NARS Velvet Lip Glide: Pre-Launch Sneak Peek

nars velvet lip glide in mineshaftOne of the recent trends I’ve loved is the fusion of lip treatment and lip color. Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil, Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint in Oil, and Lancôme Shine Lover Vibrant Shine Smooth Lipstick are three of my favorites in this category. High-quality oils and hyaluronic acid included in highly pigmented, soothing formulations have changed my mouth. I can’t remember the last time my lips felt dry or remotely chapped. Game changer.

I have owned hundreds of lip products in my life, and have about 100 hanging around my home and handbags right now. The YSL oils and Lancôme Shine Lover lipsticks are the only lip products I have ever used up and repurchased.

Of course NARS had to come along and show everyone in the industry how it’s done.


NARS Velvet Lip Glide Campaign Visual


When I think of NARS, I think lips in bold yet wearable colors. I also think of superb formulations. So I shouldn’t have been shocked that the NARS Velvet Lip Glide is the treatment lip color to beat them all. Spiked with a healthy dose of NARS’ Oil Infusion Complex, NARS says “this hybrid lip color combines the fluidity and effortlessness of a gloss with the coverage and comfort of a lipstick.” Also true. I’ve never been a lip gloss fiend because of the stickiness, and there’s none of that here.

NARS Velvet Lip Glide Stylized Collection Image with Mineshaft SwipeWhat NARS doesn’t mention – but really should, because it’s so striking – is how long these suckers last. I applied a single coat this morning, seen at the top of this post, in the poppy red shade Mineshaft. I then had several glasses of water, a bottle of Diet Coke, a steak lunch, and a few more Diet Cokes. Imagine my surprise when I looked in the mirror and saw most of the color still on my lips.

The range here is typical NARS: lots of statement hues, but also subtle pink-y beiges and even a chestnut shade. I think Mineshaft and Le Palace are my perfect colors, but I’m going to give Danceteria a try, too.

NARS Velvet Lip Glides aren’t out yet. Sephora VIB and VIB Rouge members will get a preview on September 6 and 7. Then NARS boutiques and the NARS website will have them starting September 15. From October 1, anyone can buy them at Sephora and other stores that stock NARS. I encourage you to seek them out – try different colors in-store, and try really hard to walk away with less than a handful. These cost 26 well-spent dollars, so go on and grab a couple.


treat yo self

Note: This is not an ad or sponsored post. NARS sent me Velvet Lip Glides to try and I adored them, as I do many other NARS products I have purchased.

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer: Thanks, Heidi Hamoud!

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer beauty blogOne of the best things you can do when assessing beauty products is bring a cynical eye into the game. Unfortunately, a lot of marketing is overblown and downright deceptive, and many women have completely unrealistic expectations of what a simple cosmetic product can achieve for them. For example, no cream is going to be able to erase wrinkles. No serum will give you a face lift. No moisturizer is going to remove bags from under your eyes.

When dishonest marketing meets desperation in women, lots of money gets wasted and feelings hurt.

That said, sometimes products come along that are hailed far and wide for good reason: They deserve it. Of course, what works for one person might not work for another, but certain things are pretty universally loved because they make most women look better. Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer is one of those products.

The brand’s pitch:

Tarte Cosmetics Maracuja Creaseless Concealer minimizes the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, blemishes and imperfections while helping to improve your skin’s tone and texture. Vitamin E and essential fatty acids firm and condition your skin while maracuja oil delivers rich moisture and calms redness and inflammation. Nourishing vitamin C brightens your complexion and neutralizes free-radicals for a flawless, radiant look.

All you need to know is, this stuff works. No unsightly, crêpe-y texture under your eyes. The blue tones of dark circles are beautifully washed away with smooth, natural-looking coverage. A little bit goes a very long way; a tiny blob the size of a grain of rice is enough for both my eyes. I always apply mine with a beautyblender, so the corners are easily taken care of. I’m on my second tube of the medium shade of Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, which tells you how much I swear by it.

Aside: I learned about this product from one of the most mesmerizing makeup tutorials I’ve ever seen. Heidi Hamoud‘s ‘baking’ tutorial is one I’ve watched more than once, even though I’ve never attempted to replicate her techniques. I’m just too much of a natural (read: lazy) girl when it comes to my makeup. But I have to recommend it for inspiration and entertainment value.

In Memoriam: Mourning Makeup and Skincare

tarte brow kit discontinuedSometime in the early 1990s, I rolled my eyes when I read one magazine writer’s lament about Calvin Klein discontinuing their Parma Rose lipstick. The #firstworldproblems hashtag didn’t exist then, but I would have loved it in that moment of teenage sanctimony. Guess who wasn’t rolling her eyes five years later when Tarte discontinued her beloved brow kit, the Swiss Army knife of eyebrows? #legitemergency

A similar horror took hold of my soul when I discovered that the soothing yet effective macadamia cleansing milk I’d gotten deeply discounted on had been discontinued. I felt my blood run cold when the penny dropped: It had been on clearance because they were killing it. I took this very personally.


YSL Rouge Personnel 17 - Sensual Fig lipstick

Is there anything as superficial that inspires as much genuine hope as a brand new lipstick? I loved how YSL embossed their logo into this one, which I bought exactly 10 years ago on a much-needed shopping stop while driving from Marseilles to a village in Provence. That’s where and when I took this photo, on a hillside in the French Alps. It was the perfect place, the perfect day, with the perfect people – and the most perfect, promising, pristine lipstick.

I agree with Wilfred Bion that hope is toxic; yes, hope of heaven steals lives away. But in this case YSL delivered. Rouge Personnel 17 – also known as the shade Sensuous Fig – was that rare lipstick that suited anyone. (I had no idea about the Sensuous Fig moniker until I started writing this post. That house in the French Alps had dozens of fig trees on its grounds, and I ate my breakfast directly from them every morning we spent there.)

And now? It’s gone. The bullet pictured above was stolen when I was mugged in London – a final straw that compelled me to move back to the US after many years in the UK. To add insult to injury, YSL then discontinued the color. Ça me soûle!

It’s only lipstick, and I have replaced it with roughly 200 others in the 10 years that have elapsed. But I still would love to have that one.

I always love to hear about the products people have loved and lost. If there’s one you still remember with sorrow, tell me about it. You don’t have to go through this alone.

pour out liquor gif

Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30

tarte bb primer spf 30This is hands-down my favorite makeup discovery of the year. And I say that as a longtime hater of BB creams, which I stopped trying a few years ago because my disappointment with every one I tried was so absolute and overwhelming.

In summer, I don’t wear makeup except for brow gel and tinted lip balm. If it’s a really special, air-conditioned occasion, I’ll add powder and blush. But nothing makes contact with my sweaty face when it’s over 75 degrees outside. I can’t even wear necklaces in summer because anything touching my skin is revolting when it’s hot out.

THAT SAID…I got a sample of this Tarte BB Tinted Primer with SPF 30 before the weather turned gross and loved it instantly. The medium shade still works on my slightly tanned face, as does the medium-tan. Unfortunately, the color range is quite abbreviated, so you’re out of luck if you have dark skin. That’s a shame, because otherwise Tarte is probably my top pick for the makeup brand I’d use at the exclusion of all others if forced to choose. But I would encourage you to hit up your local Sephora and try this for yourself, because it has everything: silky texture, smooth application, and a barely perceptible presence that makes it hard to believe something so subtle could even out your skin tone, fill in fine lines, and minimize pores so effectively.

Tarte wants us to use this as a multi-tasking product to act as primer, moisturizer, light foundation, anti-aging treatment, AND sunscreen. I think that’s a bit of an over-sell. I have oily skin, so I don’t use moisturizer under this. (I’m being very laidback about the sun this summer, so this alone on my face is fine; but I do use an SPF on my neck and chest.) I do still use an oil-free serum under it in this humid weather, though. And I continue to use actual anti-aging treatments day and night, because this is far from clinical-grade skincare. But it makes a wonderful, light coverage foundation and imperfection concealer. I haven’t tried putting foundation on top of it, because disgusting heat, but I’m sure it makes a great base for a silicone-free foundation. (Using a silicone-heavy one could result in the ‘rolling’ effect of balled-up product you get when silicones clash.)

I’ve suspended my trials for now, will be using this every day once the weather cools. Love, love, love it.

(Note: This is NOT a sponsored post or an ad. None of that here, just my own personal opinion on products I paid for with my own money.)

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Instant Oil-Absorbing Coverage BB Cream


La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Instant Oil-Absorbing Coverage BB Cream — DraftBased on my own trials of La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur Instant Oil-Absorbing Coverage BB Cream and discussing it with others, it’s clearly very hit and miss. This product from the legendary French pharmacy brand has a solid 4.0 rating on Makeup Alley, and 74% of reviewers there said they’d repurchase it. Those for whom it works absolutely love it.

I did not.

I have always had very active sebaceous glands, so am always intrigued by anything that promises to absorb oil. But as with almost every other BB cream I have tried, this just left me looking kind of chalky. The mousse-y, silicone-heavy texture is wonderfully silky to touch, but that doesn’t translate into a smooth look on my skin. It doesn’t help that the color range is extremely limited; the darkest shade, a medium, is still a tad too light for me even in winter. So you’re totally out of luck if you’re not relatively pale. As it’s only an SPF 20, your skin wouldn’t be very protected by this anyway.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur is available in the US at CVS or on Amazon. Many CVS stores have skincare departments where you can try product, and they always have testers of this out in my local shops. Like I said, those who love it will never give it up, so if you’re white and tend to be super-oily, check it out.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about an awesome BB cream I found recently that delivers on every hope and promise a BB cream has ever made. (UPDATE: Here’s the post!)