The finished product after I corrected the eye makeup at home. Here we have different lighting situations 5 hours after application!
I think anyone who reads my blog knows I have a soft spot in my heart for NARS. They cater to so many skin tones and always have chic collections even when they are very colorful. They also have a decent skincare line. They make one of my most favorite products in the makeup world, their fabulous TM. I wear the lightest shade and it’s a smidge too dark but very blendable. I’d recommend it to anyone. You can check out all the details here. I also love their blushes, eyeshadows, and concealers/primers. I’m crushing on their lip glosses and the new Audacious lipstick.
I decided to go to an event at Nordstrom for My NARS Makeover instead of just popping by to get into the whole glamorous spirit and I was also hoping to see some of the holiday pieces in person but only got a sneak peak of the brush set which I will be passing on. If you thought my Chanel makeover from last week was long then you might want to cut and run right now! My NARS Makeover involved possibly 2x the products, brushes and time. We went for a semi-smoky night look using blue and grey because it’s not something I’d normally select.
1. NARS Multi Action Hydrating Toner $32: A great hydrating toner. Not the most hydrating I’ve used but a good way to balance pH. It felt great going on and was certainly worth a sample if you can get one. I’d give it a B+.
2. NARS Skin Optimal Brightening Concentrate $78: Felt great going on and a bit tingly. Not in a bad way, just in a “this feels like it’s doing something” way. That might be fluff evaporators but it’s certainly not menthol level tingle. I don’t like the metric buttload of silicones in it. My initial feeling is a B rating.
3. NARS Luminous Moisture Cream $62: Definitely awesome and glowy! No silicones here! It’s like 8 hours of sleep in a jar. If you need an elegant hydrator with a peppering of “soft” actives and have $$$ to spare this is an excellent choice! A solid A rating!
4. NARS Total Skin Replenishing Eye Cream $55: Hard to rate an eye cream after one use. I can say that it felt great and made the concealer go on well. I’d give it a C+ at first impression because I didn’t see any difference other than hydration and smooth concealer.
Major texture issues
Looking pretty bad
1. NARS Pro Prime Multi Protect Primer $34: Nice but I think I’d have been better off with the pore refining version. This didn’t feel heavy or smell of sunscreen at all. A good all-rounder with a solid B rating.
2. NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation $48: This is new for fall and it just hit the stores. I have very mixed feelings about this foundation. I think the texture faults and the lack of oil control have more to do with all the skin and base products used. The coverage was a bit uneven and every lump and bump showed on my skin. It seemed to pool in pores too. It was chalky in some places too at first and looked better after an hour of wear. It was applied with a sponge. They used Deauville which is way darker than I’m used to as well. Since all these rich base products were used in quick succession without any time to dry down I don’t feel I got the effect of the powder. I swatched it on my hand in Siberia using my finger and pat blending it in; it was honestly flawless. If the foundation is this bad I’d give it a C+. It covers redness and discoloration with no need for concealer at all. If it reacts to my facial skin without all the goop like it did on my hand I’d probably give it an A. I’m almost 5 hours into the wear time now and it looks much better then it did in the first hour. I will have to go back and test it again!
3. NARS Immaculate Correcter in Pear $24: I have mixed feelings on this one too. It’s good and smooth; sitting excellently under the eye. It’s moderately correcting. I had a combination of allergy red under-eye and severe lack of sleep circles and it tackled about 50% of the problem. A solid B rating based on first impressions.
4. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly $29 mixed with Copacabana Illuminator $30: This helped finish the concealing job and brightened up the circles. I’d never thought of combining the two products like that but it’s YSL Touche Eclat on crack. Both products get a solid A rating alone and I’ve used both before. Together it’s a an A+ combo!
5. NARS Loose Powder in Snow $35: Used to set the concealer and clean up eyeshadow fallout. I was impressed with the natural semi-matte coverage. It’s certainly better for setting the under eye makeup than my Armani Loose! Definitely an A rating here.
A close up of the eye look. This lighting makes it look very purple but it’s not!
1. NARS Duo Eyeshadows in Tokyo and Jardin Perdu $35: We used the lighter grey from Tokyo as a base all the way from lash line to brow bone and the silvery blue grey of JP all over the lid. I’ve never met a NARS shadow I didn’t like! A+ rating all the way!
2. NARS Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner in Rue St. Honore $24: A beautiful smooth creamy pencil liner in a deep cobalt blue with a slightly lighter cobalt pearl finish. A joy to use and it’s workable on just about everyone! Certainly an A rating!
3. NARS Nightseries Eyeliner in Nightflight $24: A dark navy liner with sapphire pearl finish. I love the color but it produced some fallout during the blending and tight lining. It toned down the Rue St. Honore from bright cobalt to a sophisticated and nuanced sapphire. It’s certainly not as dark or stark as black and is most definitely blue! My only problem with this was it wasn’t well blended under the eye or in the outer V. I fixed it as soon as I got home and it looked amazing! I’d give it a B+ based on first impression.
4. NARS Brow Perfector in Kalamata $22: Not sure I like the color selection for these pencils. They are hard and slightly waxy but waterproof. The do an excellent job of filling in but I’m not sure the tone is right for me. My brows looked a little too “done” between the two products used. I’d give this a B- based on first impression.
5. NARS Brow Gel in Athens $22: The gel is light and touchable with no stiffness. It’s got medium control and is matte when dry. I’d have liked it better if it had a bit of sheen to it but I’m in love with shiny brows! I think the look would be more natural if we’d used less pencil and more of the gel. This seems like a B level product. I don’t know if it’s a B+ though.
6. NARS Larger Than Life Mascara $25: When I first put it on I wasn’t sure if I liked it. It looked natural but in the store lighting I couldn’t really appreciate it. The formula is dryer. It’s very smooth. I used two thin coats on both sides. It makes your lashes look volumized but very natural at the same time. It gives a lot of separation and definition. It’s not overly stiff. At first it looked like it would make my natural lash curl droop but within a few minutes of being on they perked back up reasonably well. I think it might lengthen ever so slightly. What I really like about this product is the lack of clumps and flakes. Honestly, it’s not as much volume as I’d prefer for a night time look but it’s one hell of a daytime mascara. I mean seriously stellar. My only other gripe is that it’s only in Black. If you want a mascara for HD TV or photography check this one out! A+++! My husband loved it!
7. NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross $30: Towards the end of the eye process the SA who was doing my NARS makeover decided the eye look was just falling a little flat. We used the smallest amount of Albatross over the Tokyo grey to liven and warm it up a bit. That made all the difference in the world; the blues were singing and the brow bone and inner corner looked more awake. You don’t need Albatross for this. Any warm ivory with a hint of gold shimmer will do!
8. NARS Pro Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base $25: I love this stuff. It’s lightweight gel texture is refreshing and soothing. I find it smooths out texture, tones down redness, soaks up excess oil, and keeps shadow looking amazing for hours. I’ve used Urban Decay, Too Faced, and most recently Chanel bases and this is hands down my personal favorite. Best part is it’s clear when blended in so even if you don’t completely cover your eye area with product no one will know you’re wearing it.
Showing off the contour which is all along the jaw, neck, hairline, and cheekbone. Highlight on nose, center forehead, top of cheekbone, and cupids bow.
1. NARS Contour Blush in Olympia $42: I’ve been hyper curious about this since it came out. When you are pale, contour and highlighting is a minefield of potential problems. Leaning to the cooler side of the spectrum is even harder. This works ok for me. It’s a beautiful duo and honestly it should work for pale neutral or warm toned folks with aplomb. You can use the duo in a multitude of ways. We used the darker shade as contour and bronzer. The highlight shade is semi-matte and looks very realistic which makes it perfect for heavy duty Kim Kardashian level highlighting for us vampire types. This would also make a great undetectable highlight shade for eyes in a no-makeup makeup look. I’m still kicking myself for not buying Chanel Notorious when I could have. That purple taupe shade is what I need to give myself Maleficent worthy cheek bones. Do yourself a favor and try this out! It’s certainly an A in my book in terms of the product.
2. NARS Blush in Amore $30: Amore is a matte pinky peach that has the slightest terracotta note to it on me. It might suit someone who is warm toned better but it works well to balance out a cool smokey eye. I love a matte or semi-matte blush so you can control your level and placement of any highlighter or shimmer with a separate product. Sure it takes more time but it gives you a more sculpted result than a blush that is shot with shimmer or pearl throughout. Another A product rating! NARS blush is one of the best because it lasts forever on the skin and you need very little!
1. NARS Velvet Lip Liner in Costa Smerelda $24: I’m not a huge lip liner fan but these pencils are swiftly changing that. I used a really bright liner lightly around the edge and feathered on with my finger from the lip line. My SA suggested I do this to create an almost ombre effect and add a little dimension to the lipstick. It’s very long wearing and comfortable.
2. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anna $32: Anna is dubbed as a smokey rose and it’s certainly that but with a mauve/violet undertone that suits me very well for a nude/mlbb to go with strong eye looks. The formula is great and there isn’t much to say about it that hasn’t been said. I do need to add though that when combined with the lip liner I was able to kiss my husband, eat a sandwich, and drink a glass of wine only leaving behind an oily print but with zero color transfer. My husband said he couldn’t even feel the lipstick while kissing me which made him a happy camper. It photographs a bit more raspberry than it looks in real life!
I won’t go into all the details because I don’t recall them. I feel NARS brushes are really hit or miss. They are either magical like a unicorn’s tears, being utter perfection, or Brillo pads on sticks that accomplish nothing. You need to be the judge and test them in the store!
So my absolute frickin’ favorite thing of my NARS makeover wasn’t even used on my face because it’s a night time treatment. NARS Skin Restorative Treatment came out earlier this month and it’s already sold out at my local counter. They used the sample on my hands and WOAH NELLY! This stuff is so much fun and it works like a champ. It’s a gel oil that as you rub it in becomes aqueous and oily at the same time. It feels comforting, soothing, and it makes your skin look pretty! I can’t even really explain it. It’s like my favorite Sibu Lotion but even more so. You are left with moisture, smoothness, and radiance that lasts. Your skin almost feels slick but not oily in any way. My hands were not dry at all when I used this on them so it took a bit to soak in. If my skin was dry the effect may not have been so pronounced. It’s got a great set of ingredients and it’s a heavy hitter in the hydration department. I have no idea how it would fare in the long run on my complexion but I can tell you I don’t think I’ve EVER used a more instantly hydrating product (Fresh’s Black Tea Toner is a distant second). Using the product is sensual without being sexy and the texture is so addicting I could easily see myself using it all over. At $85 a jar that is not something I can do. Luckily the little pea size they have me covered both my hands and my forearms when I applied it like hand cream so I know a jar will last a while. I’ve not had such a visceral reaction to a product in a while but every fiber of my being would like a gallon of this with a pump delivered to my boudoir, tute de suite! See it’s even got me using Français! Get more info about the product here, here or here.
Overall, I was much more pleased by my Chanel makeover. Looking back at the texture pictures and seeing my skin now, I think I am having a genuine reaction to a product because my skin never looks this bumpy. I seriously have like 50 bumps on my forehead like when I have a terrible Rosacea flare up. My cheeks seem to getting in on the action too but to a much lesser extent. I did pick up a few things at the counter that I will review soon. Luckily, I didn’t splash out on the skincare or base products that might be causing the problem.
Thank you for bearing with me and my exhausting review. I do it all in the name of SCIENCE! Feel free to leave me feedback or start an in depth conversation about these products in the comments below!