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If I had to pick one brand I could use for the rest of my life, that’s called torture. Why would you make anyone do that?! But being half human, half paranoid – I actually spent one shower session thinking about this already. And guess what? It wasn’t such a torturous thought at all. It was quite easy to answer too – what with half my free time spent at beauty counters (the other half testing them and writing about them). So yes, my stranded-island brand (yeah, because if I get stranded on a desert island, I’ll need to think about which ONE brand to take along with me) – is none other than NARS.
NARS, not because it has the best products across the board – I’ve shared a few misses from them in this blog. But in general, it’s the brand which I was able to try different products of and found myself using everyday. From their bases (tinted moisturizer, foundations), eyeshadows (duos, palettes), blushes the Big O, do I even need to elaborate?), lipsticks (pre and post-Audacious era), eyebrow products down to their skincare (I wish they also sold their candles here!) – all solid hard-working products save for a few that are exceptions rather than the rule.
In photo: L-R: NARS Kauai, NARS Jolie Poupee, a gift from Bea
Their eyeshadow formulas are the most hit-or-miss for me. I don’t particularly have any issues with their blushes whether they’re in palette or single pans, but their eyeshadows – sigh. Shades in the singles and duos are outstanding, but when put in a palette, perform poorly and feel like they’re just there for the quantity.
However, when NARS wants to do good eyeshadow, they do it real good. Incredibly creamy without the pesky powdery fallout, crazily pigmented and disgustingly blendable – not to mention formulated in such beautiful shades that you end up feeling each one’s “OMG! unique!”. But seriously, despite the drawbacks, I still end up reaching for the NARSissist and Voulez Vous palettes more times than I thought I would.
My favorite shades – Fez (from NARSissist palette), Molokai (creamy white from Voulez Vous palette above), purple shade in the Kauai duo
In photo: NARS Orgasm, NARS Albatross, NARS Outlaw
Quite the famous range, these blushes need no introduction. NARS basically changed the definition of the Big O among ladies by selling one pan of that peachy pink with golden shimmer blush at a time – until there came a point that you’re not considered a lady if you hadn’t tried Orgasm on your cheeks. I’m proud to say I finished one whole pan of O in my lifetime – but that’s when I only had 5 products in my makeup kit for two years.
I don’t really know what to say of the blushes as they’re not revolutionary, but they come in a varied range that will make you think you need them all and that you’re not just wanting 50 shades of peachy pink. My only requirements with blush really are -easy to blend, long-lasting and doesn’t oxidize. NARS hits home on all three.
My favorite shades are Dolce Vita, Deep Throat (SMH) and Gina.
In photo: Above: NARS Satin Lip Pencils in Lodhi and Biscayne Park Below: NARS Audacious Lipstick in Vivien
Ahhh, their lipsticks! Probably one of my favorites from the brand! I’ve tried their Sheer (not for me), Semi-Matte and Pure Matte lipsticks, Satin and Velvet Matte lip pencils and of course, their newest addition to the family – the Audacious range. While most of the pre-Audacious lipsticks were quite drying on me, I still carried on wearing them because they’re so lightweight with the right amount of pigment. If I didn’t hold back as hard as I could every time I passed by a NARS counter, I would have way more of these dusty, torn down lip pencils in my stash – because they’re one of the few I deem Pokemon-y. You know, gotta catch em ‘all.
My favorites are Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella (which is currently misplaced HUHU), Satin Lip Pencil in Lodhi and Pure Matte Lipstick in Carthage.
Clockwise from upper left: NARS Tinted Moisturizer, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, NARS Laguna bronzer, NARS Brow Perfector
I’m all praises for NARS bases. Their Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer is just.. BOMB. Unlike most tinted moisturizers that only really feel like moisturizer, NARS covers up well without the added weight. It even feels lighter on than Laura Mercier’s famed one. The Sheer Glow foundation which I was given a sample pot to try was also gold (I’ve finished it up before I even got to review it, woops). It’s definitely not sheer, thought – it’s more medium with a semi-matte finish. The Radiant Creamy Concealer is not a cult favorite for nothing – while a tad drying on my already dry undereyes, it manages to do its concealing job well without fading just after an hour or two.
Other products I’ve tried and have hit pan on or almost at the brink of finishing up are the NARS Laguna bronzer which I use to contour and the Brow Perfector which is a great brow pencil – a bit too pricey knowing there are cheaper counterparts – but an amazing waxy ash brown pencil with a slight bit of wax perfect for drawing in natural-looking brows. It has a slight learning curve being not as pigmented and quite stiff at first, but after a few takes, you get the effect of a (sort of) brow gel creme.
And that is it for my best NARS products… ever (okay maybe for this year, I’m sure I’ll discover more next year)! Phew! I had to stop myself from rambling on too much because I could go on forever. NARS is just one of those brands you can’t go wrong with especially since it’s within reasonable price range. Note that I’m not saying affordable because Php1,650 for a lipstick is quite high – but it’s that you won’t feel bad about your purchases as the brand makes you feel like they’re worth every cent. It’s up to you to decide if it is ultimately. Now it’s your turn – if you could only use one brand of makeup, what would it be? Do share below! I’d also love to hear your favorite NARS products!
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