BRAND FOCUS: NARS

I’ve have a good old fashioned think about this and I reckon if I were only allowed to use one brand for the rest of my life, it’d have to be NARS. Gather round and I shall tell you the tale of how I’ve come to decide upon this.

The overall aesthetic of NARS has a very strong appeal to me. First off, the rubberized, clean lined packaging has a simple, modern vibe that I love. But more importantly, I love the intention behind the brand. It has such a beautiful, artistic feel to it – much more high fashion than you see a lot of brands daring to go in an industry that caters predominantly to us common folk. What’s more is that NARS really doesn’t specialize in one particular area. They don’t just do a great foundation or a great lip, they’re strong all around. With that in mind I’m going to break it down.

Base
When it comes to NARS foundations I’m all about their older formulas. As I’ve mentioned many times before, the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is my favourite foundation. I also find Sheer Glow to be exceptional. Their Velvet Matte Skin Tint and All Day Luminous Weightless foundations are nice, but they can be more challenging to work with. Their ever-popular Creamy Concealer is more versatile than most. It works well under the eyes and for covering blemishes. There’s not a lot of concealers that can do both like a boss.

Cheeks
While NARS is famous for their classic blush formula, I’m more excited by the Dual Intensity Blushes. They can be used wet or dry and they have a much more ethereal glow to them. I find Orgasm and many of the other original blushes to be a bit glittery. Of course their Laguna Bronzer is a favourite among a lot of people. It’s not that the formula is ground breaking, it’s that the colour is on point. It isn’t at all orange and contains actual olive tones. Hallelujah. As for highlight, it’s all about their Liquid Illuminators. Copacabana is like liquid metal. It’s gawwwjus.

Eyes
The Larger Than Life Longwear Eyeliners are a really lovely formula that you can depend on not to move around – a winner in my books. Their eyeshadows are good, but nothing to write home about, with the exception of their metallic finish Hard Wire Eyeshadows. Their Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base however is incredible. It’s the only eye primer I’ve tried that has kept my shadow in place all day. I can’t recommend it enough. I can’t resist pointing out one negative though, their Audacious mascara is crap. That brush was the worst, eye-stabby idea I’ve ever seen (and then not seen, due to the eye stabbing).

Lips
This is the most exciting bit of the brand to me. They have ever formula and every colour you could want for lips. I’ll start by mentioning the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. They’re bold, intense, ultra-matte and they last for ages on the lips. Damn they’re high fashion. I mean Dragon Girl and Train Bleu… who designed those gems?! You deserve an award good sir/ma’am. Their counterpart, the Satin Lip Pencils, are also stunning and much more comfortable to wear. Their original lipstick formula is the one “meh” in the range, and is easily overshadowed by the Audacious formula. The Audacious has it in the bag with the creamy texture and intense pigment. The shade range in their glosses is beautiful and the formula is nice, but if you’re looking for a unique gloss, then it’s got to be the Velvet Lip Glides. They’re highly pigmented and they really do feel like they glide on your lips. It’s hard to know how else to describe them

Bits and Bobs
I couldn’t wrap things up without mentioning a couple more miscellaneous products. The Ita brush is the bomb dot com for contouring. The brush hairs aren’t exceptionally soft or anything, but the density, the shape and flexibility of the hairs make for the perfect equation. The Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover is also out of this world. It breaks down waterproof eye makeup in an instant, without any irritation. It’s safe for lash extensions too.

If you could only pick one brand what would it be? I’m so curious to know what people think are the most well rounded brands.

 

  • i really love the nars blushes but i have never tried the dual intensity blushes, they sound fab!
    m0llylouise.com

    • Definitely worth a go. I’m not as big a fan of the dual intensity eyeshadows. I think the formula works better for blush.

  • Lucy Birchall

    NARS has always been THE brand for me too. I think before Charlotte Tilbury launched her make up line, I would have confidently said that but now both sit side by side, maybe NARS ever so slightly above CT. The aesthetic is spot on, and you’re so right about the earlier formula bases! Sheer Glow is incredible. Newer bases like Matte Skin Tint and Luminous Weightless? Nah.
    Really eager to try their new primers, and STILL need to bit the bullet and purchase an Audacious lipstick!
    Lucy x
    She’s So Lucy // Healthy Lifestyle & Beauty

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels that way about their foundations. I feel like people have raved so much about their new foundations and I just don’t totally get it. I mean they’re nice, but nothing special to me. Whereas, the TM and Sheer Glow looks good on literally everyone I’ve applied it to.
      I was lucky because I got one of the Audacious lipsticks in gratis. I don’t know that I would have forked over the money otherwise. Damned expensive. But so nice.
      Also, what would be your #1 Charlottle Tilbury product? I you were going to buy just one thing?

  • It really is such a solid, well curated line isn’t it? Like you though, the mascara is a huge letdown to me. I can’t live without mascara in my life so that would be enough to knock NARS from top spot for me! I do love the dual intensity blushes, and the single shadow Mekong is one of my favourite shadows of life. Oh and the shadow primer… it is THE BEST (and I’ve tried them all lol).
    I’d say my fave brand would have to go to Charlotte Tilbury, simply because I could do a complete full face and love the outcome every time.
    Jaime | girllovesgloss.com

    • Holy crap I just googled Mekong and it looks INSANE. How have I never looked at it at work?! I will be playing with that first thing tomorrow!
      I wish we had Charlotte Tilbury at Sephora. I want to get a chance to play around with things properly without having someone hoping they’ll make commission.

  • Loved this post! Such a good idea to focus on Nars as a brand- would love to see more of these kinds

    Ellie
    http://www.petiteelliee.com

    • Duly noted! Any particular brand you’re curious about?

  • I think you nailed it with your description of the different NARS products they have to offer. I think makeup wise, another brand I’m pretty much loving at this point is Charlotte Tilbury – most things I’ve tried I have not been disappointed by – their lipsticks are the true winners in my book. I’m looking to try more from BECCA but I also think they may be up there in ranking as their products are always phenomenal.

    Cindy | http://www.cindyhyue.com

    • That’s two people now for Charlotte Tilbury. We don’t have it where I work so I haven’t really had a chance to play with it. I need to go have a poke around at a counter. Everyone raving about that powder if making me itch to try it.