I don’t know what magic Nars has been doing the past year or so, but I’ve wanted every single new release they’ve had. I have some new Nars palettes to review today that I’ve had my eye on ever since I saw previews of them, especially the Hot Nights and Summer Lights palettes.
Nars does neutral palettes very, very well, and neutral palettes are my absolute weakness. No, I do not need 100 palettes of neutrals, but somehow they’ve all landed in my collection. Their recent releases have just been on point, and since it’s my birthday month (my birthday is actually just a few days away!) I decided to treat myself to these palettes.
I’ll mainly be talking about the new Hot Nights and Summer Lights palettes that were just released, but I will also talk about the Skin Deep palette that was released a few months ago. I figured since I bought them and received them around the same time, I’d just bundle the reviews together.
The Hot Sands and Summer Lights palettes are new, limited edition face palettes that include 1 highlighter, 1 bronzer, and 4 eyeshadows. They retail for $59 for .44 oz/12.8 g of eyeshadows (3.2 g each) and .5 oz/14.2g of face powders. Although $59 seems expensive, there is quite a generous amount of product in these palettes.
These caught my eye immediately because of the earth tones, which I seem to be gravitating towards in a big way this year. I can’t get enough of muted bronzes, browns, greens, purples…all of it. And these palettes definitely deliver on that, just from looking at the shades.
First off, the packaging of these palettes are absolutely stunning. It’s more than just the slightly annoying rubber plastic packaging. They have a glossy hard plastic that has a desert-ish pattern in it. They are a delight to look at, and they are also about the perfect size. The shadows and face products are big enough to get appropriate brushes into them, and there is a large mirror that you can actually see your face in.
The formula of both of these palettes also really surprised me – in a good way. I’ve, generally liked the formulation of Nars palettes in recent years, and think that they have really improved their powder eyeshadows. The recent palettes – the Loaded, Wanted, and Ignited palettes have been really good, but the shadows in these two new ones is really good.
Both the shadows and the highlighters are extremely smooth and pigmented without being powdery. They really just feel like a soft silk, and blend together really well. It’s the type of formula that could easily be too soft, but the shadows and face powders seem to stay on really well all day with no issue. The highlighters are not quite as intense or frosty as the Becca highlighters, and they’re a little softer than their existing single highlighters. I think it’s a great soft texture that still looks pretty natural.
The Summer Lights Palette is what really caught my eye as soon as I found out about the launch. It has the neutral cool muted tones that I’ve gravitating towards this season. The shades and tones are more muted and a little lighter, so I think this palette works best for light-medium/tan skin tones. The shades include:
- Rainwater – a shimmery light taupe
- Hibiscus – a shimmery warm copper/bronze
- Papeete – a matte midtone brown
- Hei – a shimmery neutral toned brown
- Paper Flower (highlighter) – a shimmery champagne
- Destination Unknown (bronzer) – a matte bronze
The Hot Nights palette is a more warm toned palette with pink and purple tones. The muted pink and purple shades remind me of a hazy desert sunset, although they tones are a little deeper and more vibrant. I could see this working for more skintones.than Summer Nights. And although the shades include a pink and purple, which would usually be out of my comfort zone, the shades blend out to a soft look that is neutral enough to work as a everyday look. The shades are:
- Pacific – a shimmery light pink
- Paradis – a shimmery mauve
- Maeva – a shimmery cranberry shade
- Black Sand – a shimmery deep purple
- Tautira (highlighter) – a shimmery rose gold
- Manini (bronzer) – a matte bronze
You can see from the swatches that these are very cohesive palettes that make part of a full look, but they’re not complete palettes. Hot Nights is missing a transition shade, although you could certainly use the bronzer as a transition shade. Both palettes are missing a blush shade, though that’s not a big deal for me at all.
I’m a huge fan of both of these palettes and will definitely be taking them with me when I travel this summer. I love the concept, the formula, the shades, and the packaging, which makes them an overall win for me.
Skin Deep Palette
Next, the Skin Deep palette has been out for awhile already, but I just picked it up the other day. This is an eye palette with 12 shades that are meant to be everything from eyeshadow, brow powders, to eyeliner. This also retails for $59 for .8 oz/22.7g of product. This seems to be sold out on Sephora, but it is still available on the Nars website and Ulta.
Again, I love the concept and versatility of this palette and how it can do so much with fairly travely friendly packaging. The range of finishes and shades really appeals to me as there is everything from a matte highlight, to shimmery shades, to glittery toppers, to deep matte shades to line and define. It really is the range of shades I realistically need to create a few different eye looks.
One of my favorite things about this palette are the 4 larger pans of matte shadows, which are shades that I’m most likely to use the most – a matte highlighter, transition, crease shade, lid shade. It’s one of those small details that really goes a long way to making the palette more functional for me.
Compared to the Hot Nights and Summer Lights palettes, these have the more traditional Nars formula that I’m used to – pigmented, but a little denser and harder than some other shadows. I didn’t have any issues with shadows being dry or skipping, and true to many Nars shadows I have, I have very little fallout with these.
The shades include:
- Taunt – a matte cream
- Sophia – a matte neutral brown
- Whipped – a matte warm brown
- Undressed – a matte cool brown
- Bali – a matte dark cool grey-brown
- Icon – a shimmery light rose gold
- Basic Instinct – a shimmery rosy beige
- Coconut Grove – a matte deep brown
- Centerfold – a shimmery silvery taupe
- Calendar Girl – a shimmery bronze
- Faster Pussycat – a shimmery copper
- Unbuttoned – a shimmery deep brown
And here are some swatches:
You can see how there’s a really wide range of tones and finishes that is perfect for any neutral lover!
This palette is also another really great all-around neutral palette for me. Like I said, I am absolute neutral palette addict, but this one is really well thought-out in my opinion.
All 3 palettes are some of the most exciting makeup purchases I’ve made this year…which sounds really boring probably. The quality and shades of all 3 are phenomenal, and the practicality of all of them is also much appreciated. I don’t need fancy gimmicky packaging to like a product, and Nars proves that for me. If I *really* had to choose one, I would say the Summer Lights palette is my top pick because it has very nice neutrals to make a really easy look, or start a more complicated and colorful look.
These 3 palettes have also solidified Nars’ status as one of my top makeup brands of the year so far, and that is hard to do, given all the makeup that catches my eye.
Have I written enough of a rave review for these yet? Have you tried any of these? What do you think?
As always, thanks for reading!