Showing posts with label NARS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NARS. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Travel and Trial-Sized Beauty


Here is my first gift guide for the holiday season. This time of year always brings about tempting value sets and travel-sized beauty gifts. I think these travel-friendly sets are a great way to try new skincare without committing to the full-sized options. For color, if you're one of the types that takes forever to use up an eyeliner or lipstick, minis are the way to go and get more options for the same price. Here are some gifts this year that I think look like great samplers.

2 Sephora Favorites Glitz and Glam Party Essentials Sampler
6 Diptyque 5 Piece Mini Candle Set
8 Fresh Sugar Cravings Kissing Trio 
12 Marc Jacobs Beauty The Sky-liner 7 Piece Mini Set
13 NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette

Have you bought any good sets this year yet? I'd love to hear what you've been eyeing and any loves so far. I'm always up for recommendations on what is the latest and greatest on the market for the holiday sets and gifts.

Some more gift set ideas below:



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Loving Right Now

iPhone case by Gray Malin, bracelet by Celine

November is flying by faster than I expected it to. The holiday season is just starting and I'm not prepared at all. This weekend I'll try to start making to-do and shopping lists to try and get an early start. I think most of my holiday shopping will be done online this year to avoid crowds and lines. Our new place is slowly coming together as we get all of our furniture delivered piece by piece. Our coffee table and some bookshelves finally arrived and I'm excited to start decorating and adding personal touches.

Right now, I'm loving a mix of new and old beauty items.


I'm all about flat zip pouches, I've been loving this Black Croc-Print Small Clutch (1) by Whistles, (similar here, white here) which is the perfect size for a makeup bag or a clutch. This newly released all-black Privacy Clutch by Truffle is also calling my name.

For cheeks, I've been using soft bronzers non-stop. The Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder (2) has been raved about for quite some time. Several of my blogger friends told me to get it. I listened, bought it, and I love it. I've been using Bronze 02.

Pinks have been my go-to lately for lipgloss. I've been loving the Dior Pink Excess (3) for holiday and Laura Mercier Pink Pop Lip Glacé (also in this mini 5 piece set) (4).

On the eyes, I've been using the Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Set (5) almost daily. Amethyst is a really pretty soft purple mauve that goes with virtually every lip/cheek look I've tried. If you gift yourself one beauty item this season, I would highly recommend this set (unless you already own all the colors).

Charlotte Tilbury's Powder and Sculpt Brush (6) is a tool I keep reaching for. It's perfectly shaped for contouring and highlighting. The bristles pick up just the right amount of product. (Review here.)

NARS Audacious Lipsticks (7) are still a huge hit with me (swatches of my picks here). Every color I've tried is amazing. I've been loving Anita a neutral pink.

Lumira released a new collection called Paradisium. The Eau de Parfum (8) is to die for. It has Bergamot, Grapefruit and Lemon, Fig Nectar and Guava, Vetiver, Sea Moss and Cedarwood. It's the most unique scent I've smelled. It's refreshing and uplifting and soothing. The closest thing I can think of is Jo Malone's Wood Sage and Sea Salt which I liked but wore during super humid weather where it turned on my skin (in a bad way) and did not work well with my body chemistry. It was too earthy and after having it turn once, I can't wear it anymore (thank goodness I got a sample to test before splurging). The Lumira Paradisium is a better alternative, it has enough sweetness in it to keep it from turning on the skin. the lasting power is phenomenal. A dedicated post on the line to come soon.

My Tatcha love continues. I've been loving the Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm (9) and Indigo Hand Cream Mini (10). Be sure to check out the holiday sets, these two products are included in a number of beautiful gift options this year.

Burberry's Effortless Liquid Liner (11) is a beautiful classic liner. I've been experimenting more with this liquid liner and although it still takes me some time to get a good even line, practice is improving my liner skills.

I know it's fall/winter season now where darker scents are in season, but I'm still loving the florals like Diptyque Geranium Odorata (12). It's a brightening scent that I find refreshing. (Original review here.)

I hope your week is going well so far! What have you been loving this week?

The Lumira EDP, Diptyque Geranium Odorata and Burberry Liner were provided for review consideration. Rest purchased by me.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sephora Haul for the VIB Rouge 20% Off Sale


Several have e-mailed me asking what I bought from Sephora for the VIB Rouge/VIB 20% off sale which ends tonight at 11:59 PM PST online. I went in store last week with a list of items I wanted to restock. I should have ordered items online because I tend to get easily distracted in store, but it is always fun to play with the items and see them in person.

What I picked up:
  1. Shiseido Eyelash Curler - I used this many years ago, the design appears different from I remember it to be, but I'm not 100% sure if it has changed. I've heard good things about this one (the Chanel artists I buy from say they buy the Shiseido ones). I've decided to give it another try.
  2. Formula X Delete Nail Polish Remover - I've gone through another bottle and needed to replenish. (Review here.)
  3. Phytojoba Shampoo - this is my all time favorite shampoo, I haven't repurchased in a while, but the sale seemed like a perfect time to buy a replacement.
  4. Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment - this is a replenishment purchase. One jar has lasted me since the August summer surge event and I really like this mask for clearing up the skin. I find it super effective at drawing out dirt. It is gentle enough for my sensitive skin. I bought it back in August because a friend recommended it as the best one out of all the Glamglow masks, I haven't tried them all yet, but I really like it.
  5. Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment - this is something I tried 2-3 years ago. I received a sample but the tingle sensation really freaked me out so I removed it immediately and ended up giving my jar to a friend. I received a small sample packet that I tried again recently and found the tingly (slightly burning) sensation disappeared after 30 seconds and didn't cause a bad reaction like I had expected. The skin was left with a tighter feel and felt refreshed. I will have to do more testing to compare the two masks, but this one works well for me too.
  6. Bite Beauty Mix N'Mingle Lip Mini Lush Fruit Lip Gloss in Papaya - this was an impulse buy I picked up while waiting in the checkout line. It was too cute to pass up. I contemplated the larger Mix N'Mingle Set too but decided to wait.
  7. Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop in Volver and Au Revoir - both are cream shadow sticks that come in a twist up tube. Volver is a sparkling peach and Au Revoir is a shimmering taupe. Both are very sparkly but looked really really pretty. I've played with these numerous times at Sephora but never caved. I'll have a review after testing these over the next few days.
  8. Urban Decay Naked Basics - After I did a feature on my Urban Decay favorites, many of my readers insisted that I check out the Urban Decay Naked Basics. I decided to give this a try because of so many raves. I'll have a report as soon as I have it tested. It does look promising.
  9. NARS Tasmania Lip Gloss - This was an "oops" buy. I already own this color but did not remember that I did. (Swatched here.) Not a problem though, I have a friend I know who will take this off my hands happily.
  10. Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Vertigo - This is a gift for my mom. She likes brighter colors, this is a mix of plum and fuchsia and pink which is right up her alley.
  11. Urban Decay Urban Obsessions 500 Point Perk - this palette has four shadows in Skimp, Bust, Guilt and Oil Slick with a mini Zero Pencil. I believe it was available online as well to redeem points for but I just checked and didn't see it.




What I also thought about but didn't pick up: Beautyblenders, NARS Virtual Domination palette and  a couple more of the Dior Rouge Baumes (first round of picks and swatches here). I have them sitting in my virtual shopping cart online, I'm going to probably pass and think about them some more.

If you're shopping online, the sale ends tonight at 11:59 PM PST, use code GIFTROUGE at checkout if you're VIB Rouge or code GIFTVIB if you're a VIB.

Did you buy anything during the Sephora sale? I'd love to hear about your picks!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Concealers In Rotation


For years I've stuck to concealers from two lines: Clé de Peau Beauté and By Terry. I've never had much need for concealer but my skin changed this year. These slightly dark circles under the eyes started to appear and I've needed a lot more coverage in certain areas of the face with scars and blemishes. Both of my go-to concealers still work really well for me, but I've been experimenting more with other brands and products. I thought I'd share a round up of the ones I have in rotation right now plus what tools I use.


My personal preference for blending concealer is for rounded brushes made of synthetic materials. My most reached-for tools include the MAC 252, Chanel Concealer Brush #10 and Trish McEvoy Medium Laydown #40. All of them are about the same medium size which works best for me. I've tried smaller detail brushes during makeovers and while they are good for precise application, I usually find larger brushes for cream products work better for me. They blend concealers well and also double as cream shadow brushes. Some days I will use fingers or a sponge, but my preference these days is for the brush.

Concealers I use right now:

  • Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Almond is my current skin tone match. The Cle de Peau Beaute concealer is the best stick formula I've tried. It covers the skin very well but looks natural. It works well under the eye area when dabbed on with fingers to warm up the product and doesn't look cakey. The color selection is limited but they recently added two shades (all shades swatched here). This is one of the best I've tried, it's pricey but performs well and a tube will last you a very long time.
  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard and Ginger are new discoveries for me. I've had several of the older formulas in gift with purchase compacts in the past but wasn't impressed with the formula so I never thought to try the new formulas. A NARS artist recommended I try this during a makeover when I asked for a foundation with full coverage. She suggested the Radiant Creamy Concealer and it really does cover incredibly well and blends out to have a soft velvety looking finish. It comes with a sponge wand tip. I use both Custard and Ginger and mix them depending on what area of the face I am trying to cover. I've found this to live up to all the hype.
  • Edward Bess Extreme Cover Cream is a full coverage creamy concealer in a pot. This one is definitely the most creamy that I've tried. It's also the most pigmented but blends nicely to cover areas completely. Since the pigment is really intense, I recommend using only a tiny bit, otherwise it will be too heavy. The container is tiny but the formula packs a punch so it will last a very long time. All the shades swatched and review here. The color selection is a bit limited, but Medium is a good match for me. This one has a slightly dewy finish but does not get oily as the day wears on.
  • By Terry Touche Veloutée in Beige #3 is a highlighting concealer in a click pen type of packaging. This one gives a brightening effect even though the color Beige matches my skin tone exactly. I like it best under the eyes to cover dark circles and brighten the skin. It's also good on days you have a bit of redness around the nose. This one has a smooth medium coverage and dries to a semi-matte but natural finish.


Swatches of the shades below (with Clé de Peau Beige for reference):


If you ask me to recommend just one concealer, I would say that I think picking a good one depends on where you want to use it and what you want it to do: eyes, spots, cover completely or brighten? For me, a concealer for under the eye won't necessarily be suitable for spot coverage along the jawline or cheeks.

For under the under eye area, I look for colors that either brighten or have a bit of warmth. Many artists want to go lighter than my skintone to "brighten" the area, but it really just ends up looking ashy if it's too pale. If they insist on using one that is 1-2x lighter than I think they should I usually ask them to try 2 shades on me just to make sure I can see it for myself. I think all the concealers I listed above will work for under the eyes because they have a good blendable formula, but my favorite for under the eye area is the By Terry Touche Veloutee. It has a slightly sheerer coverage compared to the others which prevents the area from looking flat.

For cover up on spots or acne scars, the Edward Bess will give the most opaque coverage followed by the NARS and then Clé de Peau Beauté.

My top two picks include the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and Clé de Peau Beauté, but there are a few downsides. If you test the NARS concealers at the counter or store, you may find it difficult to find an exact match and might be in between colors (like myself). When it comes to foundations, powders and concealers I want to find an exact match, but it's not always possible. There are times I have to buy two shades to mix which can get pricey. If I can't find a almost exact match for concealer, I will skip it all together, but I've made an exception for the NARS. I found the price of the NARS reasonable and the formula is really amazing so I did not mind splurging on 2 tubes to mix colors. The downside for the Clé de Peau Beauté is also a limited color selection and price of $70 is very steep. That being said, I do think if you can find a good match I do think formula is well worth the price. A tube should last well over a year even if you use it on a regular basis as a spot cover. 





I hope you found this round up helpful! Do you have a favorite concealer?

Friday, November 7, 2014

NARS Laced With Edge Lip Gloss for Holiday 2014 | Soleil D'Orient, Corsica and Burning Love


For the holiday Laced With Edge Collection, NARS has three new Lip Glosses in Soleil D'Orient, Corsica and Burning Love ($26 each for .18 oz/6 ml, limited-edition). All the items in the holiday collection have a unique twist on the packaging design. Each item adapts architectural designer Chris Kabatsi’s digitally-rendered Nebula print with a black gloss embossing. It represents a modern take on lace.

The three glosses have a perfect holiday vibe.

  • Soleil D'Orient is a sparkling cool-pink champagne
  • Corsica is a warm pink raspberry with a slight hint of shimmer
  • Burning Love is a deep but bright ruby cream, it also has a slight hint of shimmer



The glosses come with a beveled sponge tip applicator which is sturdy but still soft to the touch. The angled tip allows for precise application. Views of the top, side and base:


While these glosses might seem familiar in color to many other shades, there is a multi-dimensional feel to each color. The swatches below will show how the base shifts depending on light. Soleil D'Orient has cool-toned shimmer mixed in with warmer champagne sparkles which prevents it from looking like white frost on the lips. Corsica is both warm and cool, it's a pigmented pink with visible color but still soft. Burning Love is both deep and bright. There is a slight hint of sparkle in it but on the lips it's mostly a cream. 



Lip swatches on bare lips, for skin tone reference I'm wearing Dolce & Gabbana Caramel Perfect Reveal Lift Foundation 110 with the Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation in Warm 100.




A few comparison swatches below:



I already own quite a bit of lip gloss. The one that is most unique for me is Burning Love because it's a brighter color than what I normally wear. Reds are still fun for the holiday season and I am continuously getting requests to review bolder colors for lips on the blog. Soleil D'Orient is my personal favorite because it's a warm and cool champagne. Many lip items this color are extremely cool on my lips/skintone and end up looking like white frost. Soleil D'Orient has enough warmth in it, I wish it came in eyeshadow format too.

All the colors are limited-edition. You can find them now at all NARS counters and boutiques. Have you checked out the NARS holiday collection yet? I haven't been to the counters in a couple weeks, but am hoping to have time soon to see all the holiday offerings this year in person.




Corsica was sent by NARS for review consideration. I purchased Soleil D'Orient and Burning Love.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Holiday Beauty: Champagne and Gold Shimmers


The holidays are just around the corner and the next couple of months will be very busy ones. During the holiday season I find myself always gravitating towards warm gold and champagne shimmery shades. They are easy to coordinate with different outfits and makeup looks. I find warm golds and champagne also help brighten and warm up the complexion. Holiday beauty releases are starting to trickle in at Nordstrom and I've teamed up with them to share my some recent holiday beauty discoveries - all gold and champagne themed.

I have my picks split into different categories for lips, eyes, highlighters and nails:



For lips, there are a number of stunning shimmery gold and champagne glosses new this season. I like neutral golds for layering. They can bring a nude lipstick to life or when layered over a brighter pink, peach or red, soften the lips and give them a nice glow.
  • Dior Gold Rain is new from the Golden Shock collection which is a sheer but sparkling gold.
  • Burberry Nude Glow Lip Glow isn't a new shade but I like to use this one year round. It's a soft gold shimmer.
  • NARS Soleil d'Orient is a shimmering champagne that has a slight hint of pink. It's pigmented enough to wear alone but also looks good over nude lipsticks.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Ibiza Nights is good for those who want more sparkle, it has the prettiest mix of shimmers but isn't over the top. 
  • Bobbi Brown Malt Shimmer Lipstick comes in a special-edition gold packaging this holiday which is fun. It's a warm shimmery coppery shade with gold shimmer.  





Golds are always in for me. They are neutral but easy to dress up. I like neutral gold eyes because they won't overpower the face if you wear a bolder berry, pink or red lip.
  • Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows are a long-time favorite. I like these applied on the lids with a brush. The pigment is really incredible and easy to layer for more intensity. If you use a damp brush the color transforms into a more intense and more metallic look. Any variation of Armani gold looks good on most skintones, they create some of the prettiest universally flattering shades. My favorite Armani likes to wear Eyes to Kill 6 packed on the lids and combine it with soft peach cheeks and a nude lip, the look is really quite stunning.
  • Dior Versailles 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette is a beautiful palette of pale shimmers and one deeper chocolate shimmer. The middle gold shade has a bit of a chunky sparkle which is nice for subtle layering. 
  • Laura Mercier Rosegold Caviar Stick Eye Color (mini) is another year-round classic. I like this as a base on the lids to help bring out the pigment in shadows. It's also good as a highlighter. Sometimes on lazy days I'll wear this on the lids and just finish with mascara for a no-fuss look.





Gold shimmers and highlighters are a must for me, especially during the holiday. The warmth of the gold ones can enhance the skin naturally and make the complexion look more alive.
  • Armani Fluid Sheer 10 is a nice neutral gold. I like this dabbed on top of the cheek bones (after powder, foundation and blush) with a foundation brush to add highlight. It's also good as a cheek base to use underneath blush.
  • Bobbi Brown Bronze Glow Highlight Powder is a shimmering warm gold. It feels almost like it has a slight gel texture but it's still a powder. The shimmer on this one is medium-to-high, but not frosty.  
  • Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow is another good gold highlighter. I like this used all over the face as a primer to illuminate the skin or mixed in with foundation to give it a glow.




Gold and red seem to be the hit shades this holiday for nails. There are a number of different gold polishes, some with glittery effects, others more subtle. I've been playing with three over the weekend.
  • Dior Mirror is a sheer white gold shimmer in the special holiday packaging. It has a transparent quality with two coats, I prefer three with this one.
  • Guerlain Coque D'Or Night at the Opera is a neutral gold shimmer (this one is my favorite).
  • Bobbi Brown Scotch is an interesting warm copper sparkle. It has smooth even coverage with two coats but the color is primarily sparkle.

Left to right: Guerlain, Dior and Bobbi Brown


What are your favorite colors to wear during the holiday? Do you have any favorite gold or champagne makeup shades or do you prefer the more dramatic plums and reds?



Thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

October Beauty Favorites


October's beauty favorites include:

SK-II Skin Refining Treatment (1) has been a miracle worker in improving my skin. It's a night time skincare treatment that helps to refine the skin and remove dead skin cells overnight. I have been using it regularly since September and it is gentle but very effective at clearing up the complexion and giving it a more radiant look.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre Luxe Color-Lasting Lip Lacquers in Sweet Stiletto and Seduction (2) are both great pigmented neutrals. I have Sweet Stiletto swatched and reviewed here. Since then I've bought a few more of the glosses (and really like them). Let me know in the comments if you are interested in seeing a review.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette (3) has been a staple this past month. During my move, I had most of my beauty items packed away in bubble wrap and boxes, I kept a small handful of things in a makeup case for regular use. This was one of them, I used this almost exclusively the past few weeks. It's versatile and goes with just about any kind of look. Swatches and review can be found here.

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Moonlight (4) is a new shade I discovered in the Mini Caviar Stick Eye Color Set for this holiday. I just reviewed it a few days ago but purchased it the first week of October (sometimes testing takes a long time for me). I will definitely be purchasing the full size of this color soon. It's the perfect platinum warm taupe shimmer.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard and Ginger (5) are my two newest concealer discoveries. I'm super picky when it comes to concealer (I've used Clé de Peau Beauté and By Terry almost exclusively for years, swatches of all Cle de Peau Beaute shades here). I'll have a full review up next week, but the NARS lives up to the hype. It's quite incredible.

Wayne Goss Brush #16 is a large super soft domed brush (6). I bought it from Beautylish which describes it as being "designed for controlled application and pristine blending." This brush is one of the largest shadow brushes I own. I've been using it to apply Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder under the eyes. It's a soft but dense brush that picks up the powder nicely and gives smooth application.

Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder Shade 2 is another new favorite (7). The powder comes in three shades, I was matched to #2 which is a very good match for my Chanel 30 / Tom Ford Bisque 04 skin tone. I'm normally not a fan of pressed powders because I find that they look chalky or end up darkening my face (I prefer powder foundations instead). This one by Charlotte Tilbury changed my outlook completely. I saw it applied on my friend who is very fair in Shade 1. The artist brushed it over her skin as a touchup without adding any foundation or concealer and the effect was quite incredible.

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics (8) is the best matte eyeshadow palette I have tried. You can see swatches in this post here. I've been reaching for this one quite frequently as my no-fuss go-to everyday kind of palette.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil Spray (9) has made my favorites list for a nice pick-me-up. It has a really nice soothing scent and hydrates the skin nicely without being too heavy. More thoughts on three dry oils here.

By Terry released six tinted shades of her cult classic Baume de Rose called the Baume De Rose Nutri-Couleur. I splurged on four of the shades but I'm smitten with the plum shade in Fig Fiction (10).

Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil (11) is a regular favorite. The past month I've been using it more frequently as my hands and fingers have been dryer than normal. It smells like lush coconut. Works like a charm to fix dry cuticles.

Tom Ford Spanish Pink (12) is my favorite nude pink lipstick of the moment. There's nothing like it that I've tested. It has just the right amount of warmth in it to make it look slightly peachy but not too much. Swatches here.





What were your beauty favorites in October?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On My Radar / New in Beauty


A few new items on my beauty radar this week:

Jo Malone has released the Cologne Intense Mini Collection (1) in a set for the first time this holiday. It has Tuberose Angelica, Velvet Rose and Oud, Saffron, Dark Amber and Ginger Lily and Oud and Bergamot. I was almost ready to purchase but have never smelled Saffron before. Have you? What do you think?

Edward Bess has released four new shades of Lasting Kiss Lip Stain (2). I will have swatches to share with you very soon but first impressions are they are to die for.

Tom Ford Beauty has re-released two of the Cream Color for Eyes (3) in Platinum and Spice. Those who missed out before will be happy to know you can purchase them now with the holiday collection (but take note they are limited-edition again).

L'Occitane never fails to get me with their Shea Butter Hand Cream releases (4). With the holiday season approaching, I'm excited to see what sets they will release this year. Three new ones on my radar are the Rose Heart, Vanilla Bouquet and Whipped Shea Butter.

NARS has several holiday gifting sets out this year. This Virtual Domination Cheek Palette (5) looks like it could be the perfect compact size to slip into your purse for touchups or application on-the-go.

I've been getting lots of e-mails about the new Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss (6). Chanel.com released three shades as a preview, but all the colors have finally arrived at Nordstrom in case you have been looking. I have five I'll be swatching and reviewing.

Diptyque has some amazing holiday offerings this year. The packaging on their holiday candles are breathtakingly beautiful. There will be candle sets available as well. For the first time they will have one of their photophores available for purchase outside of Diptyque Boutiques in a Limited Edition Set with a Candle Holder + Feu de Bois, 6.5 oz. (7).

Dior Holiday is also stunning. There are two limited-edition quints in Golden Shock and Golden Reflection (8). (P.S. for a limited time, Nordstrom.com has these on sale with 10% off for their price matching, check out the Sale Section on their website under Beauty to see what else is on a discount.)

What's on your beauty radar this week?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Inside My Bag


Inside my Prada Saffiano (in camel) bag this week:

NARS Lipgloss in Ophelia (swatches here)
Urban Decay Naked Lipgloss in Liar (swatches soon)
Guerlain Maxi Lash Waterproof Mascara (review here)
Chanel Les Beiges 20 (swatches)
Revlon Marchesa Tweezers
Louis Vuitton Empriente Wallet
Dior Rouge Baume in Milly (review soon)
Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black mini (review)
Smythson Notebook

What's in your handbag right now?

Monday, September 29, 2014

NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation


The latest from NARS is the All Day Luminous Powder Foundation ($48 for 0.42 oz/12 g). It's a super lightweight powder foundation that comes in 15 different shades. I was sent the shade Punjab (Medium 1) for review which is a good match for my medium with olive/golden tones. NARS also sent a press sample of the new Powder Foundation Sponge puff ($6.00) which can be used to roll or pat the product onto the face. For reference, I use the Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Punjab (swatches here) and the Tinted Moisturizer in Groenland (swatched here). The Powder Foundation in Punjab seems to be slightly lighter than the Cream Compact version but it warms up on the skin to adjust nicely without oxidizing or darkening as the day goes on. The description from NARS:

NARS Cosmetics introduces All Day Luminous Powder Foundation. Silky and ultrafine to the touch, this medium buildable foundation offers versatile coverage and shine control with broad spectrum SPF 24 that lasts up to 12-hours. NARS exclusive Light Reflecting Complex™ optimizes light reflection to enhance skin’s translucency while Luminosity Enhancing Technology – a blend of 17 amino acids, Vitamin C derivative and Marine Fennel – promotes cell renewal and helps reduce the look of hyper-pigmentation and wrinkles.

The NARS powder foundation comes in a square mirrored compact. It has a compartment at the bottom for a square sponge. The sponge itself is interesting because it has two different textures, one is more fluffy and velvety like a puff, the other side is a spongey texture. I prefer the spongey side because it picks up more product and applies smoothly on the face. I tested the separate round puff as well and found it gave more coverage with a buffed-looking finish to the face.


I am extremely picky when it comes to powder foundation. Many end up looking heavy or cakey, emphasize pores or dry patches or even end up breaking me out. I have tested quite a few and my current top two picks include Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation in Warm 100 and Chanel Double Perfection Lumiere Powder Foundation in 20 or 30 Beige depending on how dark/tan I am. Although powder foundations are often designed to be worn alone instead of a liquid/cream foundation, I almost always use my powder foundations over liquids or tinted moisturizer as a setting powder. Both the Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel have this beautiful soft velvety finish that blends very nicely on the skin. They both cover imperfections, stay put, look natural and don't darken. The NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation by comparison is quite a bit lighter in texture while still offering medium buildable coverage. I like that you can control the coverage easily.

A quick look at the packaging:



On the nails, Louboutin Miss Loubi


I tested the NARS several ways, alone and then also on top of different foundations. I also tested it with the sponge and also with a brush.

When used alone I found it performed really well with just moisturizer and primer. Right now, my current skin prep routine includes a layer of SK-II Cellumination Cream Illuminating Moisturizer or By Terry Cellularose Nutri Baume as moisturizer followed by a primer like the NARS Light Optimizing Primer. As a standalone foundation, I found it covered the skin nicely and evened out the complexion. There was no caking or seeping into pores. It is incredibly lightweight so you don't feel like you have anything on your face. I found it amazing at how it gave my skin a luminous glow even though there is no hint of shimmer in the powder itself. I found it did last all day from around 7:30 am through 7:00 pm without any touchups required. I found it applied best with the square sponge that comes in the compact or with the round puff you can purchase separately.

Over foundation it looked equally nice. I tested it over the NARS Radiant Cream Compact, Tinted Moisturizer and also over Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide. It applied smoothly with a fluffy brush over other foundations. With the sponge I found it was a bit too heavy-looking with the powder foundation + foundation combination. I do think your skin needs to be well-prepped and moisturized for smooth application, although I find this to be the case with any powder foundation in general.

Close up of the powder surface, it has a very soft silky texture:



Swatches:



Swatch comparisons:



After testing this for a few weeks I give this a huge thumbs up. There's no detectable scent and it's huge for me that I didn't get any breakouts or irritation or clogged pores from using this (many powder foundations don't work for my sensitive skin). Right now Punjab is the perfect match, it looks a bit peachy in the compact but it applies good on my olive skin. I like that it has enough yellow undertone so it doesn't turn pinkish on me. If you have olive or golden skin tones you know the pain of finding awesome formulas that don't match the skin color because they are too pink or warm. Bottom line it does last all day and it has a lovely soft luminous silky looking finish.

The NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation is currently available at NARS Boutiques, narscosmetics.com, Nordstrom and Sephora. The Powder Foundation retails for $48 and the round Powder Foundation Sponge retails separately for $6.



The powder foundation and puff was provided courtesy of NARS for review consideration. 
 

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