Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Best & No Worst of NARS

If someone asked me to nominate my favourite brand of makeup, without hesitation I'd say NARS. There really isn't much I've tried from the brand that I've actively disliked or been disappointed by. It has such a strong presence and offering across its product spectrum that even if I were restricted to just one brand for life, I'd be more than content with NARS. Like a dutiful spouse that you rely on day-to-day but don't take the time to express your appreciation for enough, allow me now to spell out my love.


EYESHADOW
I've always found the main barrier to having an extensive NARS eyeshadow collection to be the cost. I'd rather buy an Urban Decay Naked palette for $60-$80 (sideeyeing online prices for Naked3) than a single eyeshadow (retailing for $45 here in Australia) or duo ($55, cray I know). Hence the only eyeshadows I've tried from the brand have been from the And God Created the Woman Eye Palette which I hunted down with possessed fervour last year. From my limited experience with NARS eyeshadows, their formulas tend to be on the dry, compacted side rather than soft and super pigmented like say, the LORAC Pro Palette. Still, they're solid in colour payoff and apply smoothly and evenly. Major brownie points for how beautifully curated the shades in And God Created the Woman are.

EYE PRIMER
A sample of the Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base came with the eyeshadow palette, so I was curious to test out for myself the eye primer favoured by Lisa Eldridge and Ingrid of missglamorazzi. I don't really use primers for my eyeshadow anymore (mainly due to laziness), but this one seems like it would be extremely effective on oily lids. Since my lids are more on the opposite end of the spectrum, Pro-Prime isn't something I reach for very often. I also prefer to use a neutral, light cream eyeshadow for my base rather than a dedicated eye primer.


BRONZER
For years, I'd heard raves about Laguna, but wasn't sure if the hype was justified. After all, how good could a bronzer really be in comparison to the multitude of others out there? Turns out really, really good. Laguna is probably my favourite bronzer, and I have both Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel and Benefit Hoola. I just can't pinpoint any aspect of it that I'm unhappy with, including the colour, texture, ease of application and effect it gives to the face.


LIPS
I've not tried too many lip offerings from NARS, but the two Satin Lip Pencils I own (Yu and Biscayne Park) have impressed. While I'm not overly thrilled with the actual shades I picked out (I'm thinking it was potentially a mistake to have passed on Lodhi), the darn good formula makes it hard to complain. Ridiculously pigmented with just one swipe and melt-upon-contact with the lips, the only minor issues I have are that they can feel slightly drying after a while and sharpening is annoying.


FOUNDATION
NARS Sheer Glow is hands down, my favourite foundation. If your skin is misbehaving and drier than normal, it can sometimes highlight all your flaky areas, but on properly moisturised and exfoliated skin, simply nothing compares in terms of finish, coverage and lasting power/adherence to the skin. This is the only foundation I'm certain I will repurchase when I run out.

CONCEALER
The Radiant Creamy Concealer is the newest addition to my NARS family, but I was an instant convert. This does everything you want a good concealer to do: erase blemishes, neutralise areas of redness and generally perfect the canvas of the skin to fake being blessed with good genes. It's a breeze to apply with fingers and the product sticks to the skin and doesn't transfer or fade away within a couple of hours.


BLUSH
Probably what NARS is best known for, and for good reason. I have reviewed each and every blush in my stash: Orgasm, Deep Throat, Sin, Douceur, Enchanted, Luster and Angelika. With the exception of the chunky glitter highlighter Enchanted which I could probably live without, I treasure my mini NARS blush collection. Sure, Sin is at times borderline unwearable for me and Angelika isn't the most flattering on my skin tone, but Orgasm is such a cult classic, Douceur is face sculpting gold, and Luster is a faultlessly concocted bronzer-and-blush-in-one that does it all with next to no effort.


What's next on my NARS wishlist? I feel like I need the Kalahari eyeshadow duo in my life because the left shade which is in the And God Created the Woman palette (despite its somewhat crumbly texture) is living, breathing perfection. I tried the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square a few months ago and became convinced it was my Revlon Strawberry Suede substitute. I have a feeling the NARS lipstick formula might be a tad drying for me, but Dolce Vita is such a classic, ultra wearable shade that there's not much room to go wrong. And I'm still all about that beautifully highlighted glow. NARS Albatross will graduate from being on my perennial wishlist to being in my actual makeup drawer. One day.

43 comments:

  1. I am a HUGE HUGE Nars fan myself! I love their sheer lipsticks the most and of course the blushes! Tzigane and Dolce Vita are my favorite! I have Dolce Vita blush too which is amazing!

    I recently got Jungle Red and love it! Try that! I have my eyes on Luxembourg lip pencil and Douceur! Inspite of having Tarte's exposed in my possession I just cannot let go of the idea of Douceur! :P

    P.S: You might want to check out their Cordura duo e/s as well! its all kinds of awesome! (check the swatches on my blog)

    TheConscienceFund

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  2. Thanks for the honest reviews! I'm dying for some high end foundations and NARS is very very high end priced here so I'm glad to here about how the foundation is so versatile! I'd love some blushes from them too! I love my dusty, roses and warm neutrals for cheeks! I don't own one NARS product yet though so I can't wait for my first purchase (whenever that will be!)

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  3. Love your NARS collection! I've used up a few of the Laguna bronzers myself, and I'm absolutely obsessed with the lipstick in Cruising. Probably my most worn, it's a neutral/pink. Great post!

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  4. Awesome NARS collection you have here! I love NARS too and I took your recommendation and got the creamy concealer a week ago and oh my, it is so great. First concealer I use which is perfect for covering blemishes and does not dry out the spot. Have you tried their new intense eyeshadow yet?

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    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying the concealer! :) I haven't, are they any good? I swatched a few in store and I think they're a touch too frosty/metallic for my taste, but they seem really gorgeously pigmented.

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  5. Thanks for showing us your NARS collection! <3
    Lately I am obsessed with the brand myself. I love their pressed powder formulas. I'm looking to get a classic blush shade like Mata Hari and the new Jardin Perdu eyeshadow duo. Those dual intensity ones don't interest me as much probably because I never wet my eyeshadows.

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    1. Neither do I, too fiddly! Though sometimes I have to if the texture of the e/s is on the crumbly side (I'm looking at you, Urban Decay 'Trick' from the Naked3 palette!). I really want to get the NARS pressed powder, the illuminating/translucent one!

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  6. I am a recent NARS convert, mostly because of their tinted moisturiser which is absolutely fantastic! Definitely treating myself to more of their products in the future, probably their blush since I've heard so many good things about them.

    Sasha Monday | Beauty Blog x

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  7. Oh I love this 'one brand review' ! thank you for showing us your NARS stash :-D
    I have hit and miss experiences with NARS so far.. The blushes are unfortunately not for me and the lipsticks are a tad too dry for my liking .. But I love the Satin lip pencil ( mine in Hyde park ) and the Sheer Glow Foundation and have been enjoying the Radiant creamy concealer for the past week.. The eye shadows are on my bucket list to try, but I also have read + and - reviews on them, so I am a bit hesitant.. Next time I have access to NARS products, I will give the lip glosses and the new Audacious Lipsticks a try.

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    1. The new lipsticks look so good! Super creamy and pigmented and the colours are ahhhmazing.

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  8. The NARS matte velvet lip pencils are amazing! I'm actually ashamed of not getting more - maybe I'll try to get one of their Christmas sets this year - because they are soo good.
    And I agree, laguna is amazing and there isn't anything bad about him.

    I'm curious about that eye primer because my lids are extremely oily...an they need serious help! Along with Nars creamy concealer - I might try to get this one next year , mostly because I have no idea what shade I should get...someone should do a concealer matrix!
    And on a side note, your photos are breath taking! So pretty ! <3

    Take care, have a nice day!

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  9. Nars is one brand I'm not that familiar with, I've only tried a few bits. Although I think the Luster blush is next on my list!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

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  10. I drift in and out of NARS fandom - madly in love at times and bitterly disappointed at others. I've recently fallen back in love with their eye and lip makeup but still haven't tried their bases. Maybe during Sephora VIB or something.

    This was a nice round-up to read although I've seen most of your collection in pieces over time. Now I want more NARS blushes!

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    1. I don't know how you'd get along with NARS bases. I've only tried Sheer Glow but admittedly it can be at temperamental beast. A little goes a long way, sometimes I think it's better to apply it over properly prepped skin with fingers only in targeted areas. Coverage and luminosity are seriously on point.

      You validate me entirely Liz saying you'd seen most of my collection in pieces over time. Only a dedicated, long-time reader would ;) <3

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  11. NARS is definitely a product that I always think of as luxurious and extremely high quality. They are top in their class in practically all products. I am in love with my douceur blush, its my only NARS product (for now!) !

    Madeline | Its a Mads Mads World

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  12. I absolutely love NARS products and I'm slowly adding more product by them into my collection. I recently got the And God Created The Woman palette and I'm in love with it! The shades are fantastic and the quality is good too. xx
    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

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  13. I've tried to love NARS as much as other NARS fans, but I simply couldn't! I think I'm more partial to the whole soft, buttery texture (i.e. LORAC) than the hard, compact texture of NARS' products. I am enjoying Laguna a lot right now as I've found it a little less hard/compact than the regular line up!

    Stephanie | theFantasia

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  14. Thanks for the rough run through of the Nars product spectrum. This will definitely come in handy for future references when retail therapy is needed.

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  15. I loved seeing your NARS collection! It's a brand I've avoided due to their incredibly high price in Australia, but I would love to buy a blush and the creamy concealer as they are the more reasonably priced products of the bunch.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

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    1. Mecca recently dropped the prices of NARS products! Exciting times :) Could be because of Sephora launching soon. Gotta love a bit of competition. The concealer surprised me being $35, it's almost the same as the US price with currency conversion and tax thrown in.

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  16. Beautiful collection! I don't yet own anything from NARS, but it's one of those brands that I would love to try products from. On my to-buy list is the Radiant Creamy concealer, but I also really want to try the Sheer Glow foundation and their blushes!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

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  17. I want your collection! I don't own any NARS because of my empty wallet lol but the blushes and the creamy concealer are on my wishlist!

    Sheri | Behind The Frames

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  18. I only own a mini Nars blush in Super Orgasm. I always want to buy their products but chicken out at the price tag! I think maybe I'll splurge a bit and get a full-sized blush. Your collection is lovely! x

    Ali | Lilac Lipstick

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  19. Lovely and super helpful post! I love Nars blush in Exhibit A!
    xprincessjas | x

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  20. Excellent excellent post love! Nars is definitely in my list for high-end brands to try. I'm not excited about their eye shadow offerings but everything else looks reaaaally good.

    xx,

    CJ

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  21. So many things to put on my shopping list after reading your post. I've always dismissed Nars Sheer Glow because I have oily skin but you make me want to give it a try at least! Don't get me started on their lip pencils, I need at least one in my life (Red Square perhaps?). x

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    1. I think you can make it work with a good primer and some blotting throughout the day (I almost always have to blot at least 1-2 times per day irrespective of the foundation I'm using). Red Square is so tempting, but how could I forget to mention Bolero?! Me and my peachy pinks :p

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  22. Excellent post! I have never been a full on NARS fan myself, only owning one thing, but this has definitely encouraged me to try out some more! xx

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  23. Loved to see your whole NARS collection, you've definitely added some new things to my wish list.
    I can wholeheartedly recommend the Kalahari eyeshadow duo however - I love it, it's definitely a favourite in my collection. :)

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  24. Love this post! I always tend to forget about Nars as a brand, but reading this has reminded me about all the great things they do and some of my favourite products! Nars creamy concealer is literally my favourite thing ever…

    www.walking-in-heels.blogspot.com

    xxx

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  25. I must say I caught the Nars bug as well! I've been loving their products and haven't gotten one that I don't like. My favorites are Doceour Blush and Sex Machine Lip Pencil.

    http://foxandarrowdesign.com

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  26. The only NARS I have for whatever reason is Velvet lip pencils but I have quite a wishlist: the radiant creamy concealer; Schiap lipstick and Deep Throat blush!

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    1. Ahhh yes, Schiap is such a cult classic!

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  27. One day I'll pick up Laguna and one of their concealers to try - they do sound amazing! x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

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  28. Nice round up! I really want to try more stuff from NARS, I just bought the Blush Contour duo in Olympia and I adore it! The concealer is next on my list!

    Emma x

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  29. I haven't tried many things from NARS, but I adore their blushes! Douceur is my favourite but I also really like Deep Throat too. They're such pretty colours! xx

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  30. This is a lovely post. I haven't tried much from NARS except a blush and eye shadow, but I want to, esp the Sheer glow foundation.

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  31. NARS is a brand that I too really like and have slowly built up a tiny collection of their products. I agree that Sheer Glow is utter perfection if you get your skin just right, I've being using it this week actually and it reminded me just how good it really is.
    Amy x | A Little Boat Sailing

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  32. Can I just say this blog post is perfect, well done<3 check out my blog please everyone, it would mean a lot! www.emilynewstead.blogspot.co.uk xx

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  33. Ah i've missed your blog! I think NARS is definitely one of my favorite brands as well. Now thinking about it, i have quite a few of their eyeshadows (duos and singles) and a few of their blushes. My wishlist for their products are never ending though!
    Of the lip products i have tried of theirs, I was super impressed. The lipstick is so comfortable to wear and the color pay off is great!
    That nars palette is stunning!

    Chloé⎪à la foliee

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  34. Nars is definitely one of my favourites brand and those lip pencil are absolutely amazing !
    Zeynab xx
    The Beautifully Disastrous

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  35. Nars cosmetics are quite expensive but their makeups are quality and to die for.
    xo,
    ~Pauline @Nars Philippines

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  36. I've heard sooo many good things about the NARS concealer, but for some reason have never picked it up. Guess I'd rather splash out on a pretty blush or lipstick. Sounds worth a try though!

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

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