Tag Archives: NARS

Best Blush Ever

The Best. Blush. Ever. NARS

This post is so overdue as I have been back and forth in my mind on a few brands who have blushers that I really like, but NARS eventually won out. As always with my Best. Ever. posts it’s some big shoes to fill, but I feel pretty confident about awarding this major beauty category to NARS.

Comprehensively I believe that NARS has the best blush selection on the market. They cover all skin tones, from the incredibly pale (Angelika and Amour) to the deepest, richest mahogany (Taj Mahal, Exhibit A and Taos are all divine on black skin). They do a huge range of powder AND cream blushes, (48 in all! Which should keep even the most blush happy amongst you more than satisfied), especially when you throw into the mix their amazing Multiples, which truly are the fast food of makeup – chuck them in your bag, swipe them on your cheeks and lips and bingo! Instant pretty.

The powder blushes come in a gorgeous array of tones and finishes, and have good colour pay-off. They even do ones that are more like powder luminisers, like Albatross, Nico and Miss Liberty. I have been collecting NARS blushes for years, and the hardest thing is deciding which ones to take on a job. A quick count of the Vault and my kit has revealed a pretty staggering 30 NARS blushes to choose from, so you can see I’m a fan from way back.

The cream blushers are also beautiful and can be applied with fingers or a brush, and if you’re feeling really crazy, you can layer them with the powder for long lasting wear.  They have reduced how many creams they have in the range now, which is a shame as they are beautiful, but with a range as expansive and constantly evolving as NARS, I guess things have to go periodically to make room for new makeup lushness.

I love the black rubberized packaging courtesy of master designer Fabien Baron (still so chic, seventeen years on! That’s the hallmark of truly great design), and the names. After all, who else could get away with calling a blush Orgasm and Super Orgasm but NARS?

And even though there are a bazillion shades already available, they just keep coming up with more covetable colours. How is that even possible? I have boxes and boxes of blushes and yet still each season I keep finding another NARS must-have shade. Currently on my radar to add to my collection – after all, a girl really can’t have enough blush, no? – Enchantment, Sex Appeal and Douceur. Do I need them? Hell to the no!  Do I want them? Bet your ass yes.

Also if you can ever get your sticky blush-loving paws on some of the discontinued shades, there are some crackers there too.

Monsieur Nars, thank you for the best range of blushes in the world. I am however still waiting for an invitation to your private island in Bora Bora to enjoy the shade of the palm tree that my NARS habit has funded over the years. Next year around March works for me if that’s good for you?

narscosmetics.com

 

yves-saint-laurent-barneys-new-york-makeup-rouge-pur-couture-8-belle-de-rose

Trend: Days of Wine and Roses

For ages I’ve been wanting to write a post about wine coloured lipsticks as they’ve been having a moment in my kit the last few months, but recently I’ve been crushing on other colours too – pinks and raspberries and fuchsias.

So I thought – let’s cover them all off in one big sangria drenched lip festival!

Wine Lips

From deep claret to almost black bordeauxs, and into chocolates and blackberries, I love a deep, opulent rich lip.

Favourite lipsticks for this are:

  • MAC Lipmixes – to mix up your favourite shade
  • Illamasqua Growl and Poison
  • NARS Velvet Matte Pencils in Damned and Cruella
  • NARS Lipstick in Scarlet Empress
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture in 8
  • Estee Lauder Pure Colour in Plum Couture

Pinks and Sangrias

 

A deep, bold claret lip is not always appropriate, let’s be real. Sometimes one wants a stain, or more of a juicier version. Lighter-bodied lipsticks include:

  • MyFace Strawberry Fields and Cherry Bomb
  • Chanel Ballet Russes
  • Clinique Black Honey (this has iconic status in Lip Lovers’ World)
  • MAC Plumful

Fuchsia

 

This is my current hot colour preference for a statement lip – nothing says you got it goin’ on like a hot fuchsia. My current go-tos are:

  • Illamasqua Atomic
  • Tom Ford Perfect Pink
  • NARS Schiap

If you want to go for a glossy version of the above, a clear gloss would suffice (I’m a MAC lipglass in Clear fan myself) or you could punch up a wine lip with the following glosses:

  • MyFace Lip Pop Gloss in Crazy in Love
  • Bobbi Brown Rich Colour Lip Gloss in Pink Raspberry
  • NARS Hot Wired or Easy Lover for pinks
  • NARS Rose Birman for Wine

When wearing a strong lip, you can either dab the lipstick on with your fingers for a casual take on the look, or layer on at least two coats using a good lipbrush (I like the Shu Uemura Lip Brush). If you find you have an unsteady hand, a matching lipliner can be useful for giving a super precise, finished look.

 

New NARS!

NARS is a brand that, quite frankly, had me at hello, but of late it has been reaching new heights of rocking my socks off. I give you:

Exhibit A – the new Spring 2011 collectionNars Spring 2011
How tasty is that? Warm browns and bronzes, a judicious (but not flashy) use of gold and divine rich blues.

Not to mention the campaign image with the stupendous model Iris Strubegger , who’s one of my favourite models of the last couple of years. She looks tough, sexy, androgynous yet gorgeous – love her. I did her makeup in Berlin a couple of years ago now and she’s as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside, not to mention being an otherworldly beauty when she hits that catwalk.

Exhibit B: The new VGPs (I just can’t help myself with the acronyms.)
Or Velvet Gloss Pencils. I mean really, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better! I have a Crayola like stash of NARS VMPs (Velvet Matte Pencils) in my kit at all times, so I can only guess how many of those shiny new GLOSSY bad boys are going to be snuggling up next to their matte cousins by the end of the season.

Just because it’s beautiful, here is the new VGP video with the lovely Heather Marks.

So God, if you’re listening I’m going to be needing: NARS Douceur and Sex Appeal blush, VGPs (all), Matte Lipstick in Tashkent and Volga, Hollywoodland eye pencil, the new Eye Trio in Calanque, Nouveau Monde and Bateau Ivre eyeshadow duos, and Coconut Grove single eyeshadow. I think that’s it for now.
(Although it’s OK if you’re a bit busy at the moment to fulfill my NARS request. Just, you know, when you get time).

The new Spring collection is available in the UK and US, and available in Australia through Mecca Cosmetica from the 21st February.

Holiday Trend – Gold

Because this is the site with no shame, and because I haven’t had any cheesily fabulous 80’s music on here for awhile, here’s some Spandau Ballet to ease you into this season’s hottest trend for holiday parties – Gold.

Now that I’ve blown your mind with some feathered hair and ostentatious guitar chord playing (check around the 1.23 mark if you’re into that sort of thing), it’s time to get down to business, how to shimmer like a star this Christmas.

The best way to wear golds is generally on the eyes – although this season there are some ace gold nailpolishes around too (but more on them later).

Gold suits every eye colour and in fact every skintone, and metallics in general are huge this season.

My fave way to wear gold on the eyes is to layer a cream with a powder, and for full-on Midas eyes you can’t really go past Illamasqua’s Solstice Liquid Metal with Pure Pigment in Marvel. This is what Alex Box used to create the Golden Goddess look for the Myer show in Sydney this year, and I can attest to its – well, golden-ness. I love these because the gold isn’t too yellow and fake looking, and they have a burnished quality when they catch the light (golds that are too fake and yellow looking make me feel, quite frankly, ill. So cheap and nasty!)

Illamsasqua Golden Goddess Myer Show

If you fancy something a little less full-on, Laura Mercier does a lovely gold metallic crème eyeshadow in, aptly enough, Gold, and Chanel do a beautiful gold powder eyeshadow. It’s also, funnily enough, called Gold.

There are a few tricks to making metallics work. Firstly you need to apply your shadow, then line your eyes right at the base of the top lashes with a black liquid liner or gel eyeliner. This defines the eye and makes it much more party-worthy. Black or brown pencil liner on the inner rims is optional, depending on whether you really want to get your sexy on. I like MAC’s Boot Black liquid and Bobbi Brown’s Black Ink gel liner for this purpose. You can either just do a wash of gold on the lids, or you can use a nice matte brown shadow to wash into the crease to give some good depth and definition (I’m currently loving NARS Bengali as a great all round chocolate brown eyeshadow). Two coats of your favourite mascara (my current fave mazzie is L’Oreal’s Volume Million Lashes mascara for a party lash), and false lashes are optional but always a winner for parties. MAC and Shu Uemura are great for expensive ones, Ardell if you’re saving your pennies.

You can keep the rest of the face simple by using the minimum of foundation and powder, some bronzer and keep the lip a delicious nude. I love YSL Rouge Pur in 132 a gorgeous golden pinky beige. Golden-beige gloss on top, something like Chanel’s Beige Guitare.

Nails

Nails are also a key place to go for gold. Myface L’il Bling is an amazing new range of metallic polish, and their gold polish is particularly lovely (it’s called Gilt-y). For the ultimate gold nail though you should check out Nail Rock. Nail Rock are individual nail wraps in different patterns, including metallics, that you heat up with a hair dryer onto the nail. They do take a bit of getting used to, but for a true Midas touch, you can’t go past these. They are the creation of London manicurist Zoe Pocock and they last up to 7 days on nails and 8 weeks on the toes, plus they are inexpensive (£6.50 per set), so there’s no excuse for not going for gold. (Feathered hair and ostentatious guitar playing are optional).

www.illamasqua.com
www.chanel.com
www.narscosmetics.com
www.lauramercier.com
www.maccosmetics.com
www.yslbeautyus.com
www.myfacecosmetics.co.uk

Nail Rock are available from www.asos.com or Topshop, and Sportsgirl in Australia.

NARS – Matte Lipsticks

I have yet to try these beautiful, creamy matte lipsticks that have been popping up all over town, on celebs (like Lea Michelle and Christina Hendricks), and on runways (uber-makeup artist Diane Kendal has been busting out the Madere Matte Lipstick at Thakoon in New York this week). I’m quite partial to a matte lip which is chic and cool at the same time, and these new lipsticks have a beautiful range of shades from nude to reds and wines. Plus with a matte lipstick you can easily add shine with a gloss or lipbalm, so in a way, it’s a clever investment – two lippies for the price of one! Who needs shares when you can invest in NARS?

And in honour of the new lipsticks, Monsieur Nars and his clever team have created this short film with the lovely Heather Marks, who I worked with on one of the shows at London Fashion Week a couple of years ago – and yes, she is that beautiful. We bonded over the lack of food backstage as we were all corralled in an area with no access to food –put it this way, Vitamin Water and chewing gum seemed like a feast! I love this film, and there’s also a Behind the Scenes to go with it. If this doesn’t make you start lusting for a matte lippie, I don’t know what will!

NARS Matte lipsticks will be available soon.
www.narscosmetics.com





From the Front Lines: Kristen Stewart wears NARS

Kristen Stewart-Eclipse PremiereIt seems like every day Twilight actress Kristen Stewart has been rocking the red carpet somewhere in the world as she promotes her new film in the Twilight Saga, Eclipse.

I thought she looked particularly gorgeous at the New York premiere this week, and apparently that very sexy eye makeup is courtesy of NARS. One of her regular makeup artists, Beau Nelson, used NARS Zardoz cream eyeshadow (a raven black), with NARS Pandora cream eyeshadow (a black and white duo) over it for those elongated, sexy eyes. Combining cream eyeshadow with powder gives beautiful depth and definition to your eye makeup and is a favourite MM technique. Now if NARS could just gift box up R-Patz to go with those eyeshadows, we’d all be set!

The Return of Lipstick

There is a bonafide revolution going on in makeup halls not just around the country, but around the world – Lipstick is Back.

Relegated to the status of a makeup also ran since, ooh, about 1999, when gloss usurped its position as women’s choice of lip enhancer, lipstick has quietly been easing its way back into our lives.

For me the tide turned on a shoot with David Bailey over a year ago – Kay Montano had these beautiful, creamy lipsticks from Bobbi Brown that she had been using on Nicole Kidman (aptly named ‘Creamy Lipsticks’), and I fell in love all over again with their delicious texture and the fact that they were moisturizing and had a sheen on them, but no stickiness. Gloss had been feeling a little passé for awhile, but this was the first time I had tossed an actual lipstick in my handbag in years.

My gloss bag at work started to shrink, and my lipstick palettes increase. I was using bolder colors at work – bright oranges, corals, fuchsia, red in all its permutations from deep wine to eye-popping cherries and strawberries.

Then came the launch of Chanel’s Rouge Coco lipstick in March this year with its ethereal image of Vanessa Paradis. Chanel’s Global Makeup artist, Peter Phillips, was so vocal in his championing of the forgotten makeup product, that it heralded something of a return. In the last couple of months it feels like every line is bringing lipstick back, and when the master of the fashion zeitgeist, Tom Ford, decides to launch a line of lippies, you know it’s a done deal.

My new-found love of lipstick has led me to try out quite a few lately, and my top winners at the moment are:

YSL Rouge Volupte – love the colours and they are super-creamy

Bobbi Brown – perfect for your natural lip shade but better

Chanel Rouge Coco – they really are as good as the buzz

Estee Lauder – if you’re re-investigating the classics, why not go to the source?

Illamasqua – For mouth-watering statement lip shades

NARS – from nudes to reds, his colour selection is unparalleled

MAC – like a lipstick candy store for grown ups

Lipstick is not just about applying lip colour – it’s an attitude, a feeling, a gift to yourself. It’s time (if you haven’t done so already), to make like a lady, and get yourself a lipstick.

New Collections: NARS Summer

New NARS Summer 2010 CollectionRocking my socks off this week is the new NARS Summer collection, which I was lucky enough to see and try a couple of months ago. It’s been hard but I’ve had to keep these little oceanic treasures to myself – until now, as they’re going to be on counter on May 1st.

This collection is, in my opinion, the most cohesive one NARS has done for some time, with several stand out pieces. It’s the reason why I am firmly back into NARS after a hiatus where I strayed into lots of other brands. It’s good to have a break from your favourite ranges from time to time as it makes you realize how many amazing products there are out there in the market place now – but when you return to an old favourite, it’s like falling in love all over again!

So why so crazy about this particular collection? For me it walks that line between some delicious snacks for my editorial kit – bright blue and green cream eyeshadow, yes please! And some straight beauty items that could go in any woman’s makeup bag – products that just make you pretty. We do love those at MM HQ! So here are my picks:

Burn it Blue cream eyeshadow duo – this was the first pal I picked up and it is described as an iridescent ocean blue paired with turquoise, which is just begging to be taken to the beach, wrapped on a model’s eyelids and photographed next to the ocean.

Cayenne – a deceptive dark brown cream eyeshadow that is the type of product you might pass over, but is surprisingly lovely on all eye colours. Like all cream eyeshadows, you can use it as a base for deeper, smoky looks by layering powder eyeshadow over the top.

Enchanted cream blush – the most gorgeous, happy cream blush you’ve ever seen that really does work on all skin tones, if its efforts at the Oscars are to be appreciated. Dusky beauty Zoe Saldana wore it, as did Jennifer Lopez, and it would be equally gorgeous on milkier-skinned starlets. PHENOMENAL. Perfect for work, and home!

Love Devotion – Bright, sheer guava lipstick. Because it’s very sheer it’s a nice way to get into the season’s statement lip trend without investing in a lipstick that’s so bright it just freaks you out (quite frankly). And if you want to amp it up, you could always add a bright pencil lipliner. I’m loving Barry M’s kohl liner in Orange as a base for a statement lip.

Now I just have to wait for his Primer to come out on May 15th! Which just goes to show there’s never a dull moment in Makeup World.