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

Friday, April 22, 2016

My Favorite At-Home Pamper Essentials


I have a roundup of things I wanted to share that I find best for at-home pampering. I try to take care of my skin on a daily basis but try to give it extra care on the weekends - kinda like doing a DIY at home spa session for a good reset or cleanse. There are a few body products I've been meaning to write about for a while - ones I found well worth the splurge. I've included several recommendations by category - there's no one product fits all so I've tried to cover a variety of options in case you're looking for something specific whether it's to purify skin, firm the skin, etc.

Cleansers



  • Cle de Peau Beaute Synactif Soap is probably one of the most expensive face cleansing products I've ever bought. I've gone through 4 of these - I probably would have purchased more if it came with a cheaper price tag. It gives the skin a very thorough cleanse without leaving a film. It cleans out all the pores and leaves skin feeling squeaky clean. When I feel like my face is getting clogged this helps clear up the complexion. With daily use 2x a day a single bar lasts about 4 months.
  • Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser has been mentioned before in my spring cleanser roundup. I really can't rave enough about this - I used mine up so I stocked up on a few more during the Sephora sale earlier this month. It cleanses the skin and helps keep it clear but gentle enough for daily use.
  • Ole Henriksen Empower Foaming Milk Cleanser (c/o) is a super gentle milk cleanser that won't leave a film. I really don't like milk cleansers because I often find them too rich for my skin type and they rarely leave my face feeling fully clean. A few of you mentioned you have really sensitive skin - this is a good one to try. It does give the face a good cleanse without drying it out. I still do a double cleanse with this one in the evenings (I remove all my makeup first with a cleansing oil or cleansing water), but in the morning it's perfect to use alone.
  • Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser is one of my favorite purifying cleansers. I've gone through several bottles and it's one I keep going to. In hot summer months I can use this daily (usually in the late afternoon or evenings, or post work out), for now I like to use it weekly to help give the skin a thorough cleanse. It helps reduce redness and irritation too.

Masks


  • Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment is hands down one of the most effective clearing face masks. It does have a tingle feeling when you apply it but it's not too strong and doesn't irritate the skin. It sucks out impurities and leaves the skin feeling super firm and tight.
  • Glamglow Gravitymud Firming Treatment is one of the newer masks from Glamglow. This one you leave on the face for 20-30 minutes and peel off. I normally don't like masks that require more than 15 minutes of application because I'm super impatient with skincare, but this one is worth the extra time. It is more on the gentle side for a firming mask and I feel like the effects are more immediate vs. long-term, but it does leave the skin feeling super firm and lifted.
  • Aesop Parsley Seed Mask is the best purifying mask for my sensitive skin. It dries up the gunk in your skin and leaves it feeling thoroughly clean and tight. Many have mentioned to me that their skin cannot handle the Glamglow because they find it too harsh. If that is the case and you still want a purifying mask to draw out impurities, try the Aesop.
  • Kate Somerville Eradikate is one of the most gentle acne-clearing masks. It works in a similar way to the other clarifying masks mentioned above but is super gentle and non-irritating. It won't leave the skin feeling tight. It's gentle enough to use daily - I wouldn't recommend using it every single day, but on weeks where I have some breakouts, I use this nightly for about 4-5 nights and it really helps clear up the skin.
Body

I usually don't splurge on body products. I typically keep things simple with L'Occitane or Nuxe, but I've discovered some new-to-me things that I am really excited to share with you.


  • Chanel Fresh Body Cream is something I'm beyond obsessed with. It's one of the most expensive body products I've ever bought and it's a bit hard to find (you can't find it at all counters). You can basically find this at any store or counter that sells the Exclusifs Fragrances. It's a super gentle body cream that smells really fresh but won't interfere with perfumes. I like to use this at night before bed because I have a sensitive nose and scents sometimes prevent me from falling asleep. This one is soothing enough that it doesn't interfere with my sleep. It's hydrating and non-greasy. I will keep repurchasing this one for as long as they make it.
  • Byredo Bal D'Afrique Body Cream is another pricey splurge but I adore the Bal D'Afrique scent I had to try it in the body cream. This one is super emollient and has a body butter feel which is super lush. A little goes a long way and the moisture lingers for an emollient feel. You can definitely feel the moisture after you apply but it's not greasy. That being said if you need a body product to have a dry-down you may find this too rich.
  • L'Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Lotion for Hands and Body is another favorite. I've featured this a few times in past years. It has all the moisturizing and soothing qualities of items from the regular Shea line but it's lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly. Anytime I have irritation or flare ups - I use this and skin is instantly soothed. I love that it's non greasy, gentle, but effective.
  • NARS Monoii Body Glow II is the ultimate scented tiare body oil that makes you feel like you're on a tropical vacation. It lifts the mood instantly and absorbs quickly into the skin. There's no greasy feel or residue after it's absorbed into the skin. I'm about 99% happy with this one - if it came with a pump dispenser it would be perfect.
Home Fragrance


  • Lumira Travel Candles (c/o) are super compact and cute, I love having a few scattered around the house to burn. To date I don't think I've brought a candle with me while I travel but there are times when I have traveled that I wish I had one with me. I'm trying my best to save the mini ones for my next trip. My favorite from their line is the Tahitian Coconut.
  • Lumira Mini Destinations Box Set (c/o) launched over the holiday a boxed trio of the most popular scents from the line in Tuscan Fig, Cuban Tobacco, Persian Rose. I just finally started burning Tuscan Fig today - it's amazing and smells of sweet figs (Diptyque's Figuier by comparison is greener). Top notes are fig leaves and fig tree, middle notes are blackcurrant and cedarwood, base is iris and musk.
  • Diptyque Gingembre Room Spray (c/o) was reviewed a month ago (I can't believe an entire month has gone by). I won't repeat the review but it's a really nice bright and cheery kind of home scent.
  • Diptyque Colored Candle in Baies (c/o) is a classic. The larger size gives this one a stronger throw compared to the smaller ones. Don't forget if you have any Diptyque on your wishlist you can save online at Space NK US by using my special promo code through May 1st.

Lips

I have very sensitive lips when it comes to lip treatments. There are quite a few very popular options that make my lips go numb (Kiehl's, CO Bigelow, Chapstick etc.) so that may give you an idea of just how sensitive they are. The ones below are Beauty Look Book approved. Of course it's not a list of all the ones I've tested or like, but ones I like most for right now.


  • Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm is a great lip treatments that is also affordable. It's emollient and I love the simple classic squeeze tube packaging.
  • Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Smashed is my current favorite for the most moisturizing lip treatment to help with dry or cracked lips (swatched in this post here and here).
  • AmorePacific Moisture Bound Lip Treatment is one I just used up (review from winter in this post here), it's the best scent and taste-free lip treatment I've tried. Most others have some kind of scent or flavor. If you're really sensitive to any scent, I'd recommend you try this one.
  • By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur in Coral Stellar is one of the prettiest tinted lip treatments I've tried. Review + swatches here. It's worth the splurge.
  • Chanel Hydra Beauty Nourishing Lip Care is a good lip treatment but I do think it's overpriced for what you get. That being said I've never regretted buying this one and if you're willing to splurge it's a good gentle one that always soothes my lips. (More on this compared to others in this post here.)
If you're looking for something to help reset the skin, calm the complexion or give your body an extra boost of moisture, I hope you found this roundup helpful! I have super sensitive skin and there are some body lotions and creams that cause an immediate allergic reaction (I always do a patch test first). If a good purifying mask is what you have been looking for but want something suitable for sensitive skin I hope the recs above help you find something gentle enough for your skin type!

What are your favorite at-home pampering products? I really love hearing about your favorites. So many of you have recommended some great things for me to try. I'm pretty set on masks but I do have my eye on a few sheet masks. I'm intrigued by mainly the two from La Mer - if you've tried them should I go for the Brightening Facial Masks or Hydrating Sheet Masks? Or should I wait for the Eve Lom Brightening Sheet Mask to launch in the US?

I hope you had a great week! Enjoy the weekend :)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Makeup Show LA March 2016 Event Recap + Haul


I attended The Makeup Show LA last weekend and it was one of the best makeup events I've attended. This year they had over 150 brands at the show - I love events like these that support beauty professionals in so many aspects. If are able to attend one I highly recommend you do. In recent years they've expanded their stops to some additional cities with pop-ups. Full calendar and list of upcoming shows on their website The Makeup Show. This was my second year attending although they've been making an appearance in LA for ten years now.

Urban Decay Cosmetics made an appearance this year with their full line available (items were offered at a 30% pro discount). Most of the brands offered generous discounts during the show for professionals to stock their makeup kits or explore new launches (some like Kevyn Aucoin offered discounts of 40% off). In the excitement of being able to swatch and play with so many things I neglected to take as many photos of the show as I had hoped, but here are a few I hope you will enjoy.

In the morning I attended the Press Preview where The Makeup Show Director of Artist Relations and Education James Vincent gave us an overview of show highlights, new product launches along with some inspirational thoughts about the business of beauty, building your own brand and the importance of knowing how to merging art and commerce.


A look at some of the booths, first is Kevyn Aucoin. They had the new Featherlight Collection for spring available along with the full line of makeup and brushes. I had their Sensual Skin foundation on my wishlist to try out but did not want to wait to get matched at the show.


Inglot booth:


Sephora Collection booth was very busy with lots to explore, pro discount offered at the show was 30% off so I picked up another of my favorite foundation brush and a few of the matte lip products:



Scott Barnes was showcasing their new Multi Media Liquid makeup, based on the raves from several of you, I did get a color match and picked up the shade Creme Fraiche. I haven't tested it yet, but will have to see in natural light if the match was indeed correct. They also had mini Body Blings which I wish I had picked up one to try out, but since I don't usually use body shimmers, it's probably not a huge miss.


I've been a huge fan of the MustaeV Lustrous Cream Base and Skinny Tint Foundation. They are expanding their color selection for the foundation since it only comes in three colors right now.  I was hoping they would have the new shades available at the show, but they won't be launched for a few more months. If you'd like a review now of what I do have - let me know in the comments.


Nigel's Beauty Emporium is a beauty supply store - at the show they had some of the best values and discounts. I stocked up on beautyblenders last year and did again. They had a Beautyblender Propack of 6 pink (or white) beautyblenders + the solid cleanser for $64 at the show (listed price on their website is $80). Individual blenders were on discount for $16 each. They also had a large number of mixed sets. If you're in the LA area they have a store in West Hollywood and carry a wide range of brands like Anastasia, Ben Nye, Artis, Becca, Black Up, Make Up For Ever etc.
 

NARS also had their own booth with the full line. The Laguna Tahiti Collection was available for purchase at the show so I picked up several of the new items as they were available at a pro discount (I can't locate my receipt at the moment but it was either 30 or 40%).


Kat Von D Beauty had amazing bundles at discounted prices on their Shade + Light collection, but the line was insanely long, I took a few photos from outside the line area:


Viseart has three new eyeshadow palettes launching exclusively at MUSE Beauty Pro at the end of the month called Theory Palettes ($45 each). I was hoping they would have these available for purchase at the show, but they only had the testers to play with. The texture and pigment is amazing. You can pre-order them from their website now (estimated ship date is end of March). MUSE Beauty Pro has the exclusive for 3 months on these palettes. I've never tried any of the Viseart palettes before - the pro discount at the show was 30% off so I was thrilled to buy my first two last weekend.


Beautylish had some of the Natasha Denona items on display. I was hoping they would have the entire line available to play with like they did at IMATS Los Angeles, however the selection was a bit more limited this round. A look at all the Natasha Denona Blush Duos.


For those curious about what I hauled, here is the loot. I did haul more than I had planned - some of the 30% to 40% off discounts were just too good to pass!


Items shown above listed below, items purchased by me except for a few press samples noted:
I'll be reviewing items as I work my way through testing them. I did pre-order the new Viseart Palettes at the show and will be swatching as soon as they arrive (estimated ship date is 3/30). I'm always looking to try new brush cleansers so I'm excited to try some of the ones I picked up at the show - I know many of you love baby shampoo, I used to use it, but I feel like these days it just leaves a film on my brushes that I cannot rinse off properly. 

Did you visit The Makeup Show LA last weekend? Or do you have plans to attend on in another city later this year?


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Barneys New York Love Yourself Event: March 8 - 12


The Barneys New York Love Yourself Event starts today March 8th and runs through March 12th (while supplies last). This is one of the best gift with purchase events for beauty that I've shopped over the years. It usually only happens twice a year for Barneys and with any $200+ order in beauty or grooming (cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, men's or women's) you get a complimentary gift bag filled with selected Barneys favorites. There are two gift bag options, one for men and one for women - the sampling selection is top notch. I always find great minis to try out and some favorites I like to keep for when I travel. Today I've teamed up with Barneys to share the women's gift along with a selection of some luxury favorites in case you're in need of recommendations or ideas. The event happens in store and also online - over the past several years I've ordered through both methods which have worked equally well. I do recommend you put together your lists and order sooner than later as the gifts usually do run out every year.


Here's a list of the contents of the women's gift which comes in a zip cosmetic case. Contents per bag may have a few variations for scent options or colors (as indicated below):
  • Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara 2 ml
  • 3LAB M Cream Ultimate Lift 6 ml
  • Chantecaille Mini Brilliant Gloss 1.5 ml (assorted colors, Lucky shown above)
  • Costume National Parfum in Soul 1.5 ml
  • Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye 3 ml
  • Malin + Goetz Geranium Face Cleanser 15 ml
  • Moroccanoil Fragrance Originale Body Souffle 20 ml
  • Oribe Supershine Moisture Cream 15 ml
  • R & Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo 75 ml/1.6 oz
  • REN Keep Young and Beautiful Beauty Shot 3 ml
  • Ritual Wai Wang Body Scrub 70 ml
  • Bellatora Cellular Renewal Cream 12 ml
  • Tatcha Deep Brightening Serum 10 ml
  • Givenchy Phenomen Eye or Mini Le Rouge 1.5 g
  • La Mer New Lifting Eye Serum 3 ml
  • NARS Audacious Mascara mini 3 ml
  • Byredo Mojave Ghost mini 2 ml
  • Maison Martin Margiela mini spray 1.2 ml (assorted options Sunday Morning or Beach Walk)
  • Rene Furterer Hair Care (assorted options)
  • Raw Spirit mini 1 ml (assorted Desert Blush or Summer Rain)
  • Verso Reviving Eye Mask packet
The men's grooming bag (not shown) contains:
  • Ulrich Lang NY Fragrance - Lightscape and Nightscape mix 50 ml
  • Byredo Sunday Cologne 1 ml
  • Rituals for Men Magic Shave cream 70 ml
  • Kieh's Facial Fuel Heavy Lift Moist 7ml DLX
  • La Mer Eye Concentrate
  • Chantecaille Magnolia healing emulsion 8ml
  • Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face cleanser
  • Aesop Mouthwash
  • Harry's 4oz Aftershave Moisturizer
  • 3LAB M Cream 6 ml
  • Tatcha Deep Brightening serum
  • Raw Spirit Assorted: Winter Oak or Citadelle
  • Verso Reviving Eye Mask
  • Illuminum Assorted: Tahitian Yuzu Vaporizor, Vetiver OUD, Bergamot Blossom Vaporizor, Phool, Rajamusk Vaporizor, or Hindi OUD, 1.5 ml each
  • Tizian Terenzi Assorted: White Fire or Ecstasy
  • Sisley Botanical D-Tox 2ml
  • Bellatorra Cellular Renewal Cream 12 ml
  • Marital Vivot Shampoo
I've rounded up ten luxury items in cosmetics and fragrance featuring some brands almost never go on sale. These kinds of events are the best time to splurge on things like Diptyque, Byredo or even on luxury skincare.


Some of my favorites and a few new recent discoveries featured above:
  1. Frederic Malle Carnal Flower ($74 to $380) is one of my most favorite perfumes of all time. There are several different sizes that you can purchase. The travel sprays come individually for most fragrances or in a set of 3. The set or full size bottles are a better buy price per oz wise but if you just want to try one and see how it wears, I think buying the individual ones are the best way to go. It's the best tuberose I've tried.
  2. Le Labo Travel Trios in Santal 33 ($145 for ml) is my latest perfume splurge. I ordered mine last week because I could not wait for the event. Again I decided to go the travel size route (I'm splitting this one with a friend for her to try one). So far I'm obsessed. It has a mix of sandalwood, virginia cedar, cardamom, violet, papyrus, spices, leather, musk and amber.
  3. Byredo La Selection Perfume Set ($145) this is a discovery set that has an assortment of 6 Byredo scents including Bal D'Afrique, Blanche, La Tulip, Black Saffron, Gypsy Water, Oud Immortel, I've had mine since the holiday and love it as a way to explore a number of fragrances without having to splurge on the full size bottle (my favorites are Bal D'Afrique and Black Saffron).
  4. The Laundress Detergent x Le Labo Signature Detergent in Rose ($45, also in Santal) is something I discovered through one of my readers via Instagram, I've since purchased and tried both, I prefer the Rose because I think the scent is stronger and more noticeable. It's a soft sweet rose that I'm obsessed with for washing bed sheets. It's noticeable but still soft enough that it won't keep you awake at night.
  5. Diptyque Baies Mini Candle ($32) is a classic, if you're unsure about buying the full size the travel mini is a good way to ease into the brand.
  6. Byredo Hand Cream in Gypsy Water ($35, also available in Flowerhead, Blanche, La Tulipe and Bal D'Afrique) is as luxurious as hand creams get.
  7. NARS Lip Gloss in Chelsea Girls ($26) is one of my most reached-for peachy nudes these days. I'll repost a swatch of it below for reference.
  8. Lipstick Queen Seven Deadly Sins in Indolence ($24) is a pretty sheer to medium classic rose pink gloss. It has no detectable scent and has a nice natural healthy color to it.
  9. Surratt Beauty Prismatique Lips in Lili Doree ($36) gives the lips the prettiest wash of shimmer, it's a peachy shade that makes for a very youthful luminous glow.
  10. Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders ($38 each) are some of the prettiest powder highlighters I've tried. I think all four shades are winners but I've been reaching for Brilliant the most. 
  11. By Terry Baume de Rose in Coral Stellar and Mauve Moon (not shown above) are two of the latest tinted lip balm launches from By Terry. The colors are to die for gorgeous and if you were looking to shop these but didn't want to splurge, the Barneys gift event might be a good time to buy because you get goodies for splurging.





By Terry Mauve Moon and Coral Stellar swatches reposted:




You can find the Love Yourself gift with purchase online and in stores at Barneys New York now through March 12 while supplies last. I recommend ordering soon if you have your eye on anything. The gift bag should be added to your cart automatically as soon as the contents total $200 in beauty (men's or women's). Are you ordering anything yet for this event? If you do - please let me know! Would love to hear about what you hauled!

This post was created in partnership with Barneys New York. More information in my disclosures but as always all opinions my own.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Inside My Bag


February flew by so quickly, I cannot believe it's March but I'm excited for spring. I've been working my way through swatching all of the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks and hope to have the post up by the end of the week (fingers crossed my lips can handle the swatching). A few of you have asked for a review of my Celine mini belt bags (seen here and here) - I haven't really done purse or accessory reviews but will definitely do one on both in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned!

Here's a peek of what I have in my bag right now. I've been loving my Prada Saffiano still - I think I've had it going on 2.5+ years now and it's held it's shape remarkably well, hasn't shown any signs of wear or scratches and is extremely versatile for a number of different occasions and outfits. I've had my eye on the Saffiano Cuir Double Bag in black ever since I saw that they started carrying a small one on Extra Petite. She has a really good review and comparison (although my camel tote is a different style and has different dimensions compared to hers). It takes me months to decide on a splurge - I've been looking for a classic black leather tote for a long time, but cannot make up my mind because size and structure is really important to me.

Inside my Saffiano Tote this week:
What's in your bag this week? Any new beauty discoveries from the weekend?

Press samples featured include the Tatcha beauty papers and Truffle clutch+case.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Details and Loves


Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you've been having a great weekend. The sun finally came back here in Southern California and we have weather in the 70s - I can't tell you how much of a mood lifter this warm weekend has been. I've been on a fragrance kick lately, I'll have a roundup of what I have in rotation soon on the blog. I just picked up my first Maison Martin Margiela in Replica Beach Walk (the rollerball mini) which is the most amazing beachy mix. It has bergamot, coconut milk, lemon, pink pepper, and musk ... I think it's only a matter of time before I pick up the full size spray. Right now I've been loving the Chloé Eau de Parfum for a soft femine scent (shown above). I have Love Story on my wishlist but it seems to have a very similar feel to the regular Chloé - if you've tried any of the Chloe perfumes please let me know what your favorite is!

Other details today include the Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara Waterproof in Noir (a go-to these days), NARS Blush Duo in Hot Sand + Orgasm (reviewed here) and NARS Babydoll Lip Gloss (such a pretty pink shimmer, lip swatch here). I just started playing with the new Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes last week and am beyond thrilled they've re-launched Platinum. It's one of the best all over lid shades that makes a great easy wash for lazy days. It also makes for a great base for powder shadows. Today I'm testing three layered together. Shown above from top to bottom is Platinum, Opale and Caviar. I have taken photographs of all the shades + swatches, I just need to edit them for a post very soon.

Last but not least, I wanted to do a comparison between two makeup bags. I splurged on the Louis Vuitton Epi Cosmetic Case in Dune last month. The nude pink color is just so pretty and it had been on my wishlist for a long time. I really like the durability and classic look of the Epi line and after thinking about this one for months decided to go for it. A few weeks ago I featured the Tory Burch York Cosmetic Case in my Valentine's Day Gift Guide round up post as a less expensive alternative (it's still on the pricey side, but more affordable). I purchased one in Light Oak which is a nude pink color. It's made of Saffiano textured leather and very sturdy. (More colors here.) If you're looking to treat yourself, a friend or a loved one on a pretty cosmetic case, I think either of these are great.


Here's a side by side comparison. The one from Tory Burch is slightly smaller in size compared to the one from Louis Vuitton, but the overall shape and function is the same.

Tory Burch Small York Case measures 6"W x 4"H x 2 ½"D
Louis Vuitton Epi Cosmetic Case measures 6.7" x 4.7" x 2.4" inches



I hope you are enjoying the last bits of your weekend! If you have any new beauty discoveries, or found some items in your stash that you have rediscovered, I've love to hear about what you are loving right now! P.S. if you're a fan of the Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipsticks note they are being discontinued so if you have any favorite shades you might want to stock up. On February 12th they will be launching a new lipstick formula (30+ shades) - I can't to share more details with you.



Some press samples featured above include NARS Babydoll Lip Gloss, Tom Ford Platinum and Opale Cream Shadows.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

NARS Spring 2016 Color Collection Picks: Hammamet, Impassioned, Instant Crash + Vida Loca


The spring collection this year from NARS is called Nouvelle Vogue and for neutral makeup lovers there are quite a few items to fall in love with. I have four items to share a review of today for eyes, lips and cheeks. The colors I picked out are soft and glowy that will give a really lovely fresh-faced natural look.


From top to bottom:
  • Hammamet Eyeshadow Duo ($35, limited-edition) is soft satiny warm tan combined with a shimmering copper tan rose kind of shimmer, on my medium-olive skin this is too warm/dark by itself, but when layered with other shades it makes for a really great transitional blending kind of color, I have a hard time wearing any kind of copper color because they often pull orangey on me. Hammamet doesn't pull orangey but it does pull very warm. I like layering this with Cordura and Alhambra Duos.
  • Impassioned Powder Blush ($30) is the perfect natural light mauve pink blush, most mauves darken on my skin but this one is on the lighter side so when it warms up, it still remains a natural light pink mauve on my skin
  • Instant Crash Lip Gloss ($26, limited-edition) is a shimmering nude which is absolutely perfect, I thought I owned a lot of colors like this one, but none of the ones I looked at had the same beige undertone with shimmer mixed in, I need to back this one up because it's limited-edition
  • Vida Loca Lip Gloss ($26, limited-edition) is a peachy pink cream, to me it has a similar effect to the Chelsea Girls Lipgloss (swatched here), this new one for spring is slightly deeper and brighter, you do need a flawless lip surface or else it will emphasize dry patches/lines


Some close ups, swatches and comparisons, up first is Hammamet Duo:



Swatch comparisons to:

MAC Honey Lust (from the 15 Warm Neutrals Palette)
Urban Decay Trick (from Naked3 Palette)
Tom Ford Disco Dust Quad (new, review soon)


Impassioned Blush close ups, I don't have any swatch comparisons, but I deem this a must-have.


Lip Glosses in Instant Crash (top) and Vida Loca (bottom):




Swatch comparisons to:

NARS Lip Gloss in Striptease
NARS Lip Gloss Chelsea Girls (swatched)
MAC Lipglass in Lust
NARS Lipgloss in Belize


I give Instant Crash Lip Gloss and Impassioned Blush a huge thumbs up. Vida Loca is gorgeous in color but the formula can be a bit tricky to work with if your lip isn't perfectly smooth (it's a good layering color though). Hammamet is different from anything I've seen from NARS before. On my skintone it pulls too warm to pull off by itself, but when layered with other shades looks really pretty. If you own Honey Lust from MAC or the new Tom Ford Quad I think you can skip this duo.

Have you checked out anything from the NARS Spring Collection yet? It's available now online and in stores from NARS. It will launch in February at Nordstrom, Sephora, Barneys New York and all other NARS counters.

The spring items featured were provided courtesy of NARS for review consideration.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

NARS NARSissist L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour Eyeshadow Palette and NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette


NARS is killing it this spring. There seems to be something to love in every launch so far this year from the Hot Sand Collection, Velvet Matte Skin Tints and freshly launched Spring Color Collection (a few items to be reviewed on the blog soon but in the meantime check out swatches on my friend Café Makeup's page). I'm particularly smitten with the Hot Sand/Laguna Cheek Duo and the Velvet Skin Tints are  There are two new palettes this spring, one for eyes and one for cheeks, both limited edition. For eyes we have the NARSissist L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour Eyeshadow Palette ($59 for 12 eyeshadows) and for the cheeks there is the NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette ($65, Sephora Exclusive). Both of these come in some seriously sturdy packaging - they are cased in hefty mirrored compacts and I think the presentation is exquisite.

The NARSissist L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour Eyeshadow Palette has twelve eyeshadows that seem to feature a new formula. Many of you have expressed dissatisfaction in the quality and texture of shadows in previous palettes (in particular the NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette from 2014ish). I haven't tried all of the palettes NARS has launched, but never had an issue with texture. Size of pans has been significantly smaller in previous releases which I found a bit challenging to dip larger brushes into, but it seems as though NARS took all the complaints of past palettes and made changes for the better with this one.


The texture of these is feels slightly creamy, but they are all powders - pigment is smooth and easy to layer. Some of the dark matte shades will go on a bit patchy if you use a medium to large brush - so I recommend trying a small detail dense brush to layer and blend the dark mattes. Overall performance is really good. With the exception of the one coppery shimmer shade, I would say the effect of this one is cool-toned. I do think you need a slightly creamy eyeshadow base to help bring out the pigment richness of the colors, but they perform really well alone too. My favorites are the Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base, Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks in Rose Gold and NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks. Application is excellent - there will be a little bit of fall out from the powders when you apply on the eyes, but once you have them on the lids - they stay put without fading or smudging. I found they lasted all day long nicely.

Descriptions and swatches:

Row 1 features four larger pans each 0.11 oz/3.2 g, shades are named I, II, III, IV:
  • Matte creamy neutral with slight pink tones
  • Shimmering champagne with beige/ivory tones
  • Shimmering mauve taupe
  • Matte charcoal

Rows 2 and 3 have smaller pans, but are still large enough that you can easily fit an eyeshadow brush into without having to worry about mixing colors. These are 0.05 oz/1.5g each:
  • Frosted white gold
  • Shimmering warm copper orange
  • Matte mauve
  • Shimmering steel with slight olive undertone
  • Shimmering steel blue grey
  • Matte navy indigo
  • Shimmering cool grey-brown
  • Shimmering grey-black with blue tones and silver flecks




Here's a quick eye look with the neutrals using the four shades in the top row 1 and a little bit of the last color in row 2. I love that online at the NARS website, they did eye swatches of all 12 shades on three skintones. Check it out here.


If you're wondering how this compares to the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette (reviewed + swatched here), I would say both are excellent options. Picking one over the other is challenging because I think they are different in color options and texture. If you're looking for something cooler-toned and want a palette that can take your look from neutral to smokey, go with the NARS. If you want something with warmer more neutral options, go for the UD x Gwen Stefani Palette. The textures of course are very different in each palette. The NARS has a creamy smooth buttery texture. The Urban Decay palette has a wider mix of mattes, shimmers, and sparkles - also the pink and bright blue offer a more vibrant/less neutral option.

Onto the cheeks with the NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette ($65, Sephora exclusive). Many asked how this compares to the Steven Klein One Shocking Moment Palette from Holiday. I wasn't able to buy (it sold out quickly) so I can't compare the two in great detail. The top three shades are the same in each palette. Based on a google search, it appears the newest one for spring offers two shades that are lighter options on the bottom left half and then darker options for the bottom right half. I do believe that the one from holiday had two existing blush colors in Luster and Dolce Vita. The new one for spring offers four new shades on the bottom. This seems to be an all-in-one kind of palette for the cheeks. It has contouring powders, a bronzer, and four blushes (two of which I think could pass for highlighters, at least on me).


The colors in this palette include:
  • Paloma Contour Duo which is available separately. It offers richly pigmented matte powders in a soft pinkish cream color and a deeper contour shade that pulls mauve on my skintone.
  • Laguna Bronzer is a classic shade (also available separately) that warms up the complexion and adds depth without looking orangey or too dark. It's easily buildable for a natural glow or deeper bronze. In my college days there were many times where this was all I would apply on the cheeks.
The bottom row has colors that are listed as blushes:
  • I is a pale pink that glows. It's a matte base but if you look closely at the pan you will see tiny bits of finely milled gold shimmer. I was worried this would not show up on my skin, but it offers the prettiest baby pink glow. I hope this makes an appearance in full-size eventually.
  • II is is light pink in the pan, but applies darker on my skin like a soft natural rose pink glow, I adore this shade. It has tiny flecks of silver sparkle but it's not glittery on the skin.
  • III is a deeper warm reddish color but as you can see from the swatch below, it's not orangey (however it will pull darker, warmer and almost orangey on fairer skin tones like The Non-Blonde)
  • Goulue is a new shade, currently a VIB Rouge Exclusive at Sephora, it's a stunning medium-deep rose with golden shimmer


I think this palette will be a versatile one that will go with a wide range of looks for lips and eyes, but the overall color scheme seems to be on the medium to dark side which may be too much for fair skins if you find blushes tend to darken/oxidize on you. For me - I love a strong blush to add a bit of color and life to my face when I wear neutral lips. The texture of the blushes is smooth and easy to blend. I think it contains classics one can wear every day. The colors with the exception of the Paloma duo are all shimmery, but they don't emphasize my pores or look frosted.

There are a few new launches for face palettes to choose from this spring including the Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Blush Palette (new shades) and MAC Contour and Sculpt Palette (value set with cult classics). You may want to browse stores or research swatches online before committing to a palette. I feel like this season we are on highlighter, foundation and blush overload. I just got both of the other two, I'll try to review and compare them as soon as I can.


I deem both of these palettes winners in terms of color selection, quality and packaging. They are travel-friendly and I love that they come with in a sturdy compact with a decent sized mirror which makes it easy to apply them on-the-go. They are both limited-edition. I think given the size and packaging the prices are very reasonable for a luxury beauty palette.

You can find the NARSissist L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour Eyeshadow Palette for $59 online at NARS, Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue (for some reason right now it's listed at a higher price at Saks). The NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette retails for $65 and is exclusive to Sephora online and in stores.

Have you checked out these NARS palettes yet? What did you think?

Both palettes were sent courtesy of the NARS team for review consideration.

 

design + development by fabulous k | COPYRIGHT © 2009-2016 THE BEAUTY LOOK BOOK