Showing posts with label Multiple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Multiple. Show all posts

Monday, January 5, 2015

NARS Eye-Opening Act - Beauty Look Book Picks

This month, NARS Cosmetics introduces a limited-edition collection called the Eye-Opening Act featuring Tilda Swinton as the face of the campaign. This collection focuses on creating different looks for the eyes with new products and colors.

All the items in the Limited-Edition Eye-Opening Act Collection are exclusive to Nordstrom through March 15 of this year:
  • Matte Velvet Eyeshadow Stick ($28 each for 0.05 oz / 1.6 g)
    • Flibuste - black
    • Dark Angel - brown
    • Reykjavik - grey
    • Glénan - blue
    • Nunavut - purple
  • Yeux Irresistible Eyeshadow Palette ($48 for 6 shades each 0.03 oz / 1 g)
    • All About Eve Duo Eyeshadow (right side) - Flesh-toned neutral with shimmer
    • Jezebel Eyeshadow - Shimmery sable
    • Thunderball Eyeshadow - Midnight gray
    • Colombo Eyeshadow - Vintage gold shimmer
    • Brousse Duo Eyeshadow (left side) - Sable
    • Coconut Grove Eyeshadow - Deep Brown infused with reflections 
  • Inoubliable Coup d'Oeil Eyeshadow Palette ($48 for 6 shades each 0.03 oz / 1 g)
    • Dalliance Eyeshadow - Dusty lilac stone
    • Pyla Eyeshadow - Smokey hunter green
    • Sidi Bou Saïd - Blackened grape
    • Pandora Duo Eyeshadow (left side) - Sheer white shimmer
    • Luberon - Iridescent sand with rose gold sheen
    • Pandora Duo Eyeshadow (right side) - Matte black
  •  Illuminating Multiple St. Lucia ($39 for 0.5 oz / 14 g)
    • Sheer Rose

I ordered some items sight unseen a little over a week ago and have been putting them to the test. I have my picks to share with you today. First up are the new Matte Velvet Eyeshadow Sticks. These are twist up creamy shadows that come in five colors. I've had really good experiences with the NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliners and Soft Touch Shadow Pencils so I thought these new shadow sticks might be a cross of the two products. I ordered Reykjavik, Flibuste and Dark Angel sight unseen.

The shades I ordered are quite intense and pigmented. I found Reykjavik (grey) and Dark Angel (brown) easy to apply straight on the lids along the lash line. They glided on without tugging. Flibuste (black) was a bit drier in texture and tugged a little bit on my eyes but I was still able to apply on the lash line fairly easily. The Velvet Matte Shadow sticks do dry very quickly and once they set they don't budge. For me, these work best as a liner. I've played with these by using a small smudge brush to apply them (take the brush and swipe the shadow stick, then use the product on the brush to apply to the eyes). Or I've also applied these directly to the eyes and blend with the fingers or a blending brush very quickly.

I like the sleek and simple packaging but given the intensity and pigment of the colors, I feel these act more like eyeliners rather than eyeshadows and wish they came in the Larger than Life Eyeliner form for easier and more precise application. That being said, for any darker cream shadow I usually use a brush to apply (versus fingers) whether it's a pot, twist up stick, chubby stick or compact form.

Here are a few swatched comparisons. I think the NARS Reykjavik grey is a phenomenal grey color. It's my favorite out of the ones I've tested because it's an intense grey without being too light or dark.

Next are the two Eyeshadow Palettes. These are my favorite items from the Eye-Opening Act Collection. Both are super compact and cute. I thought my favorite for sure would be the Yeux Irresistible but I actually really like Inoubliable Coup D'Oeil just as much, especially since it has a lot of new colors (versus repromoted shades).

Yeux Irresistible contains a mix of warm and cool. All the shades are available in other Single Shadows and Eyeshadow Duos with the exception of Colombo which is exclusive to this palette. For me this one has colors that will create a smokey or dramatic eye.

Here are the shades swatched with a heavy hand. If you're familiar with NARS Eyeshadows you are well aware that they have a smooth texture with medium pigment that is easy to build. All the shades here perform just like the individuals. They glide on the eyes nicely and layer well with each other. There is only one shade I've found requires extra work. In my experience with Thunderball (the single), I've found it works best when packed on the eyes with a detail brush as a liner. If you apply with a regular eyeshadow brush all over the lids, you may find it looks uneven and chalky. I found performance to be the same with this palette.
  • All About Eve II is a cool shimmering champagne pink with finely milled shimmer
  • Jezebel is a reddish brown color with subtle shimmer
  • Thunderball is a matte navy teal grey
  • Colombo is a shimmering gold with a very soft texture
  • Brousse I is a shimmering plum
  • Coconut Grove is a satiny dark brown that acts more like a matte on the lids


Inoubliable Coup d'Oeil surprised me. With the exception of Luberon, all the other colors are very much cool-toned which can be hard for me to wear easily. That combined with the fact that I rarely wear green shadows on the eyes made me a bit hesitant to order this. I decided to give it a try and I'm really glad I did. Most of the colors with the exception of Pandora Duo are new and exclusive to this palette. The combination of these colors creates a unique and softly defined eye.

  • Dalliance is a sheer soft matte lilac tan, it goes on smoothly over an eyeshadow base
  • Pyla is a soft olive green with a slight grey tone and satiny shimmer
  • Sidi Bou Said is a dusty purple grape color with a satiny matte texture
  • Pandora I and II is a sheer iridescent cool white shimmer with a matte black
  • Lumeron is a shimmering coppery rose gold champagne

Last but not least is the new St. Lucia Multiple. This is a beautiful soft shimmering rose champagne. On my medium-toned skin it's a highlighter color (I use the NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation and All Day Luminous Powder Foundation in Punjab), but I suspect on fair skin tones it will look more bronzey with more color. This one has a finely milled shimmer with a super smooth texture (no glitter). On my skin it's light enough that I can wear it on the eyes without having to worry about getting that pink-eye look. On the cheeks it adds a very natural but visible glow to the skin. It's really stunning. It's a multi-dimensional color with lots of different colored shimmers in it. It has a rose base with champagne, silver, and pink shimmers that makes it glow. I found it sheer-to-medium in coverage. It's not invisible on the skin, but it is on the sheer side for my particular skin tone. You can build the color naturally.

I'm really pleased with the eyeshadow palettes and new multiple. The colors in the palettes make creating an eye look easy whether you want something for day or night. There is a nice simplicity to the color combinations that will give you a classic look with a modern edge. The small size of the palettes makes these easy to carry with you if you need to travel or carry something with you to take you from day to night if you can't make it back home to get ready. The new St. Lucia Multiple is really quite stunning. It is sheer but gives a really stunning glow. I have mixed feelings about the Velvet Shadow Sticks. If you're looking for a more pigmented version of the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, you will probably like the Velvet Shadow Sticks. I like the packaging design and the rich pigment. I also found lasting power very impressive (they don't budge). I do think they set a bit too quickly for me and due to the intensity of the colors I think they work better as liners than shadows.

All the items in the NARS Eye-Opening Act are limited-edition. They are currently exclusive to Nordstrom counters and online. Have you checked out the collection? Or have anything on your wish list? I'd love to hear your thoughts?

This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. All opinions my own. All products purchased by me. For more information please refer to my disclosures.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

NARS Paloma Contour Blush, Altai and Vientiane Matte Multiples and Contour Brush #21

NARS has been killing it with some amazing new releases this year. New items on my radar focus on contouring: Matte Multiples in Altai and Vientiane ($39 each for 7.5 g), Paloma Contour Blush ($42 for 8.2 g) and the new Contour Brush #21 ($42).

The new Contour Blushes are powder duos with shades that create dimension for the face while giving a luminous finish. Each compact has a deeper shade to create definition and contour and a lighter shade to highlight and blend. There are three color options and I picked the middle option Paloma. The powders are very similar in concept to the MAC Sculpt and Shape powders. I find the NARS slightly more velvety in texture. Paloma has a neutral cream powder with a neutral tan. It's described as having a rose undertone which is nice because it prevents the colors from turning too brown or orange on the skin. I found Paloma to be dark enough to show up on the skin but it is still very natural looking. I'm not a contour pro, but I like to apply contouring/bronzer powders in a 3 shape on each side of the face starting at the temples and down to the jawline. You could use this as a nude blush, however adding a swipe of a brighter blush on top like NARS Torrid really brightens the face after using the Contour Blush first.

Matte Multiples have been all the rage lately. I purchased a handful and have been really impressed with the velvety pigmented texture that is really easy to blend. The Matte Multiples have more pigment than the regular Multiples. The only downside is the new matte multiples are smaller in size than the regular versions and priced the same. Altai is the lightest bronze option which I find perfect for contouring. For those familiar with the older flesh-colored multiples from several years ago, Altai is a close duplicate for Tuomota. Vientiane is a darker warmer bronze. The NARS artist at the Melrose Boutique used this to contour my face in the temples, nose, cheek bone and jaw. The velvety texture of these adheres well to the skin and the formula allows for precise control of pigment. I found these to last on the cheeks quite well (much longer than the regular multiples).

I have swatches and also comparisons, first up swatches of the three new items  I purchased from NARS - Paloma Contour Blush, Altai Matte Multiple and Vientiane Matte Multiple:

Paloma Contour Blush comparisons to MAC Accentuate Shaping Powder, NARS Zen Blush, NARS Douceur Blush, MAC Sculpt Powder, Chanel Les Beiges in 30 and MAC Strada Blush.

Altai and Vientiane Matte Multiple comparisons to other cream contouring products (unfortunately I think all have been discontinued) St Barts Multiple, MAC Naturally Defined Pro Sculpting Cream, MAC Pure Sculpture Pro Sculpting Cream, NARS Tuomota Multiple and NARS Laguna Multiple:

Last item I wanted to feature includes one of the newly re-designed brushes: Contour Brush #21. This is a sturdy basic black angled blush. The bristles are very soft yet dense. It has a medium-sized handle that fits my hand well. It's not too short but not too long. It picks up powder really well and helps to apply it evenly on the face.

Dior Tra La La on the nails

Views of the Contour blush from different angles:

Overall really pleased with these new discoveries from NARS. You can find the items at NARS counters and boutiques now. Online now at Nordstrom (gift with purchase now), Bloomingdales (also has a gift with purchase now), Barneys and

What's your perfect contouring product or tool? Have you checked out the new Contouring Blushes or Matte Multiples? What did you pick up?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

NARS Multiple Comparisons: Luxor, Undress Me and Copacabana

This season, there is a new NARS Multiple this fall called Undress Me ($39). When I saw previews I wondered how it would compare to Luxor, another soft pale pink shimmer. Several bloggers kindly e-mailed me their thoughts after testing. I was warned about the glitter, yet when I saw this at the counter this past week, I could not resist. The official description by NARS for Undress me is a "ballerina pink with silver shimmer." Like others have described, the shimmer is actually micro-glitter. It's not the easiest to pull off with ease for everyday. The texture with the glitter is a bit chunkier and I cannot simply swipe and blend on the cheeks like I do with other NARS Multiples. After experimenting a bit I found Undress Me worked best for me when dabbing and blending lightly with fingers on top of another cream blush. It is glitzier than I am used to, but still something I believe I can wear for going out. I will need to experiment more. I highly recommend checking out the reviews from Scrangie and Product-Girl.

So how does it compare to Luxor and Copacabana? These are my thoughts:

Luxor is paler and sheerer, but gives a more natural luminous glow. The shimmer is very fine making this more glowy rather than frosty/shimmer.

Undress Me is the darkest nude-pink of all three. The base is easy to blend and on my skin it looks very nude with only a slight hint of pink. I personally would love this as a nail polish (reminiscent of Chanel's Pink Satin nail polish from many years ago).

Copacabana is the palest and most frosty on my skin. On my olive skin it gives a sharper contrast since it's so pale. This is a classic shade that's great for highlighting. It also makes a nice eyeshadow base (although I prefer St. Barts since it suits my olive/medium skin better).

Under artificial light: 

 Swatched on bare skin, straight from the tube:

A blurry swatch picture, but here you can see the glitter particles in Undress Me:

A few more comparisons (Le Metier Mystique is similar on me, but more pink and more dewy and also minus the glitter):

I hope these comparisons help. Did you try Undress Me Multiple? Thoughts? How are you using it?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

NARS New Order Highlighting Blush Powder and Laguna Multiple for Summer 2011

NARS has released quite a few items this summer including their Summer 2011 Collection, Portrait of Paradise mini collection, Makeup Your Mind - Express Yourself Book, a number of kits to go with their new book (on and a new I Will Survive Kit (with a new exclusive Deep Throat Lipgloss).

In addition to the two duos, I also picked up New Order Highlighting Blush Powder ($27) and the Laguna Multiple ($39). My thoughts are mixed.

Swatched on bare skin (no base):

First up: New Order Highlighting Blush Powder. I had high hopes for this from the promo photos and descriptions. Negative reviews have been floating around various blogs with detailed descriptions, photos and swatches explaining why this blush is less than fabulous. I should have listened. There were no testers at the counter and when the sales associate opened the compact for me to see, it looked like magical fairy dust. The shimmer did not look chunky. I thought, maybe I can make this work for me, even if it's just on the eyes. Turns out - I can't. There is barely any color to the pink base and the shimmer/glitter while not chunky, is simply too much. It reminds me of the Night Series eyeshadows. The glitter just falls off the face & flies everywhere.

On the eyes, I applied it over a wet base (MAC's Bare Study Paint Pot). It shows more promise on the eyes yet still mainly shows glitter. This blush had the potential to be huge if it was anything like Albatross in finish. For me, thumbs down. I don't want to return it because it's simply stunning in the compact. I keep thinking there will be a way to make this work. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a way.

Next: Laguna Multiple. I used Laguna Bronzer daily through my college years. I've loved the Laguna Illuminator. Of course I had to try the Multiple Version which I find very close to the powder. The shimmer is very noticeable although not as shimmery as South Beach or St. Barts. It blends out a bit more so you get a visible tan, but not frost.

Compared, L to R: St Barts Multiple, Laguna Multiple, Laguna Illuminator, Laguna Bronzer Powder (swatched heavy over moisturizer), South Beach Multiple

New Order and Laguna:

Have you tried either of these? Thoughts? Have you been able to make New Order work for you, if so, please share!

Monday, February 28, 2011

NARS Illuminators Copacabana, Laguna & the Original O

The new illuminators in Copacabana, Laguna and Super Orgasm arrived online at last week and I decided to order Copacabana and Laguna to compare them to the original release of Orgasm from last February (see my post The Neverending NARS "O" Series). I was also anxious to see how these compared to the other NARS products with similar names, mainly the Copacabana Multiple & Laguna Bronzing Powder.

I have not tried the newly packaged Orgasm to compare to the new one, but I can provide some initial thoughts on the original O versus the two new shades I bought in Laguna and Copacabana. Both the old and new versions are similar in product amount and texture. Both retail for $29 USD. What are the differences? First I'll compare the difference in packaging:
  • Original packaging is skinnier, taller and has slightly less product inside
  • New packaging is shorter, wider and comes with a flip open lid

Another difference I noticed is that the first version of Orgasm Illuminator is sheerer in finish compared to the new Copacabana and Laguna. Here is Copacabana swatched close up on the skin. The left is heavily swatched, the right is sheered out. Perhaps it's just contrasted with my skintone because Copacabana is more white, while Orgasm is more peach.

NARS Laguna Illuminator is a warmer almost orangey bronze with gold micro glitter. It also shows up more visible on my face in a warm golden bronze shade.

NARS Illuminators old and new in Orgasm, Copacabana & Laguna all swatched together:

Heavily swatched and sheered out:

Comparisons: Edward Bess Sunlight, NARS Copacabana Multiple, NARS Copacabana Illuminator

NARS Laguna Bronzer, NARS South Beach Multiple, NARS Laguna Illuminator

The comparisons swatched plus some thoughts. The Copacabana Illuminator is whiter and brighter than the Multiple version. The Illuminator is more contrasted with my skin in color but less sparkly and more glowy. I think Edward Bess's Sunlight Cream Highlighter works better for a natural glow on my skin.

The NARS Laguna Illuminator is warmer and almost orangey next to the original Laguna Bronzing Powder but blends out beautifully on the skin. I swatched it next to South Beach Multiple for your reference.

I haven't had time to experiment with the new Illuminators much, but so far I've used Laguna Illuminator on the cheeks by itself and then also layered under a bright pink blush. It works just like a regular liquid highlighter but dries quickly so I recommend blending quickly. I tested Copacabana Illuminator on the eyes near the browbone to highlight and it gave a lovely glow without the greasy feeling that Multiples can sometimes have when applied on the eyes. So far after a few uses, no irritations or break outs. I find them to be relatively long lasting, but natural in finish.

I assume you can mix these with foundation for a glow but haven't tried it with Laguna or Copacabana. Overall thumbs up - I wasn't too keen on the gold glitter in Laguna at first but when blended with a foundation brush the result is subtle enough.

A special thanks to Karlasugar who posted an awesome online discount code for us last week!

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