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February was supposed to be the start of the new me, and as part of that I intended to go on a small spending ban for the month. Not one single penny was supposed to be spent on makeup. Well you can imagine how long that lasted *looks sheepish*.
In my defence there were two main reasons that I blame for this, and both had to do with one big name and that’s Nars.
Firstly, my favourite beauty spot Beauty Bazaar had recently opened a new Nars counter and makeup area, and then they invited two professional Nars makeup artists to give one-to-one makeup sessions.
Now can you see why my spending ban went out the window? Plus I had actually run out of my current foundation, so really I had to make an appointment because it was essential. Oh and I needed a primer…. and maybe a few other products.
After discussing my skin type and what kind of base I was after with Rae (the fab lady who converted me to Nars lip glosses with Chelsea Girls which you must try and can read about here), she first moisturised my face with the luminous moisture cream, along with a small amount of total replenishing eye cream. All of Nars skincare includes a Light Reflecting Complex to give you that glow from within look and I have to say even without makeup my skin immediately looked less dull and my eyes brighter.
I have combination skin with quite an oily t-zone especially on my nose, so Rae suggested the Pore + Shine primer. I was torn between this one and their Radiance primer, but since I wanted quite a dewy finish with my foundation, Rae explained mattifying my skin first with the Pore + Shine primer would be more beneficial and prevent the shine on those problem areas. I really like this primer and after testing it throughly every day for the past week, I can confirm my t-zone is far less oily than it would be without primer, even after a long day in air-conditioned laboratories.
On to my “essential” item, the foundation.
I have been using the same foundation for the past few years now, and when my current tube finally ran out, I decided I was going to be brave and try a new one. I’ve never had a Nars foundation before, but I was very excited as I have heard great things, particularly about the Sheer Glow foundation. I love that dewy skin look, and so this foundation sounded right up my street.
After a colour test, we settled on the shade Mont Blanc. Nars foundations work best if you apply them with your hands. The natural warmth of your fingers allows the foundation to glide on smoothly without streaking, and therefore less time is needed for blending. Sheer glow is light weight but gives excellent coverage and the result was amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever had a foundation that matches my skin as well as this. You could barely tell I was wearing any foundation. It was basically my natural skin but more!
Top Tip 1: don’t apply foundation directly under the eyes as it does not provide the same benefits as a proper concealer.
Rae finished off with a small amount of concealer in vanilla under my eyes to brighten and a light dusting of crystal loose powder to create a perfect base.
Next I got chatting to Rachael Cole. A makeup artist who has worked with designers such as Erdem and Christopher Kane, as well as many fashion runways around the world, so I felt very privileged to have a personal session and pick her brains on makeup application and create a brand new look.
I have always been drawn to Nars eyeshadow in Persia (a bright matte terracotta orange), so I was keen for this to be incorporated but still create a look that I can wear everyday.
Quickly we agreed on a combination of brown eyeshadows with a hint of Persia to create a unique smokey eye. For lips we tried something a bit different for me and went for a gorgeous brown/mauve lip. Products are listed below including some great tricks and tips!
Pro-prime smudge proof eyeshadow base with a light dusting of pressed powder in flesh.
Top Tip 2: if using a cream eyeshadow apply powder on top of your cream eyeshadow primer to give the eyeshadow more to “hold on” to.
Cream shadow stick in Belle-ile. This gorgeous shimmer gold stick is so soft and acts as the perfect base to build your eye look.
Next is single eyeshadow in Fez, This unique light brown shadow with gold flecks was blended all over the lid, followed by pressing eyeshadow in Persia in the centre of the lid.
Top Tip 2: Blending your eyeshadow with a brush creates a more diffuse smokey look , whilst pressing on eyeshadow with either a brush or finger allows greater control of colour placement and is great if you want an intense pop of colour.
Next was larger than life long-wear eyeliner in Via Veneto.
Rachael explained that eyeliner should be darkest at my outer eye because of my particular eye shape. This is due to having slightly hooded lids with little lid space. By concentrating my liner on the outer edge, my eyes are expanded out to where there is more “space” creating the illusion of larger eyes. Clever hey!!
Top Tip 3: lightly stroke eyeliner as close to the lash line as possible and gently smudge with a brush, being careful not to expand the liner past its original placement, to help define the eye but not make the liner the focus.
Eyeshadow in Coconut Grove was then applied on top of the outer liner of my eye to add more depth, and blended out to create the perfect smokey eye.
Top Tip 4: Apply eyeliner to the top waterline to add volume to your lashes. This tip I particularly love, as it made a big difference to my eyes, making them very sultry and once again not making the liner the focus which I prefer.
Rae added some warmth to my face with Nars most popular bronzer in Laguna and a touch of blush with South Beach and Anquilla.
Top Tip 5: brush bronzer to your temples and bring round in a ‘C’ shape along your cheek bone for the most natural bronze appearance. If you have a smaller forehead like me, don’t apply bronzer to the top of your forehead as this will actually make it look smaller.
Finally, a big nod to the 90s with one of Nars new lip glosses in Asphalt Jungle. The colour of this gloss is stunning. Described as shimmering sangria, it really is an amazing deep wine purple/brown with gold specks. Like all Nars glosses, they glide on beautifully with no sticky feeling, and the gloss can be applied lightly for a hint of colour or built up for a real statement lip.
I hope you have found these tips as useful as I have. I would love to talk about each of the products individually, as they are amazing, but for this post felt it would be better to focus on the experience and techniques used. I will be providing detailed reviews of products in future posts.
My date with Nars was finished with an Orgasm.
That’s the very aptly named cocktail invented by the ladies at Beauty Bazaar!!