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Pair of Kings — Pierre Hardy for NARS Collection

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They say one is the loneliest number — and no one knows that better than a footwear designer, whose very livelihood is contingent upon the design and construction of a perfect pair. So it should come as no surprise that, when collaborating with NARS Cosmetics on a limited-edition makeup collection, shoe designer Pierre Hardy opted primarily for an assortment of nail polish duos.  The Pierre Hardy for NARS collection does incorporate two blush shades, each featuring Hardy’s signature cubic print, but the bulk of the collection caters to nail art hounds, with six nail lacquer duos packaged in miniature boxes that include dust bags as an ode to Hardy’s footwear design roots. Since Pierre Hardy’s Summer 2013 footwear collection incorporates numerous wedges and strappy sandals with intricately color-blocked designs,  these nail lacquer duos seem to invite women to create their own nail art designs, to explore the art of color contrast, and to toy with geometric motifs of their very own

The Pierre Hardy for NARS Collection, then, incorporates the following nail lacquer duos:

ETHNO RUN: A creamy Sunkist orange lacquer paired with a creamy, ink-y, near-black navy blue

SHARPLINES: A creamy peach lacquer paired with a creamy, ultra-dark, vampy burgundy color

VERTEBRA: A honeysuckle pink with a creamy finish paired with a mauve-ish, dusty rose color, again with a creamy finish

SHARKS: A creamy pastel yellow paired with an Easter-worthy, creamy lavender hue

EASY WALKING: A light rose gold with an even metallic sheen paired with a leather-worthy , butterscotch-y camel hue

VENEMOUS: A glitter-tinged metallic gunmetal hue paired with a creamy black hue

 

All the nail lacquer duos  are available at NARScosmetics.com for$29 each.

I’ve had the opportunity to try two of the nail lacquer duos: Ethno Run and Sharplines. As both a nail polish aficionado and a shoe hound, I was beyond excited about this collection but, once I looked at all the shade offerings, I admit I was  a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a wider breadth of color or even textures. Where are the greens, reds, and purples? The teal, aqua, and sunshine yellow hues? Well, they’re unfortunately missing from this particular collection. Once I accepted that fact, I chose two duos that I felt lent themselves to fun contrasts, as they consisted of one bright and punchy shade, while the other was darker, more provocative and moodier. Below, you can check out swatches, as well as thoughts on both of these duos!

 

NARS X PIERRE HARDY ETHNO RUN NAIL POLISH SET

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I’ve long known that orange and blue are an unexpectedly harmonious combination but, typically, I tend to toy with lighter shades of blue — be it aqua, turquoise, teal, or cerulean tones. The Ethno Run duo toys with this orange-and-blue combination but the twist is that the blue tone is a navy shade so deep, it’s practically black. The Ethno Run Left nail lacquer, in and of itself, is lovely — albeit somewhat predictable and, hence, unremarkable. The color is  a deep Tropicana orange, and it has a nice creamy texture and an all-over sheen. The Ethno Run Right nail lacquer, meanwhile, is a  blue so dark, it  practically belongs in an inkwell. When you apply it to your nails, it will look slightly gothic since the blue is so incredibly dark, but once you’re in the sunlight, the blue undertones will start to reveal themselves.

In terms of how the two shades work together, I wasn’t very thrilled by the result. I tried a simple orange mani with dark blue tips and my 9-year-old son said to me, “Why are your nails those colors? It’s not Halloween!” I, of course, laughed out loud, but truth be told, he simply vocalized what I was already thinking: that my nails looked like an ode to jack-o-lanterns.

Below, check out how the Ethno Run Left polish looks on nails:

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nars-x-pierre-hardy-ethno-run-left-polish

Next check out an updated French manicure made using the Ethno Run Left and tipped with the Ethno Run Right shade:

nars-x-pierre-hardy-ethno-run-right-with-ethno-run-left

nars-x-pierre-hardy-ethno-run-mani

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 PIERRE HARDY FOR NARS SHARPLINES NAIL POLISH SET

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I had high hopes for the Sharplines nail lacquer duo and, thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. This duo incorporates Sharplines Left, a light peach cobbler shade with a creamy texture and a shiny finish, and Sharplines Right, a creamy dark burgundy hue that’s close to a blackened wine, reminiscent of a glass of Bordeaux wine.

Check 0ut how the Sharplines Left shade looks on nails:

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nars-x-pierre-hardy-sharplines-left-nail-polish

To play with color-blocking a bit, I created a “split personality” manicure using the Sharplines Left and Sharplines Right hues. To do so, I coated the entire nail with the Sharplines Left shade, applying two coats and waiting until nails were fully dry. Next, I placed clear Scotch tape on each nail, covering the right half of each nail fully. I then applied the Sharplines Right hue to the left side of each nail, applying two coats. I waited for the lacquer to dry, then removed the tape, and then applied a top coat to add sheen and lock in the hues. The final result looked really chic, and I was left wanting to try other looks like a half-moon mani or even a quirky polka dot motif.

Check out photos of the two-toned design I created below:

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nars-x-pierre-hardy-sharplines-mani

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