Sunday, 23 March 2014

NARS Carthage, Manhunt, Niagara

There's something so incredibly sophisticated and alluring about NARS which means I can't stop buying bits from them here and there. Most people find the matte, black, dust-magnet packaging annoying but it's beautiful to me. A few months back I decided to branch into sheer lipsticks. I started with Manhunt - I bought it as a present for myself, but I don't remember why. I never need much of an excuse to treat myself! Then at the start of February I added Niagara to my collection.

From top to bottom: Manhunt 1 swipe, 4 swipes. Niagara 1 swipe, 4 swipes. Carthage, 1 swipe, 4 swipes.

Manhunt is described as a "sheer poppy red". Swatched above at maximum opacity. It looks much redder in the tube than it does on the lips, and, truth be told, I still haven't made up my mind about it. I bought it with the intention of using it when I'm doing a more bold eye look - that is, anything other than mascara on my eyes - to cover up the odd blue tinge my top lip gets when the temperature drops below about 5 degrees. This needs reapplying after a meal but lasts through a drink.

Niagara (swatched above at maximum opacity) is a Satin, not a Sheer, but if you're used to mattes and bold shades, they are one and the same. It's described perfectly as a "pink based coral". It can come up a little more orange on me in certain lights, and again, I haven't decided whether it suits me or not, but one thing's for sure - it looks much better now that I've bleached my hair than it did with my original mousy brown. I usually apply multiple layers and it lasts 4-5 hours.

Less than 24 hours after I bleached my hair, Into The Gloss published an article about bleached hair tips. I took to the comments section to announce my dye job and attached a photo, but noted that I wasn't sure whether my lipstick collection would still suit me. The lovely Lacey, who wrote the article, replied that she reckoned I'd suit a matte orange-red (hooray for Illamasqua Liable) or a glossy mid-pink (I'm looking at you, Bite Beauty Garnet - review to come). Spurred on by the recommendations, I purchased Carthage Pure Matte - as a bright, cool pink it doesn't fit either of her suggestions, but I'd wanted it for ages and never thought I could pull it off. With my new blonde, I thought it would give me a bit of an ironic Barbie vibe, because that's totally a thing. With MAC Prep + Prime Lip, Carthage lasts around 7 hours / through a couple of drinks / a frozen yoghurt - whichever your chosen unit of time happens to be. I just couldn't get Carthage to photo well on my lips, but my arm swatch was pretty spot on.

NARS lipsticks, lip pencils and lip glosses range from £17 to £18.50, though a price rise will come with the new gloss formula. I'm sort of paralysed by my indecisiveness - I've narrowed my next one down to Schiap, Heat Wave, Afghan Red, Rouge Basque, Shanghai Express, Timanfaya, Rikugien, Majella, Walkyrie or Bahama. So what I'm saying is, I haven't narrowed it down at all.

What are your favourite NARS lip offerings?

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