Admittedly it’s been a little while since a makeup product has stirred me. Being in such a saturated market of makeup, both sampling and owning a lot of cosmetics makes it hard to impress. I don’t mean to sound like a makeup snob but being so over-exposed to it, leaves little room for surprises in terms of quality, performance and colour differentiation. A few things have launched recently from NARS that have really struck a chord with me. It looks like it is a hit start for NARS for 2017 with their latest releases.
NARS Radiance Primer
Allow me to give you a bit of a backstory and a precursor to what I am about to write here. I don’t really like primers. They just don’t do anything extra for me that really warrants me buying them. They work for a lot of people but not on my skin. Most primers separate and tend to make my complexion look patchy after a few hours wear. This especially happens above my lip, leaving me looking like I have dry moustache #soclassy. I have sampled quite a few primers over the years and whilst some are nice, I just don’t have anything to rave home about. A few good outliers have snuck in with some honourable mentions going to Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Laura Mercier Radiant Primer and Eve Lom Flawless Radiance Primer. I clearly have an inclination towards radiance primers. What a surprise that Alice goes for yet another radiance primer. Ha! Who would have thought?! But really, I am digging the Nars Radiance Primer. This primer makes my skin look glowy (not too dewy, though) and hydrated with no signs of dry patches or cakiness above my lip (or anywhere else). It wears beautifully and I have no complaints. I received a sample of this product from Mecca Maxima and I will be buying the full-size of this primer.
I noticed online that the USA version of the primer contains an SPF35, whereas in Australia it doesn’t mention any SPF rating. I am not sure if this is because it is much more difficult to qualify for an SPF rating in Australia due to our harsher sun conditions or if they are different formulations. I think it would most likely be the former, as I have a Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser which I bought in the USA, which mentions an SPF rating but the same product in Australian stores does not, however, the ingredients appear to be the same.
NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer
Back in circa 2013, Nars changed us all by giving us the Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer. Praise was high and low and the townspeople danced merrily in the streets. It’s no secret I am a HUGE fan of the Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer and have been using it since 2015. It’s creamy, luminous, radiant with great coverage. My only qualm with the product is that it can sometimes crease when used under the eye due to its creaminess. Now Nars brings us its sister concealer, the new Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer which has a satin-matte finish, leaving your complexion looking flawless and not overdone with NO CREASING.
The concealer is definitely true to its name, being a ‘complete’ concealer, suggesting you can use for a number of purposes. I tried it under the eyes and on blemishes and it really soft-focuses the area, conceals discolorations and imperfections and gives an air-brushed look. The coverage is great, yet it is very lightweight and does not look cakey or coagulated on the skin. When it comes to covering blemishes, I always use the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer as my control for testing. In my opinion, it is the most effective at covering spots due to its opaqueness and being slightly drier in texture so it never slides around (you may have noticed when your skin is inflamed, makeup doesn’t stick to it as well, so having a drier texture can help with coverage). The Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer performs really well at covering spots, but I find you need to powder over the top as the product is a pinch creamier than the Laura Mercier one and can still slide a bit over a spot. But when we are comparing these 2 in terms of performance, we are just nit-picking now. The Nars one is pretty darn brilliant.
The colour range is awesome as well. I believe they have launched a few in-between shades from the original creamy radiant range. I use the shade ‘vanilla’ in the Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer and the shade ‘vanilla’ from the Soft Matte Range is identical and suits my skin tone perfectly. I can see that this concealer is going to be a staple in my daily makeup routine. I am truly impressed. Way to go Nars!
NARS Duo Eyeshadow – Thessalonique
My love for NARS has not wavered just as yet. This eyeshadow duo is all kinds of beautiful. I literally stopped in my tracks when I spotted this guy. Silver-y, taupe-y, lilac-y hues shimmered in my direction and when I tried it, it cemented that I needed to have this in my collection. The shades themselves are quite unique, they aren’t your typical silver tones and the colour pairing of these 2 shades is phenomenal. The pics simply just do not do it justice.
The Nars Eyeshadow Duo in ‘Thessalonique’ is exactly what I expect from NARS in terms of quality and pigmentation. The shades glide on smoothly, blend effortlessly and look sophisticated and fresh. They are pigmented, long-wearing and do not crease (creasing is a bid deal-breaker for me). These shades are quite subtle but can still built-up for a more evening look by adding a cat flick with some black liquid eyeliner. With these shadows, a black cat flick looks ridiculously gorgeous.
My favourite way to wear these shades is to apply MAC Paintpot in ‘Groundwork’ as a base. Then I messily draw on the outer 1/4 of my mobile lid and along lashes, creating a thick-ish wing using Nars Velvet Eyeliner in ‘Last Frontier’. Taking any blending brush or using fingers, blend the Nars eyeliner until there are no harsh edges back inwards from the flick onto the mobile lid. Then place the lighter silver shade on the inner corner and across 2/3 of the mobile lid. Then placing the darker, lilac-taupe shade on the outer 1/3 of the eye and through the crease (over the where the pencil had been drawn & blended). This gives the eye a lot of definition when placing shadows over a dark, blended pencil. Finishing up by replicating the same under the eye with the lighter shade closer to the inner corner and the darker shade along the rest of the lower lashline. Topping off with layers of mascara, the finished look is just stunning!
Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser
I know this product did not launch this year but since I am going on and on about NARS products that I’m loving, I thought I would throw this in as a token too. I purchased the Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser when I was travelling last year in the USA and I have been loving it ever since I bought it. It provides a light coverage, which is buildable to a medium coverage. The shade that I use is ‘Terre Neuve’ which leans towards a fair, neutral-tone. It is so easy to apply, you can use any method you like. I change it up and sometimes use my fingers, sometimes use a sponge or a buffing brush. It is such an easy product to use and it wears really nicely. Sometimes, I think it looks better throughout the day than even when first applied. This product also wears quite well over the top of a sunscreen without separating on the skin. The finish is what I call satin-radiant. It looks bright and fresh yet not so dewy that you look like you are gleaming. It is great if you like a natural-looking base and I would recommend it for dry/ combination/ normal skin types. For oily skin types, I think the Nars Velvet Matt Skin Tint might serve you better.
Regarding the SPF ratings, please see above comment earlier on in the post. This product mentions an SPF rating on the pack in the USA version, but not in the Aussie version, which I am pretty sure is due to some rigid regulations in Australia. It would be great if NARS made the Aussie versions of these products to also contain an SPF rating that would qualify in Australia.
I have thrown a lot of love in Nars’ direction in this post. Let me know if you’ve tried any of the new releases from NARS and what you are loving too?
If you have any further insight into why the Australian versions of the Nars face products do not contain an SPF rating, I would love to know as well.