Friday, October 10, 2014

NARSissist Workshop with Jenny Smith

Hi everyone!

I was lucky enough to have time last week to attend a make-up workshop with the Jenny Smith, the lead make-up artist for NARS! As NARS is one of the brands that is slowly creeping onto my favourites list, and the workshop would feature the new Audacious lipsticks that I've been eyeing since it was released, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. 

I went to the one in Shangri-La as it was most convenient for me (and the one location I was most familiar with). The workshop started with Jenny Smith applying skin care products to the model (who is the store manager I think?). She says that good makeup starts with good skin care, as you will need less make-up and your look will appear more natural with better skin. This is something I believe in greatly (and if I'm being honest, I love skin care products a bit more than make-up) so it was nice to hear the same thought from a professional.

This post came out much longer than I thought it would so I put section headers in an attempt to make everything more organized. :)

Skin Care: NARSskin

Jenny Smith also used everything from NARS' skincare range called NARSskin, which I have not heard much about. Like the make-up, the skin care also focused on making the skin radiant and healthy. I know a few people who would be interested in that (Alex from The Red Eyeliner for one).

She started with a hydrating toner to remove dryness, which I'm very interested in as I observe that most toners focus more on oil control and contain alcohol, which dries out the skin. This one is one of the few alcohol-free ones I know so this will stay on my radar until I find something better.

She then used an eye cream which could also be used as a lip moisturiser as "this is where ageing shows first". Unlike most eye creams that are stored in a pot, this was in a sleek bottle that can be carried everywhere. She recommends bringing it around for when you want to touch up your under eye concealer, as it looks fresher and less cakey than just layering the concealer on tired skin.

She also used a brightening serum with Vitamin C to give the skin some needed nourishment. I was interested in this the most because I need a new serum after my Innisfree one runs out. The models' skin definitely looked brighter and clearer after she put it on and allowed the skin to take it in. Finally, she used an oil-free gel moisturizer to seal everything in and keep the skin hydrated yet not oily-looking all day. As someone whose skin is more on the combination side now, I really want to invest on an oil-free moisturizer.

Base Make-Up

Jenny then introduced their new powder foundation which completely escaped my radar! She recommended using powder foundations for our weather as it would hold up better than using a liquid foundation, which would melt off quicker than it would in less humid places. Unlike their previous powder foundations, this particular powder foundation can be used three ways: with a wet sponge, a dry sponge, and with fingers.

She demonstrated all three starting with using a wet sponge, which gave the same coverage and finish as a tinted moisturizer. Upon close inspection (a.k.a. me trying to get as close as I could to the model as possible without being creepy), I was surprised to see that the foundation did not look cakey at all, but very natural and still with the signature luminosity (not dewiness, mind you) NARS is known for. She applied the foundation in a downward motion, concentrating more coverage on the center of the face.

Using the other side of the sponge, she demonstrated applying the foundation dry by stippling it on. I should mention that the foundation does contain hyaluronic acid but without the oiliness, as well as several other skin care benefits plus SPF! Finally, she showed us how to use the foundation with fingers by spreading it down and around the face. She also mentioned at this point that NARS foundations are formulated to be used with fingers, which is why the very famous Sheer Glow does not come with a pump!

She also used a stick concealer instead of their creamy concealer (which I have and raved a bit about here) as it had a matte finish and would therefore last longer throughout the day. Since she was going to apply a bold colour for the lips, she made sure to even out the skin around the mouth and near the nose to make the colour on the lips pop. She also emphasized using a brush versus rubbing the concealer on (especially for heavy concealers) as most of the it transfers to the fingers and would leave an uneven finish on the skin. This is something I personally noticed with my concealer so I'm definitely going to look for a good concealer brush soon!

She finished up with a loose powder, starting from the center of the face outwards to highlight and brighten the skin. According to her, using powder should open up the features instead of making them flat.

Easy Highlighting and Contouring

Jenny talked a bit about contouring and highlighting as well, saying that it would still be good to do for everyday and especially for photos. Highlighting is supposed to lighten and brighten the skin, and contouring should only be enough to create dimension and shape. She used the Contour blush (why it is called 'blush' I am not sure) and the famous Ita Kabuki brush to apply the contour shade. She even had us feel for the hollows of our cheeks with our index finger, to emphasize where the contour powder should go. Afterwards she did a bit of contouring on the nose in a very subtle way using a small, fluffy eyeshadow brush, going up and down the sides of the nose with just a bit of the contour powder.

Subtle Eye Make-Up

She didn't do anything drastic to the eyes - only eyeliner and mascara. For eyeliner, she used their new Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow as an eyeliner by using a wet angled brush and started from the outer part of the eye going in, pushing the "eyeliner" as close to the lash line as possible for a subtle yet defined eye.

She then moved on to mascara, first by curling the eyelashes and then using their volumizing mascara to define the lashes. She said that the mascara was runway ready and could therefore last all day through all types of weather, and could be layered without clumping.

Finally, she went on to the brows, using their Brow Perfector by filling them in by going with the texture of the brow hair, blending it as she went along. She mentioned that its best to go in sections when filling in the brows so you don't overdo it.

Everyday and Bold Lip

Finally, to the exciting part - the lips! Jenny did two looks - a neutral lip and a bold lip. For the neutral lip, she used a lip liner to bring out the lip shape and colour as well as to create a base for the lipstick. In pairing lip liners and lipsticks, the liner should match the lipstick colour or be a bit lighter to give a highlighting effect to the lips.

For the everyday neutral lip she used the Audacious lipstick in Brigitte, which is described as a "nude rose". She used a lip brush to apply the lipstick for more precision, telling the model to smile so she can easily paint her lips.

But the NARS signature look is a bold lip. She even suggested to use a bold lip throughout the day and a neutral lip at night as less maintenance. She switched the lipstick up and used the famous Jungle Red lip liner. For a bold lip, it's really important to wear a lip liner under to prevent feathering and awkward fading. Afterwards she used the Audacious lipstick in Annabella, a poppy red, to finish up the look.

Everyone then went back to the counter to check out the products. I took a look at the skin care set they were offering, which includes all the products used during the workshop. I admit the products are quite pricey, so they're definitely not my first pick as of now. I do want to try them some day though!

Of course I had to get a picture of the new Audacious lipsticks! Unlike their old line of lipsticks, these are more pigmented yet still moisturizing, housed in a sleek, magnetic case. There are about 40 shades of lipstick, ranging from pinks, to nudes, to reds and burgundies. They were selling them at 10% off...and I couldn't resist. I bought the shade Audrey for myself, which is a muted red with a hint of pink.

These lipsticks retail at P1650, and are available at all NARS counters in Rustans' Beauty Stores! There's one opening in the new mall in The Fort as well. I hope you all enjoyed this post and learned as much as I did! 

Thank you of course to Jenny Smith for all the information, to NARS, and to Rustans of course for hosting the event!

Until my next post!

Products Mentioned (all by NARS except when mentioned otherwise):
10. Loose Powder in Snow
16. Audacious Lipstick (Brigitte, Annabella, Audrey)
17. Lip Liner Pencil (Jungle Red)


  1. Great post, Pauline :D I wish I could have gone with you! (but I probably would have spent more money than I had) That aside, the Multi-Action Hydrating Toner sounds really intriguing. I wonder how it fairs against the SK-II.

    1. Thank you, Alex <3 I wish you went too! You would've gone nuts because of the lipsticks tbh XD And omg that would be a really interesting comparison post! I wish I had the money for it :c

  2. Very nice - would love it of you could check out my latest beauty post xo

    Aliona |

  3. Love NARS - my favorite brand! :) I used their skincare a while back and it was so good for the skin! I also use the Brow Perfector (that I've used up already) and ahhh, beautiful photo of the Audacious lipsticks!

    1. Hi Shari! Haha NARS is thisclose to becoming my favourite brand! And that's great to hear about their skin care line - hopefully I get to try soon :) Their Brow Perfector sounds intriguing but I wish it came with a spoolie! And thank you! :D

  4. I'll have to attend a NARS workshop, it sounds like you had a blast!

    xx Alyson
    The Beauty Vanity

    1. Hi Alyson! You definitely should if you can :)