Archive | NARS RSS feed for this archive

~Blush FOTD~ Antipodean Beauties Challenge


I love when I decide to photograph a look and then, by some good fortune, it ends up working perfectly for one of these Antipodean Beauties challenges! This look is one I tried a few days ago and the inspiration is makeup that I saw a makeup artist from Mecca wearing a few months ago. I noticed how amazing the vibrant orange shade was that she had on her lids and when I asked her about it, she said that she was wearing NARS Taj Mahal blush.


I love Taj Mahal as a blush and and it’s one of my ‘brown girl staples’ but I always forget that it can be super pretty on the eyes. The last time I used it as an eyeshadow was back in 2011 when I was travelling in Sri Lanka and had very minimal makeup with me so I had to improvise with what I did bring. I used it in the eye look below and, if you’re interested in what I used, you can check out the original post by clicking here.


I decided to try out a ‘blush only’ eye look and used NARS Blushes in Taj Mahal, Gina and Albatross and Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Brume d’Or. Now I should add a disclaimer here that, while I use blushes as eye shadows, many blushes are not considered ‘eye safe’. This is because they may contain red pigments and dyes which aren’t made for use around the sensitive eye area. I tend to keep pink and red toned blushes on the lid only and keep them away from the waterline and haven’t had any issues. If you have very sensitive eyes though, you might want to take more care.


clockwise from top left: Chanel Brume d’Or, NARS Taj Mahal, Gina and Albatross.

To get the look below I used:

  • NARS Taj Mahal on the lid
  • NARS Gina on the inner lid
  • Chanel Brume d’Or to blend out the crease
  • NARS Albatross as an inner corner highlight
  • Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid liner in black on the top lashline
  • YSL Faux Cils Mascara on the lashes





I applied a combination of NARS Taj Mahal and Gina to the cheeks as well to tie the look together.



I finished up the look by applying Natio Smoothie Lip Colour Crayon in Hazel to my lips. I wish I’d gone with something more orange or peach toned and actually ended up changing out the lips later for Lanolips Ointment with Colour in Rhubarb.


What blush would you use as eyeshadow?

2013 Favourites – Base Makeup

The products I’ve included in this post won’t surprise you if you’re a regular reader of my blog because they’re the things I keep raving about. I would have worn at least one of these products every day over the last year and they’re the things I would/have repurchased once they run out. That’s pretty high praise from a beauty blogger! So off we go:

Favourite Foundation- Burberry Velvet Foundation

There was one other contender for this title but that was also a Burberry foundation (the Burberry Sheer Foundation) but this one ultimately won out. After trying and loving both the Sheer and Velvet versions, I have to pick the velvet because it works better on my oil-prone skin. It also has the ability to be sheered out and built up which is always a plus. I know I say this all the time but if you haven’t already, get yourself to a Burberry counter, stat! The shade range is so good and is perfect for anyone who find other high end foundations too pink. For reference, I use the shade 208 in the Velvet and 10 in the Sheer.

Favourite Under Eye Concealer- Burberry Sheer Luminous Concealer

This concealer may have ‘sheer’ in the product name but that doesn’t stop it from giving really great coverage with a natural finish. I love it because the colour match (Amber) is perfect, the texture is lovely and hydrating and it doesn’t crease.  I can’t rave about it enough! An honorable mention for this category goes to the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (in Medium/dark 2- Caramel).


Favourite Corrector- Laura Mercier Under Eye Perfector in Orange/Yellow

I have mentioned this so many times in the past that I don’t know what to say about it now that I haven’t already said! Basically, if you have dark circles and are of a darker skin tone, you need this in your life! Concealers that usually go ashy on you will look natural when applied on top of this and, depending on your skin tone, you might even be able to get away with it on its own.

Favourite Setting Powder- NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

For years I was in love with the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder but that has now been overtaken by the NARS powder. I have it in both the pressed and loose versions and I much prefer the loose powder. The powder is very fine and sets under eye concealer like a boss! Word to the wise though, apply it with a light hand lest you end up with the dreaded reverse racoon eyes in flash photography!

Favourite Powder Foundation- MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Medium Dark

I’ve gone through at least 4 compacts of this stuff because I haven’t found anything else so far that I love as much. I apply it lightly to set my foundation or buff it in on it’s own on more ‘natural makeup days. The shade works well on me and it doesn’t turn orange or oxidise like some other MAC products.


What are some of your favourite products in the categories mentioned above? Let me know below!

NARS Lhasa eyeshadow: Review, swatches & EOTD

I’ve been in a major purple mood this winter and I’ve been reaching for anything in the mauve, purple and plum family when I get dressed in the morning and when I do my makeup. One of my favourite purple toned shadows has been NARS Lhasa eyeshadow which was from the NARS Spring ’12 collection. I picked it up while I was in Thailand in March this year but haven’t had a chance to post about it yet.

Lhasa is one of NARS’ single eyeshadows and comes in the same rubbery compact as all of the compacts in the NARS range. The shadow is about half the size of a NARS blush compact and holds quite a lot of product at 2.2g. For comparison, a MAC single eyeshadow contains 1.5g of product.

The eyeshadow comes with an included mirror which I never understand in eyeshadow singles. It’s not like you’re going to take your tiny eyeshadow around with you and use the supplied mirror to do your makeup in! It sells for $24 US/$39AU but I picked mine up for a little under $30 in Thailand.

The shade is a really pretty mauve that leans very cool and looks almost grey in some lights. In the pan you can see this really pretty silver shimmer that adds to the cool tones in this shadow. This is one of those purple shades that I think anyone can pull off because it’s really more of a neutral shade than anything else.

The shadow itself has a really nice texture and is really easy to apply and blend. The shadow without a primer gives a really pretty wash of colour to the lid but applying it over a primer intensifies the colour quite a lot. The swatch below shows Lhasa without a primer on the left and with Urban Decay Primer Potion on the right.

In the edges where the shadow has blended out, you can almost see a taupe tone to it which makes it a nice shade to wear in the crease if you want something that’s a bit softer. I’ve mainly been using it as a lid shade and I took a picture of the eye look that I used it in the other day.

To get the look I did the following:
1. Prime lids using Urban Decay Primer Potion
2. Apply Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in shade #15 to the mobile lid. This cream shadow is a really beautiful golden taupe shade.
3. Apply NARS Lhasa eyeshadow to the lid
4. Apply MAC Sketch eyeshadow to the outer v and into the crease
5. Apply MAC All that Glitters shadow to the inner third of the lid
6. Blend out the crease with MAC Bamboo eyeshadow
7. Apply MAC Solar White eyeshadow to the inner corner
8. Line eyes with Shiseido The Makeup Automatic fine eyeliner
9.Apply Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Lifting Mascara to lashes

I loved the lip combo that I used in my Joan Smalls makeup look from a few weeks ago so I decided to wear it again. It’s a mixture of NYX Purple Rain lip liner topped with the Kate Moss for Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick in shade #4 (dark purple) finished off with Revlon Lip Butter in Lollipop (pink with blue iridescence). You can check out the original post here if you’re interested but all I did differently in the look in today’s post was to skip the MAC Reflects Blue glitter.

To finish off my purple look I painted my nails with Essie Splash of Grenadine which is one of my favourite shades. It reminds me of summer and adds a bit of brightness to an otherwise dreary and cold day.

What do you think of NARS Lhasa?

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser

I’ve realised that I probably don’t need as much coverage as I convince myself I do so I’ve been trying and loving sheer foundations and tinted moisturisers lately. That’s why, as soon as I saw the promo image above, I knew I had to try NARS new Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser.

The  product comes in nine shades and is described on the NARS site as follows:

“Your skin – almost bare, but better. This advanced, oil-free formula provides a translucent veil of color and sun protection while helping to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots in just four weeks. Infused with lush, naturally derived botanicals and ingredients to immediately helps thirsty skin feel hydrated. Kopara from French Polynesia and mineral rich seawater revive and re-mineralize skin for a softer, smoother, and brighter natural glow. Skin is transported.

NARS also describes this product as being non-comedogenic which means that it won’t block pores and cause acne. However, this moisturiser does have dimethicone as a primary ingredient which is a silicone which may lead to break outs if you have sensitive or acne prone skin. I wore this out today for a few hours and when I took off my makeup I had a new blemish. This could be hormonal or related to other reasons so I can’t definitively link it to the makeup. I have read reviews though where this product has apparently caused breakouts so I would suggest triailing it if you have sensitive skin.

NARS also states that this product will help reduce hyperpigmentation after 4 weeks of use making it similar to a BB cream. I can’t and won’t be able to tell you whether this product helps as it says over time as I don’t use this every day. I would be interested to hear your experiences though if you want to leave me a comment below.

As this product has 9 shades, hopefully you’ll be able to find a match in this range. I picked up the shade Cuba/Medium 3 which  was the 3rd darkest from memory. The shade is a pretty good colour match if just slightly warmer than my natural skin tone. The product applies really easily on to the skin (probably because of all the silicone in it) and I use both fingers and brush to apply it with good results. The finish is slightly dewy on the skin but doesn’t feel greasy. I find that my skin will get a bit oily after about 4 hours of wear. I’ve swatched the shade below and if you look at the blended out swatch, you should be able to see the very subtle shimmer running through the product which gives it the luminosity.

Here’s a comparison swatch with some other products. From left to right MAC Tinted Mosituriser in Dark, Becca Luminous Skin Colour in Bamboo, NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser and MAC Face and Body in C6. As with a lot of NARS foundations, this product has strong yellow undertones.

Here’s a before and after shot to show you the coverage and finish. As a tinted moisturiser, this product is not meant to give any kind of meaningful coverage and it doesn’t. I know that should be obvious but I’ve read reviews of this product where people were disappointed at the lack of coverage. This product is only going to help even out uneven skin tone and add radiance to the skin and it does that well. On the left is my face minus any makeup and on the right I have the NARS tinted moisturiser applied.

As you can see, there isn’t a dramatic difference but it has evened out the uneven skin tone around the centre of my face and given some warmth and radiance to my skin. It doesn’t cover any of my hyperpigmentation though so I usually apply a bit of concealer to the darkest spots if I can be bothered. Most days though I just set it with my MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural and I get the perfect amount of coverage that I need.

I really like this product and I think it’s something really easy to use on those days when you don’t want a lot coverage. The gorgeous sheen through the product is an added bonus and I think it’s perfect for bringing some life back to your skin in the colder months and perfect to keep a glow during the warmer months. I purchased mine while I was in Thailand but this product sells for $42US/$79AU and is due to release later this month in Australia.

Have you tried this product? What are your thoughts on it?

Viva Glam Nicki FOTD feat NARS Rated R eyeshadow duo

I fell in love with Nicki Minaj’s super bright and fun makeup look on the promo pics for the Viva Glam Nicki so I decided I would attempt to recreate it using NARS Rated R eyeshadow duo.

The shades didn’t have the same ultra neon edge that Nicki’s do but it was still fun to do!

To get the look:
Mixture of NYX Jumbo eye pencils in Rocky Mountain Green and Milk on the lid as a base
The green side from NARS Rated R duo patted on to the lid then blend out the edge with a clean blending brush.
Next apply MAC Humid eyeshadow to the outer v
Blend MAC Wedge eyeshadow in the crease
NYX Jumbo Pencil in Electric Blue along the bottom lashline as a base
The blue shade from NARS Rated R on the bottom lashline
Sugarpill Tako eyeshadow on the inner corner
Revlon Matte Kohl eyeliner in White along the water line (best white kohl pencil ever!)
Illamasqua Precision Ink liner in Abyss along the top lashline
Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara on lashes.

Some false lashes would have finished this look off but I didn’t have any that were extreme enough. 

I finished off the look with Illamasqua powder blush in Tweak on the cheeks and Viva Glam Nicki (of course!) on lips lined with NYX lip liner in Toast. 

Not a look I’d wear out but great for a Nicki Minaj costume or an 80’s party!

NARS Rated R eyeshadow duo (Review, swatches & EOTD)

NARS Rated R eyeshadow duo has been on my wishlist for so long and I’m so excited to finally have it in my possession! It’s more beautiful in person then I thought it would be from looking at pictures online.

It comes in NARS standard rubberised compact which I quite like but which seems to drive some people crazy. This seems to be because The NARS compacts tend to get dirty very quickly but a quick wipe with a makeup remover towellete gets mine (almost) as good as new.

The compact is the same size as NARS blush compact. It holds 4g of product so you get 2g of each colour. For reference, you get 1.3g in a MAC eyeshadow pan. I think the duo’s are great value and I picked mine up for about $35 on Strawberrynet . Strawberrynet doesn’t always have all the shades though so if you’re after a specific duo then I would jump onto Kiss and Makeup where you can get the duo’s for $33.

NARS describes this duo as containing a ‘shimmering chartreuse’ and an ‘electric cobalt blue’ and I couldn’t come up with a better description if I tried. This is one of those duo’s that is definitely not for the faint of heart!

What I love about this product is that the colours look just as great when swatched as they do in the pan. The blue shade has a bit of a sheen running through it but comes across as mainly matte. The chartreuse shade is gorgeous and has a very fine yellowy gold shimmer running through it.

I’d never tried NARS shadows before but the quality is fantastic! The shadows are so soft and apply and blend effortlessly. I wear these shadows over a primer but the intensity of the shades on their own is really good so you probably don’t need one. Below are swatches of the shadows with and without primer. The two swatches in the middle are without primer and the swatches on either end are with primer:

One of the reasons I put off buying this duo for so long was that I didn’t think I’d get much use out of it becasuse the colours are so intense. One of my friends asked me to wear this to work the other day so I thought I’d take the challenge and see if I could find a way to make it work appropriate. I should say though that a lot of people might not feel that blue and green shadow is ever work appropriate but I work in a really laid back office who seem to accept my love of bright makeup!

To get the look I applied:
1. Urban Decay Primer Potion all over the lid
2. MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre on to the lid
3. The NARS chartreuse shade patted on to the inner 2/3rd’s of my lid.
4. The electric blue shade blended into the edge of the chartreuse shade and on the outer v
5. MAC Saddle eyeshadow to blend out the crease
6. MAC Ricepaper eyeshadow on the inner corner
7. Illamasqua Precision Ink in Abyss to line my top lash line
8. Avon Supershock mascara on my lashes

To balance out the eyes, I kept the rest of my face really natural. I used some Everyday Minerals mineral powder on my face, Dior Nude Glow Bronzer in Sunset as blush and Lipfusion Infatuation lip plumping gloss in Big & Bare on my lips.

I would definitely recommend this duo and I think it’s so much more wearable than it seems. I’ve held off on buying NARS eyeshadows but I’m so impressed with the quality that I can see I’ll be picking up a lot more of these!
What do you think of Rated R? How would you wear it?