are both very sheer but still show up on my lips. I think these will be better layered over lipstick if you want a more visible gloss look. Shade III and IV are both medium in pigment. All the colors have some degree of shimmer, I and II are more shimmery, while III and IV are not quite as sparkly on the lips. As far as I can tell there is no detectable scent or fragrance in the glosses. The finish is ultra glossy but not too wet looking. Lasting power is average. They adhere well to the lips but won't last the entire day without touchups.

These come with an angled sponge tip applicator.


Swatches are shown below applied on the arm with a couple swipes. Lip swatches are also straight from the tube, applied with the sponge tip:







A few comparisons to other colors for reference:


Set 1 with Shade I and II:

Bite Beauty Mix n Mingle Lush Fruit Lip Gloss in Papaya
MAC Cremesheen Glass in Romantic Overture
NARS Lip Gloss in Sweet Revenge
Surratt Lip Lustre in Ensoleille
NARS Lip Gloss in Supervixen (review + swatched)


Set 2 with Shade III and IV:

Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Violet and Orchid
Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss Distinction and Seduction (lip swatched)
Burberry Lip Gloss in Oxblood


I have more than enough gloss to last 20 lifetimes but I think this one is a winner. It has a good range of colors to suit a number of needs. The small sizes means I will be able to use them up easily within the next few months and not have to worry about them going bad. I'm a sucker for minis and I'm thrilled with this one. I love each and every shade in the collection which is rare for me when it comes to sets. It is limited-edition for holiday so once the sets sell out, they're gone.

I give it a huge thumbs up. If you've been eyeing this one, you might want to hold off until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to check for deals. I'll have a roundup in a couple days on deals posted on the blog.

The NARS Tech Fashion Lipgloss Coffret retails for $39. It's available at Nordstrom, Barneys, Neiman Marcus and Narscosmetics.com.





Did you get any of the NARS holiday sets? Any of them worth splurging for? They look so tempting and I'm trying to resist.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dior Vernis in Lili #121


Dior released four new Vernis Nail Polishes in Lili, Star, Diorette and Spring ($25 each) with the launch of the Rouge Dior Baumes. I bought all four shades and have Lili #121 to share with you today. Lili is a cream beige nude with a very slight hint of pink undertone. Many nudes are sheer or have a difficult-to-work-with formula requiring three coats. Lili is one of the most pigmented nudes I've ever swatched before. The first coat will look a bit uneven, but it levels out to the perfect nude with the second coat. As Mostly Sunny noted in her review, finding a flattering nude polish can be challenging. My recent swatch testing with Chanel Intention was a fail for my skin tone. Dior Lili on the other hand is a different shade of nude and naturally flattering. It's not too pale, not too dark and has enough pink in it to prevent it from looking yellowish.


Swatches below with two coats, this week I used Deborah Lippman Rehydrating Base Coat and Chanel Top Coat in conjunction with Dior Lili (my nail care favorites rounded up here).



My order of nail wheels finally arrived (yay!) so I have some comparisons for you, both sets are the same colors, just different lighting.


Shown on the wheel:

Christian Louboutin Nudes in Sweet Charity and Just Nothing
Marc Jacobs Runway Shades in 9 to 5 and Klute (reviewed here)
Burberry Nude Pink (swatched on hand here)
OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons
Chanel Django (discontinued)
Tom Ford Sugar Dune (discontinued, review)
Dior Charnelle (discontinued, review)
Dior Yacht (review here)
Dior Incognito (swatched here)


Even though I have a lot of nudes, I'm really happy with Dior Lili. I would say it's pretty close to Burberry Nude Pink, the Dior is just a bit lighter in color and easier to apply. If you already own Charnelle, you might find it looks identical on the hands although Charnelle is sheerer in formula.

If you've seen my previous reviews on Dior nail polishes, you know I'm a huge fan of the formula for smooth application and high shine finishes. Lili #121 is no exception. If you're in the market for a pale nude that isn't too pale or beige, this one is worth looking into.


You can find Dior Lili at all Dior counters and beauty boutiques. It is listed as a limited-edition color but it looks like you can still find it easily now. Available online at Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Saks and Dior.com.

What's your perfect nude nail polish?

Monday, November 24, 2014

NudeStix #GILTYLOVE Holiday Kit


NudeStix has released a few holiday sets this year, today I have the #GILTYLOVE Holiday Kit ($49 for 3 x 1.41g/0.05 oz) to share with you. It has three Magnetic Eye Colors in Gilt, Twilight and Night along with a compact sharpener, all cased in a limited-edition tin. You can also purchase each of the shades in the set individually for $24 each at all NudeStix retailers, but the trio set is currently exclusive to Sephora.

The three shades in the set:

  • Gilt - a warm shimmery golden beige
  • Twilight - a silvery taupe bronze mix
  • Night - a super intense black


I reviewed the couple of the Eye Pencils back in July. The Magnetic Eye Color pencils surpass the Eye Pencils in pigment and lasting power. They are longwearing eye color pencils with a creamy texture that glide on lids easily. There are different colors to shade, highlight or define and once the pencils set, they will not budge. These have a nice creamy texture that blends nicely with the fingers. For the lighter shades Gilt and Twilight, I like to apply straight onto the lid from the pencil and then either smudge or blend with the fingers. The darker shade Night is best when smudged with a soft brush for me (I like MAC #239).

According to NudeStix, the Magnetic Eye Color pencils are ideal for oily lids. The formula is waterproof and after testing these, I can say that they did last all day for me and did not budge at all, not even Night.

Close ups and some swatches:





There are a number of creamy pencil shadow sticks I've reviewed from different brands. I'm really impressed with the long-wear quality many brands have been releasing. Formulas are improving and lasting power is getting better. The NudeStix Magnetic Eye Colors are in between Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks and Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pops. I would say the Laura Mercier is more creamy in texture with softer shimmer and slightly softer pigment. Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pops are more glitzy and shimmery but have pigment that is just as intense as the Nudestix.

I have three sets of color comparisons:


NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Hollywood Land
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Golden (discontinued)
_________________


Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow in Moonriver (discontinued)
By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Ombre Mercure #15
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Moonlight (review + eye look)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect (from Naked2)
_________________


Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Tuxedo (on the eyes here)
Chanel Stylo Yeux in Black Shimmer
_________________

The colors in the NudeStix #GILTYLOVE Holiday Kit are classics that are easy to combine for a no-fuss look. I'm really impressed with the lasting power and pigment. Some creamy pencils disappear on the lids once you blend them out, but the NudeStix doesn't disappear on my lids. Given that these are classic neutrals, you may find duplicates or colors with similar effects. You may want to shop your stash, but I give these a thumbs up.

The NudeStix #GILTYLOVE Holiday Kit is limited-edition and exclusive to Sephora this year, if you miss out or don't like all the colors, you can buy the shades individually at Sephora and Space NK (they are part of the permanent line).

The NudeStix products were provided free of charge for review consideration.

Lumira Paradisium Collection


Lumira Paradisium Collection c/o, Scarf by Nordstrom, Bracelet by Tiffany T, Clutch by Truffle c/o, Chanel Card Case

Australian-based home fragrance candle designer Lumira has just released new fragrance and body items in their Paradisium Collection. There is an Eau de Parfum ($90 AUD, 50ml/1.7fl.oz), Candle ($40 AUD, 180g/6.3oz) and Hand & Body Cream ($30 AUD, 100ml/3.3oz), each are exquisite and unlike anything else I've ever tried. Lumira kindly sent me samples to try and I'm head over heels in love with the Eau de Parfum. Description from Lumira:

"The Paradisium signature eau de parfum opens with the freshness of Bergamot, Grapefruit and Lemon, developing into a luscious heart of Fig Nectar and Guava before settling with Vetiver, Sea Moss and Cedarwood. Lumira’s Paradisium Collection pays homage to Earth’s natural abundance, seducing with notes of luscious green fig intertwined with fresh bergamot to produce a light, sophisticated fragrance for man or woman, evocative of a verdant Mediterranean nirvana."


The Eau de Parfum is a wonderful refreshing and bright scent. The mix of all the notes is really incredible. There is a hint of fig which I adore in candles and shower gels but have never been able to wear in a perfume until now. I've found scents like fig to be good for the home, but not wearable. Lumira Paradisum is perfect. The mix of cedar wood and vetiver helps tone down the sweetness and gives it depth and edge. There are bursts of citrus with the Grapefruit and Lemon which make this a fresh lightweight scent. It's not too youthful nor is it too mature, it's right in between and although I do believe picking a fragrance is an extremely personal depending on tastes, mood, age, gender, Lumira Paradisium seems to be a fragrance that I feel can suit many. 


I would have never thought the mix of Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Fig Nectar, Guava, Vetiver, Sea Moss and Cedarwood would be a good mix. It seems extremely complex and complicated with so many different notes combined. Paradisium is a complex scent but it's blended perfectly in a way that it's not overpowering at all. The strength of the Eau de Parfum is really really good, lasting all day and into the evening.

I found the scent of the Body Cream and Candle to be identical to the Eau de Parfum. The Hand and Body Cream is luxuriously moisturizing but not greasy. It has Shea Butter and Macadamia Seed Oil. It makes the hands feel very smooth. I haven't used it on the body yet, mainly because it's so incredible on the hands and I want to make it last.


The Paradisium Candle comes cased in a matte ebony black jar with a gold interior. It's quite luxe. I found it took about 10 minutes of burn time for the initial burn before I could smell the scent fill the room. There's something classic about the black jar and subtle glossy embossed lettering that makes this very elegant looking. It makes a good decorative accent to the home without being distracting.


Paradisium is more of a spring fragrance for me, but I still think it's perfect for right now. In Southern California we are wondering if winter will ever arrive. Our summer came very late, it seems winter is stalling here as well - not that I'm complaining. All three items in the new collection are winners. I hope they are not limited-edition because I know I will be burning through the candle very soon and need to replenish. 


You can find Lumira products on atelierlumira.com (they do ship internationally). Additional stockiest listed here. Have you tried Lumira before? If so, what are your favorites?

Many thanks to Lumira for sending me samples for review.
 

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