Aqua Gel Hydrator (Discontinued)

by NARS  
$76 - 3.6 fl. oz.
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Skin Care > Facial Masks > Moisturizing/Firming Masks
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Aqua Gel Hydrator is a water- and silicone-based moisturizer with many of the same problems as the other moisturizers in this line, including jar packaging (a true disappointment with this product, as it contains more antioxidants than other NARS moisturizers).

The claim that it contains 87% water is basically letting you know that there isn’t much of anything else in here. Plus your skin doesn’t need water (healthy skin is only 10% water, and too much water destroys the skin’s structure). Rather, the skin needs ingredients that support and enhance its structure, antioxidants to reduce free-radical damage, and sunscreen to prevent sun damage—something this line almost completely ignores.

This ultra-luxurious lightweight gel-cream mask is comprised of 87% water to deliver intense hydration to dull, dehydrated skin. Once massaged into the skin, exclusive technology ensures optimal moisture delivery to provide throughout the night.

Water, Cyclomethicone, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Squalane, Dimethicone Copolyol, Dimethicone, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Alcohol, Tocopherol, Citrus Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Silica, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Pyrus Cydonia (Quince) Extract, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Propylene Glycol, Melilotus Officinalis (Sweet Clover) Extract, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandin) Oil, Prunus Persica (Peach) Kernel Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Extract, Lilium Candidum (White Lily) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben

Frenchman Francois Nars has been painting the faces of New York's top models since arriving in the United States in 1984. Their images and his handiwork have been seen on the covers of countless fashion magazines, most notably Vogue and Elle. As the story often goes for the talented makeup artists who have become celebrities in their own right, Nars became frustrated with the state of available makeup and, surprise, another cosmetic line was born.

Beginning (as Bobbi Brown did) by launching a small collection of lipsticks in 1994, the clamor for the colors was incredible, and demand for more NARS products from the artist grew. Shortly thereafter an entire product line followed, gaining women's attention with sleek, tactile-enhanced packaging and risqué shade names.

As an overview, NARS makeup has many strengths, but just as many weaknesses. It reaches its zenith with blushes, foundation shades, brushes, and lipsticks, but falters when it comes to pencils, and mascaras. Still, the best of NARS are really spectacular, and include expanded color palettes.

Although much can be said about the makeup side of this cosmetics line, there is very little, if anything, to be said about the skin-care products other than "Why bother?" or better yet, "What were they thinking?" Most of the cleansers are drying, the toners are dated formulations of alcohol and other irritants, and the moisturizers are mundane, poorly conceived and dated formulations. A little grape juice and fennel won't save a mix of alcohol, film-forming agent, and waxes, especially not at these inflated prices. And sunscreen? Completely absent; it's not even discussed. The assembly of products is attractively presented at NARS counters, but don't be fooled!

For more information about NARS, owned by Shiseido, call (888) 788-6277 or visit

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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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