"Zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without zest." - Christian Dior

Thursday, 7 March 2013

A tiny-teeny NARS mini-haul - Lhasa, Cairo and Dolce Vita

More shiny pretty things were delivered to work this morning. Honest to god, I think I need some sort of intervention. I buy so much crap that I genuinely forget what I’ve ordered - which means that on occasion, I get that little tingly sensation of delightful surprise as I open the package to reveal that actually, some of the orders I place are not crap at all.
I have always been a loyal fan of the NARS brand. I know, I know, some of you are probably thinking “over-priced nonsense” but to me, in the case of NARS cosmetics at least, you really do get what you pay for. Yes, it’s not the cheapest, but the quality of products is second to none, especially the blushers. Can’t say as I can say the same for their skincare that I’ve tried, which feels a bit too “normal” to justify the pricetag.
Anyway, in this week’s parcel were a couple of eyeshadows and a lip pencil.
Let’s start with the eyeshadows, and see how many beauty-blogger eyeshadow review clichés we can add in. “Finely milled”? Check. “Buttery”? Check. “High blendability”? Check. Sigh.
Why the sigh? Well, I unfortunately LOVE the NARS shimmer eyeshadow formula. It’s very Burberry-esque, in that they are beautifully “soft-focus” and can be applied lightly for a sheer wash of colour, or built up (without any powdery residue or fall out) into a much deeper and more unctuous shade.
The two I added to the collection were Lhasa and Cairo. Lhasa is described on the NARS website as a “lavender grey”, but to me there is a hell of a lot more grey than lavender (I could only spot the lavender under full sunlight, under indoor lighting it seems to disappear completely on me). It also leans slightly taupe on my skintone, but is a gorgeously cool-toned “I can’t be bothered in the mornings” quick application job which always looks polished and perfect no matter how slap-dash I am.
Cairo is a “champagne rose with shimmer” which I can’t say I agree with either. There’s no rose in this bad boy - it’s a beautiful, subtle, shimmering epitome of golden, champagne-taupe perfection. As you can probably imagine, it’s my new favourite eyeshadow colour. For daytime wear, it suits my blue eyes in a way no other taupe eyeshadow from my collection ever has – not sure what it is about this one that makes all the difference but it makes my eyes POP, another clichéd phrase that I hate to use but unfortunately it sums it up perfectly. Swatches below.
Left: Lhasa      Right: Cairo
Cairo; Lhasa; Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita
Next to the eyeshadows you may have also spotted my new Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita, described on the website as a dusty-rose. Again, I am not entirely sure how I feel about that description – on my lips, it’s one of those not-quite-pink-but-not-entirely-red colours that I am seeming to favour nowadays. It reminds me very much of Chanel Rouge Coco lipstick in Mademoiselle, although it is a smidge lighter and warmer than the Chanel.
The formula is…….. kinda weird feeling. The pencil application is absolutely fine, I have no quibbles there – it’s just the feeling you get upon application. It’s almost as though I have rubbed a dry oil all over my lips. They slip and slide all over the place as though wearing a very greasy lipbalm, but my lips look matte. Does. Not. Compute. The feeling reminds me of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams, but the NARS pencil doesn’t “dry down” as much as the NYX formula. It stays quite moveable for some time, and also transfers quite a bit onto mugs of tea. :(

Dolce Vita

On the whole, I like the colour – although it is a little warm on me, when paired with a basic neutral/cool eye (i.e. Cairo or Lhasa!), natural blush and a good slick of black eyeliner, it makes for a gorgeous modern-classic look. Is that an oxymoron? Hmmm.
I have a feeling that there will be more NARS purchases on the very near horizon. Based on the online swatches, my life will not be complete without Cruella (a “passionate scarlet red”), and I have added at least six eyeshadows to the Want List. This is turning out to be a very expensive habit………

Shimmer Eyeshadows are priced at £18.00 each, while the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are £17.50.