NARS Paramaribo Eye Shadow Duo: The Rundown

Leave it to Francois Nars to come up with a very interesting twist in his eye shadow duo offering for Spring 2012.

20120130-202220.jpg

Look out Star Sailor, there's a new cool neutral in town!

Paramaribo is described by NARS as a metallic bronze and brass shimmer finish but frankly it looks like the Star Sailor duo with a greenish cast. The brass shadow in this duo is unlike any other colors that I own. The closest might be a dirty version of MAC Gorgeous Gold topped off with Lucky Green. The bronze shadow doesn’t look like a ‘true’ bronze at all. It is more like a bronze patina if that makes any sense. Like with most of the NARS eye shadow duos, both shades in Paramaribo are well pigmented, go on smoothly and neither one was powdery. I did not have to work hard to get the shadow on my brush and the color built up easily on my bare eyelid.  They are also very blendable and I did not notice any fallout or serious color degradation when blending.

20120125-205512.jpg

Swatches on NW43 skin of NARS Paramaribo Eye Shadow duo from top: bronze side, brass side

20120125-210256.jpg

Closeup of NARS Paramaribo on my eyes (liner is MAC Fluidline in Dark Envy)

As I’m always on the lookout for alternatives to all the boring brown and neutral colors out there this one was definitely up my alley. I find earthy greens to very work safe and versatile in my makeup wardrobe. Both shadows can be used alone beautifully but together they give off an even bigger impact. For even more drama I would blend in a bit of Mekong (a holy grail NARS eye shadow shade for women of color) into the crease and onto the lower lashline. Top this off with a berry lipstick and you have a gorgeous look that will take you from winter to spring with the greatest of ease.

20120125-204951.jpg

NARS Paramaribo on lids, Gaiety on cheeks with Valparaiso Pure Matte lipstick--perfect winter into Spring look!

At $33 USD this definitely lands it in Upscale Beauty land in terms of price.  But I feel the price is more than justified given the intense pigmentation and the color payoff–especially for women of color.  In terms of value, this eye shadow duo has it.  As I said earlier, greens are very work safe and dense pigmentation of these two eye shadows would work great alone or with any other neutral colors that you own.

So in a nutshell, Paramaribo would definitely make a good addition to your makeup wardrobe should you choose to indulge.  According to NARS this duo is limited edition for Spring 2012 however, unlike in MAC Cosmetics-speak,  limited-edition means as long as they feel like manufacturing it for sale it will be available for purchase.  So if you are interested in picking this up but if you’re not in a position to get it right now I wouldn’t worry about it –you have plenty of time to haul.

20120125-205009.jpg

NARS Paramaribo: Brass side on inner lid, Bronze side blended from outer lid

20120202-132628.jpg

NARS Paramaribo in outside light--my new fave 'go to' shadow (wearing NARS Sheer Matte foundation in New Guinea)

Dior Vernis in Waterlilly: The Rundown

Scented nail polish?  Say what?!?  The beauty side of my brain just told the geeky side of my brain to stop trying to figure out the chemistry formula involved and just buy the damned color because it’s ‘cool’. So yeah, I bought it.

DISCLOSURE ALERT > I own stock in Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy (LVMH) group which is the parent company of Dior couture.

For Spring 2012,  as part of its Garden Party collection, Dior presents us with two scented nail polishes.  The first is a purple pastel called Forget-Me Not (aptly titled as the polish is the same color of said flower) while the other is a murky mint green aptly called Waterlilly.  As I already own tons of purple nail polish, and the price of this polish is pretty steep at $23 for .30 ounces, I opted for Waterlilly.

20120109-172030.jpg

Dior Vernis in Waterlilly--gorgeous pastel green shimmer polish

Packaged in a stunning silver box and contained it a beautiful glass bottle with ‘Vernis’ etched into it, Waterlilly smells pretty much like any other high-end nail polish out of the bottle.  The green is a mid-tone pastel with flashes of pink iridescence which are more apparent in the bottle than on the nail.   It comes with a wide brush I’ve seen in my Sally Hansen quick-dry polishes and I am not a fan of it.  The brush felt awkward in my hand and the polish seemed to want to stick to the brush more than my nails.  I worked my way around it and the color payoff is gorgeous to say the least. Against my cool skin it screamed ‘spring is coming!’ in a classy fashionable way.

20120109-172103.jpg

Dior Vernis in Waterlilly. 2 coats, no flash (HDR)

Compared to Illamasqua’s Milf, Dior Waterlilly is a darker green and not a cream polish.  Illamasqua Radium is more yellow-toned with shimmer.  The only thing I have close to the color of Waterlilly is Essie’s Mint Candy Apple with Pure Pearlfection over the top to add shimmer.  Even still, it isn’t as vivid a green as Dior Waterlilly but it’s close enough for a good color hack. If you have cool undertones, this color will definitely pop on you.  Warmer skin tones could also wear this color but as it leans more cool (think Illamasqua Milf) than warm (think Illamasqua Radium).  No matter your skin tone, this is a very ‘bleeding edge’ fashionable shade of green for spring that very few people will be rocking.

20120117-203520.jpg

From top: Illamasqua Milf, Dior Waterlilly, Illamasqua Radium (2 coats each with indoor flash)

20120117-203529.jpg

From top: Illamasqua Milf, Dior Waterlilly, Illamasqua Radium (2 coats each without flash)

Drying time wasn’t measured as i used Illamasqua top coat (quick drying) and Nicole by Opi Drying Drops to speed things up as I am beyond impatient about drying nail polish.  When dry, I did notice a faint violet smell but nothing that made me want to continuously sniff my nails.  It’s a nice touch but pretty forgettable as i noticed no smell after the first day of wear.  After two days of 120 wpm tying/coding, I noticed no discernable tip wear at all.  Like with other luxury nail polishes I own (Rescue Beauty Lounge, Chanel) I get no chipping of the polish on the nail and only slight wear on the tips.  Because of the etching (and this is just me), I find this bottle to be highly collectable and definitely worth having in your nail color wardrobe.  The price is steep for how much you get but considering this is a haute couture design house and not MAC for Gareth Pugh, and there are no existing true dupes for it, plus the outstanding wear makes it a worthy beauty investment.

Dior Vernis in Waterlilly is available from upscale retailers such as Nordtrom and Neiman Marcus and of course Dior.com and retails for $23/bottle.

20120117-203507.jpg

How cool is the etching of 'Vernis' on the bottle? So luxe.

Rescue Beauty Lounge ‘Orbis Non Sufficit’: The Rundown

For years, my idea of the ultimate hunter green color was that featured on the pages of Ralph Lauren photo spreads I would read in Vogue and Elle magazines as a teenager. Now that perfect hunter green color is available in a nail polish.

20111209-213944.jpg

Close up of Orbis Non Sufficit

Orbis Non Sufficit, part of Rescue Beauty Lounge’s BIB2 event, is the perfect hunter green cream. Created by Steph of ThePolishAddict and brought to life by Ji Baek, it is described as a ‘moody greyed out combat green’. It is the gray undertones that make this color such a fabulous match for my cool skin tone. Most hunter greens have too much yellow in it (thus making the color turn to pot against my strong red undertones) but not this. It is much more opaque than NARS Zulu, duskier than China Glaze’s Holly-Day, and less emerald than The Balm’s Jade in the USA. This is a very fashion-forward yet wearable shade that would not overshadow a conservative outfit nor dull the edge when wearing something more daring. Versatility of wear is a strong point when it comes to this color.

This color is opaque within one coat but for longevity I use two coats. The color flows smoothly from the brush without any skips or ‘trace’ when painting the nail. Drying time is a bit slow but I use either Illamaqua quick drying top coat or MAC Overlacquer only to quick dry RBL polishes without any mass bubbling or shrinkage. RBL polishes are best used with the Treatment System they offer but the formula is formidable on its own.

As with all RBL polishes I own so far, I get a little over a week of wear with this and only minimal tip wear. Cost per bottle is $18 and free domestic shipping is offered for orders over $100 ($200 for international orders) at RescueBeauty.com. Remember, Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes are 5-Free and Made in the USA.

20111211-222116.jpg

Orbis Non Sufficit by Rescue Beauty Lounge. A wonderful hunter green creme for us cool-toned gals.

20111211-222139.jpg

China Glaze 'Holly-Day', RBL Orbis Non Sufficit, TheBalm Jade In The USA