Uh…who is this Man Ray dude?
For their holiday collections, NARS usually pairs up with an artist and thematically incorporates the artist’s work into the release. This year, that artist is Man Ray.
No, we did not just teleport into an episode of Futurama. 🚀
Man Ray was an American visual artist known for his photography in the ’20s and ’30s, and he was a big time contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements. You’ve probably seen his work on your day-to-day travels. My favorite of his pieces is this picture here. It’s called Glass Tears. The first time I can remember seeing it was in a magazine when I was in high school, and it haunts me to this day.
I wonder if Man Ray liked purple, because the eye makeup in this color collection has purple, purple, purple!
Exciting stuff, if you ask me.
I’m into purple on my lids and lash lines, especially purples with bronze and gold, and there’s lots of that happening here. If you’re a NARS Cordura fan or a NARS Mekong or MAC Sketch or Shale fan, you’ll probably be feeling the duos and liners.
Before we jump into the eye makeup, let me back up a little first. The Man Ray for NARS Holiday collection launches this Friday, October 6th at NARS Boutiques and the NARS website, and it’s set up the same way that NARS has been doing their holiday collections for the past few years, with a color collection, which is like your traditional makeup LE collection with eye, lip and cheek products, and then there’s also a “gifting” collection with kits and sets.
The color collection contains 11 pieces and includes glosses, eyeshadow duos, a highlighter and liners, and there’s LOTS of purple, bronze and gold on parade, to which I have to say “YAAAAS!” 🙂
There are two $36 eyeshadow duos, each with a pan of wonderfully wearable, joyful, GORGEOUS purple shadow. The wearable aspect is a bit of a departure for NARS Holiday eye shadows, as 2015’s Steven Klein and 2016’s Sarah Moon seemed more serious, heavy, and…challenging to me. Like, am I really gonna wear a single pan of frosty white shadow on a Tuesday afternoon? Probably not.
These two new duos may not be as edgy as the NARS shadows from recent holiday collections, but I’m fine with that. I’ll take easy-to-wear stuff any day of the week.
The first duo, Montparnasse, pairs a satiny, reddish bronzed purple with a frosty, cool yellow gold. The second one, Debauched, partners a rich, deep golden plum with a smoky blackened purple containing red micro glitter.
And the purple in Montparnasse is definitely easy to work with. It’s a sheer purple, which I don’t think is a bad thing at all in this case, and it has a satiny finish. The sheerness is helpful because, well, purples can be hard to blend, man! Because think of how much it contrasts with skin… That’s a BIG leap. It’s definitely more of a leap than tan or beige shadow.
You just have to do more work to get purple to look like it’s supposed to be there, and not like you just bumped into a doorknob.
If you’re into natural looks like I am a lot nowadays, because this one is on the sheerer side, you won’t have to buff the edges very much to create a nice dark-to-light gradient.
I like to do the purple on my lids first, then fade it up into my crease. And then I take the gold shade, which is very reflective and shiny, pat that on the center of my lid with a finger, and leave it be. Eventually, that gold melts into the purple, and that’s that. You hardly have to do any work! 🙂 That’s exactly what I did for the Montparnasse look here.
It’s pigmented (yay!), but it doesn’t like to stick to my water lines (gah).
I have the same issue with second liner in the collection, purple Nagoya. It works fine on my lash lines, but it needs a touch-up every couple hours when I use it on my water lines.
I do love the color of Nagoya, though. It’s a bright ’80s-style violet (similar to this shade from Sephora I picked up a couple months ago), and it sure POPS with the Debauched Duo, which is the darker of the two eyeshadow duos.
The purple in Debauched is a blackened violet purple, and it’s more intense than the purple in Montparnasse, so I think it definitely benefits from a transition color (I used NARS Blondie for this look).
Debauched also has a deep blackened plum, and plum with red shimmer, which may have you wondering if it’s like NARS Mekong, but it isn’t. Mekong is redder, and they actually look completely different.
This one is super cool if you apply it wet, because it makes the sparkles really stand out. I did that here in the outer corner with a brush that I wet with a little MAC Fix+. If you give it a try, remember to let the shadow dry before you blend it, though, because if you don’t, your edges will end up all choppy.
I can definitely recommend both of the eyeshadow duos in this collection. As for the liners, I think they’re very pretty, too, and complementary, but you can find similar things from other brands that also work better on water lines.
I’m still testing the blushes, highlighter and glosses this week, so stay tuned.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,