The last part of spring here is more like November: lots of rain, damp weather, sadness and an uncontrollable desire to spend all the day in bed. For this reason, it feels weird writing of NARS summer 2011 collection: it includes a gorgeous color palette, very fresh, refined and – of course – summery, but maybe this is the right way of dreaming of a season which seems so far away.
I really like this collection, because the colour selection – especially for lips and nails – is sublime. The eyeshadows include Cap Ferrat trio eyeshadow (icy sea foam, silver green and icy turquoise), Dogon and Exotic Dance duo eyeshadow (the first combines metallic taupe with icy green sheen and charcoal black, while the second combines silver sheen and metallic gold). New Order  is a soft pink highlighter with gold and silver shimmer: as a blush fiend, I guess I’ll try it, sooner or later. The collection includes two new pencils – Queen soft touch shadow pencil (citrus gold glitter) and Bolero velvet matte lip pencil (pink cantaloupe); Carthage pure matte lipstick (hot pink), Mayflower lipstick (sheer raspberry) and Wonder lipgloss (sheer mandarin orange). The nail polishes are Kismet (metallic sunflower) and Ecume (opaque white; I’m in love with it).
I still haven’t bought anything from this colleciton, but I’d like to try Ecume, because I love off-white nail polishes (my favourite is OPI Alpine Snow, but who knows?, maybe Ecume could become my new favourite). As for my NARS collection, here are my latest additions.
They aren’t actual purchases, because I’ve got them in recent swaps – two eyeshadows and a lipgloss.
Carioca is a cream eyeshadow (the shade is described as gossamer turquoise), while Mahogany has the traditional powder formula: this is a rich brown, a discontinued colour. I’ve used Carioca as a base for MAC Haunting, the amazing turquoise eyeshadow from Alexander McQueen for MAC collection, and I’m quite satisfied with it, because it creates the perfect base for the eyeshadow. Its lasting power cannot be compared to MAC paint pots, but it’s not that bad, after all. Mahogany, on the other hand, is lovely: it’s very versatile, a good neutral colour for everyday use. I’m not crazy for brown shades, since I usually prefer wearing colours that contrast with the colour of my eyes, but when I feel like opting for a simple eye make-up, I use this.
Albatross lipgloss is simply amazing. I had some difficulties in taking pictures of it, because it’s so hard to catch all the hundred different iridescent effects which characterize it. It’s incredible but it’s the exact gloss version of the highlighter with the same name. On the lips it’s sheer, but embellished with gold, pink and silver imperceptible iridescent particles. Not glitters, but iridescent particles, which make the result incredibly subtle.
You’ve probably noticed another new entry in the picture above: it’s the new book by François Nars, Make Up Your Mind: Express Yourself. The title is of course a reference to the infamous first book by Nars, Make Up Your Mind, published in 2001. After reading the first book many times, I was really looking forward to reading the new one: I was particularly excited because this time my favourite make-up artist worked on common people, not on models only, like he did in his first book. Here, the division into chapters follows an interesting idea – women of different ages – which gives you the possibility to actually see how women from 16 to 80 can enhance their natural beauty with the right make-up. Most of the looks are not so easy to re-create, even though the instructions on the products used and on the way to apply them is very precise, but here is a small selections of those who caught my attention: they seem quite easy, so I think I’ll give them a try, sooner or later.
You know I love lip products, so I focused on them in my description of the pictures. If you want to have information on other products used in the looks, please ask in the comments. In the picture above, Alex is wearing Jungle Red lipliner pencil (classic red), Pop Life velvet matte lip pencil (shimmering true red) and Babe lipgloss (sheer orange red). This look has a 70’s vibe, probably due to the shiny red lips: just gorgeous.
Aya is wearing African Queen lipliner pencil (warm brick red), Fast Ride lipstick (sheer mulberry) and Nana lipgloss (deep black grape). I love the contrast among neutral eyes, pink blush and mulberry lips!
India is wearing Volga pure matte lipstick (deep aubergine), topped with Triple X clear lipgloss. Lips have been previously lined with eyeliner pencil Black Moon (dense black). Aubergine lips, so shiny, are amazing! This is another look with a 70’s vibe, in my opinion.
Danielle is wearing Heat Wave lipstick (orange red) and Red Square velvet matte lip pencil (bright orange red). Lips have been lined with Jungle Red (classic red). I’m not sure if I actually like this orange red lip look, but the result is quite impressive.
Also Jihae is wearing Heat Wave lipstick (orange red), topped with Babe lipgloss (sheer orange red). I like this look better: the same lipstick was used, but the shiny touch of gloss here makes Heat Wave look more wearable.
Quratulain is wearing one of my favourite lipsticks, Fire Down Below (pure blood red), topped with Scandal lipgloss (sheer cherry) and previously lined with Mambo, an eyeliner pencil (chocolate brown). I don’t think I could sport such a dramatic look in real life, but it’s amazing to see how important eyes and lips go in perfect harmony. This look makes me think of the super-sexy amazons in the iconic video by Robert Plant, Addicted to Love.
Yin is wearing Afghan Red lipstick (rich garnet) and Greek Holiday lipgloss (sparkling pink sand). Lips have been lined with Marnie (burgundy plum). I love how softer colours were used on older women. I think anyone should be free to wear whatever she likes at any age, but it cannot be denied that harsh colours make a woman look older than her age. This look on Yin is incredibly refined and dramatic, but perfectly balanced.
Leila is wearing Falbala lipstick (shimmering bronzy rose), topped with Coup de Coeur lipgloss (sheer apple brandy). Softer and softer tones were used in this look, which I particularly love, because this beautiful woman’s grace shines throught it. Again, the focus on eyes is dramatic but not over-the-top, and I think in this balance resides the genius and artistry of François Nars.