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Friday, April 8, 2016

Swatches + Review: NARS Laguna Tiare Bronzer, Mie Kabuki Brush + Goulue Blush

NARS Regular Laguna vs Limited Edition Tahiti Tiare Version Dupe Review

After trying out the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (review), I decided to check out more products from the brand. Besides the items mentioned in this post, I also purchased some of their loose and pressed powders, which I will review later. 

NARS Laguna Tiare Bronzer Review

NARS Laguna Tiare Bronzer Limited Edition Review Ita Kabuki Travel Brush 2016

NARS Tahiti Bronze Collection 2016 Laguna Tiare Bronzer Limited Edition Wood Packaging Review

NARS Laguna Tiare Bronzer 
($59 for 10g/0.35oz, Limited Edition from the Tahiti Bronze Collection 2016)

Packaging: The plastic compact is embossed with a wood grain texture. This is what actually caught my eye when I was browsing for a new Summer bronzer!  

Scent: It has a monoi scent during application and smells stronger when I sniff the pan.

Color: The NARS Laguna Tiare is a rich brown with gold shimmers, which are only noticeable under direct sunlight. The shimmers are actually undetectable under artificial lighting. I've been really enjoying it as a bronzer. I like that it warms up my NC30/35 skin tone without looking orange. It also mimics the look of a tan that can look natural with a light hand or dramatic with a heavy hand. When compared to the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (more swatches), Laguna is warmer and not completely matte. 

NARS Laguna Tiare Bronzer Dupe Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Swatches

Formula: It has the perfect amount of pigmentation that's not too sheer or overly pigmented. It also layers and blends easily. (For those who have issues with blending powder products, I recommend using a natural brush and applying after setting your face with powder. Applying a powder blush or bronzer over foundation when it's still tacky can cause your makeup to look blotchy, especially in natural lighting.)

Longevity: I don't have issues with the wear of bronzers and blushes in general. All of the products mentioned in this post last at least 10 hours on my cheeks when worn over foundation and setting powder. 

NARS Tahiti Bronze Collection 2016 Laguna Tiare Bronzer Swatch

NARS Ita Kabuki Mini Travel Size Brush Limited Edition Review

Travel Brush: The head of the brush is actually full size, while the handle is shorter compared to the regular Ita Kabuki brush ($55). I personally don't use it to apply the Laguna bronzer because I prefer a round, fluffy brush, such as the Sonia Kashuk #19 Tapered Powder brush, for that type of application. The shape of the travel Ita brush is actually more suitable for contouring when used with matte powder products. It's narrow enough to create a chiseled look with one sweep and fluffy enough to blend out harsh lines with barely any effort. 

NARS Mie Kabuki Brush Review Dupe
The Sonia Kashuk #19 was dirty when the picture was taken.
Here's a picture of it after it has been cleaned.  
Sonia Kashuk NARS Domed Tapered Contour Sculpting Brush Comparison Review

NARS Mie Kabuki Brush ($55): The shape of the head is ideal for applying bronzers and all over the face powders. The bristles are made of natural, goat hair and are intended to have a "rough" feel to it, which enables it to pick up product with ease, to disperse evenly and to blend effortlessly. It's not as scratchy as some other brushes, but it's not as soft as my Sonia Kashuk No.19 Tapered Powder brush and No.29 Domed Blusher brush (review). I also find that it can feel a little prickly when used in a tapping motion. Therefore, it's best to use it in a sweeping motion.

One thing that I do love is the classy, matte black handle and its unique texture. The handspun handle gives it a distinguished look and enhances the feel of the brush. (The Mie Kabuki brush measures 6.75 inches in total length. It shedded a few hairs during its initial wash, which is normal, but it hasn't shed since.)

Note: The SK #19 has longer bristles and provides a lighter application, while the SK #29 has a smaller head & is denser compared to the NARS one. The Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt brush (review) is shown for size reference.

Sonia Kashuk Tapered Powder #19 Brush vs Domed Blusher #29 Comparison Review

Sonia Kashuk Tapered Powder #19 Brush NARS Mie Kabuki Review

NARS Laguna Bronzer Mini Travel Size Review

NARS Laguna Bronzer ($39 for 0.28oz/8g): I have the travel size (0.08oz/2.5g), which was a free gift with purchase. It doesn't matter to me, but it's worth mentioning that the compact is slightly darker than the one that contains the Goulue blush. Also, the shade of the actual powder is slightly different than the Tiare version, which has a more yellow undertone, but the difference is unnoticeable when worn on the face. The permanent version is also fragrance-free.

NARS Compact Packaging Size Comparison Mini Travel Pressed Powder Blush Bronzer Review
size reference
Nars Goulue Blush Mini Travel Size Review

NARS Goulue Blush ($30 for 0.16oz/4.8g): I have the travel size (0.14oz/4g) and received it for free from Sephora when I renewed my VIB Rouge membership. The compact of the minis are so cute and sleek! The color itself is a rosy pink with a berry undertone and gold shimmers. It can be applied lightly with a fluffy brush, such as the Sonia Kashuk #19 (comparison pictures), for a natural flush of color or applied heavily for a more dramatic look. I love that it leaves a gorgeous glow to the cheeks and I find that it compliments my warm complexion very well. 

Nars Goulue Blush Swatch Laguna Bronzer Swatches

Nars Ita Kabuki Brush Mini Travel Size Dupe Review

Bottom Line: The NARS Laguna Tiare bronzer may be up your alley, if you're a fan of (1) monoi scent, (2) textured packaging, and (3) warm, glowy bronzers. For those who are sensitive to fragrance, then I recommend purchasing the regular version. The Goulue blush is great for creating bold cheeks and can also be toned down by using a lighter hand. As for the Mie Kabuki brush, the shape of the head is perfect for bronzer and setting powder application, but those with sensitive skin may find the bristles to be a little rough. 

Note: The NARS Laguna Tiare bronzer is limited edition and is available at Nordstrom and Sephora. The permanent version of Laguna is available at Nordstrom, and Sephora. The Mie Kabuki Brush is available at Nordstrom and The full size Goulue blush is exclusively available at Sephora for VIB Rouge members.

This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.
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