Jul 29 2014

Brand Spotlight: NARS Makeup Review


While I am familiar with the brand and own a few items, my makeup collection does not include a ton of NARS products. However, I’ve recently found myself in possession of several which are newer to me so I thought I’d do a collective NARS makeup review. I had so much fun testing out these products and putting this post together, that I’d like to make a little series out of it. Therefore, I will continue to occasionally review brands in groups. On the practical side of things, while I usually like to focus on reviewing one item, group reviews will also help me get through some of the many, many products I’m interested in as well as allow me to share more with you guys! Of course, I know that there is nothing new about this idea as I have been watching collective brand reviews on youtube and reading about them on blogs for years. Unlike my other Series which are posted quite randomly, I am going to try to do these Brand Spotlights bi-monthly. Finally, instead of including them in the “Special Features” section, I’ve decided they will be best placed in the menu under “Reviews” – “Brand Spotlight”. I hope you guys enjoy this approach!


NARS Makeup Review


NARS Cosmetics is a Shiseido-owned cosmetics and skin care company founded by François Nars, make-up artist and photographer. His first products, lipsticks, were first sold at Barneys New York. Since then, NARS has expanded into a global brand carrying multi-use beauty products, including their ever so famous blushes.


NARS Makeup Review


A few months ago I picked up a great 500-point perk that Sephora had on offer, which included three deluxe-sized samples of NARS products: NARS Blush in Deep Throat, NARS Pencil Eyeliner in Via Veneto, and the NARS Lip Pencil in Rikugien. Prior to that, I had also managed to score a deluxe sample of the NARS Lipgloss in Orgasm as well as their liquid/cream highlighter in Copacabana. That’s quite a bit of freebies (these were gifts with purchase not sent to me). Also already in my possession (which I purchased but had not yet opened) was a full-size of the *NARS Light Reflecting (Translucent) Loose Powder.

I’ve been using all of these products for at least three weeks (some longer) and here are my thoughts:


Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder


According to NARS, this powder “enhances the look of foundation without a trace of color and prolongs makeup wear’. It is “infused with Photochromic Technology to diffuse light and adjust to new sources of light throughout the day”, optically fading fine lines, wrinkles and pores as well as regulating shine and setting foundation. It is paraben-free, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.

NARS Makeup Review Light Reflecting Loose Powder

I’d heard a lot of hype around this powder last year, which is why I finally ended up purchasing it for myself.  At the time, I had about five powders open so this remained unused until just a few weeks ago (will power, yah!) . Anyway, I’m kind of kicking myself for waiting so long because I LOVE this magical fairy dust!  In my humble opinion, it does everything it says it’s going to do.  It is lightweight, does not affect the colour of my foundation (though I am light/medium), mattifies, holds up to the hot weather and…drumroll, please, actually does blur the look of minor imperfections. For me, this is mainly the larger pores around my nose/upper check area. I think I might like this better than my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders (gasp!). I think this would work well for all skin types. It retails for $34.00 USD.


Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien


According to NARS, their Satin Lip Pencils, are a “modern, long-wearing, vitamin-enriched formula in a jumbo pencil format” that “provide great wear and intense color with a satin finish”.  The colour Rikugien is described as a rose pink. In my opinion, this is a very sheer but nice every-day wearable shade. This is the only satin lip pencil that I’ve tried from NARS, so keep that in mind when I say that I don’t find this product to be long wearing. It is, however, quite moisturizing and comfortable on the lips. A full size retails for $25.00 USD.

NARS Makeup Review

Nars Lip Gloss in Orgasm


The Nars Lip Glosses have recently been reformulated. They claim to provide “serious shine and sexy color in sheer, semi-sheer and creamy formulas”. Much like it’s blush counterpart, Orgasm is described as a peachy-pink with shimmer and I would categorize it as somewhere between semi-sheer/creamy. I think this particular colour gives great dimension to the lips (especially when applied at the center). It has decent wear-time, is not too sticky and is comfortable on the lips (I do not feel any glitter or shimmer particles).  Finally, it is great worn on it’s own or as a topper.  A full size retails for $26.00 USD.

Nars Lip Gloss Orgasm

Nars Makeup Reviews

Rikugien (Left); Orgasm(Right)


Nars Blush in Deep Throat


Deep Throat is described as a “flirty, sheer peach”. The self-proclaimed “ultimate authority”, NARS is very well known for its blushes and claims to offer “the industry’s most iconic shades for cheeks” which are “natural, healthy-looking colors that immediately enliven the complexion”. As a “beauty blogger” is may be sacrilegious for me to admit that prior to Deep Throat, I hadn’t owned any NARS blushes. I did try Orgasm many years ago but that’s about it. I find this colour gives my light/medium complexion a healthy glow that looks quite natural. This is a fairly neutral shade that will pair well with almost anything. Because of the sheen finish, I find a highlighter unnecessary. NARS blushes retail for $30.00 USD.

Nars Blush Deep Throat

Nars Illuminator in Copacabana


According to NARS, their liquid illuminators provide a “light from within” effect, claiming to enhance the complexion with shimmering incandescence. They are formulated to be applied all over the face or used as a highlighter, under, over or mixed with foundation. I’ve had this puppy for a year and though this is a sample size, a little goes a long way.  Unfortunately, I don’t find that this particular illuminator mixes well with foundation and prefer to use it over my foundation as a highlighter before powder. Copacabana is described as a glistening pearl and I would characterize it as having a slight pink undertone. The Illuminators retail for $30.00 USD


Nars Highlighter Copacabana


Nars Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Via Veneto (Black)


This is a product I am more familiar with. Although I received the deluxe sample featured here in the Sephora perk, I do own the full size. For me, this is the only pencil liner that stays in my water line for most of the day. I agree with all of NARS’ claims when it comes to this product. I find it to be extremely long-wearing, budge-proof, very black and comfortable to apply. Last year, I had purchased this and the Marc Jacobs gel pencil liner in my search for the perfect water-line liner and this beat the MJ out, hands down. These liners are also far better at staying in the waterline, in my opinion, than the Urban Decay 24/7 liners (though I still enjoy those). The *Larger than Life Eyeliners retail for $24.00 USD.

NARS Makeup Review Via Veneto Eyeliner


Another of favorite products from NARS are their lipsticks, I own Roman Holiday and Dolce Vita.

NARS products can be purchased at NARS boutiques, Department Stores, Sephora and other retailers. There are not available locally (Bahamas). For international shoppers living in a region to where neither NARS nor Sephora ship, I have found NARS products on Amazon that ship through the *Blue Mercury storefront which is a well-known beauty boutique. Of course, if you’re in the U.S you can also shop Blue Mercury directly.





All products featured were purchased by the author. All opinion’s are the author’s. Affiliate links are marked with an “*”. For more information see Disclaimer here.




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All items featured in this post were purchased by the author unless otherwise noted. Any products or services provided as PR will be marked with an asterisk "*". This website uses Skimlinks and this post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Lovely, detailed review! Wishing you well this summer! 😀

    ♥ | http://www.connect-the-cloths.com | xoxo

    1. Thanks hun! You too, loved, loved that floral crop top with the skirt in your last post. Flawless!

    • elleseesyou on July 31, 2014 at 11:04 am
    • Reply

    love their blushes the most!

    1. I’m slowly starting to love them as well, may have to see about picking up some full sizes! 🙂

  2. I love Nars, more for their blushers and eye shadows than for the famous Sheer Glow foundation and Radiant Creamy concealer… I didn’t get on well with them, but their blushes are really some of the best as everyone says! I have the compact version of the powder and I have to use it more, I find it slightly drying for my skin but it’s still lovely… They don’t sell the loose version in Italy though! 🙁
    Love this first post, keep them coming! It’s so interesting to see how a brand performs across its range of products 😉


    1. Thanks for your feedback hun! I will surely continue to do these types of reviews! I haven’t tried the pressed version of the NARS powder but it would be interesting to compare. I have oily combo skin so that may have something to do with how my skin reacts to it. Actually, now that you’ve said that, I think most of the reviews I’ve heard from people who don’t like the powder, they tend to have drier skin. That sucks that the loose version isn’t sold in Italy, though. I need to visit again soon. I’ve only ever been to Florence, Genoa (+Portofino), Rome, and Pisa….

      1. Yeah I would love to meet you if you come again! Turin isn’t a big city but it’s lovely, there are a bunch of things worth visiting and I really enjoy living here 🙂
        My skin is definitely less oily than it used to be but I’m not usually too fussy with mat products being too drying, even though lately I’ve found a lot of products looking too dry on me (Nars Sheer Glow for example). It might have something to do with the formula though as I’m lost without powder usually…

        1. If I am ever back in Italy, I’ll be sure to let you know. My boyfriend and I love it there and I’m sure we will be back (and I still have family there, so….) Plus, I don’t mind smaller places so Turin sounds like a dream. Hopefully, one day. 🙂

  3. A bit on a comment spree here, I know.. I just read all your posts throughout the week but didn’t comment! Busy times.. *sigh* Anyway! Since I’ve been to the NARS event, I really am in love with their range and collection. I’m not too sure on the Copacabana highlighter though. I use it over my foundation, like you do.. But not really impressed with it just yet ! I also own the blush, which I’m in love with! The shade is great and looks lovely on me if I may say so! Great post Kimmy 😀 x

    1. Why, thank you Laura! BTW, do you prefer Laura or Silke? 🙂 I really appreciate your positive comments about this post, it was hard work putting it together but I enjoyed it. Also, I appreciate you mentioning how you aren’t too sure about Copacabana. It was in the back of my mind to note that I wasn’t too crazy about it either but somehow I forgot in the drafting process. So thank you for reminding me so that anyone reading can be aware. I am about to go on a blog spree myself over the next few days so look out, lol. 🙂 And no worries about being busy….I completely understand, it’s so hard to visit everyone you would like to.

      1. It definitely is difficult to keep up the commenting, but I am always reading regardless! It doesn’t matter how you call me. Silke is the name that is used in daily life, Silke Laura is official and Laura is my blogging name since its more ‘international’ 😀 making it complicated ! xx

  4. I love NARS Rikugien! Definitely need to try out that setting powder :).

    Nida | Caked To The Nines

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