Wednesday, July 31, 2013

NARS Matte Eyeshadow Singles in Yamal and Namibia - Review, Pictures, Swatches

NARS Namibia and Yamal eyeshadow on
L to R Namibia and Yamal
I have to admit. I was a little hesitant about using matte eyeshadows, but I had read decent reviews things about the mattes from NARS, so I decided to give it a try.  I received two shadows. One called Yamal and one called Namibia.  

What stuck me first was that the color names seemed to be mixed up. Namibia is a country in Southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean.  They gained independence from South Africa in 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence. In my mind, Namibia eyeshadow should be tan color. But it isn't, it's the light grey color.  Conversely Yamal, which is a peninsula in Northwest Siberia, Russia is mostly permafrost, and it means "End of the world" by the native Nenets that live there.  Yamal eyeshadow is tan, but in my mind should be the light grey color.  I know you all actually don't care, but for some reason that stuck with me. I had to get it off my chest.

Let's start with the eyeshadow I did like and then go to the one I didn't.

Yamal is a neutral tan that leans slightly warm on my cool toned lids.  However on my arm swatch it looks neutral.  Yamal is a matte shadow and fairly pigmented.  

It applies evenly with little to no patchiness.  The color is a good base color. It will be a great neutral for many people that are looking for a basic matte tan shadow.  

The wear time is equal with other NARS shadows, and I experienced no creasing or fading when I wore it with an eyeshadow primer.

As you can see in the Eye Of The Day (EOTD) picture, Yamal is your basic matte shadow.  What I did notice what they my lids are looking rough and crepe-y. Blerg!  Need to step up use of my eye cream!

I added NARS Mekong (review here) to the crease and the NARS Eyeliner Stylo in Nuku Hiva (review here) along the upper lash line.  This made for a nice, yet conservative eye look that I could easily wear to the office or on the weekend.

The second shadow I tried was Namibia.  Namibia is a remarkably pretty looking dove grey with cool to neutral undertones.  

Unlike Yamal, Namibia lacked significantly in pigmentation and applied slightly more patchy than Yamal.  I was not impressed by this shadow.  It had so much potential because the color is so pretty, but alas, the lack of pigmentation or sheerness of the shadow leaves little to be desired.  

I did get decent wear time with this shadow and experienced no creasing, but I couldn't tell if it faded because the initial application was poor.

As you see above, this is Namibia alone on the lid. It's extremely sheer and slightly patchy upon application.

Here, I have paired it with the dark grey shade from the NARS Tzarine eyeshadow duo (review here) in the crease and the NARS Eyeliner Stylo in Carpates (review here). This combination makes for a more dramatic eye that looked a little too "dramatic" for my office but nice for an evening out.  The matte base of Namibia provided a lovely contrast to the shimmery grey from Tzarine and made it look slightly more conservative than my usual "SHIMMER ALL THE THINGS" shadow looks I usually wear.

Overall I was pleased with the Yamal shadow but not impressed very much with either one of them.  Do you NEED these?  No.  Sadly The Yamal is an admirable quality, but there are less expensive dupes out there. The Namibia is a total pass unless they reformulate it and make it more pigmented and less patchy.  Your results may vary.

What say you?  Are you a matte shadow enthusiast? Do you like a healthy mix of shimmer and matte?  If you already have these shadows, was your experience different than mine?  Maybe it was just user error.

NARS Matte Single eyeshadows in Namibia and Yamal retail for $24 USD and can be found on and soon at other retailers that carry the NARS brand.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays - Top Ten Items In My Beach Bag

Top 10 Beach Bag Essentials from

This week's Top Ten Tuesday was kind of a challenge for me.  I don't really go to the beach.  Like ever.  It's not the fact that the nearest beach is a three and a half hour drive from where I live. It's not the fact that I hate being seen in a bathing suit (OK it is partially that), the main reason I don't go to the beach...

...that meme just about sums it up. I burn, no matter how much sunscreen I apply, and I get heat exhaustion nine times out of ten. Heat stroke is far more serious, and I have had that a few times but not recently.  Anyway. What I'm trying to say is. The sunlight and me do not get along.  I just as soon stay indoors until the sun starts to set. I'm not a vampire, but I certainly can see the benefits of sleeping all day.  I digress.

So if I were going to the beach, what would I bring?  All hypothetical, of course.

SUNSCREEN!  Coola has some sunscreens that don't smell like sunscreens!  I have been testing the Coola Total Body SPF 30 in Plumeria sunscreen, and it's awesome. It is so nicely scented as well as easily absorbed. I feel as if I'm applying a scented lotion rather than sunscreen.  This is great for those that hate that suntan lotion scent. You can also find this at

 I also have been testing the Coola Sport Continuous  Spray SPF 35 Citrus Mimosa.  This is divine, and the spray does not leave a greasy feel on the skin.  The product has a wide spray area so be careful who or what is standing next to you when you apply this sucker.  Don't forget to rub in your spray sunscreen!  You can also find this at

For my face,  I'll stick with my tried and true Elta MD UV Clear. It's one of the few sunscreens that actually makes my skin look better!

Last but not least, I would have to protect my lips.  That's why I would carry the Supergoop! AcaiFusion SPF 30 lip balm. It comes in a sheer pink color so I can avoid that "corpse lips" look on the beach.

Of course,  I don't believe in sunscreen alone to protect me.  I usually wear a Hat, Sunglasses and SPF rated clothing to keep those rays off of my skin.

The Wallaroo Hat Company makes some pretty cool Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rated hats for your protection. I like a wider brimmed hat and the Savannah model would be perfect for giving that old timey Hollywood starlet glam. It has a 5"  brim and is UPF rated 50. Plus an internal drawstring guarantees  a perfect fit no matter how big my head gets.

Then there is the Coolibar Beach Shirt. If I were going to the beach. I  probably would buy this handy shirt with adjustable sleeves and a hood. Coolibar clothing has a UPF of 50+  Gotta like that.

Staying hydrated in the sun is really important. I would bring along a lot of water with me.  But let's face it. Water alone can be pretty boring after a while.  There are those water enhancers, but most of them are filled with sucralose or aspartame and I want no part of that.  I was recently sent some water enhancers from a company called Stur Drinks.  They too have fun flavors to turn my water into something more, but instead os sucralose, which has been shown to cause even stronger sugar cravings, Stur uses natural Stevia for sweetener. Stevia does not cause those cravings (as far as we know), and it's just better for you.  Plus Stur flavors are very light, so I don't feel like I'm drinking a juice full of chemicals.  Stur flavors my water lightly, and the flavors I have tried are all exceptionally refreshing. I like the cucumber mint mixed with the lemonade for that Spa Water type drink.

The rest of my list is pretty straight forward.

I would pick a pretty and colorful beach tote like this one from Roxy. It's called their Chillax Neoprene Beach Tote.  It's made from neoprene! (The stuff wet suits are made out of)

I don't leave the house without sunglasses.  These white sunglasses from Givenchy caught my eye, but I'm not paying over $385 for a pair of shades.

Therefore, this bargain set from Jessica Simpson would do just fine for me!

I adore my KEEN Bali sandals. I have two pairs already and might pick up a third. I don't like the flip flops that have a thong between your toes. They irritate my little princess feet!

Even though my hair would be protected from the sun by wearing my hat, I would still want to add my Leonor Greyl Huile de Palme to protect my hair from absorbing the salt water, which may dry it out and fade my hair color.

If I did venture into the water, I would want to make sure that my hair is combed out and not full of knots and seaweed. The Wet Brush is an awesome little brush that gets rid of tangles in wet hair so easily and so gently that even tender headed little ole me feels no pain.  I use this after I shower too. It's been a savior to my sensitive scalp!

Because it can get hot and icky at the beach, I would bring along my Caudalie Beauty Elixir. This cooling and refreshing spray contains water and essential oils for revive the skin.  Of course applying sunscreen after use might be necessary.

I'm fortunate that I am so bitter that mosquitoes don't bite me, but I'm not taking any chances, so I' would take Burt's Bees All Natural Outdoor Herbal Insect Repellent.  I hear it works like a charm without harmful chemicals.

Oh and don't forget the Beach Umbrella and Beach Chair so I can read my latest Zombie novel in the shade!

Do you go to the beach?  What are some of your favorite beauty products to bring along?

Did you notice there were more than 10 items on this list?  Yeah. I cheated.

Don't forget to visit these magnificent blogs for more Top Ten Beach Bag lists!

Top Ten Tuesday
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NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation - Images and Information

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation on

NARS is expanding its foundation lineup!  NARS introduces the Radiant Cream Compact Foundation.  It is described as a lightweight formula that combines the moisturizing feel of a cream foundation with the weightless coverage of a liquid foundation.

The Radiant Cream Compact Foundation is enriched with the NARS Advanced Emulsion Technology allowing the cream formula to blend seamlessly and allows for the versatility of a wet or dry application.  The buildable formula is supposed to deliver medium to full coverage and should set in seconds.  This foundation is supposed to leave your skin soft, smooth and glowing...all with the ease of a portable compact.  

The NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation will retail for $38 USD and will be available starting on August, 1, 2013 at NARS flagship boutiques and on

Shades include (From lightest to darkest):


Siberia - Light with Neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones

Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc - Light with pink undertones


Gobi - For Asian skin Light with yellow undertones


Deauville - Light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones


Fiji - Light with yellow undertones


Ceylan - For Asian skin Light-medium with yellow undertones

Punjab - Medium with golden, peachy undertones


Vallauris (NEW) - Medium with pink undertones

Santa Fe

Santa Fe - Medium with peachy undertones


Stromboli - Medium with olive undertones


Barcelona - Deeper Medium with golden, peachy undertones


Syracuse - Medium-dark with brown undertones


Tahoe - Medium-dark with caramel undertones


Cadiz - Medium-dark with caramel and red undertones


Macao - Medium-dark with deep yellow undertones

New Guinea

New Guinea - Dark with red undertones


Trinidad - Dark with warm, yellow undertones 

New Orleans

New Orleans - Dark with yellow undertones


Benares - Dark with golden undertones 


Khartoum - Dark with espresso undertones 

So what say you?  Interested in a new foundation?  You think your color match is among the 20 different shades?  I will be testing this out and will have a review up as soon as I can.
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