So I meant for this post to be up a week ago but got delayed because of the photos etc. Luckily though because when I first received my duo and played with it the first few days, both shades were sparkly, like there were micro-glitter. I doubled, tripled-checked in case I went bonkers because I don’t remember people mentioning the big sparkles. Now a week later, it *is* as though I went crazy cos those sparkles are mostly gone. So anyway. I decided to keep the pictures anyway (as proof I wasn’t nuts).
I’m sure you’ve all seen NARS’ campaign for Spring featuring Tilda Swinton as their spokesperson. This is the image that accompanies the colour story (nude) with the products below:
I was only interested in the duo. ‘Interested’ is putting it mildly actually. For some unknown reason I was obsessed with this duo (LE, btw). St Paul de Vence first debuted on the Rodarte show last year, it was used on the eyes (right side shade) and on the cheeks. You can find the product breakdowns and model pictures here and with this link (which is pretty much the same thing) you get to see a face chart with products laid out in front of it. My reasoning thus: something versatile (eyes AND cheeks, yay!), that I can use everyday (because nude). So I bought it sight unseen relying only on swatches (pretty meh at that time) and hoped for the best. NARS described the left shade as ‘shimmering nectarine’, the right ‘chestnut’.
Like most of NARS duo, there are two textures. Here the nectarine is a frost and the chestnut a satin. When applied on the eyes, the nectarine is less frosty than swatched. When worn as a blush however, I found that it slightly emphasized my pores. The ‘chestnut’ shade is a satin, it feels drier than the paler shade. The brush you choose will matter though, as I found myself almost packing it on at first for it to show (Hakuhodo J242G) but the colour appeared effortlessly with my Sue Devitt (a big paddle in Kolinsky). Go figure.
I couldn’t get a 100% colour accurate photo despite trying many times, under different light conditions and attempting to colour edit them afterwards. These are the best I managed, I’m afraid.
[ETA: Temptalia has since posted her review of this duo, do check that out for better shades and swatches]
Swatches, left is the frost and right is the satin:
In case you wondered … yes, these shadows pull warm. I was surprised by how much warmer the chestnut shade appears on the lids. It’s like it’s only a few degrees short of being a terracotta. Your skin tone plays a big part in how this appears, it’s almost like the shadow takes on the base and project everything together (if that makes any sense). I like to think of St. Paul de Vence as a sculpt and highlight duo for eyes, defining the structure while adding a bit of freshness and youthfulness at the same time. It’s not the ‘nude’ you get when you use say, All About Eve and something like MAC Omega.
I’d say St. Paul de Vence is easy to blend and decently pigmented (but you could be deceived into thinking it isn’t simply because they are relatively paler shades). The quality is definitely there and it’s unique in my collection. I wouldn’t say St. Paul de Vence a must-have, but certainly a nice-to-have for me. It’s not a duo that works across most skin tones so if you are having doubts, definitely try before you buy. Where I live I can’t return any products once they’re opened etc so I’m lucky this blind-buy worked on me.
For the moment I’ve been using mostly just the chestnut shade alone lightly as an all over wash. Personally I find the tulip placement being the most flattering when using both of the shades in this duo. If you’re adding a third darker colour (I like Mekong with this) it doesn’t really matter which way you place them. This duo really sings matched with a darker colour.
I tried to find some dupes in my collection but found none in shadows. Unsurprisingly the shades in Naked 3 are all pinker than this duo. However when I turned to my blushes, here’s what I got:
Clockwise from NARS, MAC Gingerly, MAC Poised (LE), Chanel Tissage Tweed Sienna.
None of them are dupes mind you, they only appear similar in the pan. I’m going through them just for fun.
‘Poised’ is close to the NARS (right shade) but really sits in between the two shades; ‘Gingerly’ is more orange; Tweed Sienna looks almost identical in pan but the darker shade is lighter than NARS (right) and is on the whole more orange. It’s actually closer to ‘Gingerly’, with less red.