Category: Product Reviews

Sometimes Your Survival Depends on a Pretty Pink, and for Those Times There’s the NARS Survival Kit 1

Published in: Kits and Sets, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

nars survival kit 1

The new $59 NARS Survival Kit 1 (coming exclusively to Nordstrom and the Nordstrom website July 1)

“I need makeup to survive!” she exhaled, placing the back of her left hand against her forehead melodramatically and tipping her head.

OK…so maybe eyeshadow, blush, gloss and mascara aren’t as important to your day-to-day survival as, you know, food and water, but they’re handy to have around! — especially when they come in chic limited edition packaging like they do in the new NARS Survival Kit 1.

nars survival kit 1 k 1

Wearing NARS Naiad, Kalahari II and Audacious Mascara on my eyes, Off Limits and Mata Hari on my cheeks and Party Girl on my lips

The new limited edition set will cost $59 when it arrives in the Promised Land, also known as Nordstrom stores and the Nordstrom website, July 1st with a compact containing two powder eyeshadows and two powder blushes, a mini lipgloss and a mini mascara.

NARS Survival Kit 1

  • Naiade Eyeshadow
  • Audacious Mascara
  • Kalahari II Eyeshadow
  • Off Limits Blush
  • Mata Hari Blush
  • Party Girl Lip Gloss

I’d like to make a shout-out to Kalahari II, one of the eyeshadows in this kit. It’s a glistening taupe-plum, and I think it’s one of those “Ya gotta have it!” pieces from NARS. I’ve been wearing it for years (it’s also in the permanent collection). It lasts all day long and looks amaze-balls with bronze eyeshadow and/or liner.

nars survival kit 1 swatches

NARS Survival Kit 1 swatches

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The $325 NARS Cult Survival Kit: 11 Full-Sized Classics to Survive Work Days, Date Nights and the Zombie Apocalypse

Published in: Kits and Sets, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

nars cult survival kitnars cult survival kit

The new limited edition $325 (yes, that’s the price) NARS Cult Survival Kit

Oh, NARS… You totally feel me dawg. I like how your new splurge-arific Cult Survival Kit, despite costing $325, doesn’t actually contain anything one might expect to find in a real life survival kit.

No water purification tablets, matches, heirloom seeds or weapons.

But you DO get full-sized versions of 11 NARS products.

Granted, would you really be carrying a fancy white lacquered box filled with makeup goodies into the sunset while roving gangs or zombies were chasing you? Probably not…although I might, because that’s how I roll. 🙂

Should the world fall apart, I’d like to wear a little gloss — just a little — until the zombies eat my brains.

nars cult survival kit

Everything comes in this sturdy white lacquered box

This kit is $325 bones, dude! But before you wave your hand and say, “Oh, hell no, girl,” check it: everything in it is full sized, and they’re all NARS cult classics handpicked by the man, the myth, the legend himself, François Nars.

Even at $325 for this kit, you are saving a little money, because if you were to purchase each of these items separately, it would cost you $361, so not only do you score $36 in savings, you also get a chic keepsake box.

nars cult survival kit open

What’s inside?

OK, so what have we got up in this mix? To start, two blushes — matte red Exhibit A and golden peach Orgasm (yes…Orgasm).

nars cult survival kit orgasm exhibit a

Blushes in Orgasm (left) and Exhibit A (right)

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The NARS 413 BLKR Cheek & Lip Palette

Published in: Face, Makeup, NARS, Palettes, Product Reviews

Another lovely day, another lovely NARS cheek palette.

Whoops! I misspoke. I meant to say, “another lovely NARS cheek and lip palette,” because the new NARS 413 BLKR Cheek & Lip Palette doesn’t only contain blushes. It also comes with a gorgeous matte lip pencil.

So what is heck is a 413 BLKR? Is it a secret pager code, or the code to a hidden door at NARS headquarters, where if you type it on the keypad, François Nars answers the door and says, “Bonjour ma chère! Have a macaron, and let me do your makeup, you gorgeous girl”?

Um…no, although that would be dope, wouldn’t it?

413 BLKR is the physical address of the NARS flagship store in New York, and it’s also the name of a special collection of NARS products inspired by New York.

nars 413 blkr cheek lip palette

The $59 NARS 413 BLKR Cheek & Lip Palette

The NARS 413 BLKR Cheek & Lip Palette also contains three brand new cheek colors and, if you have a thing for rosy, plummy tones, you just might freak out. But in a good way.

Starting from the left, there’s a light opalescent pinky rose blush that can also double as a highlighter on darker skin tones, then a mid-toned satiny rose with hints of plum and gold, then a satiny deep plum, and finally, on the far right — sigh! — good old golden tan Laguna. Because, obvs, it just wouldn’t be a NARS blush palette without Laguna up in the mix…

Side note: The cheek powders in this palette have that traditional NARS powder formula, unlike the formula of the powders in the Dual-Intensity Palette I reviewed yesterday.

So these blushes aren’t as compressed into their pans as those Dual Intensity Blushes, and you should see more powder particles partying (moving) when you swipe your brush atop the pans.

As you know, Laguna has been around since the Cretaceous Period (can anybody even remember a time before Laguna?), and the 413 BLKR Velvet Matte Lip Pencil has been kickin’ it old-school since 2012, so the fresh and summery rose and plum blushes are the new recruits.

If you wear many rosy purples, plums or cooler-toned hot pink lip colors, these cheek colors should go really well with any of them. I bet you’d get a lot of mileage out of this palette.

nars 413 blkr cheek lip palette swatches

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Reflections on the Eminently Blend-able $59 NARS Dual-Intensity Cheek Palette

Published in: Face, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

narsissist dual intensity cheek palette

NARSissist Dual-Intensity Cheek Palette shades from the left in I Soft Tulle, II Damask with Gold Sheen, III Peony and IV Titian

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

OK, I was about two seconds away from quoting De La Soul right there.

Where was I going with this?

Oh, yeah! Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the cheekiest NARSissist of them all?

Why, it’s you, my dear, because when you marvel at the NARSissist Dual-Intensity Cheek Palette packaging, you see yourself. 🙂 You’re the star because there’s a mirror right there on the packaging.

narsissist dual intensity cheek palette packaging

Mirror, mirror…

You can use it to check your teeth for bits of food, or stare at your gorgeous mug all day long. It’s up to you.

I mean, it’s just a mirror, but it never hurts to have an extra mirror around, ya know? As long as you don’t get so caught up in your reflection that you forget to eat (see: Narcissus).

Anyways, enough prattle! Have you noticed that NARS has been churning out palettes like WHOA for the past few years? With old-school NARS, it was all about the individual pieces from their limited edition collections, along with an occasional palette sprinkled in here and there, but somewhere along the way they became all about the palettes, which is also cool.

This one is new and arrives July 1st at NARS boutiques and online at the NARS website, and then at Sephora and NARS counters in department stores August 1st.

narsissist dual intensity cheek palette packaging

NARSissist Dual-Intensity Cheek Palette shades from the left in I Soft Tulle, II Damask with Gold Sheen, III Peony and IV Titian

It’s $59 and holds four fresh, new Dual-Intensity Blushes, with a highlighter, a blush and two contouring shades. From left to right, you’ve got Soft Tulle, Damask with Gold Sheen, Peony and Titian. And on the back of palette, the blushes are named with Roman numerals — I, II, III and IV.

The thing about the Dual-Intensity Blushes is that they’re kind of, like, packed down…so when you run your brush across them, your brush doesn’t kick up a bunch of big ol’ powder grains, like what happens with most powder products. The powders are very finely milled and smooth.

narsissist dual intensity cheek palette damask

Wearing I Soft Tulle on my upper cheek bones and II Damask on my cheeks

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The Day in Beauty Vol. 19: Benefit Ready, Set, Brow! and Squid With Glowing Eyeshadow

Published in: Benefit, Eyes, Just For Fun, Product Reviews, Urban Decay

benefit ready set brow

Benefit Ready, Set, Brow!

Seriously, I don’t know why I keep trying, because every single time I try to make a kissy face in a photo, I feel like I look completely ridiculous.

How do girls do it?!

How do they take those kissy face pictures and look cute? It’s one of life’s mysteries I’ll never understand…

But I keep trying, like I am here with my latest crush from Benefit, Ready, Set, Brow! ($24)

It’s a freaking awesome clear brow gel, and I never thought I’d be raving again about a brow gel other than Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel, which had been my absolutely loyal ride-or-die for a while (I can’t even tell you how many tubes I’ve gone through), so much so that I always stocked up whenever Sephora had a VIB sale, but I don’t know if that’s going to be happening anymore with Ready, Set, Brow! in my life.

Basically, it’s really, really good, maybe even be better than Anastasia’s Clear Brow Gel.

Now, you might be thinking, “Karen, it’s a clear brow gel. How mind-blowing can it be?”

Well, pretty mind-blowing!

You know that look of brushed-up brows that’s really popular right now? I can never get that exact look with Anastasia’s Clear Brow Gel. Even though it seems like it has good hold and usually keeps my brows in place, I don’t think it’s strong enough to hold my brow hairs in place when I want them to go places they don’t naturally want to go.

Maybe my brow hairs are just too unruly… I don’t know.

But I can never quite get that Cara Delevigne pushed-up brow look with Anastasia’s Clear Brow Gel, but with Benefit’s bad boy, I totally can.

The brush has teeny, tiny teeth, which are great at grabbing and maniuplating the hairs, so I can really get in there and push them around (Anastasia’s, by comparison, has a brush that looks like a regular old mascara brush).

Plus, the gel itself has extra super duper strong hold and dries stiffer than Anastasia’s. I could probably jump out of an airplane or stand in front of a Beyoncé fan with this stuff in my brows and they wouldn’t move.

Ready, Set, Brow! comes out in a few days on June 24. Look for it when it does because it’s a winner.

urban decay space cowboy moondust

Glitter!

Oh, and that glittery action in that picture on my lids? That’s Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Space Cowboy. The Moondusts are part of Urban Decay’s permanent line, and they’re astronomically sparkly.

Right before I took these pics, I was wearing a really basic 15-minute neutral look, and you know how it is — you’re puttering around, but then you get the urge to do something jazzy with what you’re wearing, so I took Space Cowboy, which is basically like a pressed golden peachy beige glitter in a pan, and picked up some of it by swirling a finger in the pan. Then I pressed it on my lids.

Et voilà! Sparkle for days.

If using your fingers freaks you out, you could also load up a flat eyeshadow brush and spray it with something like Make Up For Ever Mist and Fix before applying it to your lids.

I mean, you could also spray the brush first, then dip it into the pan (which is what a lot of peeps do), but when I do that, it changes the texture of the eyeshadow when it dries.

Just a quick tip there! 🙂

Via @urbandecaycosmetics on Instagram

Via @urbandecaycosmetics on Instagram

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