Preview: NARS Spring 2013

My goodies from NARS for Spring 2013 have arrived!

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Clockwise from top: NARS Sangria blush, Persia eye shadow, Cythere lip gloss pencil

As I hinted in my makeup intelligence post on NARS Spring 2013, I picked up the blush in Sangria, matte eye shadow in Persia and the lip gloss in Cythere.  I was most excited about getting Sangria but in the back of my mind I knew I had to get Persia.  And I am so glad that I did!

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Full face look feat. NARS Persia eye shadow (Mekong in crease, Kilimanjaro on browbown), Sangria blush (over Luster and Super Orgasm) and Cythere lip pencil over MUFE #10C lip pencil.

I’m currently testing these products but I can definitely say all three are worth purchasing, especially the Persia eye shadow.  If you are a medium to dark and darker brown girl, you need Persia in your life!  And even if you have strong red undertones as I do, blending this color with NARS Mekong (or any other cool toned dark shadow) will make it work. An added bonus about this color (which is insanely pigmented by the way) is that it makes that Maybelline Color Tattoo cream shadow in ‘Fierce and Tangy’ orange worth using again.  NARS Persia looks stunning on top of Maybelline’s Fierce and Tangy.

NARS Spring 2013 collection is available now at NARSCosmetics.com and coming to Sephora.com and NARS counters in upscale department stores in February.

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NARS High Society Eye Shadow Trio: The Rundown

Let’s be honest. After getting burned by the epic fail that was NARS Christmas 2012 eye shadow trio Arabian Nights, I wasn’t going to get this.  But I’m a sucker for purples and the matte green mixed in was so different for fall I had to give it a try.

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High Society eye shadow trio from NARS Fall 2012 collection

NARS eye shadow trip offering for Fall 2012 comes in a sleek, black mirrored compact with three (3) separate eye shadow colors weighing in at 0.17oz of product.  The three colors is a shimmery lavender shade, a matte green just a shade lighter than hunter green, and an amethyst shade.

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Swatches of NARS High Society eye shadow trio (flash)

The lavender shimmer is nice, pigmented well enough but I find it lacks the iridescence of Iceland (purple side) and gold shimmer of Strada.  While I like it as a highlighter shade, NARS makes colors in their core line that do it better.  The matte green is definitely not my favorite but I also am not very fond of NARS matte colors in general. Fuji has a subtle sheen while green side of Blade Runner has more of a frost.  This matte shade serves well to darken and provide interesting contrast between the amethyst and lavender shades but not good for much else. The amethyst shimmer (my favorite color of the bunch), is pigmented nicely and I love this to smoke out my eye along w/ the lavender shimmer shade. It is slightly darker than Knight Rider.

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NARS Fall 2012 look with High Society on eyes, Outlaw on cheeks and Rouge Tribal on lips

When worn over Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candelight, I got at least 6 hours worth of wear but the color intensity wore off a bit. I couldn’t see the individual colors themselves but they did blend together for an interesting yet subtle look. As I prefer more intensity, I used Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream in #16 and only used the amethyst and lavender shades. This definitely helped to amp up the color and keep it a bit more vibrant and true to pan. The matte shade I found disappeared too quickly for my liking. Had a hard time blending it and even when worn on the lid alone it just looked ‘blah’ on me. Didn’t move me like my beloved Fuji, Blade Runner or Night Flight.

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NARS High Society Eye Shadow Trio–remixed!

While I do like two out of the three shadows in this palette, I don’t believe this is worth picking up if you are still working on your NARS eye shadow collection. I do believe you are better off picking up Strada and Fuji eye shadow singles and layering it over a cream base such as MUFE # (light purple) or Urban Decay’s Morphine shadow pencil. If you have very oily eyelids like me a an eye shadow base such as TFSI or NARS is required.

NARS High Society Eye shadow trio retails for $45 USD and is now available for purchase at NARSCosmetics.com and in Sephora stores and NARS counters at Neiman Marcus and Lord and Taylor.

Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Capri Eye Shadow Quad: The Rundown

Finally! I have gotten around to reviewing the Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Terra Azzura Capri eye shadow quad from the delightful Summer 2012 collection. I’ve had a few weeks to road test this product and see how versatile it is and how the shadow formula behaves.

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Eye Shadow Quad in Capri–French Riviera memories!

The Product Details

There are four (4) colors in this quad chosen to replicate a feeling of being in the French Riviera at summertime are as follow:

  • A shimmering ecru
  • A smokey brown
  • A satin pink
  • A semi-frosty peach coral

At first glance if you think you’ve seen a quad like this you probably have. MAC’s Call Me Bubbles quad that came out for Spring 2012 for Shop MAC/Cook MAC is almost identical at first glance. But unlike with MAC’s quad, I found all four colors in the Guerlain palette to be buttery smooth with amazing color payoff. More often than not I got too much product on the application with less effort than with my MAC shadows. For darker-skinned beauties NC/NW40+, these colors will definitely work for you however I would suggest using either a white eyeshadow on the lid, or a light color eyeshadow pencil such as Make Up For Ever’s Shadow Pencil in Pearly Peach (26E) or Urban Decay’s 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Sin.

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Guerlain’s new eye shadow palette by Emilio Pucci–Great for everyday!

The palette seems like it is all warm colors but there is enough neutrality for it to look nice on all skintones. Even with my screaming red undertones all of colors complimented me very well and I found myself reaching for this palette more often than not. Out of all of the colors, the cool dusty brown and peachy orange are my favorites for a surprisingly wearable summer smokey eye. The pink color is nice but as I have the Les Roses palette and this one is more matte, I use to enhance the peachy orange shade moreso than on its own. The beige color is fabulous as a highlighter or a light wash of shimmery ercu across the lids.

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci swatches from bottom: Kohl Kajal, Eye shadow palette (no flash/HDR)

I would highly suggest using the included custom applicator to apply the shadow. My MAC brushes didn’t seem to play very well with this. And if you have oily eyelids as I do, definitely use an eyeshadow primer like Too Faced Shadow Insurance and a cream shadow as a base such as MAC’s Quite Natural or Painterly paint pots, or Maybelline’s Color Tattoo 24hr cream shadow in Tough as Taupe or Pomegranate Punk. Total weight by volume of all four shadows is .24 oz which is a very healthy amount compared to MAC’s usual .17 oz total weight for a quad.

Final Recommendation

While the price point is quite high ($59), the different finish of the case and quality of the eyeshadows (and big mirror in it) more than qualify the price. For women of color, the shadows do not turn ‘ashy’ but to make them pop I would suggest using a cream shadow underneath either a few shades lighter than your coloring or use a white shadow pencil. All colors are easily blendable and while this pallete is showcased for Summer, it is a lovely one to have year-round for olive to dark-skinned beauties.

The Guerlain by Emillio Pucci Capri eye shadow palette is a limited edition item and is available at Nordstrom, Sephora.com and NeimanMarcus.com

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Back of Capri eyeshadow palette by Guerlain by Emilio Pucci

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The velvet sleeve for the eye shadow palette–a true identifier of luxury cosmetics

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Eye shadow quad – Flash

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci swatches from bottom: Kohl Kajal, Eye shadow palette (flash)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

Sneek Peek: Guerlain Spring 2012 Pinks and Blacks

It is soo cold here in the Philly ‘burbs that I can’t wait until Spring and my Easter trip to Disney World. In anticipation of visiting the Guerlain boutique in the France Pavillion at EPCOT, here are photos of some of the pieces from the Spring 2012 Pinks and Blacks collection. Review to follow soon!

Heads up–If you want the Cruel Gardenia highlighter, don’t wait. It’s already sold out at Nordstrom.com.

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