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making faces :: nars spring 2012- the eyes have it


i've been trying to be more responsible about my cosmetics purchases lately. and by "more responsible", i mean that i've been buying less and making sad eyes and dom in the hopes that he'll be impressed with my new found restraint and buy me presents. so far, this plan hasn't yielded a lot of results, but the cats have promised to help me with the sad eyes training.

all this to say that, if i'd had my druthers [i'm assuming that druthers is an archaic word for lots of money], i would have bought every single thing in the nars spring collection. well, every single thing but one, but still. it's that good. now, the great thing about nars is that the huge majority of their seasonal releases become permanent and even the ones that don't tend to live a long life on the company web site. i have to say that while that may mean that i buy things more slowly than i do with other companies whose limited releases are often limited to the day they're released [yes, mac cosmetics, i'm talking about you], i'm very happy to have the option of taking my time. and, when my druthers do arrive, i plan on going back for some serious second helpings of this collection.

as far as i'm aware, the only the "douce france" eye shadow trio is limited edition [and even then, i'm not 100% sure], whereas all the other goodies get rolled into the permanent line. bless you francois nars and your lovely marketing team i'd be happy to join if you were based in montreal.

PRODUCTS! SWATCHES! COMPARISONS! AFTER THE BREAK!



so although i've recently unveiled "responsible kate 2.0", i wasn't very well going to just pass on everything, especially when it's all so hypnotically pretty. so i chose to grab the two things that i felt i absolutely couldn't live without: the new eye shadow duo "paramaribo" and the single eye shadow "lhasa".

lhasa
starting smaller, "lhasa" is described as a "lavender grey", which is pretty spot-on. it's the sort of neutral-but-special shade that people clamour for and i can just say that if this hadn't been made permanent, there would have been riots in the street. there's really not that much i can say about this shade that other bloggers haven't said before me: it showcases everything that nars does well. it's lovely and pigmented, it's soft, it retains it's nuanced nature when applied, it lasts all day with very little fading, it blends perfectly... when nars gets a shadow right [which is actually a majority of the time], they get it really right.

while i think it's the sort of shade that pretty much anyone can wear [that's why they call 'em "neutrals"!], i was especially thrilled to note how "lhasa" agrees with my eye colour. my eyes are either blue or grey depending on what the weather is like, how much sleep i've had, what i'm wearing, and a whole bunch of other factors that basically add up to the fact that my eyes don't actually have a colour, they just kind of hover on the fringes. i'm a little gun shy when it comes to shades of blue or bluer shades of purple, although i love them, because those can tend to make my eyes look all washed out and, what's worse, they tend to emphasise my dark circles. the end effect can be sort of dead doll eyes that have been punched. it's not a good look for anyone.

but the grey tones in "lhasa" mute the blue and, as a result, my eyes look super-bright in comparison. i've tried this shade on the lid and in the crease and outer corners and in both cases, i get the same effect. "lhasa" loves me.

but i'm quite sure that "lhasa" has enough love to go around. not that it's slutty or anything.

there are shades that are similar, but i find that a lot of them are more along the lines of "complementary" shades rather than duplicates. mac's "hypnotizing", released with their "shop/ cook" spring collection [which is itself extremely impressive] was the closest i came in terms of finding a match. "hypnotizing" is more purple and has a sparkly finish that makes them easily distinguishable. if you like these sorts of shades, there's no reason not to own them both. if you don't where these that often, you could live with one or the other, depending on your preference.

a number of people have said that "lhasa" reminds them of chanel's "fauve" and looking at it in the pan, i thought they might be on to something, but swatched side by side, it's easy to see that "fauve" is much darker and has a much more brown/ red base. i think they'd look lovely together.

i also thought that nars "ashes to ashes" [quite possibly my favourite neutral taupe ever] looked close, but it's much more brown when you see them side by side. again, they work nicely used as a pair, but they're not dupes at all.

l to r :: mac hypnotizing [l.e.], lhasa, chanel fauve, nars ashes to ashes


"paramaribo", named after the capital city of suriname, is this collection's eye duo. i really don't know what it is, but something about the nars shadow duos in particular makes me weak in the knees. i've bought three of the last four to come out plus several from the regular line. and i have to stop myself from reaching for one of these little beauties every day. i'm the same way about hourglass shadow duos, but nars has a clear advantage in terms of colour range and they keep adding more little beauties. and i keep buying them.

paramaribo
to tempt me this time, they came up with a combination of a tarnished gold and khaki bronze, two colours that i already find it difficult to resist. apparently, the combination is very close to the previous nars duo "star sailor", although i don't have that to compare. i can say that both shades are very richly pigmented with a lot of shimmer to them. perhaps surprisingly, they both sheer out fairly easily, so you don't need to worry about overdoing it. the colours in nars shadow duos contrast or complement each other and they do both equally well. these shades are decidedly complementary. they blend almost seamlessly into one another, giving a nice degradé effect. that certainly doesn't mean you can't use either colour with something else, but they look so nice together and it's so easy to use them for a quick look that it might take you a while to get around to experimenting.

the world does not want for gold and khaki shades and i do not claim to have anything close to a comprehensive collection. i looked at a few of the shades i did have and what i found was that both the shades in "paramaribo" had something that made them stand out. [your results may vary.] the gold shade was greener than other colours i had that seemed similar [mac's "sun blonde" and le metier de beauté's "chameleon"], the khaki shade had a more gold/ bronze tone than other similar shades- chanel's "khaki vert" [which is also much darker], mac's "sumptuous olive" and a limited edition mac shade "mink & sable".

l to r :: mac sun blonde [l.e.], metier chameleon, paramaribo


l to r :: paramaribo, chanel khaki vert, mac sumptuous olive, mac mink & sable

as with "lhasa", i found that a lot of the shades i pulled for comparison are ones that might work in combination with the colours in "paramaribo", but they didn't look alike.

the overall effect is warm, although i don't think that this puts the colours off-limits to cooler-toned complexions. the greenish tinge to both shades keeps them a fairly safe bet across complexions. and the pigment is certainly enough to wear across light and dark skin tones.

of course, once i'd grabbed these little goodies, i made myself stop. despite the fact that there is a gorgeous hot pink "gloss stick" and a deep berry matte lipstick and a satin one that looks like the colour of deep caramel in the sun, despite the fact that there is a beautiful cool pink blush that would look perfect on my skin and a rosy eye shadow trio that seems like a springtime equivalent to last fall's "grand palais" shadow duo... despite all of this [i have to admit, i'd leave the soft touch shadow pencil, since i've had no luck working with the one that i have already- creases and smudges in minutes]... despite all of this, i was good and limited myself to two items that i know i'm going to be using a lot. both are the kind of thing that you can use on their own for something quick, or that you can combine with other elements. both are beautiful and will delight their owners for years to come.

so yes, if you're being good, these are absolutely the items i'd say are your best bets from the collection. but the fact is, if you're able to find someone to give you presents, you wouldn't go wrong with the blush, the shadow trio or any of the lip products either.

here's a look at both my new darlings in action!

foundation [for both] ::
mac prolongwear foundation "nc15"
smashbox high definition concealer "fair/ light"

"lhasa"

eyes ::
nars e/s "ashes to ashes" [cool mauve-taupe]
nars e/s "lhasa" [lavender-grey]
mac prolongwear e/s "keep your cool" [cool brown-charcoal]
mac e/s "all races"* [light dusty lavender]
mac e/s "pincurl"* [dirty off-white]
mac superslick liquid liner "smoky heir" [deep violet]
chanel inimitable intense mascara

cheeks ::
mac blush ombre "azalea blossom"* [cool violet-pink]

lips ::
guerlain rouge g "fuchsia délice"* [light cool pink]

*suggested alternates :: all races = nars tokyo [lavender side]; pincurl =  nars tokyo [silver side] or mac vellum [neither is a really great match, since pincurl is a fairly unique shade]; azalea blossom = nars gaiety [the spring collection blush- less purple]; fuchsia delice = mac sweetie
note :: all races [part of the "lady grey" shadow quad] and azalea blossom are still available at some mac locations and from www.maccosmetics.ca. fuchsia delice is still available from www.sephora.com.



"paramaribo"

eyes ::
nars e/s duo "paramaribo" [tarnished green-gold/ khaki bronze]
mac e/s "laundry daze"* [light white-yellow]
mac superslick liquid liner "desires & devices" [swampy green]
guerlain eye kohl "black"
chanel inimitable intense mascara

cheeks ::
mac beauty powder "play it proper"* [icy white-pink]
mac blush "amazon princess"* [deep rose]

lips ::
mac l/s "style curve"* [magenta-purple]

*suggested alternates :: laundry daze is part of the "colour added" eye shadow quad which is still available at pretty much all mac locations; play it proper is still available on the mac web site and will be rereleased next month- why substitute?; amazon princess = mac love thing + mac dollymix; style curve = mac violetta


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