40 Days and 40 Nights of Beauty Brands Reviews
Cavewoman: The NARS line of makeup has something for everyone. From theatrical and totally dramatic, to soft everyday wearable shades, a trip to the NARS counter is always the first stop for The Cleveland Gang Get-Togethers. Our NARS wizard Alesha greets us with a hug and then we dive into the newest testers and the huge display unit of dazzling shadows and gorgeous glosses. We dust shimmery powders on our hands and dab blushes on our cheeks, and we always come away from the counter with our little bags of purchases, heading off to lunch where we open our black NARS boxes and show each other what we've bought.
I've mostly stuck to the more tame NARS selections in the past, but when Alesha and Shawn told us about an upcoming National NARS event last December, we all signed up for makeovers. NARS principal makeup artist Ayako would be coming to our Saks store to supervise eight makeup artists from all over the United States, and our dear Shawn was also going to do the makeovers. I knew I'd be in good hands when I asked for Shawn to be my makeup artist for the event.
Storybookheroine: I read about NARS in a random beauty magazine late 2005. It touted Orgasm as the be-all and end-all of blushes and announced the arrival of the NARS Double Orgasm set, which added the new Orgasm stick gloss to the collection. I had seen NARS before. My mother and I shopped at Sephora a year or two prior and she purchased Night Fairy eye-shadow single, which I thought was so pretty, while I looked at the multiples and admired the colors. Back then I remember there were very few shades. I loved the sleek packaging but at the time I had plenty of makeup and did not need more (those were the days...). So I trekked off to the mall solo looking for a few new makeup items and the Double Orgasm set was high one my list. I found it at Sephora and plunked my money down right away. I had recently gone through one of my makeup replacement stages and this was to be the last thing to pick up. Little did I know it would set off a mad NARS attack.
Orgasm was a welcome addition and it quickly pushed the other blushes I had purchased out of the running. The beautiful pinky-peach color is sparkly and pretty and the perfect blush for a smokey eye. It quickly became my everyday blush. A visit to NARS online showed me they had a powder foundation and another trip to the NARS counter was planned. What was not planned was the largest amount of makeup I had purchased at one time up until then. Nordstrom and Sephora stock took a hit. I bought 4 eye liners, numerous glitter pencils, Napoli lipstick, Madly and Nico blush, 3 eye shadow singles and a duo, Sandpiper lipgloss and then... I saw them. Palettes. My love of palettes goes all the way back to when I first started wearing makeup. For some reason the counter was out and I ran home to the internet to see what I could find online. And find I did. I hate to admit, between online stores and Barney’s I found almost all of them. For weeks after I stalked ebay looking for the missing few and found them. I bought all but two of them before I was done. Yes. I know. Crazy. But how could I not love them.
My favorite NARS palette is the Warm Palette Artist Palette. It’s the perfect palette for my coloring. The shadows are the All About Eve duo (two flesh toned neutrals, a satin and a shimmer), Bengali (matte chocolate brown I use this wet as a liner) and Lola Lola (a really beautiful shimmering neutral brown). For those of you familiar with nars, the All About Eve duo is HG material, pair it with the two shimmering brown neutrals and you have a variety of neutral polished looks. These shadows can be used wet or dry so I line with them as well. The blushes are Lovejoy, a shimmering bronzed rose, and Deep Throat, a shimmering peach. I love these on their own or used together. The lips are so great I bought them all in full size. You get Nouba (ginger with lots of shimmer) and Barbarella (sheer peach) lipsticks and lip lacquers (really great pot glosses with a wonderfully smooth texture) in Hellfire (warm shiny copper shimmer)and the ever popular Chelsea Girls (nude beige). These can be mixed and matched for day to night. For someone who loves neutrals this is my holy grail. Whenever I wear it I feel pretty and receive compliments. I know it is hard to find but if you ever find it buy it right away! For those not lucky enough to find it, all the components are still available from NARS so don’t fret.
In the interest of disclosing my absolute favorite products from NARS, I need to talk about the Fall 2006 collection. Sephora calls it Ultra Modern and it's a new interpretation on nudes and neutrals, truly refreshing. I am fair to light with freckles, preferring neutral to warm shade, and this collection was a dream come true! All my favorite things are here and in way I did not already have in my make up bag.
Bohemian Gold eye shadow duo is one I would have never thought to purchase on it’s own. I loved the satiny metallic taupe but the iridescent peach color was rather bold at first glance. As soon as I paired these with it’s fellow fall duo, India song, I had the most beautiful and amazing set of neutrals. India Song is a matte vanilla and shimmering walnut (think dark shimmering chocolate). When I put these two duo’s together I get the most beautiful neutral looks with the ability to punch the color up a bit and even go smokey with the gorgeous walnut shade. I can be very light and soft with these or very dramatic. It’s wonderful to have so many options in these four shades and I feel the eye shadows in this collection are a genius play on reinventing neutrals.
Oasis blush I LOVE. In the pan it is so sparkly and beautiful but I wondered if it would be appropriate on. Hell yes! It bumped my HG Orgasm right to the number two spot. Nars says it is a sparkling champagne pink. I’m not sure that is how I would describe it. It’s a nude pink with a hint of brown and the color can be layered from a hint of color to a dramatic flush. The glimmer, NARS speak for fine gold particles, disappeared into my skin and caught the light without making me look non age appropriate, glittery or making my pores look huge.
Four lip choices arrived with the collection and so did my first foray into NARS velvet matte lip pencils. These are fantastic products and should be talked about more. They are long wearing matte pencils but not drying and dare I say creamy in texture. Cafe Con Leche is a light ginger color with shimmer and is perfect on it’s own or layered with other lipsticks. Marina is a rich Cognac that you can build from a YLBB color (when lightly applied)to a new darker wine tone. These so versatile i can’t help but love them. The lipstick from Fall is Tamamgo. It’s described as a glistening cabernet but it’s really more than that. A complex red brown with orange undertones and lots of shine and really does glisten like wine held before the sun. The last item is a new stick gloss called Stolen Kisses. It’s a nude carmel pink with light gold shimmer, very understated goes on smooth and lasts for hours. I was looking for my perfect YLBB gloss from NARS and Stolen Kisses it the one for me! It looks wonderful on its own or layered over any of the above lip shades (my person favorite is Cafe con Leche with Stolen Kisses). All of these lip items I reach for regularly and I love to mix and match them. The lips alone are a stand out in this collection but over all everything is a must have for me!
I LOVE NARS and want to share my favorites from the line I’ve hoarded like one day all makeup on the planet will be gone. NARS is an obsession and a very good one at that!
Glosses- Moonfleet (clear with gold and platinum spheres), Stolen kisses (carmel nude with subtle gold shimmer), Butterfield 8 (chocolate brown), Galatica (sheer white with crushed pearl)
Lipsticks- Dolce vita (rose YLBB), Corinthe (brown YLBB), Manhattan (taupe YLBB), Bambi (nude) Tamango (wine), gypsy (red)
Orgasm (peachy pink with shimmer), Penny Lane (nude pink), Oasis (shimmering pink with gold glimmer), Serteo (golden shimmer)
Eye Shadow Singles- Fathom (sheer baby pink with glimmer), Night Star (sheer peach with gold pearls)
eye-shadow duo- Earth Angel (bronzed taupe and olive shimmer), Belissima (beautiful shimmering beige and a gray brown), AAE (a satin and shimmer flesh tone beige) , India song (vanilla and shimmering walnut)
eye liner- Kaliste (the best looking shimmering teal I’ve ever seen), Kyoto (dark olive green with shimmer)
Skin Care- Aqua Gel Hydrator (a miracle overnight moisture mask for super dry skin)
(As a side note, apart from sexy, provocative names and far off vacation spots, NARS products are named after really good must see movies. Next time nothing looks good on Netflix, take a peak at some NARS)
Alesha: I started with Nars six years ago and I never thought that I would still be here. I am the type of girl who is constantly bored. Every time I start to get bored with Nars they reel me back in with something amazing. Damn Nars....
I was starting to feel bored before I went to the Nars Sales Meeting in Miami in January. I saw a preview of luscious things that are going to be coming out. I was hooked again.
One of my favorite things from Nars is the original primer. I use this everyday. It fills in enlarged pores without breaking me out. It has kiwi, honey and echinacea. The primer holds my foundation on all day long.
I also surprising love most of the skin care. The balancing foam cleanser is a great dupe of Cle de Peau fraiche cleanser at half the price.
There is no mud mask on the market as good as Nars. It cleans my pores without stripping. My skin glows when I use the mud mask.
The Oil Free Foundation is my Holy Grail. I have tried every oil free foundation on the market and this one is the best. Even better than Armani. It covers smoothly with great coverage but you can still see my skin. It doesn't look like I have a foundation mask on my face. Nars needs a better range of colors but thankfully I have a yellow based skin tone.
I love all the color. The quality of the blushes is unlike any other brand. I still have blushes that I got the first year I worked for Nars and I haven't run out. They last forever. My favorite color is desire. It makes my skin look like I just came in from the cold. I also love the multiples and the cream blushes. My favorite is South Beach multiple which is a beautiful peachy bronze shade. It looks great on everyone. The best cream blush shade is Pennylane. If you have a problem with blush turning orange, this is the blush for you!! It is a lovely light pink shade.
I love the shadow too. The duo shadows make me laugh. Some of the duo shades aren't meant to wear together but look great separately.
I am not crazy about the concealer and the mascara. But I hear that a new mascara is in the works. Nars is also coming out with a liquid eye liner pen and a orgasm multiple stick.
I am very excited about the new bath and body products that are being launched June 1st. Nars is launching a ginger and grapefruit bath and shower gel and body lotion and an acacia bath and shower gel that smell divine!
I can't give anymore secrets away so you will just have to wait!!
Tussah: The day that I was first introduced to Nars cosmetics was memorable in so many ways. It was the first time I was meeting the “Cleveland MUA gang”. We were meeting Alesha at the Nars counter at Saks to start our day. What fun it was!
Of course I fell in love with all of the beautiful Nars colors, and being stuck in a total neutral makeup rut, I proclaimed “such a beautiful color…but not for me”, when looking at a gorgeous bright shade of cream blush. It was Nars Cactus flower. It was a stunning bright corally pink… almost “hot”. Since at the time my favorite blush was actually brown, I was shocked when Alesha said that, of course I could wear it, and proceeded to give me a make-over using the amazing color.
Ever since then, much to my wallet’s detriment, I have come to really love Nars cosmetics. I now have favorites in their skincare, awesome eyeshadows and so much more. But, one of my very favorite products is still the cactus flower blush. It can look totally natural or be astoundingly dramatic. It never creases or patches and has a smooth silky feel to it. I have layered it with other colors and also used it for a liptint. So, if you’re looking for a fun color for summer—or anytime, check out Nars cactus flower. It really is a winner.
Annieytown: My favorite makeup brand is Nars.
I fell in love with the Orgasm and I have been smitten ever since.
What are your favorite Nars products? Let us know in the comments!
Disclosure: The products were purchased by the reviewers.