NARS Laser Cut Palette

NARS Laser Cut Palette ($59.00 for 0.62 oz.) includes three eyeshadows, one lipgloss, one blush, and one bronzing powder. The eyeshadows are marked as “Hardwired Eyeshadow” on the back of the palette, though I couldn’t tell you how they really differ from the permanent formula, other than it seems like a denser, less thin formula. The palette leaves something to be desired — I don’t think it’s NARS at its best–it’s just kind of in the middle.

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NARS Laser Cut Palette
NARS Holiday 2014 Eye, Cheek, Lip Palette Laser Cut
B-
Product
8
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
7.5
Longevity
8
Application
4.5
Total
81%
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Charlotte Tilbury The Climax Cheek to Chic Blusher

Charlotte Tilbury The Climax Cheek to Chic Blusher ($40.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a medium-dark, slightly muted, orange-brown with a golden shimmer-sheen finish. Sleek MakeUP Pink Mint (P, $6.99) is cooler-toned. NARS Na Pali Coast (P, $39.00) is more shimmery, cream. NARS Soulshine #2 (LE, $29.00) is lighter. MAC Eternal Sun (P, $23.50) is browner. MAC Cheeky Bronze (P, $32.00) is more shimmery, lighter. MAC Shape the Future (LE, $30.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

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Charlotte Tilbury The Climax Cheek to Chic Blusher
Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blusher The Climax
A-
Product
9
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
8.5
Application
5
Total
92%

Make Up For Ever S732 Orange Artist Shadow (Blush)

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow (Blush) ($21.00 for 0.08 oz.) is a bright pop of yellowed tangerine–mostly orange with very strong yellow undertones–and a satin finish. Surratt Beauty Cantaloup (P, $32.00) is lighter. Guerlain Orange Blush (LE) is more muted. NARS Puerto Vallarta (LE, $39.00) is darker. NARS Taj Mahal (P, $29.00) is more shimmery, redder. MAC Fresh Honey (LE, $27.00) is more muted. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

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Make Up For Ever S732 Orange Artist Shadow (Blush)
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow S732 Orange
A+
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
9.5
Application
5
Total
99%

Tarte Bon Voyage Collector’s Set

Tarte Bon Voyage Collector’s Set ($59.00 for 2.05 oz.) includes a 20-pan eyeshadow palette, plus a deluxe sized mascara, cheek stain, Maracuja Oil, Smooth Operator finishing powder, and a LipSurgence Lip Gloss and Lip Tint, which are all housed in a zippered travel bag. Overall, it’s a decent palette. There were a couple of misses for eyeshadows, but I actually found that the lip/cheek products were more problematic, as they lacked staying power and the lip products weren’t hydrating for me. I think if you like more muted eyeshadows with more matte finishes, this might be a good palette to consider. Just for reference, this review only covers the eyeshadows, cheek and lip products (color cosmetics).

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Tarte Bon Voyage Collector's Set
Tarte Collector’s Set (Holiday 2014) Bon Voyage
B
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
8
Application
4.5
Total
86%
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Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O’ Blushes

Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O’ Blushes ($36.00 for 1.08 oz.) includes six powder blushes and a cream highlighter–all shades from Benefit’s permanent line-up in a metal tin. I found the color of Bella Bamba and CORALista to be different in the palette compared to my standalone versions, with CORALista being very different and Bella Bamba more “within variation” that you might expect over the years and the like. The change in color may appeal to you, or it may disappoint you, depending on the color you prefer. Most of Benefit’s blushes run rather warm-toned, and there are a lot of warm pink/coral variations here, so it may feel redundant if you are on the hunt for a really diverse blush palette. The packaging is ridiculously bulky and clunky–all I could think of was, “Why is this so heavy and noisy?” A few readers mentioned they easily depotted the blushes from the palette, so hopefully that’s an option for others. It’s unnecessarily large and nowhere near travel-friendly, and of course, it is very decked out in holiday-print, so it may feel out of place in April.

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Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O' Blushes
Benefit Box o’ Blushes Cheeky Sweet Spot
A-
Product
9
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
8.5
Application
5
Total
90%
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NARS Algorithm Bronzing Powder Palette

NARS Algorithm Laguna Bronzing Powder Palette ($59.00 for 0.24 oz.) includes a bronzing powder and a travel-sized Ita brush. I was surprised by how little bronzer is included in this, because it is such a huge palette (I think it is unnecessarily large–feels bulky in the hand). It actually contains less than a full-sized version of Laguna (which has 0.28 oz. for $38). I don’t have a full-sized Ita brush to compare the travel-sized one with, but I didn’t like the feel of the travel-sized, as the bristles were cut unevenly and felt scratchy and prickly against the skin. I liked the shape, as it does work well to contour the cheeks. However, at $89, you could purchase a full-sized Ita for $55 and a full-sized Laguna for $93. For $4 more, you would get something a lot more lightweight, versatile, and possibly better quality (again, I can’t weigh in on how it compares to the full-sized). Update on 10/13/2014:  NARS sent out a correction via email regarding price, and the price is supposed to be $59.

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NARS Algorithm Laguna Bronzing Powder Palette
NARS Powder Bronzer Laguna
B
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
8.5
Application
4.5
Total
86%