Over the past few years I have been reading a lot of beauty blogs and based on those blogs I have bought some beauty items. In this article I will show you which beauty items I have bought. Some were a hit and some where a miss. I will tell you my opinion and experience.
Today a review of the NARS Illuminator. Lately I am sort of intrigued by having a healthy glow on my face. I always preferred my foundation light and “glowy”, but nowadays you can also buy amazing products to give your skin a healthy glow. like highlighters. A highlighter is a must for me when I apply make-up.
Foundation saga: based on a true story 🙂
A while ago a read a review of the Nars foundation and the blogger was very enthusiastic about the foundation. So I was intrigued and also wanted to try it. As I live in Amsterdam there is no shop where I can go to, to try the foundation. And ordering over internet is not an option for me, as I cannot judge from the websites which colour foundation would be suitable for me. So I waited for my trip to London that I had already planned for October. My idea was to go to a department store where I knew Nars is sold and have a make-up artist determine the right colour and apply it to my face. I wanted to have at least a couple of hours of use before I was going to buy it. And I also wanted to see it in daylight.
So, full of enthusiasm I walked in to the shop and searched for the Nars counter. Luckily it was not busy so I was helped immediately.
With that info he searched for the right foundation and colour. He selected Barcelona colour from the Sheer Glow Foundation which is a medium colour with a golden peachy undertone. Here is some information about the foundation:
A glowing, natural radiant finish foundation with sheer and buildable coverage that immaculately evens skin tone. Replete with skincare benefits and the NARS Complexion Brightening Formula, it leaves skin hydrated, more luminous, softer and smoother. Used daily, Sheer Glow Foundation improves the skin’s brightness and texture.
- For normal, normal-to-dry and dry skin types
- Hydrates for softer and smoother skin
- Contains powerful anti-oxidants to protect against damaging free radicals and turmeric extract to improve skin’s radiance and tone
- Dermatologist tested. Non-comedogenic. Fragrance free.
1.0 Fl. Oz. 30 mL
Consumer Testing Results:
- 100% skin felt soft and smooth
- 96% evened out skin tone
- 96% would recommend Sheer Glow to a friend
- 92% says skin looks brighter and more radiant
Yes, the foundation sounds really good! What was also good about this session is that he explained how to apply the foundation, so there was also some learning experience build in. Although there was no new information for me but for other customers with less experience this could be very useful. So he started by removing the foundation I had already applied that morning and after that he first put on a moisturiser. Then he applied the foundation with his fingers. He explained foundation should be applied with fingers for the best results, I prefer a brush. Matter of opinion to me.
The foundation he applied was a bit too dark and too warm for me. Also, I thought that the coverage was too much. But I let him do his thing, it could still work out… He was the professional and me the amateur…
He explained I need to use concealer under my eyes as I have some pigmentation and it will make me look more fresh. Check, I know but I am usually too lazy to apply it. So he used a liquid concealer in the colour Biscuit, which describes as following on the website: Medium dark natural balance of pink and yellow undertones. To me this sounds darker than the foundation. I personally prefer a concealer a bit lighter than the one he selected. But hey, he is the expert! He applied it under my eyes it looked okay colour wise but it was applied too heavy for my taste.
Then he started to explain about contouring. I love contouring but also here I think you should be very gentle with the amount of powder you use. He used the Mie Kabuki Brush which is going to be on my to buy list as it worked really well for contouring. But also here he applied to it too heavy on my face. I think we really have a different opinion on what light coverage is. BTW, I cannot remember the powder he used.
Next step was the blush which I liked. I have Nars Orgasm at home and in contrary to most women, I am not very fond of it. I can hardly see it on my face. Not sure why. Of course I can apply more, but how much blush should a person apply? He used the colour Dolce Vita. A nice pink coloured blush that looked nice on my skin. Will be on my maybe list.
Lipstick / Lip Pencil
And he finished the look with the Satin Lip Pencil in the dark red colour called Golshan. I loved the colour and feel of this lipstick. I am a person who has dry lips so I need a moisturising lipstick. This felt lovely and moisturising. Only downside was that he applied it t0o heavy.
I was rather surprised by what he thought a light coverage was. This to me was really really heavy make up. I told him I wanted to wait a while before I decided to buy the foundation as I wanted to see it in daylight too. Maybe it was the lighting that made it look so heavy and the wrong colour. Waiting a day was already my plan anyway.
Reaction of hubby
I walked to my husband and he was shocked when he saw me. I must be honest that every small change to my face is a shock to him 😉 Every time I saw my own reflection in the mirror I felt very conscious of how I looked. It was just not me I was seeing, it was a creation of the make-up artist. After a couple of shops we went back to the hotel to drop off some stuff and I had the chance to remove the make up. But before we did, my husband made a picture of me to make sure I could share it with all of you. So here it is…
(Pictures above are shot with flash as we had not enough natural light in the hotel room).
On the pictures above, there is hardly anything of my own skin to be seen. I prefer when a little bit of my pigment spots and/or irregularities are visible, that makes the make-up look more natural. Now it looks like I have a pancake on my face. Also, due to the thick concealer, the lines around my eyes are very obvious. You can see them even on my cheek. Shame that due to the flash, you cannot see on these pictures that the colour of the foundation is too warm and there is heavy contouring on my cheeks. You do see the blush very clearly. Maybe the make-up is not badly applied per se, but it is not my kind of make-up. It does not fall in the category “light coverage”.
BTW, if you wonder what I normally wear on my skin, then check this blog of mine with some pictures. Then you can see the difference. I hope 🙂
Let me come to the conclusion that the make-up artist and I were just very out of sync on the meaning of “light coverage”. The application was fine, just too much. It was good that he gave information about the products and how to apply it. The products he used were nice and I was impressed by the Mie Kabuki Brush, the Dolce Vita blush and the lipstick. Regarding his choice for concealer and foundation I really did not understand his choice. Both colours were a shade to dark for me. Maybe it is an English thing to wear a shade darker than your own skin? I must admit, I have seen many women during my trip that had foundation on their skin that was too dark for my taste. And in the magazines I also usually notice the foundation a lot. Even my husband notices it. So maybe it is a difference in preference between the Dutch who like it more natural in general and the English who like it more covered? Just my thoughts.
Anyway, still love Nars, but I could not buy the foundation as it was not what I was looking for. I did not go back to try another session again. Instead, 2 days later I went to MAC. The women listened to me, applied the right colour with the right coverage and I was sold. It can be that easy 🙂 Also, MAC has many shops in the Netherlands, so in the end it was better anyway.
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Thank you! Rosalie