I've purchased a lot of makeup this year. So much, in fact, that I don't care to tally it up (I may have a problem). And I can quite confidently say that out of every purchase that has expanded my collection this year, the limited edition NARS ♥ New York gift set is my favourite.
It's the set that very nearly got away. You may recognize it from blog posts that came out months ago. I convinced myself then that at C$95, it was too much. I didn't need it.
But it haunted me. How often do you look at a set and love the look of every single product?
One day not long ago, I made it my mission to find it, certain it must be sold out everywhere. (Too many bad experiences with MAC collections selling out in two days—you feel me, right ladies?) I couldn't find it on Hudson's Bay online, and the cost of shipping to Canada from narscosmetics.com made me want to cry a little.
But Twitter, blessed Twitter—I put the question out there, and dear Shiela told me she'd seen it just that day at the Bay! Sure enough, they had stacks of them when I checked. Apparently it's exclusive to Hudson's Bay at the Pacific Centre. Lucky, lucky me—it was a sale day and I managed to score it for 20 per cent off. Clearly it was meant to be.
Here's what you get:
- Amour blush, a darkish, matte peachy-pink. This blush is extremely flattering and extremely pigmented. I apply it with a soft brush and a light touch.
- Laguna bronzer, a soft, slightly shimmery golden brown. In spite of the veeerrry subtle shimmer, this is a fantastic contour colour for me—it's light enough for my fair, rosy skin, and it doesn't pull too warm, which is nice. It's more golden than orange (win!).
- Biarritz eyeshadow, a matte cream. This isn't very pigmented, but it's soft enough and it works well all over the lid as a base and on the brow bone as a very subtle highlight.
- Nepal eyeshadow, a shimmery, pinky champagne. I'd say this is of medium pigmentation. It's subtle on me, but I like it for a hint of shimmer and warmth—I like to apply it all over the lid, emphasizing the centre.
- New York eyeshadow, a matte light burgundy. One of my favourite colours. It's also medium pigmentation—great for the crease.
- Galapagos eyeshadow, a chocolate brown with fine gold shimmer. This is popular for good reason—it's a beautiful warm brown with a hint of find sparkle. I love it in the outer v/corner.
The shadows, blush and bronzer come in a black compact (standard NARS packaging with a mirror the full size of the lid. The whole thing is slim and sleek, measuring about three inches by six inches.
You also get a full-sized lip gloss in Dolce Vita, a dusty rose lip product that's more like a liquid lipstick in texture and opacity—smooth, full coverage with absolutely no stickiness and a classy amount of shine. Love this—a new favourite.
The final product is a full-sized nail lacquer in Chinatown, a deep, brownish blood-red. This was the biggest disappointment of the lot. It's a beautiful colour, but it applies too sheer for me. You can read my comments and see a photo in this NOTD post.
All of the products are part of the NARS permanent range, but being able to try all of them for only $95 is great value—how many of us ever hit pan on most products anyway, right?
Everything (the nail polish excepted) wears beautifully for me—the powder products still look great at the end of the day, and the lip product needs slightly less frequent application than most lip products for me. The nail polish chips within a few days—but all nail polish does. (I think I must be especially hard on my hands.)
Ready for a look?
Here's the breakdown:
Eyes: Over MAC Paint Pot in Painterly, I applied Biarritz all over the lid from lash line to brow bone, Nepal all over the lid, New York in the crease and Galapagos in the outer v. Then I popped a little more Nepal on the centre of the lid for a bit more shimmer, and softly lined the outer two thirds of my lower lash line with New York.
If you're wondering, I finished off the eyes with MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack as well as Chanel Le Volume Mascara in Black and MAC Extended Play Mascara in Gigablack (I like to layer).
Cheeks: I contoured lightly with Laguna and popped Amour on the apples of my cheeks and swept up to blend.
Lips: Dolce Vita lip gloss (no liner).
Other products: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Cool Bone, Clinique Superbalanced Power Makeup in 1 (to set), Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (to highlight), MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC15 (blemishes) and NW20 (under eyes), MAC Omega eyeshadow (brows), and Chanel Éclat Lumière Highlighter Face Pen in 30 (under eyes).
The verdict: I love this set—the colours, which are some of New York City's most popular, are chic, wearable, and classy.
Rating: Five stars out of five.
Available: Hudson's Bay (I *think* it's exclusive to the Vancouver location in Canada, but call around) for C$95 (I saw it for $85 last week—maybe a holiday sale that's still on?), and narscosmetics.com for US$75. It's limited edition, so if you love it, grab it now for the beauty enthusiast on your holiday list!
Have you tried any of these NARS products? What did you think? Share a link to your looks in the comments below!
Disclosure: These products were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.