Makeup

The MAC A Novel Romance Quad Is Like Many Real Life Relationships, Both Hot and Cold

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

MAC A Novel Romance Quad

Wearing the new MAC A Novel Romance Quad ($40) on my eyes

Fabio, dahling, take me now! — to the computer, so that I may satisfy this hunger burning deep within my soul.

Yup, the new MAC A Novel Romance collection launched online today, and it’s huge.

HUGE!

Huge both in terms of the fact that it’s the brand’s big release for fall, and huge just in terms of the number of products, especially the eyeshadows.

MAC A Novel Romance Quad

A Novel Romance Quad Eye Shadows clockwise from the dark brown pan on the left: Dance in the Dark, My Fantasy, Fall in Lush and Rising Passions

Overwhelmed much? I am. If you’re looking for a place to start, steer your lusty makeup-lovin’ loins toward one of my favorite quads in the collection, the aptly named A Novel Romance ($40).

MAC A Novel Romance Quad Swatches

From the left: My Fantasy, Fall in Lust, Dance in the Dark and Rising Passions

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The New NARS Audacious Lipstick Collection: The Nudes

Published in: Lips, Makeup, NARS

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anita

New NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anita ($32)

Am I the only one out there who thinks this is funny?

Full-coverage nude lipsticks?

I dunno… I think it’s kinda funny. :)

A completely opaque lipstick in a shade that’s supposed to make it look like you’re not wearing any lipstick at all?

That’s funny! Granted, I am easily amused…

So, opaque nude lipsticks, specifically the ones in the new NARS Audacious Lipstick collection. There are nine nude shades ($32 each) nestled among the radiant reds, courageous corals, awesome oranges, punchy pinks and bold berries in the release, and they aren’t your everyday nudes.

No, these are like nude comic book characters (Chris Evans, perhaps?)! — able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and hop the hurdles that lesser nude lipsticks often fail to overcome.

NARS Audacious Lipsticks from the left: Jane, Julie, Anna, Barbara, Anita, Raquel, Brigitte and Vanessa (Barneys New York Exclusive)

From the left: Jane, Julie, Anna, Barbara, Anita, Raquel, Brigitte and Vanessa (Barneys New York Exclusive)

First, these NARS Audacious nudes are completely full coverage, so even if your lips are pigmented like mine, these nudes appear rich on the lips. No layering needed. All it takes is a single swipe.

Second, none of the nine make me look like a washed-out Nicki Minaj impersonator, a rare feat in these complicated times.

NARS Audacious Lipsticks: The NudesLike the other Audacious Lipsticks I’ve tried, the nudes are potently pigmented and extra smooth; however, I think they’re also slightly more challenging to wear than their more vibrant counterparts.

I don’t know if it’s because they’re nude, or because of something else, but they seem to exacerbate the funky issues I’m having with my lips — in my case now, dryness and flakes — to a greater degree than the bolder shades do.

Weird…

When my kayak-damaged lips fully heal and return to normal, it won’t be a big whoop, but if your pout is perpetually parched, you might want to incorporate the use of a rich lip balm (I’m lovin’ Osmnia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair right now), and lather up your lips like butter on a slice of toast.

OK, that’s enough background. Now let’s get nude. :) #pantsareoverrated

The neutral pinkish browns: Raquel and Barbara

For a traditional nude lip, check out Raquel and Barbara. For pinkish browns, I think they’re excellent options, flattering on both warm and cool skin tones.

Raquel, the lighter, brighter option, is a pinkish beige.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel

Raquel

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel

Raquel

Barbara is a tad deeper and contains a touch more tan.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Barbara

Barbara

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Barbara

Barbara

I think both are extremely flattering and among my overall favorites of the whole bunch because of how they accent without overpowering anything on my lids.

Either would be great as an everyday lipstick, or as something to pair with smokey eyes.

The cooler-toned rose and mauve nudes: Anna, Vanessa and Anita

Alas, the lady cannot live on nude neutral pinkish browns alone… When you’re looking for a cooler-toned rose or mauve to wear with your purply taupes or gunmetal grays, consider Anna, Vanessa and Anita.

Anna, a smokey rose, is the deepest of the three, and on me it reveals a hint of violet, which I dig.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anna

Anna

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Intensify Your Gaze With New Black Ecstasy Mascara by Giorgio Armani Beauty

Published in: Eyes, Giorgio Armani, Makeup, Product Reviews

Giorgio Armani Beauty Black Ecstasy Mascara

New ‘Black Ecstasy’ Mascara by Giorgio Armani in Obsidian Black ($32)

A highly recommended mascara for staring at the blank page before you as you open up the dirty window to let the sun illuminate the words you cannot find

Giorgio Armani Beauty Black Ecstasy Mascara

Giorgio Armani Beauty Black Ecstasy Mascara in Obsidian Black ($32)

Yup, someone’s been watching re-runs of The Hills lately. :)

My Tivo recorded a massive 45-episode marathon last week.

To quote El Hub when he saw them in the menu, “Holy sh*t!”

Giorgio Armani Beauty Black Ecstasy Mascara

With a MAC Lipglass for scale…

I wore Giorgio Armani Beauty’s new Black Ecstasy Mascara in Obsidian Black ($32; one of four shades) during an epic 8-hour binge this week.

Giorgio Armani Beauty Black Ecstasy Mascara

A recent addition to the brand’s permanent line (available now in three shades exclusively at Nordstrom, but coming to Giorgio Armani Beauty counters and giorgioarmanibeauty.com this September in four shades), ‘Black Ecstasy’ Mascara is designed to create longer, denser, thicker lashes to allow you to deliver intense gazes…

That intensity came in handy while I re-watched season two of The Hills and repeatedly shot disapproving glares at Spencer Pratt.

Giorgio Armani Beauty Black Ecstasy Mascara

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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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