Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Inspired by Édouard Manet

         Recently, I stumbled upon an Édouard Manet painting that really resonated with me (see below). The larger than life canvas depicts a beggar draped in a blue shabby shawl next to a small pile of oyster shells. The dark shadowy tones have such an austere yet beautiful feel. I had to create a look inspired by this aesthetic.

         To mirror the serious shadowy tones I chose to use dark matte eyeshadows. There are shades of grey, navy, taupe, sage, and the blackest black in the painting. Some fitting colors from my collection included: Bobbi Brown Navy, Smoke, Charcoal, and Navajo eyeshadows. NARS Outremer eyeshadow added a beautiful blue accent when blended in with the above colors. You can see a similar blue tone emanating from the beggar's cape. NARS Matto Grosso nail polish and Bobbi Brown Black Ink Gel Eyeliner added a nice finishing touch.

Eyeshadow swatches of Bobbi Brown Navajo, Bobbi Brown Navy, NARS Night Breed, Bobbi Brown Smoke, and NARS Outremer

         I wish I could better convey how grandiose and elegant this painting was in real life. My photograph is truly a poor substitute. I need to educate myself more on Manet's works.

Painting by Manet, photo by me.
       I hope you enjoyed my inspiration post! I had fun transferring the shadowy motifs into eye makeup looks. Shadows and varying shades of gray are favorite themes of mine in both art and makeup. This is my second "Inspired by" post (the first being Inspired by Dusk). I hope to make inspiration posts a more regular feature on my blog. On that note, what color combinations inspire you lately?

Love, Dovey.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Emergency Mascara Pouch by Pamela Barsky

In case of emergency, put mascara on yourself before helping others.
          Frequent Flyers can certainly appreciate the humor behind the emergency mascara makeup pouch. It's a stroke of pure brilliance. I rarely spend pocket change on knick-knacks, but I couldn't resist splurging on this after seeing it on Karlasugar.

         The emergency mascara pouch was designed by Pamela Barsky. It's made from a thick natural colored canvas material. The dimensions are 5"x7". The words are supposedly black print silk-screened by the designer herself. This means may be variation between each bag. Some may have slightly different placement or varying intensities in the black print. There is no design on the back. The emergency mascara pouch certainly as a homemade feel. The construction of the zipper and pouch seems sturdy, but the zipper does not close all the way (see photo above) due to the way it was sewn in. It's not incorrect construction, it's just the way it is. This is not a problem for me. I am just letting you know that this pouch isn't going to be couture quality.

         I hope you enjoyed the brief presentation and photos of the emergency mascara pouch by Pamela Barsky. It certainly puts a smile on my face. I'm going to move my current carry-along items out of my NARS pouch and into this pouch. It is a bit small, but I think I'll make it work! Was anyone else tempted by the emergency makeup pouch?

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

NARS eye makeup remover review

NARS eye makeup remover: shaken, not stirred.

           My  NARS eye makeup remover mini is a really gorgeous addition to my counter. The clear and aqua dual layers give the bottle a soothing look. I had high hopes for high functionality. In this review I'll go over my thoughts and experience with NARS eye makeup remover.

          First, I'll cover my normal eye makeup removing routine. My go-to remover is Clinique Take the Day Off makeup remover, which is also a dual layer remover. I shake it vigorously and soak both ends of a Q-tip in the solution. One end per eye is sufficient to remove every last bit of eye makeup. Clinique is a bit oily, so I always make sure to rinse it off with a gentle soap.

           NARS eye makeup remover is a thinner solution and not so oily. This is helpful because it doesn't run down my face as quickly as Clinique. Unfortunately this is the only plus side of this remover. I dipped my Q-tip as I normally do and attempted to remover my eye makeup. Eyeshadow was easily removed, however it did a poor job of removing my mascara. My mascara last month was NARS Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara which has a reputation of being difficult to remove so it was a good test for this remover. Clinique's remover was able to remove all the mascara with a little extra rubbing with my Q-tip. The NARS eye makeup remover was unable to do so. I rubbed my lashes with the NARS remover extensively, however it just couldn't get everything off in one go. I even tried using two soaked ends of the Q-tip in succession then washing my lashes with facial soap for cleanup. The result was a mascara shadow under my lower eyelid that I couldn't remove with soap. I ended up having to clean up with my Clinique remover. The performance was incredibly disappointing.

          To top things off, if a little bit of NARS eye makeup remover got in my eye, the result was a painful sting. Because of the sting, I would find this hard to use even if I was wearing easy-to-remove eye makeup.

          So in summary, NARS eye makeup remover gets two thumbs down from me. It stings my eyes and it can't even remove NARS mascara. Something I've noticed is that I love how NARS does color, but I don't feel the same about their supporting cast of products. I had a similarly poor experience with NARS Oil-Free Primer (it made me break out). This is not a huge loss for me, since using NARS skin products makes me uneasy anyway.  Even though NARS says it doesn't test on animals, NARS skin products are made using Shiseido (NARS's parent company) technology. Numerous NARS artists have told me this. For those of you who care about animal cruelty, Shiseido is a known animal tester.  The NARS-Shiseido connection is an idea I've struggled with for a long time.

          Thanks for reading this entry! I hope it wasn't too much of a downer.  Have you ever tried NARS eye makeup remover? Do you have any eye makeup remover recommendations?

Love, Dovey.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

NARS Oasis blush

          NARS Oasis blush made a small comeback this fall. Although it wasn't specifically included NARS Fall 2011 lineup, Oasis was clearly a part of the supporting cast since 1) Oasis lip gloss was re-promoted in the collection and 2) no blush was included in the collection. Up until recently, I'd forgotten that I had purchased NARS Oasis blush. I had loaned it to my mom for an extended period of time. However, now Oasis has returned to my home to star in a review.

          NARS Oasis blush is described as a "sparkling pink champagne." How pretty is that? I'm not sure it's the right description though. I would imagine sparkling pink champagne to be a light golden pink. NARS Oasis is more like pink with a hint of berry and gold sparkle. Oasis is one of the colors that looks so different in the pan in different kinds of light. This may be why there is so much variation in online photos. I had trouble wrapping my head around the true color of Oasis when I considering purchasing it. In most cases, Oasis looks deceptively light in the pan. In sunlight (above) you can see that Oasis almost appears to be a light pink leaning slightly peach. This isn't a camera error. I took at least twenty pictures outside trying to capture the pink-berry color of Oasis. All of them looked like this. I was pretty upset until I realized that's how the blush looks in strong sunlight. I think my indoor photograph (below) is more reflective of the true color of Oasis. It's a darker plummier pink. In the fluorescent lighting of Sephora stores, Oasis looks like a lighter berry toned pink. The most useful way to judge Oasis is through swatches. As you read above, the pan photographs so differently depending on the situation.

          NARS Oasis blush is very pigmented. When I use a standard blush brush to apply it, it's way too dark for my liking. I bet a stippling brush would be more appropriate for lighter skin tones. Too bad I don't have a stippling brush! To be honest, I didn't get a lot of use out of Oasis. That's why I loaned it to my mom. It was just too pigmented and too berry toned for my liking. I was hoping it actually fit the "sparkling pink champagne" description. That said, I think Oasis is an under-rated NARS blush. I think a lot of people out there enjoy this type of color and the high level of pigmentation. It's also a fitting color for fall when we are moving away from peachy tones.

The closest comparison to NARS Oasis in my blush collection was Bobbi Brown Desert Rose.

          I imagined the two to be quite similar. They are both more muted pinks. However you can see that the swatch of NARS Oasis is considerably darker than the swatch of Bobbi Brown Desert Rose.  Like I mentioned above, Oasis is deceptively light in the pan! You can see that the golden glitter is imperceptible when swatched. I think most of it falls off before reaching your face.

          Finally, you can see how well NARS Oasis pairs with NARS Grand Palais (review here) and Outremer (review here) from the Fall 2011 collection. I think they look quite nice together!

          As some of you may know, I've been avoiding blush as of late. I'm trying to give Oasis new life as an occasional eyeshadow. It's a trick I learned from a SA. She paired it with my NARS Bright Lights, Big City palette (seen here). It added nice depth to a smoky eye. Pink can take the edge off harsh colors. I bet a little touch of Oasis with Outremer would look nice as well if you did not buy the rosy Grand Palais duo.

          I hope you enjoyed my review of NARS Oasis. Do any of you have this in your stash? Does it stand among NARS blush greats like Orgasm, Sin, and Deep Throat? Have any of you ever tried hints of blush as eyeshadow? I'd love to hear your thoughts =).

Love, Dovey.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My lipstick stash

          Inspired by the epic proportions of Joeybunny's stash post, I thought that I should do a stash post of my own. Today, I'm sharing my lipstick collection. Everything fits in a little black drawer. What you see above is every single lipstick I own, save for free samples that I never use.
The stash breakdown is as follows:
3x Bobbi Brown Lip Colors
3x Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colors
1x Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color
1x Chanel Rouge Coco Shine
1x Chanel Rouge Allure
3x NARS Lipsticks
3x Random free Estee Lauder and Lancome lipsticks

          You might have guessed from my penchant for Bobbi Brown that I like nude or beige toned lipsticks. One reason my stash has stayed relatively small is that I don't wear exciting colors. I have two pretty pinks (Chanel Coquette and Lancome), one peach (Chanel Peregrina), one red (NARS Red Lizard), and one dark burgundy (Bobbi Brown Black Cherry). I don't feel the need to buy more iterations of these colors, as I rarely reach for them. Some of you might remember that my attempt at adding MAC Vegas Volt to my collection was a flop. I do enjoy looking for new nude and basic tones. I'm planning on adding a couple nude lippies from the MAC permanent collection soon. Otherwise, I'm really happy with what I have now, so I don't plan on exponential growth. I like how everything fits neatly into my little drawer!

          I hope you enjoyed the little peek into my stash. Are you surprised at the size? The proportions of my collection are quite minimalist when compared to those of other beauty enthusiasts. For non-beauty lovers, this number of lipsticks might  seem crazy!  How many tubes of the lipstick is considered normal?

Love, Dovey

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Makeup Minis currently in rotation

         Here's a peek at the mini and sample size cosmetics I'm currently using. Like most beauty enthusiasts I have a large backlog of mini products I need to use. I'm pretty diligent about going through samples, but I still have many.  In fact, I have a bag full of mini and full-size mascaras contains at least 20 tubes! For a while I used to do "Project 10-Pan" on my minis. It successfully cleared out a lot of clutter and I learned a lot from trying many different products. I no longer partake in "10-pan" but I have developed a habit of using minis in my everyday routine. I thought it would  be fun to start a series where I share and review what mini cosmetics I currently have in rotation.

1. Love, Chloe Eau de Parfum- This smells like rose and powder. I'm a fan of florals, however it's a little too sophisticated for me. I prefer simpler and brighter smells.

2. NARS Orgasm Illuminator- This sample is really midget-sized, but I've been using it forever. I love the natural sheen it gives me. I had also accumulated two full-sized tubes and a larger mini-size tube. They would have lasted me at least 5 years, so I gave them away to my mom and aunt. If I ever finish a tube of the illuminator, I will most likely purchase a new one. I'm on the fence with skin-sensitivity. My skin doesn't react strongly against it, however I haven't ruled out a mild response.

3. Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes pencil in 0L- I keep this in my makeup bag for touch-ups. I have a full-size version as well. The staying power is good on top of primer.

4. LUSH Vanishing Cream- I asked for a face cream sample at LUSH because I'm still looking for a moisturizer that I'm 100% comfortable with putting on my skin. I tried the Philosophy miracle worker sample that came in the Sephora VIB packet but had reactions to it. Sigh. So far, Vanishing cream is working fairly well so far.

5. Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara in Black- It's OK, but I'm a little underwhelmed by the volumizing capacity. I have to put on at least 5 coats before I'm happy. That said, I'm someone who really packs on mascara because my lashes are thin. I don't need a lot of length added, just volume. The name says "volumizing" however I find that this mascara is better for added length instead of volume. On the plus-side, the formula doesn't clump even after adding numerous coats. On the down-side the formula smells distinctly like chemicals. You can probably tell from my review that I won't be interested in purchasing a full size version.

6. Smashbox Photo-op under-eye brightener- This adds a subtle sheen in the undereye area. There's not a lot of pigment so it can't be substituted for a real concealer. To be honest, it doesn't really do much for me. You can still see the light shadow of my barely visible under-eye circles. However, I saw this on my friend once and it looked nice on her.

So that's all for today's Mini series. Do you use up your minis as well? Any good or bad finds?

Thanks for reading!

Love, Dovey.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happiness is...

Happiness is...

... a whiff of fresh air. 

Pugs and Kisses,
Baby Bird

Sunday, August 14, 2011

NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliners : Via Veneto and Madison Ave.

         I'd like to take a moment before I start my NARS Larger than Life Long-Wear eyeliner review to tell you that I've got BSB's Larger than Life CD cranked up as I write this. I couldn't help it. The urge was too great. I have a soft spot for both eyeliner and blast-from-the-past-music.

         If there's one thing I'm utterly dependent on, it's black eyeliner and heaps of mascara. I have a small collection of eyeliner greats which includes MUFE 0L, Urban Decay 24/7, and Bobbi Brown's Black Ink gel liner. I don't need more black liner. When I heard that NARS was taking a stake in an already saturated eyeliner market, I wasn't too interested. However, after reading Karlasugar's positive review, I had to try them for myself. Could the NARS Larger than Life eyeliners really offer something new?

          In short, yes! I bought NARS Larger than Life eyeliner in Via Veneto (black) and Madison Ave. (stormy grey). I took them on a test drive for the past few days and it's love. They're impossibly saturated and long lasting. The fact that they are twist-ups add icing on top of the cake. Eyeliners tend to crease and fade on my eyes over the course of a day, even if I've used a primer. NARS Via Veneto did not. Even after a 12 hour day there was no creasing, and the color remained strong. It was amazing. The color did fade, but it was no where near as much as my other liners. After several hours of use, there was a very slight amount of running at the edges of my eyes where I had winged out the liner. Again, this is typical of my other liners and NARS performed better than the rest.

          I bought NARS Madison Ave. with the intention of using it to line my lower lashline. Usually I prefer to use a brown or grey to line the outer 1/3 of my lower lashline since black is too harsh. When I tried Madison Ave. on the lower lashline, I found it was too intense! My other grey liners appear as shadows, however Madison Ave. was insanely pigmented for a grey. I can use it to liner my upper lashline as an alternative to black. Since Via Veneto is such a strong black, I find that Madison Ave. is a great alternative on more casual days. Today I decided to be brave and wear Madison Ave. without eyeshadow primer. I never wear eyeliner without primer because it's a recipe for disaster. Within one hour my liner will crease and smudge away. Lo and behold, the eyeliner did not budge! There was no immediate creasing or smudging away. The color lasted reasonably well for 4-6 hours. I was ecstatic.

          Overall, I give this eyeliner an A+. It's better than anything else I have.

        A cool feature that the eyeliners come with is a tip sharpener. This sharpener is tucked into the end of the pencil. You pull it out. Because the pencil is a twist-up, I find that the liner is already thin enough for my liking. It is nice to have the option of sharpening though. Most standard pencil sharpeners butcher soft eyeliner tips. I bet this one would work a lot better.

          One of the things that sold me on the Larger than Life eyeliners was the twist-up tip. I love twist up eyeliners. They're convenient and easy, plus you don't lose product due to sharpening. If I have a pencil eyeliner in heavy rotation during one week, it can shrink a good half a cm in length! Additionally, if you forget to sharpen your liner, the sharp edges of the casing can tug at your eyelid. That hurts. I had only one twist up eyeliner prior to this. I reached for it all the time just because of that function (and not the quality of the liner).

        In the photos below you can see what the liner tips look like after use. I like to show the used versions of my products. This is because a) I'm too eager to use them and b) it's more helpful to see what happens when you use them. You can see that NARS Via Veneto has completely lost its point. (The small shimmer particles are residue from my eyeshadow. Via Veneto is a matte black). I don't plan on sharpening the tip since the line is adequately thin enough for my liking.

         NARS Madison Ave. is a stormy matte grey that leans blue. NARS Via Veneto is blackout black. See swatches below.

         I've compared Via Veneto and Madison Ave. to other black and grey pencil liners I own. Each swatch was approximately three swipes of the pencil liner. You can see from my swatches that NARS Via Veneto is blacker than Make Up Forever (MUFE) 0L and Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Zero. I was quite surprised since MUFE and UD are quite black already. NARS Madison Ave. is considerably more saturated than MUFE 21L and MUFE 1L. It is also cooler and more blue.

         After photographing my swatches, I performed an informal wear test (a.k.a washing my arm). If you've ever tried washing off eyeliner swatches, you'll know it's not easy. Regular soap did nothing. Foaming makeup cleanser helped a little. Finally I used some olive oil to help dissolve the colors. Urban Decay 24/7 dissolved first, but NARS and MUFE 0L held on longer.

          I hope you enjoyed my review of the NARS Larger than Life eyeliners! I'm certainly enjoying the eyeliners. To be honest, it makes me nervous to put out an overly positive review so early on. I don't want to mislead anyone. If I do find negatives after long term use, I'll be certain to update this entry. The color selection at this point is limited and a bit flashy for my taste. I believe I saw two new colors (a blue and a gold) in a preview of the NARS Holiday 2011 collection. I'm hoping they add some more wearable cool-toned neutrals over time. Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear any thoughts you have on these liners (both positive and negative) in the comments below.

Happy Monday.

Love, Dovey.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

LUSH Mask of Magnaminty Review

          A couple weeks ago I was examining my pores (glamorous, I know), when a thought popped into my mind: "I need a mud mask!"For a few years I had completely forgotten about mud masks. I remember throwing out the dried and cracked remains of my last tub of Bath and Body Works Neem mask when I moved. I simply forgot to replace it. In the meantime, I exfoliated and peeled the heck out of my face in my attempts to clear my skin. While these techniques are wonderful at improving skin, they do not perform the same function as a mud mask. Nothing clears out pores like mud.

          I am a LUSH fanatic, so I decided the first mask I would try was  LUSH Mask of Magnaminty. I promptly went to the store and bought the biggest tub I could get my hands on. LUSH has a range of facemasks, however Mask of Magnaminty is the only one containing clay. The mask has an expiration date 4 months after it was made. This means by the time you buy it in-store, it expires in 3-4 months. LUSH products often come with expiration dates since they contain numerous "fresh" ingredients. This time frame didn't deter me, since I plan on using it at least twice a week. I figured I could also use it on Mr. Lovey once in a while. Guys need to have good skin too! Currently I store mine in the fridge. The cold temperature will slow down deterioration and make it last a bit longer.

          LUSH Mask of Magnaminty is a mud mask that's enhanced by the addition of mint and aduki beans. The mint gives a really refreshing feel to the mask. However, I am a person who loves the smell and taste of mint. If mint isn't your thing, you may not like this.  The coarsely crushed aduki beans serve to lightly exfoliate your face when you wash the mask off. The beans are quite large, so the exfoliation is not comparable to the type you'd get from smaller particles like salt. At first I didn't like the feeling of the beans and would wash them off instead of attempting to exfoliate. Later, when I got used to them, I began to enjoy them more. The effect is somewhat like a massage. There are other ingredients such as honey and essential oils which are soothing to the skin. You can see a complete list of ingredients in my photo below.

          Some of you might remember that I have skin that is sensitive to a range of cosmetics. I'm pleased to report that this mask is actually quite calming for my skin. My face feels really soft and looks beautiful after use. In addition to routine use, I have also used this when I have a bad skin day. For example, last week I tried NARS Oil-Free primer and found it didn't agree with my skin. After removing my makeup, I applied Mask of Magnaminty to calm the skin and potentially remove any traces of irritants that were left. LUSH also likes to promote the idea that Mask of Magnaminty is great for hangovers. I can't personally attest to this idea though!

Ingredients found in LUSH mask of magnaminty
Note: The mint sprig is purely a serving suggestion. It doesn't come with the tub!

          The texture of Mask of Magnaminty is soft and paste-like. You can see the chunks of aduki beans in the photo below. The mask consistency and addition of beans causes the mask to apply as a relatively thin layer. I prefer a thicker layer on some parts of my face, so I simply build it up in those areas. If a mask is too thin, it might not have enough pulling power to clean out some of the more difficult pores.

          I hope you enjoyed my review of LUSH Mask of Magnaminty. I love the refreshing feel and soothing ingredients, as well as what it does for my skin. It's something I forsee purchasing again. Do you have any favorite masks? I'm relatively inexperienced in the mask-world and could always use suggestions!

Love, Dovey.

Friday, August 12, 2011

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Ceylan (Light6)

          I'm the proud new owner of a bottle of NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Ceylan (Light 6). Finding a foundation that I can trust on my sensitive skin is an arduous process. I must have tested my Sheer glow samples for almost a month before committing to a color. In this review, I'll describe my thoughts on the formula, packaging, and color of my NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Ceylan.

          I chose NARS Sheer Glow because it has a large following. When it comes to foundation, popularity is a reasonable measure of quality. A big concern of mine is skin sensitivity. Fortunately, I didn't find many negative reviews from people with sensitive skin. So far, I think this foundation agrees relatively well with my skin. It doesn't give me cystic acne or bumps all over my face, which are reactions that have happened to me before. When I tested the samples, my skin was relatively comfortable. I can't say with absolute certainty that there is no reaction because my face is currently unhappy. I think it's likely due to my new primer, setting powder and/or hormones, however I can't completely rule out the foundation.

         NARS Sheer Glow doesn't have sunscreen. This is a big plus for sunscreen sensitive people like me. Nowadays it's difficult to find good foundation without sunscreen. Sheer glow also photographs incredibly well.

          NARS has two foundation formulas: Sheer Glow and Sheer matte. The names are self-explanatory. Sheer glow gives a natural glowy finish, while sheer matte gives a matte finish. Sheer Glow is the more popular of the two. I've tried both and I prefer the finish of sheer glow. If the word "glow" has you running for the hills, you're not alone. I was hesitant as well because "glow" is often a euphemism for shiny or oily. I'm pleased to report that the "glow" in Sheer Glow is an actual natural glow. It's reminiscent of the nice glow I get from Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. Online reviewers often suggest that people with oilier skin should avoid Sheer Glow. However, I disagree. I think Sheer Glow has a good capacity for oil control. Normally, my T-zone can get quite shiny, especially in the summer. Chanel VA is great for me in the winter, however it gets slick really quickly in the summer. It takes a lot longer for oil to show on my Sheer Glow foundation. With powder, the foundation can last several hours before requiring blotting. Furthermore, Sheer Glow can look a little dry on my clean skin when first applied. I would guess that people with dry skin should avoid Sheer Glow more than those with moderately oily skin. I've read / heard a few reviews that corroborate this idea.

         The color range of NARS foundations is thought to be quite comprehensive. The colors lean slightly more yellow than other ranges. I find that the color of my NARS Sheer Glow does not oxidize greatly over time. (Foundations oxidation drives me nuts).

         NARS Sheer glow foundation comes in a glass packaging a rubberized plastic cap. The rubberized cap can come off to reveal a small screw-on cap. When I received my packaging the screw-on cap wasn't tightly capped, so there was some foundation on the inner lip of the bottle. I thought this was a one-time problem, but it may be an issue every time. Even though I screw the inner cap on tightly, there is inevitably foundation left on the inner sides of the cap. This may be because I shake the bottle before use. Foundation on the cap runs slightly down the inner sides of the cap and transfers to the bottle lip when I close it. This is a minor issue with little mess. Has anyone had this experience as well?

          There NARS bottle design receives a lot of criticism because it lacks a pump. Because of this, and the cap issues above, it can get a little messy to use. I talked to a SA about this, and she says she uses hers without a pump because the bottle needs to be shaken beforehand. After shaking you can cover the opening with your index finger and invert/shake the bottle. That way, you'll have a "finger-full" of foundation, which is enough to cover a significant area of skin. I usually need two "finger-fulls" of foundation to cover my face. I imagine you could do a similar thing with a sponge. Pouring this foundation seems like a bad idea. Less is more. There is a pump sold on the NARS website. I'm considering purchasing it, although I could live without it.

          Finally, I'll compare swatches of the two colors I tested. NARS Sheer Glow foundation in Ceylan (Light 6) and Fiji (Light 5). They're consecutive colors in the NARS color range. Fiji is for light skin with yellow undertones, while Ceylan is for light to medium skin with yellow undertones. I initially tested Fiji but found it was too dark yellow/orange on my skin. After reading reviews online, I decided to go with Ceylan. By number order,  Ceylan is supposedly darker than Fiji. However, you can see from my swatches below that this not the case!

          I'm happy with Ceylan as a fit for my skin. In some lights it looks the teeniest bit too yellow. You can see my skin has a slight pinkish cast in my swatch below. However, this is splitting hairs. I prefer to look slightly more yellow than slightly more pink or orange. It looks healthier. If all goes well, I plan on sampling Deauville (Light 3) or Gobi (Light 2) when it becomes winter.

         Overall, I'm happy I found a photogenic, SPF-free, skin-friendly foundation. Let me know if you've tried this one and have any thoughts. I'd love to hear them! Thanks for reading =)

Love, Dovey.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NARS Luxor Multiple

           By popular demand, I'm finally posting my review of the NARS Luxor Multiple. I've been dragging my feet because scraping up ideas for this entry was a bit challenging. After my last post, I was encouraged by many of your comments to just do it!

          I love the name, NARS Luxor. The Luxor pyramid  is an unexpected sleek black monument on the LasVegas strip. It's minimalist, yet very Vegas. NARS Luxor is a demure pale pink, but it has a cool iridescence that gives it a flashy vibe. Like all the multiples, Luxor is a cream product in a swivel stick. It has a cream to powder formulation. This means it goes on like a cream, but the finish is like a powder. A complaint that people have concerning multiples is the lasting power of the product. I don't find this to a huge problem for me with Luxor or Copacabana. I'm use these products to highlight, so they are subtle to begin with. By the end of the workday I can still see highlighting left. I apply over foundation and powder; this likely factors into lasting power. Direct face application would be short lived. Application in an oilier location without powder underneath can result in miniscule liquid-like pools that aren't ideal. That happened to me once when I wasn't using powder and applied it to brighten my under-eye area. However, the problem is easily averted with a little powder.

          I normally use NARS Luxor on my upper cheekbones, brow-bone, bridge of nose, and near the inner corners of my eyes. Application is fast because I'm using just one product and no brushes. If you go to a NARS counter, they will likely apply the stick directly to your face and blend out. Sometimes it will be applied underneath your foundation then blended out. I think this is too much. It might put you in danger of oiliness or sliding. If you want to apply underneath foundation, the NARS illuminators are more suited for that purpose. I prefer to use my index finger to warm the product slightly then apply. The iridescent pink is sheer, so it looks natural in places other than the cheeks. In fact, using the same highlighter in different areas gives a more unified look to the face. Luxor might look more natural than a white highlighter for people who naturally have a hint of pink in their skin. Overall, I find the NARS Luxor multiple to be a really convenient product and pretty color on my skin.

         NARS Multiples are supposed to be used on eyes, lips, and face. I was a skeptic of this principle because it sounds pretty ridiculous. To see if it worked, I tried (at home) using Luxor on my eyelids, cheeks, and lips. The result wasn't that bad. It was an enhanced version of my natural face. Highlighting cheeks is the obvious use for Luxor, however it looked quite nice on my eyes. On my lips, it was a little too frosty for my taste. It would be best suited dabbed in the center of the lips. I doubt I'll ever use the multiple as my sole product, but I'm inspired to experiment with them more.

          I've compared NARS Luxor multiple to NARS Copacabana multiple. They are the two lightest multiples and are primarily used as highlighters. Luxor appears pink and cool-toned in the tube, while Copacabana is beige with a silvery sheen.

          In the swatches, both Luxor and Copacabana are more subtle than in their stick forms. Keep in mind that I've swatched both quite heavily to demonstrate color.  NARS Luxor looks more similar to its stick form in the swatch. The result is a light iridescent pink that looks fresh when applied. NARS Copacabana looks more silvery because the beige base has blended into my skin. The result is a more candle-lit glow.

          NARS Luxor and Copacabana are my only two multiples. I'm quite sold on the multiple experience so I'll be picking up more in the future, provided I don't find myself to sensitive to them. Maldives (pink champagne), Palm beach (warm bronze), and Laguna are high on my list. Do you have any multiples or multiple lemmings?

          I hope you enjoyed this entry! Thank you to everyone who suggested I write it. Feedback, suggestions, and requests are always welcome.

Love, Dovey