Archive - Product Reviews

The New NARS Audacious Lipstick Collection: The Reds

Published in: Lips, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Annabella

Mmmwaah! Smile by new NARS Audacious Lipstick in Annabella ($32)

It wouldn’t be a big NARS lipstick launch if there weren’t some bad-@ss reds up in the mix.

Oh! NARS does some ah-may-zing reds, don’t they? And there are lots of scintillating scarlets in the new NARS Audacious Lipstick collection ($32 each; 40 shades; available starting September 1).

NARS Audacious Lipsticks from the left: Rita, Jeanne, Lana, Marlene, Carmen (Barneys New York Exclusive), Audrey and Annabella

Red, she said! From the left, that’s Rita, Jeanne, Lana, Marlene, Carmen (a Barneys New York Exclusive), Audrey and Annabella

Yesterday when we were looking at the corals and hot pinks I mentioned how I felt that NARS did a really good job making each of the colors in this collection distinct, despite some of them appearing very similar at first. Look closely, and you see the subtle differences among them. They don’t all just blur together into a hazy fog of reddish pink…

So, if you’re one of those unstoppable makeup fanatics (like myself) who, like the Terminator, WILL NOT STOP until you find your personal red lipstick version of Sarah Connor (for me, it’s a super warm tomato red with strong orange undertones), chances are you’ll find it among the reds in this launch.

Quickly, though, before we get to the reds, have I mentioned that my lips have been dry lately?

I think I have…but it wouldn’t be a Wednesday unless I mentioned it at least 26 more times, LOL! :)

So yeah, my lips have been very dry, which is what happens when you kayak on a windy lake for four hours. Of course, after doing this batch of swatches — which you know, took a while — they were in even worse shape.

But despite the currently critical lip sitch, I still think these lipsticks look smooth, which is yet another testament to the audaciously smooth Audacious Lipstick formula.

Now, on to the reds!

The NARS Audacious Lipsticks: Reds

If you like warm, orangey reds…

Don’t miss Annabella (a poppy red), Carmen (a geranium red) and Lana (a vivid orangey red) without taking a closer look.

Of the three, I think Lana is the warmest and the most orange. It’s basically like a creamy MAC Lady Danger.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Lana

Lana

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Lana

Lana

For a warm red with less orange than Lana, check out Carmen (slightly redder, less orange) or Annabella (even more red, and less orange).

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Carmen

Carmen (a Barneys New York Exclusive)

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Carmen

Carmen (a Barneys New York Exclusive)

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Annabella

Annabella

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Annabella

Annabella

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It’s Taupe Time With the Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette

Published in: Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews, Urban Decay

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette

Eyes by the new $29 Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette

Rap battle in 3-2-1…

If you can’t cope when shadow palettes lack taupe,
Or you start to mope when you lose your favorite matte taupe,
Or you think “Dope!” when you see a palette with six taupes,
Then jump over that moat! And climb that slope! ‘Cuz…

OK…I can’t think of anything else that rhymes with taupe. :)

The $29 Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette

Yeah, man, Naked2 Basics ($29), Urban Decay’s latest vestiphobic eyeshadow palette, is a cool-toned taupe explosion. It comes with five matte shadows and one satin, with all of them being a different incarnation of taupe.

Five of the shadows are new (nude-pink Stark, warm gray Frisk, reddish brown Cover, muted brown Primal and smoky brown Undone), while the remaining one’s a re-promote (pale nude Skimp).

Essentially, the palette is a cool-toned taupe cousin of the original Naked Basics palette.

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette

The new Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette ($29)

Compared to the shadows in its predecessor, the original Naked Basics Palette, these shadows seem much easier to blend. I haven’t had any problems mixing or mooshing any of the colors together and haven’t had any trouble with uneven application.

I have seen some fallout, though, but that’s pretty typical of Urban Decay.

According to UD, the palette works well for all skin tones, from like to dark and cool to warm, but I have to politely disagree with that… I’m an olive-toned gal with a darker skin tone, and I feel that without the help of some additional products, like a black shadow or eyeliner, or a warm beige or orangey brown, all six Naked2 Basics shadows tend to blend together into a nondescript haze on my skin.

It’s like when the newspaper gets left out in the rain, and then you open it and everything’s a muddled mix of depressing grays… Sad panda. :(

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette with a MAC Lipstick for scale

With a MAC Lipstick for scale

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Pencil In a Date With the New MAC Fluidline Eye Pencils on Your Lash Lines

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

MAC Fluidline Eye Pencil in Black Brilliance

Wearing the new MAC Fluidline Eye Pencil in Black Brilliance ($16) on my lash and water lines

You know, I don’t think I’ve ever actually finished an entire pot of MAC Fluidline. I’ve gotten pretty close several times with Blacktrack, but I usually get distracted by something else (it happens), and then misplace or forget about the particular pot I’m working on, so I open a new one.

This inevitably leads to someone saying, “What sane person needs five half-used pots of gel liner?” when they visit my house and notice the five half-used Blacktrack Fluidlines on the counter, to which I can’t make a smart-a$$ remark because, c’mon, only crazy makeup hoarders keep five pots of half-used Blacktrack.

MAC Fluidline Eye Pencils (left to right) in Atomic Ore, Earth Sign, Deep Blue Sea, Metropolis, Water Willow, Evil Twin and Black Brilliance

Fluidline Eye Pencils (left to right) in Atomic Ore, Earth Sign, Deep Blue Sea, Metropolis, Water Willow, Evil Twin and Black Brilliance

Now, though, I’m betting I’ll actually be able to finish one of the new MAC Fluidline Eye Pencils ($16 each US, $19 CAD), richly pigmented twist-up gel pencils coming soon to MAC counters with the A Novel Romance collection.

I’ve been wearing Black Brilliance, the black shade, a lot lately, and I seem to be going through it quickly. The soft formula glides so smoothly across my lids and lash lines that I sometimes get carried away with it.

There are also many other colors available, like Earth Sign (a deep, shimmery brown, which is a lot like Teddy, but not as reddish bronze) and Water Willow (a deep khaki green), which have also become close, personal faves. I love ‘em on lash lines, where they stay put for 12-14 hours.

MAC Fluidline Eye Pencils in Atomic Ore, Earth Sign, Deep Blue, Metropolis, Water Willow, Evil Twin and Black Brilliance

Fluidline Eye Pencils in Atomic Ore, Earth Sign, Deep Blue, Metropolis, Water Willow, Evil Twin and Black Brilliance

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MAC Animal Instincts Blush: A Primal Plum for Fierce Cheeks

Published in: Face, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

MAC Powder Blush in Animal Instincts

MAC Powder Blush in Animal Instincts ($22)

If you were reading 50 Shades of Grey on a plane and had to stop and fan yourself for a moment because, whew! — it’s getting hot in hurr — you’d look like you were wearing MAC Powder Blush in Animal Instincts ($22)

Now, to answer what is possibly your first question, yes, MAC Powder Blush in Animal Instincts is pretty dark.

Next, to answer what is possibly your second question, yes, you will still be able to wear it. :)

And you’ll look smokin’ hot, especially if you keep the eyes simple (picture bare lids, a shimmering chocolate smudged liner and lots of mascara) and wear it with a rich plummy lip, because the two go together like herds of unicorns and double rainbows.

With this pliant plummy powder blush, which should flatter the heck out of light, medium and darker skin tones, it pays to pick your brush carefully and spend a little time blending out the edges.

I think it’s the most clear-cut nod to classic fall colors in MAC’s new A Novel Romance collection, and it fits right in with the launch’s shmexy theme.

MAC Powder Blush in Animal Instincts

Powder Blush in Animal Instincts

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Exercise Your Right To Look Good While Sweating With the Hourglass 1.5MM Mechanical Gel Liner

Published in: Eyes, Hourglass, Makeup, Product Reviews

Hourglass 1.5 MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner in Obsidian

Wearing the new Hourglass 1.5 MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner in Obsidian ($45)

Hellooooo, freckles and dark circles! The bare-faced/no makeup action in some of the pics below was necessary to demonstrate the waterproof-ness of the new 1.5 MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner in Obsidian by Hourglass ($45 for a pack of three).

Here’s from last weekend, before and after a 7-mile run. I’m wearing Obsidian on my lash and water lines.

Hourglass 1.5 MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner before a workout and after

Before and after Hourglass 1.5 MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner

Please ignore the haphazard lining, LOL! I wasn’t heavily invested in precision, although the skinny 1.5 MM twist-up tip definitely allows for it. I’ve really been loving it for getting between the roots of my lashes and for doing precision work in the inner corners (like in that pic at the top).

7.25 miles

Nike Women’s Half Marathon, Oct. 19…I’m comin’ for ya!

After seven miles, buckets of sweat, and one complete run through MJ’s Xscape album, Obsidian looked great. With the exception of some very minor transferring to my lower lash lines, I didn’t see any movement up into my crease, any creasing or smudging — basically, no malarky.

Then, I jumped into the shower while still wearing the liner and took this pic after.

Hourglass 1.5 MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner after 7.25 miles and a shower

Hourglass 1.5 MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner after 7.25 miles *and* a shower

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