NARS Audacious Lipstick Additions for Fall 2016 | Shirley & Stefania Swatches & Comparisons

It seems so long ago that NARS released their initial Audacious lipstick collection. One of the first brands to ever come out with lipsticks in such a huge colour range.

I remember seeing them at the preview and thinking wow, I pretty much need them all! It was pure makeup porn! I swear.

The pigmentation and formula was soooo on point! And to be very honest, I haven’t seen any other cream lipstick outperform the pigmentation of these Audacious lipsticks since then. I still believe it’s THE best pigmented lipstick that… ever lived.. so to speak.

 

NARS Audacous Shirley, Stefania review

This fall NARS launched 5 more Audacious lipsticks (replacing 5 others which will be discontinued. For more info, click HERE).

Apoline – Light pink rose

Shirley – A deep wine red

Stefania – A deep fuchsia

Kate – A purple orchid

Mona – A medium mahogany

I’ve received two as press samples & since i’ve already reviewed the formula before (HERE), I thought i’d focus on a comparison swatch post against a bunch from my existing NARS collection.

NARS Audacious Shirley, Stefania

Here’s Shirley & Stefania.

NARS Audacious 2016 Shirley Stefania

Shirley is your go-to Fall statement lip. The perfect deep, rich red with a warm undertone. If reds and wines are your vice. This is one to look into.

As I’m not so much into the deeper reds I figured I won’t get much use off this. Until a lip swatch proved otherwise. Consider me sold! I am LOVING this shade for fall.

NARS Shirley comparison swatches

Here’re some of my NARS reds I find work well for comparisons.

(I’ve marked the Audacious shades with a * . The others are either Velvet Matte Lip pencils or Cinamatic Lipsticks)

Jeanne is the closest match to Shirley. Almost Identical when worn, though Shirley heavier on the reds in comparison to Jeanne which is ‘brown-er’.  I also found Shirley to have more slip and a silkier formula to Jeanne. This new lipstick just glides on like BUTTER.

Consuming Red, the latest Velvet Matte Lip Pencil from fall 2016 is also quite similar, so I threw this into the swatch comparison as well. If you prefer a matte lip, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are such an amazing formula. Richly pigmented and less drying than most matte lipsticks out there.

P.S- Have I ever mentioned the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are one of my all time favourite products? Well now you know!

NARS Stefania comparison swatches

NARS Audacious Stefania. A stunning deep Fuchsia. This applies much brighter than expected, and obviously I love the result!

At first swatch I imagined Michiyo to be a very close dupe. However after comparison, I found Michiyo much lighter in tone and brighter. I’d say Stefania contains slightly more purple hues too, a colour which would look stunning on olive complexions.

NARS Audacious lipsticks fall 2016

Bottom Line

I’m sensing there’s a slight improvement in formula. Both shades are silkier, and glide on like butter. I can’t recall how the other three swatched though (it was over a month ago since previewing these).

The pigmentation as you’d expect is also out of this world and boasts very long wear even though they do transfer with eating and drinking. I also find they stain a bit and wear out evenly. Therefore touch ups aren’t needed as often as any other regular lipstick.

If you are hooked on reds or pinks like me, these are two beautiful additions to your collection. I highly recommend!

Pricing & Availability

Retailing at SGD 44 each, September onwards (Singapore release dates).

Oils for summer! Collection & reviews including Nuxe, NARS, Lierac & more.

August is the month of vacations! Everyone’s off on holiday catching the rays and celebrating life with the fam. It’s my favourite time of the year as well and come summer I like to change up my body care and skincare to suit the boiling hot temperatures here in Sri Lanka & prepare for adventures to come.

Apart from the obvious sunscreen hoarding, (trying to save our skin here. Literally) I find myself hoarding body oils. I LOVE them for summer! They don’t melt off as lotions and creams do and continue to hydrate the body throughout the day.

Body Oils review Nuxe, NARS Monoi Glow, Lierac

As you can see, I’ve managed to accumulate quite the collection (what’s scary is this isn’t all LOL) and over the years discovered a few favourites i’d like to share with you today. The best ones come from France. Unfortunately. I know a lot of you don’t have access to these brands but some are widely available and i’m sure i’ll be able to recommend something you’d like.

My most used/ all time favourite has to be the Lierac Sensorielle Regenerating Oil & Toning Oil.

Lierac, huile bosy oil review

If you love white flower scents, this one’s for you! I literally can’t get enough of the fragrance. It’s this incredible floral scent mixed in with hints of citrus. The essence of summer captured in a bottle.

To nourish and hydrate skin, these oils contain a few delightful skin loving ingredients such as Almond Oil, Apricot kernel oil & Sesame oil. Applied freshly after a bath, they absorb well and don’t feel sticky or uncomfortable. Both versions are equally good with the toning oil slightly less nourishing in comparison if you feel the need for a lighter option.

I also love that this particular oil comes fitted with a spray. No spills and messy oil drips. It’s a winner across all boards.

Next up, a fairly recent acquisition. The NARS Monoi Glow body oils.

NARS Monoi glow

These are the latest (reformulated) versions of the cult favourite Monoi Oil by NARS.

The primary ingredient used here is Tiare flower infused Coconut oil (60%). Nourishing and hydrating as the Lierac but more exotic in scent. It instantly transports you to your last summer escape, bringing back memories of the beach and sun kissed glowy skin.

I don’t own the previous version, (though I did take a quick whiff at the counter and concluded) this one’s more perfumed and sweeter with intoxicating notes of White Frangipani, Ylang Ylang & Vanilla.

Only downside is these Monoi Body Glow Oils don’t come with a spray & the bottle opening is quite large making it difficult to control the amount dispensed.

African Botanics Marula Shimmering gold oil

The African Botanics Marula Shimmering Oil is something special.

100% Organic, 100% Vegan & preservative free!

I received this as part of a skincare sampler set I purchased off Net-a-Porter (this one’s a mini size btw) & really like the soft shimmering glow this imparts as it nourishes and moisturises.

Marula oil, the key ingredient is a ‘super oil’ with a high concentrate of Omega 6 & 9 and Vitamic E and C. These deeply nourish and heal the skin, reducing redness & improving skin elasticity. The only downside is i’m not a huge fan of the Marula scent. It can be slightly too sweet at times and I don’t find myself reaching for this much. However if you are on the look out for products with clean ingredients. It’s a good one to consider!

Next up, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse body oil

If there’s one body oil that started it all. It’s this cult favourite all purpose oil that truly lives up to the hype.

I find this very exotic in terms of smell, floral with a hint of incense or something along those lines…… Quite universally appealing I feel.

Ingredient wise this contains 6 precious plant oils including Sweet Almond, Camellia, Macadamia & Hazelnut & Vitamin E. A combination to nourish and soften the skin and eliminate stretch marks etc.

What’s great about the Nuxe oil is that it’s easily available! Most drugstores carry this (in Singapore you can find this at Watsons) and is moderately priced too. Around $50 or so.

*What you see here is the smaller (LE) size that was released last year & a tiny shimmer version (again part of a gift set which came with a candle. And OMG you need the candle!).

Onto another favourite! The Roger & Gallet Huile Sublime.

Roger & Gallet Huile Sublime

Roger & Gallet is one of my favourite French Pharmacy discoveries. I managed to stock up on quite a few of their products while I was in Paris and have to say I’ve loved every single purchase including this oil (which I managed to get my hands on a while after, thanks to my lovely bro).

This again is another zesty, orangey scented oil that’s just as addictive as the Lierac. And praise the lord, it comes with a spray! I also find the packaging soo beautiful, and possibly the most luxurious of the oils I own. A collectors piece if you may. I hope I never run out!

In terms of ingredients, it’s formulated with 6 active plant oils that nourish & moisturise the skin and quite lightweight in comparison to some of the others. I highly recommend it!

Other Info

The Nuxe, Lierac, Roger & Gallet are all available in French pharmacies. I believe Feel Unique stocks a few of these brands too. *Nuxe is available locally at Watsons.

African Botanics can be purchased via Space NK or Net-a-Porter.

NARS Body Glow is available at all NARS Counters (Tangs Orchard and Robinsons).

Lastly, hope you found this post an interesting read 🙂 What are your favourite body products for summer?  Do you use body oils or any multi purpose oils as the above? Please share!

NARS Fall 2016 Collection Preview & Swatches

NARS Fall 2016 Collection Preview & Swatches

NARS fall 2016 collection is looking quite exciting! Apart from their seasonal Colour Collection, there are few other new additional product launches, as well as shade extensions to existing lines.

Today I’ll be giving you a quick preview and swatches of each of the collections which I photographed at the blogger preview last week. I hope you find them useful!

NARS Fall 2016

The NARS Colour Collection is made up of seasonal hues of shimmering gold, deep indigos & signature NARS colours that work seamlessly together to transition to fall.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s in store.

Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows – SGD 45

Antares – Iridescent white gold

Rigel – Shimering rose gold

Arcturus – Shimmering deep indigo

Velvet Matte Lip pencil – SGD 38

Infatuated Red – Garnet

Consuming Red – Bordeaux

Contour Blush – SGD 62

Melina left side – Café Au Lait/ right side – Espresso

Talia left side – Light Caramel/ right side – Nutmeg

Velvet Eyeliner – SGD 36

Black Moon – Black

Mambo – Rich hazelnut

Curaçao – Turquoise blue

Kalisté – Teal

London – Stormy grey

Blue Lotus – Periwinkle

Last Frontier – Espresso

Las Pozas – White Pearl

Darklight – Navy

NARS fall 2016

On to the swatches!

NARS fall 2016 swatches

T-B – Rigel, Antares, Arcturus

My favourite Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow was Rigel (rose gold), well pigmented & smooth.  The kinda shade I gravitate to whenever I want a single lid colour.

NARS fall 2016 velvet eyeliner swatches

L-R – Kalisté, London, Mambo, Black Moon, Darklight, Blue Lotus, Last Frontier, Curaçao, Las Pozas

These new Velvet Eyeliners were the star release of this collection. A soft creamy formula that can be smudged to create a variety of eye looks.

It had good lasting power too, I tested it out a whole day and it did not budge.

The shades that stood out to me were, Darklight (navy), Kalisté & London a rather interesting grey.

Lastly Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. Top – Consuming Red, Bottom – Infatuated Red

NARS fall 2016 velvet matte pencils swatch

NARS Velvet Matte Lip pencils are a favourite! I love the formula. They are very soft, smooth pencils with great colour payoff and a comfortable matte finish. Get them both!

On to the next fall release, the Audacious Collection.

NARS fall 2016

This collection consists of 5 new shade additions to the Audacious lipstick line  {in turn, 5 existing shades (Michiyo, Leslie, Jeanne, Deborah, Geraldine) will be discontinued} , all new Brow Defining Cream and limited edition Unrestricted Eyeliner Stylo in matte & satin versions.

Audacious Lipstick – SGD 44

Apoline – Pink rose

Shirley – Red crimson

Stefania – Deep fuchsia

Kate – Purple orchid

Mona – Mahogany

Brow Defining Cream – SGD 35

Sonoran – Blonde

Al Djouf – Light brown

Tanami – Auburn

Danakil – Dark brown

Unrestricted Eyeliner Stylo – SGD 42

Audacious Mascara – SGD 44 (Repromote)

Lipsticks always catch my eye first!

NARS Audacious swatches fall 2016

T-B – Apoline, Mona, Shirley, Kate, Stefania

NARS Brow Cream

T-B – Danakil, El Djouf, Sonoran

I found these to be ultra long wearing and waterproof and see them holding up well in sweaty weather. An exciting new product to try out!

Last but not least, releasing in October are an all new line of liquid lipsticks! The Velvet Lip glides! I’ve already churned out a swatch post for this previously. Click HERE.

So far part of the fall collection has already released online (in the U.S) with Singapore receiving the Colour collection right after in August, following with the Audacious Chic Out collection & Velvet Lip Glides.

Official Release Dates (applicable to Singapore)

August – Fall 2016 Color Collection, Velvet Eyeliner, Narsissist Dual Intensity Blush Palette (blog post to follow)

September – Audacious Collection. Lipsticks, Brow Defining Cream & Unrestricted Eyeliner Stylo

October – Velvet Lip Glide

 

 

 

 

NARS Get Dirty Lip Cover (Summer 2016) | Review, Photos & Swatches

NARS Get Dirty Lip Cover (Summer 2016) | Review, Photos & Swatches

So I wasn’t planning on reviewing these, but here I am!  Let’s talk about NARS Lip Covers from Summer.

NARS Lip Cover get dirty

 

According to NARS,

Lip Covers are a highly pigmented liquid lipstick for a high fashion effect. Lip Covers deliver saturated slicks of coastal colour steeped in exclusivity & ease. Rich & lustrous. Luminous finish. 

Packaging

NARS Lip CoverThe packaging is similar to the NARS glosses in size and shape, except these sport an all black exterior in matte black. They are difficult to keep clean as with most NARS packaging, highly prone to collecting fingerprints and stains as you’d expect.

NARS wand

The wand is a straight forward doe foot.

NARS wand macro

The tapered edge makes neat application a breeze and the flocked applicator smooths out the product with no streaks.

Formula 

There has been much debate about the finish of the Lip Covers. Most bloggers comments were that they are a soft matte.

To put the confusion to rest, they are a cream finish. Think Armani Maestro liquid lipsticks. They aren’t glossy and they aren’t matte. It’s an in between creamy formula. Comfortable on the lips and hydrating in comparison to other liquid lipsticks on the market right now. Which are mostly matte as the current trend.

NARS lip cover hand swatch

These Lip Covers are  highly pigmented delivering awesome colour payoff in a single swipe (as seen above). They glide on like butter. No weird streaks to correct, no unevenness.

Here’s what they look like worn. 1st swatch is a single layer application. As you can see, opaque and smoothing. I like that they don’t emphasise lip lines.

NARS swatches

The bottom swatch is after a single blot. I prefer the softer effect blotting creates and it’s how i’d normally wear them.

The colour still looks vibrant, but with a dulled shine. Low maintenance too since there’s less room to transfer &/or slide around therefore prolongs wear time.

Longevity & wear. 

These wore around 4-5 hours on me. And since the colour is quite similar to my natural lips, the fading wasn’t obvious. I believe the reds would need to be reapplied more frequently.

Overall I found this to be very comfortable worn. No dryness or flaking. It’s a perfect formula in my eyes.

On to some comparisons I put together.

NARS Comparison swatches

 

Clearly I had no difficulty rounding up a lineup of pink and peachy nudes! They are my favourite. Here’s how they compare.

1.Mac Kinda Sexy is more matte in comparison, lighter in tone and peachier.

2. Mac Whirl contains more brown tones and deeper.

3. Get Dirty is a warm medium to deep nude with terracotta tones.

4. Estée Lauder Naked Ambition* is one of my favourite nude liquid lipsticks. This has more of a neutral beige brown colour. Comfortable formula and quite similar in texture to NARS. I find these less pigmented and lustrous though.

5. By Terry Lady Bare* is slightly paler with less warm tones. Also less pigmented with semi opaque coverage. This one feels ‘wet’ on the lips.

6. Gerard Cosmetics Serenity* is more truer peachy nude. Also completely different in formula as this dries down to a solid matte.

7. Anastasia Crush* is a dusty, rosy light/medium pink. The most lightweight liquid lipstick I own and a true matte formula. Quite comfortable and a nice everyday MLBB shade. Best for fair skin tones as it’s deceivingly paler on the lips (contains a lot of white pigment and can look ashy).

8. Tom Ford First Time (matte). A lighter peachy pink nude. Quite similar to MAC Kinda Sexy but a better formula in terms of pigment.

9. Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy in Potent is a paler pinky nude. The formula is creamy and hydrating though less pigmented than the NARS Lip Covers.

*Liquid lipsticks

Bottom Line

I really like these Lip Covers. Pigmented, comfortable on the lips and lasts well throughout the day. Touch ups aren’t difficult either as these don’t get crusty like most liquid lipstick formulas. Definitely a product to consider if you like a bold statement.

NoteIf you prefer a liquid lip colour that doesn’t transfer, and sets, these AREN”T for you. There are other bulletproof products/formulations in the market that’ll suit your needs better.

For swatches of all 4 shades, you can check out my previous NARS summer preview post. Here.

Pricing & Availability

I believe I paid around SGD 45 for this.

Available at Tangs Orchard.

 

NARS Velvet Lip Glide | Photos & Swatches

NARS Velvet Lip Glide | Photos & Swatches

It’s always a spectacular affair these NARS previews. There’s always something to get everyone buzzing with excitement. And this fall, the biggest deal were the new Velvet Lip Glides that will be launching this October (applicable to Singapore).

Velvet Lip Glide

As always I come armed with loads of preview pics as well as a set of swatches just for you. Do read on!

NARS Fall 2016

According to the NARS press release,

These new lipsticks strike a perfect balance between softness & strength, coverage and comfort in a full range of colours. Laced with NARS’ Oil Infusion Complex, this hybrid lip colour combines the fluidity & effortlessness of a gloss with the coverage and comfort of a lipstick. Oil Infusion Complex also allows for a smooth-glide effect, instantly delivering saturated colour with sensorial comfort.

Formula & Texture

I found these to be lightly scented, highly pigmented, with the texture of a nourishing lip gloss/cream hybrid. Even the paler shades provided pretty much opaque coverage without having to layer on. Something I did not anticipate.

Additionally these Velvet Lip Glides feel lightweight on the lips and never overly slippery or sticky as a traditional gloss, these feel more like lipsticks with a velvety cushion-y feel.

Here’s a line up of the shade range.

NARS Velvet Lip Glide

On to some swatches from the preview. All done in a single swipe.

NARS Velvet lip glide swatches

 

*Note, although the swatches look rather wet and glossy, the finish on the lips is more of a creamy, soft look.

Bottom Line

The formula is divine. Think Audacious lipstick in a liquid cream format. Intensely pigmented, lightweight and comfortable. If you are tired of the matte liquid lipstick trend, it’s time to hop onto the Velvet Lip Glide bandwagon. You won’t regret it.

Pricing and Availability

Available at all NARS counters (Tangs, Robinsons at Heeran). Retail price SGD45 for 5.7ml

 

NARS Summer 2016 Preview : Photos & Swatches

NARS Summer 2016 Preview : Photos & Swatches

Quick post on NARS summer today! A drool-worthy collection I had the privilege of previewing while in Singapore just a few weeks back.

I couldn’t post any swatches due to the embargo which was until April 1st, so here you go, finally, feast your eyes on all these beauties that’ll be hitting our warm sunny shores soon.

NARS summer 2016 swatches

This new collection comes in gorgeous LE packaging with chic illustrations by the artist Konstantin Kakanias. Colourful and ultra summery!

I also love that each product gets it’s very own illustration/packaging which means…. MUST COLLECT THEM ALL!!!!

NARS summer 2016

Summer 2016 is looking Good! ❤

NARS Summer 2016

Collection consists of,

4 all new Lip Cover liquid lipsticks – Overheated, Get Dirty, *Members Only, Do Not Disturb

4 Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow – Deep End, Tan Lines, Pool Shark, Topless

2 Dual-Intensity Blush – Liberation & Sexual Content.

Onto some photos I took at the preview.

NARS makeup summer 2016 Under cover

Dual-Intensity shadows! One of my favourite eyeshadow formulas of all time!

NARS summer 2016 makeup swatches

Onto swatches!

How gorgeous is Pool Shark? A pretty iridescent periwinkle blue!

NARS summer 2016 swatches

Next up, blushes! Two gorgeous duos that enhance a summer tan.

NARS summer 2016 swatches

Lastly, what i’m most excited about, Lip Covers!

NARS summer 2016

*Unfortunately Members Only won’t be available in Singapore.

NARS summer 2016 swatches

That’s it for todays little preview, I hope you enjoyed the overview of NARS summer. I’ll be following up with some individual reviews & pricing etc. so stay tuned!

*NARS Summer is set to launch in Singapore in MAYYYYY!!!! 

NARS Spring 2016 – Collection Review, Photos & Swatches

NARS Spring 2016 – Collection Review, Photos & Swatches

Be it jetting off to an exotic holiday destination or just looking for some great neutrals to refresh your makeup wardrobe for spring 2016, NARS has got you covered. There’s a creative palette of blues, mulled wine, warm pinks to choose from and cater to every makeup addicts needs.

The NARS 2016 Colour Collection consists of,

3 Dual Intensity eyeshadows, Tarvos (mint), Cressida (midnight blue), Kari (warm rose)

Duo eyeshadow Hammamet with a matte beige & bronze rose

Impassioned blush – A soft muted pink

2 Lip glosses, Instant Crash (soft apricot), Vida Loca (guava)

2 Lipsticks, Rosecliff (soft rose) & Banned Red (mulled wine)

NARS Spring 2016

My favourites as always are the Dual-Intensity eyeshadows. Even though the colours seen here aren’t for day to day use, I really love them for a creative, fresh evening eye look. My personal favourite is the minty shade Tarvos. The pigmentation is excellent, silky smooth and almost metallic worn wet!

Cressida on the other hand was slightly sheerer with less colour pay off but equally pretty. I really love the two combined for maximum shock effect.

NARS Spring 2016 swatches

For those of you who can’t get enough of the NARS lipsticks, Banned Red is a must! As always the formula is ultra comfortable with good colour payoff. For a fully opaque seductive mulled wine pout you only need two passes. However I prefer to wear this pushed onto the lips as a stain. It’s one of those effortless colours that can work for day or night.

NARS Spring 2016

More swatches!

Here’s Banned Red & Impassioned.

NARS spring 2016 review

Impassion is a very finely milled muted rosy pink blush with excellent pigmentation Even though it shows up very faint on my tanned complexion I noticed it doesn’t look as ashy as it looks in the pan. It appears more of a soft rose pink which would work great with almost any makeup look. I’d categorise this as a neutral.

If you are on the paler side and struggle to find an everyday ‘nude’ that doesn’t look too yellow on the skin, Impassioned is for you!

Here’s a closer look.

NARS Impassioned

Now onto an eye look I created with the two eyeshadows. I used Cressida all over the lid with a dab of Tarvos (wet) patted onto the centre of the lid.

Lips are a mix of tinted lip balm topped with NARS gloss Easy Lover (a sheer blue toned fuchsia) and for cheeks I used NARS Impassioned topped with Desire.

NARS look 1

NARS look 2

Bottom Line

Quality wise the products did not disappoint with the exception of Cressida which I felt could have been better pigmented. Tarvos on the other hand was my must have recommendation from this collection. I see myself pairing this with neutral beige eyes as well for a pop of colour.

Price List (Singapore)

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 11.01.20 PM

Collection now available at Tangs Orchard.

 

 

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint – Review

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint – Review

February has been a rather foundation heavy period. I’ve been rotating 4 new additions and the latest Velvet Matte Skin Tint by NARS is one. So far my experience with NARS foundations haven’t been the best. They don’t agree with my skin type (dry combination) & never quite sit on me as ‘natural’ as i’d like.

I was pretty keen on trying the new NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in the hopes of changing my opinion about their bases and without giving too much away I can say, it’s my most reached for foundation this past month.

NARS Velevet Matte Skin Tint Review

Packaging

The VMST packaging is pretty much similar to the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser just more elongated. The dispenser is as below and quite handy for travel with a secure no-spill cap. I like that it’s a plastic tube and can be thrown around freely without any danger of breaking so i’ll probably travel with this too.

The only downside I see is that it’s highly prone to collecting fingerprints, and the stains don’t go away!

NARS Velvet matte skin tint

According to the press tools I received, the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint is said to deliver soft matte perfection with protection. It’s an oil-free formula with a natural finish, oil control & skin care properties.

In addition it also contains a Velvet Illusion Complex Technology that helps achieve a soft focus effect & Transparent Blurring Powders instantly blur out pores, imperfections and even tone without masking the complexion or making it flat. 

The spherical shaped transparent blurring powders compress like a cushion delivering a velvety feel and superior comfort while application for a sheer to medium coverage thats comfortable and last all day.

NARS Velvet matte skin tint swatches

Formula, Coverage & Finish

I find the texture of this almost whipped and spreads easily (with fingers, brush or Beauty Blender) for a coverage of a good medium. I can’t say it’s very buildable though as adding more layers makes it just sit on top of the skin with the danger of creasing and sliding around. Overall the effect is a very skin like finish that looks soft and touchable with redness and minor imperfections corrected & blurred.

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint

Skin types prone to flakiness can rest assured this doesn’t emphasise them much, also any enlarged pores look visibly blurred. I really like how it looks on the skin. It’s the perfect balance of radiance & matte.

Longevity 

This doesn’t do too well on my oily t-zone and tends to breakdown & separate within 4-5 hours if i’m outdoors running errands etc. The drier areas (cheeks & jaw line) on the other hand looked radiant and velvety all day, which is an indication this should work great on normal to dry skin without any need of powdering or touchups as the day goes by.

To extend wear I usually prime my face with Clé de Peau primer and powder lightly with the NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder (shade, Beach). I find this the best mix and other powders I normally use (Gucci pressed powder or Givenchy Prisme Libre) can look a bit heavy when paired with the VMST and settle into fine lines making them more obvious.

Colour range 

NARS foundations overall lean quite yellow. Which is why I find this a great match for my golden olive skin tone. And on Asian skin that’s naturally yellower, these should work brilliantly.

Here’re a few foundations I rounded up for some comparison swatches, I hope you find them useful!

NARS lineup

Swatches,

NARS swatches line up

Notice the new Velvet Matte Skin Tint shades run slightly lighter than the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser? The difference isn’t so major that you’ll have to go up a colour though and your regular PRTM shade should be workable if you plan on purchasing this sight unseen.

Shade Range 

Singapore will be carrying 9 of the 12 shades released.

Terre Neuve (Light 0) – Lightest with neutral pink undertones

Finland (Light 1) – Lightest with neutral yellow undertones (around NC15)

Alaska (Light 2) – Light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones

Groenland (Light 3) -Light medium with neutral pink/peachy undertone (around NC 30)

St. Moritz (Medium 1) – Medium with a natural yellow undertone (around NC 35)

Cuzco (Medium 1.5) – Medium with neutral pink/peachy undertone

Annapurna (Medium 2) – Medium with neutral peachy undertone

Cuba (Medium 3) – Medium with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones

Malaga (Medium/Dark 1) – Medium dark with warm caramel undertones

P.S- For swatches of the complete range do drop by Karens blog, here. 

NARS Dispenser

Bottom line

Who is this for?

  • Normal to dry skin types.
  • Anyone looking for sheer to medium coverage without the cakey look.
  • Or an everyday foundation that’s very easy to wear.
  • Too lazy to wear sunscreen AND foundation? Well you have enough SPF here to get away with wearing just this (though I don’t recommend skipping).

Avoid if,

  • You have very oily skin
  • Severe pigmentation and looking for heavier coverage. This isn’t buildable.
  • Prefer a very matte finish as it’s not quite matte as you’d expect.

Ingredient List –

Methyl Trimethicone, Alcohol, Water, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Lauryl Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Isododecane, Dimethicone/Peg-10/15 Crosspolymer, Calcium Carbonate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Triethoxycarprylylsilane, Aluminium Hydroxide, Trimethylsiloxysilylcarbamoyl Pullulan, Hydroxyapatite, Tochopheryl Acetate, Rosa Multiflora Fruit Extract, Ascorbryl Tetraisopalmitate, Citral, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, [+/- Titanium Dioxide (Cl77891), Iron Oxide (CL77491), Iron Oxide (Cl77492), Iron Oxides (Cl77499)]

Pricing and Availability 

S$70 for 1.7 oz, 50 ml.

Retailing at Tangs Orchard & Robinsons since 25th Feb 2016.

*PR Sample sent for review

NARS Hot Sand Collection | Review, Photos & Swatches

NARS Hot Sand Collection | Review, Photos & Swatches

Only a few makeup collections excite me these days and one of them is NARS, particularly the Hot Sand collection that hit the Tangs counter earlier this year!

nars hot sand collection review

I received the multiple and the Illuminator as press samples but also purchased the duo for todays review since that’s what I was most excited about!

So for those of you who didn’t know, the Illuminator is actually an existing product. The whole collection was in fact designed around it to highlight lips, cheeks and eyes.

What I love about this particular highlight was that the colour is so unique. I actually struggled to find anything even remotely close and I believe that’s what truly sucked me in.

NARS hot sand makeup

The base is a peachy champagne, something that would work great on most skin tones since it’s not quite as yellow as majority of highlighters today. I also feel it’ll work well on even the lightest complexions, those who shy away from warm highlighters.

Hot Sand Multiple

The multiple in my opinion was the most subtle of three formulations. It’s for someone who wears light makeup and requires only a subtle highlight. I noticed the base colour looked more peach in comparison to the illuminator though which blends in even more with the skin since it sheers out a fair bit.

Overall I found the best method of application was to go directly on to the cheekbones with the stick without picking it up with a brush or fingers. Plus the texture felt almost crumbly in comparison to other multiples that made it near impossible to apply with fingers anyway.

NARS Hot sand swatches

Hot Sand Illuminator

This one’s for either mixing in with foundation for a more dewy effect or even as a subtle highlight just patted on over foundation. I actually enjoy mixing in illuminators with foundations and I find it’s got just the right amount of glow without an overly sparkly finish.

NARS close up

Here’re some comparison swatches. The closest match I could find was the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, slightly warmer and less liquidy in comparison.

nars hot sand

Hot Sand Laguna Blush/Bronzer duo.

This comes with the Hot Sand highlighter and their popular Laguna Bronzer (there’s also a Hot Sand highlighter and Orgasm blush duo too if you prefer that version better).

A perfect companion to take along on your summer holidays.

NArs hot sand

Here’s a closer look.

NARS hot sand

I found the powder version more intense in comparison to the multiple & Illuminator but just right for everyday use. It’s my favourite of the three.

NARS Hot sand swatches

As you can see the peachiness is more pronounced here and doesn’t make my already sallow skin look any more yellow. I love the finely milled texture and it applies evenly without emphasising texture on the skin too much.

For comparison, i’ve pulled out three NARS highlighters I had on hand.

NARS Hot sand

The lack of warm undertones is clearer since Tribulation & Albatross have an obvious golden shimmer. The shimmer in Hot Sand is an ethereal silvery beige.

One more set of comparisons but this time with a few other popular highlighters from Becca & Laura Mercier.

NARS comp

The closest match I had was this LE Chanel highlighter which I used tonnes back in the day. It was my go to and the only highlighter I own that looks used!

Needless to say I adore the new NARS Hot Sand just as much since it’s so close to my old favourite!

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a new and exciting product to pack for summer travels this year I believe the Hot Sand collection is well worth a look. Specially the duo which i’m already in love with! It’s a great everyday shade with just the right amount of shimmer that’ll look natural and elegant worn.

Pricing & Availability

Available now, retailing exclusively at Tangs.

NARS Multiple – S$60

NARS Illuminator – S$45

NARS Hot Sand Duo – S$65

 

A Holiday Gift Guide for the Ladies

A Holiday Gift Guide for the Ladies

One more gift guide for this season and it’s all for the girls! I rounded up some beauty, skincare and home décor for a balanced set of options.

The 1st rule to gifting is always giving something you’d genuinely like to receive. Something extra special. As everything seen here!

gifting, jo malone, charlotte tilbury, 2015, skininc, cle de peau beaute, nars

Overall I abstain from gifting makeup as much as possible. With exceptions made for palettes (has lots of variety) or kits keeping within the brands I know the recipient enjoys.

Cle de peau, NARS gifting

The palettes & kits that caught my eye were,

1. Clé de Peau Holiday Coffret – A stunning limited edition palette for someone VERY special. The packaging is exceptionally beautiful with a masquerade theme this year and come with an eyeshadow quad a red lipstick and a mascara. Retails at $240.

2. NARS Steven Klein Despair Blush Palette – A selection of 4 blushes (3 new & LE)  with a mini brush. I love that the packaging isn’t Christmassy which makes this a timeless piece. A great gift for the girl that seems to have everything and sure to be enjoyed for it’s sheer beauty. Retails at $120.

3. Clé de Peau Body powder – A shimmery highlighter for the body which could instantly be put to use for all the parties leading up to Christmas!  Retails at $150.

4. Make Up Forever 15 Artist Shadow Palette – A great mix of neutrals & pops of colour. Unfortunately when I stopped by Sephora, the tester was no where to be found. However I still wish I got myself one. It’s great value for money! Retail price, $116.

Beauty tools & gadgets always make great gifts. Hence why companies come out with loads of brush sets specially this time of year. I spotted a few beautiful brush sets at Bobbi Brown and also Make Up Forever. Both excellent quality with the added bonus of festive appeal. If you swing by those counters today, do check them out. Sets always come handy for travel.

5. Bobbi Brown Travel Brush Set – A beautiful silver leather cased set of 6 brushes (full sized) for the face and eyes. This ones’s a slightly splurge-y pick but makes a wonderful gift for that jet setting friend (or yourself) 😉 Retail price – $288

6. Make Up Forever Cult Brush Set – A compact set of 5 brushes in a festive red pouch. I checked them out in store and was surprised how lovely they felt to the touch. A steal at $135.

7. Beauty Blender Makeup’s Best Friend Set – Contains two regular Beauty Blenders, a micro.mini Beauty Blender and a mini Rea.activate liquid. Good value for just $68. I got one for myself!

Skincare is also a popular choice and I love giving ‘the gift of good skin’ to friends & family. In general I prefer picking up curated sets as they have been carefully selected and packaged with gifting in mind and usually good value. Here’re a few that caught my eye.

JO Malone holiday 2015, Charlotte Tilbury

8. Charlotte Tilbury The Gift of Red Carpet Skin – was a gift to myself this year and it’s been such a great buy! I know my friends would love to receive this too. Retail Price – $59

9. Skin Inc Mask to Perfection – A set of Skin Inc’s best selling masks packaged in a festive silver case. I love this set for value for money and also that it’s beautifully packaged for gifting! ($145, valued at $195).

10. Shiseido Snow Beauty – This powder doubles up as skincare and comes packaged in a gorgeous limited edition snow flake design. A beautiful gift for someone who appreciates collectible packaging. Retail price – $90.

11. L’Occitane Jasmin Immortelle Gifting trio –  A set of hand cream, lip gloss and soap. (L’Occitane Singapore is currently having a 10% off discount on selected Christmas sets today. Now’s the time to swoop in!) They have plenty of options for gifting!

Lastly some gifts for the home.

gift guide, kikki k

12. Kikki K But First Coffee Mug – I picked this one up for myself as I adore the minimalistic design in simple typography. Also makes an appropriate gift for any coffee drinker 🙂 Retail price – $19.90

13. Jo Malone Candle Trio – Another great gift for the girl who has everything (hoping she hasn’t bought this already!). The set contains, Blackberry & Bay, Pine & Eucaliptus and the popular holiday release, Roasted Chestnut. All smell amazing! Retail price – $180

Store Locations

Clé de Peau – Tangs Orchard

Jo Malone – Tangs, MBS Shoppes, Takashimaya

Kikki K – Ion Orchard

L’Occitane – Tangs, Ion Orchard

Shiseido – Takashimaya, Tangs, Paragon

Charlotte Tilbury – Net-a-Porter, Selfridges

Skin Inc – Ion Orchard & Sephora

Bobbi Brown – Tangs, Ion Orchard

Beauty Blender – Sephora

NARS – Sephora, Robinsons, Tangs