Sunday, December 28, 2014

TOP 8 | Best of NARS Cosmetics Review

Have you ever walked by a NARS counter at Nordstrom and stared in awe at the rows and rows of the sophisticated makeup but were too intimidated to buy? Well, if you've ever felt overwhelmed, this guide is for you. I hope it will help you figure out where to start or at the very least, bring you up to speed on some fabulous makeup you've been overlooking!

In case you haven't heard, Nordstrom just launched their exclusive Eye-Opening Act Collection featuring Tilda Swinton and it is magnificent. I love how simple yet striking the campaign image is. This Spring '15 launch includes the Velvet Shadow Sticks and two eyeshadow palettes, but I'm most excited by The Multiple Stick in St. Lucia ($39). The rosé champagne hue is right on trend and can be applied as eyeshadow (seen on Tilda) or as highlighter on the cheeks and lips. The sticks can be used as eyeliner, while the palettes are edgy and modern. There is nothing more exciting than updated classics in colors that are actually wearable!

The Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29) is my Holy Grail NARS product. It is one of the very few concealers that I can use on both the eye area and face (blemishes and hyper pigmentation). Most creamy concealers slip and slide around, but once the Radiant Creamy Concealer sets, it stays all day. I love that it brightens up my eyes but hides my imperfections without accentuating fine lines and flaky bits. It makes the skin look as flawless as possible. For the price, the performance is truly impossible to beat!

Next up, I highly recommend the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer ($42). I was not convinced at first, but it is one of the best tinted moisturizers on the market because it actually wears for eight hours without getting patchy. I finished up several deluxe sample sizes, and I decided to splurge for the full-sized tube in Alaska. The formula is excellent for slightly dry to combination skin and offers sheer to light-medium coverage, which is exceptional for a tinted moisturizer. It lasts all day and does not oxidize and turn orange — which tinted moisturizers tend to do — and there is no shimmer in the formula.

This year, I have made it a mission to experiment more with translucent powder. I am a very traditional makeup girl and love my powder foundation, but the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Powder ($35) is changing the way I look at colorless powder. Now that my acne from my waxing incident has subsided and my scars are healing nicely, I have been gradually reducing the amount of base makeup I wear. Finding the perfect sheer powder has felt like an impossible task, but this is virtually untraceable on the skin and does not flash back in photos. There is a loose version, but I prefer this pressed form since I travel often and prefer to take this on set when touch-ups are required.

The Eyeshadow Duo is the first NARS product I ever tried. I fell head over heels for Violetta, which my sister introduced me to, and it is still my favorite. If you prefer metallic finishes, try the new Dual Intensity Eyeshadows in Dione, Himalia, Callisto, and Andromeda. The best NARS eye product in my opinion, however, is the Pro Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base ($25). I have tried just about every eyeshadow primer on the market, but the NARS outperforms them all. The formula is lightweight and dries down quickly, so I can blend smoothly without ruining my eyeshadow look or damaging my delicate brushes with sticky product. I also love the doe foot wand applicator. If you have oily eyelids, you must order this immediately!

NARS Powder Blush ($30) is their stand out color product. I love how long-lasting their blushes are, but I was not won over until the fairly recent Nordstrom-exclusive Final Cut collection (a shame it was limited edition). The cult classic shade that we all hear about is Orgasm, but I highly recommend Sex Appeal if you prefer a subtle pink-peach. Desire is the perfect hot pink. Sin and Dolce Vita seem to be the most popular staples for those with medium to tan complexions, but Taj Mahal is gorgeous on medium-tan to dark complexions.

The Satin Lip Pencils ($25) are my favorite lip offering from NARS. They are so easy to toss into a handbag and are offered in a variety of finishes. I recommend Luxembourg (bright red with a hint of pink) or Isola Bella (caramel beige) for daily wear, but if you're more adventurous, try Yu or Timanfaya Park. These last for at least four hours without drying out my sensitive lips. If you're looking for a softer nude color, try the Velvet Gloss formula in Buenos Aires. The best part is that NARS thought to alter the packaging slightly for each formula so you can tell which is which!

The NARS Audacious Lipstick ($32) was one of the most highly anticipated launches since Tom Ford's Lip Color. I was very impressed by the shade selection and walked away with four at first sight. Raquel the nude is still my favorite, but Carmen the red wears the best because it has more luster. I wish the formula was a touch more hydrating, but they do perform better than any other semi-matte lipsticks when my lips are freshly exfoliated and prepped with lip balm. The magnetic packaging is convenient and the opacity of pigmentation is phenomenal. You definitely need at least one!

Last but not least, try the Iconic Color Nail Polish ($20). NARS reformulated the formula earlier this year, and it is much improved. The pigmentation is intense, and with a steady hand, two or three coats yield beautiful results. My favorites are the metallic Pastorale, fresh Thasos, and rich Paros. Zakynthos (nude) and Shameless Red (coral) are also flattering, beautiful warm tones for winter. The formula does require an extra few minutes to dry, but they wear for nearly a week without chipping!

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  1. The concealer and the primer have been on my wishlist for a loooong time!

  2. Aaaah NARS is easily my favorite brand of 2014, and this post echoes so many of my own sentiments!

  3. The radiant creamy concealer and the eyeshadow base are my HG!

  4. thanks rae! definitely going to pick up the eyeshadow primer & setting powder & concealer :)

  5. Excellent review of the brand Rae.


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