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· NARS: The Agony and the Ecstasy

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NARS: The Agony and the Ecstasy
by The Kindly One

When I was younger, it always seemed that no matter how much I spoke or spent time with a person, there was never any real invitation to grow closer until one question was asked, and it was phrased in the same way every time: "So, what kind of music do you like?" There would always be a sly cut of the eyes, some fidgeting, and then real conversation would resume. There is an equivalent type of question that must eventually be addressed to invite inclusion on most beauty forums, in this case outlining the newbie's stance on MAC. But this website is different. Here, I don't feel the task before me is to prove my cosmetics mettle. No, here the question is different, it is one of individuality and preference. Once answered, I will officially feel like part of the team. It is: "Where do you stand on NARS?"

I have greatly envied Dain and Dorothy for some time for their appreciation and use of NARS. I've always found the NARS posts the most exciting. Each one of them is a gem and, like a NARS product itself, reveals the complexity and mystery of the products. If it weren't for these reviews, I probably would not have approached NARS myself, remaining intimidated by the mystique, the weird colors in the pans, and the price point. Fortunately, I found my feet and have sampled a variety of NARS shadows, liners, lipsticks, glosses, and lip stain glosses, and I have come to a conclusion. I can't wear NARS.

It's not for lack of trying or an inability to wear the colors. In the case of shadows, I find it's impossible for me to wear them as a wash. I have impossibly oily eyelids, and the shadows are finely milled. Even with industrial strength MAC Paint, they last maybe four hours on me. They don't really work well as liners on me, either, with the exception of Galapagos (above), which I have to layer over a proper eyeliner for it to last.

I like NARS's lipstick collection well. I just don't find most of it useful to me. I have medium tone lips and prefer sheerer shades, and most of NARS's sheer shades (Venice, Viva Las Vegas) don't show up on me. While I like the deeper shades, I can't wear them without looking dead or like I have an unbalanced face. As for the lip glosses and lip stain glosses, I really prefer a gel texture to my gloss, something I haven't seen in a NARS formulation (though I haven't tried a lot of these). I've found the glosses to be a lot thinner than I'm used to. As I constantly have some kind of drink in my hand, they last about two hours on me, if I'm lucky. The lip stain glosses are also beautiful, but a bit more pigment than I'm looking for. I don't want to change the color of my lips, just add something to enhance it and bring it out.

I have to say, NARS liners are long-lasting. Having a drier texture, they work well for oily eyelids. The flipside is that they tug more than I like when applying. Besides this, I rarely use proper eyeliner anymore except to keep powder shadow on.

Thanks to the posts on this site, I may not be able to wear NARS, but I have developed a real appreciation for it. In terms of complexity of color, there isn't a cosmetics company out there that can beat it. There is real innovation in the line. Look at the chartreuse shade of Rated R - crazy in the pan, truly a neutral on the eye. Plus, I would argue this is a better line to experiment with than drugstore brands. It's pricey, but due to color complexity, the colors are more likely to agree with and flatter the wearer than a $3 shadow. That said, for all the appreciation I have for the line, the products simply don't work for what I want and need them to do, and that is ultimately the bottom line when it comes to purchasing cosmetics.

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2/11/2009 [4]

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