Nars Under Cover | How Good is it Really ?

Hello my Bunnies,

Today I’m finally going to talk to you about one of the most exciting parcels that landed on my doorstep.

It’s the Nars Under Cover collection, which is their collection for the summer 2016.

I don’t really know Nars products that well (actually, these are the first ones I’m trying) so I’m really excited to finally discover this very hyped-up brand.

I almost got the entire collection (I’m missing two lip covers) so I’m going to be able to give you a good round up of what’s on offer. You’ll find makeup tips, makeup ideas and swatches down below.

Let’s get to it !

Unlike everybody else who’s talked about this collection I don’t think that I’m going to address the packaging with quite the same enthusiasm.

Indeed, I feel like everybody who talked about this collection was crazy in love with the packaging (the cardboard boxes that is), I must admit that it’s not something that gets me quite as excited. Indeed the boxes are really really pretty, they’re just cardboard boxes and they’ll either end up in the trash or gathering dust somewhere.

That being said,  Konstantin Kakanias’ illustrations are beautiful and I would have liked them to be included on the actual packaging, much like they did for the Steven Klein collection which would have allowed us to keep these gorgeous illustrations in our makeup collection.

But like I said, I’m not as interested in the packaging as I am by what’s inside.

I’m going to start with the blushes, there are two shades in the collection : Sexual Content* and Liberation*. They’re  Dual Intensity Blush, which means that they can be used both dry and wet to amp up the intensity.

On all the pictures, Sexual Content is on the left and liberation on the right. The colours of Sexual content are very true to reality but Liberation comes up a lot lighter on camera than it does in real life. It wasn’t the best days for pictures so I apologise for the mediocre quality.

Sexual Content is the blush that I’m most drawn to. It contains a gorgeous peachy shade and a dusky pink. Both shades have a satin finish.

I really love to use this blush by using Charlotte Tilbury’s technique, that is by applying the peachy shade generously all over my cheeks and then by popping the pinky shade right in the centre, om the apple of the cheek. (This is the technique that inspired Charlotte’s “swish & pop” blushes, you swish the other shade all over the cheek and the pop the inner color on the apple of the cheek)

This technique gives a very natural result as the colour is quite uniformly applied and gives a nice gradient effect. As the blush has just the right amount of pigmentation, the application is easy and almost fool-proof.

Liberation on the other hand is made out of a pink that is slightly brighter and a tad more orange-y than that of Sexual Content and of a brown shade that almost looks like a bronzer but that’s in fact much more pink.

I also like to use both colours at the same time but differently. What I usually do is that I apply the brown shade almost where I would apply my contour (in the hollows of the cheeks when you do a fish face) but a tad higher than where I would actually apply my contour shade, and I bring it all the way to the roots of my hair. I then apply the pink shade right on the apple of the cheek.

N.B: you’ll find swatches for the blushes at the end of this post

If you’ve read Roberta’s article about this collection (here) you’ll know that she found the longevity of the blushes to be a little disappointing.

I must say that I haven’t had the same problem (different skin, different problems, it’s the game of makeup)

Blushes in general are not the products that stay the longest on my skin, but I was happy to see that Liberation lasted on my cheeks during a whole shift at the restaurant (that is, approximately from 5pm to midnight) which I’d say is pretty impressive, especially considering things get quite messy and sweaty.

Other than that I find that these blushes are really easy to work with, the pigmentation is good and they blend very nicely on the cheeks.

As for using them wet … well with my ghost face I must say that the pigmentation is more than enough for me, but based on my experience with the dual intensity eye shadows, I’m guessing that these would work just as well wet and definitely would become a lot more intense.

These blushes aren’t cheap (61.-CHF) but I must say that I’m sold. The longevity is really good, the application process is easy and I really like having two colours in one.

Next up are the Dual Intensity Eyeshadows. There are four shades in the summer collection : Topless*, Tan Lines*, Shark Pool* et Deep End*. Just like the blushes they can be used both dry or wet for a more intense result.

Topless is a pinkish white with a satin finish and a few micro golden glitter particles (but they’re really small, there are very little of them and they’re a toned down gold) and it’s the perfect shade to highlight the inner corner or under the brow bone.
It also looks great as a highlighter on the cheeks. #multitasking

Tan Lines is a gorgeous brown, slightly warm, with a satin finish. I love to use this shade in the crease or to deepen the outer corner.

Shark Pool is a satiny blue with purple undertones. It’s the only shade in the collection that I don’t really like as I don’t think that it looks good with my skin tone.

Deep End is a gorgeous green with a satin finish, you could almost say that it’s a mallard green. It’s not a colour that I wear on a daily basis but I quite like it in the centre of the lid with topless in the inner corner and tan lines in the crease (there’ll be a picture of that look down below)

However, I’m sad to say that I’m not entirely convinced by these eyeshadows.

I feel like the idea of the Dual Intensity shadows is in fact nothing but a bad compromise. Here’s why:

When you look at the swatches (finger swatches) it looks like the shadows have great pigmentation, and they do but hear me out. It’s probably due to the fact that our fingertips are always slightly humid and/or warm.

Because when you pick theses shadows with a brush, the pigmentation isn’t great at all. It’s particularly obvious with the two bright shades. Even if you try to pack it up, when using a dry brush, you’ll only manage to get a sheer wash of colour. (It’s the case for every shade except for Tan Lines which can be built up even with a dry brush)

If that’s what you’re looking for, that’s absolutely fine and then these shadows are great. However, if you’re looking for more intense colour pay-off, you have two options.

You can apply these shadows with your fingers which will already give a more vibrant result. But it’s more difficult to be precise when applying eyeshadow with your fingers than with a brush.

And if you don’t like applying shadows with your fingers, you can use these shadows wet and then you’ll get a very intense result. However, this means that you need to have some kind of water or setting spray at hand, also I find that working with wet eyeshadow isn’t quite as easy, and you’ll probably need more than one brush as it’s always best to have at least one dry brush to blend. Blending with a wet brush ain’t happening.

So I feel like if they were to make intensely pigmented eyeshadows it would just be easier for everybody as it’s always easier to sheer out a pigmented eyeshadow than it is to build up an eyeshadow that lack pigmentation. Isn’t it ?

So it’s not the worst problem in the world but as these eyeshadows are 41.-CHF a piece, I can’t say that I would ever spend that much on these. I mean if you add 10-20.-CHF you can get one of the Urban Decay Naked palette or the Too Faced Chocolate Bar which all contain gorgeous neutral shadows that are much easier to work with (some of the shades could easily replace Topless and Tan Lines) and are very pigmented, even when used dry.

It’s true that in terms of colour, it can’t be compared, but personally I’m not convinced enough by these individual shades to overlook the quality.

That being said, I absolutely adore Deep End and it’s a colour that I would eventually contemplate buying.

Above you can see two makeup looks that I’ve created with these shadows. They’re almost identical but it’s how I would wear these colourful shadows.

I applied Topless in the inner corner and Tan Lines in the outer corner and in the crease. I then applied Deep End with a wet brush on the centre of the lid on the left and Shark Pool also with a wet brush, on the centre of the lid, on the right.

Looking at these pictures I feel bad saying that I’m not convinced by these shadows because they look really great on. But the facts speak for themselves : I’ve had these shadows for a little over a month and to be honest, I almost never reach for them, quite simply because I have shadows that I much prefer working with in my collection.

I wonder if you could find something similar in the Kiko Long Lasting Shadow Stick range as these are shadows that I would really recommend.

The next products on the lips are the Lip Covers. They’re indeed extremely “covering”.

There are four shades in the collection : Get Dirty*, Do Not Disturb*, Membres Only and Overheated. I tried  Get Dirty and Do Not Disturb.

Honestly it’s one of the most comfortable formula I’ve tried in a really long time. They remind me a little of the Estée Lauder Lip Potions (which I talked about here)

The formula is a bit thick, extremely soft and melts into the lips. They’re not drying at all even if when you rub your lips together it feels like the formula is completely dry. Very strange.

The finish isn’t quite matte nor is it really shiny (on the pictures the red one looks very shiny but in real life it isn’t as shiny) it’s more of a velvety finish. I was a little surprised by that because it’s something that I would have initially expected ouf of a winter collection but it’s actually a gorgeous finish that’ll work just as well for the summer time.

The applicator is a standard foam applicator and it’s good at giving a precise application.

However, out of the two shades that I got I’m only really wearing one.

The shade I’ve been wearing a lot is  Get Dirty. As I was saying, the formula is very comfortable, the finish is beautiful and the colour is very natural with a slight 90’s twist to it. It’s a gorgeous nude that’s a little darker and a little brown.

If I apply it in the morning, it’ll easily last until lunch. However, as it’s a really creamy and comfortable formula, it won’t last through a meal. It’s just a lipstick, not a miracle.

However I can’t manage to wear  Do Not Disturb because it’s just too stressful.

Indeed, the creamy and comfortable formula never completely dries, which means that it’s really easy to smeer red all over your face. If the wind were to blow a hair on your lips and then on your cheek, you’d probably end up with a red mark on your cheek. And that’s just too high maintenance for my liking.

What’s more is that the slightly shiny finish, paired with the very intense shade of red is a little too much for my taste. It looks gorgeous on a lot of people but I just don’t really like it on me.

I also feel like this shade may be slightly harder to apply and that it’s less easy to get a precise shape, but that may be just my inability to do that properly so I wouldn’t give that reflection too much thought 😉

However, it is a bit of a shame because the colour is absolutely divine.

And to finish to review, here’s a simple day look using some of these products.

On the picture I’m wearing  Get Dirty on my lips, Liberation on my cheeks (as I explained above, the brown shade just above where I’d place my contour and the pink on the apple of the cheek) and  Topless & Tan Lines on my eyes (topless in the inner corner and tan lines in the crease and outer corner. I also mixed both shades on the centre of the lid.)

All in all, if I were to go to a Nars counter, I’d get one of the blushes (but it’d be sooooo hard to pick just one) and the lip cover in Get Dirty.

Like I said, I’m not quite convinced enough by the eyeshadows to spend 41.-CHF on them and the lip cover in Do Not Disturb is just too scary for me ^^ I can already see myself with red all over my face.

In Switzerland you can find Nars at Sephora (at Manor in Geneva or online) at Jelmoli in Zurich, at Globus in Geneva or at Bon-Génie in Lausanne.

Dual Intensity Blush : 61.-CHF
Dual Intensity Eye Shadow : 41.-CHF
Lip Cover : 36.-CHF

Have you tried this collection ? Tempted ?


*products sent by the PR agency