Oh NARS, you have done it again. But let’s stop pretending that we didn’t know this was going to happen… A few of you actually asked me if I was planning on buying the NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette when it first came out.
I was yoyo-ing with my feelings (haha) and was coming up with pretty good reasons as to why I shouldn’t get this palette. After all, it’s another neutral palette. On the other hand, I’ve been meaning to get more into NARS Eyeshadows (for whatever reason). This palette has 14 permanent shades, plus 1 LE shade that was just released, so this would be actually be great introduction for a NARS n00b.
The NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette launched into a chorus of mixed reviews. A lot of people said that the shadows in this palette weren’t on par with the originals. As someone who is pretty familiar with the ‘NARS Syndrome,’ I knew that the shades would be hit or miss… but I wasn’t expecting a discrepancy in quality.
Finally, after much deliberation, I just decided to take the plunge. And you know what? I’m pretty happy I did.
For $79, you get 15 eyeshadows in a great range of shades and finishes. A lot of them are pretty subtle (you’ll see in a bit), but there are a few striking shades. Of the 15, I already own 2 of the shades: Coconut Grove in another palette and Dogon No. 2 in a duo.
- All About Eve No. 1 — a light champagne shade with very fine sparkle. Great for the lid or as an inner highlight color. (described: flesh-toned neutral with shimmer)
- Madrague No. 2 — a light soft ochre, matte (described: matte caramel)
- Fez — frosty coppery chocolate brown (described: velvety cocoa)
- Bali — matte midtone grey-brown (described: neutral matte)
- Coconut Grove — warm matte brown with gold flecks (described: deep brown infused with reflections)
- Madrague No. 1 — yellow-toned pale neutral (described: matte cream)
- Nepal — shimmery pale rose (described: soft sheer rose)
- Ashes to Ashes — rose-tinged purple-y taupe, shimmery (described: shimmery violet-based brown)
- Brousse No. 2 — muted purple-toned grey (described: black violet)
- Mekong — deep brown matte base with infusion of gold shimmer (described: gold)
- Bellissima No. 1 — super pale neutral with tiny flecks of gold (described: shimmering beige with subtle glitter)
- Lhasa — shimmery taupe with slight purple undertone (described: lavender grey)
- Bad Behaviour — Limited Edition steely blue grey, shimmery (described: deep peewter)
- Dogon No. 2 — blue-toned black, matte (described: charcoal black)
- Pandora No. 2 — matte black (described: matte black)
Swatched, L-R: All About Eve No. 1, Madrague No. 2, Fez, Bali, Coconut Grove, Madrague No. 1, Nepal, Ashes to Ashes, Brousse No. 2, Mekong, Bellissima No. 1, Lhasa, Bad Behaviour, Dogon No. 2, Pandora No. 2
Here are all the shades swatched next to each other. I think it’s really an excellent mix of shades and colors and textures and finishes. A genuine all-arounder if I ever saw one!
The packaging is sturdy and made of a rubbery matte, as can be expected from NARS, though slightly thicker than their other palettes/compacts. The shadow pans are more or less the same size as the pans in the 6-pan palettes. This palette is a bit thicker than the other ones I have, presumably because it is bigger? It also has a mirror that runs across the entire lid, which I la-la-love.
Looks 1 & 2 were made over the NARS Pro-Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base.
Look 1: All About Eve all over the lid, fading into Lhasa on the outer corner, blended into Bali in the crease. Outer ‘v’ is deepened with Bad Behaviour, which was also used to line the upper lash line and lower lash line.
Look 2: Beautiful Fez all over the lid, fading into Mekong on the outer crease with Madrague No. 2 as the transition/blending color. Brousse No. 2 on my lower lash line and Bellissima No. 1 as an inner corner highlight.
I love the contrast of the warm coppery color with the deep purple. Agh.
For a third look, I actually wore this to a shoot~ for a newspaper feature (minus the lower lash line, which I added when I got home to take this photo). This was done over MAC’s Painterly Paint Pot.
Look 3: Nepal all over the lid, fading into Brousse No. 2, which I also used on the lower lash line. The upper lash line was lined with Dogon No. 2 and smoked out slightly.
OK, so I mentioned I already had two of the colors. Here they are swatched next to each other, left swatch is from this palette.
I can see why people are up in arms about this. You can see clear tonal differences in the colors in the palette and the ones that NARS sells separately or as part of other palettes. Personally, I don’t really have a strong opinion about this yet. On one hand, it’s extremely irritating to expect one thing and get a totally different thing. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with this palette in terms of usability and quality. The issues only come up when you compare the shades to the other existing shades. Ultimately, I think it’s up to the consumer to decide if they will buy into the hype or save their money.
I was going to wait for about a week before I posted any thoughts on this, but I think I’ll just post a follow-up review or a series of looks, since you can buy the shades individually anyway. If it isn’t clear enough… I really like this palette. I think it’s a great NARS release, an all-around palette, despite inconsistencies with their permanent range.
Ultimately, I really think it’s up to the consumer if s/he will be happy with a palette like this, considering all the shadows are available anyway. The total cost of this palette of 15 is $79, which is about the same cost as 3 NARS eyeshadow singles/duos. As for me, it is my new eyeshadow love. 🙂
NARS is cruelty-free.