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Our array of samples at the DOWNTOWN office

Do you ever feel like makeup shopping has become incredibly difficult? There are thousands of brands to choose from and with every brand there are a thousand more products. There’s no such thing as basic foundation, eye shadow and mascara anymore. There’s BB Cream, eyeshadow primer and lash-growing mascara. It can be incredibly overwhelming, so the editors here at DOWNTOWN would like to offer you weekly suggestions of brands and products that we have tested and deemed worthy of our readers.

The first brand we selected to review is NARS Cosmetics. The brand was started by Francois Nars. He was not impressed with cosmetics at the time so he decided to start a line of his own. It all started with his collection of 12 lipsticks that were sold in high demand at Barneys in New York in 1994. From there, Nars created a full line that he believes is simple, luxurious and elegant.

Here are a few NARS products that we know you will enjoy! Purchase their products online or at their downtown location located at 124 Prince Street.

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1. Velvet Matte Pencil:This item is one of my absolute favorites. You will always find one in our purses here at DOWNTOWN. It’s one of the few products that we’ve found that creates lasting and smooth color. Since it is a pencil rather than a traditional lipstick, it’s bump free and can’t easily be smudged off. I’ve found it does wear away as the day goes on, but unlike other products that leave colorless patches on your lips, this pencil just lightens in color. Make sure you have a sharpener to accompany it, and you are ready to go.

Color options we like: Dragon Girl, Mysterious Red, Damned, Cruella

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2. The Multiple: This multi-purpose stick can be used for so many things. It’s the all-in-one tool that can be used for the eyes, cheeks, lips or body. Basically, you can keep this one little tool in your purse and touch up everything at once. It feels like magic! Originally, it starts as cream and then turns into a lovely, light powder. Personally, we prefer it for our eyes. We are suckers for sparkly eyeshadow, especially when it comes to the holidays. Copacabana, the color I used, was a bit too sparkly for my face, but there are plenty of other shades in other colors.

Color options we like: Copacabana, South Beach, Riviera, Na Pali Coast

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3. Lipstick: For a more traditional source of lip color, the NARS lipstick is fabulous as well. It goes on smoothly and feels secure. It stays on while you drink (a huge bonus) and fades, much like the Velvet Matte Pencil, slowly and evenly. We tried a couple classic colors, Honolulu Honey and Jungle Red, and preferred the latter to the former. If you only can purchase one color, Jungle Red is the one to choose. It’s a classic red that’s neither too overwhelming nor too boring. Honolulu Honey is best for paler or much darker skin tones.

Color options we like: Jungle Red, Scarlet Empress, Damage, Funny Face

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4. Blush: For a perfectly light, not too shimmery blush, we highly advise this one. The color we tried, Orgasm, is perfect for most skin tones and beautiful to look at. It’s small and compact, perfect for transporting with you everywhere. Our one complaint is that it doesn’t come with a brush, so you will need to purchase one. Sephora recommends the NARS Yachiyo Brush that is shaped to highlight your cheekbones.

Color options we like: Orgasm, Sex Appeal, Super Orgasm, New Order

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5. Bronzing Powder: This basic, but flawless bronzer can be used by everyone for all the seasons. It’s airy and the color we tried, Laguna, is what we’d recommend for most people. It’s the perfect shade that’s dark enough to add some color to a pale complexion, but without a hint of orange which is often a flaw of bronzer we’ve tried. It can be applied more thickly if needed, but a light sweep adds a natural looking glow. Again, this doesn’t come with a brush, so make sure to purchase one if needed.

Color option we like: Laguna

-Kayla Hernandez