Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Nars & Illamasqua Purchase Perfection

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Deauville Light4 £30.50

I committed after months of dancing between different foundation samples, Nars Sheer Glow is the one! I would have expected to prefer the Sheer Matte, but in sampling, it just did not look as good.

For the sake of testing, I have used the Nars Pro-Prime (but personally it's too watery and does nothing as my primer).

The Nars assistant (an old colleague from Benefit as it goes) showed me the benefit of using the Optimal Brightening serum. I attempted to photograph the difference swatched on my arm but it was not working out. So I will just inform you that it does look even better with the serum as a pre-base but I am unwilling to splash out fifty quid on a serum (particularly when my counter backs onto Nars at work so I can sneak a sample pot of it).

And whaddya think? No concealer just prepped and primed skin courtesy of Nars skincare (for testing purposes, I don't own any of their full size skin care products). I keep getting compliments on it when I've worn it to work and all in all I am very pleased with this foundation. 

Nars Blush in Sex Appeal £21.50

I've had my beady eyes on Nars blushes for some time now but avoided purchase as I really do not need any. Regardless, I like to swatch and tempt myself (look where that gets me, posting my blush haul) and whenever I have sneaked over to the Nars counter at work, I have been drawn to the shade 'Deep Throat'. One of my favourite Beauty Bloggers and Make Up Artist's Laura Lou posted about the 'At First Sight' palette which features Deep Throat as well as 4 shadows and the Laguna bronzer, all for £45 and somewhat tricky to get your hands on. I wanted it, I followed the links to HQ Hair and popped it in my basket but just could not justify the fifty quid treat. 

Back to the drawing board and to my discount card! I begun using the 'Sex Appeal' shade at work and fell in love and could justify it to myself with my discount benefits (I work in a department store, thus my store card gives me discounts across all brands). It was so lighter shade, I doubted it somewhat, but it just lifts my cheeks without taking on any pink. It's je ne sais quais, incredible!

And as promised, swatches of my Illamasqua personal treats!

Are you with me here, a mere eighteen pounds for a blusher so soft and pigmented is an absolute steal! As indicated in my post about picking these up here, I did not need this blush, but it beckoned me. It cooed my name softly, till I trembled with desire (see what I did there?!). Do compare colour with the Nars blush above, thats what this versus post is all about!

The pencil I picked up in 'Power' worn as an all over lip colour. How good does my Nars SG foundation look too?! I do not know what happened in the next image, because seconds later with my shocking photography skills it manages to look absolutely vile. But like I say, big fan of the Sheer Glow! And my skin is going through a rough patch right now and I'm still happy with this fairly light coverage foundation daily. 

So yes, apologies on the picture quality, my skin is unmentionable. But here is the lipstick in Fable, worn alone; I have tired and been wearing it quite often with the power pencil to create a custom-blend between the two. The swatch above is very true to the lipstick colour, but the swatch on the Illamasqua website is totally not, far too nude! I have to be honest, as much as I keep repurchasing Illamasqua lipsticks, their formula is very drying and doesn't always look good, particularly after a little wear-time. On the other hand, the colours are so pigmented and last well that I seem to be perfectly happy wearing and touching up. I just find that I lipstick-check ridiculously often anyway and if a lipstick demands that and some touch ups and good lip prep, so be it for a beautiful colour! This doesn't just go for Illamasqua lippes, this goes for most of my matte MAC lipsticks also! And when I have gone for sheer colours I am just not satisfied with the colour pay off.

This is something that doesn't cause me such issue with the Nars Lip Pencils; even a satin finish one in 'Yu', the brightest fuchsia pink going and the most long-lasting and pigmented satin finish lip product I have ever tried! My dark matte lip pencil from them in 'Train Bleu' is impeccable quality also, a wonderful finish for a matte lip colour that is super pigmented and non-drying. So, for £17.50 will I convert to Nars lip pencils only? No. If you know my feelings on brow pencils, that is, that because they are sharpened and used often they whittle down to nothing for your dollar. Knowing how good these are, I will buy any shades I can't resist, but they are an expensive way of getting lip colour as much is wasted! I have so many lip colours, I don't use them enough for them to get small too fast. On the other hand, could help me learnt to 'hit the pan' on lip colours… but that, beauty addicts will never convince me to be a once colour/brand only kinda gal!

Next step? Nars lipsticks! Priiiicey but if their pencils are anything to go by, it'll be an extra few quid worth spending. 

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