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NARS Spring 2012 Makeup Collection — Fruits of Inspiration

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There’s a reverential quality to the names of most of the pieces comprising the NARS Spring 2012 Collection — whether they be South American cities, titles of seminal albums, or a flower’s common name. Take, for example, the Diamond Life Nail Polish ($18 at NARScosmetics.com), a metallic violet color with a sumptuous finish (pictured last above) named after Sade’s debut album, 1984’s Diamond Life, which introduced such sultry classics as “Your Love Is King” and “The Sweetest Taboo.” In Nars’ psyche, then, the fluidity of this shimmering violet perfectly captures the smooth, molasses-like quality of Sade’s voice, the twinkling of piano keys, the jazzy saxophone riffs, and the spellbinding, moody, smoky vibe of the classic album.

Similarly, the Douce France Trio Eyeshadow ($45 at NARScosmetics.com), pictured after the jump, pays homage to the 1942 tune by French singer-songwriter Charles Trenet, a charming ode to his homeland rife with tender memories of childhood and celebrations of the glorious rivieras, blue skies, and countryside landscapes. A musical gift to the country he held dear, this sweet, tender song conveys an unblemished sense of innocence that Nars captured with his trio of pink shades, which range from a near-nude rose to a petal pink and a more full-bodied, merlot-tinged rose.

A hunger for life, an exuberant spirit, and a curious wanderlust all unite the spring color collection. The new Gaiety Blush ($28 at NARScosmetics.com), pictured after the jump, epitomizes effervescent cheer with its cotton candy pink color, while the hot pink Mexican Rose Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24 at NARScosmetics.com), also shown after the jump, mimics the hue of the artichoke-shaped blossom by that very name.

Moving into the sojourn-inspired section of the collection, the Paramaribo Duo Eyeshadow ($34 at NARScosmetics.com), pictured second above, features a deep bronze with an even metallic sheen alongside a tarnished brass shade with greenish undertones inspired by Suriname’s capital. Both are gorgeous takes on the colors of the muddy roads, grassy expanses, majestic palm trees, Dutch-style colonial houses, and the iconic Fort Zeelandia, with its tiled courtyard and bronze statues. The green tones speak to the virginal land in this South American country, while the metallic elements seem to speak to the monuments and architectural landmarks at the heart of the city.

The Valparaíso Pure Matte Lipstick ($25 at NARScosmetics.com) also nods to a South American location: this time, a thriving city in Chile. The matte lipstick’s raspberry red color is reminiscent of the shade seen on the exterior of many of the cable cars used when ascending and descending steep hills.

These, of course, are only some of the wonders in the Spring 2012 collection. To find out about the remaining products in the collection, check out swatches of the standout products, and even see photos of some sample looks created, keep reading!

Below, you’ll find a sampling of the NARS makeup offerings for spring.

 

DOUCE FRANCE TRIO EYESHADOW

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As previously mentioned the Douce France Trio Eyeshadow ($45 at NARScosmetics.com) was named after Charles Trenet’s classic tune, which he dedicated to his native land. The romantic palette features gradient shades of pink that, together, bring new definition to the phrase “Ma vie en rose.”

Below, you’ll find swatches of all three shades. As you can see the palest, semi-matte pink shade has warm, fleshy undertones that make it practically undetectable when applied to fair skin, so that it offer this dusty, slightly chalky, veil-like wash of whitened, peachy pink color. The mid-tone pink, meanwhile, is the very epitome of a spring era pink, a coral pink sand shade, rosy with warm golden undertones and a petal-like quality. Last, the darker pink has raspberry overtones, hints an intoxicating aubergine that make the shade all the more intoxicating. See for yourself!

 

 Nars-douce-france-trio-eyeshadow-swatches

 

Here’s a simple look I created with this understated palette.I started off by applying the lightest pink shade, sweeping it atop lids, blending it into the crease and extending it all the way to the brow bone area. Next, I lined my lids with the Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil and smudged the color into the lower lash line. I then applied the petal pink hue along my lids and crease, layering it above the lighter shade. Last, I added the deepest pink and layered it above the two others. This added just the right bit of heft to the look, which was a bit muted prior to this. To give the eyes some definition, I piled on a bit of the darkest pink to the outer corners, diffusing it by using a blending brush. Last, I applied two coats of Lancôme Hypnose Mascara and I was done! It’s a very natural look, as you can see, but adds a hint of color to the face.

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LHASA SINGLE EYESHADOW

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Though described as a “lavender gray,” the Lhasa Single Eyeshadow ($24 at NARScosmetics.com) also incorporates earthy tones that might remind you of Aspen gray bricks and tiles.  If you look at photographs of the mountain ranges surrounding the Potala Palace, or the hill on which this structure itself is perched, you’re likely to see similar shades of brownish gray. The lavender undertones, meanwhile, make the color feel all the more sophisticated and add a modern sensibility.

Though it’s not one of the immediate attention-grabbers in the collection, it quickly has become one of my favorite pieces since it’s so incredibly versatile and such a departure from traditional neutral eyeshadow shades. Here’s a swatch of the Lhasa eyeshadow:

 

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Here’s a sample look I created using the Lhasa Single Eyeshadow. To create the look, I started by lining my upper lash lines with the Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil. Next, I brushed on the Lhasa color, focusing on the lower lids and working the color into the crease but not far beyond that point (leaving a fair amount of space along the brow bone). I created an arch like shape with the shadow so that the shadow extended highest next to the bridge of the nose, then swept down as it extended to the outer corners of eyes.

Next, I swept a bit of the Illamasqua Powder Eye Shadow in Tango, a ground coffee brown, along the outer half of each lid and worked the color into the crease using controlled, circular, buffing motions. Last, to add even more oomph, I applied a bit of the Bobbi Brown Black Cocoa Metallic Eye Shadow, a sooty back with coppery brown speckles, to the outer corners of the eyes.

To illuminate the region beneath the brow, I traced the area using the It Cosmetics Brow Power Lift and patted the pearly pink nude color onto the skin. Last, I applied three coats of Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes Mascara for full and dramatic, intensely black lashes.

To balance out the gray tones of my eye look, I reached for the NARS Bilbao Lipstick and applied the yummy topaz shade to my lips.

 

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DARK RITE SOFT TOUCH SHADOW PENCIL

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Van Gogh’s “Starry Night Over the Rhone” painting could have, at least theoretically, been the inspiration behind the Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24 at NARScosmetics.com). This creamy navy blue color glides right onto lids and boasts a gel-like consistency, and it’s easy to either spread it atop lids using a brush for a glossy shadow look or to smudge it along the lash line for a smokier, more ethereal effect. The nocturnal blue color is gorgeous enough, but it’s the royal blue, silver, and aqua micropearls that give the shade greater depth and complexity, making it look like a slice of starry sky.

Here’s what the Dark Rite pencil looks like on skin:

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GAIETY BLUSH


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This ’80s-inspired pink blush has the vivacity of a Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-type movie, but that’s precisely what will entice you about the  Gaiety Blush ($28 at NARScosmetics.com). The powder blush has a near matte finish that makes it all the more wearable, and the cotton candy pink just screams girl power. Cue Jem and the Holograms!

 

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MEXICAN ROSE VELVET GLOSS LIP PENCIL

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The Mexican Rose Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24 at NARScosmetics.com) manages to extract the best qualities of all prior lip color product types. First, it has the vinyl-like finish of a lip gloss minus the stickiness or the wimpy pigmentation. Next, its color is as rich and bright as those of many solid lipsticks. Third, it boasts a sheer finish but is buildable enough for you to pick your level of intensity. Fourth, it won’t dry out your pout like so many lip stains. And five, you can perfectly outline your lips and fill them in thanks to the pencil construction.

Because of the glaze-like quality of the product, the hot pink shade reminds of slightly melted raspberry sorbet. Get a taste with this photo:

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BILBAO LIPSTICK

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François Nars seemed particularly smitten with Frank Gehry’s design for the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain, when developing his newest lipstick shade. Though Gehry’s spellbinding, curvilinear structure was erected using a steel structure, titanium panels, glass, and bits of limestone, the sculptural, rounded shapes created by these surfaces work to reflect the waters of the Bay of Biscay and the rays of sunlight that beam upon it so that, on a particularly sunny day, the building appears to be this radiant golden topaz color. The Bilbao Lipstick ($24 at NARScosmetics.com) captures the warm, amber-y toffee shade of the museum when bathed in golden light.

Here’s what the satin lipstick looks like on skin:

 Nars-bilbao-lipstick-swatch

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