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NARS x Guy Bourdin Color & Gifting Collection Photos, Swatches + Commentary

NARS x Guy Bourdin Color Collection
NARS x Guy Bourdin Color Collection

Update:  I have added photos, swatches, and dupes for the products from the NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection.  The majority of the shades included in the Gifting collection are permanent to NARS’ color range. To ensure context, I’ve added them to the existing post, rather than make a separate post.  My goal is to raise awareness, open the channel for discussion (I highly recommend reading through readers’ comments and viewpoints), and to respect each reader’s autonomy and decision-making.  I strongly believe that we each must do our own research and come to the conclusion that feels right to us, whatever that may be.  Thank you for your continued support, respect, and understanding!

When the NARS x Guy Bourdin collaboration was first announced, I felt my readers’ excitement. I knew nothing about Bourdin, and having little interest in fashion photography, I didn’t look to learn any more than what was being widely reported. I’m here for the makeup, not the collaborators or inspiration or names, so when I see a new collection, I want to know what’s in it, what the colors are going to be, what the formulas and textures will feel like. It was not until I saw more and more readers comment on Bourdin and his emphasis on violence in his work, particularly of what seems to be best categorized as “high fashion crime scenes,” that I knew I needed to look a little further than the press release.

Warning:  This post contains discussion about violence against women, so please be warned that the discussion that follows and comments on the post may be a potentially triggering.

Bourdin’s body of work is not solely centered around violence as he also explored other themes like surrealism and sexuality. There are shots of vibrant, thriving women in his work; it is not all dark but certainly a good deal of his work is, and more to the point, many of his more controversial shots are more famous (which is not a surprise). I suggest visiting his website and browsing through his portfolio of photos–beware that some are more graphic than others–and in particular, the “Beauty” section showcases a different side of his work. There is no question that Bourdin was an artist, and he is legendary in his sphere.

I fully respect NARS’ decision to collaborate with someone who has influenced Francois Nars not just today but for years; that Bourdin was his inspiration for becoming a makeup artist is just how telling of the type and scope of impact Bourdin had on the industry as a whole. I don’t just see in black and white, which is not always a comforting thing, and I enjoy challenging people’s opinions and playing devil’s advocate. It has always been important to me to avoid mixing my personal beliefs (on such hot topics as sex, politics, religion, etc.) with the blog, because Temptalia is not just your escape but mine. This is the first time where how I feel has put me in such a quandary as to how to react.  First and foremost, I am abstaining from reviewing the NARS and Guy Bourdin collection, because I cannot fully dissociate how I feel about Bourdin’s art from a collection intended to pay tribute to him.

The idea that an advertisement or runway photoshoot that features dead women in designer clothing and shoes is used to sell to people is hard for me to wrap my head around. I am particularly sensitive to the concept of glamorizing violence, against women or men, because I worry it normalizes it in a way that makes us react less to a very real and prevalent issue not just in the U.S. but globally. Bourdin has passed away for some time now, so all of the visuals that showcase Bourdin’s work are images he previously shot, so none of them were originally intended to sell NARS’ makeup specifically (or possibly makeup at all, but you’d have to really go back through and figure out where each photo originated from). Many of the selected images for the NARS collaboration are not controversial or violent but some are certainly up for interpretation.

There’s an informative interview with Susan B. Carbon, Director of the U.S. DOJ’s Office, Violence Against Women, which also includes sobering statistics about the level of violence women experience (with sources cited). It speaks on and illuminates as to why violence against women is a real issue that we should be talking about, understanding, researching, and creating the resources, community, and culture that both prevents and reduces the violence that occurs (and we can do more than just prevent/reduce violence against women but all people). We, as a society, have made strides towards these goals, but we can do more and we should do more–and we need to remember to think globally on behalf of all women.

Here are some resources for learning more about this issue:

I have spent the past week and a half soul-searching and doing as much as I can to learn more about Bourdin, not just from those that feel similarly to me, but those who have assessed his work from an artistic point of view, to determine if I was still going to post photos/swatches. My focus was on his work, not him as a person.  We all want to be taken as the sum of our parts, not merely one part out of many, which is why I really wanted to take time to assess, digest, and react. I found this essay about the evolution of the “crime scene photograph” into news, fashion, and art a very good read. I understand that not everyone who views Bourdin’s work feels he glamorized violence against women or even if taken as true, is able to find other qualities of his work (lighting, colors, angles, composition, etc.) admirable as an artist or perhaps argue it is a statement on our own curiosity for the morbid or even the fashion industry and its consumptive nature. I have read various reactions, arguments for and against, from both outside sources as well as from readers in our community.

To that end, I respect each reader’s opinion, whether for or against.  So in a show of respect for a broad range of opinions, while I will not review or otherwise recommend the collection personally, you will find full photos and swatches of the products featured in the color collection for those who wanted to see them, and for those who did not want to purchase, I have included dupes for each shade that you may want to consider purchasing from instead.   From me to you, I wanted to use this time to also say, “Let’s not forget about what we can do to reduce violence against women.” In our consumption of controversial images, let’s not forget about the very real issues that real people face that the art seeks to recreate or transform.

I hope that you understand my decisions and know that they come from the heart after a lot of reflection, research, and reading. I urge you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions. All I want is us to ask questions and challenge what we’re seeing and being told (or sold) and go from there.

Update: Thank you SO, SO much from the bottom of my heart for the outpouring of support & understanding!  I am still reading through and responding to the incredible stories and comments that you have all left on this post, but I wanted to make sure everyone knows how meaningful your feedback and response has been! Thank you!

See dupes, photos & swatches!

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The Tempting 10 — October 2013 Edition

Illamasqua Apocalips Lipstick Sleek Sunset Eyeshadow Palette Inglot #434 Marc Jacobs Th(ink) Giorgio Armani #701 Giorgio Armani #701 NARS Taj Mahal Cult Nails You're My Dandy Lion Fyrinnae Parental Advisory OCC Jubilee Illamasqua Stranger

October is a time that reminds me to be brave; to not be afraid of bold, unusual colors. Halloween is an often excuse to play with color in ways we’ve never felt comfortable doing so the rest of the year, but it also serves as a great reminder to: experiment more. play more. go outside of our comfort zone. embrace the unknown. thirst for something different. These are a few of my favorite more unique and unusual shades that I’ve come across, and I hope you’ll share your own unusual finds with me!

  1. Illamasqua Apocalips is a vivid, medium-dark blue-teal with a matte finish. I love the unusual color, but what I love even more is that it still applies and wears fairly well. It’s definitely a show-stopping color!
  2. Sleek Sunset Palette is a budget-friendly palette that’s top-to-bottom fantastic. No duds in the bunch; not only is this a feat for an eyeshadow palette in general, but to do so at under $15? It’s quite unusual!
  3. Inglot #434 is a cool-toned, purplish taupe–a glorious mix of purple, gray, and brown for something infinitely complex, bold but neutral.
  4. Marc Jacobs Beauty Th(ink) is a bold, cool-toned violet purple with a pearly shimmer that really opens up the eye–and it is a shade that had many, many readers asking, “What are you wearing?” Purple eyeliners that can be applied with opaque, rich color are hard to come by, but Th(ink) makes a strong case for one that does.
  5. Giorgio Armani #701 is a cool-toned, sheer bluish-purple gloss filled with blue and violet shimmer. It’s very intriguing on its own, but it can be layered over lipstick for a different look.
  6. NARS Taj Mahal is bold, bright, but not totally over-the-top, and it’s more of a tangerine than a full-on orange with red tones, so it has more golden, yellowy undertones.
  7. Cult Nails You’re My Dandy Lion is a warm, buttery yellow with a cream finish–and lo and behold, it applies beautifully. It’s practically a unicorn among polish!
  8. Fyrinnae Parental Advisory is a bold, bright, royal purple like I haven’t seen before. It’s so vibrant and pigmented–if you are a fiend for purple eyeshadow, it is a must-have.
  9. OCC Jubilee is a pale, aqua-green with a blue-purple duochrome. It’s metallic, shimmering, and reflective. I love the way the color shifts as you move, as it is layered over other products, and will lean one way or another depending on what is paired with.
  10. Illamasqua Stranger is a green-ish gold gloss with a high-shine finish, lots of metallic shimmer, and it is a shade that changes as you move.

I hope you’ll consider sharing your must-haves for October in the comments! Here’s a quickie list to get you started…

Must-Have Eye Products:
Must-Have Cheek/Face Products:
Must-Have Lip Products:
Must-Have Hair/Skin Products:

NARS x Guy Bourdin Color Collection for Holiday 2013

NARS x Guy Bourdin Color Collection
NARS x Guy Bourdin Color Collection

As a child, NARS Founder and Creative Director François Nars discovered Guy Bourdin’s work in the pages of French Vogue. It was then that Nars was first inspired to become a makeup artist. Today François Nars honors Bourdin’s legacy with an entire limited edition collection for Holiday 2013, created in the spirit of Guy Bourdin: bold, uncompromising color and high-impact finishes in shades that launch us into his intriguing, high-fashion world.

Cinematic Eyeshadow ($24.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Wishful Thinking Macaw blue
  • Rage Electric orchid
  • Bad Behaviour Deep pewter
  • Cambodia Pink Copper
  • Mississippi Mermaid Champagne

Cinematic Lipstick ($26.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Future Red Cherry
  • Short Circuit Fire coral
  • Last Tango Dusty rose
  • Goodbye Emmanuelle Hot pink
  • Full Frontal Rose violet

Blush ($29.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Exhibit A Matte, vivid red
  • Coeur Battant Magenta
  • Day Dream Peachy pink

Nail Polish ($19.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Tomorrow’s Red Scarlet flame
  • Follow Me Deep fuchsia
  • No Limits Bright pink violet
  • Union Libre Blosso pink

Availability: The Color collection launches on October 15 at NARS boutiques and www.narscosmetics.com.

See more photos!

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NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection for Holiday 2013

Update: Thanks to our highly knowledgeable and thoughtful readers for bringing Guy Bourdin’s background to my attention. After taking time to learn more about Bourdin’s background, body of work, his aesthetic, and so forth, I have decided to abstain from reviewing the NARS x Guy Bourdin collaboration at this time and spend longer doing additional research. It’s important for each person to do their own research and inquiry into an issue, and I found the following links helpful:

Art is and always has been controversial, edgy, daring, and many great artists push boundaries and limits during their lifetimes. There seems to be no dispute that Bourdin was an important influence on fashion and photography, but it does not mean his images can be viewed in a vacuum.  Imagery that glamorizes violence against women may be nothing new in fashion or art, but we need to understand how it impacts today’s culture and tomorrow’s generations.

The original post is below:

As a child, NARS Founder and Creative Director François Nars discovered Guy Bourdin’s work in the pages of French Vogue. It was then that Nars was first inspired to become a makeup artist. Today François Nars honors Bourdin’s legacy with an entire limited edition collection for Holiday 2013, created in the spirit of Guy Bourdin: bold, uncompromising color and high-impact finishes in shades that launch us into his intriguing, high-fashion world.

Splendor in the Grass Blush Palette ($49.00) (Limited Edition) (NARScosmetics.com/Boutique Exclusive)

  • Sex Appeal Matte soft peach
  • Albatross Luminous glow
  • Dolce Vita Matte dusty rose
  • Angelika Cotton candy pink with gold and silver sparkle

Cosmetic Pochette ($75.00)

Makeup bag with black and red heart design.

Fling Lip Set ($49.00) (Limited Edition

  • Dolce Vita Mini Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Dusty rose
  • Baroque Mini Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil Raspberry sorbet
  • Roman Holiday Lipstick Pretty pastel with delicate hint of pink
  • Damage Lipstick Sheer muted grape
  • Keepsake Lacquered Lip Case Case

Crime of Passion Set ($59.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Deep Throat Larger Than Life Lipgloss Shimmering sheer peach (New)
  • Jezebel Eyeshadow Shimmering sable (New)
  • Naiade Eyeshadow Metallic rose (New)
  • Pandora Eyeshadow Rich black matte
  • Deep Throat Blush Sheer peach
  • Laguna Bronzing Powder Brown powder with golden shimmer

Voyeur Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner Set ($49.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Via Appia Copper brown
  • Most Wanted Cyan blue (New)
  • Blue Dahlia Deep violet (New)
  • Santa Monica Blvd. White
  • Via Veneto Jet black

Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set ($35.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Lost Red Bright red
  • Shameless Red Bright pink
  • Dance Dance Dance Bright purple
  • Manosque Deep smoky lavender

One Night Stand Blush Palette ($65.00 (Limited Edition) (Sephora Exclusive)

  • Devotee Highlighting Blush Alabaster glow (New)
  • Mistinguette Blush Bright pink (New)
  • Goulue Blush Fleshy pink (New)
  • Laguna Bronzer Brown powder with golden shimmer
  • Orgasm Blush Peachy pink with golden shimmer
  • Deep Throat Blush Sheer peach

Promimscuous Lip Set ($45.00) (Limited Edition) (Sephora Exclusive)

  • Cruella Mini Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Passionate scarlet red
  • Sex Machine Mini Velvet Lip Pencil Innocent pink mauve
  • Dolce Vita Mini Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Dusty rose
  • Never Say Never Mini Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Pink lilac
  • New Lover Mini Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil Gold infused strawberry pink

Availability: The Gifting collection launches on November 1st at NARS boutiques and www.narscosmetics.com, department and specialty retailers, Sephora/sephora.com

See more photos!

5 Shades of Stormy Gray

Earthy… weathered… how about five shades of stormy gray? Gray can be such a basic shade, but it can add a lot of dimension and depth, too, and sometimes it can look so modern and clean on its own.

  1. NARS Transvaal — can be used as an eyeliner or cream eyeshadow, it’s a medium-dark, creamy gray with neutral-cool undertones
  2. MAC Typographic — a classic, dark gray with a matte finish
  3. Illamasqua Raindrops — a smattering of silver flakes suspended in a bluish-gray
  4. Inglot #387 — a cool-toned, blue-tinted gray with a mostly matte finish
  5. Zoya Dove — a medium, warm-toned gray cream

What’s your current go-to gray shade?

5 Shades of Molten Gold

The one color that always tugs at my heart-strings is molten gold–that really rich, warm, almost orange-toned, shade of gold. It’s deep, rich, and pure luxury to me. I have so many favorites, but here are five permanent picks from me! (But Urban Decay Honey Eyeliner will always be a shade I miss desperately.)

  1. Inglot #430 — a rich, yellow gold with a frosted, metallic sheen–this eyeshadow has an incredible texture
  2. OCC Triptych — a vibrant, metallic gold for your lips (but if full intensity isn’t your thing, try it patted over a burgundy or red!)
  3. NARS Iskandar — a phenomenally pigmented cream eyeliner/eyeshadow with a gorgoeus finish
  4. Fyrinnae Aztec Gold — an intensely pigmented, dirty gold–I thought I’d throw one in that wasn’t quite as warm-toned that still held a lot of depth
  5. Sephora Girls Night Out — a rich, warm-toned gold with an orange-brown undertone and a frosted finish

Do you have any shades of molten gold?

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