This limited edition NARS collection came to my attention when browsing the "New In" section on the Selfridges website.
I hadn't heard much about it and all the colours looked tempting to me. 4 romantically hued blushes, variations on pink, 4 lip pencils in a similar tone selection and a shimmering face illuminator.
I did something I don't think I have ever done - I bought all the cheek products and internally justified it as "for the blog". Yeah, okay.
Well it's been about 2 weeks of ownership and I will say this, not all of them are necessary and many are dupeable. I can also say that I did find the overall quality of the blushes on the sheerer side. Love and Sex Fantasy for instance have to be quite heavily applied to show up with any pigmentation. That's slightly unexpected from NARS but I am not sure it's actually a bad thing - a flush of colour is ultimately what I am after.
I tried to take pictures of the blushes on my face, in natural light that went from cloudy to bright. I haven't retouched/filtered the pictures so apologies for my face.
Okay, on with the review!
Colour: A matte peach coral.
This was the one colour I wasn't sure I should order and yet, as it turns out, I think this is probably the most unique shade in the collection and one of the key items I would recommend. It's beautiful on, giving both warmth and tone. Even though it's a matte it's not chalky - something which Sex Fantasy sadly hints at.
In terms of blushes it reminds me of - it has less pink than Benefit Coralista but reminds me of MAC Sunbasque - just without any of the shimmer.
I sometimes find peachy/coral shades difficult to wear but this translates as a very soft and complimentary shade.
Would I recommend to my friends? Yes!
Colour: A matte cherry blossom pink.
Lets be honest, this can be duped. Probably very easily. That glow of soft pink is something that you could achieve with NARS Gaiety or NARS Angelika - if you took away the sparkle - but I wouldn't say it's exactly the same. There's something lighter and brighter about this shade and as much as I want to be rational and say "don't bother" I just can't. It's just so pretty on.
I wore this quite lightly but this is one of the more pigmented offerings. It's also occasionally a little powdery - with one dab of the brush residue will appear.
Despite that though I think this looks good. I think it would work well on either cool or warm skin tones. It's got enough punch to brighten up any complexion.
Would I recommend to my friends? Yes.
This was the colour I salivated over and it's the one that I would tell my friends to skip. If you have MAC Well Dressed, Giorgio Armani Sheer number 2 or Illamasqua's Katie there is no need to own it. An example of the dupe factor is below: Sex Fantasy versus Katie - spot the difference.
Texture wise this is the chalkiest them all and it required two layers to show up as it does below.
I can forgive that though. Whilst in the swatch above I wore it on it's own I would never normally do that. Shades like this are what I call "finishers". Pop it on over the top of something else and it brings your cheeks to life, giving that iced finish that glows. This is exactly how I wear it - typically with Love as the base colour.
Would I recommend to my friends? It's a lovely colour but if you have any of those mentioned above then don't bother. In fact I would recommend Well Dressed or the Armani Sheer over this one.
Colour: Tea rose
This is the most neutral and potentially the most boring one of the lot. At first I thought it was the next generation NARS Douceur (left and looking skanky) but it's far pinker/warmer than that one:
It's a pure rose colour with moderate pigmentation. Use a heavy hand and it will still look subtle on the skin.
As I mentioned above I tend to wear this mixed with Sex Fantasy - it's a great combo. Enough of a base colour with Love to gently sculpt and then enough pink in Sex Fantasy (gah I hate writing that out) lift and highlight:
Would I recommend to my friends? Yes. If you have fair skin this is a great warm base colour for your cheeks. And if you don't own anything like theBalm's Frat Boy or Tarte Exposed then all the better!
I really like this. It leaves a gorgeous highlight. The pigmentation is a bit on the light side - you get an icy light pink finish - but it's not as glittery as I feared it might be. I mean I hate the texture because it's a thin cream that I find difficult to place/blend but if you take a bit of time you get a beautiful shimmering cheek.
Would I recommend to my friends? If you like a delicate, pretty glow and prefer a liquid highlighter then this is ideal for you. I do prefer it to the likes of the RMK cream highlighter - this is far more effective and glowy. It will also look beautiful on your decollete.
After all that..?
So overall then I feel like this was a collection that revived a love for blush. I was so excited to try all these out and see the strengths of each.
I would also say that this is a collection made for lighter skintones. Everything is very soft and designed to give a tasteful flush of colour. This isn't going to suit everyone nor even appeal to all tastes but it lends itself to a fresh look which seems perfect for Spring.
After doing this review I think Final Cut, New Attitude and Love would be my favourite picks of the lot, representing the ones I will reach for more frequently
Where to buy: Annoyingly this looks like it's quite a limited collection. At the moment it's online only - Selfridges or Nordstrom. If you can't seem to get hold of any of them, it's not the end of the world. We live in a world of blush and there are many shades out there that embody the tones and finishes that you saw above :)
PS. Other make up on my face:
Foundation: Laura Mercier Silk Creme - sensational coverage. I really loved this foundation today.
Lips: MAC Casual Colour in Have a lovely Day! (LE) - a pretty muted pink
Eyes: MAC Amorous Alloy (from Magnetic Nude collection) over the lid and lower lash line which incidentally I am obsessed with! Blended with Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder. YSL gel liner. Lancome Hypnose mascara.
Hope you had a great weekend :)
Did you get anything from this collection?