Showing posts with label Nordstrom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nordstrom. 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



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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, January 3, 2015

On My Radar / New In Beauty


Happy weekend everyone! New spring collections and launches are starting to trickle in. Spring seems to be filled with some lovely pinks and roses. A few things on my beauty radar, from top left clockwise:

Guerlain Spring is filled with soft delicate pinks. I have my eye on the Les Precieux Eyeshadow Palette, Rosy Silk and Peach Satin Kiss Kiss Lipsticks and Baby Rose Nail Lacquer.

Diptyque's latest is the Rose and Ivy Collection. There is a new candle out called Rosafolia. Available now at online Diptyque and in Diptyque Boutiques. In addition there is a new scented oval and perfume released with the collection.

NARS Eye-Opening Act is a new launch exclusive to Nordstrom. I will have a review out next week. It includes St. Lucia Multiple (which is stunning!), two eyeshadow palettes in Yeux Irresistible and Inoubliable Coup d'Oeil along with five new Velvet Shadow Sticks.

Hourglass Cosmetics has new Eyeshadow Palettes coming out this spring called Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes. Infinity is the first one released, available now at Barneys New York. I can't wait to see this in person.

Dior Kingdom of Colors has two new Nail Lacquers in Glory and Lady for spring. There is also a really interesting Top Coat that looks like confetti.   

YSL Volupté Tint-In-Oil is a lip tint suspended in oil. It comes in eight colors. I've read mixed reviews but I have three sitting in my shopping cart. I can't decide whether or not to pull the trigger and buy without testing first. 

Bite Beauty has a new Agave Lip Mask in Smashed which is a berry hue. I am putting this one to the test right now and hope to have a full review with swatches later next week.

The Sephora + Pantone Universe Shimmering Marsala Cheek Trio keeps calling my name. I think it's only a matter of time before I cave and purchase this too. If you bought it, I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

What's on your beauty radar this weekend?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christian Louboutin Nail Color - The Nudes


Earlier this year Christian Louboutin released a classic red nail polish called Louboutin Rouge followed by thirty additional shades in three families called The Nudes (neutrals), The Pops (brights) and The Noirs (dramatic dark shades). The nail polishes are among the most expensive in the market, priced at $50 each but have been selling out repeatedly. I pre-ordered these from Nordstrom back in August before they were released. I received them the first week of September and have been putting each shade to the test for weeks. I've already reviewed and tested the classic Louboutin Rouge (more thoughts in this post). Today I have all ten nudes to share with you (yes, my fingers have been very busy swatching!).

The Louboutin Nudes have two different finishes. All are creams without any shimmer. There are shades with a sheer finish and then colors with more opaque coverage. The range of nudes is quite wide, but the soft pinks are very similar in effect with slight variations in undertone. First, the packaging is quite stunning. These have long heel spikes for handles. All the nude colors have a pearly beige finish on the handles with large glass jars to hold the polish. Each one contains 4 fl oz/13 ml of polish. All of mine say they are made in the USA.


Packaging these seems like it would be quite challenging to construct a large box. Instead of encasing the entire polish + handle in a box, these come with a cardboard container that goes around the glass portion. Mine were all wrapped individually in study stock when they were shipped. They all arrived in tact and without any scratches or issues:


The colors are labeled at the base:

Here are all the shades lined up side by side:
Colors and descriptions according to my testing below.
  • Tres Decollete is the darkest pink with a blue base, this one is sheer but has the most coverage out of all the soft pinks
  • Sweet Charity is a super sheer soft white cream, this was the only shade I did not like, mainly because it took four coats to get decent coverage, three coats gave the nails a soft glossy look, but one I think could be duplicated by cheaper brands
  • La Favorita is a medium warm pink, the pigment is sheer, but applied smoothly and evenly with two coats
  • Simple Nude is a warm camel nude that has medium-to-full coverage
  • Me Nude is a cool mauve nude with excellent pigment, it had smooth flawless coverage
  • Just Nothing is a beautiful nude that leans beige, but still has a bit of pink in it so it doesn't look orangey on the hands
  • Alta Perla is a unique grey nude with a hint of sage, the formula is medium on this one, with two think coats you might still see the nail underneath some fingers, I applied a slightly thicker second coat to get full coverage
  • Tutulle is the perfect nude pink cream
  • Zoulou is a really lovely chocolate nude cream with excellent pigment
  • Madame Est Nue is a the lightest pink, it's a nude pink that has super sheer coverage

One more view below, same order as above, but in direct sunlight:

Swatched side by side, lightest to darkest:


Individual photos and swatches, I'll indicate how many coats I used for each one. I tested these with a number of different base and top coats. The cult favorite Seche Vite gave major shrinkage with these polishes on tips and cuticle areas causing these to get tip wear after 1 day. I don't recommend it, although I know many people love that brand. I really liked mine with the Deborah Lippmann Rehydrating Base Coat to help color adhere to the nail, and then topped with either the Chanel Laque Brilliance Extreme or Dior Gel Top Coat. Louboutin has their own Nail Care Kit, but after splurging quite heavily on the colors themselves, I decided to try what I already had first. Using either the Dior or Chanel Top coats allowed for 7 days of wear without any chipping or tip wear which I found very impressive with this formula.

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Sweet Charity, shown with four coats



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Madame Est Nue with three coats



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La Favorita with two coats



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Tres Decollete with two coats



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Tutulle with two coats



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Just Nothing with two coats



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Me Nude with two coats




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Simple Nude with two coats




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Zoulou with two coats



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Alta Perla with two coats (pinky has three coats)



The wear on these is really amazing in my experience. I didn't want to say that I would fall in love with $50 nail polishes but the colors that Louboutin has released are truly flawless and naturally flattering. A good flattering nude can be hard to find. There are many good ones out there, but so many are either too pale, too warm, too orange or just look pink on my hands. Louboutin hands down has created the perfect palette of nude polishes with a diverse range to suit any skin tone.


If you're looking to splurge, I would say you definitely don't need all ten of the nudes. My thoughts rounded up:
  • For a soft pink, I like Tres Decollete the best, although La Favorita comes in close second
  • For a medium nude, Tutulle is my favorite because it has a bit of pink, followed by Just Nothing which is another great nude
  • For unique colors, Zoulou and Alta Perla are the best picks, they do have a similar vibe to other brands, but these ones just work so well with the skin
  • Two to skip for me include Sweet Charity (just too sheer) and Simple Nude for my specific skin tone is too match so it blends in (if you're lighter or darker in skin tone, I think this will look lovely on you)

One last shot, my personal take on the Louboutin Nudes cluster:


I hope you enjoyed this roundup. It's taken me weeks to complete but I can say that I highly recommend these if you're looking to treat yourself (or a friend). The $50 price tag on 10 shades has certainly been an ouch on my wallet, but I have no regrets. Available now at Nordstrom.




Special thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.
For more information, refer to my Disclosures.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Beauty: Reds for Lips and Nails


The holiday season is in full swing and I have another holiday inspired beauty post to share with you today. Last month I shared some Champagne and Gold Shimmer favorites from Nordstrom. I'm a neutral makeup lover at heart but still like to like to wear brighter colors. Red is very much in season although finding a good red nail color is easy with so many good options, finding a good red lip can be challenging for me. I have full lips that tend to pull a lot of pink with lipsticks and glosses. Many reds can be too bright, pull orange, or turn fuchsia pink if they have too much blue.


I've pulled seven of my favorite reds ranging from soft pink red to a deep berry red for lips that I'd recommend for neutral lip lovers. They have enough pigment for those who want a bolder lip, but still natural enough to be wearable for even the most conservative makeup wearer.

If you're super scared of red, opt for a pink red. YSL Volupté Sheer Candy Succulent Pomegranate #4 (1) is a super sheer but hot pink with some red. It has a sheer glossy finish which makes it more wearable. Burberry Oxblood Lip Glow Lip Gloss (2) looks super dark in the tube but has a jelly finish making it a super sheer jelly pink red.

If you're braver for more color, NARS Tech Fashion Gloss Shade IV (3) is a warm red, there is a hint of a natural shimmer in it making it not a pure red. The warmth also makes it softer.

For those who want a true red with shine, I'd recommend Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss in Seduction (4) which stays put quite well for a gloss formula. It's layerable for rich color but still has a hint of pink making it a youthful red. NARS Burning Love Lip Gloss (5) is a true red that packs a punch. For a gloss, this is also very pigmented. This is the true-est red I have that is the perfect in between of warm and cool. For me, this is the perfect holiday red.

If you want a lush brighter red, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Sugar Cherry (6) is surprisingly pigmented on the lips. Swatched on the arms or hands it looks like it will barely show up, but the Fresh Sugar Lips tend to adhere really well to the lips which brings out the color. This one just glows.

For those who want a deeper berry red, Burberry Beauty Lip Mist in Oxblood (7) is as perfect as it gets for deep reds. It's a hybrid gel formula so it's supposed to be sheer, but the formula hugs the lips and swiping back and forth brings out the color. Burberry Blueberry Lip Mist is a redder and deeper option. Oxblood also comes in a more pigmented Lip Cover version as well.


If you still are convinced you can't pull of red lips but still want to wear red, nail polish is the easiest way to incorporate a bit of red into your holiday beauty routine. The best thing about red nail polish is that it's timeless. There's no need to buy a new color if you already own reds, you can always shop your stash from spring or summer. That being said, I do always look forward to what brands release each holiday for their version of what they think is the latest and greatest modern red. Three I'm loving right now include:

Burberry Oxblood is re-promoted this season with gold packaging for holiday. It's a jelly deep oxblood color. Two coats will give you a deep plum red. Chanel Expression (from late fall) is the perfect hybrid of red and pink. On me it definitely leans more red, but the pink tone brightens the colors and makes the hands look alive (not drab). YSL Rouge Pablo was a release from spring. It's a bright and very warm red but festive.



Some inspiration on what to coordinate with a red lip. Keep the eyes and cheeks simple since the statement color will be on your lips. Neutral earthy eyes can be dressed up with deeper smokey browns or blacks.  For cheeks, I've always found earthy, peachy or soft bronzed colors work well with any undertone of red.




Do you like to wear reds for lips and nails for holiday? Please let me know what your favorite go-to's are! Or if you have any new recent discoveries I'd love to hear about those too.





Special thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. Burberry Oxblood Lip Glow, Lip Mist and Nail Polish were provided for review consideration. All other items purchased by me. As always, all opinions are my own. For more info, you can refer to my Disclosures.

 

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