Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NARS Outremer

          Mesmerizing. That best describes NARS Outremer eyeshadow single. Despite all logical reason, I knew I had to have this ultramarine shadow. I'm quite conservative in my shadows and Outremer is the equivalent of eyes-gone-wild. My obsession grew over time, as they often do when you've seen the forbidden fruit months before its release. I was so nuts over this color that I spent one of my precious few questions at Francois Nars' book signing on the topic of Outremer (more on that later).

          Though I had no idea how exactly I was going to use Outremer, I could tell it was going to look stunning on brown-eyed girls. After all in makeup color theory, we know that blue is the classic color to bring out browns. This made me secretly gleeful, as I'm always envious of how so many colors seem to bring out blue, grey, and green eyes =P. I had no idea how to work the color, so I had a NARS artist demonstrate for me, and I have instructions in my previous entry. I think many have tried Outremer alone, radiating outwards, which is a similar idea to the Fall campaign cover model. In terms of blending colors, maroon, plum, black, bronze, and silver taupe complement Outremer nicely. If you notice, they're mostly striking or metallic tones. I think blending in your standard medium neutral tones wouldn't do Outremer any favors. The color needs to be be preserved and complimented/contrasted with colors that can match that intensity.

          For examples of bloggers with Outremer eyes, take a peek at Getting Cheeky, Temptalia, and Makeup and Beauty Blog. On another note, I believe that MAC Atlantic Blue is a reasonable dupe. I don't own it, but I did compare in-store, and they are quite similar.

The ultramarine is so intense. Every time I gaze in, I almost feel like I'm being sucked into the little pan (a la pensieve in Harry Potter).

          On my last entry, I went on a ramble describing how sheer eyeshadow can be a good thing if done well. Outremer is also sheer, although not in the "good way" I was talking about with the NARS Grand Palais duo. In the swatch below I've applied Outremer in light and heavy swatches with a eyeshadow brush over UDPP. You can see the light swatch is incredibly sheer and a little patchy. The heavy swatch shows a lovely color; though keep in mind it took my nearly 10 swipes with the brush to get there! High maintenance (coined by Jessica of Getting Cheeky) is the perfect phrase to describe it. To get around the sheer/patchy issue, one could either use a stickier base, like a cream shadow or concealer, or use a wet brush. When a wet brush is used, the color goes intensely, just like in the pan. Very pretty.

Light and heavy swatches of NARS Outremer eyeshadow on UDPP.

Washed out Outremer, just for pretty picture's sake.
          Now, I'll return to my Francois Nars tale. As he was signing my three books and cheek kit, I squeezed in as many questions as (semi) politely possible. One dealt with Outremer, my obsession at the time. I asked what the inspiration behind the color was, after all bright ultramarine blues don't just pop out of nowhere. Mr. Nars nicely responded that the color was inspired by Klein blue. Klein blue is an ultramarine blue mixed and made famouse by the (of-course-French) artist Yves Klein's monochromatic works (see them here). You can see that he often used the human body itself as a "paintbrush." I'm sure so much makeup is inspired by art; I just wish I could know all the back-stories behind each color.

          With that in mind, I though I would be wonder-blogger and post a photo of a Yves Klein artwork, however this didn't work out as I'd imagined. The Kleins weren't on display, boo. So I did the next best thing, took a step back in history and found beautiful blues in French impressionist works (which, by the way weren't in short supply). Outremer means overseas, so I took the water theme to heart.

The Beach at Sainte-Addresse. Painting by Monet, photo by me.
Seascape. Painting by Renoir, photo by me.
          So in summary, Outremer is a beautiful ultramarine shadow that is a bit finicky. To be honest I haven't gotten much use from it yet. I love it as a wet liner, and I'm sure I'll love it as wet shadow; however using shadows wet causes me to worry about its lifetime. I suspect that before reading this review most will already have made up their minds on the love it or leave it matter. So, I hope you enjoyed my photos review and random ramblings regardless of how you feel about the color. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

Love, Dovey


  1. It's so magnificent that it's inspired by Klein blue! God I love that man.

    Your picture of Outremer with the berries is magnificent! The different colors in the shadows show the depth of the color.

    ♥ Jessica

  2. That blue is almost blindingly bright! <3 it!

  3. Another way I have tried it - as an outer V shade paired with a peach shadow. It came out very dark. Maybe I'll use a damp brush next time.

    Great shots!

  4. This is a beautiful blue - too intense for me, I fear!

    I'd love to see you wearing this!

  5. *lol* now that's a blue! I would be scared to wear it, but I really like your heavy swatch of it, it totally doesn't look flat!

  6. Its almost too pretty!
    My brown eyes may be calling this for me :D


  7. Thanks for discussing the inspiration! It's always so fun to hear about how they come up with colours, etc. Also loved the HP reference - trying to see the last movie again soon!

  8. Really beautiful colour, I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to wear it, though. Your review and photos are excellent and the Francois Nars tale is great too. It's nice to know what inspired the colour!

  9. Great post. You have such a love for NARS' products, it's great to see. I'm glad he answered your question about the inspiration of the eye shadow, that's amazing!

  10. Aw, it's nice to hear that he answered your question! I really love out outrageously blue Outremer is.

  11. What lovely photos! I have yet to wear Outremer in any other way except as a liner, but may try to get a little more adventurous with it soon :)

  12. Jessica- I second what you said. IT sounds so much better than what I said =P

    LauraJean - I know, it's really, really intense.

    Lexi- ooooo, def. gonna try that next time.

    JAmilla- you're the queen of makeup, nothings' too intense =P

    Blusherine- that's a good point, it definitely doesn't look flat.

    Rachel- yay brown eyed girls!!!

    Alex - yay for HP! LOVED IT.

    Nat - thank you! I'm not brave enough half the time.

    StealMyHeartLove - Thanks, I'm a NARS fiend. His colors are just spectacular.

    Larie- I know, I was quite excited myself =P

    Makeup Magpie - It makes quite a good liner, so even with that I'd be happy!

  13. Love the way you took the pics of Outremer! it didnt at all look "Washed", it looks soo pretty. Lighting brings out the true tones of colors! I cant stand when I see photos of products in dark/dim lighting and it looks black!the brighter the beter! the brights will appear bright and the darks willa ppear dark! so kudos on your pics!
    Also, soemone was saying how it came out darker when they applied it to their lids. USE A BASE! it makes such a difference! use a primer/paintpot/etc. If you watch the makeup tutorials online you will see that the people who use NYX jumbo eye pencil in "milk" all over their eyes and than use the eyeshadow..really have the colors pop! so please use a base, or the color will darken on your lids! a base is vital.
    My last comment is on the "eyecolor" issue. Brown eyes are the only eye color that can rock any eyeshadow color. :D
    there is nothing more beautiful than those wide beautiful gazelle like eyes of kim kardashian,sarah lime,anne hathaway,etc.
    the beauties are brown eyed..they even sing ot the brown eyed beauties in cultures worldwide!
    Nars outremer is only one of the colors that look lovely with brown eyes!
    I actually have Nars Outremer! its beautiful!each of NARS eyeshadows look like tiny pieces of art. You definetly get more bang for your buck when it comes to Nars,MAC,Smashbox,Makeupforever,Illamasqua,etc


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