Filed In: Comparisons

NARS | VIP Red, Chelsea Girls & Baby Doll, Fall 2015

NARS Fall 2015 lips opener

For the Fall 2015 Color Collection (Tribulation blush reviewed here), NARS introduces three new lip products: VIP Red lipstick (CAN $34.00, limited edition) described as a ‘Dark Brique’, along with Chelsea Girls & Baby Doll Lip Glosses (CAN $32.00 each), described as ‘Pink Beige’ and ‘Shimmering Candy Pink’, respectively. For those who have been fans of this brand for years now, you might find that the names of the lip glosses sounds familiar; originally released in jar format (now discontinued) the brand has revived and reformulated these two best-selling shades, and I for one couldn’t be happier as I loved the originals – but let’s just say that the jar style of gloss does not always stand the test of time.


NARS Fall 2015 lips open

NARS | Chelsea Girls, Baby Doll, VIP Red


VIP Red (limited edition) | a warm toned deep brick red hue in an opaque formula with a shiny, but not glossy, finish. Velvety smooth in application, this colour screams “Fall” to me and strikes just the right balance between vampy dark & sophisticated bright, making it easily wearable for a wide variety of skin tones.

As this shade is highly pigmented, it can still be made office-friendly by being applied as more of a stain; simply swipe on a layer, blot, then add a balm on top for a touch of extra moisture (this is my daytime method of wearing such colour-saturated lipsticks), or amp up the intensity with another [unblotted] swipe for an after-hours look. As is usually the case with such intense lipstick shades, a matching liner will help define the edges and keep the colour within bounds, although I’m really into the more relaxed ‘slept-in’ look of makeup that’s trending right now (plus it makes application so much more fuss-free). Wear time is excellent – easily 9 hours of wear, and even after eating and drinking you’ll find you still have plenty of solid colour, with minimal migrating/bleeding into any surrounding lip lines, most likely because this formula is so dense; dark/vibrant lipsticks that are in a more emollient format don’t fare so well on my lips.







NARS VIP Red swatch

NARS | VIP Red swatch

NARS Chelsea Girls

Chelsea Girls | a nude rose hue with beige undertones that leans more warm than cool, in a shimmer-free formula. Housed in a clear rectangular tube so you can easily see which shade you’re reaching for (as well as monitor product usage), there is no discernible scent (at least, for my nose) and the applicator is of the sponge doe-foot variety. The formula has en interesting texture, with enough weight to help it spread easily along the lips but not so watery that it gets pulled into the skin, non-sticky and coming to a glossy finish.

I’m a total sucker for anything neutral and nude/beige shades are my comfort zone, and finding one that doesn’t clash with my skin tone (light-medium with yellow undertones) can be an effort, but this shade works – providing enough colour to not make my lips disappear, but still staying well within the neutral range. As my lips are quite lined (ugh), lighter colours have a tendency to overly-emphasize said lines and while initial application of Chelsea Girls falls into that category, within about 10 minutes of wearing the product seemed to almost fill out and fuse better with my lips, a definite point in its favour. Wear time was surprisingly good for a colour so light, lasting easily 3.5 hours before fading into oblivion (wearing away much faster with eating & drinking, naturally), and leaves my lips feeling well hydrated long after all traces are gone.

NARS Chelsea Girls 2

NARS | Chelsea Girls


NARS Chelsea Girls swatch

NARS | Chelsea Girls swatch

NARS Baby Doll

Baby Doll | a soft rose/candy pink that leans more cool than warm, bearing tons of ultra-fine silvery shimmer and in the same format as Chelsea Girls. The formula feels slighter thinner in consistency but can be built up slightly for more opacity, while the shimmer has absolutely no gritty feel to it at all.

Even though Baby Doll is tailor-made for those with fair complexions, I am surprisingly able to wear this shade and it manages to not clash with my skin tone – possibly because it’s not an all-out cool colour. And while I personally have a hard time wearing pink anything, I like the fact that I can wear this shade without looking juvenile. Plus the name pushes all the right buttons for me (seriously).

NARS Baby Doll 2

NARS | Baby Doll



NARS | Baby Doll swatch


NARS Chelsea Girls & Baby Doll lipgloss comparisons


Two of the first NARS products I ever purchased, were Chelsea Girls and Baby Doll lip glosses, in their original jar formats and while I loved the colours (and the cute chubby little pots), there were serious drawbacks as well; for starters, you needed a lip brush to apply them and the formula itself was sticky & goopy from the get-go. Then there’s the fact that they seemed to go rancid quite quickly, upping the ick factor. So, I had them condemned in my pile of beauty products to throw out, but for some reason I never got around to actually getting rid of them – and now I’m glad I didn’t, as I’m able to properly compare the two versions (something to be said for being a beauty-product hoarder!)

As seen in the swatches below, there are differences in both colour and consistency:

  • Chelsea Girls (original) – more beige leaning, more opaque hue
  • Baby Doll (original) – deeper rose, thicker formula


NARS Chelsea Girls comparisons

NARS | Chelsea Girls comparisons (new vs original)

NARS Baby Doll comparisons

NARS | Baby Doll comparisons (new vs original)


Launching just three lip products in the Fall 2015 Color Collection is an interesting move and possibly means that NARS is that confident with their shade offerings; personally I find it makes my selection relatively easy, and while I have no problem with having options, too much of a good thing can also be a little overwhelming at times (or not, lol). Of the three items shown here, my picks are VIP Red for being such a strong and perfect Fall red (with a killer application to sweeten the deal), and Chelsea Girls, well, because I love neutral glosses and this is a great counterpart to smokey eye makeup.

The NARS Fall 2015 Color Collection is supposed to be available now through all NARS retailers across Canada (Sephora, The Bay, Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew and Murale). Find more information via

NARS Fall 2015 lips closer

Press samples kindly provided for my unbiased consideration

NARS | Jardin Perdu & Dolomites, Limited Edition

NARS Dolomites & Jardin Perdu opener


It’s no secret that NARS puts forth some of the most uniquely coloured eyeshadow pairings; add to that a formula that almost applies itself, such as that found with both Dolomites and Jardin Perdu of the Night Caller Fall 2014 Collection, and you have clear stand-out pieces. With their ability to be worn either dry or damp, or even mixed together to form a completely new and unheard-of-before colour, both of these limited edition duos are so worth checking out.


NARS Dolomites & Jardin Perdu closed

NARS | Jardin Perdu & Dolomites, Limited Edition


NARS Dolomites & Jardin Perdu

NARS | Jardin Perdu & Dolomites, Limited Edition


NARS Dolomites & Jardin Perdu flash

NARS | Jardin Perdu & Dolomites, Limited Edition (with flash)


NARS Jardin Perdu

Jardin Perdu, Limited Edition (CAN $39.00) | A complimentary pairing of steely silver and deep amethyst in a lush shimmer format, that leans more cool than warm. The formula on both is so colour saturated and rich, that you really do need to start with a light hand and build up as you go. I experience absolutely no powdery kickback upon swirling my brushes through either shade, as well as no fallout once they’re applied. Using a damp brush will definitely intensify each colour and bring out their complex shimmer, making the shades of Jardin Perdu last even longer. Staying power is excellent (regardless of whether worn dry or damp), and I get easily 10 hours wear without any fading or creasing (when worn over primer).


NARS Jardin Perdu label

NARS | Jardin Perdu, Limited Edition


NARS Jardin Perdu macro

NARS | Jardin Perdu, Limited Edition


NARS Jardin Perdu macro 2

NARS | Jardin Perdu, Limited Edition


NARS Jardin Perdu macro flash

NARS | Jardin Perdu, Limited Edition (with flash)


NARS Jardin Perdu swatch dry

NARS | Jardin Perdu, Limited Edition (swatched dry)


NARS Jardin Perdu swatch damp

NARS | Jardin Perdu, Limited Edition (swatched damp, left side of each shade only)


NARS Jardin Perdu & Kauai

My first thought when I saw the promo photos for this collection, was to compare Jardin Perdu to Kauai, which was originally released as part of the Spring 2014 Collection (reviewed here). To begin with, Kauai bears an tarnished gold shade (with pewter undertones) instead of silver, and even though the two purple shades may appear similar at first glance, they display their differences once applied – although the formula with either duo is the same:

  • Jardin Perdu – lighter in tone and with mauve/grey undertones
  • Kauai – deeper by several degrees, a more intense purple with violet undertones


NARS Jardin Perdu & Kauai flash

NARS | Jardin Perdu (LE) & Kauai


NARS Jardin Perdu & Kauai swatches dry

NARS | Jardin Perdu (LE) & Kauai, swatched dry


NARS Jardin Perdu & Kauai swatches damp

NARS | Jardin Perdu (LE) & Kauai, swatched damp


NARS Dolomites

Dolomites, Limited Edition (CAN $39.00) | A unique pairing that can work on both cool and warm skin tones, combining a shimmery rose quartz hue and a matte oxblood (with brown undertones in its base). Once again, a stellar formula with either shade, bearing strong colour saturation that can be worn damp or dry; applied with a fluffy brush, I get a light sweep of colour. Using a dampened brush yields more intensity, and I do not experience any fallout or powdery residue kicked up when swirling my brushes through them. An absolutely amazing duo for green and/or blue eyes, Dolomites will also compliment darker eye shades as well as suit a wide range of complexions. Wear time: seriously amazing, lasting minimum 10 hours (when applied over primer) without any fading or creasing.


NARS Dolomites label

NARS | Dolomites, Limited Edition


NARS Dolomites macro

NARS | Dolomites, Limited Edition


NARS Dolomites macro 2

NARS | Dolomites, Limited Edition


NARS Dolomites macro flash

NARS | Dolomites, Limited Edition


NARS Dolomites swatches dry

NARS | Dolomites, Limited Edition (swatched dry)


NARS Dolomites swatches damp

NARS | Dolomites, Limited Edition (swatched damp, left side of each shade only)


Something about NARS Eyeshadow Duos makes them really stand out for me, and while I may not always understand the colour pairings when I first look at them, I can see the genius thinking that went into the product once I start playing around with them. What surprised me the most with both of these duos, is that even though I’ve always been attracted to purples & silver such as those found in Jardin Perdu, I’m absolutely loving the warmer & earthier nature of Dolomites – especially the matte hue, which provides just the right amount of depth with colour to help create the most unique smokey eye look.

Both eyeshadow duos are limited edition and part of the Night Caller Fall 2014 Collection. Find more information via


NARS Dolomites & Jardin Perdu closer

*Disclosure: Press samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Lancome Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush (LE), French Ballerine Spring 2014 Collection

Lancome Rose Ballerine opener


The French Ballerine Spring 2014 launch by Lancôme is feminine and pretty to the core, with the centerpiece of this collection undoubtedly the Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush … from the detailed rose on the palette’s surface, to the hot pink bow on the compact’s cover, this is a product that will have you wanting to whip it out in public, if only to see the covetous looks it garners.

Before I get to the review, you should take note that this is a limited edition item. Fair warning …


The Pink Dancers, Before the Ballet – Edgar Degas, 1884 (source)

Lancome Rose Ballerine compact

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush

Lancome Rose Ballerine bow

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush, bow detail

Lancome Rose Ballerine label

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush

Lancome Rose Ballerine

Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush, limited edition (CAN $52.00) – This is a finely milled and cool leaning ‘ballet slipper’ pink hue, with an ultra fine silvery shimmer. While the consistency is on the sheer side, it can be built up slightly to show more colour – fairer skin types will absolutely love the rosy glow of this blush, although I suspect it will come off as more on the highlighter side for darker skin tones. Lasting power was quite decent as well, going easily to the 9-hour mark, although the colour faded before the sheen did.

Pink blushes can be quite difficult for me to pull off, as they often clash with the yellow undertones in my skin, but there seems to be enough warmth in this shade that actually works on me – in that glowy-flushed-skin kind of way. That being said, it is quite sheer and required several passes with my brush to show up, but I don’t mind the extra effort, as this shade is not only very complimentary, but blends so seamlessly and easily along the skin. The shimmer is visible when light catches it, with the ultra-fine texture helping it to meld with the skin and not stand out. I actually prefer using Rose Ballerine more as a luminous booster over a more matte blush, as it serves to add depth and bring light to the skin, which makes this a very versatile product indeed. With the beautifully crafted rose on this palette’s surface, I found the bow on the exterior to be almost superfluous, but then again – I’m not all that fond of bows to begin with. But it is cute, I’ll give it that.

Lancome Rose Ballerine shadow

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush … and a bonus rose shadow on the palette!

Lancome Rose Ballerine side

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush, raised detail

Lancome Rose Ballerine flash

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush (with flash)

Lancome Rose Ballerine swatch

Lancôme – Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush (swatched heavily on the left, blended out at right)

Lancome Rose Ballerine vs NARS Gaiety

I could have sworn that Rose Ballerine would be quite close to NARS’ Gaiety, but the swatches show how different they are, with Gaiety being more matte and pulling lavender (and bluer based) against my skin.

Lancome Rose Ballerine vs NARS Gaiety swatches

NARS Gaiety blush (left), Lancôme Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush (middle & right)


This is definitely the year of pinks and nudes and all that is vibrantly pretty – and it seems that every single brand is on the same page with their collections; the French Ballerine Spring 2014 Collection from Lancôme oozes prettiness, but in a totally wearable (read: modern) way, as this gorgeous Rose Ballerine Highlighter Blush proves, and let’s face it; there’s something about the ballet (pointe shoes, tutus, pulled-back ballerina hair, and always, the effortless elegance) that is almost … magical.

Available as of February wherever Lancôme products are sold, this is a limited edition item – and sure to sell out FAST.

Find more information via:

Lancome Rose Ballerine closer

*Disclosure: Product sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

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NARS New Attitude Blush (LE), Final Cut Collection

NARS New Attitude opener


Everything is most definitely coming up roses for Spring, if this capsule collection from NARS is anything to go by. Not to be confused with their Spring 2014 Collection, the 9 (and limited edition) pieces of the Final Cut Collection consists of 4 blushes, 4 Satin Lip Pencils (my post on ‘Torres del Paine‘ will be on the blog soon), and 1 Illuminator – all on a variation of this pink theme, with blush shades that can be effortlessly coordinated with the lip pencils, or mixed & matched at will. When I learned that this collection was exclusive to Holt Renfrew here in Canada (Nordstrom in the US), I raced over to check them out; after a few quick counter swatches, I simply could not resist this vibrant pink blush.

Yes, I have officially gone over to the pink side and there will be several posts coming up on the blog, that can more than confirm this. But I digress …

NARS New Attitude closed

NARS – New Attitude

NARS New Attitude label

NARS – New Attitude

NARS New Attitude blush

NARS New Attitude blush (CAN $33.00) – A peony pink hue that is warmed up by the reddish undertones in its base. This blush is very finely milled with no noticeable powdery residue, and while not intensely pigmented, neither does it fall on the subtle side. Easily blended along the skin for a fresh flush of colour, New Attitude can also be built up slightly for more depth. Staying power was quite good, lasting easily over 9 hours over foundation, less so on bare skin.

With my skin tone (light/medium with yellowish undertones), finding a pink shade that simulates that “I just took a brisk walk” look on my cheeks can be a challenge at best, but there’s enough warmth in New Attitude to work with me – powerfully feminine but still modern.

NARS New Attitude blush 2

NARS – New Attitude

NARS New Attitude blush macro

NARS – New Attitude, detail

NARS New Attitude blush 3

NARS – New Attitude

NARS New Attitude blush ingredients

NARS – New Attitude, ingredients list

NARS New Attitude blush swatch

NARS – New Attitude (swatched heavily on the left, blended out at right – direct sunlight)

NARS New Attitude blush swatch 2

NARS – New Attitude (swatched heavily on the left, blended out at right – in natural light)

NARS New Attitude & Gaiety blushes

While I initially believed New Attitude to be similar to Gaiety, you can clearly see that they’re different branches of the pink family, with Gaiety sporting a much cooler tone due to its lavender undertones.

NARS New Attitude & Gaiety swatches

NARS – Gaiety (left), New Attitude (middle & right)

NARS New attitude blush & comparisons

NARS – New Attitude (shown beside a few other contenders for comparison purposes – not swatched)


Maybe it’s because this has been such a dreary and miserably cold Winter, but I’m finding myself drawn more and more to anything pink – it somehow seems symbolic of Spring and the coming warmth to me. The NARS Final Cut Collection beautifully fills this craving with a small but perfectly curated selection of blushes, with enough variation in colour to suit most skin tones across the board. As these pieces are all limited edition, you might want to act fast. And think about backups, while you’re at it.

I purchased this product from Holt Renfrew, Montréal

NARS New Attitude closer

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CHANEL Joues Contraste #84 Accent (LE) – Holiday 2013 & comparisons

CHANEL Accent opener


For Holiday 2013, the House of CHANEL has released a small-scale collection, filled with products that are exquisitely made and in completely wearable hues. While several items caught my eye, the Joues Contraste Powder Blush in #84 Accent seemed to stand out; there’s just something about it … something special, but in a completely understated way.

CHANEL Accent label

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent

CHANEl Accent blush

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent

CHANEl Accent blush 2

Joues Contraste #84 Accent Powder Blush (CAN $48.00) – A tawny/taupe hue with the barest hints of mauve and peach in the base to warm it up, and bearing an incredibly fine shimmer throughout. Surprisingly pigmented for a light shade, there was hardly any powdery kickback when I swirled my brush in the pan. Application couldn’t be easier as well, as this shade blends beautifully and seamlessly into the skin, while the shimmer serves to add a gorgeous yet soft, luminous glow. Lasting power was quite good – going easily 9 hours before any significant fading.

Don’t let the tan colour in the pan fool you; this is a universally flattering shade that will suit a broad range of skin tones, except for perhaps the darkest – where it probably won’t really show up at all.

CHANEL Accent blush side

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent

CHANEl Accent blush detail

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent

CHANEL Accent blush flash

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent (with flash)

CHANEL Accent blush swatch 2

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent (blended out on the right)

CHANEl Accent vs Notorious

CHANEL – Notorious (left) & Joues Contraste #84 Accent 

When the first promotional images began circulating, I assumed that #84 Accent was very similar to Notorious (previously reviewed here), but as can be clearly seen in the photos, they are nothing alike.

CHANEL Accent vs Notorious swatch

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent & Notorious swatches

CHANEl Accent blush with comparisons

I then pulled out all similarly coloured blushes in my collection to compare to #84 Accent and while a couple looked like contenders, I was happy to note that none had the same tone or finish.

  • MAC Harmony – close in base tone, but without any shimmer
  • NARS Douceur – significantly lighter and less pigmented, similar base hue
  • MAC Garb – peachier and lighter hued
  • MAC Get-Away Bronze – the darkest, more orange toned and with an obvious golden shimmer

CHANEL Accent and comps swatches

CHANEL – Joues Contraste #84 Accent & comparisons


This is a blush that I find myself turning to almost on a daily basis. Perfect for when you want a light and natural looking flush along the skin, it also lends itself well to be used as a contour, then adding a pop of brighter colour on the apples of the cheeks. Note that this is a limited edition item (big mistake, CHANEL – you need to make this permanent) and still available at counters – but not for long, as the Spring 2014 Collection has already started making its appearance.

CHANEL Accent closer

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