A Picture Perfect Collection of Bold Brights Beckons You: The New NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Color Collection

Published in: Collections, Makeup, NARS

NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Cinematic Lipstick Swatch

Wearing NARS Cinematic Lipstick in Goodbye Emmanuelle ($26), one of 17 pieces in the new Guy Bourdin Holiday Color Collection

warningWARNING: Catching glimpses of the pretty, pretty colors in the NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Color Collection has been known to make knees buckle.

It’s gotta be the bold brights… They get me every single time.


I’m getting a decidedly MAC-esque vibe from this new 17-piece limited edition release, AND I LIKE IT! If there ever was a collection capable of converting the most die-hard MAC mavens to hard-core NARS nerds, this would be the one.

With saturated, high-intensity lipsticks, blushes, eyeshadows and nail polishes, it holds nothing back.

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Color Collection

The entire NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Color Collection, coming to NARS boutiques and counters (and online) October 15

Rather than releasing just enough products to complete one look — like a blush, a gloss, one lipstick and a few eye pieces — which is what NARS usually does with their collections, they expanded their horizons this time around, offering multiple options — three blushes, four nail polishes, five eyeshadow singles (in the new Cinematic formulation) and five lipsticks (also in Cinematic).

Very MAC-like, I must say.

But this collection is more than bold brights. It’s also, in a way, an ode to one of François Nars’ childhood heroes, french photographer Guy Bourdin, who François credits for inspiring him to become a makeup artist.

Bourdin’s work graced the pages of top fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar during the later half of the 20th century. He was one of the first to create complex narratives through his fashion photography. He often staged his shots in strange and mysterious ways to tell stories through imagery, sometimes with violent, surreal themes or sexuality.

I gotta say, I really like it when collections have provocative, interesting stories behind them, and I think it’s cool that Nars gives props to a fellow artist who meant so much to him.

My makeup spider sense is tingling about this collection. I can see it being one of those launches that people talk about with a twinkle in their eye, like five or six years down the road over coffee one day. “Gah! Remember NARS Guy Bourdin? I still dream about those lipsticks…”

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Color Collection Cinematic Lipsticks

Cinematic Lipsticks from the left: Goodbye Emmanuelle (a hot pink), Full Frontal (a rose violet), Short Circuit (a firey coral), Future Red (a cherry) and Last Tango (a dusty rose)

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Color Collection Cinematic Eyeshadows

Cinematic Eyeshadows, clockwise from the blue pan on the far left: Wishful Thinking (a macaw blue), Rage (an electric orchid), Cambodia (a pinkish copper), Bad Behaviour (a deep pewter) and Mississippi Mermaid (a champagne), $24 each

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Color Collection Nail Polish

Nail Polishes from the left: Tomorrow’s Red (a scarlet flame), Union Libre (a blossom pink), No Limits (a bright pinkish violet) and Follow Me (a deep fuchsia), $19 each

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Color Collection Blushes

Clockwise from the red pan in the lower left: Blush in Exhibit A (a vivid matte red), Blush in Coeur Battant (a magenta) and Blush in Day Dream (a peachy pink), $29 each; Cinematic Eyeshadows in Rage (an electric orchid) and Wishful Thinking (a macaw blue), $24 each


NARS Guy Bourdin Swatches Cinematic Eyeshadows

Cinematic Eyeshadows from the left: Wishful Thinking (a macaw blue), Rage (an electric orchid), Bad Behaviour (a deep pewter), Cambodia (a pink copper) and Mississippi Mermaid (a champagne)

NARS Guy Bourdin Swatches Blushes

Blushes from the left: Exhibit A (a vivid matte red), Coeur Battant (a magenta) and Day Dream (a peachy pink)

NARS Guy Bourdin Swatches Cinematic Lipsticks

Cinematic Lipsticks from the left: Future Red (a cherry), Short circuit (a fire coral), Last Tango (a dusty rose), Goodbye Emmanuelle (a hot pink) and Full Frontal (a rose violet)

NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle

Cinematic Lipstick in Goodbye Emmanuelle

NARS Last Tango

Cinematic Lipstick in Last Tango

NARS Full Frontal

Cinematic Lipstick in Full Frontal

NARS Short Circuit

Cinematic Lipstick in Short Circuit

NARS Future Red

Cinematic Lipstick in Future Red

NARS Guy Bourdin Nail Swatches

Nail Polish swatches from the left: Union Libre, Tomorrow’s Red, Follow Me and No Limits

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday Color Collection

I’m putting these pieces through their paces right now, and I’ll have detailed reviews soon. In the meantime, what do you think so far? What are your first impressions?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Ok, I’m full-on addicted to Parenthood. Have you seen it?? I’m always so late jumping on these TV bandwagons. Hope you’re having a nice night. 🙂


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 37 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Ritu R says:

    ah, my favorite would be Exhibit and Short Circuit! look lovely!
    Ritu R recently posted … Sigma E56 Lid Shader brush: Review

  2. Dovey says:

    Hi Karen,

    It’s so exciting to see NARS Guy Bourdin swatched on MBB! The lipsticks are my favorite of the collection. I like how NARS created Future Red, as I’ve always felt that a cherry red was missing from their lipstick lineup! Last Tango looks wonderfully wearable as well.

    While seeing such a large collection is fun, I do miss the days when NARS holiday was more carefully curated. I felt like it set the brand apart from others!

  3. Justina says:

    I’m loving the color Frontal. Then again I’m always digging the purples. I love MAC Heroine, and Buxom Swinger (or Exhibitionist…which is the purple one? Can’t remember!) I haven’t bought anything from NARS in years so I’ll have to try it out.

    I got addicted to Parenthood in May and watched the show nonstop until I was caught up. I hate when I get caught up and then have to wait for the new shows to come out! But it’s fun in the meantime. Who is your favorite couple?

  4. Darbie says:

    I’m in love with rage the eyeshadow. Sooooo bright. 🙂

  5. Gowthami says:

    Last tango is wow!!!
    Gowthami recently posted … International Giveaway By Vintage Buying

  6. Gowthami says:

    Last tango looks wow!! 🙂
    Gowthami recently posted … International Giveaway By Vintage Buying

  7. I am blinded by these bright colors.. everything looks so beautiful.. eye shadows, lipsticks, blusherss… <3 <3 all of them.. lip swatches are lovelyy.. waiting for full reviewsss 😀 😀
    poo@beautyandmakeupmatters recently posted … Tag Post: This or That Beauty Tag

  8. Beautiful bright colours!
    Marina(Makeup4all) recently posted … New Makeup Products from BECCA, Bobbi Brown and ArtDeco

  9. Charisma says:

    On my list are: Full Frontal, Exhibit A and Coer Battant!

  10. Rachel says:

    I am a huge MAC fan and have a few products from Nars simply because they remind me of MAC! This collection will only make matters worse! Any brand with bright colors and/or gross and funny names for their products is a winner in my book! (I also love Urban Decay!) BTW, have you checked out Anthro online lately? Tons of “freshly cut” sale items; awesome sunglasses for Target prices!

  11. Kim says:

    That is a lot of bright color, for sure! Every time I read “Short Circuit”, all I can think of is “Johnny 5 is alive!”, though. 🙂

    And I know this is probably just me, but all the bold color collections remind me of summer more than holiday. Unless, maybe it’s a tropical holiday!!

  12. modernfoppery says:

    I’ve been waiting for swatches of this collection for what seems like forever! Coeur Battant is at the top of my wishlist, though I’m also drawn to the lipsticks, which look more moisturizing than NARS’ usual offerings (my dry lips just can’t take the NARS matte and semi-matte formulas). Do you think Last Tango would suit a pale, cool-toned lady?

  13. meredith says:

    Love! All of it looks awesome to me but the blushes and eye shadows in particular are calling my name.

  14. ki. says:

    I have Cambodia and Last Tango on my list!

  15. Danielle says:

    This looks like a great collection! My favorites here are Cambodia, Mississippi Mermaid, & Day Dream!
    Danielle recently posted … Orange for Autumn: My Picks in Makeup & Nail Polish

  16. Mary says:

    i really loved it.
    can anyone suggest me from which online store i can buy some of these.

  17. Azreen says:


    okay, but seriously, can’t wait to get my hands on these + the blush palette coming out in November! AHHH!

  18. hanna says:

    I’m loving those nail polishes
    hanna recently posted … Sleep Paralysis: Awake During a Nightmare

  19. Raquel says:

    Dear Karen,

    I love your blog and read it daily – often purchasing products you recommend.

    However,I must raise concerns about this post. Learning of Guy Bourdin’s misogyny has made me decide not just to forego this collection, but to stop purchasing NARS products altogether. There is nothing glamorous, fun, or acceptable about the brutalization of women. I have contacted NARS for comment, and have not received a response. A telling disappointment, considering that when I wrote them months ago to ask about a blush’s availability, I got a response within a couple of hours. It seems that as long as they are being contacted about receiving a customer’s money, they are responsive – but are not responsive when a loyal customer is concerned. That’s fine – they will be receiving no more of my dollars.

    I would ask you to read this piece, released just after this collection was announced:


    Christine at Temptalia said, after learning of this, that she will not be reviewing this collection: http://www.temptalia.com/nars-x-guy-bourdin-gifting-collection-holiday-2013

    All best to you (and Tabs).

    • Deb says:

      Raquel, thank you for bringing this up. I have done some research since the controversy started and from what I find, Guy Bourdin was a terrible person. It’s disturbing that Francois Nars is inspired by someone seemingly so awful. And I’m not buying the “artistic freedom of expression” argument for some of his work and comments he was reported to have made. I too will no longer purchase any Nars products. I only own a few right now, I find his products do not work for my coloring anyway. And this collection, IMHO, is awful. It’s garish and clown like so I’m certainly not missing out on anything. I commend you for trying to reach out to the company; it’s a shame that they didn’t respond. That’s a very telling clue about their business ethic, isn’t it?

  20. I love Short Circuit on you! I received Future Red, so I’ll definitely have to pick up SC and Last Tango when they officially launch. <3 I'm so glad you swatched so I could see the whole collection at once!
    Brooke @ Blushing Noir recently posted … My Secret Weapon for Getting Out the Door Fast featuring REVLON & a Giveaway!!!!

  21. I llllike it too! Exhibit A is sooooo pretty, it’s a favorite of mine.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | DKNY Women Fall eau de toilette

  22. ana says:

    I’m loving the lipsticks and even a few of the eyeshadows although none of them are standout colors. but I really love your loong healthy hair. I’m dying to grow mine out again after jumping on the lob wagon.

  23. Natalie says:

    I’m so excited for this collection! I’m a real NARS nerd, and these colors are especially beautiful. I love bright blushes.

  24. Natalie says:

    This collection looks so bright! I love bright blushes, and I’m a huge NARS nerd, this looks like it’s right up my alley.

  25. Hmmm…. The brights make me feel way too 80’s!
    The Beauty Glow recently posted … Can you see my radiance? FAB (First Aid Beauty) Facial Radiance Polish has me glowing!

  26. Katie says:

    Does Day Dream have any shimmer in it or is it matte? I don’t know if it’s just me but it looks like there is some sparkle in it. Thanks!

  27. Phyrra says:

    Bad Behavior and Mississippi Mermaid are stunning! I love the look of Full Frontal. I wore Bad Behavior (on primer) for 12+ hours with absolutely no creasing. It only came off because I wanted to go to bed, and I didn’t notice any wear. Love this new eyeshadow formula! Thanks for the swatches 🙂
    Phyrra recently posted … Have you had your eyes examined this year?

  28. Those lipsticks! Full Frontal is calling my name, heart be still.
    Jay @ Wayfaring Beauty recently posted … Dollish Polish Walker Bait and Zombie Flesh – Swatches & Reviews

  29. Sylvia says:

    Holy moly, I must have those lipsticks!!!!! And that magenta blush??!?!? Stunning!

  30. Noon says:

    As if I didn’t already need to own a bunch of this collection, these swatches are making it worse!!
    Noon recently posted … Kiss of Life

  31. Elle says:

    Finally – a collection that piqued my interest. Can’t wait to check this out!

  32. Carina says:

    I love this collection, but wow, I thought Short Circuit would be way pinker! Can’t wait for your reviews. 😀
    Carina recently posted … Drugstore Finds: NYX Butter Gloss

  33. fancie says:

    This collection is just beautiful!! I’ve been drooling over it for weeks now lol. I must have the magenta blush and both pink lipsticks. NARS holiday will not be easy on my wallet lol.

  34. Lacy says:

    Thanks for the awesome post with swatches! Ive been lusting after the blushes and lipstick. I really want the blush in Day Dream but it looks comparable to Sex Appeal. Are they similiar or is there enough difference to tell them appart?

  35. Beauty Bee says:

    Wow, so many gorgeous colours!!! I almost feel like I’m on overload atm lol I need to calm down and then try and figure out what I’d like from this collection 🙂 🙂 🙂

  36. Kathy says:

    Hey- maybe it’s just me but wondering how Last Tango compares to Dolce Vita. I have very full lips and although these colors are beautiful, they will do nothing for me. I am in love with all the eyeshadows and lip sets. Deciding if I need Last Tango and Dolce Vita too

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