Monday, 14 December 2015

COLLECTIONS FOR THE HOLIDAYS 2015 EDIT || NARS COSMETICS

Today is the first day of my 'Make-up Collections for the Holidays 2015 edit' and I am super excited to get this series started! Everyday this week (except for Sunday) I will be uploading a blog post all about make-up collections which have been released this year for the holiday season, and each day I will be focusing on a different brand!
 To start things off today, I will be sharing some pieces from the NARS Cosmetics holiday collection with you. Nars are one of my all time favourite brands and they never fail to amaze with their new releases. 


Earlier this year Nars founder, Francois Nars teamed up with iconic fashion photographer Steven Klein to create a limited edition holiday release of the aptly named 'Fantascene' Collection. There were 23 different pieces created within the collection and each one of them features bold colours and edgy, provocative, visually appealing imagery that is described as an 'exquisite fantasy played to the extreme'Some people may deem the imagery to be fairly risqué and a bit bizarre, but I think it is extremely unique and absolutely genius. Steven Klein is known for pushing the boundaries of what everyone believes fashion photography to be, and I love that they have put his 'stamp' on each of the products and made the collection eccentric. 

The collection consists of an array of gorgeous colours for the eyes, face and nails that will certainly not disappoint avid NARS enthusiasts and collectors. When this much anticipated collaboration became available online, I could not help myself and I just had to pick up a couple of pieces to try out! The main piece I had my eyes on out of the entire collection was the 'One Shocking Moment' Studio Cheek palette. This one in particular really stood out to me amongst everything else, and I bought it instantly when I saw it available. Was it enough to just get this one item from this incredible new release? Of course not! So, I also decided to get the 'Killer Heels' Mini Lipstick set and the 'A Womens Face' neutral lip set because you can never have too many lip products, right?!

First up is my stand-out favourite piece from the whole collection and it is the 'One Shocking Moment' cheek palette. If you are wanting to treat yourself to just one thing from this holiday collection, make it this one - you will not regret it! 
The palette is housed in a sturdy black casing, emblazoned with the Nars X Steven Klein logo and an amazing futuristic print. The compact is very sleek and it contains a huge mirror inside, making this an extremely travel-friendly palette.

The One Shocking Moment palette retails for £49 and for that price you get a highlighting and contouring duo, a bronzer and four blushes, two of which are new and exclusive to this palette, whilst all the other shades are a part of their permanent range.
 Everything that you could possibly need to give your face colour and dimension is all here in this one palette. It is so convenient to have all of your products in one place like this, especially for travelling or for when you are getting ready in a hurry! 

Diving straight into the palette, on the top row you have the contour blush duo 'Paloma' (I and II). Both of these are matte shades and one is used for highlighting, whilst the other is used to sculpt. The contour shade is the perfect balance of cool and warm undertones - Typically a contour powder would get its coolness from grey pigments, where as this one seems to have more of a mauve-beige tint running through it. I think this contour shade would work well for a variety of different skin tones, but for deep skin tones it may not show up so intensely on the skin. The highlight shade is a very light cream colour and it will work great underneath the eyes to help brighten that area and you can use it to illuminate any other high points of the face as well. 
The third powder on the top row and the largest pan in the palette is Nars Cult favouite, 'Laguna' bronzer. This is a golden brown bronze shade with gold shimmer running through it. I never used to like shimmery bronzers all that much, however I tried Laguna for the first time a few months back now and I fell in love with it, quickly. I can definitely see why it is so hyped about! It gives a healthy glow to the skin, which is essential all year round, the powder is not overly dusty and it has just the right amount of pigmentation. You can build the product up to get the perfect amount of colour pay off you want, without it looking muddy on the cheeks.

The bottom row showcases all four of the blush shades in the palette. I have a few NARS blushes already and they are definitely some of my favourites, they are so pigmented, so creamy and easy to blend and they last on the skin for a really long time! I love all of the blush shades that have been included in this set because there is a great colour selection and each one of them is quite neutral and versatile - they are 100% my kind of cheek colours. When I received the palette and first opened it up, I was surprised at how shimmery all of these shades actually were, and I was a little apprehensive about how they would transfer onto the skin. After swatching the blush shades to get a feel for what they are like, I noticed that in natural day light the shimmer in them is really not that intense at all, however if you have lights on you (for photography purposes maybe) then the shimmer would definitely be more noticable. Starting from the left, you have the lightest blush in the palette and this is in the shade 'Robotic', which is a soft, cool toned pink with silver shimmer running through it. I believe this shade is exclusive to this palette. Being such a light colour, this will be a perfect shade for fair skinned girls and it is great for those day when you just want a natural flush of colour on your cheeks and you do not want something to over the top. The next blush along is the shade 'Blasphemy' which is a more muted, warmer rosey pink, again with subtle silver shimmers in it. This would be a lovely everyday shade in the autumnal months, for a flush of colour which would just give the illusion that you've been walking around outside on a chilly day. Like Robotic, Blasphemy is the only other shade that is exclusive to the One Shocking Moment palette! The third blush is the shade 'Luster' which is a more peachy toned orange with a hint of brown undertones and gold shimmers. This blush would add such a healthy warm glow to the skin and it just screams this time of year! Finally, is the shade 'Dolce Vita' and this is possibly my favourite out of the four. It is a slightly muted medium reddish plum shade with warm undertones and a very fine gold shimmer running through it. I have heard so much about this shade in the blogging community and I am super excited to try it out for myself! 
One worry I always have when buying Holiday Collection products is that the quality will not be up to the highest standards like that of permenant line products, however I am really impressed with each of the powders in this palette. They are all really pigmented, really creamy and I cannot fault them. 

Now onto the products I picked up in the lip category from the Nars X Steven Klein collaboration. First up is the 'Killer Heels' mini lipsticks coffret. The outer packaging of these features more stunning photography by Steven Klein. The lipstick bullets themselves remain the same as the typical Nars casing, with the smooth matte black tube and the white lettering on the lid spelling out 'NARS' - They are just MUCH smaller than your standard lipsticks! 

The killer heels set contains five deluxed sized lipstick minis, in the line's original formula - none of the ones included are from the Nars Audacious formula, in case that is what you were expecting. You get a range of soft, muted shades and also some colours of the bolder variety, all of which are suited perfectly for this time of the year. I feel like all of the colours are pretty versatile, and almost all of them, will work for the majority of different skin tones. There is a mixture of finishes in the lipsticks, including semi-mattes, satins and sheers. They have literally catered for everyone when choosing the shades for this set.
The lipsticks really are SO tiny, and I have never used a lipstick this small before, but because I have such small lips I imagine it may be easier for me to get a more precise application with these ones. The only thing I worry about is how strong they are, so when I apply the lipstick I will go in carefully with a very light hand, to prevent breakage. The size of the bullets makes these lipsticks ideal for travelling, and they are super cute too! 

None of the shades in the set are new and exclusive to the Steven Klein collaboration, however a couple of them have previous been released as limited edition lipsticks for Nars before. 
Lets start off with the lightest shade, 'Little Darling', which is a very pale beige-nude with warm undertones. This lipstick has a sheer colour pay off and it has a fairly shiny finish to it. Due to me having such a ghostly complexion, I can imagine this one not being the most suitable for my skin tone - intact it would probably look terrible on my lips alone. That being said, I am going to try and make it work by pairing it over the top of a much deeper lip colour, so it will certainly not go to waste. This shade was previously available once before, but does not appear to be a part of the permanent colour range any longer. Next up is the shade 'Mayflower', which is a muted raspberry, rosy plum shade with warm undertones and a subtle shimmer. Again, this one also has a sheer, glossy finish that will give a lovely sheen to the lips. Personally I would wear this one over the top of a pinky-nude lip liner to extend the length of time that it wears and to give it a slight bit more intensity. This shade was also available previously, but is no longer a part of the current lip line-up. The third shade is 'Joyous Red' and this one is a muted, medium copper with warm, red tones and a very subtle gold shimmer running through it. It has a semi-opaque pigmentation, a light creamy consistency and a satin finish. This is a great shade for when you want to rock a bold lip, but you do not want something that is super intense - A perfect Autumnal shade! Once again, this is a shade that has been released before, but it is not part of the current range. Moving along one more we have 'Jungle Red', which is described as a 'bright red from the 1950's silver screen'. This one is a medium, semi-bright red with neutral to warm undertones. It offers an opaque coverage on the lips and a semi-matte finish. To me, this shade is great for Christmas time and do not worry about falling in love with it, because it is a shade which is a part of the NARS permanent lipstick range! Last up is the shade 'Fire Down Below', and this one is described as a 'pure blood red with no blue or orange'. It is a muted, medium-dark brown-based red with warm undertones to it. This lipstick offers a semi-opaque pigmentation and it is a satin finish. Compared to the other four shades in the set, this is much more of a bold option, and I love these kinds of colours for fall time! This is another shade which is available as part of the permanent lipstick range at NARS. 
When swatching all of the shades, they each seemed to be extremely creamy in texture, soft and smooth to apply and they did not drag or tug, meaning they would be gentle to the lips. I think this 'Killer Heels' lipstick coffret would make the perfect gift for any make-up lover, or for someone who is new to Nars cosmetics and is looking to try out the lipsticks before spending a huge amount of money on them. The set really is great value for money with the variety that is on offer to you! 


The final piece I picked up from the collection, is from the lip category again and this one is the 'A Women's Face' lips set. I originally wanted to get the 'An Abnormal Female' set, but I opted for this one because it is a combination of all nude shades, which will pair together to create the perfect soft-pink, nude lip. 
Again there is another Steven Klein art image on the outer box packaging of this one, with the logo wrote across it as well. All three of the lip products come cased in this gorgeous black box casing, which you could keep and use to store different products in or any other items which you want to keep safe. 

This set retails for £29, and for that price you will receive a lip liner, a lip pencil and a lipstick which coordinate together perfectly, so they can be layered easily. Each of the shades in this set are part of the permanent range at NARS, so if you like one, you could buy it individually rather than purchasing the whole set.  

The lipstick is in the shade 'Dolce Vita' and this is a NARS cult classic. It is a muted, dusty rose colour, with warm undertones and a natural sheen. Dolce Vita is a part of the sheer lipstick collection, so as you may expect is on more of the sheerer side. I quite like the fact that they have included a sheer, glossy lipstick in with two matte lip products, because using this on the top will help to keep the lips nourished and will add a more hydrating element to the trio. 

Next is the velvet matte lip pencil, and this one is in the shade 'Dolce Vita', which is another dusty rose colour with warm undertones. I have tried some Nars lip pencils in the past, and they are some of my favourite formulas. They are soft and creamy to apply, so they do not drag on the lips, they are really pigmented and they last for hours! This one has a semi-opaque pigmentation and a velvety matte finish.

And last up we have the velvet lip liner. This one if in the shade 'Patong Beach' and it is a pink rose, with warm undertones and a mostly matte finish. Admittedly, I have never tried a lip liner from Nars before, but supposedly they are 'pigment-rich' while filling and preventing feathering on the lips with 'long-wearing, comfortable wear'. Personally, I always find lip liners to be quite drying and clingy to the lips, so it is very rare that I would ever wear one just on its own, because it does not feel that comfortable to me. 
I really do like this little set and I think it would be the perfect gift for someone who is wanting to try some Nars lip products out before they splurge and buy them. To get the best results from this trio, I would line my lips with the lip liner to define them precisely, fill them in with the lip pencil, and then go over the top of everything with the lipstick. 

I hope you guys have all enjoyed this post today and hopefully you are just as excited about this weeks little 'series' as I am! 
If you have not done so already, this limited edition collection is definitely worth checking out, as it contains products which are great value for money, that would make for excellent gifts. Have you picked anything up for yourself from the Nars X Steven Klein collaboration? What are your favourite pieces?  

Thank you all so much for reading. Do not forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to make sure you do not miss out on any future postS, and in that case, I will speak to you tomorrow with a new Limited Edition holiday collection! 

Lots of Love,
ALICIA
XO
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