A NARS makeover + FOTD

4 Jun 2013

A picture of a NARS makeover

A couple of weeks ago whilst in Nottingham I popped into Space NK. The usual drill, go in, look at all the pretty products and swatch merrily away before gravitating towards the skincare and falling in lust with product after product. We've all been there, right? Space NK is like a beauty bloggers haven and the brands in there are some of the best you can find, you just can't help but go have a little look. Whilst swatching away at the NARS counter, seeing which of the new Satin lip pencils I'd most like to add to my collection, I was approached by one of the lovely girls who work at my local Space NK. The girls who work at the Nottingham branch are always amazingly lovely, welcoming and helpful and when I was told that an established and respected NARS makeup artist, Benoit, would be in store doing makeovers I just had to book myself in. The makeover was pre-booked with a booking fee of £15, which was then fabulously redeemable against any NARS purchases I wanted to make on the day, and we all know how easy it is to spend more than £15 on NARS, so that was going to be easy. 

If you can't tell, I was pretty excited. I'd never had my makeup done in Space NK nor by a NARS makeup artist and after my recent Bobbi Brown makeovers which I really enjoyed, I was excited to see what NARS had to offer and whether I could pick up any great tips or find a new favourite product. On the day I headed in to town bare faced - no point putting makeup on to take it off and put it back on again is there? Plus lately I am trying to take what opportunities I have to go 'makeup free' and brave the outside World, as I shared in my May 12 Lessons Learned post. I was greeted with a smile and a glass of ice cold champagne, I think it's safe to say that's a pretty lovely way to be greeted. Once seated I was in charge of Becky, Benoits' fellow NARS makeup artist, who was also doing makeovers with Benoit throughout the day. After a quick chat about tattoos, talking about NARS products I already own and love and a little breakdown of what I could expect for my makeover, we started out on skincare. Unfortunately I didn't think to write down the skincare products used but my skin was cleansed, toned and moisturised with various products from around the store, which with the prestigious names proudly stocked in Space NK, you can rest assured my skin felt pretty darn lovely. Skincare done, I was ready for Benoit to work his magic.

A picture of a NARS makeover

NARS is a brand I really love but I actually haven't tried a lot of products from. NARS Laguna bronzer isn't a raved about bronzer for no reason and it proudly sits in my makeup collection. I also have a couple of NARS lip pencils (which I will be reviewing soon), Gilda blusher, the Pierre Hardy blushes (review to come soon...), Luster blusher (review to come soon) and the God Created the Woman palette. Other than those few products I am a bit of a newbie to NARS but with a complete magpie eye on most of the extensive range and it's always the brand I gravitate towards when visiting Space NK. I was in a bit of a 'go against the grain' mood and told Benoit that I wanted a look which had intense smokey eyes and a bold, stand out lip. Happy to oblige we set to work on transforming my face. 

To start we used a Multiple in Puerta Valenta. I've never tried a NARS multiple, nor even swatched one, but Benoit is a big fan and told me how to apply them and use them to get the best look. Puerta Valenta is a golden, red toned bronze shade which Benoit applied to any areas which might need contouring. A cream to powder product, at first the colour seemed quite bold against my skin tone but once blended in and the rest of my base was complete you could hardly see it but for a slight, flattering contour and shape to my face. I was really excited to see Benoit pick up Sheer Glow for my foundation as it's a highly regarded product with rave reviews. We used the shade Barcelona which turned out to be an almost exact colour match to my skin tone. Benoit applied my foundation using his fingers and explained to me the benefits of warming up your foundation in the palm of your hand first before applying. For concealer we used Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Ginger. The concealer has been on my wish list for a while now so it was great to see it applied and how it lasted on my skin. First applying with a concealer brush and with light fingertip application, Benoit then taught me a little trick I have used each day since and which leaves your concealer looking flawless. Just pop a moderate amount of your concealer onto a blending brush, or I prefer to use the Real Techniques Setting brush, then use to buff your concealer in under your eye. The concealer on the brush and the application technique allows you a really flawless finish. To finish my base we used a product which would come in handy later, too, and that is the Light Reflecting Loose Powder. I fell in love with this product and Benoit gave me some real tips and tricks for using it in different ways, so I decided to pick this up before I left along with Casino bronzer. With the £15 redeemable booking fee to be used on products, I couldn't resist. 

A picture of a NARS makeover

Next up, eyes. Benoit asked me what shades I was most interested in using and I told him to simply do whatever look he liked. I like giving people the freedom to do what they think will look best and although I had only met him that morning, I trusted his judgement. We opted with the most deliciously smokey and beautifully blended look using Soft Touch pencil in Empire all over the lid, followed by a shadow from the Night Series range, Night Porter, which is just the most stunning, deep mossy green with flecks of fine black and gold shimmer running through it followed by Lulu in the crease which is a divine matte shade with a gorgeous deep, rusty violet look to it. In my inner corner we used the most beautiful shade, a highlight shade from the Alhambra eyeshadow duo, now definitely on my wish list to buy! Between each stage Benoit taught me a little trick he picked up from Francois Nars himself and I bought the Light Reflecting Powder for this very tip... Oh I wish I could share! To line my eyes Benoit used Via Veneto Larger than Life long-wear pencil liner and the Larger than Life Volumising Mascara which just made my lashes look fab. For my brows we used a powder eyeshadow, Coconut Grove, which just looked lovely and on my cheeks we used Douceur blush with a touch of Taj Mahal for a pop of colour on the apples of my cheeks. For my lips we talked about using a more neutral, nude shade but I decided I wanted a colour with oomph so we used Place Vendome lipgloss in the center of my lips with Palais Royal Satin lip pencil which is a gorgeous deep wine shade.

 Overall I was really thrilled with the finished look. I loved how my eyes looked and the lip shade combination was just heavenly. It's really made me want to try more from NARS. Unfortunately, although I had been dying to try it, by the end of the day NARS Sheer Glow just hadn't suited my skin, but at least I know it's not a foundation suitable for my skin, otherwise it could be a pricey lesson to learn. I loved the shades used for my eyeshadow and I have a couple of shades in my God Created the Woman palette which I am going to use to try and recreate the look. I'm thrilled with my purchases from the day, the light reflecting loose powder and Casino bronzer and you can expect reviews of both very soon. Becky and Benoit were a pleasure to spend a morning with and it was a real treat getting to hear all about Francois Nars and learn more about NARS from Benoit. I would thoroughly recommend booking yourself in for a makeover when your local store next has a day event on like this and I can't wait to pop back to Space NK next week to have a makeover by the Kevyn Aucoin team. I also received a lovely little goody bag of NARS samples on my way out, so will be doing a review on those too. Thanks to Becky, Benoit and the Nottingham Space NK team for what was a really enjoyable experience. 

A picture of Tattooed Tealady

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