Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Nars Summer 2011 Collection - Review & Swatches

I have failed on two counts, firstly the amount of law revision I've done is pitiful, but secondly, my spending ban lasted all of 3 days. I kid you not. In my defence, it was due to circumstances beyond my control. I had a bad medical diagnosis (yes, another one) and when I'm stressed/depressed/upset/annoyed, take your pick, I buy makeup, in a big way. At least my perilous bank balance is your gain!
Chanel Collections are what I usually hold out for but this Spring I was hotly anticipating the Nars Summer collection. I normally end up getting at least one item from every seasonal collection from Nars, but I never feel the need to rush out and buy. However, my love affair with pink, matte lipsticks and eyeshadows that bring to mind St Tropez in the 1960s meant that I had my finger on the add to basket button the moment Nars Summer 2011 was launched. Sadly, it has taken over two weeks for my products to arrive, but these are my initial impressions.

Nars Eyeshadow Trio in Cap Ferrat and Nars Matte Lipstick in Carthage
I'll start with the lipstick as this was a little bit of a disappointment. I have all of the Nars Velvet Matte Pencils and four of the new(ish) matte lipsticks, so I was thrilled to see a bright pink added to the line, something that has definitely been lacking. This pink is not as bright as I thought it would be though, and is a touch warmer than I expected. I am being very picky, because I love pink lipstick, but I prefer the classic Nars Schiap for a vivid, shocking pink. This one falls a little flat. If you are a regular reader then you'll know I just found my holy grail pink lipstick so this may have clouded my view. 

It is a 'nice' colour and the matte texture isn't too difficult to pull off, but I don't think it is a must have. I love bright pinks and corals with a tan and this will probably suit all skintones, but if you already have a number of bright shades, you could skip this easily, especially when Revlon do some fantastic bright matte shades for less than half the price.

Nars Matte Lipstick in Carthage applied
Now onto the star of the collection in my eyes, the eyeshadow trio in Cap Ferrat. Although the previous limited edition trios have looked beautiful, they had a lot of bad reviews, especially over quality and the fact you get more of some colours than others. Thankfully, Francois Nars must have been listening as these issues have been resolved. The trio has been redesigned so you get an equal amount of all three shadows and each one is perfectly smooth in texture.

The three shades are a light sea foam green/turquoise, a brighter turquoise and a vivid sea blue. It would be easy to feel a little afraid of these colours in the pan but they are not as pigmented when applied, instead they give a sheerer was of colour, especially the lightest shade.

When the trio arrived this afternoon I had to laugh as I pulled out my MAC Pro Palette to find the first three MAC shades I ever bought, almost exact replicas of those in the new trio. I guess my tastes haven't changed much in 6 years! The Nars eyeshadows are different though in that they give a more subtle effect. My favorite has to be the lightest sea foam green/turquoise which gives a light wash of colour, working well with a vivid lip (pink, coral or orange). All three shades are very shimmery and this could be a bit too much for some people, but paired with just bronzer or a matte blush, I think they work.

Swatches of Nars Cap Ferrat and Nars Matte Lipstick in Carthage
I thought it might be useful to compare the Nars shades to the MAC ones I own, as although not identical, they give you an idea of what the two brands offer.

Swatches left to right: MAC Mega Metals in Dalliance, MAC eyeshadow in Aquadisiac , MAC eyeshadow in Parrot
Finally, here is a quick look of all the shades used together. It's not meant to be an artistic masterpiece ( I leave that to the likes of Kenneth Soh!), just give an impression of how the colours work on my fair skin. I added a bit of Poppy King for No.7 lip gloss over the matte lipstick and only used a cream bronzer on the cheeks. Personally, I would have left the eyes with a sheer wash of the lightest turquoise, but I added the darker turquoise to the outer half of the upper lid and then used the blue wet underneath the lower lashes, attempting to blend it up to the upper outer corner. I hope that makes a bit of sense!

Nars Eyeshadow Trio in Cap Ferrat applied

Products used:

  • MAC Face & Body Foundation in N1 (applied with a sponge, thanks to Rebecca from Le Salon de Beaute for this recommendation!)
  • MAC Studio Fix Concealer in NW15 - just under the eye area
  • Nars Bronzer Multiple in Tuomota
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • Nars Eyeshadow Trio Cap Ferrat
  • Chanel Imitable Mascara in Purple
  • Le Metier de Beaute Brow Pencil in Natural Blonde
  • Nars Matte Lipstick in Carthage
  • Poppy King for No.7 Lipgloss in Glamour
The Nars Summer 2011 Collection is now available from www.narscosmetics.co.uk and the eyeshadow duo in Dogon, Velvet Matte Lip Pencil and Orange Lip Gloss all look very tempting!

Nars Eyeshadow Trio in Cap Ferrat - £33

Nars Matte Lipstick in Carthage - £18.50


  1. Gorgeous I'm after both of these! Love love love the trio!

  2. OMGoodness! Jennifer!!! That is gorgeous on your eyes not to mention the lippie is stunning on you!

  3. Oh I really like this look on you! The colours look great on your colouring. Take care x

  4. Aaaargh! Why did NARS have to pull out of the middle east whyyyyyyyyyy!!! I want this trio!!!

  5. Great post! Yeah I thought the lipstick would be more like the newly released candy yum yum from MAC. Get well soon also

  6. Thanks Charlie, I thought you'd love the trio, is much more my kind of thing, neither of the other two really appealed to me. Hope you had a lovely time in Cornwall x

    Oh thank you Jeanie, is far more the kind of thing I wore when I was younger, but I'm definitely feeling it again now I have a tiny bit more colour having sat outside all week (albeit wearing factor 50!)x

    Thanks Kate, it is nice to try something a bit different for a change, not a mauve or taupe in sight! x

    I can't believe you can't get Nars in the Middle East Simone, that seems very odd. I figured you'd have almost everything out there. Does the website ship to Bahrain? I think my order from the UK site came from America as it took ages so maybe they ship worldwide. it is annoying though not being able to see the products in person x

    Thanks baby in the corner, I actually got Candy Yum Yum with a recent Back To MAC trade in, but haven't tried it out yet. It is very bright, I'll try and do a comparison soon x

  7. Such a pretty look, I hadn't even be considering getting Trio Cap Ferrat but will have to re-think that after seeing how lovely it looks on you x

  8. These colours look really beautiful on you and so hot for summer! x

  9. That's a lovely look on you! I know that I wouldn't really wear such bright blues but the lipstick looks like my kind of colour. And that Dogon eyeshadow duo is still on my wishlist :)

  10. is carthage similar to schiap?
    by the way i MUST have that trio :)

  11. Replica: thank you, I have always loved aqua shades having lived by the sea my whole life!x

    Marina: Thanks Marina, I think the colours in the Nars Collection are really perfect for my idea of summer x

    Klara: I do like the look of Dogon but might wait for it to come to Space NK first as the Nars shipping took ages. The lipstick is surprisingly wearable, not as bright as I thought it would be. x

    What's Next: Carthage is along the same lines as Schiap but not nearly so vivid. Carthage was much more muted than I anticiapted. I'll try and do a comparison of the two next weekend once my exams are over. x