Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Quick Look: NARS Spring 2016 Hot Sand Collection

NARS is launching several capsule collections of Spring makeup items, and a key one features 5 items and is centered around one divine peachy-champagne beige shade called "Hot Sand". Previously only a liquid Illuminator shade, the brand has expanded on the shade for a limited time.

Available only at the TANGS NARS counter in Singapore, there are 5 key products:
  • Hot Sand Illuminating Multiple (SGD$65)
  • Hot Sand Illuminator ($45 - this is a permanent item)
  • Hot Sand/Orgasm Blush Duo ($65)
  • Hot Sand/Laguna Blush and Bronzer Duo ($65)
  • Hot Sand Lip Gloss ($37) 

There is also a Hanamachi Kabuki brush ($65) which I am still trying out at the moment. It's very soft and plush, without any scratchy stiffness (unlike the smaller yachiyo brush in my top image). I can see it being good for applying bronzer or illuminating powders all over the neck, shoulders and down the chest, but I can't really see myself applying bronzer, blush or highlighter with it on my face as it's not small enough and I'm not sure I want blush and highlighter going everywhere.

Here's a look at the Hot Sand shade in its different textures. It looks slightly peachy in the tube/stick/pan, but goes on a beautiful beige. The slight peachy undertone is not apparent unless you have porcelain pale skin, and just adds a tiny hint of warmth that stops the shade from looking ashy or too silvery on deeper skin tones. If you have fair to medium skin tones, it will also look beautiful, if a bit more subtle than other lighter, more metallic highlighting products.

On the skin, the powder especially reminds me of a slightly deeper version of Kevyn Aucoin's classic Candlelight Celestial Powder, which is an illuminating powder which has enough matte pigment thrown in that it never looks too shiny or fake. 

I didn't receive the Multiple in my press kit but I did stop by the counter to swatch it earlier, and in terms of sheen it is a bit more shimmery than the liquid Illuminator and less shimmery than the powder highlighter. The Multiple shade is slightly deeper than the other products in the line as well and I felt it was just a tad too deep to give enough of a noticeable gleam on my NC25 skintone, while the liquid and powder were perfect.

Don't be put off just because you think this is such a "nothing" shade. The product is designed to be completely translucent against the skin, so it doesn't lighten the area or look visible brightened, but just imparts a subtle dewy effect. It's actually extremely flattering and makes it HARD for heavy-handed people to overdo the highlighting/strobing. I would love to end Albatross-abuse and replace it with this in many peoples' makeup drawers.

Below is just a SUGGESTION of which product could work best for your skin, based on the level of sheen and the translucency. It's by no means a rule of any sort - you can pick what you want based on the effect you want to achieve.
  • Fair to medium-light skins - the powder will show up the best on you as there is talc in the formula which will help lighten the color overall and help it show up and not look too peachy on lighter skins
  • Medium to tan/caramel skins - you can probably use all three products and look great
  • Deep skins - the liquid and stick will be far less likely to give you any sort of an ashy cast as they are translucent and contain zero talc

If you are porcelain pale the peach tones might show up more. You can stroke it over the upper portions of your blush as a blush topper to add a glow instead of higher up as a proper highlighter.

For darker skins, the talc content in the powder will give it a little bit more opacity and make it show up a bit lighter than the other products in the range. That doesn't mean you can't use it if you have very pale or very dark skin, but it would give a more "highlighted" look instead of imparting just that translucent no-makeup makeup glow.

NARS Hot Sand / Orgasm Blush Duo
The Blush Duo has Hot Sand paired with the classic Orgasm blush. Great if you either like and don't own Orgasm, or love Orgasm so much that you don't mind having multiples of it. (Ooh, pun not intended.)

If you - like so many high-end makeup lovers in the world - already own Orgasm, you could always opt for the Blush and Bronzer duo which has Laguna paired with Hot Sand. I prefer the Laguna duo personally, because Laguna is a wear-anytime staple for subtle sculpting, and I tend to go for Deep Throat over Orgasm for blush.

Sadly, you can't buy Hot Sand powder on its own.
NARS Hot Sand / Laguna Blush and Bronzer Duo
As for the lipgloss, it's a universal golden beige pearl shade. I wouldn't wear it on its own, but rather dabbed in the center of the lips over other colors to impart a little champagne shine. Try it over a soft warm nude shade to lift the color and enhance a tan.

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