I went through all of the blushes I’ve reviewed in 2013, which was around 200 in total, and these were some of my very, very favorites. I could have given you a much longer list, so when there was just a really amazing formula, I limited myself to picking just one shade, but I’ve included a link to the formula itself where you can also check out other shades available! Naturally, as these are my personal favorites, you’ll likely notice a warmer tone to most, plus an inclination towards coral… I cannot tell a lie: I love coral blushes!
I love a good finishing powder. I love an ethereal, lit-from-within glow. There is a very high likelihood of me trying any new formulas or shades that hit the market–I’m just a total fiend for them. I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings in this department!
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder — easily one of the most talked about new formulas this past year, it delivered as a beautiful finishing powder–plus, 50 users reviews and still maintaining a 4.5 average!
NARS describes the formula as a “multi-purpose stick for eyes, cheeks, lips and body” that gives “sheer color” that can be blended for “shimmering accents; contours or dynamic highlights.” The suggested application method is with fingers, as the heat will warm up the product and enable it to be more easily blended. NARS’ The Multiples and I have an interesting relationship, because while I like them (at least, some of the time) on cheeks and eyes, I don’t like them on lips (uneven application, tends to drag and pull during application, and drying), so they’re always a disappointment in one of the three areas it’s designed to be used. Maldives didn’t work well on lips, but it did work excellently on cheeks, eyes, and decolletage. The finish is incredibly flattering–glowy, luminous, dewy but not oily or pore-emphasizing–and the wear is about seven and a half hours on cheeks and brow bone (on the lid, it creases within five hours). It applies and blends beautifully on the cheeks as a highlighter.
If you only use Multiples as cheek products, then for your reference, this product is more of an A- product, but if you really wanted a multi-tasking product that worked on eyes, lips, and cheeks (or body), then it's not as adept at working well on all those areas.
Sometimes products are discontinued or limited edition, which means that a product may no longer be available at one or more retailers so you may need to shop around for those hard-to-find shades! We try to update products as they become discontinued, and if you discover a product has been discontinued, please help us help others by letting us know.
Disclosure: Temptalia uses affiliate links, which give us a small commission when you make a purchase (given to us by the retailer, at no cost to you). Your purchases help to support the site!
For Holiday 2013, NARS debuts a new limited edition gift set, based on the exciting, sensual city’s top-selling shades. Elevate any look with four evocative Eyeshadow hues, and the brand’s iconic Orgasm Blush and Laguna Bronzing Powder paired with cult favourite Nail Polish and Lip Gloss shades. The set retails for $75.00.
Eye & Cheek Palette
Orgasm (Blush) Peachy pink with golden shimmer
Fathom (Single Eyeshadow) Pink tulle with shimmer
Kalahari (Eyeshadow Duo, Right) Sugared cocoa
Daphne (Single Eyeshadow) Matte deep violet
Cordura (Eyeshadow Duo, Right) Shimmering sooty dark brown
Laguna (Bronzing Powder) Brown with golden shimmer
Nail Polish & Lip Gloss
Orgasm (Nail Polish) Peachy pink with shimmer
Orgasm (Lipgloss) Peachy pink with shimmer
Availability: The NARS Hearts Miami Gift Set is currently available at Bloomingdale’s Boca Raton, Nordstrom (West Palm Beach, Dadeland, Aventura Mall, Boca), Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour. $75, limited edition.
As someone with a warmer complexion, I always go gold during the holidays, but I would be remiss if I didn’t consider the opposite–silver–which can work well to brighten and reflect just as nicely as gold!
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:
RAINN.org (particularly helpful if you have experienced sexual violence to get support/resources)
The Hotline (helpful for those who have experienced domestic violence and need support or talk; thanks A Mar for the link)
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!