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making faces :: orchid, she wrote

i'm back with another review of what will undoubtedly become a series of reviews of the new[ish] nars audacious lipsticks. i started off with greta, back when they first launched and then felt strangely paralysed as to what i should buy next. i knew i wanted to buy others- several others- but i seemed to be battling the dual demons of limited stock and the indecisiveness to which i am naturally prone. more recently, i have been suffering from the additional problem that every time i add one of these lovelies to my collection, more seem to jump on my wish list.

i attribute this problem to the fact that, for such an opaque formula, the colours seem to adjust subtly to the skin tone of the wearer, meaning that they suit a much broader range of complexions than you would think. i honestly have no idea how this works, or if it's just something that happens in my head in order to justify me buying more lipstick [surely not! -ed.], but many of the shades seem more wearable than i would have thought.

for instance, today's featured shade, "angela" is a shade that gave me pause. first of all, it's an extremely cool shade of purple-pink and purely cool shades are as tricky for me to pull off as purely warm ones. second, opacity on this sort of shade generally means a lot of white in the base, which reads as chalky on me most of the time. however, neither of those things seems to be a problem with "angela", which is a relief, since it would have broken my heart to have to renounce her. after all, i've been waiting for a girl like her to come into my life. [ugh. -ed.]

angela is pretty much a match to this last year's pantone colour of the year "radiant orchid", balanced delicately as the flower that bears the name between shades of purple and pink. it's very unnatural looking [which, ironically, a lot of orchids do as well], like a neon pink tamped down by a more muted violet. it's the kind of colour that requires some confidence to wear- at least a level of comfort with wearing bright or bold shades.

angela
as with all the audacious lipsticks, the names are inspired by audacious ladies of the silver screen, icons from a bygone era. this one is named for angela lansbury. nowadays, she is known either as the clever novelist-turned-private-detective from murder, she wrote or as the voice of the singing teapot in beauty and the beast. as such, a wild colour like this might not seem appropriate for her. however, there's more to ms. lansbury than just her later career. her very first role was as the scheming cockney maid in gaslight and it won her an academy award nomination for best supporting actress at the tender age of nineteen. the following year, she was nominated in the same category and won a golden globe award for her portrayal of the doomed sybil vane in the 1945 adaptation of the picture of dorian gray. perhaps her best-known screen role, however, was as the mother of a damaged former p.o.w. in the manchurian candidate, a role that once again garnered her an oscar nomination. three very different roles in three very different films, demanding solid acting ability.



off screen, lansbury was forced to grow up early. her father died when she was nine and with the onset of the blitz during world war ii, she moved with her mother to north america. her mother was an actress and angela took after her, landing her first theatrical job after she lied about her age [claiming to be nineteen when she was only sixteen]. she and her mother lived hand-to-mouth early on, during which time angela became acquainted with the gay communities in new york and los angeles [who often found a more tolerant atmosphere in the theatre]. as a result, she was an early and consistent advocate for gay rights, which helped cement her legacy as a gay icon. in other words, she was in real life a tough, resourceful woman who believed in equal rights before it was in anyway commonplace. now, the bold, original colour seems to make more sense, no?

in terms of similar shades, there are a few, but nothing that's so close it would serve as a duplicate. mac "violetta" is cooler and has a sheen. mac "style curve" is warmer and more muted. bite beauty "violet" is closest, but it's visibly lighter [especially on the lips!] and cooler. 

l to r :: mac violetta, angela, mac style curve [l.e.], bite violet
as far as the formula is concerned, "angela" is much the same as "greta": the pigmentation is awe-inspiring- don't know if i've ever seen a formula that's so rich with a single pass; the lasting power is impressive, it feels creamy on application but extremely lightweight when worn. the finish is nearly matte, much like "greta" [but not like all the other shades from the line] and it does get a touch drying after a full day, or if my lips are feeling particularly out of sorts.

i've made a tiny tradition the last few years of wearing pantone's colour of the year on new year's eve. it's my way of saying goodbye to what's past in the beauty world, i guess. so this year, i donned "angela" and for once i managed to get some shots during the day, as opposed to with my phone. [before a wild evening of cheese fondue and red wine spent at home, in the company of my soul mate and my cats.] here's the look that i did, although you can also see "angela" in action here. but if you want to scroll down and keep looking at this post, you'll get a little sneak preview of the first review i'll be doing from a spring collection. that's right, 2015, i'm starting early.

 


products used

the base ::
hourglass mineral veil primer
urban decay naked skin foundation "1.0"
dior star concealer "010"
mac paint pot "painterly"

the eyes ::
armani eye tint "rose ashes" [pale rose gold]
le metier de beauté "corinthian" [pinky taupe]
le metier de beauté "fig" [warm eggplant]
rouge bunny rouge "solstice halcyon" [mauve taupe]
mac "creamy bisque" [pink-tinged cream]*
ysl gel liner "sea black" [shimmery midnight blue]
hourglass film noir mascara

the cheeks ::
hourglass "luminous flush" [bright natural rose]
rouge bunny rouge "sea of tranquility" [palest rose gold]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "dim light" [champagne beige]

the lips ::
nars audacious l/s "angela" [radiant orchid]

*suggested alternates :: creamy bisque = mac dazzlelight [warmer]

we're all very happy that nars audacious lipsticks are permanent [casts stink-eye at tom ford for releasing fifty limited edition shades and for failing to secure any meaningful canadian distribution for his cosmetic line], so that we can all take a deep breath and pace ourselves when purchasing them. that said, a lot of people apparently didn't, which means that you may well have already made up your mind about whether or not you want to bring "angela" home with you. but if you haven't and you want something different and bold, you could do a lot worse.

p.s. :: the photo at the top of this post is a production still from the portrait of dorian gray.

Comments

I find colors like Angela hard to wear, too, but I think radiant orchid looks beautiful with your eyes. (My own eyes don't respond very well to bright purple-pinks...) Thanks for the bio of Angela Lansbury: I'm woefully ignorant of most of the actresses honored in the Audacious line.

I love your Pantone lipstick tradition! Does that mean you wore an emerald lipstick on the last day of 2013?
Kate MacDonald said…
Thank you for the compliment! I unfortunately did not do an emerald lipstick last year... I could have (thank you Illamasqua), but I went for emerald green liner instead.

I feel like this year will look remarkably subdued in comparison with the last few.

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am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

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