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NARS

Eye Makeup

Fall Mascara + Base Roundup: Chanel, NARS, By Terry, L’Oreal + Glossier

October 11, 2018

Mascara + Primer Roundup Chanel, By Terry, NARS, Glossier and L'Oreal

I have a roundup of mascaras and primers I’ve tried over the past few months. A few I’ve already reviewed but thought a comprehensive lineup post might be more helpful. My top three tried-and-true have been Tom Ford Waterproof Extreme, L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof and Chanel Le Volume Waterproof. Since I have straight lashes waterproof works best to hold curl after using a lash curler and also helps prevent smudging in humid weather. I’m always looking to try new ones to volumize and define. Often times I find mascaras excel in one or two areas but rarely hit all the marks for volumizing, adding definition, holding the curl, no smudging, no flaking, and being easy to remove. So please keep in mind I’m super picky and have difficult lashes.

Mascara + Primer Roundup Chanel, By Terry, NARS, Glossier and L'Oreal

Mascara + Primer Roundup in today’s post includes:

Chanel La Base Mascara + Le Volume Revolution de Chanel

Chanel La Base Mascara + Le Volume Revolution de Chanel

I think it’s hard to top the regular Le Volume Mascara or the Le Volume Waterproof for me. This formula was the first I tried from the brand that I liked for the true black color and the fact that the waterproof version didn’t look or feel crunchy on my lashes. I reviewed the new Chanel La Base Mascara over the summer and thought it was ok but didn’t really do much. When used in conjunction with their latest Le Volume Revolution de Chanel it makes for an excellent combination.

The new Le Volume Revolution de Chanel Mascara has a chubby brush that is 3D printed. It’s designed to give volume in a single stroke. I initially thought it would be identical to the Le Volume, but when I tried each one on each eye, side by side and the Le Volume Revolution does indeed give significantly more volume and intensity with one stroke. With the regular Le Volume I layer a couple times and brush it on to apply to get intensity. I do this with most mascaras. I think the new Le Volume Revolution de Chanel is excellent – I didn’t experience any smudging or racoon eyes, but of course your mileage may vary depending on how oily your skin is under the eyes. It was easy to remove with their Gentle Bi-Phase Makeup Remover. If this came out in a waterproof formula eventually I think I would love it even more. When in doubt, I really just prefer waterproof formulas in general. To sum up, the new mascara is great. It volumizes, doesn’t clump, stays put and is a true black.

By Terry Lash-Expert

By Terry Lash Expert Mascara Review

This By Terry Lash-Expert Mascara is one of the most highly rated mascaras of the year. It has a wand you can twist to control how much volume/intensity you want applied. I reviewed this formula back in the spring and gave it an ok review since I preferred the L’Oreal and Tom Ford for holding the curl. Since then I’ve been experimenting with it more and find that for me this works best when layered over a waterproof formula. This is a trick many of you have shared with me to apply a waterproof version first, then layer with a more volumizing formula on top. This makes this version work for me 100%! I’ve tried it over the Maybelline Total Temptation and L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof.

NARS Climax Mascara

NARS Climax Mascara Review

NARS Climax Mascara is the latest from NARS. I used to love their volume formula that was discontinued years ago. I stopped using their mascaras after they discontinued it. This one gives mega volume and doesn’t smudge on me although several of you have reported it does. I think your mileage may vary, but this one gives me good volume without any clumping. The bristles are well separated in this brush which makes it less prone to clumping for me. I do think the Chanel Le Volume Revolution de Chanel gives more volume with one stroke. However you can build it up with the NARS without caking it on.

Glossier Lash Slick

Glossier Lash Slick Mascara Review

I could not resist the cute pink Glossier Lash Slick tube for this one. It has a rubber applicator with larger gaps in between the spikes. I think this is a decent formula. It defines, lengthens and darkens the lashes nicely. It doesn’t give as much volume as other formulas do, but for the price I was pleased. It did not smudge on me and it held the curl pretty well. (Case shown is by The Daily Edited.)

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Base

L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara Waterproof and Base Review

I’ve been the biggest fan of the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara. I know so many of you love a good drugstore mascara but this is the only one I’ve tried that impressed me for EVERYTHING it claims. They recently launched the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Base and I reviewed it in my budget beauty roundup here. I think it’s one of the best mascara bases I’ve tried. It works best if you don’t let it dry completely before applying mascara. Given how good the mascara is I don’t think the primer is essential, but it does help nourish the lashes and help mascara adhere better.

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All the mascaras lined up so you can see the length of brushes:

Mascara + Primer Roundup Chanel La Base Mascara, Chanel Le Volume Revolution de Chanel, By Terry Lash-Expert, NARS Climax, Glossier Lash Slick and L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Base

In summary, my top three are still the top three. I think the Chanel Le Volume de Revolution is a winner for fall, but I’m really hoping it will come out in a waterproof version eventually. By Terry works when combined with another waterproof version. And for a mascara primer I still think this isn’t essential but I’m smitten with the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Base formula.

For those who missed my previous roundups, my favorite removers and tools:

That wraps up my fall mascara rotation review. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any formulas you tried! Mascara can be so tricky, it’s truly hit or miss depending on your lash type and length. Mine don’t hold the curl and are naturally straight so what works for me might not work for you if you have fuller lush lashes!

Press samples include the NARS Climax and Chanel Le Volume Revolution de Chanel. I also purchased the Le Volume Revolution de Chanel on my own so I have two.

 

Eye Makeup NARS

NARS Eyeshadow Singles and Duos Relaunch Review

October 3, 2018

NARS Eyeshadow Single and Duo relaunch

NARS just redesigned their Eyeshadow Singles and Duos in a new formula and packaging. Some shades have been repromoted and new colors have been introduced. The formula is softer and smoother with a more buttery feel and now comes with magnetic removable pans. I still have yet to find a palette to put them into so I’m keeping them in the original compacts for now. Today I have a review of the following items:

The new shadows are improved over the original but I really liked the original formula. Differences are in packaging design and texture. The revamped version is softer and velvety with a texture that seems to glide on the skin better. Pigment and color payoff is similar to me, I do think with the shimmers the softer velvety texture makes for a richer finish. All the colors layer and blend with each other beautifully.

First a look at the new vs old packaging. I like the concept of removable pans to make my own palette. I think all brands should have this option with singles! I’m still trying to find a good palette solution for these –  they do have one they launched a while ago but it hasn’t held up the best for me.

NARS Eyeshadow Single and Duo relaunch vs original pans

The Single Eyeshadow comes in 42 shade options. There are a different finishes of matte, shimmer, satin. Some retailers split these into Soft Essentials for Mattes, Precious Metals for shimmers and Pops for bright colors. The ones I tested were all excellent in color payoff, texture and smoothness. I’m partial to the shimmers for their buttery soft texture that glides onto the lids perfectly. Color I have include a mix of press samples and ones I purchased on my own.

NARS Single Eyeshadow Review | The Beauty Look Book

Top Row:

  • Cabo San Lucas* is a sheer mauve with a soft satin sheen
  • Noumea* is a warm matte red brown
  • Bengali* is a matte cool deep brown

Middle Row:

  • Virgin Gorda is a shimmering rose nude
  • Ashes to Ashes* is a soft satiny shimmer taupe grey
  • Fez is a warm bronze shimmer

Bottom Row:

  • Verona* is a cool purple silvery shimmer
  • Isla Bonita* is an ultra pale minty silver
  • Lahore* is a shimmering taupe grey

Swatches below, to me Ashes to Ashes and Lahore almost look identical on my skin. Lahore has more pigment and shimmer, but the colors look really close. If you have a pink undertone you will probably see the difference more. I’m tan olive.

NARS Single Eyeshadow Review | Cabo San Lucas, Noumea, Bengali, Virgin Gorda, Ashes to Ashes, Fez, Verona, Isla Bonita and Lahore swatches

The Hardwired Eyeshadow Singles are ultra shimmery and metallic. I had my eye on a few so I stopped by the store to see them. The ones I wanted looked ultra glittery while the ones I had were more of a refined metallic. I may go check them out again as my experience with the four I have blew me away. They’re so pigmented and non-gritty like you’d expect. The shimmer is ultra fine and adheres to the skin really well. Photos can’t capture how beautiful these are.

  • Earthshine is a pale lavender with green, blue and violet flecks
  • Stud is the perfect silver taupe shimmer
  • Lunar* is a high shine lavender
  • Eclipse* is a duo-chrome purple that flashes pink

NARS Hardwired Eyeshadow Earthshine, Stud, Lunar and Chile

NARS Hardwired Eyeshadow Earthshine, Stud, Lunar and Chile swatches

The Duo Eyeshadow has been relaunched in a lot of repromoted shades. Based on a comparison of old vs new, the colors with the same names are very similar but I see slight differences. Pigment wise the newer ones adhere better to the skin and have a softer smooth texture. Color payoff is similar though, my experience is that the color is really good and lasts a long time.

Colors I bought include the following below. I did receive some press samples but they weren’t colors I felt like I’d use so I gifted them away and bought ones I knew I would:

  • Kalahari* is the perfect neutral medium tone plum and bronze
  • Alhambra has a shimmering pink and shimmering gold
  • Cordura has a shimmering bronze and deep chocolate with gold flecks
  • St Paul de Vence has a perfect soft pink and warm pink matte (I feel like since I missed out on the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk quad this could be a good alternative)

NARS Duo Eyeshadow New Kalahari, Alhambra, Cordura and St Paul de Vence

NARS Duo Eyeshadow New Kalahari, Alhambra, Cordura and St Paul de Vence swatches

NARS Climax Mascara, Tinted Eye Base Light and Medium

The Tinted Smudge Proof Eye Base now comes in tinted form. I ordered both Light and Medium as I wasn’t sure what color I’d be. Medium is my match and I’ve swatched it next to a few Radiant Creamy Concealers in Custard, Macadamia and Ginger for reference. I wasn’t a fan of the original clear base simply because it’s not meant for my skin type. I know many love matte bases for eyeshadows but I don’t have oily lids so most tend to dry out my skin. I prefer something creamy and emollient. These new Tinted Bases are ultra pigmented and a little goes a long way. They have a velvety matte dry down so while it will help the shadow stay put all day long I found them too dry for my skin type. It is an excellent product to even out the lids and help create a nice canvas for powder eye shadow and once it sets it is indeed smudge-proof.

NARS Tinted Eye Base Light and Medium vs Radiant Creamy Concealer Custard, Macadamia and Ginger swatches

Last but not least a quick mention of the Climax Mascara*. I’m going to do a roundup soon of mascaras I’ve been trying and this one is excellent. It volumizes, doesn’t clump, holds the curl and is almost smudge-proof. Indoors in air conditioning it does not smudge on me. But outdoors for extended periods of time here in Florida we are still having humid weather with temperatures in the high 90s sometimes exceeding 100. In those cases minor smudging occurs. But overall this is an excellent formula.

A quick look at some of the originals I still have versus new version. I think the colors are really close but there are slight differences. The original Alhambra is a tiny bit peachier. Original Kalahari is cooler-toned. Original Ashes to Ashes is the slightest bit warmer in undertone.

NARS Original vs New Eyeshadows Alhambra, Kalahari, Ashes to Ashes

NARS Eyeshadow Single and Duo relaunch

Overall thoughts are positive. I think there has been an improvement in the new formula although I never had issues with the original ones. I really like that the pans are removeable and hope they come out with a large empty palette like MAC does that I can use to put the shadows in for travel or to make my own palette. I’m going to give the Hardwired shades another look, especially Pattaya because the formula is really good. I personally don’t love the Eyeshadow Bases but they aren’t bad – they’re just not what I like to use because of the matte finish.

You can find the NARS Eyeshadow Singles and Duos out now. Some shades seem to have been selling out quickly so you may have to shop around to find the colors you want. Available at NARS Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Sephora and all other NARS retailers.

Some items featured are press samples, others purchased by me. Press sample shades have a * next to them.

Lips NARS

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer Review + Swatches

June 25, 2018

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

New lips just launched from NARS in a few different formulas and today I’ve swatches of all the new NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer ($26 each for 0.17 oz/5.5 ml, currently available at NARS and Barneys New York). There are 10 shades in this formula and 1 special-edition color Orgasm (reviewed here). In addition there are 5 new colors of the Velvet Lip Glide (reviewed here) and 5 new shades of the Powermatte Lip Pigment (to be reviewed soon). The NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer is an opaque, rich color, full coverage gloss with a high shine. They come with a flat applicator with a sponge tip on one side and plastic portion on the other. One will dispense a lot of color while the other blends it out more. There are 10 shades total, 6 creams and 4 sparkles. I believe there are hits and misses with this launch formula-wise.

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Most of the colors have a beautiful smooth application. There are some however that apply streaky on bare lips and settle into fine lines. Color descriptions and thoughts on which ones are the best below. First a look at the shades and swatches.

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

The Beauty Look Book | NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer Review and Swatches, Santo Domingo, Conquest, Valencia, Red District, Mississippi, Baden Baden, Abruzzo, At First Sight, Everglades and Cape Town

Shown above from left to right:

  • Santo Domingo is a medium to light muted dusty pink, it settles into fine lines at first but once you let it set on the lips, it smooths out
  • Conquest is a perfect medium bright warm pink
  • Valencia is a bright coral hot pink, this also settled into my lip lines
  • Red District is the best cream formula, it’s a perfect bright red, smooth, opaque, glossy
  • Mississippi is a sheer mauve plum, it takes a few layers but applies smoothly
  • Baden Baden is a gorgeous deep plum, but alone it was streaky, I’d recommend applying it over a matte lip pencil
  • Abruzzo is a high sparkle metallic wine plum with gold and silver flecks, I thought this would be too glitzy but this is a truly stunning color, smooth coverage and no texture
  • Everglades is one of the scariest lip colors I’ve seen, having actually driven through the Everglades a couple times I’d say this color evokes the same feelings I had driving through alligator territory (they are probably the most frightening living creatures I’ve ever seen)
  • At First Sight is a sheer sparkling white silvery gold, it’s pretty sheer, almost transparent but has the prettiest sheen
  • Cape Town is an iridescent duochrome orange, pink loaded with multi-color sparkles, it’s very metallic but smooth

Overall the shimmers performed better on my lips formula-wise. I would say the cream colors Valencia and Baden Baden are the higher maintenance ones for me as the color settled into fine lines if I applied these on bare lips.

Close up lip swatches on bare lips. For skintone reference I’m wearing the MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC37, Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealer in 3w1 (reviewed here) and Armani Luminous Silk Powder Foundation #4 on top to set.

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer in Santo Domingo | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer in Conquest | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer in Valencia | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer in Red District | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer in Mississippi | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer in Baden Baden | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer in Abruzzo | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer in Everglades | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer in At First Sight | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer in Cape Town | The Beauty Look Book

All the lip swatches side by side:

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer Review and Swatches, Santo Domingo, Conquest, Valencia, Red District, Mississippi, Baden Baden, Abruzzo, At First Sight, Everglades and Cape Town via The Beauty Look Book

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer Review and Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Overall some beautiful colors and lovely formulas (patchy colors aside). There isn’t really any detectable scent to these. Lasting power is pretty good, they are thicker than the Velvet Lip Glides due to the high shine so they adhere better to the lips. Lasting power is pretty good, not as good as their Powermatte Lip Pigments, but for a gloss they stayed put until I snacked. My favorites are Santo Domingo, Red District, Abruzzo and At First Sight. Compared to other lip glosses these are among the most full coverage that I’ve tried. Ones like the Pat McGrath LUST Glosses or Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss are a lot sheerer. Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses are probably the most similar (but hers are thicker), Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquid is also thicker with a more lipstick feel.

You can find the NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer now at NARS and Barneys New York. Starting July you will also be able to find them at other NARS retailers like Sephora and Nordstrom. Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer provided courtesy of NARS for review.

 

NARS

NARS Orgasm Collection 2018 Review + Swatches

June 11, 2018

NARS Orgasm Collection 2018

For summer 2018 NARS has four new color items to expand their Orgasm Collection. Three launched last month and one was just released last week so I’ve waited until I had all the items to swatch and review. Last year’s collection brought us four new Liquid Blush Colors. This year we have two new lip colors and two complexion products. There’s something so perfect to me about peachy pink gold colors. I think every single item in this launch is perfect for a fresh glowing summer look. Items include:

(Also shown above include the Staud Mini Shirley Bag and Kate Spade Johanna 53 mm gradient sunglasses.)

Up first are the lip products. I really liked the Orgasm Lipstick from last year (which you can still find). On my lips it gives me the perfect wash of peachy pink with a soft golden sheen. The Afterglow Lip Balm this season has a more emollient finish since it’s a balm. It’s smooth, soft and has a very moisturizing feel. I cannot detect any scent. Swatched on the arm or hand it’s almost transparent. On the lips it’s a sheer glowing pink for me. There is shimmer in it but it’s not really apparent on the lips. Color is just my lips but glowing. Lasting power is average for a tinted balm – the texture itself is like a regular lip balm, it won’t last all day but I don’t mind reapplying. The Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer is a high shine high frost peachy gold. It’s quite metallic and opaque but can be smoothed out with blending or if you layer it on top of the balm. To me it has a very subtle vanilla scent. It’s very glossy but isn’t sticky. I prefer the balm or lipstick version for a more natural look but the full vinyl lip lacquer is still very nice. I’m eager to see the other colors in this formula. Lasting power was pretty good with this one. It stayed put until I had a snack or drink. Otherwise it adhered well to the lips without sliding off or budging, but still was light enough to let the lips breathe.

NARS Orgasm Afterglow Lip Balm and Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer

 

NARS Orgasm Afterglow Lip Balm and Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer swatches

Swatched on bare lips:

NARS Orgasm Afterglow Lip Balm and Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer swatches

 

For the two complexion products there is a new Illuminating Loose Powder and an Oversized Orgasm Powder Blush. The Illuminating Loose Powder comes in a small jar and the product is a very pigmented metallic shimmering peachy gold. If you apply with a dense brush or dip a lot of product it’s quite intense with an almost foiled look. If you use a loose brush or apply just a soft wash it gives the skin a more subtle luminous glow. A little goes a long way so I’d recommend playing with a little bit and layering more on if you want more color. There is a supersized Orgasm Blush this year. If you followed me on Instagram stories you may remember that I mentioned it looked slightly different than the original version. This was off the top of my head and a side by side swatch proved my thoughts correct. This year’s oversized version has slightly more pink with less gold shimmer. The difference is noticeable on my face with my skin tone. Your mileage may vary depending on how light or deep yours is.

NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder and Large Blush

Swatches:

NARS Orgasm Blush Swatches

Close up:

NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder and Large Blush close ups

Two beauty looks, Look #1 wearing: Laura Mercier Flawless Ultra Longwear Foundation in Buff, Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Powder in #2, NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette, Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Brown, Orgasm Afterglow Lip Balm and Oversized Orgasm Blush 2018. Tank from Madewell. Nail color is OPI Tiramisu for Two.

NARS Orgasm Afterglow Lip Balm Swatch/Look

Look #2 below wearing same makeup as above with different lip and cheek. On the cheeks is the Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder heavy vs blended. Orgasm Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer on the lips.

NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder and Full Vinyl Lip Lacquer

One last set of swatches:

NARS orgasm swatches

NARS Orgasm Collection 2018

Bottom line stunning. My favorite is the new Afterglow Lip Balm. I also love this year’s large Orgasm blush. It’s the perfect soft pink with a tiny bit of gold shimmer for me.

You can find the new NARS Orgasm Collection pieces out now. Online at Sephora and NARS Cosmetics.

Balm, powder + blush provided as press samples. Lip Vinyl purchased by me.

 

NARS

NARS x Man Ray Collection for Holiday

October 20, 2017

NARS Man Ray Holiday 2017 Review + Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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.
  • Eyeshadow Palette Glass Tears (not shown)

NARS x Man Ray Eyeshadows | The Beauty Look BookNARS Man Ray Debauched, Montparnasse, Nagoya, Santiago Man Ray Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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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.

NARS Man Ray Cheeks | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Man Ray Cheeks | The Beauty Look Book

Beauty breakdown:

NARS x Man Ray The Veil Cheek Palette and Montparnasse Duo with Barbara Lipstick

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).

NARS Man Ray vs Banc de Sable and Diorskin Nude Air Luminizers

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.

NARS Man Ray vs Banc de Sable and Diorskin Nude Air Luminizers swatches

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.

Becca Chrissy Teigen vs NARS The Veil swatches

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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:

NARS Man Ray Photogloss Lip Lacquer, Velvet Glide Pencil Set, Audacious Lipstick Set | The Beauty Look BookNARS Man Ray Photogloss Lip Lacquer, Velvet Glide Pencil Set, Audacious Lipstick Set swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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

NARS Man Ray Photogloss Lip Lacquer Swatches

  • 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

NARS Man Ray The Kiss Velvet Glide Lip Pencil Set Swatches Sephora

  • 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
    • Jane coral
    • Barbara perfect nude pink beige

NARS Man Ray Les Amoureux Audacious Lipstick Coffret

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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.

NARS Man Ray Love Triangle Barbara + Deep Throat NARS Man Ray Love Triangle Barbara + Deep Throat

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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.

Lips NARS

NARSissist Velvet Lip Glide Set (Ulta Exclusive)

August 18, 2017

NARSissist Velvet Glide Lip Set Ulta | The Beauty Look Book

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:

NARSissist Velvet Glide Lip Set Ulta | The Beauty Look Book

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
  • Californication cool-toned mauve
  • Immoral bright pink
  • Staying Alive vibrant plum
  • Burning Love is a bright red coral

NARSissist Velvet Glide Lip Set Ulta | The Beauty Look Book

NARSissist Velvet Glide Lip Set swatches | The Beauty Look Book

NARSissist Velvet Glide Lip Set Ulta Lip Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Full size vs minis and some comparison swatches:

NARSissist Velvet Glide Lip Set vs full size | The Beauty Look Book

Shown below:

NARSissist Velvet Glide comparison swatches | The Beauty Look Book

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.

NARS x Ulta Velvet Lip Glide Set | The Beauty Look Book

You can find the NARSissist Velvet Lip Glide Set exclusively at Ulta Beauty. Have you tried this one yet? What did you think?

 

Lips

Neutral Lip Testing from NARS, Bite Beauty, Hourglass + More

July 26, 2017

Nude Lip Haul from Sephora | The Beauty Look Book

I’m a neutral lip addict and have a roundup review of some new formulas and color out right now. All of these picks are from Sephora as it seems like that’s where most of the new launches are at for the moment. Sephora stores are actually where quite a few of my readers have run into me – in multiple cities and not always my hometown stores lol. Many thanks to each of you who have been so kind to introduce yourself and say hello – I’ve been really touched with how nice you all are in person.

So for the new stuff – many of you have been asking about the new Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments. I’ve put some shades from each formula to the test. I also have some new Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses swatched, Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipsticks reviewed (not new, but new to me) and a first impressions of the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipstick. There are also quite a few comparison swatches in this post for reference. It’s a little bit of a lot for the lips.

Up first are the new Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipsticks. My DMs and emails have been literally flooded with review requests. Since I really loved the Amuse Bouche Lipstick formula this was an easy yes for me. I went to multiple stores to track these down because one didn’t have all the colors. And one of these is an online exclusive for VIB Rouge.

These aren’t like the normal liquid lipsticks on the market which dry down to a matte finish. These are essentially lipsticks in a liquid form but with a creamy finish. In my opinion this is what all liquid lipsticks should look and feel like, but I know not everyone will agree with me. Cava is the VIB Rouge Online Exclusive shade and with one swipe on the arm I knew immediately this would not be a wearable one for me. On my tan/medium skin it looks like a lilac. I do think it will suit fair skins better so I did not swatch this on my lips and instead am saving this for a friend. Caramelized is a beige with warm tones, Whip is the perfect nude pink, Chutney is a medium rose.

The formula is opaque and creamy. There’s a beveled sponge tip applicator which allows for precise application at the tip and the angled end covers/fills your entire lip area. Lasting power is quite impressive. There is color transfer to cups if you drink but it still stays put really well for hours. Formula has a nice nourishing feel – since it’s opaque it is a bit thick, but you can easily blend it out since a little goes a long way. Most of the colors in the line ran dark. I picked the lightest options and then it jumped to fairly dark or deep. To me they have a fall vibe but I guess since fall is going to be here soon these have arrived right on time.

I think the best color is Whip.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip | The Beauty Look Book

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick | The Beauty Look Book

Below all four shades I bought swatched, compared to the Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Honeycomb, Pepper and Sake. I normally can’t wear super cool-toned colors on the lips because of my yellow skintone, Sake is about as cool as I go unless it’s a darker plum. The Liquified Lipstick has more opaque coverage compared to the Lipstick version.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip | The Beauty Look Book

Next is are two of my favorite lip gloss formulas. I’ve already featured the Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer in Skin Deep here in May but wanted to feature it again. It’s the perfect neutral-cool toned nude that has medium sheer pigment. On me it goes on a bit mauvey because of my tan and pigmented lips. If I were lighter it would be more on the neutral side. About a year ago Anastasia Beverly Hills launched some mini lip gloss sets with colors exclusive to that set. Set I purchased reviewed here. The other set has been repromoted this year at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale now. Earlier this summer she finally launched most of them individually in full size. I bought three Lip Glosses from Sephora in Toffee, Amber and Caramel as they are my favorites. For quick reference I’ve swatched a couple other neutrals from her line. Her packaging has changed slightly but the applicators are the same.

Descriptions of the following: Marc Jacobs Skin Deep is a neutral nude pink. It has medium coverage with a glossy sheen. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses have full opaque coverage and a flat sponge tip applicator. Toffee is a neutral beige, Amber is a light peachy cream, Caramel is a medium warm pink, Kristen is a neutral pink-brown, Vintage is similar but more pink/rose. The Anastasia Lip Glosses are perfect – I wish she had more wearable conservative neutrals but for now these are perfect.

Marc Jacobs Skin Deep and Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss | The Beauty Look Book

Marc Jacobs Skin Deep and Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss | The Beauty Look Book

Marc Jacobs Skin Deep and Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss swatched | The Beauty Look Book

Next is the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipstick. These are refillable and my local Sephora had a small handful of shades. The colors on display pretty much all looked the same and they were all neutrals. I swatched them on my hand and every single one looked perfect. Texture is creamy with a natural shine and it had impressive coverage. I limited myself to 1 in I Woke Up which is a perfect medium rose pink. Everything about this is perfect from color, formula, finish, feel and lasting power yet it has one major drawback for me: I find it overpriced for the size. I’m not one to pass up a lipstick because of price (ie Tom Ford, Louboutin, Cle de Peau, Surratt etc.) These lipsticks are supposed to be refillable with the refills priced at $22 which seems a bit more reasonable. But when you see these in person, they are SUPER tiny. The upside is that if you buy one or a few you will most likely use it up entirely before it goes bad. I feel conflicted about these – I actually find the packaging sleek and pretty. It’s something you have to see and feel in person to see how nice they are. The formula and coverage is excellent. I just can’t help but feel the price can’t really be justified for the size. These are 0.03 oz for $34 while Tom Ford Lips and Boys are 0.07 oz for $35.

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick I Woke Up | The Beauty Look Book

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick I Woke Up | The Beauty Look Book

Swatch comparisons next to some of the GIRL Lipstylo, Bite Beauty Meringue and Chanel Le Crayon in Beige Rose.

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick I Woke Up | The Beauty Look Book

Last are the mattes. In general matte liquid lips do not do so well on my lips. I have full lips and the matte dry down tends to emphasize lip lines and make my lips look very dry. I have still put quite a few to the test – I can make them work by adding a balm like the Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade or Reviver Balms underneath or by dabbing a tiny bit of gloss on top. Some of the colors from these lines are so perfect – I wish they were made in other formulas. The Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipsticks have been raved about by so many people. For me the lighter shades 101 and 103 are a miss because they’re too pale for me, but deeper ones like 109 work better. The formula is a true matte and it’s super opaque. You only need a thin layer to get full coverage. I dab a tiny bit and blend with the fingers. These dry down to a full matte which I’m not a fan of – still the formula didn’t dry out my lips even if it made them look dry and they do stay put once you apply them.

The NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments were sent to me for review. I have all the colors and if you’re interested in a separate review let me know in the comments. For this post I tested the colors I knew I would wear on a regular basis. These are liquid matte lipsticks with a thinner formula which makes them easier for me to work with. Still they dry down to a velvety matte finish which I don’t like so to test these I had to apply the Dior Addict Lip Glow Balms underneath to make them work. The colors of the Powermatte Lip Pigments are so good – American Woman and Walk This Way are the best colors pinks I’ve tested in a long time. They’re not quite neutral but at the same time aren’t super bright. Just What I Needed is a perfect mauve neutral. I’m a huge fan of the Velvet Lip Glide because they’re more forgiving and don’t dry down to a full matte. I wish that NARS expanded that color range instead of this formula, but I’m happy that I can make it work with a bit of balm underneath. Lasting power even on top of a balm is really good – like most liquid lipsticks it will stay put for a long time. They don’t dry out the lips.

Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment | The Beauty Look Book

Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment swatch | The Beauty Look Book

Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick and NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment swatches | The Beauty Look Book

That wraps up my neutral lip testing and buys from Sephora. I hope you found this review helpful. To sum up all this testing, I’m still a lip gloss person at heart. My favorite lip gloss formula for opaque coverage is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss. Marc Jacobs has the best shine and smooth finish for a cushiony non-sticky feel. The next best opaque liquid lipgloss is the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick. If you’re in search of a more traditional matte finish go with the new NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments.

I personally would give the Make Up For Ever Liquid Lipsticks a miss because I really don’t like the super matte dry down. These are ultra matte even with a balm underneath. I’m still undecided on the Hourglass lipsticks. If I were to rate them just on performance, quality and color, I’d 100% give it an A+. The price is what is holding me back from giving it a huge thumbs up – but product-wise it’s excellent.

All this being said, fall is usually a huge season for lip launches. I don’t know what’s in store for the upcoming season, but if you’re unsure about any of these there should be no rush. It appears that all are permanent, at least for now until the brand decides to reformulate something or discontinue a product. They will be around for a while. If you want to know what one new lip formula I think you should buy from this round up it would be to try one of the new Bite Liquid Lipsticks. If those really aren’t your thing I’d say wait a month or so to see what fall has in store for us.

Have you tried any of these formulas or colors yet? What did you think? You can find all of these now at Sephora. The NARS Powermatte Pigments were sent for review. All others purchased by me.

 

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