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NARS Cosmetics Spring 2013 Collection — Makeup with Moxie

Inspired by the many fashion trends that emerged in the 1990s — think of TLC’s oversize clothing in the “Baby Baby Baby” and “What About Your Friends” era, Salt N Pepa’s bright swimsuits, striped cropped shorts, and hot pants in the “Shoop” video, the vibrant colors and prints Gianni Versace employed during this time, or the oft outlandish ensembles donned by the Spice Girls — NARS Cosmetics founder François Nars created the Spring 2013 makeup collection, an assortment of statement-making colors.

The NARS Cosmetics Spring 2013 collection is so dynamic and vivid that it almost feels like a summer palette but, of course, eye shadows and lipsticks have a sheerness to them that renders them a bit softer and more timid, speaking to the optimism of spring without going into a high-voltage territory that would be more befitting of summer. Unlike the pastel shades we typically see in the spring, then, this collection incorporates vivacious colors like turquoise, teal, sangria red, and burnt paprika orange, along with other shades that are perhaps more typical of the season such as a lavender-tinged, tulle pink and slightly deeper peony pink, a light gold hue, and a metallic pink rose.

The products in the collection, then, are:

Bouthan Duo Eyeshadow — a palette that combines a light, whitened pink with cool undertones with a brighter pink hue sprinkled with gold shimmer

Mad Mad World Duo Eyeshadow — a dynamic palette that might remind you of the waters surrounding Bora Bora, with a greenish blue lagoon color reminiscent of the Pacific islands and a deep turquoise color reminiscent of a swimming pool

Persia Single Eyeshadow — a paprika orange with a slightly burnt, dirty-looking quality and a matte finish

Corcovado Soft Touch Shadow Pencil — a light gold color with a sophisticated metallic finish and an all-over creamy sheen

Seduction Blush — a sangria red that’s slightly diluted

Cythere Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil — a pearlescent metallic rose pink with an all-over sheen

Dressed to Kill Lipstick — a semi-sheer, glaze-like maroonish rose color with fuchsia undertones and gold shimmer

Disco Inferno Nail Polish — a liquid silver color with iridescent green swirls

Below you’ll find a breakdown of all the products I tried in the collection, along with swatches and details on each.

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If there’s one palette that will capture your attention immediately, it’s the NARS Mad Mad World Duo Eyeshadow ($34 at Sephora.com). Both of these colors have a tropical quality that will make you feel like reaching for your thong sandals and oversize sunnies. The eye shadow duo incorporates an intense cyan blue color that offers full coverage and has a near-matte finish, along with a softer, semi-sheer parakeet green shade reminiscent of a lagoon in the Pacific Islands and incorporating a hint of shimmer for a dewy finish.

Whether the shades make you think of the bright jackets and shirts worn on ’90s sitcoms like A Different World and Saved By The Bell or they make you long for a Caribbean getaway, the eye shadows in the Mad Mad World palette will make you fall madly in love.

Check out swatches of the two colors below:

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Pink eye shadows were a major beauty trend on Spring/Summer 2013 runways, popping up at the Creatures of the Wind, Donna Karan, Bibhu Mohapatra, and Chris Benz shows, and they have recently been spotted on the lids of leading ladies at many a red carpet event— from Emma Stone at the 2012 Oscars to Michelle Trachtenberg at the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises and Elle Fanning at the 2013 Critics’ Choice Awards.

The NARS Bouthan Duo Eyeshadow ($34 at Sephora.com) allows you to play with this trend without diving right into the more intimidating magenta and neon pink colors. The palette, then, includes a chalky, whitened, petal pink hue with a soft and velvety matte finish and, for contrast, it’s accompanied by a darker pink rose color that also has cool undertones but which is infused with a more significant amount of shimmer. Pink eyes can breathe life into your face, giving you a more youthful appearance, and these shades are an excellent way to achieve that look. Check out the swatches below:

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Unlike so many lip colors that neatly fall into either the pink or red family, the NARS Dressed To Kill Lipstick ($26 at Sephora.com) seems to straddle both of these categories, fusing maroonish and raspberry tones  with a medium tawny rose shade. But perhaps the most peculiar thing about this lipstick is that it is saturated with golden shimmer, even incorporating more glitter than most lip glosses. For women who love that bit of sparkle and who often add a layer of gloss to their lipstick just so they can achieve this effect, the Dressed To Kill will feel heaven sent but those of us who aren’t quite as fond of glitter might feel less enthused. Overall, the buildable but semi-sheer color is pretty  but I do think that, when applied to lips, the glittery finish can seem a bit too juvenile.

Check out swatches of the lipstick below:

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Whether you want to pull off a full-on metallic eye look or simply add a touch of golden color to a look centered on another shade, the NARS Corcovado Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24 at Sephora.com) will help you accomplish this feat. Unlike Hollywoodland, which is a pale, almost pearlescent gold shade, Corcovado is a clean, bright, 24K gold shade with a creamy texture and a sophisticated, all-over sheen. The shade’s name was likely inspired by Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica, once a popular mining locale. This color can, of course, be applied all over the lid and crease or it can be used to line the lash line. Either way, the color will have that slightly wet-looking luster that we associate with cream shadows and it won’t crease, run, flake, or crack. For the summer, I totally plan on pairing this golden shade with sandy beige, seashell peach, and taupe colors for a beach-worthy look.

Check out a swatch of the Corcovado Soft Touch Pencil below:

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 Last, you’ll find a couple of photos that show how the Bouthan eye shadows look on the lids. This is a really simple, low-key look that I experimented with over a lazy weekend so don’t expect tons of tricks and technique for this one! But, hey, sometimes easy and laid-back is in order.

To create the eye look, I started by applying the lighter pink color within the Bouthan Duo Eyeshadow  to my lower lids, working the shade into the crease and blending it therein. I then lined my lash line with the Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Corcovado, creating a thick line that extended to the outer corners of the eyes. Next, I used a flat eyeshadow brush and swept the darker pink color in the Bouthan palette atop the gold liner, working this deeper shade up to the area right below the crease. Next, I again reached for the lighter pink color and, using circular motions and a bushy crease brush, I brushed it onto the crease, buffing the area and blending this color with the darker shade beneath it to create a more seamless and slightly gradient effect.  I loved how, when the darker pink shade was layered atop the gold liner, it transformed the latter into a rosegold-tinged fuchsia that made the eyes pop. I finished by adding a couple of coats of black mascara.

Check it out below:

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