Some of my favorite products are from bottom left: Paris duo, Gilda blush, Copacabana Illuminator, Delux sample of Sheer Glow Foundation – Syracuse, South Beach Multiple, Afghan Red Lipstick and Sweet Revenge lip gloss.
Hello there lovely readers! I just wanted to take this moment to reflect on my favorite brand, as my introductory post.
It started with a big swivel bronzing/blush stick. I remember buying a Multiple, Cannes, a plum brown, I think. It wasn’t all that exciting and I really didn’t know how to use it correctly but I couldn’t resist it because I’m lazy and I love the idea of a multi-purpose beauty product (cheeks, eyes, lips). This was about 10-11 years ago and it was the introduction to my current makeup love, NARS. I remember seeing the name Francois Nars in the early 90’s as an editorial makeup artist alongside: Kevin Aucoin, Pat McGrath, Stephan Marais, Dick Page, just to name a few in my favorite beauty read, Allure magazine. It wasn’t until I saw a feature on the iconic Multiple stick and I reading about Isabella Rossellini teaching her (then young) daughter, Elettra Weidemann how to use the multi-use product on her face while they were makeup shopping.
I should have taken Isabella’s advice. Since I didn’t know the proper way to use it, I ended up tossing the Multiple out of pure frustration. It wasn’t until years later, I reconnected with the brand after growing tired of other brands. I remember being intrigued by the sleek, matte, black soft casing and white simple font of his last name NARS. The packaging alone exudes a downtown coolness – the kind of girl I always wanted to become and still would like to be, despite being a mom to a super fussy three year old girl.
About four years ago, I started small – Afghan Red (rich garnet) lipstick, Supervixen (sparkling mauve) lip gloss and the eyeshadow duo – Paris (gray/silver). I’ve spiraled out of control ever since then.
As a woman of color – Filipino/Dutch-Indonesian decent, I have a medium-dark skin-tone and it’s not only hard for me to find a foundation color without making my forehead look ashy but it’s also hard to get certain colors to look right on me. With NARS, I seldom have any problems. That is the main reason why I love the line – from the fairest porcelain complexion to the deepest Mahogany every color he offers can fit someone. You just need to have the patience and open mind to experiment with the entire line. The only restriction I can think of is foundation color, though there are ways around that. One of the best tricks I’ve learned from the NARS makeup artists is taking the powder foundation that’s at least two shades lighter than your skin and brushing it in a T-formation on your face (forehead, bridge of nose and just alongside the nostrils) to get an iridescent glow. Or, for a subtle glow, try a drop of the pearly Copacabana Illuminator in your tinted moisturizer or foundation.
I have very sensitive skin – certain lipsticks and glosses can leave my lips chapped and peeling the next day even if I only wore the product just the day before. Lucky for me, I have never experienced any itching/peeling with the lip products (knock on virtual wood). I have read and heard from others that the lipsticks and glosses have either a lack of scent or has a plastic-like scent – honestly, this never bothered me. I know that this has been a turn off to some. If my gloss doesn’t smell like Vanilla, Roses, Candy, Bacon, etc…it’s never been a deal breaker. Just as long as it doesn’t destroy my lips by the end of the night, I’m cool!
I love that some of these colors are intense – not for the faint of neutral hearts. One minute they are featured in a high-fashion, editorial look but then a corporate administrative assistant like me can translate that same color safely for the office. The price point is between Urban Decay and Chanel – not exactly on the inexpensive spectrum but I’d say its mid-range.
Here’s a look of the color intensity on my arm (for reference I wear NARS Sheer Glow Foundation – Syracuse, MAC NC42 or LM Tinted Moisturizer in Caramel):
Left to Right: Copacabana Illuminator, South Beach Multiple, Gilda Powder Blush, Paris eye shadow duo, Afghan Red lipstick, Sweet Revenge Lip Gloss
I don’t always wear these exact colors but my daily makeup look will always include a drop of the Illuminator in my tinted moisturizer, a NARS eye shadow, the blush (GILDA) and at least a NARS gloss layered on top of my lipstick. I know it sounds like a lot but I got this routine down in 10 minutes or less, unless my A.D.D. kicks in and I just get distracted by all the eye shadow shades.
As for the Multiple, I conquered my fear and I also use it almost daily. It makes a great layering base for other blushes – this is the only way I can get the iconic Orgasm blush (peach, pink with golden shimmer) to show up on my cheeks. I even purchased his latest book, Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself. Francois selected non-celebrity men and women to model makeup looks he personally photographed. I love this book – it really inspires me to play with my makeup (NARS and non-NARS brands) in a whole new way. It shows me that anything is possible.
Just like Francois says, “Don’t be so serious, it’s only makeup”
- M.I.S.S. Beauty: Recreate the Runway – NARS for Fabiola Arias Fall 2012
- M.I.S.S. Beauty Tip of the Week: Recreate the Runway – NARS for Marc Jacobs Fall 2012
- MISS Beauty Tip of the Week: Get Your Glow On….
- NARS Debuts at Paris Haute Couture: Bouchra Jarrar AW 2012
- NARS Beauty Report: NY Fashion Week SS’14