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The NARSissist Eye Palette: Swatches and A Quick Review!

It might not be news to some of you folks in the US, but NARS’ highly-anticipated NARSissist palette is coming to Singapore 3 Feb, and will be available for pre-orders on http://bit.ly/narsissist from 27 Jan 2014.

I won’t lie. The price-tag is hefty (S$115) and there are lots of different opinions as to whether it’s worth it, considering the countless “nude” palettes on the market.

I’m not going to make up your mind for you. It really depends on your budget, and what sort of pigmentation level you like with your eye makeup. I’ll just show you swatches and a super quick smoky eye done with the palette in 5 minutes.

The Breakdown:

  • Pigmentation: Medium. If you’re used to Urban Decay or Make Up For Ever, you might find this un-pigmented. But if you’re used to Bobbi Brown and Chanel, these will be much more pigmented. The main thing is the mattes are not too chalky, the darks are not too patchy, and most of the shades can be worn soft or built up to intensity without you having to wet them.
  • Colors: There are 3 mattes, 4-5 metallics, and the rest are a soft satin (not too shiny or matte) and the colors are split quite evenly between the pale, mid-tone and smoky. There are also 4 slightly cooler taupe/grey tones. Plenty of options for pretty much any neutral look you want.

Reasons to Get It.

  • You are a NARS fan. This is a great addition if you’re already a NARS fanatic of course. It’s as slick and chic as the rest of the line, AND you get so many wearable colors in one product that it will quickly become a work/daily staple.
  • You usually use Diors and Chanels but would like to dip a foot into the “jumbo neutral palettes” category. The satiny (between matte and pearl) textures in this palette are quite similar to what you’d find from Dior and Chanel, and are very flattering for mature or crepe-y eyelids, which don’t look good with chalky mattes or overly metallic sheen.
  • You’re just looking to invest good money in one neutral eye palette that is versatile, easy to use, and sturdy and chic enough to bring out with you, but you’re not keen to buy the same old Naked palette that everyone and her sister has.
  • As NARS says, you have “a bottomless makeup bag” and you can’t imagine not owning this.

Reasons Not to Get It.

  • You are on a tight budget. This is a 15-color eye palette from NARS. You know it is NOT going to be cheap. (Step away from the counter, sister!)
  • You already own Naked 1, Naked 2, Naked 3, and/or all of their alternatives and dupes. (Unless, of course, you are a complete nude palette fanatic with that “bottomless makeup bag” and the money isn’t a problem.)
  • You get paralyzed and don’t know what to do or where to start when you look at a trio or a quad. Much less a 15-color palette.

Final Verdict?

I like it. It’s very versatile, I love the satin textures (I ironically don’t own many satin shadows; they’re mostly full-on metallic or matte), and it’s not super-pigmented, but in a good way. If you tend to be heavy handed or you’re not yet an expert with eye makeup, you’re not very likely to make a big mess with this. The look above was done without any primer or base, using cheap brushes. I got no fallout and the dark shades went on quite intense, and blended out easily.

It’s good, but it’s not mind-blowing enough to say “run out and get it now” considering the hefty price tag. Unless of course, the money is no problem at all - in which case, I’d say it’s a pretty good palette to have!

#nars *.*

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PINK VELVET!

Ahhhhh… my favorite matte red liquid lip stain is Lime Crime’s Red Velvet from the Velvetines collection, and the company’s recently launched a deep fuchsia pink version called “Pink Velvet” that I was obviously dying to try.

Ta-daaaa….

It’s gorgeous. (The product is still slightly moist on my lip swatch. It eventually settles into a fully-matte velvety rich magenta pink that stays on for hours.)

If you’re a matte-pink lover, this is one product you just HAVE to try. It’s not as neon or bright as I’d feared. In fact, it’s like a more intense version of MAC’s Girl About Town in a Retro Matte finish (with a weightless feel). Which means it flatters most skin tones from pale to dark, and it’s more tolerable than typical matte lipsticks.

And that’s all I need to say about it!

Photo product details: OPI Shorts Story, Britney Spears Curious: In Control bottle, Kose Visee blush PK-5, iPhone in a “purse”-shaped rubber case from the $2 store.

#cute #pink #lips

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The Femme Fatale Toolkit - My Experience with Black Orchid

I live in a country where the national flower is an orchid. But I’ve never actually seen a black orchid and only recently realized it was an actual breed of flower (and not just a cool name). And they actually look frikkin’ cool in a slightly scary way.

I recently invested in my first bottle of Tom Ford fragrance (Black Orchid of course) and I have to say it’s an odd scent. 

For something that contains dark chocolate, vanilla and benzoin, it’s not sweet at all to me. In fact it’s VERY very dry, and very earthy. It smells like freshly-turned soil and dark 100% cocoa powder (go dip your nose in a tin of baking cocoa; it’s musty, bitter and a little bit powdery) more than candy. I can’t quite make up my mind about whether I dare to actually wear it out because this thing is STRONG and lasts for hours and hours, but some things sit right between beautiful and scary, and that’s the thing about Black Orchid that fascinates me. I imagine thus is what a vampire would smell like. Earth, blood and cocoa.

Whether you like Black Orchid or not, I was inspired to find a few easier-to-love (and more economical) beauty companions that share that same aesthetic, for the femme fatales among you.

  • Too Faced Poison Orchid - the name says it all. This black/purple duochrome is dramatic and gorgeous. If you have never swatched it, you HAVE to.
  • Givenchy Gloss Interdit 15 Velvet Purple - now a dark black purple lipstick is sorta cliché. Soften it up with some shine and translucence and you have a sexy winner!
  • Shu Uemura Calligraph:ink Liquid Eye Liner - this new baby is launching only in Feb 2014, and it’s a GLORIOUS brush-tip pen, shaped like Asian calligraphy brushes. (Think of a brush shaped like a felt tip.) You get the intensity of a brush liner, and the ease and precision of a felt tip.
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Black - this super versatile black cream is a dual-function cream shadow and liner. It’s just black, black, black, and you can smudge it out, or wear it dense. Super versatile, AND long wearing like all the other Aqua products once it sets.
  • Chanel Le Vernis 583 Taboo - a galaxy in a bottle; you get streaks of red, purple, indigo… you name it. 

Purple colors are always in trend :)