Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bronzed & Glossed

I mentioned in my current wishlist post I've been going through a bronzer phase, and the absence of cult bronzer NARS Laguna from my collection was beginning to bother me immensely. I was researching the most economical way of procuring it, when I came across the NARS Lose Yourself Blush/Bronzing Powder Duo & Lip Gloss Set on StrawberryNET. Released in the middle of 2011 and retailing for $US49, this Sephora-exclusive set contains a blush/bronzer duo in Angelika/Laguna and mini Angelika lip gloss. The blush in Angelika is the same size as a full size NARS blush (4.8g), and although the bronzer is 4.7g compared with the full size 8g, it's more than enough product for me. The lip gloss was basically an afterthought — an inclusion I could've easily done without but wasn't going to complain about, especially since I've never tried a NARS lip gloss before.











The mini lip gloss in Angelika at 3.7g is just under half the size of a regular gloss. Described as a "cotton candy pink with gold and silver sparkle", Angelika is a bright, blue-toned pink with silver/diamond shimmer that isn't all that noticeable until the gloss is taken off. It has a vivid, bubblegum quality without looking too purplish or fuchsia on my lips. The formula has a tendency to settle into lip lines, but nothing that pressing the lips together to blend the gloss can't solve. It has a somewhat thick texture which makes it opaque and glossy, but it's not uncomfortable to wear or physically sticky on the lips.





l-r: Angelika, Laguna

The Angelika/Laguna duo comes in a compact nearly double the size of a normal blush. Rather than a rectangular pan, the individual blush and bronzer pans have rounded edges. The mirror is a lot larger which means you can actually see most of your entire face with it. The obvious downside to having two products together is that if you only want to use one of them, the other half is forever tagging along, taking up unnecessary space. At the same time, the two do make a natural match, and I very rarely pack powder products or apply them on the go, so it doesn't make a difference to me if it's only going to be kept at home.

l-r: Bourjois Rose de Jaspe, Rimmel Genuine Plum, e.l.f. Pink Passion, NARS Angelika

I remember watching Tanya Burr mentioning NARS Angelika blush in her "Products I Regret Buying" video, which made me a little wary I'd share the same sentiment. Most pink blushes tend to look quite red on me, and Angelika is no exception. There is silver and gold glitter in it, but it's not all that detectable on the cheek. I pulled out three other blushes that I thought would be close to Angelika — while none of them are identical in the swatch, once worn, they pretty much give the same effect (though e.l.f. Pink Passion is a bit paler, brighter and fresher). It's fairly easy to work with as it's not super pigmented, nor does it go on patchy, but it's best sparingly applied and blended well, otherwise it can leave me looking ruddy and sunburnt.

l-r: NARS Laguna, Benefit Hoola, Stila Shade 01, Bourjois 14, Napoleon Perdis Ultimate Contour Palette

The Laguna side of the blush/bronzer duo was 70% of my motivation for buying this set, and thankfully it doesn't disappoint. I think part of its enduring appeal is that it's relatively sheer but very easy to blend. You can use it concentrated across the cheekbones to contour, or more liberally as an all-over bronzer. It can be anything from a barely-there hint of warmth and definition, to a full-on, summery golden tan. My favourite brush to pair with it is the Models Prefer Mystique Angled Blush Brush, as the shape enables me to use it to contour, but it's fluffy enough so that any product and edges are well blended.

Comparing my other bronzers, I don't have anything exactly like Laguna, which is warm, golden, with a subtle gold pearl. Benefit Hoola is dirtier (more taupe), matte, darker. Stila Sun SPF 15 Bronzing Powder in Shade 01 is more of a matte ochre colour, an orange-leaning golden brown that's ultra smooth and soft in texture. I had to scratch my Bourjois Délice de Soleil Bronzing Powder SPF 15 in 14 with a toothpick because the surface had completely sealed off. Even after I managed to release some pigment, it was still chalky and patchy. The colour is too dark for me anyway, a slightly burnt and muddy orange brown. The contour shade in my oft-neglected Napoleon Perdis Ultimate Contour Palette is more a caramel/toffee brown. It's matte, lighter, a tad more red than the others, with a very smooth texture but somewhat powdery.

The entire Lose Yourself set just screams summer to me, especially if all the products are applied together. I'm not a huge lip gloss fan, but I ended up liking the Angelika gloss more than I thought I would, mainly because of the colour and the texture. I wouldn't mind tossing it in my makeup bag over a lipstick for a night out. I'm a little bit underwhelmed with the Angelika blush, though I might get more use out of it when the weather starts heating up. Laguna is an instant hit with me and has motivated me to toss out some of the now vastly inferior options in my bronzer collection.

57 comments:

  1. I'm very jealous - it's pretty awesome value for money! Laguna is so raved about, though I've never really lusted after it myself. Still dying to try one of their blushes and Sheer Glow foundation though!

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  2. The palette is gorgeous!
    thanks for the swatch, I found the Rimmel one is really similar to Angelika! :)
    xx

    Jessie

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  3. this looks gorgeous! Gotta love cheek products from nars :D

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  4. I'm still in two minds about buying laguna but maybe I should just go for it... hmm

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  5. Wow I enjoyed your review – I like the tone of laguna bronzer and this set you bought looks lovely xx

    Helen @
    http://helensfashionblog.blogspot.co.uk/

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  6. Saw this! Such a good deal but decided Angelika wasn't for me. The gloss looks right up your alley! Laguna is so pretty it's almost worth the Australian RRP but not quite imo- have you seen the new palettes? The Voulez-Vous and At First Sight palettes? Seriously thought about At First Sight but I'd rather it have Sin or Douceur or Luster instead of Deep Throat. And the sparkly pastel blue/lilac shadow doesn't look like she will be loved.

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    1. No I haven't, need to Google those! I have seen the new eyeshadow palettes they have out, there's one with like greens and golds and another one that's more greys/purples. I'm still so happy with my And God Created the Woman palette that I don't feel the need to buy any more NARS eyeshadows (with the exception of the Kalahari duo). Go for Douceur or Luster, I think you'll love both.

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    2. The At First Sight palette was $100 at Mecca. Ridiculous compared to the $60+ it would go for in Sephora US but that can't be helped. The Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi, Ce Soir? palette translates to 'will you sleep with me tonight'... typical NARS.

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    3. Hahaha oh dear. Mecca is so overpriced, it's depressing :( It's weird though, the Radiant Creamy Concealer is $35 which isn't too far off the US price. I don't know why they had to hike up the palettes so much (well, of course I do, lol!). Sometimes it's not that much cheaper if you have to ship it from the US - like my experience with Price USA, the NARS And God Created the Woman Eye Kit ended up buying only maybe $15 cheaper than if I bought it at Mecca, but with like so much more inconvenience (emails, 2x bank transfers, 1 month wait) :p

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  7. I was tempted to get Angelika awhile back, but I ended up getting something else... can't recall the name right now. It still looks pretty in your swatches though so I just might get my hands on that blush ;)

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  8. Both the Angelika blush and lip gloss are beautiful! Your lips look so lush!

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  9. This palette looks so nice ! You are always so good at finding a deal !

    Madeline | Its a Mads Mads World

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  10. What a gorgeous set! Even the packaging sets it apart from the crowd. I love it :)
    xx http://enzaessentials.wordpress.com

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  11. A lovely set here, the lip gloss is actually surprisingly beautiful, I really like the shade :)

    I've never tried anything from Nars, hopefully later this year I will be able to.
    Amy x
    -A Little Boat Sailing-

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  12. The box is so eye catching! Angelika looks good on you in the lip swatch so great that you like it! The blusher would compliment darker skin tones better but anyways, Laguna was the actual purpose of your purchase, and I'm glad that it didn't disappoint! Looks beautiful! :) x

    Jasmine Catches Butterflies ʚϊɞ

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  13. Oh the Angelika lip gloss is so pretty, I think I love it the lipgloss like the blush because the pink is one of my favorite colors. NARS has beautiful blushes and bronzers. Thanks for your review!

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  14. If anything I would want to buy this just for the box hahahah; it's so pretty (I have a problem, I know)!! Regardless this looks like a lovely little set and I'm so happy that you love Laguna! It's absolutely a no-no on me (far too orange) but I really do think it's lovely on others. Also, that lipgloss looks gooooorgeous! What a nice added bonus :)

    ♥Cassie
    thriftthick.blogspot.com

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  15. oh this is def a good set and the box is so eye catching! it's nice to be able to test some products in a set with cheaper price rather than buying the full size and end up not liking it.. Too bad strawberry.net is blocked in Germany T.T
    NARS Laguna looks a tad too 'bronzy' for me, but it's great that you like it!! Angelika blush looks beautiful, though the lip gloss might be too 'blue toned' for me.
    I am flying to Paris in a month and NARS is available there.I'll def take a look at the blushes and the satin lip crayon ^^

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    1. Oh no, that sucks about StrawberryNET being blocked in Germany - I love that site! It's not always the cheapest and I think some of the stock is old, but it has a huge selection of makeup and skin care and it ships really fast and for free.

      Ooohhh, must be exciting to be able to check out NARS in Paris! Do try out their blushes - they are by far their best and most famed product. I think you'll love some of the red Satin Lip Pencils too :)

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  16. If there is something I want to get for my birthday is more NARS blushes! (and matte velvet lip pencils)
    I really like this duo! Something like Laguna + orgasm would be....too expected (although I want both orgasm and super orgasm on my collection ASAP...)
    I think NARS products are worth the hype. I mean, I dob't know any blush that can stay more than 10 hours on my face without fading...It's amazing for every-day wear in my opinion!
    Tank you for introducing me to this really amazing duo!
    Kissu*

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    1. I love NARS blushes as well - I still feel NARS make the best blushes. The lasting power is really good as you point out :) I've never tried the Matte Velvet pencils though I do think the formula of the satin ones are amazing (just the colours weren't spectacular on me). I've definitely been going through a NARS phase of late so I do love me some NARS :)

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  17. I enjoy Laguna too. I feel like people either really like it or despise it! Glad to hear you enjoy it. I have it in a duo as well but my duo has the cult favorite Orgasm blush instead. I have the full sized Angelika. I don't really care for it. It isn't a terrible blush but I just don't find myself reaching for it! Someone actually gave it to me at a really heavily discounted price which is the only reason why it made it into my collection. The gloss color seems to be right up your alley! I know how you love your pink lip colors.

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    1. Haha you know my preferences well! ;) Me and my crazy thing with pinks. I reckon I'll be treating Angelika (the blush) very much the same as you - not really reaching for it, that is. It's okay but I have other pinks that I prefer :)

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  18. I never really tend to check out Nars but I've been taking note of their lip products recently. Angelika looks so pretty on!

    Jordan | Boho Vanity

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  19. Just the packaging itself looks beautiful! I love Laguna, it's an all-time favourite and Angelika really surprised me in these swatches. I often 'hmm.. meh' when it comes to cool pinks as they tend to not look so great on my skin tone but this looks like something that could work :)

    Isabela | Fusels

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  20. This laguna bronzer from Nars seems so popular and so likable that I want to get it myself but I don't ever wear bronzer and I feel like if I buy it, it will probably get tossed at the back of my makeup drawer. This palette is just eyecandy!

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  21. I really now need in my life Nars Angelica!! perfect swatches as always!!

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  22. That gloss is to die for! Need to get my hands on it! xx

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  23. This is such a pretty palette, seems perfect for summer. I've never wanted to buy Laguna because generally bronzers look ridiculous on my super fair skin, although on the right skin tone I've seen it look incredible and I don't think anyone regrets buying it. These palettes are such a great way to try out a few products you're not sure of and not spend a huge amount of money. Glad you were happy with the purchase. The lip gloss looks so pretty on you!

    Emma x

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  24. I seriously need to get my hands on a NARS blush.

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  25. I own the NARS Orgasm and Laguna duo and I love it! This set here looks incredible as well. I haven't been disappointed in NARS products yet and I'm definitely interested to give some more of their products a go.
    xx
    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

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  26. I never cared too much for Laguna for whatever reason, but Angelika gloss looks so pretty! I'm surprised by how appealing that looks right now. Enjoy! There's a NARS fall shadow palette coming up that I'm afraid to look at in person because bad things will happen. :s

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    1. LOL which one? Fairy's Kiss? :)

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    2. Looks amaze. I hope you give in for my own reading pleasure/vicarious enjoyment ;)

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  27. The packaging looks so pretty, such a good combo to get
    Verity xx
    Life of Verity

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  28. Dang you really made me want to buy this but I think the blush would make me look too red too.

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  29. Laguna has been on my wishlist for what seems like forever, I always assumed it would be a little too dark for me but I think I could make it work. I'm definitely trying to be sensible though and I might purchase it before next summer because I still have a lot of my Benefit Hoola left. I'm not a huge bronzer person so I don't think I need both.

    Angelika blush is also something I've been considering purchasing but I think the colour would be a little too much on my cheeks. The gloss looks absolutely beautiful though, it's good to hear that it's not sticky!

    Jennie xo | sailboat.

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  30. Gahhh that is a gorgeous colour!

    NARS packaging always reminds me of old school MAC packaging - black, nice and chic!

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  31. i have heard so much about the laguna bronzer and after reading this im definitely gonna get one soon ^_~

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  32. Those NARS blushes are so gorgeous! Love those shades :)

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  33. This set is gorgeous, couldn't resist to the combination, in fact couldn't resist to any Nars blush and that lipgloss swatch so beautiful.

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  34. What a beauty! I'm not a big fan of lip glosses either, but this one really suits you! Angelica and Laguna are both on my wishlist definitely.

    MyMakeUpCompulsion

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  35. Ive always adored Nars blushes! What a lovely duo :)

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  36. This made me want Laguna even more!! I have the Benefit Hoola and was contemplating whether I should get the Laguna or not (or whether I actually need it...) but I guess I will add this to my collection soon! ;D
    x Court

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  37. I have Laguna but don't like it :o But this palette looks really lovely!!!

    xoxo

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  38. This set is a good deal! I've also been trying to hold off on buying Laguna but your post just reminded me of how much I want it in my bronzer collection LOL. The bronzer looks so pretty and for once, the lipgloss included is actually appealing to me. I'm glad that the formula isn't too tacky or sticky! The other NARS gloss I've been eyeing is Turkish Delight....but never made a purchase cause I can't justify myself buying something is very likely to just sit in my collection looking pretty.

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  39. I love Nars glosses so much, my very favourite gloss formula *thumbs up* Angelika gloss looks so darn good on you, it is now on my wishlist ;P I have a mini pan of Laguna but I prefer some of my other bronzers if I'm honest. I love these value sets Nars release!

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  40. I'm actually really pissed off that I didn't see this package at Sephora when I wen the other day.
    I looks so good, lol.
    #NARSObsessed

    Velia | Cocoamourr | MakeUp&Skincare

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    1. I think it was limited edition and out about 1.5 years ago - though I did see it still on the NARS website. It seems to have a heavy presence on eBay for whatever reason as well! Maybe you can try those places if you're still interested? :)

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  41. Both shades look soo gorg! It looks quite light in the pan but i love the slightly rosey quality to it! Its so similar to the rimmel blush!

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  42. Catching up on your blog :3
    I don't think i've ever tried a NARS product that i didn't like, i have some of their single eyeshadows, eyeshadow duos, blushes, a lipstick and a lipgloss and i love them all ^^
    Until recently i only had Hoola as a bronzer and i just bought the chanel tan de soleil a couple of weeks ago. I've always been on the fence about Laguna but now i really want it LOL i must resist i just bought a bronzer.
    Angelika is quite pretty too and you don't hear much about it.

    à la foliee

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  43. i don't think i could wear that gloss! hehe anyways the blush/bronzer are quite pretty shades on you!

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