NARS has two new products for cheeks called the Easy Glowing Cheek Palettes ($49 each for (0.12 oz/3.5 g x 3) in two options Reve Sale and Coucher de Soleil. Images surfaced on social a few weeks ago and I have been stalking them online for days! Right now they’re exclusive to Nordstrom but they’ll launch at other retailers later this spring. As a huge fan of Banc de Sable and Bord de Plage I knew these two new ones had to be mine.
Both Reve Sale and Coucher de Soleil palettes have the same formula as the Banc de Sable/Bord de Plage palettes. Some of the colors have some similarities to previously launched palettes but to me I do think they are different enough to justify purchasing. The shimmer is really pretty with a smooth high sheen. You can wear the colors wet or dry. I prefer them dry so the shimmer becomes more diffused. Lasting power is the same as the previous launches. They’ll stay put on the face all day long without getting greasy looking. The deeper one also does not darken or oxidize on my skin which is a huge plus.
Reve Sale has a pale soft light apricot shimmer, pale soft rose and peachy tan. The shimmer in this one looks a lot softer on my face than Banc de Sable. It doesn’t emphasize my pores. To me this is a highlighter palette, those with fair skin tones will probably find this more of a blush palette rather than highlight.
Coucher de Soleil
Coucher de Soleil is the deeper option with a medium tan gold, deeper peachy tan and a soft plum shimmer. It looks darker but doesn’t oxidize or look muddy on the skin for me. This one definitely has more color, on my skintone it has one highlight and two colors that can pass more for shimmery blush.
Both next to each other below:
Shown on the face left is Reve Sale, right is Coucher de Soleil.
Comparison next to Banc de Sable. The new palettes are slightly bigger in size and weight:
I’m obsessed. Both are must-haves for me. If I had to pick one I could not, because they’re both different in their own unique way. I stopped buying backups years ago and even bought back-ups of these. I thought the Natasha Denona Diamond and Blush Palettes were going to be my must-have palettes this year. They still are amazing, but these NARS Easy Glowing Cheek Palettes are just as gorgeous, just in a different way. The formula is among my favorite – they’re a unique powder that almost has a slight creamy texture so it melds into the skin. I can wear these on both the eyes and cheeks. You can use any cheek brush you have in your beauty stash, I really like the Chanel Precision Powder Brush because it’s the perfect size for the pans and also lets me give a wash of color and build.
Both of the NARS Easy Glowing Cheek Palettes are available now at Nordstrom.
Spring beauty launches are among my favorite for the fresh glowy vibe you usually see. NARS Spring 2018 has a pretty mix of soft and bold for a feminine look. It’s available online at NARS Cosmetics until February 2nd. At all other retailers after that date (just around the corner!), a few pieces currently also available at Barneys New York. So many of you have been excited about the new Lip Covers as you loved the formula when it was launched last year. I’m happy to see more shades launch although I wish they would make them permanent!
A look at the entire Spring It On collection from NARS, everything is limited-edition:
Lip Cover ($28 each) in Embrasse Moi, Under Arrest, Summer Fire and Hell Gate
The best items to me are the Lip Covers. Some have a little bit of shimmer this round and are full-coverage without any detectable scent. These are what I feel liquid lipsticks should be like – full coverage, smooth with a creamy feel and little bit of shine. Embrasse Moi is a pale shimmering champagne that can be tricky to pull off alone, it looks a tad bit streaky when you apply but it is easily smoothed out. Under Arrest is a warm yellowed beige tan cream. Summer Fire is the best shade in my opinion, it’s a shimmering neutral-cool rose pink that isn’t too blue so I can wear it without it pulling to barbie on me. Hell Gate is a gorgeous brick red, on my lips it’s a bit brighter than what I see in the tube but still very pretty. These have a decent amount of lasting power – but they aren’t transfer proof. As long as your lips don’t touch cups or food then they’ll stay put.
All swatched on bare lips:
The only two items in this collection I’m not crazy about are the Velvet Shadow Sticks in Frioul (pretty gunmetal) and Galice (pale green), mainly because I can’t wear the colors. They’re gorgeous and smooth with lovely shimmer but my olive complexion can’t pull them off. I do have this formula in other colors, I adore Nepal and Corfu to name a couple. The ones for spring are very pretty but I put them on my eyes and it didn’t look good with my complexion.
Swatches alongside a few other shades I can wear. NARS Velvet Shadow Stick vs By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Blond Opal and Ombre Mercure for some reason have a similar vibe but the undertone and shimmer make them easier for me to wear. Right now the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Grey Pearl is the only grey colored shadow stick I own. Sugar Frost is more neutral but has a similar level of lightness.
For the cheeks there’s a new shade of Liquid Blush called Hot Tin Roof which is a brick color. It’s ultra pigmented and a little goes a very long way. I applied it with just a dab and it was still very intense. Right now I think the color is too deep for me but I’m at my lightest without much of a tan. In a few weeks once the sun and heat returns I will probably get more color quickly and find this easier to wear. The Highlighting Blush in Free Soul is a pale pink with the prettiest soft smooth pearl shimmer. It’s glowy but in a soft way and I’m COMPLETELY obsessed with it.
Swatches below, I also added the Liquid Blush in Dolce Vita next to it (review here):
I think the lip and cheek items are gorgeous but my top two picks are Free Soul and Summer Fire. You can find the NARS Spring 2018 Collection at NARS Cosmetics and Barneys New York right now. Available at other retailers such as Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Net-A-Porter starting February.
Have you tried anything from the Spring Collection yet? If not what’s on your wishlist?
NARS Spring 2018 collection provided courtesy of NARS.
I’ve been putting a few new foundation formulas to the test! The newest one is the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation ($49 for 1 fl oz/30 ml). I’m thrilled to have been able to swatch all 33 shades of the foundation. An artist from the NARS team matched/guessed three shades they thought would be my closest match and the team sent miniature samples of the entire collection for review. I wish they would sell the minis because it would be so much easier for us to find out perfect match! Unfortunately at this time samples aren’t for sale but I hope these swatches help you with your foundation matching if you’re buying or guessing online.
Shown above Punjab, Vanuatu and Barcelona
The NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation is a full coverage opaque liquid foundation. It’s probably the thickest formula of all the NARS foundations I’ve tried and takes a bit of experimentation to get a smooth application. Since it’s so opaque I’d recommend using only a little bit at a time. If you’re skin isn’t flawless or completely smooth using a primer is essential. I’ve tried around five different bases with this formula and find that the NARS primers work best with this one. My favorite is the Radiance Primer. I also recommend applying with a damp beautyblender or fingers to blend. Setting is also essential even if it’s just a lightweight powder. These come in a clear bottle which is always great so you can see exactly how much you have left. I also love that these come with a pump.
Color range is pretty impressive with different undertones. If you’re like me you probably find there aren’t enough yellow or olive based foundations on the market. NARS completely has you covered and shades like Punjab, Stromboli are very olive. Long time readers may remember I used to use the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Punjab (formula is thinner than the new one). I’ve darkened quite a few shades and have since found the best matches to be Stromboli or Barcelona. With the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation my matches are Stromboli, Vanuatu or Barcelona. Living in Florida I’ve found my coloring changes on a weekly basis depending on how much sun I’ve been exposed to. There’s no escaping it here and even with sunscreen, hats and trying to stay in the shade I still tan easily.
Lasting power is pretty good even in Florida heat. The humidity levels in Tampa are low right now so I can’t report how it holds up in humid climates. Right now on me it lasts all day but it’s not transfer-proof if you touch your face (ie fingers or to sunglasses). It photographs well and goes on smoothly as long as you apply with light layers. I didn’t experience any oxidation. Finish is naturally radiant and glowy.
Below I have Vanuatu applied. I’ve also shown my bare skin below (eeps!). I have a lot of freckles which most people don’t realize until they see me without any makeup on. I think the photos below show how well the foundation covers without looking too thick or cakey. I didn’t need any concealer under the eyes or around the nose to reduce redness because the foundation covered it all.
Top left: completely bare makeup-free skin, I just have a little bit of moisturizer on
In summary I think the new NARS foundation performs really well for my skin type. It will give nearly full coverage and covered under eye dark circles and redness around the nose. It was a little tricky to get the coverage to look natural since it is so opaque. The first time I applied it I dabbed on way too much. A little goes a long way. As far as I can tell there is no detectable scent, no irritation on my skin, no white flashback with a camera flash. It will look dewy if you don’t set with powder. I wasn’t able to put it to the test for a full 16 hours, but I have worn this for around 12 hours on several occasions and it holds up pretty well both in doors and outdoors in the sun and at the beach. I do get a little dewy looking around the T-zone by the end of the day so I keep my Tatcha blotting papers with me to help absorb shine without messing up my makeup. My favorite formula from NARS is still the Velvet Matte Skin Tint because I like something that feels more weightless without any dewy look.
My other foundation shades I alternate between and use in my Summer Base Edit post (Tom Ford, Laura Mercier and MAC shades I use). I’m currently testing some formulas from Estee Lauder which I just bought. Review on those picks soon!
You can find the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation at online at Sephora, Ulta Beauty and NARS right now. Have you tried this yet?
NARS foundations sent courtesy of the NARS team for review.
There’s a new palette launching tomorrow from NARS called the NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette ($59 for 0.04 oz/1.5 g x 12) and it’s absolutely stunning. It’s going to launch exclusively online at Sephora for one day on November 27th and then at NARS boutiques and narscosmetics.com on November 29th.
There are quite a few warm toned rose eyeshadow palettes out right now as it’s quite popular but I’ve never found one where I could wear all the shades. I’ve swatched Urban Decay Naked Heat, Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance and Tarte Tartette Toasted Eyehadow Palette on numerous occasions in store. I’ve been tempted as the pigment these days is amazing but they all have at least 3 shades I know I’d never use. At first glance I thought the same about the Wanted Eyeshadow Palette. I was thrilled to find they sent one as an early preview that I could review and I have to admit my heart sank a little when I opened it and saw 3 rosy reds. However I felt the same about the NARSissist Loaded Eyeshadow Palette and it completely surprised me so I kept an open mind with this. I’m glad I did because it’s truly beautiful.
This comes in a rectangular mirrored compact. The eyeshadow pans appear to be the same size as the NARSissist Loaded but the overall size of the compact seems slightly smaller. I love that the top has a non-mirror surface on the outer packaging because as lovely as they are they show all the fingerprints and it drives me nuts.
The colors are all excellent in pigment, texture and color payoff. Some NARS palettes in previous years have had some hit/miss shades. This one is all good, but there are a few glitzy shades so I know there’s a chance this might be a no-go for some of you. Some of the shades are made of a new formula with powder suspended in a liquid-binding system which I suspect are the super sparkly ones. In this palette:
Biarritz – perfect creamy neutral matte cream
Satisfaction – shimmering light pink with a soft gold shimmer
Delirium – metallic rose sparkle
Temptress – satin paprika red
Seven Heaven – matte neutral sand
Shadow Hill – matte warm brown, NARS describes this as matte saddle
Mendoza – sparkling pink copper
Wicked Game – satin cranberry with a soft sheen
Shooting Star – sparkling glitzy pink champagne
La La – shimmering warm bronze
Fallen Star – shimmering antique bronze with a khaki-sparkle sheen
Coconut Grove – matte deep brown
The mattes are smooth and almost silky feeling. The shimmers are my favorite texture and I would think this would be more universally appealing if it had all shimmers vs sparkles, but I actually really love the sparkly shades. The new formula is pretty glitzy – there is fall out when I apply on the lids with a looser fluffy brush so I found it best to pack on with a denser brush. The good thing is that it’s the kind that is really easy to clean up under the eyes. The worst thing about some glitters is that they stick so hard to the face it’s almost impossible to clean. Once these were on my lids they stayed put pretty well – but I did pack them on the lids with a slightly damp brush.
A closer look at the shades, swatches, a look and then a side-by-side to the Loaded Palette.
NARS has seriously outdone themselves with their NARS x Man Ray holiday launch this year. This season they’ve launched a collection of individual colors, palettes and sets inspired by modern artist Man Ray. This is one of the first makeup launches that has me really excited about holiday – they’ve created a nice range of options so I think there is something for everyone. The collection launched exclusively at NARS online for the first part of October and now items are starting to trickle in at other counters. There’s quite a bit in this collection and I’m thrilled to be able to feature a lot of the items, but do note there are other sets and items available exclusive to certain retailers like Nordstrom and Sephora. You may have to do some shopping around to find the color sets you have your eyes on.
I’ve split my review into product category: eyes, cheeks and lips + one set. For the eyes this season we have shadows and pencils:
Duo Eyeshadow in Debauched ($36) is a richly pigmented duo of cool-toned plums. There is a smooth plum shimmer and a blackened purple with tiny violet glitter flecks. Both have good smooth pigment, the deeper shade is probably best applied in a patting motion or liner.
Duo Eyeshadow in Montparnasse ($36) has a smooth texture of shimmers with a soft warm pale gold champagne shimmer and maroon shimmer. Both swatch well with good pigment, but on my eyes the plum shade applies on the semi-sheer side once blended. To get more pigment you either have to pack it on over a cream shadow or with a dense brush.
Velvet Eyeliner in Nagoya ($24) is one of the most beautiful violet cream shades I’ve ever seen but it’s a color I don’t see myself wearing on the eyes. Application is a bit sheer but the color is so pretty!
Velvet Eyeliner in Santiago ($24) is a sheer shimmering auburn color, it makes for a good subtle liner for the lower lash line to add definition without looking harsh. However formula is sheer which I find a bit odd for a liner where I usually think you’d want more intense pigment.
For the cheeks we have beautiful highlighters, blushes and a stunning palette:
Powder Blush in Fetishized ($30) is a bright warm reddish pink, but once applied it’s not quite as warm or red as it looks in the pan. It has a subtle sheen to it but the pigment overall is very intense. I could not pull this one off alone but it looks amazing as a layering or mixing color, especially if you soften with a highlighter or warm it up with bronzer.
Powder Blush in Intensely ($30) is a very smooth matte semi-sheer orange cream color. Texture is dreamy and soft with flawless application. I often find orange blushes surprising because they can actually be quite flattering and different than what you’d expect. On my skintone alone this one just looked like orange candy, almost like Tic-Tacs. Again this is a great one for layering to warm up colors or even mixed with a highlighter. That’s the beauty of a lot of NARS colors – you can layer and mix and the result is often really pretty.
Overexposed Glow Highlighter in Double Take ($42) is a stunning highlighter, it’s all kinds of gorgeous with the warm gold with slight peachy tones. It has a smooth almost creamy feel with intense shimmer that you can blend out or layer for that super shimmery highlight. Swatch comparisons below to the Banc de Sable shades and some from Dior.
The Veil Cheek Palette with Laguna, Lovesick, Surreal ($49) is another beautiful color and if I had to pick one thing from the entire collection it would be this palette. Laguna is the Sun Wash formula which is a stiffer almost hybrid kind of formula. The full size ended up being a bit muddy on me, but as most NARS fans know – the Laguna individually (regardless of formula) isn’t always the same as the ones you get in the palettes. The palette Laguna is still very stiff and sheer, but it’s not quite as muddy. Lovesick is like a dual-intensity blush formula and is a rich coral with a sheen. It’s almost identical to the powder blush Fetishized but the formula makes it more wearable. Surreal is a similar formula to the Banc de Sable palette and the Overexposed Double Take Highlighter. It’s intense with a pretty peachy tan shimmer.
Some highlighter swatch comparisons below. If you own Banc de Sable the new holiday highlighters have a very similar effect in terms of formula, texture and shimmer. Colors are close and similar but not identical. I’ve also included two of the Diorskin Nude Air Luminizers (all on my face here). The NARS vs Dior both have that intense shimmer but smooth almost creamy feel (yet they are still powders).
Update 10/21: I re-swatched the comparisons with a denser brush. The original comparisons above looked a little washed out due to the curve of my arm combined with blending using a larger brush. A more dense application shows that Surreal is closer in color to Embruns than it looks when it’s blended out more. Same order below just swatched with a MAC 239 brush.
This year the Becca x Chrissy Teigen palette has been my favorite face palette launch (review + beauty look here). It’s wearable, easy to layer and I love the color combinations. At first glance I thought the NARS might be exactly the same, but it’s deeper, warmer and a bit more intense. If I had to pick one it would be a tough call. Both are extremely versatile and you can increase or soften intensity depending on what brushes you use or how much you layer product.
For the lips, the Man Ray collection has four glosses in a new formula called Photogloss Lip Lacquer then there are lots of sets with a mix of colors:
There’s a new formula called Photogloss Lip Lacquer ($26 each) which is super opaque and glossy without being thick or tacky-feeling. These have serious pigment and smooth finish. Lasting power is excellent for a gloss and there was no color bleeding along the sides.
Photogloss Lip Lacquer in Zambeze is a yellowed-beige cream
Photogloss Lip Lacquer in Off Limits is a bright sparkling fuchsia purple
Photogloss Lip Lacquer in Kiki is a blood-red semi-sheer, the sheerness made it a tiny bit streaky looking, it can be smoothed out if you apply over a liner or lipstick
Photogloss Lip Lacquer in Muse is a shimmering gold, the color and shimmer was a bit patchy looking once applied but there is no gritty texture and you can blend it out for a smoother finish
The Kiss Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set ($49, Sephora exclusive) has four full-sized Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, I really love this set – they look better in person than in these photos. Pigment is smooth with a soft matte finish. They have a very airy feel to them and glide on the lips nicely. Lasting power is about average for a lipstick, they will fade after a few hours and transfer to cups if you drink, but I don’t mind reapplying. This set comes in a shiny gold zippered pouch:
Endangered Red is a soft muted deep vampy red
Spellbound is a pretty shimmering pale pink
Toundra is a muted plum-brown with shimmer
Wild Ways is a shimmering soft tan bronze
Audacious Lip Coffrett in Noire Et Blanche, not shown ($55, Sephora exclusive) with Lee, Dolores, Josephine and Charlotte Audacious Lipsticks
Audacious Lip Coffrett in Les Amoureux ($55, Nordstrom exclusive) with pretty neutrals that aren’t boring. I had forgotten how much I loved this formula of lipstick, Barbara was a staple for a long time for me. I need to use it more often. The lipsticks in these sets are miniature sized. The coffretts come in a round dome case.
Ady light peachy orange cream
Ardon medium rose
Barbara perfect nude pink beige
Then there are a number of duos with minis called Love Triangle ($24 each). Different color combinations are available at different retailers. I have the Deep Throat + Barbara duo which is available at Sephora. These aren’t full-sized, they’re minis and I think they’re great options for stocking stuffers or something under the $25 mark.
That wraps it up for my look at NARS x Man Ray for holiday. There’s a lot to pick from! My top picks include The Veil Cheek Palette trio, Double Take Highlighter, Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set and the Audacious Lipstick Set. Quality and pigment is on point for everything except the two Velvet Eyeliners (a bit sheer) and the gold lip gloss (just a bit patchy-looking on application). The blushes are excellent quality but for me require layering to work, alone they don’t quite look right on my olive skintone but they are beautiful if you mix them.
All the items are limited-edition. You can find them available now although you’ll have to do some hunting to find all the pieces as some are exclusive to certain places. Online now at NARS, Nordstrom, and Sephora. They should arrive at other retailers very soon.
Have you tried anything from the collection yet? What did you think?
NARS x Man Ray items provided courtesy of NARS for review.
There’s a super cute NARSissist Velvet Lip Glide Set ($45) which is an Ulta Exclusive. It has six new shades which are really perfect for summer but wearable year round. I found this at my local store – they don’t have the full line of NARS but did carry a small selection including this set. The velvet lip glides are minis (same size as the Sephora Give Me Some Nude Lips Set) and I’m beyond thrilled all the colors are new. It comes in a pretty pink box:
Colors include cream colors. All the colors are consistently medium to full coverage with a smooth streak-free finish. Pigment is really good and they have a natural sheen even though they have a velvety finish. I don’t detect any scent in these and they feel comfortable on the lips. Lasting power is medium – they have a similar lasting power to a regular lipstick. I love that the formula feels weightless and doesn’t dry out my sensitive lips.
Rapture a medium soft coral peach
Night Together soft neutral medium pink brown with a hint of plum
I think the set is a great buy. Colors are very wearable but not boring. Even the brighter ones are easy to wear especially for summer. If you haven’t tried the NARS Velvet Lip Glide formula this is a nice way to try more than one shade without having to buy the full sizes.
You can find the NARSissist Velvet Lip Glide Set exclusively at Ulta Beauty. Have you tried this one yet? What did you think?
NARS has been on a roll with new launches and the latest is the Bord de Plage Highlighting and Bronzing Palette ($59 for 0.11 oz/3.2 g x 6). This is currently a Nordstrom exclusive and fairly similar to the Sephora exclusive Banc de Sable (no longer available, but review and swatches here). As a highlighter fan I had to try the new one even though it looked like there was a possibility the two would be really close. If you already own the trio, I don’t think you need to get the 6-pan palette unless you’re really wanting the sunwash bronzers.
The Bord de Plage Highlighting and Bronzing Palette has six shades in a large mirrored compact. There are four highlighters in the same pressed version as Banc de Sable. There are also two bronzers in the Sunwash Bronzer formula (reviewed here). The highlighters are all gorgeous with a beautiful shimmer that blends in with the skin nicely and doesn’t emphasize pores or lines. The shimmer is noticeable but not overly frosted. The Sunwash Bronzers aren’t really something I’m a huge fan of, although I do feel the ones in the palette have a less muddy feel/look to them on my skin compared to the individual ones I bought earlier in the spring.
Colors in the palette include the following, top row:
Rivage (also in the Banc de Sable Palette) is a pale ivory white-gold shimmer
Crique is a light yellowish gold champagne shimmer
Laguna Sunwashed bronzer is a medium brown tan with a matte finish
Colors in the bottom row are slightly darker:
Corniche is a shimmering champagne with cool-tones, it’s a pearly color
Galet is a shimmering champagne peach-copper
Casino is a slightly deeper version of Laguna
Comparisons between Banc de Sable and Bord de Plage, Rivage in both is identical. The Sale in the trio is almost identical to either Crique/Corniche. Quick note on Galet – I’m quite tan right now so it appears more champagne than copper on me. I’ve looked at swatches on some other blogs and Galet looks more coppery on fair skins.
Bottom line I love this palette but find it really similar to the Banc de Sable one so I probably did not need both. Quality is excellent with smooth shimmers that blend nicely into the skin – it’s perfect for cheeks and eyes and you do get a good mix of champagnes and pearly shades. I do think there are similarities between the top and bottom but I really love all the colors so I don’t mind. Lasting power is really good with this one – it stays put for a long time even with the heat and humidity. If I had to pick this or the trio, I would pick the trio because it has that pretty peachy shade which I don’t see here. Still this one is quite good and I think it’s reasonably priced.
The NARS Bord de Plage Palette is available at Nordstrom. It’s limited-edition. Have you tried this one yet? Or did you get Banc de Sable?