The new NARS Spring Color eye shadows HAMMAMET Duo and Dual Intensity KARI from the Spring 2016 Collection thankfully reminded me of how much I used to be obsessed with Nars years back. (yes Nars was the brand that made me into a makeup addict hence the blog!) Over the past two years my obsession had slowed down, and I became very selective with the colors they released. My goal is to only collect the everyday colors that will get lots of use, rather than the unique bold colors (which Nars tend to do) that will end up collecting dust. Hammamet and Kari are beautiful neutrals again that I just can’t take my eyes off -  love the soft dusty rosy tone to them!

pictured clockwise: Nars Duo eyeshadow Hammamet; Nars Duo Intensity Kari and Nars Audacious Lipstick Natalie (one of my all time favorite lip colors – reviewed here)

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The Nars HAMMAMET duo is a must-have for me. I always thought it was the duo eye shadows and the blushes that has put Nars where he is now. The quality of the duo is always consistent, as the eye shadows are silky and creamy to the touch, and they are ultra pigmented but easy to apply and blend without any fallout. One compact will last you forever and the powder quality stays the same over a long period of time without drying out like the MAC singles.

Shade description:

Left : a matte medium sandy beige color that is perfect for shading/contouring. As a matte color it feels buttery soft and it glides on smooth and evenly.

Right: coppery bronzey shimmer with a hint of dusty rose undertone. Stunning color with ultra pigmented micro fine shimmer.

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The Nars KARI is another beautiful soft neutral color that just can’t be missed. It’s a soft dusty sandy taupe color with a hint of mauve undertone in satin finish. Texture is firm and silky smooth, and it can be applied wet or dry with a more intense finish when applied wet. If you think HAMMAMET might pull too warm on you, then KARI is more neutral and softer.

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You can find the Nars Spring 2016 collection at Nordstrom Online, and they are currently offering Gift with Purchase with Nars.

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Today’s review is for the gorgeous Tom Ford Cream Color For Eyes from the Spring 2016 collection (available online here in Australia). There are a total of 8 colors released this season, with some colors being rereleased, and some new colors added to the line. I picked up Opale, Platinum (both are highly popular colors from past seasons) and Sphinx (new).  All of them are simply irresistible from a neutral eye shadow lover perspective, and I always have a flair for cream eye shadows as they are easier to use and I like the fact that they can also be doubled up as a colored eye primer for an anti-crease purpose.

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As usual, Tom Ford’s makeup is always on the premium luxurious end from the packaging to formula, and the cream eye colors are no exception. All three colors have pretty consistent texture  – like a hybrid of gel and cream consistency and stay crease free for up to 8 hours on me. Upon touch it feels slightly wet so it has a higher water content than the conventional cream eye colors. It glides on very smooth and is easy to blend with a brush. I would say this is a much better formula to be used on mature eyes as it does not look powdery and cakey on the eyelid due to the slight moist feel. All 3 colors I picked have the right amount of shimmer – they are not too shimmery nor metallic/sparkly, just a subtle and elegant sheen that makes your eyes pop.

In terms of application, the Tom Ford is the easiest to work with out of all the cream eye shadows I have, particularly with brushes. The colors glide on seamlessly if you prefer to apply with fingers for an effortless finish. I prefer to use the MAC 217 blending brush as it blends the color out for a sheer wash. If you want to pack more pigments for an opaque finish, then it’s best to use a flat brush such as MAC 242 shader brush or just your fingers to pat more product on.

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Opale is a universally flattering ivory champagne shimmer. I am sure we all know this is the most staple color to own in your makeup kit, and you can never have too many of them!

Platinum is another highly raved color. It’s a shimmery taupe brown color that makes a perfect shading/contour color.

Sphinx is definitely a new must have color to own from the line. It is a peachy golden color with pink shimmer, and once it is applied it translates to a golden color with rose gold sheen in a duo-chrome effect.  It is a tad more shimmery than the other colors, and the formula is slightly more runny.

Swatches

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Sharing some of makeup retouch tips in this post. I wear makeup to work everyday, and I usually touch up my makeup midday just to make it look more fresh and energized. I don’t want to spend too much time doing my makeup in the office so I have hand selected a handful of essential items that refresh the makeup within minutes. As always, the main goal is to make the complexion appear more radiant and flawless without looking cakey.

frontrowbeauty-makeup-bagPrep:

Since there is already makeup on the face, my must-have product is to apply a few spritz of MAC Prep and Prime Fix+ Finishing Mist before I put anything else on, then gently pad the skin dry with a tissue paper. It is better than oil blotting paper, as it helps to remove the surface oil, freshens up and hydrates your complexion, and takes away any existing powder on your skin so you don’t look cakey following more products.

Complexion:

For the complexion, my preferences have always been either powder foundations or cushion foundations for adding a bit more coverage throughout the day. Depending on your skin condition and the work environment, powder foundation is great for mattify-ing and gives a tad more coverage. I normally gravitate towards powder foundation if I go to the gym during lunchtime and my foundation is pretty much gone after a sweaty session. Other days I prefer to use the Sulwhasoo cushion foundation (reviewed here), it is like a foundation and radiant booster in one product that is perfect for creating a moist and dewy finish with a touch of sheer coverage. It takes less than a minute with no blending required for retouch, and it instantly makes your complexion appear fresh and more plumped. My go-to pick-me-up product!

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Eyes:

If you have any smudges around the eyes, you don’t need to carry a bottle of eye makeup remover. My tip is to always bring a little skincare sample (preferably eye cream), and dab a little on a cotton tip and this will erase any stubborn eye makeup smudges. I don’t normally touch the eye makeup, other than using a nude Charlotte Tilbury pencil in Eye Cheat to line the lower rim if I look very tired. A shimmery neutral eye shadow pencil such as the Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow is also great for emergency, as it is convenient to use with no brushes required. Sometimes I like to dab a little to the center and along the lower lash for a wash of color.

Colors:

The golden rule is to always use powder blush on top of powder foundation, and cream blush on top of cream/cushion foundation. At the moment I have got this Becca Tint Shimmer Souffle (reviewed here) in my makeup bag, as the formula works well with the moist finish from the cushion foundation. Also really love this pale baby pink and it’s fairly easy and quick to apply with fingers. As for the lips, I have an array of lip colors in my bag.  Showing in the picture is the super cute Mini Tom Ford Lip and Boy colors (reviewed here).

Highlight/Contour:

Last but not least, I like to use the KATE 3D Highlight and Deep Shadow Stick for a quick highlight and contour touch up. It is a pen highlighter on one end (ivory color with soft shimmer) and shading on the other (light matte sandy beige brown color) that is great for carrying out. The colors are really subtle so they are fool proof for application on the go. It is a creamy powder formula, and the sponge applicator helps to even out the color nicely.

If highlight and contour is not your forte, then a liquid illuminating concealer pen is a great option for brighten up the T-Zone, and the under eyes area. Loving the Chantecaille Anti-Fatigue Corrector Pen (reviewed here) as it is packed with their famous hyaluronic acid, so it works really well on dry skin.

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This spring there are two must-have lust worthy gorgeous highlighters to collect – the Chanel Perles ET Fantaisies Illuminating Powder, and the Dior DiorSkin Nude Air Glowing Gardens Illuminating Powders in Glowing Pink. First of all the designs of both powders are to die for, as well as the quality and the finish are just flawless and look extremely flattering on fair to medium skin tones as you would expect from a premium beauty brand. Both products are limited editions, and it seems the Dior is already sold out everywhere in the US, but I think you can still find them in Australia. I am combining these two products into one post as they are quite similar in terms of finish.

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The texture of Chanel Illuminating Powder feels buttery silky smooth. It is so creamy and finely milled that when I rub my fingers over the powders I don’t feel any grainy and powdery texture. Both the white and pink powders are pigmented enough with one to two swipes to show the color and give a glowing effect. It is not as intensely pigmented as some other highlighters such as the Nars and the Becca (reviewed here).  I actually prefer this level of pigments, meaning I can easily create a soft glow effect without worrying of being overdone.

comes with a mini fan brush

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The white powders applies to a translucent shimmery icy white color which also makes a great color to highlight in the inner corners of the eyes.  The pink color is beautiful, when it is applied it actually doesn’t show up as barbie pink as it looked in the pan. It is a translucent shimmery baby pink that adds just a perfect touch of fresh color as a highlighter to the face. When mixed two colors together, the pink adds a touch of warmth to the white, and that gives a natural, lit-from-within glow without looking frosty. Highly recommend this illuminating powder if you are after a pretty luxurious product that gives a natural glow, and it works well on fair to fair/medium skin tones.

Swatches

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The Dior Glowing Pink Powder gives a very similar illuminating effect as the Chanel.  The texture is also superb, and the powder feels slightly more firm and not as moist as the Chanel. It doesn’t enhance pores, and also sets beautifully on dry skin.  The color is a pale delicate pink with a hint of champagne pearl tone to it, so it would work better on warmer skin tones. The finish is a tad more shimmery than Chanel, imparting a radiant dewy glow to the skin.

comes with a mini kabuki brush

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Swatch:

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Comparison Swatch:

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Exploring the Christian Louboutin Beaute range was on top of my “to-do” list for my trip to Hawaii, and I was quite taken by surprise when I saw the nail polish range in real life. They did look the same as in the pictures but the full size bottle was so much bigger than I ever imagined for a nail polish – it could easily be mistaken for a small table sculpture in my opinion. As much as I appreciate how extravagant and expensive they look, I decided to purchase the super cute Louboutin Spring 2016 Hawaii Kawai Nail Set which includes 3 mini colors (actually the size of the mini bottle look the same as a normal nail polish). The set contains 3 best selling permanent shades including Miss Loubi, Very Privé and Batignolles encased in a beautiful box, and retails for USD$90 as compared to $50 per full size bottle, which also makes it a great trial set to get your hands on this luxury brand.

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The most distinct design of Louboutin nail polish is the tall and sharp cap.I always thought it was just for the look until I had used it for application, and it makes a whole difference to how much easier to apply the color more precisely with a tall cap. As claimed by the designer himself, the cap design was inspired by calligraphy and it enables the application to be a truly artistic experience. In terms of consistency, it is very smooth and streak free to apply. 2 coats give an even and glossy opaque cream finish. This is as good as you can get for a nail polish. If you prefer an ultra shiny gel like finish, you will need to apply a clear coat for it. Also thumbs up for its lasting power as it didn’t chip for about 5-6 days.

from left to right: Very Prive; Batignolles, Miss Loubi

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Swatches

Miss Loubi - A pretty vibrant coral color with a hint of pink tone once applied to the nails.

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Very-Privé – Same name as Louboutin’s best selling shoe name. It is a sexy and grown-up deep wine red color that looks great on either short or long nails.

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Batignolles – My favorite color of the three. It is a cross between minty green and turquoise blue, and it reminds me of everyone’s favorite Tiffany blue.

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I know many of you are always excited about Shopbop BIG Event Sales which is happening now till the 5th of March with code BIGEVENT16. This is the best time to make some big purchases including the new season stocks. This year my favorite collections include Rag and Bone (they just completely nailed it with a monochrome theme), and Carven that is always so Persian chic with a playful twist. Theory is my go-to brand for chic and effortless work wear, and last but not least there are always some great shoes and handbags to choose from including my favorite sneaker brand Golden Goose.

Sharing my wishlist!

 

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MAC Flamingo Park is a whimsical collection for anyone who loves pretty and girly makeup. I was instantly drawn to the new Flamingo Park Blush colors – it’s like an array of the prettiest pink and peaches that were calling my name. I could have easily picked up 4-5 colors that I wanted, but I narrowed them down to 2 must-haves for me – the LIFE’S A PICNIC, and WHAT I FANCY.

left: LIFE’S A PICNIC right: WHAT I FANCY

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The quality of these blushes are the same as their permanent powder blushes. They are nicely pigmented and smooth. The powder is soft enough to be picked up by any brush and apply evenly. Both colors do not have shimmer, and gives a semi-matte finish with a soft glow.

My first pick was the LIFE’S A PICNIC. Reason being it instantly reminded me of my all time favorite Chanel blush Vibration (reviewed here). It’s a beautiful and unique pinkish coral red color that just instantly brightens up my complexion. It’s ultra bright and pigmented, so application has to be very light-handed. Using a soft brush gives a sheer wash of naturally flushed cheeks.

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WHAT I FANCY is another pretty and soft spring blush color to wear. It’s a pastel milky peachy pink that gives an innocent and angelic wash of color to the cheeks. To me it’s a fool proof color that can be worn sheer, or built up to accentuate the apples of the cheeks, but regardless it will always make you look young and fresh.

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Swatch

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This spring, Tom Ford released some stellar makeups from the Spring 2016 collection that just completely swept me off my feet. I have raved about their new eye quad in this post, and here I am gushing about their newest lip products which I adore even more – the Patent Finish Lip Colors. I bought the colors Stolen Cherry, Erotic and No Vacancy. These are the latest liquid lipsticks which a lot of brands seem to be doing at the moment. The Tom Ford is perfection – it is almost like my dream lip product that has finally come true as it has the intense pigmentation of a lipstick, the shine of a lip gloss, and the lasting power of a lip stain.

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The Patent Lip Color comes in a click pen style with a slanted sponge applicator. As warned by the SA, first time use will require about 100 clicks to dispense the product. It has a milky and fluid consistency that feels luxuriously creamy and silky on the lips. Goes on weightless and conceals all the dry lines and flaky skin on the lips. It glides on like a lipstick as it doesn’t feel sticky nor does it feather and bleed like a typical lip gloss. The pigmentation is so rich so a little product goes a very long way.

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For application, I would prefer to use a lip brush for a precise finish. Or the sponge applicator to dab the color on to the lip and quickly use the fingers to smear the color over the lips for a stain-like finish. As with all liquid lipsticks, the formula of this dries quickly during application, so it requires some attention for an even and well defined look. It looks ultra shiny when it is first applied, and takes about 15 seconds to completely settle into a semi glossy and creamy finish with a stain effect. Last but not least the lasting power is blowing me away. I normally apply this in the morning, and by noon (after about 5 cups of coffee), the color is still intact!

From left to right: Stolen Cherry, Erotic and No Vacancy

tom-ford-patent-finish-lip-color-review-swatch-stolen-cherry-erotic-no-vacancyStolen Cherry is a true bright red with a hint of cherry undertone. It is a very natural red, and I like to wear the color sheer to give a ‘just bitten’ lip look.

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Erotic is a stunning bright pink that leans slightly cool. It has very fine magenta shimmer in it but is not detectable once applied on the lips.

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No Vacancy is my favorite color of the three. It’s a bright coral red with a warm pink undertone. It is a fool proof bright color that would suit most complexions.

tom-ford-patent-finish-lip-color-review-swatch-no-vacancyGroup Swatch (taken with indoor lighting). The above lip swatches were taken under natural sun light.

tom-ford-patent-finish-lip-color-review-swatch-stolen-cherry-erotic-no-vacancy-4I bought the Tom Ford Patent Lip Colors at Neiman Marcus. You can also find them online on Nordstrom in the US.

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