This is the first NARS holiday collection in a very long time where — I know this is going to sound strange, but where I haven’t felt threatened or scared.
I know that’s weird, but think about it. Last year there was a kit with leather-clad man junk on the front.
You get an official Cool Kids card if you actually knew who Sarah Moon is, because I had no idea. I had to Google her, and she seems like a cool chick. She’s a French fashion photographer, and I mean, when you put those words together, “French” and “fashion photographer,” inevitably you get something cool.
From what I’ve seen of her work, there’s often a woman in her photographs who looks like she’s from another time, like the 1920s, and many of them are black and white. It looks like she uses filters to make things look old and kind of scratched up. They’re like pictures you’d find in your aunty’s basement of her in scandalous clothing from the ’20s.
Well, do I think that a 1920s screen starlet would wear this makeup?
Answer: Yes, I can see the ladies in Sarah Moon’s photographs reaching for these eyeshadows and lipsticks.
These pieces here are from the color collection, which is part of the larger Sarah Moon NARS holiday launch. There are also a bunch of sets, which we’ll get into later, but for now, here are the eyeshadows, the blushes, the lipsticks, the liners and the false lashes.
Everything is limited edition, as you can tell from the packaging, and can we please just take a moment to appreciate the negative space in the serif lettering? As a font/typography person, I think it’s awesome.
Now let’s take a closer look at the blushes…
Impudique Blush ($30)
WHAT IS IT? Pigmented pinkish red Impudique Blush is one of two limited edition powder blushes in the collection, and I can see a little bit of pearl in it from some angles.
SHOULD YOU GET IT? Only if you want to wear the same color for the next 40 years. It’s SO pigmented and would probably last that long. We’re talking crazy pigmented.
Get this one only if you feel confident about your blush blending skills. It’s a little like winged liner in that it can sense your fear… If you aren’t careful, you’ll end up with two little dolly red circles on your cheeks.
Isadora Blush ($30)
WHAT IS IT? Isadora is the other blush in the collection. It’s a pearlescent lavender pink, and it’s also limited edition.
SHOULD YOU GET IT? Well, yeah, obviously. Not every blush in the world needs to be a dainty golden peach or pinkish brown. You might think that a lavender blush would be hard to wear, but it’s not. This one’s more of a pink tinged with lavender, so you get that rosy, happy, like, “Oh! You can’t catch me!” look to your cheeks.
WHAT IS IT? Moon Matte Lipstick in Indecent Proposal is a matte nude rose with a lightweight texture and comes in a slim case, which you can just tuck away into your pocket for touchups.
SHOULD YOU GET IT? Well, how many nude lipsticks do you have in your bag? Do you have zero? If I go in there, and I don’t find anything at all, I’d say, “hey, go for it,” but if I walk over to your bag right now and 20 nude lipsticks come pouring out, I don’t think you need one more.
WHAT IS IT? Blood red Rouge Improbable closely resembles Rouge Indiscret but is slightly warmer and brighter.
SHOULD YOU GET IT? Well, you know I love a good red. You and I could sit here and easily paint you for days with all of the different reds that I love, but these red lipsticks, I have to be honest, the subtlety among them… I don’t think most people will be able to see the differences. If you swatch them all together on the back of your hand, I don’t think you’d see the differences unless you looked really, really, really closely.
Not to sound morbid, but Rouge Improbable does look very much like blood to me. Like dried blood. Like sexy vampire blood.
I’m not saying at all that I don’t like it. I think it’s a classic red that you could wear with everything, but is it a red that’s going to stop traffic and haunt you at night? I don’t think so.
WHAT IS IT? Fearless Red is the next of the three matte red lipsticks in the collection. It’s the one with the most brown. Technically, it’s a fire brick red, but I would call it more of a ’90s red because of the brown.
SHOULD YOU GET IT? Sure, if you want to take a trip back to 1998 with me.
Hey, that was a good era, with the dark matte lips and all the variations on brown. Of course, this one isn’t a pure brown. It’s mostly red with a tinge of brown.
You know the whole reddish brown on eyelids movement right now, especially in the crease? Well, this would look great paired with one of those shades, especially if you did matte eyes and matte lips.
Ah… Take me back to the ’90s please.
Of course, with matte lipsticks, you have to be very picky, because when mattes go wrong, they GO WRONG, but formula-wise, I think these Moon Mattes are right in all the right ways. They’re smooth across the board, so if you don’t want to put in a lot of time and you just don’t want any matte trouble, these are some of the easiest around to work with.
WHAT IS IT? This ruby red is Rouge Improbable’s kissing cousin. It’s slightly bluer and cooler toned.
SHOULD YOU GET IT? Only if you don’t plan to get one of the other reds because…they do look very similar, but I think this one’s the peppiest of the three.
And here’s something fun: The blue undertone should also make your teeth look whiter.
Duo Eyeshadow in Quai Des Brumes ($35)
WHAT IS IT? Limited edition Quai Des Brumes is a powder eyeshadow duo. One half is a very frosty, cool-toned shimmery lavender grey, and the other half is a matte charcoal with golden shimmer. But I wouldn’t call it a shimmery shadow. It’s more like a matte with golden sprinkles.
SHOULD YOU GET IT? Yeah, man, and when you do, mix both of the shades together with a brush, with a finger — heck, with a spatula — and put them all over your lids, because it’s smoky magic. I just did it right now, and I’m smiling. 🙂
The two shades are greater than the sum of their parts, because when I swatch them individually, I’m kind of like, “Meh,” but when I mix them together, it creates a lovely purplish, gunmetal-ly, slightly frosty (but not overly so) combined color with little glitter pieces peeking through.
WHAT IS IT? One side of the limited edition Indes Galantes duo has a deep, shimmery gunmetal, and the other side has a matte brownish plum that looks more brown on the skin than it does in the pan.
SHOULD YOU GET IT? You know, I like this a lot more than I thought I would. Both sides seemed intimidating to me — surprise, I only gave myself 15 minutes to use them in a look, and I stuck to it, and even though both colors are dark and intense, they’re easy to work with.
The matte’s smooth, easy to blend and surprisingly flattering, and the shimmer is… I’ve only worn it as a liner so far, but the powder feels finely milled, and I like that it isn’t too frosty.
Kohliners in Sichuan and Witching Hour ($29 each)
WHAT IS IT? These are both twist-up pencil liners that have a gel-like consistency. Witching Hour is an iridescent charcoal, and Sichuan is a rusty brown.
SHOULD YOU GET IT? I think if you’re gonna spend $29 on a liner, throw in a few more bucks and get a Chanel Stylo Yeux. These are smooth and pigmented, but they don’t hang onto my water line.
Eyelashes in Numero 10 ($20)
WHAT IS IT? These false lashes are denser on the outer half than the inner half.
SHOULD YOU GET IT? NARS false lashes are expensive compared to drugstore lashes, but I find that I can reuse them an obscene number of times. They’re generally some of the easiest false lashes to apply.
Eyelashes in Numero 9 ($20)
WHAT IS IT? These false lashes are longer in the center than they are on the sides, and they’re made up of little bundles of staggered length.
SHOULD YOU GET IT? Yes, I think they’re lovely.
The 15-minute look I did for this post, believe it or not, included these lashes, because I just stuck ’em on.
If only it were always that easy, but it’s not. But these were.
Smoky eyes and red lips — what’s not to love? And now I also know about a new photographer. Thanks, NARS. 🙂
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,