NARS Soft Matte concealer

NARS Soft Matte concealer

One of the most raved about concealers in recent years must be the NARS Soft Matte concealer. This is really one of those products that took the market by storm and just hit it with a bang. It promises to have an intense level of coverage yet still look natural on the skin. Let’s see whether the NARS Soft Matte concealer makes good on that promise.

NARS Soft Matte complete concealer review swatch light 1 chantilly

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer Light 1 Chantilly

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NARS Albatross highlighter

NARS Albatross highlighter

NARS do some awesome cult makeup products. There are the Radiant Creamy Concealer, Orgasm blush and Laguna bronzer for starters. Another product that fits into that long line of cult favorites is NARS Albatross. This highlighter used to be raved about, but that was back when highlighting wasn’t really a thing. Such a shame that this doesn’t get more love, because it’s a great highlight for an everyday look.

nars albatross highlighter review swatch

NARS Albatross highlighter

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Maybelline Fit Me vs Nars Radiant Creamy concealer

Maybelline Fit Me vs Nars Radiant Creamy concealer

There are two concealers that many in the beauty community like to compare to one another: The Maybelline Fit Me concealer and the NARS Radiant Creamy concealer. The formulas are supposed to be almost identical and with the Maybelline version only costing only a fraction of the price, it is well worth looking a bit more closely as to how these compare. So in today’s battle of the concealers, I present to you: Maybelline Fit Me vs Nars Radiant Creamy concealer.

Maybelline Fit Me vs Nars Radiant Creamy concealer

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer 15 Fair
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Medium 1 Custard

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3x high end lipstick review: Bite, Estee Lauder & NARS

3x high end lipstick review: Bite, Estee Lauder & NARS

Today I am bringing you another 3-in-1 review. This time of some high end lipstick that I acquired in the past year and a half. When I buy high end products, they are usually the odd bits and ends here and there, which means that I have tons of potential reviews waiting around. However, I find one lipstick not enough input for a separate blog post. So I decided to bundle a few together and review each lipstick. This is by no means a comparative review: all three of these lipsticks are of exceptional quality and I can highly recommend each one.

Bite Matte Creme lipstick Juniper limited edition
Estee Lauder Pure Color Velvet Lipstick Black Cassis Matte
NARS Audacious lipstick Bette

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NARS duo eyeshadow: Isolde & Cordura

NARS duo eyeshadow: Isolde & Cordura

For the longest time my wishlist contained a high end brown eyeshadow palette. I had heard good things about Tom Ford’s eyeshadow palettes. I had held out until I went to Paris last summer to see them in the flesh first. And so I found myself in Galerie Lafayette in the heart of Paris, set on purchasing my first ever Tom Ford make up item. Only to be disappointed by the swatches in store. I figured that for 70 euros I should be able to find something better elsewhere. So I crossed the street, into Sephora and there I found these two beauties by NARS. This was exactly what I was looking for: bronzy-brown shades packed with gorgeousness and pigmentation.

NARS Duo eyeshadow
Isolde & Cordura

I had never tried NARS eyeshadows before. I have two of their blushes, the infamous Laguna bronzer, a lipgloss and a lipstick and that is about it. Since NARS isn’t readily available where I live and I have learned my lesson simply buying make up on a whim via the Internet, I don’t get to try too many of their products. I would still love to their their lipsticks in pencil form and their face products other than blush. But the minute I saw these babies in the store, I knew it was meant to be. Price wise, NARS isn’t cheap: these duo eyeshadows retail for €34 a piece via Sephora.fr, but on the official NARS website they are €35. Yes, that’s a whole lot of money for two eyeshadows but in my opinion very well worth your money.

First of all there’s the packaging. The eyeshadows come in a black cardboard box and then in a rubberized compact. NARS packaging is quite possibly one of my favorites for make up. Yes it looks gruppy easily, but it’s sleek and simple. The only problem is that all the packaging looks so much alike that it is hard to tell the blushes from the eyeshadows once your packaging is closed. It does feel sturdy and it’s packaging you can easily travel with. The lid is also covered with a mirror which again makes this an easy palette to throw in your overnight bag. It doesn’t come with a brush of any type, which to me is no problem, as I never use those anyway.

From the NARS website:

Modern, unique, sometimes unexpected color combinations of eyeshadow shades. Worn alone or together, all Duo Eyeshadow shades feature micro-fine powders that are highly pigminted, longwearing and crease resistant. Color glides on smoothly, evenly and blends effortlessly. The effects can be subtle or smoldering — the options are endless.

  • True color application
  • Can be applied dry or with a dampened brush for stronger intensity
  • Multi-funtion use for shading, lining and highlighting the eyes
  • Classic, neutral, and fashion-forward shade pairings

The range of shadows in this line is immense. And some of the combinations are indeed not your every day shades. I went with something safe though. I use tons of brown eyeshadow and it makes for a great basic eye look. One thing I like about the shades I picked out is the fact that they are safe, but anything but standard and you’ll know what I mean when you see these shades close up.

When you open up the compacts, the shadows are protected with a sheet of plastic with the NARS logo on it. I actually kept these. It prevents the mirror from becoming smudged with make up and I love how classy it looks.

Cordura

The first duo I would like to show you close up is Cordura. Cordura is described on the NARS website as being a shimmering warm rich brown and a shimmering sooty dark brown. The shade on the left can easily function as an overall lid shade with the one on the right as the crease shade and you’re done. I love how the darker brown has a subtle golden gleam to it. That golden gleam is in fact the smallest golden shimmer I have ever found in an eyeshadow. And in case you’re afraid this is an overspray or anything of the sort: it is not. This shade would also be perfect for a brown smokey eye.

Isolde

Next up is the second palette, called Isolde. Isolde is described as containing a frosted ginger and a shimmering copper. The second indeed has a bit of a redder undertone, but I would still count these shades as different shades of bronze. Both are very shimmery, though not metallic looking. The shine is not really visible in the pan, but all the more on the swatch and your eyes. I personally love these. These are again, browns with a twist, turning an otherwise standard make up look in something just a tad more special.

Swatches:
Left: Isolde light – dark
Right: Cordura light – dark

On this swatch you can hopefully see why I picked up these four shades to make my own high end brown eyeshadow quad. I think the shades complement each other very nicely. I have played with these several times so far and they never disappoint. The pigmentation is great. The shades are buttery soft and glide on and blend really well. The darkest shades looks a little chunky in the swatch, but that too blends in easily. With an eyeshadow base these shades last all day too. Below I have used all four shades in an eye look.

eyes close up

full face

I love how this gives off a very nice warm glow to my eyes. It complements my brown eyes nicely and I think this will look extra good in summer. I love wearing bronze/ copper shades in summer. With a bit of a tan or sunkissed look and bronze eyeshadow I think your make up look is complete.

For the eye look I used the lightest shade from Isolde in my inner corner. The darker shade is all over my lid. The lighter shade from Cordura is in my outer V and crease. The dark brown with the gorgeous gold shimmer is the liner I used to complete the look and pull it together.

Looking at these shades again for this review, I am remembered of how versatile these are and that I need to play with them so more. I still have to try using that darkest shade for a smokey look. And if you remember, I bought a Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow palette a few weeks ago when I was in London. I think these shades will combine nicely with that palette too.

I hope you can tell that I’m absolutely in love with these eyeshadows. The quality is bang on, pigmentation is great and the colors perfect for every day but still special enough to justify spending the money. Am I a horrible person for fessing up that I am now eyeballing the limited edition NARSissist palette?

What do you think of these NARS eyeshadows?

NARS inspired make up look

NARS inspired make up look

The reason for my reading make up books is to get inspiration for techniques that I might use myself. For some reason, pictures of celebrities never work for me because a) I don’t find it all that interesting and b) I don’t find make up looks used at red carpet events show me anything I don’t know yet. So make up books it is. I own two books by Rae Morris, but my most recent purchase is Francois Nars’ Make Up Your Mind. The other week I had a chance to really browse through it and found plenty of looks that I thought I would like to recreate and all those looks had a few features in common, some of which I have started to use in my every day make up looks.

So what makes this look NARS inspired? What I noticed in the make up looks I liked best is how very few eyeshadows are used (3 at most) and lots of tight lining. Blush is kept simple, with emphasis on adding some color, but not shape to the face. Lips are neutral or colorful depending on the colors on the eyes. But mainly it’s all about the eyes, as I will explain below.

Products used:

Face: Missha BB cream in no. 13 Bright Beige, Collection Long Lasting Perfection concealer in no1 fair mixed with Benefit High Beam, MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Natural in Medium, Shisheido blush in RD 103.

Brows: MAC Omega eyeshadow, HEMA clear brow gel.

Eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance, MAC Paintpot in Painterly, MAC eyeshadows in woodwinked, dazzlelight, vanilla and naked lunch, Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Underground, Maybelline the Falsies Feather in black

Lips: Revlon Lipbutter in Candy Apple

Here’s what I did to create the look (and here Mr. NARS comes in):

  1. I applied MAC paint pot in Painterly to even out my eyelid color.
  2. I applied MAC Woodwinked all over my lid and in my crease. Yes, that’s only one color.
  3. Next, I used Vanilla by MAC on my brown bone, but that’s because I prefer using a matte highlight on my browbone. You could skip this step and simply use a shimmery highlight and go with only two colors.
  4. Dazzlelight went into my inner corner AND on my lower lashline with a pencil brush.
  5. I took a bit of MAC Naked Lunch on a pencil brush and applied this drawing a line from my brownbone to my inner corner. (again you could used a shimmery highlight for this)
  6. I tightlined my upper lash line with Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Underground and also applied it on part of my lower lashline.
  7. I applied mascara

So what makes this NARS?

First of all, you could do this look with only two shadows: one all over the lid and a shimmery highlight on the browbone, lower lashline, inner corner and to connect the browbone to the inner corner. Using the same color on the lid and the crease still creates depth, but is much more subtle than going in with a darker color. Using a light color on the lower lashline as well as connecting the browbone and inner corner with a highlighting color was new to me. I think the first is a great alternative to white or nude colored kohl pencil on the waterline, the second opens the eye even more and adds another dimension.

On top of that there is no heavy black liner: Just some tightlining of the upper lash line and some smudged liner on the bottom lash line. To intensify the look, you could even tightline all around and include the waterline (another technique abundant in NARS’ book).

I think, overall, that these are techniques which create fresh make up looks that draws light to your face and remains subtle. I’ve been playing around with these techniques every day since and love it. Of course you can do the same thing with darker colors for a more dramatic look, but I think this is ideal for an every day make up. Especially because you can get away with using this technique and only 2 eyeshadows: quick, easy and simple.

Have you ever used any of these techniques?

FOTD: cool bronze

FOTD: cool bronze

As promised a few days ago, when I posted an outfit of the day, that I would post a separate on a make up look. The outfit I posted went with a makeupless face. I just didn’t feel inspired that day to do any make up and usually on days off I will opt out of wearing make up anyway. However, a few days later I made the following make up look before heading out the door.

As usual this look is all about the eyes. I’ve used a fairly neutral blush and a nude lip. Close up time:

Products used:

TBS matte white eyeshadow as highlight under eyebrow

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary palette:

– vanilla as highlight in inner corner

– deeper on first half of the eyelid

– chase on inner third of the eyelid & lower lash line

– flow in crease

– ace in outer V and outer part of the lower lashline

MAC fluid line in black track

Maybelline The Falsies Flared mascara

On the rest of my face I have used:

Garnier BB cream in light

MAC Select Moisture Cover in NW20

MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Natural in Medium

NARS blush in Orgasm

MAC Lip erase in Dim

MAC Cremesheen lipstick in Creme D’Nude

MAC Omega eyeshadow as brow powder

Another full face picture:

Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. Thank you for reading this post!