NARS

Hi everyone I’m finally back from my months long hiatus! My computer crashed (which was catastrophic!) and I lost all my pictures soon after my previous post, and that just completely killed my blogging mojo for longer than I thought…Big thanks to those of you who messaged me!

I spent a few days thinking about what my ‘first post’ should be upon returning, and I decided on doing a FOTD with some of the new makeups I recently bought.  It is my go-to makeup look now, with an emphasis on creating a translucent complexion and very light touch of neutral eye shadows with the MAC Golden Hours Mineralize Eyeshadow from the “Fantasy of Flowers’ collection.

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Being a 24 hours on-call mum, I find that warm neutral shades are easier to work with and look more flattering on tired eyes than the cools. The colors from MAC Golden Hours do a fantastic job in opening up my eyes and add a lovely warm glow to them. Though the texture of this quad feels a little gritty and dry, they apply smoothly and are relatively easy to blend without any fallout with the use of an eyeshadow primer. The color payoff is semi-sheer when applied dry with a translucent soft shimmer finish. Overall this is a lovely and affordable warm neutral eye shadow to own, as it is priced the same as a single MAC Mineralize eye shadow but you get 4 different shades. The quality may not blow you away, but I love the flattering complementary shades that are fool proof to use.

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Swatches
MAC-golden-hour-mineralize-eyeshadow-swatchesApplication Method:
Upper Lid – Applied the golden brown shade all over the socket then layer it with the peachy shade. Then applied the bronze shade on the outer-v.
Lower Lid – Applied the vanilla shade on the tear duct and the bronze on the outer 1/3.

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Other products used:

Using my favorite base products of the moment which are from a Korean cosmetic brand called 3 Concept Eyes . The Glossing Waterful Foundation and its matching Concealer feel almost like water upon contact with the skin and gives the skin a soft ‘wet look’ radiance. I like to use the Nars Adelaide Illuminator as a blush base, and in my FOTD it was layered with the cult favorite Nars 0rgasm.

 

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Coming Soon!

January 17, 2014

 

1. Nars Final Cut Blush New Attitude – My heart skipped a few beats when I saw the preview of  Nars Final Cut Collection – it’s all about Pink! After playing with the testers for some time, I ended up with these two items. Check out the swatches of the entire Final Cut collection on The Make-Up Blogette. Nordstrom has a tutorial video on this collection.

2. Nars Final Cut Skin Illuminator Adelaide

3. Suqqu Concealer 01 – I heard so many good things about the white concealer as a highlighter!

4. Suratt Automatique Lip Crayon POC – A new makeup brand only available at Barneys. This is my first product from this line as I always have faith in the quality of the beauty products from Barneys. Check out reviews and swatches on Wondegondigo. Have you tried anything from Suratt? I would love to hear your thoughts :-)

5. Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer 520 – I rushed to the store and got these beautiful glosses after I read the review on The Beauty Look Book!

6. Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer 522

7. Tom Ford Lip Color Indian Rose – I bought thes lipstick with the gloss because the combo looked so beautiful on the gorgeous Tom Ford SA.

8. Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip Gloss Sahara Pink

 

Deal Alert! Neiman Marcus is currently offering $50 off any $200 purchase with promo code JAN50 and free shipping to Australia which I think is pretty fantastic (offer ends this Friday)! So I got myself this one…Yay!

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I love the NARS Purifying Foam Cleanser! I started using this one since summer, and it worked brilliantly for my normal to dry skin. What surprised me the most is that my skin is still loving it in this cold weather which is a good indication that it is an all year rounder for even dry and sensitive skin. So I think I need to write up a more detailed review to share my love.

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As the name suggests, it’s a foaming cleanser that helps to clean and purify the skin. The cleanser contains micro beads that feel very gentle on the skin. A tiny dab of it forms a lot of bubble so I have barely used a dent after several months! And this gigantic tube will last me a long time I think. It is part of the Nars’ latest brightening skincare range so it contains “light reflecting technology” which helps to brighten up your complexion. I would say it is a good product to be incorporated into your skincare routine if your main concern is pigmentation or dullness but I won’t solely rely on this product for brightening purposes.

When it comes to foaming cleansers, my preference has always been with Japanese brands as that is what they are known for. The Japanese cleansers pioneer in terms of producing ultra-dense and creamy foam (that has a marshmallow-like texture) and has excellent cleansing power . The downside is that they tend to over clean my dry skin so I always feel my skin a little taut after washing with most brands. Compared to that, what wins me over with Nars is that it does a good cleaning job and makes your skin feel refreshed without stripping any natural oil off. My skin feels clean, balanced and soft (not dry and tight) after washing, It completely removes any makeup residue and makes the skin appear ‘very clean’, and for morning use I like how refreshing it feels and how it instantly wakes my skin up.

Bottom Line: A very good foaming cleanser for any skin type (even sensitive). Highly recommend! I love it so much so I have bought almost the entire range (typical me!), and so far I am very impressed with the luminous mask and the moisturizing gel-cream which are worth checking out. The cleanser can be purchased here.

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This is another eyeshadow review for the Dior 5 Couleur Grand Bal Eyeshadow Palette in 524 Fairy Golds (Limited Edition) from the Grand Bal Holiday 2012 Collection. My compulsive makeup hoarding is getting a little out of control lately as I am completely engulfed by the waves of new eye shadows being released at the moment. But what could be a better time to shop than this festive time of the year?!

dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-GoldsBefore I start my review, please allow me to ramble about the sub-par service at various Dior counters. The SAs were either busy chatting or showed no interest in doing their jobs at 3 different counters I visited! Whilst most of the other cosmetic counters thrive to deliver the best possible customer service in such a competitive economy, it was such a let down experience from a premium beauty house like Dior.

Nonetheless, this did not distract me from buying this uber gorgeous eyeshadow quint. It’s a neutral eye shadow palette with some of the most beautiful sparkly shimmery shades I have ever seen – and that is what drew me in the most! I love a sparkly shade when it is done right. It needs to have the perfect spongy creamy texture (not gritty) and adheres without any fallout, and most importantly it needs to be sparkly in a grown-up way. And the color is important too, as it needs to be subtle but you can still see the color with some translucency so it doesn’t overpower the base eye color when you apply the sparkly shade on top.  This Dior quint ticked all the boxes.

COLORS

Top Left: Shimmery champagne pinky beige

Top Right: Rusty gold with a sparkly finish

Middle: Silvery white with a sparkly finish

Bottom Left: Shimmery mushroom taupe

Bottom Right: Shimmery chocolate brown

All shades are rich in pigmentation, feel buttery soft and blend so well. As mentioned above, the two sparkly shades are exceptionally superior and rivals the Tom Ford which I thought were the best!

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SWATCHES:

dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-Golds-swatches-1dior-grand-bal-2012-collection-5-Couleur-Eyeshadow-Palette-524-Fairy-Golds-swatches-2FOTD:

Upper Lid: Applied the beige color all over the eyelid, then I blended the light taupe color from the upper lash into the eye socket. The dark brown shade was only added to the outer-v, and I used my finger to pat the gold sparkly shade on the inner corner, and the silvery white shade on top for an ultra sparkly festive look!

Lower Lid: The white sparkly on the inner third, and the brown on the outer third.

It is worth nothing that I have been obsessed with highlighting and contouring lately, so I have used more-than-the-usual amount of base product to create a luminous complexion that also looks more defined.

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OTHER PRODUCTS:

Face: Laura Mercier Moisturizing Foundation (discontinued) mixed with Dr Jart+ Waterfuse Moist BB Cream.

Highlight & Contour: Prescriptives Contour Stick (discontinued) + Nars Copacabana Illuminator. YSL Touche Eclat for under eye concealing.

Blush: Chanel JC in Rouge

Lipstick: Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine SS BG 957 (reviewed here) + MAC Dazzleglass Glamour

Bottom Line: A perfect eye shadow palette for a touch of sparkly glamour this festive season.

I bought mine at David Jones for AUD$99. The Dior Palette can be purchased here in the US. You can also get this new collection including the palette here with free international delivery, and use the code GIFT10 for 10% off!

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Whilst everyone’s attention is on the drool-worthy Eclats du Soir de Chanel Collection (reviewed here), Chanel has quietly released two new Joues Contraste Blushes in #74 Ultra Rose and Rouge as part of their permanent collection. I picked up #74 Ultra Rose recently, and the Rouge is a re-promotion from the Byzance de Chanel collection which has been reviewed here.

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I first heard about the release on Jen’s blog here, and I literally stomped out to the shop straight away. In my opinion, Ultra Rose should be renamed to Ultra Neon Bubble Gum Pink. I have a fair share of cool pink blushes in my makeup stash but this one completely outshines the others in terms of color and opacity. It’s the brightest, most pigmented bubble gum pink blush I have ever owned!

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As far as I know, Ultra Rose only comes in the euro baked version. In general JC in baked version can be slightly less pigmented than the US version, but rest assured the pigmentation of this one is insanely pigmented (on par with Rouge if you know I mean…). There is no visible shimmer in this blush, but it gives a beautiful glow to the skin and that’s exactly what I love about the baked version. The formulation somewhat manages to add a touch of translucent lit-within glow to the finish. As you can see from the comparison swatch below, the JC Ultra Rose has the most beautiful sheen compared to blushes of other formulations.

Some comparison swatches:

clockwise: Chanel Tweed Fuchsia, Chanel JC Ultra Rose, Dior Rosy Glow, Nars Desire

chanel-joues-contraste-blush-ultra-rose-nars-desire-tweed-fuchsia-dior-rosy-glow-comparison-1chanel-joues-contraste-blush-ultra-rose-nars-desire-tweed-fuchsia-dior-rosy-glow-comparison-2Compared to Chanel JC Pink Explosion and Malice

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I have been wearing this blush a lot lately and I will show you a FOTD with it shortly. When it is applied sparingly, Ultra rose gives a beautiful cool pink flush that really brightens the complexion and yet is still very wearable on fair skin.

Chanel Joues Contraste Blush retails for $73 in Australia.

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I really appreciate the way Becca release their makeup collections. They are one of the very few beauty houses (or perhaps the only) that schedule releases depending on the season of the country. The Becca Endless Summer 2012 Makeup Collection is just out in Australia. Whilst I find myself inevitably drawn to the dark and plummy shades from the current fall collection, it is refreshing to see the bright, tropical and summery hues.

Allow me to say – the Endless Summer Collection is the best collection Becca has ever done. Every shade is well edited for spring and summer, and the texture is superb. I had a very hard time limiting myself to a few products. After fiddling at the counter for 30 minutes, I settled with the Becca Ultimate Color Gloss Malibu Punch and their famous Beach Tint in Lychee. There were other products such as their Mineral Blushes that I was that close to buying, and even now I just can’t seem to get them out of my mind!

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The Becca Ultimate Color Gloss in Malibu Punch is a very intense and bright tangerine shade. This shade is worn by the model in their promotion campaign (here), and it looked absolutely stunning on her so it became their best selling shade from this range. Although it’s called a gloss, it almost feels like a liquid lipstick as the pigmentation is so intense, and delivers the ultimate bold color with a high glossy shine whilst feeling weightless on the lips. The lasting power is also phenomenal, as there is still a stain left on my lips after 4 to 5 hours of wear. Compared to the much raved YSL Glossy Stain, the Becca Ultimate Color Gloss truly deserves more credit, if not better.

I did my makeup differently in my FOTD today. To accentuate the bold lip color, I applied more-than-usual amount of bronzer in Nars Laguna along the cheeks and the jawline for a touch of sun-kissed warmth. Nars Luster is applied along the hollow of my cheekbones for a more defined look.  My eye makeup using Burberry Midnight Brown (reviewed here) is also more smoky hence it looks more dramatic than what I would normally wear. The overall result – romantic but with sharpness.

Other products used: Suqqu Moisturizing Cream Foundation( LOVE it!) and Shu Uemura Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil in 6.

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Becca-Ultimate-Color-Gloss-Malibu-Punch-endless-summer-2012-collection-swatch-fotd-3The Becca Ultimate Color Gloss retails for USD$24 and the entire Becca Line is available at Sephora now! I bought mine at David Jones for AUD$42.

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Being an Asian I always find it hard to resist the Asia Exclusive Collection, as the color palette is specifically designed for the Asian coloring, and the quality is often surpassing my expectation. Chanel has released its Le Blanc 2012 collection a while ago, and I literally wanted everything from the collection but my rational side has limited myself to a few products. One of them is the Joues Contraste Fleur De Lotus Powder Blush which I think is an absolute must have.

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Whoever owns this beautiful blush would agree with me that the quality is more superior than the regular JC Blush. The powder is still baked, but is more finely milled, softer and offers a better color payoff. Unlike the regular JC which requires more than a few swipes, the Fleur De Lotus only needs less than 2 swipes per side.

Fleur De Lotus is a universally flattering peachy pink color – an everyday “go to” shade that would complement any makeup look. If you like the Nars 0rgasm, Fleur De Lotus is a more luxurious and refined version of it. It contains finer shimmers and the overall powder texture feels smoother. The finish is more subdued than the Nars, and it inherits the unique finish of a baked formula that offers a satiny sheen with a soft flow. Espiegle is another popular JC shade, so I have also included it in the comparison swatches for you.

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chanel-joues-contraste-powder-blush-fleur-de-lotus-nars-orgasm-espiegle-swatchesWearing Fleur De Lotus

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This is another post requested by my readers – A FOTD of dark smokey eyes paired with pale blush and lips. I hardly wear smokey eyes so I thought that was such a good idea for me to practice. I wanted to wear black eye shadows, and the Nars Pandora Duo Eye Shadow was the first one that came to my mind. I bought this duo many years ago when I was in the Nars phase, but had never worn them yet! So I am giving this duo a road test today.

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Pandora contains a matte black shade and a shimmery white shade, and it is regarded as one of the most iconic Nars duos (along with Rated R) to be collected. Surprisingly, it is not as difficult to wear as I thought. Both the black and white shades apply smoothly and evenly, and are easy to blend. It is very densely packed so I didn’t experience any fall out with this product using a fluffy blending brush (MAC 217).

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Face: I wanted my base makeup to look sheer and natural, so I opted for the Sunday Riley Tinted Moisturizer, and the Bobbi Brown Corrector for under eyes concealing. Then I set my makeup with the Tom Ford Translucent Finishing Powder.

Cheeks: A few swipes of Chanel Joues Contraste in Narcisse.

Eyes: Since Pandora is matte and can look flat on the eyes, I first used the Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill 13 Noifa for a sheer wash of color over the eye socket. This is my go-to product for quick  smokey eyes – it blends out beautifully with MAC 217 and the shimmer straight away creates a multi-dimensional layered effect without the need of applying 4 and 5 different shades! I then applied the black shade of Pandora starting from the lash line into the crease for a more dramatic effect. The white shade was added  under the brow bone to highlight.

Brows: They were done when preparing this eye brow tutorial, though this post shows the nose contour (step 5) better.

Lips: Applied with the Shiseido Sheer Gloss Lipstick in Doll Pink which is my favorite pale pink lipstick, then MAC Creme Sheen Glass in Partial Pink was layered on top. They go perfectly together!

More pictures:

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