While I've been sitting here kvetching with my left foot elevated on a heating pad (I got one by Serta from Amazon, and it's pure heaven), pretty things have been accumulating in my "take photos and start using" baskets. I figured I should go ahead and start posting about the items I've had for a while, before the backlog is too overwhelming and stuff sells out or gets discontinued. NARS Summer 2016 Under Cover Collection is a good place to start.
I'm posting these images from the NARS press release to show you the overall idea of the collection and the playfulness of the packaging (Illustrations by Konstantin Kakanias) . Very summery, though perhaps not very NARS. I don't mind. sometimes more pretty and less controversy are exactly what we need.
My picks from the Under Cover collection were two of the Dual-Intensity eye shadows (I adore this formula with its high-impact color payoff and smooth gleaming finish): Tan Lines and Deep End. Every summer needs its tropical aqua blue eye shadow, and this season Deep End is the one. I was also curious about the new lip color formula, Lip Covers, which is a liquid lipstick, and picked three of the available shades: Members Only, a classic deep red (somewhat more cheerful than blood red), Do Not Disturb, a summery orange red (slightly brighter than tomato red), and the rosy brown Overheated. The latter is my pick for a perfect nude lip that doesn't look weird against my coloring.
I have a theory about liquid lipsticks. I suspect they were formulated for people who had their lips done and have protruding and curiously over smooth lips. The rest of us have a texture, or more accurately, a visible pattern of lines on our lips, kind of like a finger print. Liquid lipsticks tend to emphasize that. Our mission, if we choose to accept it, is to a) keep our lips hydrated and relatively plump, so the liquid lipstick doesn't sink into every such line, and b) find a good formula that doesn't suck the life force out of our lips.
I'm not a liquid lipstick expert by any means. Generally I prefer to avoid these formulas and stick with classic products that nourish the lips. But I do like NARS' Lip Covers, mainly because they're neither matte nor drying. Unless you apply the thinnest coat using a brush instead of the applicator, they do not dry down upon impact. The Lip Covers feel rather nice and form a protective layer over the lips. As a result, you will not get the same effect and eternal longevity of regular liquid lipstick (and there can be some transference, especially if you apply a thicker coat the way I prefer, sometimes mixing two of the colors together). Neither will you end up looking like a mummy, which is a very good thing (I hope). There is a long-lasting stain left from the dark colors, but a full meal mangles it a bit so it's not even. Still, impressive.
The Dual-Intensity eye shadows are as good as ever. Tan Lines has surprised me by having a more matte finish than other colors from this range. I had to compare it to last season's Telesto (I ended up buying it a few weeks after getting Pasiphae, because I somehow decided they needed to be together). Telesto is more golden and more metallic. As a matter of fact, Tan Lines and Telesto can be part of one look, with a touch of a Deep End applied with a damp brush along the lashes or on the middle of the lid.
Bottom Line: If only summer would hurry up a little.
NARS Summer 2016 Under Cover Collection is a limited edition, or at least the special packaging is (I won't be surprised if at least some of the colors will make it to the permanent line). They're available at all the usual suspects, with the exception of Members Only Lip Cover which is exclusive to NARS boutiques and narscosmetics.com.
The products for this review were sent by the company's PR.