Nars Holiday 2018 Collection Review and Swatches

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I think Nars has really made a come back in the past year with their limited edition collections. Ever since they reformulated their products and updated their packaging, their collections have been on point – for me, at least. I was never really interested in their holiday collections in previous years, but I’m completely hooked this year.

This year’s collection has a punk theme with studded detailing on all of the packaging. I absolutely LOVE this packaging – it’s a little edgy without being tacky or gaudy, and I much prefer this type of packaging to the cutesy pink/unicorn/rainbow packaging that seems to be trendy these days.

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One this that was annoying right away was that many of the products seem to be exclusive to various retailers. Sephora has a few, Ulta has some, Nordstrom had some, etc, and even the Nars website doesn’t even have everything. It makes it kind of hard to track down everything at once, though I was able to get all that I wanted. These are the products I picked up:

The Hot Tryst Cheek Palette, which has sold out at Sephora, has been super popular, but I actually skipped on it because I didn’t feel like I would get use out of a few of the 6 shades.

I’ll be honest, I don’t actually have a whole ton of Nars products, surprisingly. Again, I haven’t been super tempted by a lot of the products except for a few select things, so I don’t have a huge collection to compare these items against.

I will say that everything I tried was exceptional in quality, so it’s another non-critical review from me. I remember seeing more critical reviews of previous collections, so it seems that the reformulation has been working.

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Luster, Orgasm, Amour. Provocateur Palette.

 

The Heartbreaker Cheek Palette includes 3 permanent blushes – Luster, Orgasm, and Amour. I don’t have any of these shades, and this was my first time actually trying the cult favorite Orgasm. I really love the variation of shades as there’s a warm golden shade, pink gold shade, and a matte pink shade. It gives me enough options for nearly every day. All the shades are soft and pigmented, though they are not intensely pigmented, which I know is typical of Nars blushes, based on my experience with their other blushes.

 
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Dolce Vita and Capri

 

The Little Fetishes Blush Duo was another item I was interested in because I didn’t have any of the products. This is a mini blush duo with Dolce Vita blush and Capri highlighter, and it comes with a cute plastic studded box that I will definitely repurpose to hold cotton pads or other small odds and ends. I’ve been meaning to try Dolce Vita for years, and finally got around to it. It’s a beautiful midtone dusty rose that is really perfect to add a sophisticated flush to any look. I also already have one of the new highlighters in Fort de France already and love the formula, so I’m more than happy to own another shade. Capri is a lighter pink shade that would suit light-medium skin tones. It works for me now, but it would probably to slightly too cool on me when I’m at my darkest in the summer. Mine arrived broken in the mail TWICE, and I just was too lazy to ask for a third, so I’m just going to repress this one.

 

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The Manic Velvet Matte Lip Pencil set is basically the fall vampy set of my dreams. I’ve tried one of their velvet matte lip pencils before and think that they are a great formula, though I only have one to compare it to. It includes 4 new (I believe) lip shades:

  • Vicious is a mauve rose shade
  • Bondage is a brown with a slight mauve tone
  • Chaos is a deep raspberry
  • Spike is a deep purple plum. 

 

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Vicious, Bondage, Chaos, Spike

 

 

I love the way that all four shades look on my lips. I was worried that Vicious would look too cool on me, but it works with my coloring! Bondage is my favorite shade of the bunch. It’s just the type of deep neutral I love to wear in the fall and winter. I also can’t wait to wear Chaos and Spike more for holiday parties and events. Spike is just a touch drier and patchier, but it’s not too bad. They don’t feel drying on me and they last for several hours.

 

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The Provocateur Eyeshadow Palette is what I was waffling the most on. The shades just looked too “out there” for me, and I wasn’t sure how I’d use the combination of shades. But seeing Temptalia’s look really pushed me over the edge. Though it looks like a very dark and grungy palette, I can create surprisingly neutral and wearable looks, even when incorporating the red. The six shades are:

  • Vinyl is a shimmery vanilla shade with slight gold shift
  • Endless Party is a deep red that actually works almost like a brown
  • Exploit is a reddish brown with blue shimmer and light glitter
  • Screech is a warm platinum shimmer and one of those pressed glitters
  • Smash it Up is a deep charcoal with blue sheen
  • Not for Sale is a deep plum shade

 

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Nars Heartbreaker Trio, then Vinyl, Endless Party, Exploit, Screech, Smash it Up, Not for Sale

 

These are some of the most unique shades and combinations I’ve used. I would have never thought to pair these shades together, but the first time I used it, I created a look that somehow all worked.

 

I used Endless Party in the crease and outer corner, Exploit on the Lid, Screech in the very center of the lid, Not for Sale in the outer V, Smash it Up on the lower lashline, and Vinyl on the inner corner.

I could also see this being used in conjunction with many other palettes, so I’m excited to use it more this season.

I definitely did a lot of research when I bought these products, so they are products that I really loved. There’s probably a dozen other products that I wasn’t as interested in, but I think there is something here that could work for everyone, if this kind of packaging is your thing.

I recommend everything, but the Provocateur Eyeshadow Palette was the most pleasant surprise for me, and it’s probably my favorite item of the collection. The Manic Velvet Matte Lip Pencil set is a close second, for the great formula and selection of shades that I would actually wear. The Little Fetishes blush set is a great way to try a couple cheek products, and the Heartbreaker Blush Palette is a great way to try three fantastic and cult favorite blushes from Nars.

Are you trying anything out from this collection? What do you think of the packaging?

As always, thanks for reading!

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