[Nars' Dual-Intensity Collection]
When Nars announced that they would be releasing a whole host of Dual-Intensity beauties for Spring 2015, I was on tenterhooks! I couldn't wait, and when I saw the shades, my makeup stash felt direly incomplete.
So, what is it that makes this collection so very exciting? Beyond the fact that Nars always has very tempting colours within their midst, the Dual-Intensity Collection is meant to work in a very flexible manner. The intensity changes with whether you use it wet or dry.
There are 6 shades in total, something for every occasion and skintone!
[Nars' Dual-Intensity Blush Collection]
In my possession, I have just 2...for now.
[Nars' Dual-Intensity Blushes]
[Nars' Dual-Intensity Blushes in Craving (Left) and Fervor (Right)]
Keep in mind that this is a Spring collection, which means that heavy contouring isn't on the cards. The bronze-y shade in Craving is more suited to bronzing than contouring if you're a similar skintone to me or darker. I just about got away with using it as a very light and natural contour, but it works quite well as an overall bronze.
Where the blush is concerned, they work in a manner converse to that of the eyeshadows. Used dry, they give you a bolder pigment intensity, while using them wet allows you to have the option of a more sheer application for everyday use. The fact that Nars blushes tend to be incredibly pigmented, the latter would be very tempting to a number of women who are colour-shy.
[Nars' Dual-Intensity Blush in Craving]
[Left-Right: Bronzer Wet; Bronzer Dry; Highlight Wet; Highlight Dry]
[Nars' Dual-Intensity Blush in Fervor]
[Left-Right: Rose Wet; Rose Dry; Pink Wet; Pink Dry]
The palette itself is a limited edition product if I'm not wrong, and I have to thank the lovely Samia for getting her hands on it and letting me run amok.
[Nars' Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette]
When the single Dual-Intensity shadows were launched a few months ago, the beauty community went wild because the shades were simply spectacular. Enter: Palette!
The moment I opened it, my heart skipped a few beats. The shades are so beautiful, pigmented and versatile.
[Top (L-R): Europa; Himalia; Ursa Major; Subra
Bottom (L-R): Andromeda; Lysithea; Giove; Sycorax]
It even comes with a brush that is tailor-made for the wet/dry application method. Sporting Nars' now signature Louboutin-esque red base, it's not the best brush you will ever use, but it definitely gets the job done.
[The Louboutin-esque Brush (49)]
The palette looks a lot bigger than it is in person. Each blush duo is half the size of the palette, so it's all definitely very portable in terms of size, but be warned that the shades are extremely finely milled and pigmented, which means that dropping these will completely shatter them. This is especially so with the eyeshadow palette. The mirror spanning the top of it makes me uneasy about carry it about.
[Left-Right: Subra Wet; Subra Dry; Ursa Major Wet; Ursa Major Dry; Himalia Wet; Himalia Dry; Europa Wet; Europa Dry]
[Left-Right: Sycorax Wet; Sycorax Dry; Giove Wet; Giove Dry; Lysithea Wet; Lysithea Dry; Andromeda Wet; Andromeda Dry]
So how do these products fare?
[For the first two sets of pictures, the products were applied dry.]
[Blank Canvas: Foundation, Concealer & Powder Sorted]
After getting my base out of the way, I used Craving to contour and highlight. I used the bronze shade under my cheekbones, along my jawline and a little up the sides of my forehead. I used the highlight shade on the tops of my cheeks, down my nose, on my chin and in the middle of my forehead.
They're a tad shiny, so I used quite a light hand with them. The bronze shade is also a bit light for contouring on my skintone, but it is a good method of warming up the skin if your foundation is too light for you.
[Craving: Bronzer & Highlight]
I was really excited about the blush duo and when I popped open Fervor, I simply couldn't pick which shade to use, so I went with both. I used the deep rose shade to overlap slightly with my contour, and popped the light pink shade on the apples of my cheeks.
[Fervor: Blusing with Pops of Colour]
Since I went darker on the blush and lipstick, I kept my shadow rather neutral, and it shows the versatility of the eyeshadow palette that it can be used in any type of look you want.
[The Finished Look]
Moving on to the second look, I stuck with the same flow for Craving, but only used the rose shade in it.
This time, I went for a bit of a smokey eye and I must say that the colours blended flawlessly with each other. They're so soft and pigmented that they make it a breeze to play around with them.
For the final look, I used the products dry on half my face, and wet on the other half.
My preference for applying the products wet is to spray a setting spray onto a sponge and dip my brush into it to ensure it isn't overly saturated.
[Don't mind the mismatched concealer that's making my face look a bit weird. Colour-matching problems in pharmacies.]
[Spot the Difference: Left - Products applied wet; Right - Products applied dry]
As for the eye look, I used the entire palette just to see if they would run into the same issue as the Naked palettes do where they just roll into each other and you can't see any difference between them after you use more than 2 shades.
[Left: Wet Application; Right: Dry Application]
Thankfully there was no such issue. I used the black shade (Sycorax) for light definition on the upper lid in place of a liner, and it worked wonderfully.
All in all, there was a bigger difference in the shades used wet or dry with the swatches than with actual application. I doubt I would actually use these products wet on a regular basis because it's too much effort, but it's always nice to have the option.
Even if you're not overly keen on the ability to use them wet, I would still hunt down the palette and Fervor blush duo. I can't see myself using Craving in place of my other contour and highlight shades regularly, primarily due to the fact that it isn't suited for my skintone. I am fervently in love with the rose shade in Fervor though and if you see me in makeup over the next 6 months, you're more likely than not going to find me wearing it!