Posts Tagged nars
I often find that my best posts are those that are made up on a whim. Sometimes I’ll be trying something out for my own personal pleasure, and it leads to something else entirely. Today I had one such moment; I was trying to figure out just how I could wear my NARS Laguna Multiple effectively, as its quite pretty but gets very little use. I usually smear it on right from the tube and then blend the heck out of it with my fingers, applying it as a highlight on top of my cheekbones and around my brow bones. Today I tried buffing it in with a stippling brush, which seemed to work exceptionally well. Then I wondered how it looked in sunlight, and stepped out on my balcony in the sunshine, only to be blasted with some serious sparkle! Eeks! I can tell you right now that it is NOT the kind of product you want to wear outside in the sun (so, best used on cloudy days or at night), or at least if you DO wear it, use a very light hand. Lesson learned (and thankfully before I made the faux pas in public)!
Of course, this got me thinking about other highlighters/glow-makers I own and how they fare in the bright sunshine. Of course, being a dutiful blogger, I took photos so we all can benefit from my experiment I chose four others that are all permanent products in their respective brands: Benefit Watt’s Up, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer, and Burberry Fresh Glow. You’ve seen swatches of some of these before in my Chanel Poudre Signée post, but here they are again (give or take a couple):
First let me preface the following face swatches by saying that while I could plainly see the sparkle/shimmer in sunlight, it is incredibly hard to capture in photos!! SO frustrating. With that in mind, please take my word for it whether or not something is visible or not, as it is tricky to see in the snaps I took ~grumbles~ Also, please note that all of these shots were taken on completely makeup-free skin (apologies for dark circles!), so there is no other potential shimmer interference (I cleansed my face thoroughly between each shot).
To begin, we have the Laguna Multiple I mentioned originally. Very sparkly in sunlight, and I really would avoid wearing it outside – especially if you do not have my skintone (on me it’s more of a highlight), as it would then be deep bronze + super shimmer, and just wouldn’t be your best moment. You’ll notice as you look through the other face pics that this one has the most noticeable shimmer, even in photographs. BELIEVE IT. However, it IS very pretty and I plan on using it on evenings out over this spring/summer.
Next, we have Benefit’s Watt’s Up luminizer – I only have a sample size of this but honestly that is enough, as a little goes a long way. I want to say it’s my least favorite of the five, but today changed my mind a bit, as the initial BAM! sparkle of it seemed to settle after a couple minutes, and then it really just gave me this lovely radiance. It’s still fairly shimmery, but not as much as the Laguna, and you could probably get away with it in the day if you went very minimal on shimmer elsewhere. Also, I’d probably layer my blush OVER this rather than under (which you’d likely do anyway if you chose powder, as this is a cream, and that’d just get weird), which would tone it down a little bit too. It took me AGES to get photos of this and I’m still not satisfied, so trust me when I say there IS visible shimmer (look for little particle-like things on my face – those are them ).
Moving right along, next is the insanely popular Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, in the shade Opal. I snagged this deluxe sample in a swap about a month ago and I LOVE IT SO MUCH YOU GUYS. I’m not going to go on a big ‘You have to buy this!’ rant, because everyone else has done such a good job – so just go buy it already! This product comes very close to the ‘might be too shimmery for day’ line but manages to toe it exceptionally well, so you can totally rock it out all summer long. I adore the glow this gives and because the shimmer particles are so small, they don’t look tacky at all, just nicely done. I will continue to wear this now that the sun is out, day or night.
Continuing on, we come to the Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer. Next to Laguna this one is the most shimmery, and is also the only powder in the bunch. This was one of my first highlighters (and again, its a small sample size compared to the real deal) and I tended to wear it more in the corners of my eyes than anywhere else. Now, I wear it both ways (on my cheekbones too) but generally keep it to nighttime, as the shimmer combined with the lighter tone and powder formula can make it more obvious than I’d like. Still, the powder is butter-smooth and is nice to have on hand now and again!
Finally, we have the most natural of the bunch, and my personal preference for a foolproof glow – Burberry’s Fresh Glow Luminizing Base. If you recall, I bought this last year as a birthday treat for myself (which I think I might do every year – buy Burberry makeup, I mean!) and was unsure if it was genius or useless. Well, consider me converted because this give the most subtle yet glowing look of the bunch. It can be worn a multitude of ways: on bare skin, under foundation, over foundation, mixed in with foundation, etc. – but I prefer to use either on a bare face to just give me a pick me up if I’m going super low-key, or on top of foundation on the high points of the face. Even though there is shimmer, somehow there is no shimmer - like Houdini or something. I haven’t quite figured it out, but I will say that looking at it worn in full sunshine today for the first time, I was totally amazed – I looked utterly radiant but like I had absolutely nothing on. Kind of like how you look when you put on a face oil, and you look glowing, but without the adding ‘shine’ factor. Good times. Dammit Burberry, why is everything you do SO DAMN
Thus concludes my research – I hope you found it helpful! I know it’s tough to see the nuances between shots but I think the gist is there in terms of comparing the five. As always, this kind of post is helpful for me too, so yay for killing two birds with one stone!
Do you wear a highlighter? What formula/finish do you prefer? Which of these ones would you choose?
Fun with Fuchsia: American Apparel Neon Violet Polish, NARS Desire Blush, and Illamasqua Divine Lipgloss
As some of you may know, I’ve been in a slight polish slump for the past while. Nothing has really got me excited much, though I have picked up a few shades here and there (as seen in my last post) that were great additions to my collection. Last week I was admittedly quite enamoured with China Glaze’s new Dandy Lyin’ Around, a sparkling white polish, but by the end of the week, as usual I was ready for a change. I was feeling kinda frisky (huh?) and pulled out American Apparel’s Neon Violet polish, a blue-leaning bold pink, which is part of their Neon collection that came out quite a while ago. I haven’t given this polish much love for whatever reason, though it often draws my eye as it stands out a lot amid the other shades in my stash. As soon as I put it on, my love was seriously revived – guys, this is a fantastic shade!! I’ve shown pics to you before (once as a pedicure and once on a friend’s hand) but I’m not sure I’ve given it enough due – you really gotta check it out. Aside from the glorious color, it’s a near one-coater with a great formula – it’s just FABULOUS.
Anyway, it got me thinking again about skintone and whether I am more cool or warm – this is most definitely a cool-leaning shade, and while I inherently think I’m warm-toned because of my caramel coloring, more and more I think I might actually just be neutral, leaning neither way, because I seem to be able to pull off shades all over the color spectrum (hooray for me!). I also am realizing that it has a lot more to do with just finding the right shade within each color range, rather than whether or not you can wear ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ tones. After all this thought and over the past few months with some of the beauty accruals I’ve made, I have found my jam in one area at least – fuchsia.
A few months ago, I was on this kick where I wanted to collect NARS blushes – I already owned four and I thought I’d just keep going with it. I’ve since kind of gotten over that, but not before I scored Desire in a swap. Initially I thought it was probably a stupid move – a cool ‘cotton candy pink’ on my skintone?? I just wasn’t convinced. And since I received the shade in the late summer, which did not seem like the season for this color, I left it alone for ages.
When winter rolled around, I figured it was time to give this ago and decide if I was going to keep it or not. As true for many NARS blushes, it has great pigmentation, and because it’s completely matte it’s exceptionally wearable (as a general rule, I find bright pink + shimmer = TOO DAMN MUCH). The first time I wore it, I happened to pair it with heavy black liner and naked lips, and BAM! Compliments galore!! It looked smokin’ (sadly, I do not have pics from that day). It was then that I started to think that fuchsia might be a color I want to start giving more of a chance.
One night a couple months ago when Illamasqua was having their last huge sale, I was perusing the site – and on top of discovering that my current blush lemming Crush was on sale, I also could score the Sheer Lipgloss in Divine (a ‘deep fuchsia pink’) for 1/3 of the regular price. When my package arrived, I was pleased to find that Divine was a wonderful addition to my gloss collection, as it was unlike anything I already own. Additionally, it’s smooth, non-sticky formula was a pleasure to use, and while it isn’t as pigmented as it looks in the tube, its a great shade to brighten up my face in a pinch.
As I already noted, I had previously always thought I had a warm-leaning skintone, so when I saw evidence of how yet another cool-based color looked great, I was finally convinced – fuchsia rocks my world!!
Out of all this discovery, one thing became glaringly clear – I desperately need a bright fuchsia lipstick!! The lovely Sarah from Beauty and the Baked Goods send me Revlon’s Sweet Tart lip butter, which is a great pink, but it leans more candy-colored. I’ve been doing my research and I’m torn between Bite Beauty’s High Pigment Matte Pencil in Quince $28CAD (described as a rose berry – but looks pretty fuchsia to me), YSL’s Rouge Volupte Radiant Lipstick in Rose Culte $39CAD (a ‘vivid fuchsia’), or new NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu $30CAD (a ‘shocking pink’). I haven’t gotten to swatch the NARS pencil in person yet, so not sure if it’s the right tone, but the other two totally do it for me – it’s likely I’ll opt for the Bite pencil as it’s more reasonably priced and I have yet to try a lippie from the brand.
All said and done, I’m pretty stoked that I’ve stumbled upon a go-to shade that seems to work so well with my skintone. I’ve made several discoveries of this kind over the past couple months while funds have been so limited – I’ve been taking the time to play more and make more informed decisions about what I purchase when I have the means to do so, and it’s been a positive learning experience
What unlikely makeup / polish shades have you discovered to really work for you?
I spent two hours – TWO HOURS! – last night, researching what products and shades I should to order from Becca Cosmetics (a brand I’ve yet to try and desperately want to). My (totally logical – I swear!) reason for doing this? To avoid purchasing any shades that were similar to ones I already own. I DID come up with a (very) pared down list, you’ll be happy to hear; if you’re interested (and FYI – the blog Shades of BECCA is a good resource for some swatches):
Papaya Beach Tint $30CAD (hot red)
Fallen Angel Ultimate Color Gloss $29CAD (nude spice)
There were a handful of other products I liked the look of, but in checking out swatches, they seemed to be too close to items I already own (though, c’mon, the brand is gorgeous and I could have easily gone for one of everything!). Which brings me to the point.
You’re all familiar with my organizational obsession right? (and…if you’re new and not aware: Hello! My name is Latoya and YES, I have a problem which manifests itself into a bit of compulsive organization. Could be worse!) Anyway, another problem I have is lack of funds; when you own a home on your own and don’t make the big bucks, things can get tricky. However, I have ANOTHER problem (jeez, someone institutionalize me, will ya?), which is that I love shopping – for cosmetics in particular. Smash the three of these together and what do you get? Well…you get THIS:
What ‘THIS’ is, is me taking a good look at an area of my makeup collection – specifically blush/bronzers in this instance – and seeing where I have gaps. By gaps, I mean: what shades do I lack that I can justify buying, in order to round out my stash and also quell the burning desire to shop my face off. Ya dig? This fantabulous idea kills
three birds three mosquitoes (no one cares about those) with one big-ass swat. I get to organize something*, figure out what shades or products I’m missing, and rationally and systematically purchase new items that are on my wishlist and fit the ‘missing’ bill. BOOM!
*Seriously guys, I joke but….I really like organizing things. So much so, that near the end of the month I’m signing up for a Professional Organizers intro course to see if I’d like to become a professional organizer for realz. It’s THAT serious :S
So, as you can see, I’m starting with blush – because clearly blush is THE BEST EVER and deserves the number one spot for allowing EVEN MORE BLUSH. Because clearly 20 (+ 7 bronzer-type things and 2 mini-blush) are NOT ENOUGH.
(I swear I’m not on the sauce tonight guys – I just feel a little peppy ’cause I’m back into running and signed up for the Ottawa 1/2 Marathon in May…wooo! )
Even with 20+ blush, I can plainly see what shades I’m lacking: A bright red! (NARS Turkish Red is more of a burgundy) A true orange! (NARS Taj Mahal is kind of a burnt orange and quite shimmery) A neutral pink! (…I literally do not own one beige-y pink blush, for shame) A nice deep berry would be lovely! And also – varying formulations! I have NO cheek tints, and only four cream blush. You see, there actually ARE shades/formulas I do not have despite having far more blush than is probably necessary. And then, there are shades I need NO more of, like medium pinks…I have enough of those, yep. I don’t think I need any more bronzers, especially since I rarely wear them and I’m already kinda *ahem* bronze. I only really have a couple coral shades, which tends to be the one a lot of people go gaga for (myself included), but I’ll hold off till the warmer months on thinking about those right now. Same goes for apricot-hued shades.
Left to right (flash): NARS Desire, Illamasqua Unrequited (discontinued shade*), theBalm Down Boy, Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel, Benefit Bella Bamba, Illamasqua Hussy, Bobbi Brown Calypso Coral, NARS Torrid, theBalm Hot Mama
Left to right (flash): NARS Laguna Illuminator, Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzing Powder, NARS Laguna Multiple, MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder, Milani Sunset Duos in Sunset Beach, Clinique Bronze Uplighting, Estee Lauder Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands
What I’m wondering is, what gaps do YOU see? Since I only have my stash to compare it to, I can’t get a good idea of what I’m missing. What shades can you suggest that I should focus on buying?
I’m planning on doing this little experiment with all my makeup over the next little while, so be prepared: more lame examples of my organizational obsession coming your way! But do come back anyway, because I need your help
Is your makeup collection where you want it to be, or do you have a few gaps you’d like to fill?
I know I’m terribly late to the game posting on this product, but as it’s not limited edition I figured that it wasn’t pressing to post it ASAP (hope that’s OK!). NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in More is my first Velvet lip pencil from NARS, and I have to say that as a lippie I’m a fan! I find it extremely easy to handle and apply (though I suspect that with a more intense shade the ability for precision might be lacking just a touch).
More is a terracotta shade that could work as either a brownish shade or almost a nude on more pigmented lips. I find that the pencil itself looks different in different lighting (as evidenced by the shots above and below) – for the most part it’s truly a medium, warm, slightly orange-y brown that is perfect for the autumnal tones of the season.
On my deeper skin tone, it definitely leans more toward being a nude-neutral shade, but with a hint of interest, which I like. Sometimes I find ‘nude’ tones can easily wash one out, but I think unless you have a very dark skin tone, this one won’t go in that direction. It also helps that this pencil has only medium pigmentation – it covers easily but it’s too dense, which allows the natural lip tone to show through a bit and keep things from veering too ‘done.’
Though this is technically a ‘gloss,’ I don’t find it terribly glossy, but rather more balm-like with a creamy texture and soft shine finish. As I don’t own any other Velvet Gloss pencils I can’t comment on whether or not others are much more glossy, but I would hazard to guess they aren’t high shine overall as the pencil form can’t physically allow for that. I have tested one other shade, Mexican Rose I believe, and while I loved it, it bled in my lip lines terribly – which is quite a feat, as I have few! More does not have the same effect, which I attribute to the shade itself not being as bright and pigmented.
Though it’s not necessarily a shade I reach for often – I’m killing the deep berry lips this season! – I still really like More and its wearability for more neutral looks like the one above (which, incidentally, I LOVED). The creamy texture and ease of application has ensured that I’ll definitely pick up more shades in the future, and perhaps even some of the Velvet Matte lipsticks as well! They’re perfect for toting around or for travel, and since I seem to be doing a lot of that lately, it’s a bit plus in my books.
For those of you interested, the ingredient list is below (no parabens, and no fragrance – woohoo!):
I seem to be on a ‘brown’ roll here….
What do you think of More? Have you tried the Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils from NARS? Do you like the application method? Which are your favorite shades?
I have to tell you, I have been having a BLAST creating different looks and playing with products that I already have (versus getting sucked into the never-ending *new-New-NEW!!* vortex) – it has been the absolute best solution I’ve found to control my shopping tendencies and appreciate what I own rather than the lust-buy-forget-repeat cycle I’ve been guilty of in the past. I’m not knocking picking up new and pretty things – goodness knows there’s a (great!!) time and place for that, and I still am buying more makeup than I’ll ever need – but I also get fed up with myself when I go out and pick up new products before giving the ones I own proper love. It totally suits my new mentality of making sure everything I have is awesome and that’s it’s getting semi-regular attention. Anything that’s not floating the Latoya boat is getting booted. End of story.
Anyway, I’ve been experimenting a lot lately – way more than I have for YEARS, maybe since I was in university – and it’s amazing the combinations and shades you can come up with when you put your mind to it! I find I was forgetting the whole reason I started the blog, which was because I loved USING makeup, not just acquiring it, and I’ve been pushing myself out of the box and trying new looks and realizing I have some pretty awesome products!! Does anyone remember the Canadian cooking show ‘The Urban Peasant?’ He used to always say “Use what you got,” and dammit if I’m not following his lead ;P
Good grief I’m chatty.
Ok, onwards to the looks! I wanted to do 3 different Summer-themed looks to cover each of the main focal points of the face – cheeks, lips and eyes. I’ve sort of started following a general rule of thumb when it comes to wearing what kind of looks when: I often wear a bolder lip to work, because hey! – I’m not kissing anyone there, and reapplication at my desk is easy-peasy; a strong eye when going ‘out’ somewhere; and a defined cheek for more laid-back kind of days, as it makes me look polished but isn’t too much and doesn’t require any maintenance. Of course, any of these combinations can be worn at any time, and you could even pair two of them together for a whole different look, but for the purpose of this post I’m going to give distinction between them.
Look #1 – Focus on Cheeks:
In my first look, I focused on an all-over bronzed glow combined with a more flushed cheek to enhance. This is a super-quick and easy way to wear makeup in the Summer months, as it just builds upon the warmth the sun naturally bestows upon the skin. If I’m going for a more casual look, this is usually what I lean toward. The products I used are below.
And the resulting look!:
Capturing the strength of cheek products is tricky; it seems like you need to go more heavy-handed than you normally would in order to get the same effect you’d see in person. While I wasn’t sporting ‘clown-cheeks’ to be sure, my blush was more noticeable in real life, and I actually quite liked it! By using Milani’s Sunset Beach (the bronze side) as bronzer and then a bit extra under the cheekbones to contour, NARS South Beach to highlight on top of cheekbones (then blended out toward temples and any residual down the bridge of my nose), and Illamasqua Tweak on the higher point of the apples of my cheeks to emphasize (and blending like crazy to avoid any harsh edges), it just looked like I had been out in the sun all day. Pretty natural actually with just a touch of glam from the highlight. To finish I dabbed on MAC’s Crosswires lippie as a stain, and added a touch of clear gloss to give a bit of shine.
Look #2 – Focus on Lips:
My next look took me more out of my comfort zone, as I VERY rarely wear pigmented lip colors plus a glossy finish – a matte bold lip is much more subdued and easier to pull off in most cases. But I had an inspiration from my lookbook (a photo album full of looks I’ve clipped out of magazines) that came to mind and I really wanted to try it. In it, the model is wearing a rich coral-red lip that has this insane glossy shine to it, while the rest of the makeup is very subtle with just a beachy glow. As my lip collection is sort of in transition, I didn’t have the exact shade I was looking for, so I had to get creative:
Clockwise from left: Estee Lauder Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands, theBalm Read My Lips Lipstick in Wanted, Sephora She Sparkles lipgloss, MAC Lychee Luxe Lipglass, Ojon Restorative Mascara
By combining a shiny red lip color with a coral gloss and adding extra gloss on top of that, I came close to what I was aiming for – and even though it wasn’t exactly the same, I think it ended up being relatively flattering! I’d never tried theBalm lip product before, hadn’t even swatched it, but it popped into my head and I figured now was the time to try it out. MAC’s Lychee Luxe is one of my fave shades of gloss (though truth be told I don’t think I’ll buy any more MAC glosses – I’m SO over the sticky texture!), and the pinky-coral tone kept the red from being too cool and Christmas-y looking. Plus the gold shimmer of Sephora’s She Sparkles gave it a Summery kick, and that extra dose of shiny I was going for. By keeping the rest of my makeup extremely simple, the bright glossiness of the lips didn’t seem so obnoxious.
Look #3 – Focus on Eyes:
Lastly, I wanted to showcase a Summer look for eyes. I do tend to wear more eye makeup than anything else, though this is subtly changing over the past few months – I’m trying to break out of the same old of bold eyes and muted cheeks/lips. For this look, I pushed myself again to play and experiment more than normal, which actually was quite easy once I determined what shade was going to anchor my look – Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream #24, the bold canary yellow I reviewed last week! After choosing a bright shade like that, everything else seemed easy in comparison
Clockwise from left: MAC Arena eyeshadow, Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #24, Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Florita, Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in Black Honey, Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Perversion, Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara, Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B, MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass
Left to right: Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #24, Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B, Urban Decay Last Call eyeshadow, Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in Black Honey, Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Perversion, Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Florita, MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass
Here’s how I made it work:
Above – Sunlight; Below – With flashI applied MUFE Aqua Cream #24 all over the lid, then applied Ardene 8B to the middle of the lid outward. I added UD’s Last Call to the outer lid and crease, and highlighted the brow and the inner corners of the eye with MAC’s Arena. Finally I lined the upper lash line with UD’s Perversion liquid liner, and the bottom lash line with Clinique’s Black Honey, and piled on a generous dose of mascara on top and bottom lashes.
As I mentioned in the review, this vibrant matte yellow Aqua Cream is surprizingly easy to use – easy to work with, easy to blend, and didn’t look as garish as I thought it would once applied. I absolutely ADORED how this look came out overall, it felt SO Summery and warm and fun, and I can see myself recreating this over and over this season, because it was an easy way to inject some color into my palette without being too over the top. And it got me using another shade that never gets love from me – the Ardene shadow, which by the way has a lovely buttery texture and is probably like $3 at the store.
Also, I can’t deal with how great Florita looked with this combination – it gives the perfect amount of glow for the Summer without being shimmery, which would also compete with the shadows. Finishing with the pale pink MAC gloss added just the right touch of glossiness and muted quality to my lips to compliment the look best.
All in all, though I think the last look was my favorite out of the three (typical!), I’m going to make every effort to rotate between a focus on eyes, lips and cheeks and continue to experiment with different looks and play with lesser-used shades in order to have more fun with makeup, and be more mindful of what I already own. I SO enjoyed creating these looks over the past couple weeks, and I truly hope you got some benefit out of them as well! Its nice to showcase and talk about other products that aren’t brand-spanking new or the most talked-about in the blogosphere. Sometimes I find I get so saturated with the same old, that when I stumble upon posts that discuss makeup I haven’t heard/thought of, it’s like a breath of fresh air!
…and now I’m done. Thanks for sticking through this if you made it this far! Hope you enjoyed!!
~sigh~ Even though most of my focus is on the condo and any upcoming home-related purchases, a girl’s still got to be frivolous once in a while, and I’ve got my eye on a few sweet products this month. I may not be able to score them all right away, but rest assured – these babies WILL be mine one day soon!
1) Bumble & Bumble Creme de Coco Masque
A couple years ago I was desperate to try this masque with it’s mega-Summery scent, but either the timing was off (I only really want to smell coconutty in the warmer months, and/or if I already had a treatment on the go, I didn’t really need a new one), or I didn’t have justifiable funds to spend the $33CAD on what is a relatively small tube (5oz) of product. I happened to be browsing through Mills last week while I was working the Clinique GWP, and realized that the stars were all aligning, as I’m just running out of my current deep conditioner, and lo and behold, it’s (almost) Summer! Funds aren’t any better than they were before, but hey, two outta three ain’t bad
2) NARS Casino Bronzer
Also while passing the time while working a shift at Mills, I tried on Casino, a somewhat shimmery bronzer that gives my skin an insanely fabulous glow. I had set up a swap for this back in March, but after waiting months to receive my end, it fell through *long, long, LONG, story there* so I never got my chance. At that time I hadn’t even done more than swatch this product, but now after trying it on my face, I really gotta have this now!
3) Deborah Lippmann Rich Girl Hand and Cuticle Cream SPF25
With the sunshine out and about, I’m all too aware that my skin is being exposed to aging rays, and hands in particular are one of the biggest places on the body that show signs of aging. Deb Lippmann’s hand cream is chock-full of shea butter, avocado and jojoba oil (and it’s clear from the ingredient list!), smells yummy, and has a fairly high SPF to boot. Sign me up, please!
4) Shiseido Perfect Rouge Lipstick, or Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio in GD804
Haha, yea, one or the other, right!? I keep reading great reviews about the Shiseido lipstick formula, so I’d love to check them out, but I also love the feel of their eyeshadows, and this particular trio has such an interesting shade combination – like a periwinkle blue, yellow gold, and shimmering khaki. Yowza!!
5) MAC Lip & Cheek Colors from the Casual Colors Collection ~sigh~
Often I am able to resist MAC’s charms, but every so often – usually with blush – I get reeled in. These Casual Color pots for lips and cheeks just look so relaxed and easy to use, how can I resist? Thankfully, many of the shades are too fair for my skin, so only two caught my eye – Out for Fun, a ‘cool coral,’ and Keep It Casual, a ‘warm wine.’
I actually only own two cream-based blushes, and since these moonlight as a lippie you get more bang for your buck. I’m planning on checking them out in store on Monday when I’m off, so we’ll see…I had high hopes for the Tres Cheek collection and ended up passing on the whole lot, so it could very well happen again!
I find that my lemmings list is so extensive now that it’s almost hard to come up with just five to write about each month. On top of that, I find that looking back, I’ve only picked up a handful out of all the items I’ve noted, and I really want to make sure I’m showcasing products that I actually hope/plan to purchase. I think the list above is pretty realistic
What are you lemming this month? Any opinions on my lemmings? Any good/bad experiences?
Ah May. The ultimate Spring month here in Canada, full of…er, well, rain, and…well, OK, only sunshine some of the time here in Halifax, but it’s enough to get the buds on the trees come out and the flowers blooming! May ALSO happens to be the month of my birth (and that of two of my aunts, my mother, my boyfriend’s mother…adding to that Mother’s Day, and it’s a busy month), so I can’t help but be in good cheer.
This year, I turn the big 3-0! I’m pretty stoked, and as such I have a few treats I hope to indulge myself in, particular as it’s such a special year. I’m sorely tempted to really splash out, especially considering I’ve been so good this past month, but I think I’m going to try and hold off a bit longer. We shall see! In the meantime, here is my *reasonable* list of what I hope to spoil myself with this month:
1) NARS Trouville Nail Lacquer
This shade is just TOO pretty, and I could seriously use a bit of pumping up in my ~pretty / feminine~ stock of nail polish colors, particularlyl pink. I don’t own any NARS shades yet, so that’s always an extra incentive!
2) Clarins Kohl Kajal in Violet (from the Enchanted Summer collection)
After seeing the similar Guerlain kohl kajal liner, falling in love, and then seeing it compared to Clarins’ much more pigmented version at Beauty Black Book, I decided I MUST have this! The deep violet shade will be wearable in pretty much every season, and I’d love to try it out on my waterline.
The violet shade appears to not be sold here, or at least not in two of the Shoppers Drug Mart’s I’ve seen the collection in. I haven’t checked out Sears/The Bay yet, but WTF?! I want this even more now.
3) Dior Summer Mix Collection
I just can’t help but adore the fun mix of brights in this collection! Particularly I’m loving the polishes Acapulco (bright yellow) and Lagoon (bold ocean blue), and the repromote of the Orange Pareo lip gloss from the current Croisette collection, which I’m passing on right now but might be persuaded to change my mind in a few weeks
4) Chanel Delight Vernis (middle)
See a theme here? I’m back on a nail polish kick, I guess! The first promo shots I saw of this polish, I wanted it BAD. Then I talked myself out of it. Then I saw Eugenia’s shots (at Ommorphia Beauty Bar) and it reminded me just how amazing that polish is. I am buying this TOMORROW (Summertime de Chanel FINALLY arrived in store today!).
5) Burberry Beauty SOMETHING
I feel that as it’s my birthday month, and my 30th year at that, that an extra special something is in order. That typically means big $$ or ordering something from online / another province / country. I’ve been debating on what that should be exactly, but I think it’s time to splurge on some Burberry. The packaging itself just looks so damn luxurious! I want to resist buying another blush or eyeshadow, as I feel I have quite enough already thankyouverymuch, but I mean – what else is there? That I can buy sight-unseen. Because I don’t feel comfortable buying a lippie without trying it on. And I really want to buy one or two super-fantastical items for myself. So I’ve deemed Burberry is it. Probably Gold Trench eyeshadow and Rose blush. And I CANNOT FREAKIN’ WAIT.
So that’s my list for the month. All things I’d LOVE to own. However, this has been a strange past month. I haven’t been able to pull the trigger on buying much of anything. There are too many other things I’m trying to save for (a camera, a new phone, New Zealand…) that are weighing on my mind most of the time, and I just can’t seem to bring myself to spend money on items I don’t really *need*. Which isn’t much fun, is it!? However, my mother gave me birthday money to buy an Ikea Alex drawer unit (the black 6-drawer one on casters) and I have a feeling that once I have all that storage space for my makeup, I’m going to want to fill it up a bit
What are you lemming lately? Any great products I should know about!? Please, share!
It is RIDICULOUS how many awesome things I have to show you, I can’t even deal with it. Unfortunately, the past two weeks I’ve been working multiple nights at Clinique for the Sears GWP, so it makes chances of writing a post after working a 13hour day pretty much nil. However, it’s my day off Monday, which I usually tend to spend doing blog related things ALL day – so expect to see all of this fun stuff after that In the meantime, here’s a FOTD of the look I wore today to meet Make Up For Ever Canada’s PR rep (an awesome event that I plan on detailing in full very soon!). It was fairly simple, but I used some of my favorite products and therefore I loved it Check it!
It was sunny today for the first time all week, and it was so lovely!! These shots were taken around 8am and it was warm enough to stand outside with just my little thin dress on – c’mon warm weather!
I’m wearing NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Seychelles, which I find I only need a touch of to make my skin look fab.
I have a swipe of NARS South Beach Multiple (pinky-champagne) on my cheekbones, and then my new Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Lover, a pale peach. It’s quite subtle on my now-tanned skin, but I actually loved the look – it’s exactly what I want my blush to look like when I’m doing a low-key look. Though I think it’ll be particularly striking when my tans faded next Fall/Winter.
On my eyes I wore Smashbox Cream Liner in On Trend, a blackened khaki green, smudged at the lash line (top & bottom). Then I applied Make Up For Ever’s Star Powder in #940, a white-orange/gold, all over the lid just past the crease, concentrating extra color in the inner corners to capture that color-changing highlight.
I added a touch of Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #6 Khaki Pulse (golden deep khaki) to the outer corners and a touch in the crease to add a bit of depth. I doubled-up on my mascaras, and first applied Clinique’s High Lengths to stretch out my lashes, and then added Laura Mercier’s Full-Blown Volume to amp it up a bit.
I hadn’t done my lips when I took this photo, but I was wearing Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Natural in N36 (pinky-coral), which is soft and complimented the blush very well.
This was an easy look, but allowed me to incorporate shades that I don’t always use – partly because they’re some of my favorites and it’s one of those ‘save for a special day’ kind of things, which is admittedly ridiculous. But, today was kind of a special day, and these products did NOT let me down – I felt polished, and current, without going overboard. And they were still going strong by the time I got home tonight, well over 12 hours. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!! (Forgive me, it’s been a long day )
What do you think of this look? What products do you save for a ‘special day’?
I had a hard time coming up with the title for this post, as to state I have a NARS collection sounds like I should have a HUGE stash, and in fact I don’t – but out of all the cosmetic brands I own, I have more NARS makeup than any other, so that constitutes as a collection, right? Anyway, don’t say I didn’t warn you!Modest, to some I’m sure. In any case, I definitely feel that NARS is the brand that gets most of my money on a consistent basis. I’m pretty much a devotee and I’m certain my relatively small assemblage will continue to grow until it is no longer ‘modest.’ I’m OK with that!
Earlier in the week, several of my fave blogs wrote on one of their own collections – of blushes. As I am becoming something of a blush enthusiast myself, I read these posts eagerly with a mixture of interest and envy. While their numbers were all near the 30 range, a quick look in my train case revealed that I have a measly 8 blushes – a fair number if one is to be realistic, but clearly I am nowhere near a true aficionado yet! Anyway, to the point: half of my blush collection is made up of NARS shades (plus 3 of my 4 highlighters). While there is something like, 31 shades of NARS blush, I have had an idea percolating in my head that I want to start a collection of just NARS blushes – I know having 4 hardly makes a dent, but it’s something to work towards right?
Anyway, again, getting back on track – here are my NARS blushes, or 1/2 of my blush stash:Starting with the most exciting, as well as my first NARS blush if you can believe it – WOW, take a look at Taj Mahal! When I was first breaking into higher-end cosmetics, I wanted to buy really interesting, one of a kind products you couldn’t replicate at the drugstore. Case In Point: Taj Mahal is a fiery orange with high shimmer. It looks terrifying, not only to the shade but the formulation, but it’s actually quite beautiful on the right skintone. I limit this to the Summer months as it just feels that way to me, though the shimmer probably would do wonders for Winter-pallid skin. It can show up rather noticeably in sunshine so a light hand and some major buffing is necessary, but the resulting look is well worth it.My next blush purchase from NARS was the lovely Torrid, which the SA noted would be my version of the award-winning ‘Orgasm,’ which was too light for my skin. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of this blush, especially in Spring and Summer. It’s a lovely peachy-pink shade that really goes with just about anything, but I like to switch it up (but of course). Very flattering and girly on, and the shimmer really doesn’t even factor into it when all’s said and done. Another winner.I snagged Turkish Red, a discontinued NARS cream blush, through a swap, and at first I was not impressed. I wanted a red blush to give me that ‘cold weather flush,’ but I found it just looked silly once on. However, I gave it another shot and made sure to keep a light hand (I use my MAC #130, which is why you see pock-marks in the blush), and now I find myself reaching for this shade again and again – it almost gives me a two-in-one look where I look like I got some sun, as well as was out in the cold. Really pretty effect.After reading the infamous ‘blush posts,’ I confess I pretty much ran out to Sephora and picked up Sin, in order to make myself feel better. Also, I had just finished a blush (which is kind of amazing) and figured I was allowed to buy a replacement of sorts. I’ve owned this blush now for a total of 26 hours, and already I can say with certainty that this is my favorite of all my blushes (all 8), hands down. Wowza, this blush was made for my brown-olive skintone! An MUA-er noted that this shade works well for olive skin as it “swallows up the purple” – sound strange, but considering some reviews I’ve heard find it produces a bruise-like effect, it seems accurate, as on my skin it looks absolutely wonderful. It turns out to be more of a neutral pink-mauve and is ridiculously flattering and perfect for Winter. I haven’t been this excited about a makeup item in a really long time – I woke up this morning and was so happy just to know that I’ll get to wear it again! So, so sad, but ultimately true.
NARS blush retails for $29CAD.
Next, we have almost my entire collection of highlighters, courtesy of NARS. First, my fun Summer purchase, one of the coveted illuminators in Laguna (reviewed here). I didn’t get as much use out of this as I’d hoped, mostly because I’m lazy and an extra step wasn’t always in the cards. Still a great product though and I’m hoping I’ll start pulling it out more this coming year.I received this from the Sephora rep after the luncheon I attended back in May. It’s a lovely bronzed shade of highlight, that could be used in place of bronzer for fairer skins – for me it’s really just a highlight with a touch of bronzed effect. I can use this year-round, which I like, and the texture is so smooth and not at all greasy. This is my first full-sized Multiple and it has me considering buying another down the road (they retail for $46 CAD).I hounded people on MUA to get this product, one of The Multiples in South Beach. I wanted it so bad and no one wanted to swap for it with me – until finally someone approached me for a swap and had this deluxe sample in her swap list. Shortly thereafter I received the Laguna Multiple from my Sephora luncheon, and didn’t have as much need for this. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a sample, but the texture on this is so smooshy, it’s quite irritating. I can’t apply this directly to the face, but have to use my fingers because otherwise it’ll deposit way too much product and ball up on my skin. So, needless to say I’m glad this is just a small portion of product – though the shade and look of it is quite lovely. Sort of like warm rose-gold.
Moving right along…NARS eye shadows!I bought this Habanera Eyeshadow Duo without first trying it on or even really swatching it, which was a mistake. I was going by the awesome photos on MUA, but sadly, on me this duo falls flat. The metallic ice blue shade is far too much on my darker skin, and the pretty plummy shimmer has poor color payoff that makes me sad. I have this up for swap now, which hurts my heart a bit as it was my first NARS eyeshadow purchase – and I hate to part with a NARS product, regardless – but it’s gotta go. I never used it, and it could be receiving some mad love elsewhere, so…Ohhh, how badly I wanted this Rajasthan duo from last year’s Fall collection!! As soon as it landed on counters I scooped it up, and I’m still very pleased with the purchase. The golden metallic shade is very subtle but really, really gorgeous; the dark blackened-teal shade is mysterious and adds depth to any look. Its texture is a bit more stiff than the gold shade, but it isn’t usually a problem. Overall, a solid combo which you can make work a variety of ways.The lovely Grand Palais duo from this past Spring collection. Previously reviewed here. I don’t use this as much as I’d like, but I still get great pleasure from it, especially the taupe side, and I think this adds two new shades to my eyeshadow collection, that I might not have purchased otherwise. Soft and lovely!
NARS eyeshadow duos retail for $38CAD.
My one lipgloss from the brand:I posted a swatch of Wonder back in the Summer after I received it also at the Sephora luncheon. Great shade of tomato red-orange. My first and only NARS gloss ever, and I really love everything about it – the texture, the opacity, the shade. Eventually I’ll pick up another from the line (they retail for $28CAD), but at this point I have too many to entertain buying any more at the moment!
And the basics:I totally forgot to include the Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base in the group shot, oops! Too late now (literally – it’s almost midnight)! I discussed the awesomeness of the base in my Best Of post – really stellar product that works wonders for keeping your eye makeup in place. Go check it out!I also just extolled the virtues of the Sheer Glow foundation in my last post – this shade in Syracuse is an insane match for my skin, it blows my mind a little bit. Definitely get to your nearest NARS counter and at least try this formula out, it’s worth a look!As much as I love loose powder for it’s long-lasting ability – as in, you don’t have to buy it very often because it lasts forever! – I also hate it for the same reason. I thrive on change, and MAN do I ever want to change to a different powder than this one! This is the shade Mountain, and that’s another thing I’m totally over – powders with shades, rather than just an overall translucent one. I won’t make that mistake again. In the meantime, I swear I’ve only used a third of this product, and I’ve had it for probably two years!! It really just needs to get be finished already. Absolutely nothing wrong with the product, it sets makeup well and looks natural, but I’m just done with it now. I want something new, damnit!! (The loose powders retail for $42CAD)
So that’s my collection – nothing too crazy but I like just about all of it and I feel that it was all money very well spent. I’d like to try some of the new Longwear Eyeliners, and the Larger than Life mascaras, as well as continue to pick up a new blush every so often. NARS to me is like the upscale, less gimmicky version of MAC, which suits me to a tee.
What do you think of my collection? And of NARS in general?