Category: Product Reviews

NARSissist L’amour Toujours Eyeshadow Palette Swatches and First Impressions

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

narsissist lamour toujours lamour palette 1

New for spring, the NARSissist L’amour Toujours Eyeshadow Palette ($59, available now at NARS boutiques and the NARS website; coming Feb. 1 to NARS counters)

Today I learned a valuable life lesson from the new $59 NARSissist L’amour Toujours Eyeshadow Palette ($59), and it was this: ’tis better to drink the blueberry smoothie — the one you made for yourself as a healthy snack — after you’ve taken pictures of yourself wearing a new eyeshadow palette, as opposed to before.

(Lest you end up with pics of yourself with a blue tongue and teeth!)

Just as an FYI, you know, in case you ever find yourself in that particular situation. :)

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Wearing the NARSissist L’amour Toujours Eyeshadow Palette on my lids

So, I took L’amour Toujours, a new NARS palette for spring, for a test drive around the block today (well…more like around my condo after I got back from seeing a nutritionist who assured me that I can have “a very small amount” of sweets here and there! Life is grand!).

The quick and dirty deets…

  • Limited edition
  • Available now at NARS boutiques and NARS website and coming Feb. 1 to NARS counters
  • 12 powder shadows, none of which, I believe, have been previously released (but I’ll have to double check that). Four are mattes, and eight are shimmers.
  • The mattes, and the names are numerical, which is a little tricky, include “I” (which is a sheer cream bisque), “IV” (a semi-sheer black truffle), “VII” (a cool-toned medium brown) and “X” (a regal blue).
  • Of the shimmers, there’s “II” (a shimmery pink sand), “III” (a neutral medium brown), “V” (a shimmery golden beige), “VI” (a shimmery copper), “VII” (a shimmery pistol gray), “IX” (a shimmery grayish blue), “XI” (a shimmery taupe) and “XII” (a shimmery blackened licorice).

And some quick first impressions…

  • When I popped the matte cool-toned medium brown (VII) in my crease, the shimmery pink sand (II) on my lids, the matte regal blue (X) in the outer corner, the matte black (IV) on my upper lash lines and the shimmery pistol gray (VIII) on my lower lash lines, I found that the shadows blend together beautifully. I do see a little fallout with the black shade, though…
  • Um…Roman numerals for eyeshadow names? That’s very confusing for some reason!
  • So far I like the combination and variety of warm and cool-toned colors. I also like how smooth they feel on my skin. They don’t feel heavy or look powdery either. I also lake how deep and rich most of the shades are, especially VII, VIII and X.
  • So far, however, I am not crazy about the sheer matte light beige or black, which are sheerer than I’d like, and I have to build them up to see them in swatches. I also feel like I’ve seen a group of colors just like these from NARS before…
  • Jury’s still out on whether I can recommend this palette with the gusto of a marching band and a ticker-tape parade, but it’s nice enough, I guess, and I can definitely see myself doing a number of neutral looks with it.

    I think I’ll have to use it a few more times to get a better sense of its value and gauge its flexibility.

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BECCA Backlight Priming Filter Is Worthy of Backups Upon Backups

Published in: Becca, Makeup, Product Reviews

In photography, backlighting drives me bonkers…unless it’s something I’m trying to do on purpose, which I’m usually not, but in the case of BECCA Backlight Priming Filter ($38 for a 1-oz. bottle), I have absolutely no problem with it.

Oh, my goodness! Where do I start? There are just so many things I like about BECCA Backlight, notwithstanding the $38 price, which doesn’t qualify as drugstore bargain awesome sauce, but still… I fully intend to use every last drop (and then may even crack open the bottle to get a little more).

BECCA says that Backlight functions like a filter thanks to these things called Filtering Luminescent Pearls, which are supposed to make pores and fine lines look smoother and your whole skin sitch more radiant.

And yup, it does that. It’s got that whole signature BECCA luminescence thing going.

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Swatches of BECCA Backlight unblended and blended (for reference, I wear BECCA foundation in Bamboo)

On my skin, Backlight, which came out earlier this fall, looks like a pearlescent beige with the pearl turned waaaaay down. Less shimmery than a BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector, it’s only lightly luminous and glowing, so it doesn’t look like I’m sweating.

Now, even though it’s classified as a general purpose primer, it doesn’t exist solely to extend the wear time of your foundation, concealer and complexion makeup. It specializes in blurring pores, illuminating, moisturizing AND prepping and priming your skin so that anything you layer on top of it goes on smoother.

I use it as a lightweight, illuminating, pore-blurring lotion to prime my face before I apply my foundation, or whatever else I plan to layer on top. I don’t notice it significantly extending the life of my complexion products when I use it with them, but that’s fine by me because that isn’t something it’s designed to do.

Fascinatingly, it somehow manages to illuminate my skin without emphasizing my pores, which is a rare thing indeed, so this is like a magic potion you can keep in your makeup bag.

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Here I’m wearing BECCA Backlight mixed with foundation and under-eye concealer


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The Smith & Cult Holiday Trio in Red and Glitter

Published in: Nails, Product Reviews, Smith & Cult

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The Smith & Cult Holiday Trio in Red and Glitter ($54, available now at Neiman Marcus stores and online)

I can haz Smith & Cult paw polishes…? Because I’d like a wall of shelves filled with them.

It’s the bottles, man! I could spend hours starting at the bottles…

It’s as if whoever designed the bottle plumbed the depths of my makeup-loving soul for things that make my heart flutter, like the cursive typography, the hefty glass, the oval curves and the Dali-like cap (it looks like it’s melting!).

I love it when beauty products are actually, like, beautiful…and I friggin’ LOVE these bottles.

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Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Shattered Souls

These three fun shades are part of the new $54 Smith & Cult Red and Glitter Holiday Trio available now at Neiman Marcus stores and online. The trio comes with three full-size bottles of Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer from the brand’s permanent line in poppy red Kundalini Hustle, creamy eggplant Dark Like Me and golden glittery Shattered Souls.

Kundalini Hustle and Dark Like Me are both fully opaque, while Shattered Souls is glitter in a clear base.

As far as bargains go…this isn’t one of those sets. Smith & Cult nail polishes usually sell for $18 each, so $54 for three doesn’t constitute a price break, but I still think you get a nice combination of complementary colors (there’s also another trio available with pastels).

Smith Cult Kundalini Hustle

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Kundalini Hustle


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Laura Mercier Master Class Colour Essentials Holiday 2015 Eye and Cheek Palette

Published in: Laura Mercier, Palettes, Product Reviews

laura mercier master class colour essentials collection

The new 20-piece Laura Mercier Master Class Colour Essentials Collection eye and cheek palette ($125) looks a little like a day planner from 1998, or like a chic clutch you might take to an event where all the ladies are wearing dangerously high heels and carrying ridiculously tiny purses.

Still cute though, I think, especially with the brown and gold tortoiseshell-like trim.

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The limited edition holiday 2015 palette comes with 12 powder eyeshadows, three blushes, two powder liners (for tightlining), a black eye kohl and two brushes, and it’s about two degrees of separation from Laura Mercier herself, because she handpicked all of the products.

I mean, it’s not like hanging out with her over tea and scones (I wish!), but it’s almost like having her do your makeup.

Almost.

LOL!

With such a wide variety of colors, finishes and formulas, the palette is packed with creative possibilities for endless looks ranging from day to night to nude to smoky.

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The Essie Holiday 2015 Fringe Luxeeffects Collection Nail Polishes for When You Want to Sparkle Like You Mean It!

Published in: Essie, Nails, Product Reviews

Essie Fringe Luxeeffects 2015 collection

The Essie Holiday 2015 Fringe Luxeeffects Collection nail polishes ($8.50 each, available now online, at salons, drugstores and Ulta)

Like a confetti party for your paws, Essie’s four new Holiday 2015 Luxeeffects nail polishes have So. Much. Glitter.

Glorious gobs of glittering, glistening, lens-flare inducing glitter!

And the glitter comes in different shapes, colors and sizes, all of it suspended in a clear nail polish base, so you won’t be stuck staring at standard-issue sparkle. No, way. There’s gunmetal gray and pink glitter in Fringe Factor, platinum and cobalt in Frilling Me Softly, copper and bronze in Tassel Shaker and maroon sparkly flecks in Fashion Flares.

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Essiei Fashion Flares

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Essie Tassel Shaker

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Essie Fringe Factor


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