since i'm such a nars addict, i decided to branch out and try something new. shu was highly recommended on the boards and i love the line's eyeshadows and eyelash curler. i was in luck too since the spring line, sweet mode, launched just as i was trying to figure out what would be the best things to buy. i was drawn to the glow on blushes. they come in two finishes: pearl and matte. plus with a name like glow on, i was immediately sold. what's prettier than naturally luminous skin?
my parents were visiting thailand at the time, and i asked them to purchase sakura for me since i heard that shu is cheaper in asia than it was here, so i ended up getting it without having had to the chance to test it first. when i finally got it, i was so excited to use it. the limited edition, eyelet patterned packaging was so pretty and the cotton candy pink was perfect for spring. the first difference i noticed between sakura and my other nars blushes was that it was harder in texture. nars blushes tend to be powdery, so it's picked up easily by brushes. i swiped my finger across sakura and barely got any of the color on my finger. secondly, for a blush with a pearlescent finish, it seemed more matte to me. not that i'm a fan of gaudy glitter or anything, but i just don't like matte colors. they're very flat and boring on me. i was most disappointed by this since i'm on a search for the perfect pink blush, and the ones that nars had to offer had either a matte finish or were glittery rather than the usual shimmer, which i prefer.it took a few applications before i could detect any color on my cheeks. my skintone is pretty tan, but i'm not so dark that a pink this bright wouldn't show up on me (nc40/ga lsf 7/lm almond/bb honey). the overall finish looked kind of cakey and powdery, but after some time, the blush blended into my skin better and it looked rather nice plus it lasted after 10 hours of work. so far i'm not too impressed with the glow on blushes, but this experience hasn't turned me off to it completely. i think i would fare better trying the other colors. i trust the ladies of mua, and everyone hasn't been wrong about nars blushes, so i doubt they would be about shu's. if you read the reviews for sugar and apricot, the sweet mode blushes sound as if they aren't equal in quality to the ones in the regular line. oh, well. at least now i get to play around with the rest of the shu line. i'll definitely be fun!
if a blush could be described as innocent, madly would be most suited to the compliment. it's quite perfect for a romantic, feminine look: bare eyes, flowing hair, brownish pink lip color, an eyelet babydoll dress, and a locket/charm necklace. like previous reviewers have said, madly has an adaptive quality to it. on some it shows up peach while others use it as a light bronzer. for me (nc40/ga lsf 7/lm almond/bb honey) it is an understated pale pink glow.
that's why it so difficult to peg what color it is exactly. nars's site calls it "seashell pink." that description is fitting for me, yet very far off for others. regardless, i absolutely love how healthy it makes me look. it completelty invalidates the myth that you need a little sunlight in order to look vibrant. the texture is comparable to nico; just a tap on the surface is more than enough. if you're looking for impact and color then this is not the shade for you, but if you want a natural and sweet springtime flush then rush to get madly before everyone else does.
dare i say it? i might like this blush more than nars orgasm. now, before i'm impugned by 73% of the 1382 peopole who love this blush, i just want to let you know that i too am a diehard orgasm fan (no pun intended). in fact, i'm obsessed with nars. it's my favorite brand. i wouldn't have even dreamt of making that statement up until today.i purchased it as a afterthought during my trip to the armani counter, and it ended up being my favorite item. like orgasm, it is a shimmering pinky peach blush with fine golden shimmer. i did a side by side comparison of both blushes. i found that no. 10 was more pink/less peachy, had a silkier texture, and showed up a lot better on my ggg (nc40/ga lsf 7/lm almond/bb honey) skintone. i've always loved orgasm and i still do, but i've been using it as a highlighter rather than a blush, and i also had to run my brush across the pan, scraping at the surface before i could get enough of the color to show up on my cheeks (the problem is not the pigmentation, but the texture. nars's lighter blushes tend to be harder and less powdery than his brighter blushes like taos or crazed). now, getting the natural, glowing flush that i love is easier with ga's blush.
i'm not saying that you should buy one over the other. the colors are similar, but still different enough to justify having both (yes, i'm an enabler). orgasm is warmer and the shimmer of no. 10 is more subtle. i can see this being perfect for those who complain that orgasm either didn't show up on them or was too orange. ga is trouble. not only do i want to collect all of the nars blushes, but now i want all of armani's too. i just hate how expensive it is at $40. it's so worth it, but still oh so painful.
i've read about how wonderful dolce vita is in at least a million women's magazines. it is lauded by everyone from makeup artists to celebrities to everyday women. is it just hype? no! dolce vita is a sheer dusty rose, but the reviewers' descriptions ranges from pink to red to a brownish red. on my semi-pigmented lips, it shows up as a sheer berry. it's so easy-to-wear and is an extremely flattering shade. i like to apply it using my fingers so i can control the depth of color, but when applied directly from the tube, the color can be deep and intense without looking too garish. i find it to be very complimentary to my nc40 skintone.
the only downside to this is that the lipstick can be very drying. i find it necessary to put on lip balm beforehand. it also has a slight crayon smell. a lot of people mistakenly believe it's because the lipstick has gone bad, but all of nars's lipsticks have a slight crayon-y stench in my experience. it's not so intolerable and the smell fades away after a while. also, there's no taste, which is always a great thing, and i can't forget to mention that it lasts quite awhile too.it's not a perfect ylbb for me, but it's a gorgeous color regardless.
i've overlooked this blush for so long dismissing it as too brown. i already owned laguna and casino bronzers, so what did i need this for? besides, pink and peachy blushes are so much prettier... well, i ate my words. there's a reason why my mother told me to try everything before criticizing it see? it pays to apply important life lessons to makeup!
lovejoy is a shimmery bronzed pink. at first glance, it looks like an extra bling version of laguna, but after you put it on, the pink undertones become noticeable. i love how it looks on my warm golden skin color(nc40). basically, it's like a 2-in-1 product: instead of having to apply bronzer followed by a swipe of blush to mimic that natural sunkissed glow, lovejoy does it all for you, and, of course, it has the perpetual glow and lasting power people have come to expect from nars blushes.the only claim that i cannot make that i have made for every nars blush i have reviewed is that it might not work on everyone. this blush is probably best suited on warm, darker skintones. it might look muddy or turn orange on those with lighter complexions, so it's not one of the blushes that you can just buy without testing it first. it's also very pigmented. a stippling brush and a light hand is key to making lovejoy look as pretty as it should. i'm very glad i didn't like my longstanding prejudice against lovejoy prevent me from discovering how pretty it really is!
Palettes -Stila - just my luck palette in lucky plum
tadpoleSYR 1/21/2006 5:09:00 PM
i LOVE this adorable palette, but i HATE how stila refuses to identify the colors in it. i never know whether they're existing shades or new ones developed exclusively for the palette. either way, there should at least be a name besides base, crease, and liner.
the three eyeshadows, blush, and lip color come housed in a mirrored pink metal compact embellished with authentic swarovski crystals. people normally associate stila with feminine colors, but this is the most sophisticated combination they've put together. the first, or ecru, is a shimmery bone shade. the crease color (grace) is a stunning taupe. it's my favorite out of the three. to finish it off, a golden olive or bronze that reminds me of golightly. the blush is a satiny ballet slipper pink. i've been looking for a pink blush too. my blush collection is dominated by peaches and reds, and this was exactly what i had in mind. the lip color is a creamy golden berry that you can apply using the lucite handle lip brush that's included. comparable to natalie lipstick, the color is very buildable from ylbb wash to a deep berry stain.i'm not sure why this is the "plum" palette. there's nothing plum about it. i guess the lip color is supposed to be the plum portion, but it's more red than purple. also, it's not cool toned either. it's actually neutral and i can see this looking great on anyone. for reference, i'm nc40/ga lsf 7/lm almond/bb honey. overall, i am impressed with the colors and the quality of the products. the velvety texture of the es's are amazing, but stila's strength lies in their eyeshadows to begin with. this palette is definitely worth the $30 if you don't already own the colors. it's cute and fun, but practical and easy to work with. i am very happy with it!
i went to the sephora with the intention of buying a pink blush. i quickly passed on mata hari and desire. they were matte. i like a little glow to my blushes. angelika is the only shimmery pink powder blush that nars makes, but i was immediately repelled by it's cool undertones. i am warm (mac nc40/ga lsf 7/lm almond/bb honey), and, normally, i can wear both cool and warm colors without any problems, but angelika practically glowed blue plus i found the glitter particles too chunky. sin was too purple and the rest of the blushes that i didn't already own were too brown. lo and behold, there was crazed.
i passed over crazed at first because i knew how pigmented it was, and it was too similar to taos and mounia. i decided to bring it home, so i could test it. i found that while it packs a lot of color, it's actually not as pigmented as taos or mounia. i didn't even have use my skunk brush. i lightly tapped my mac blush brush on it, and got the perfect amount to swipe across my cheeks. like a previous reviewer stated, the company describes the color as "a raspberry red with shimmer" and while that's how it looks in the pan, it's actually a vibrant pink on the cheeks. it's a great color for a lively and healthy flush. and like all nars blushes, it stays on until you take it off and one compact is likely to last you for years making it more than worth its $25 price tag.
chihuahua is the perfect natural lip color: a sheer milky pink/nude. it would look fabulous on just about everyone, paired with anything, and appropriate for anytime. i think it would be especially lovely with grey or brown smokey eyes. before i tried it, i was afraid that it might wash me out (mac nc40/ga lsf 7/lm almond/bb honey). it doesn't at all. unlike nars's sheer, glittery glosses (i.e. sweet dreams, harlow, orgasm, sunset strip, etc.), which tends to be tacky, this formula is very creamy. the downside to that is that it wears off rather quickly, but that's the tendency of 99% of lip glosses. also, it has a slight plasticky smell and taste to it, so if you're sensitive to odors, i would stay away. it bothers me a little bit, but the color is so great that i am willing to ignore it. that's the only thing that's keeping me from giving it the highest rating possible.
Highlighters -MAC - Mineralize Skinfinish in Petticoat [DISCONTINUED]
tadpoleSYR 1/14/2006 11:03:00 PM
let me first start of by saying that i know the year just began, but it's safe to say that by the time december rolls around, this will have been one of the most talked about products in 2006. also, i admire the discipline and self control of every single person who managed to resist buying petticoat. please mua mail me and tell me your secrets. i know i'm not conforming to the majority opinion here, but i didn't love petticoat. i know, you're disgusted with me. i'm sorry. please don't ignore me on the boards now! i mean, i don't hate it! it's just that it's too glittery. shimmer i love, but glitter i detest. stay away if you do not want to draw attention to your less than perfect skin! the powder was very soft and the color picks up well on the brush. the base color is a soft neutral pink with veins of metallic gold and darker pink interspersed throughout the domed mold. i really like the concept since it's not one uniform shade, the result are interesting color variations depending on where you swipe your brush. i'm not sure whether or not i want to keep it. it's too pretty for me to part from it so easily, but i can be tempted to swap it away for something else i really want. overall, i can understand why people really like it, but nars orgasm blush gives me the same look sans glitter circa studio 54.
i'll admit i'm ridiculous when it comes to spending money on makeup, but every now then rationale manages to seep it's way into my frivolous makeup obsessed psyche. the trigger to this rare occurrence: $20 for clear mascara!?! i don't know what pout was thinking. i'm not even sure what i was thinking, but here i am writing a review on it while pout is $20 richer. don't get me wrong, it's a good product. i use it mainly as an eyebrow groomer, and it does a great job of keeping my long eyebrow hairs in place without crusting or flaking. normally i would've given this product only three lipsticks, but the main reason i think this mascara *might* be worth its unreasonable price tag is that it is the only clear mascara that doesn't weigh down the curl of my stick straight asian lashes, which is why i've been unable to use clear mascaras until now. of course, the packaging is adorable, but i'm a bit annoyed because it's chipping a bit. come on, pout, it was $20! that tube should be coated with teflon. regardless, i'll probably repurchase...because i'm ridiculous.
i think i've found my hg concealer. i don't use it for undereye circles. i'm lucky enough not to have that problem, but not lucky enough to be blessed with flawless skin. bb cc manages to cover all of the blemishes my hormones will inflict upon me as well as those super annoying brown spots that are left behind once the pesky zit has disappeared. it blends well, covers seamlessly, and is creamy, hence, its title. the color match is perfect (i use honey on my mac nc40/ga lsf 7/lm almond skintone). the best part is it doesn't wear off, which is impressive considering that my skin is oily enough to cook off of (sorry, that was gross). how ingenious that it comes with a little tub of translucent powder attached to it! i've rarely had to use it, but i'm glad it's there just in case i need it. this has been a pleasant experience considering what i was using before this: mac studio fix, which should actually be considered a highlighter since it draws attention to your flaws rather than masks it like it's supposed to. thank you for showing them (and by 'them' i mean mac) how it's done, bobbi brown.
i received this as a gift from a friend, and was ready to swap it away, but a few muaers convinced me to give it a try before i let it go. i was initially apprehensive after a nars sa told me that mounia was the cooler counterpart to taos, which i love. being southeast asian, cool colors rarely look good on me, so i figured this was one nars blush that i would have to pass up even though it's so pretty. well, i used it one weekend. i kept the rest of my mu very neutral since the color is SO overpowering (that and my mu is always neutral anyways). i applied with my trusty mac skunk brush with an EXTREMELY light hand, and it still seemed as if i'd gone overboard. luckily, i had trusty nico to tone it down.
the verdict? the blush lasted all day. although i've never have a problem concerning wear when it comes to nars blushes. i liked the color enough. it gave me the same wintery flush that i loved taos for, but the big difference to me was that it didn't melt into my complexion the same way that taos did. i felt the color just settled on top of my skin. it didn't look horrible, but it also didn't look the way that i would've liked it to. the worst part was when my boyfriend noticed it. i have a picture of me wearing mounia, and he commented that it looked as if i was wearing too much mu. everyone that knows me is well aware that that is the last thing anyone would ever say to me. i am the very definition of a makeup minimalist. *shrug* it could just be a boy thing. no one else said anything about it after looking at the photo.i'm content with it enough that i won't swap it away, but i don't love it enough to buy it again if i ever use it up. i'm still considering swapping it for something else i might like too.
the first thing i thought when nars announced they would be releasing an orgasm lip gloss was that if it's anywhere near as good as the blush, i will have no cause for complaints. i can't say it changed my mu perspective the way that the blush did, but it's still very pretty all the same. a warm pink, i use it when i want to create a sweet and innocent look. i had initially feared that the color would be too similar to sweet dreams, which i found too light and frosty for my coloring (nc40/ga lsf 7/lm almond), but the golden shimmer is what differentiates it from sweet dreams. unfortunately, it's one of the stickier lip glosses in the line (the lighter, shimmery colors tend to be), but i've learned that a layer of lip balm beforehand is necessary to achieve a smooth application. once again, another quality product from my favorite brand.
after trying this gloss, i only have one thing to say: i want more! i'm a little weird about my lip gloss preferences. i don't like dense pigmentation and i don't like sticky glosses (i suppose that's not so strange). i don't care how many times i have to reapply throughout the day. i would rather do that than have difficulty parting my lips because glue posing as a gloss has managed to seal my mouth shut. i really like how moisturizing it is and how easy it is to apply. i don't have to use the sponge tip applicator as a mini spackle to spread the color over my lips. the best part? no scent! if i wanted to smell vanilla, i'll buy myself a cupcake *cough* lipglass *cough*! belle is the first color i decided to purchase based on the reviews. it looks like a deep berry in the tube, but applies rosy with a sexy high gleam. i love fresh lip shines! so underrated in my opinion!
i admit when i first saw this blush, i was intrigued, but dubious. white blush on my tan complexion? i don't think so. then the nars website described the color as a "natural glow." okay, i like natural glow. i still wasn't convinced though. that is, until i read olivia142's amazing review. this isn't a blush! it's a multiple in powder form, an essential cosmetic tool! i swapped for it just in case my initial intuition was correct, and i didn't want to curse mua over it during a bout of buyer's remorse. well, i'm happy to say that it has managed to stay off my swaplist. i have used it alone and i love how subtle, yet still noticeable it is on my nc40/ga lsf 7/lm almond skintone. i wear it on my low maintenance makeup days, which consists of mascara, concealer, and lip balm. most importantly, it is invaluable at helping me control taos, mounia, and crazed, which all would have otherwise endowed me with clown cheeks even with the help of a skunk brush and a light hand. suffice it to say that nars has done it again.