Essential Vitamin Serum (Discontinued)

by NARS  
$75 - 2.5 fl. oz.
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Essential Vitamin Serum irritates skin with alcohol and contains more film-forming agents (the same kind used in hairstyling products) than vitamins or anything else beneficial for skin. This is just an overpriced waste of time.

A fast-acting, lightweight serum that helps revitalize dull skin and promote visibly smoother skin for a more luminous appearance.

Water, Alcohol Denat (Sd Alcohol 40-B), Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, PVP, Cyclomethicone, PEG-240, PVP/PA Copolymer, Trioctanoin, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Carbomer, Squalane, PEG-60 Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Retinyl Acetate, Potassium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Citrus Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, BHT, Trisodium EDTA, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Potassium Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Phosphate, Prunus Persica (Peach) Kernel Extract, Lilium Candidum (White Lily) Extract, Rosa Roxburghii Extract, Methylparaben, Iron Oxides

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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