Sunday, October 27th, 2013

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!

The Glossover

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Bad Behaviour

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Cambodia

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Mississippi Mermaid

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NARS Bad Behaviour Eyeshadow is a medium-dark, cool-toned charcoal gray with a frost finish. Chanel Fascination #3 (P) is less frosted. Urban Decay Redemption (LE, $18.00) is less shimmery. MAC Deep Cravings (LE, $15.00) is darker. LORAC Slate (P) is cooler-toned. MAC Diesel (LE, $15.00) is similar. Urban Decay Asphalt (LE, $18.00) is similar. Urban Decay Ace (LE, $18.00) is cooler-toned. Giorgio Armani #21 (LE, $33.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

NARS Cambodia Eyeshadow is a warm-toned, copper-red with a frost finish. Sleek MakeUP Sunset #3 (P, $9.99) is warmer. Disney by Sephora Trust Me (LE) is more muted. NARS California (P, $24.00) is browner. MAC Magnetic Attraction (LE, $21.00) is similar. MAC Red Hot Copper (LE) is a cream product. MAC Coppering (P, $15.00) is very similar. MAC Spicy Smoke (LE, $32.50) is similar. Le Metier de Beaute Innocence (DC, $30.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

NARS Mississippi Mermaid Eyeshadow is a pale, golden beige with a frosted finish. Chanel Seduction #2 (LE) is similar. MAC Smoked Cocoa #1 (P, $15.00) is lighter. LORAC Nude (P) is similar. theBalm Promiscuous Pearl (LE, $16.00) is less frosted. Illamasqua Slink (LE) is similar. Dior Fairy Golds #1 (LE) is less frosted. Chanel Eclosion #2 (P) is similar. See comparison swatches.

NARS Rage Eyeshadow is a medium magenta purple with cool pink undertones and an iridescent sheen. Kat Von D Babe (LE) is cooler-toned. MAC Violet Impact (LE, $15.00) is similar. NYX Violetta (P, $4.50) is less iridescent. MAC Power Boosted (LE, $15.00) is similar. Urban Decay Infamous (P, $18.00) is darker. Urban Decay Fishnet (P, $18.00) is less frosted. MAC Stars ‘n Rockets (P, $15.00) is the same. MAC Femininity (LE, $32.50) is similar. bareMinerals Boudoir (P) is less frosted. See comparison swatches.

NARS Wishful Thinking Eyeshadow is a medium-dark blue with cool undertones and a pearly finish. CoverGirl Sapphire Flare (315) (LE, $4.99) is brighter. Urban Decay Radium (P, $18.00) is a smidgen darker. MAC Love Cycle #1 (LE, $21.00) is darker. MAC Pure Creation (LE, $18.00) is a cream product. MAC Freshwater (P, $15.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches.

NARS Full Frontal Lipstick is a subdued, magenta pink with cool, blue-based undertones and a luminous finish. Maybelline Electric Fuchsia (LE, $7.49) is brighter. NYX Pink Lyric (P, $4.00) is less cool-toned. MAC Dear Diary (LE, $18.00) is brighter. MAC Night Blooming (LE, $16.00) is a touch brighter. MAC Outrageously Fun (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Daddy’s Little Girl (LE, $15.00) is a smidgen brighter. Maybelline Brazen Berry (P, $7.49) is just a tiny bit darker. Buxom Swinger (P, $21.00) is a touch brighter. See comparison swatches.

NARS Future Red Lipstick is a brightened, medium-dark red with warm, orange undertones and a luminous finish. Maybelline Infra-red (LE, $7.49) is very similar. MAC Must Be Red (LE, $15.00) is darker. Guerlain Genna (LE, $49.50) is similar. Hourglass Raven (P, $28.00) is matte. See comparison swatches.

NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick is a light-medium pink with cool, blue undertones and a luminous finish. MAC Steady Going (LE, $15.00) is matte. MAC Playtime (LE, $16.00) is very similar. Maybelline Pink Pop (P, $7.49) is lighter. MAC Naughty Saute (LE, $15.00) is bluer-based. See comparison swatches.

NARS Last Tango Lipstick is a rosy, beige-brown with a luminous finish. Givenchy Rose d’Exception (206) (LE, $36.00) is very similar. Urban Decay Rush (P, $22.00) is browner. Urban Decay Strip (P, $22.00) is pinker. MAC Offshoot (LE, $15.00) is darker. MAC I Love Winter (LE, $15.00) is cooler-toned. Giorgio Armani #526 (P, $32.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

NARS Short Circuit Lipstick is a brightened, medium-dark orange with warm undertones and a luminous finish. Dior Trafalgar (844) (P, $34.00) is very similar. Giorgio Armani #300 (P, $32.00) is lighter. Urban Decay Bang (P, $22.00) is similar. Maybelline Orange Edge (LE, $7.49) is very close. MAC Morange (P, $15.00) is lighter, more matte. See comparison swatches.

NARS Coeur Battant Blush is a bright, medium-dark magenta pink with cool, blue undertones and a mostly matte finish. Tom Ford Beauty Narcissist (LE, $55.00) is less cool-toned. NARS Desire (P, $29.00) is lighter. MAC Florida (LE, $21.00) is bluer-based, cream. See comparison swatches.

NARS Day Dream Blush is a light-medium, pink-coral with gold shimmer and a satin finish. Too Faced Melt Into Spring (LE) is matte. Bobbi Brown Pink Coral (LE, $26.00) is brighter. NARS Soulshine (Together) (LE, $29.00) is darker. Physicians Formula Warm (P, $11.99) is similar. theBalm Frat Boy (P, $21.00) is darker. NARS Orgasm (P, $29.00) is more shimmery. NARS Deep Throat (P, $29.00) is similar. MAC Supercontinental (LE, $21.00) is warmer. MAC Flaming Chic (LE, $25.00) is similar. Chanel Fleur de Lotus (LE, $43.00) is a touch lighter. See comparison swatches.

NARS Exhibit A Blush is part of the permanent range, and I have reviewed it in full here.

NARS Follow Me Nail Polish is a cool-toned, berry-rose with a cream-jelly finish. MAC Toco Toucan (LE, $16.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Girl About Town (LE, $16.00) is pinker. L’Oreal Members Only (P) is also pinker. Dior Pasteque (LE, $24.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

NARS No Limits Nail Polish is a brightened, fuchsia magenta with a cream-jelly finish. NARS Ratin Jot (LE, $19.00) is very similar. Illamasqua Stance (P, $17.00) is brighter, purpler. Illamasqua Obsess (P, $17.00) is brighter, purpler. See comparison swatches.

NARS Tomorrow’s Red Nail Polish is a brightened, orange-red with a cream finish. Chanel Cinema (P, $27.00) is darker. MAC Touch of Red (LE, $16.00) is bluer-based. Guerlain Champs-Elysees (P, $23.00) is pinker. Cult Nails Evil Queen (P, $12.00) is similar. Zoya Sooki (P, $8.00) is a touch darker. Essie Too Too Hot (LE, $8.00) is similar. Butter London Pillar Box Red (P, $15.00) is darker, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

NARS Union Libre Nail Polish is a light-medium pink with cool, blue undertones and a cream-jelly finish. Essie Cascade Cool (LE, $8.00) is lighter. MAC Pink Nouveau (LE, $16.00) is similar. Zoya Shelby (P, $8.00) is lighter. Essie Off the Shoulder (LE, $8.00) is very similar. See comparison swatches.

Splendor in the Grass Blush Palette ($49.00 for 0.37 oz.)

Sex Appeal is a pale, slightly pink-tinged peach with a matte finish. It is part of the permanent range. bareMinerals The Adrenaline Rush (LE, $29.00) is darker. MAC Stay By Me (P, $23.50) is pinker. MAC Cream Soda (LE, $21.00) is darker. MAC Amber Glow (LE, $25.00) is more shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Albatross is an iridescent white gold with a frosted finish. It is part of the permanent range. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is lighter, less yellow. Becca Moonstone (P, $38.00) is less golden. See comparison swatches.

Angelika is a cool-toned, blue-based light-medium pink with silver sparkle. It is part of the permanent range. Too Faced Lollipop (LE) is similar. Too Faced Raindrops on Roses (LE) is less cool-toned. Urban Decay Temper (LE) is similar. Urban Decay Quickie (LE) is less sparkly. MAC Pure Femininity (LE, $21.00) is lighter. theBalm Argyle (P, $22.00) is matte. Edward Bess Bed of Roses (P, $43.00) is matte. MAC Divine Desire (LE, $21.00) is shimmery. Chanel Pink Explosion (LE, $43.00) is more matte. See comparison swatches.

Dolce Vita is a dusty, medium-dark rose with subtle warm undertones and a mostly matte finish. It is part of the permanent range. Urban Decay Fetish (LE) is lighter. NARS Realm of the Senses #2 (LE, $29.00) is shimmery. MAC Sweet Samba (LE, $25.00) is shimmery. NARS Seduction (P, $29.00) is darker, warmer NARS Oasis (P, $29.00) is shimmery. NARS Lovejoy (P, $29.00) is warmer. Illamasqua Allure (P, $26.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Cosmetic Pochette ($75.00)

It is a medium-sized, slim makeup bag that seems to be made out of leather (smelled like it). It was made in Italy. It has a gold zipper with “NARS” printed on the zipper embellishment. The interior is gold cloth with NARS print.

Fling Lip Set ($49.00 for 0.38 oz.)

Dolce Vita (Velvet Matte Lip Pencil) is a warm rose with a matte finish. This is part of the permanent range. Chanel Etonnante (131) (P, $34.00) is more frosted. Laura Mercier Cozy (P, $24.00) is darker. MAC Runway Hit (LE, $15.00) is lighter. Urban Decay Liar (P, $22.00) is less matte. Urban Decay Protest (P, $22.00) MAC Lady at Play (P, $22.00) is darker, less matte. See comparison swatches.

Baroque (Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil) is a rosy plum with subtle cool undertones and a soft sparkle. This is part of the permanent range. Chanel Merveille (P, $32.00) is darker. Bobbi Brown Aubergine (P, $24.00) is less red. Marc Jacobs Beauty Studded Kiss (310) (P, $28.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Damage (Lipstick) is a muted plum with neutral to cool undertones and a glossy finish. This is part of the permanent range. Urban Decay Strip (P, $22.00) is browner. MAC I Love Winter (LE, $15.00) is lighter. Chanel Fetiche (P, $34.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Roman Holiday (Lipstick) is a cool-toned, blue-based, light-medium pink with a glossy finish. This is part of the permanent range. Too Faced Razzle Dazzle Rose (P, $21.00) is darker. Urban Decay Obsessed (P, $22.00) is similar. NYX Paparazzi (P, $4.00) is warmer. MAC Naughty Saute (LE, $15.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Crime of Passion Set ($59.00 for 0.64 oz.)

Deep Throat (Larger Than Life Lipgloss) is a light-medium peach with a hint of pink and gold shimmer. Chanel Zephyr (377) (LE, $29.50) is lighter. MAC Summer Sweetheart (LE, $15.00) is lighter. MAC Dynasty at Dusk (LE, $20.00) is similar. MAC Double Happiness (LE, $20.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Jezebel (Eyeshadow) is a golden, peachy-beige with a frosted finish. Too Faced Cheers! (LE) is warmer. Kat Von D Precious (LE) is similar. Disney by Sephora Splendid (LE) is similar. Disney by Sephora Scuttle (LE) is also similar. MAC Fusion Gold (LE) is a cream product. Illamasqua Slink (LE) is lighter. Inglot #397 (P, $6.00) See comparison swatches.

Naiade (Eyeshadow) is a medium-dark brown with warm, orange undertones and a satin-matte finish. theBalm C4 (LE, $16.00) is lighter. MAC Exposed (LE, $15.00) is similar. Guerlain Turandot #2 (LE) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Pandora (Eyeshadow) is a matte black. It is part of the permanent range. There are tons of matte black eyeshadows out there — see comparison swatches.

Deep Throat (Blush) is a warm coral with a hint of pink and a golden shimmer-sheen. It’s part of the permanent range. NARS Day Dream (LE, $29.00) is similar. Physicians Formula Natural (P, $11.99) is lighter. NARS Soulshine #1 (LE, $29.00) is pinker. NARS Realm of the Senses (Together) (LE, $29.00) is brighter. NARS Realm of the Senses #1 (LE, $29.00) is similar. Physicians Formula Warm (P, $11.99) is pinker. MAC Simmer (LE, $25.00) is richer. MAC Fleet Fast (LE, $21.00) is warmer, less pink. MAC Star Wonder (LE, $23.50) is pinker. Chanel Fleur de Lotus (LE, $43.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Laguna (Bronzing Powder) is a medium brown with yellow-ish undertones and a golden shimmer. It is part of the permanent range. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (P) is similar. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is similar. Urban Decay Toasted (P, $26.00) is darker. MAC Gold Go Lightly (LE, $28.00) is yellower. MAC Lush Light Bronze (LE, $28.00) is similar. MAC Sun Dipped (LE, $30.00) is more neutral. MAC Golden (LE, $25.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Voyeur Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner Set ($49.00 for 0.05 oz.)

Via Appia is a warm-toned, bronze brown. It’s part of the permanent range. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $24.00) is similar. Urban Decay Whiskey (P, $19.00) is matte. Urban Decay Roach (P, $19.00) is warmer. MAC Brown Border (P, $16.00) is less shimmery. MAC Seasonally Spicy (LE, $16.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Santa Monica Blvd. is a matte white. It’s part of the permanent range. MAC Fascinating (P, $16.00) is the same. See comparison swatches.

Blue Dahlia is a medium-dark, cool-toned purple with a mostly matte finish. Buxom Door’s Unlocked (P, $17.00) is shimmery. Urban Decay Ransom (LE, $19.00) is also shimmery. NARS St. Marks Place (P, $24.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Most Wanted is a cool-toned, blue with a periwinkle coloring and a matte finish. Sephora Collection My Boyfriend’s Jeans (P, $9.00) is shimmery. Urban Decay Chaos (P, $19.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Via Veneto is a matte black. It’s part of the permanent range. Plenty of matte black eyeliners on the market — see comparison swatches.

Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set ($35.00 for 1.00 fl. oz.)

Manosque is a purpled taupe with a cream finish. MAC Festive Finery (LE, $16.00) is purpler. China Glaze Jungle Queen (LE, $8.00) is darker. China Glaze Below Deck (LE, $8.00) is similar. Zoya Petra (P, $8.00) is purpler. Zoya Jana (P, $8.00) is very similar. See comparison swatches.

Shameless Red is a coral-red with a cream finish. NARS Follow Me (LE, $19.00) is darker. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Extravaganza (P, $10.00) is shimmery. L’Oreal The Queen’s Might (LE) is darker, redder. Chanel Fracas (LE, $27.00) is similar. China Glaze Pink Plumeria (LE, $8.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Dance Dance Dance is a medium-dark purple with cool, magenta undertones and a cream finish. Illamasqua Faux Pas (LE, $17.00) is cooler-toned. Rescue Beauty Lounge Purple Haze (LE, $20.00) is lighter. China Glaze Creative Fantasy (LE, $8.00) is brighter. Zoya Mira (P, $8.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Lost Red is a cool-toned, blue-based, medium red with a cream finish. MAC RiRi Woo (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Russian Red (LE, $16.00) is darker. MAC Flaming Rose (P, $16.00) is similar. Chanel Suspicious (P, $27.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

One Night Stand Blush Palette ($65.00 for 0.84 oz.)

Devotee is a pale, pink-tinged beige with a frosted finish. Urban Decay Naked (P, $29.00) is similar. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is warmer. NARS Debbie Harry Highlighter (LE, $29.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Mistinguette is a cool-toned, blue-based, light pink with a matte finish. NARS Gaiety (P, $29.00) is darker. MAC Unconventional (LE, $21.00) is lighter. MAC Well Dressed (P, $21.00) is similar. Illamasqua Morale (P, $26.00) is darker, more shimmery. Bobbi Brown Nude Pink (P, $26.00) is less blue-based, darker. See comparison swatches.

Orgasm is a pinky-coral with a golden shimmer-sheen. It is part of the permanent range. Too Faced Peachy Keen (LE) is similar. Tom Ford Beauty Love Lust (P, $55.00) is warmer. Guerlain Blush G (LE, $65.00) is similar. Milani Dolce Pink (P, $7.99) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Laguna is a medium brown with yellow-ish undertones and a golden shimmer. It is part of the permanent range. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (P) is similar. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is similar. Urban Decay Toasted (P, $26.00) is darker. MAC Gold Go Lightly (LE, $28.00) is yellower. MAC Lush Light Bronze (LE, $28.00) is similar. MAC Sun Dipped (LE, $30.00) is more neutral. MAC Golden (LE, $25.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Deep Throat is a warm coral with a hint of pink and a golden shimmer-sheen. It’s part of the permanent range. NARS Day Dream (LE, $29.00) is similar. Physicians Formula Natural (P, $11.99) is lighter. NARS Soulshine #1 (LE, $29.00) is pinker. NARS Realm of the Senses (Together) (LE, $29.00) is brighter. NARS Realm of the Senses #1 (LE, $29.00) is similar. Physicians Formula Warm (P, $11.99) is pinker. MAC Simmer (LE, $25.00) is richer. MAC Fleet Fast (LE, $21.00) is warmer, less pink. MAC Star Wonder (LE, $23.50) is pinker. Chanel Fleur de Lotus (LE, $43.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Goulue is a cool-toned, berry pink with a golden sheen. Kevyn Aucoin Neolita (P, $37.00) is richer. Bobbi Brown Berry (LE, $26.00) is darker. theBalm Pinstripe (P, $22.00) is cooler-toned. NYX Apricot (P, $15.00) is similar. NARS Oasis (P, $29.00) is warmer. NARS Outlaw (P, $29.00) is similar. NARS Dolce Vita (P, $29.00) is less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Promiscuous Lip Set ($45.00 for 0.32 oz.)

Cruella is a cool-toned, medium-dark red with a matte finish. It is part of the permanent range. Chanel La Precieuse (317) (LE, $32.00) is lighter. MAC Glam (DC, $15.00) is pinker. MAC Russian Red (P, $15.00) is similar. MAC Ronnie Red (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Charmed, I’m Sure (LE, $15.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Dolce Vita is a warm rose with a matte finish. It is part of the permanent range. Chanel Etonnante (131) (P, $34.00) is more frosted. Laura Mercier Cozy (P, $24.00) is darker. MAC Runway Hit (LE, $15.00) is lighter. Urban Decay Liar (P, $22.00) is less matte. Urban Decay Protest (P, $22.00) MAC Lady at Play (P, $22.00) is darker, less matte. See comparison swatches.

Never Say Never is a pinky-berry with a matte finish and cool, blue undertones. It is part of the permanent range. Make Up For Ever #12 (P, $19.00) is slightly frosted. See comparison swatches.

New Lover is a warm-toned, pink-coral with golden copper shimmer. It is part of the permanent range. Chanel Reflexion (71) (P, $32.00) is similar. Burberry Cameo Pink (P, $27.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Sex Machine is a light-medium pink with neutral-to-warm undertones and a matte finish. Flower Beauty Petal Kiss (P, $6.98) is warmer. MAC Mehr (P, $15.00) is pinker. Burberry Peony Rose (302) (P, $30.00) is warmer. Make Up For Ever #4 (P, $19.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

NARS Bad Behaviour Eyeshadow
NARS Bad Behaviour Eyeshadow

NARS Bad Behaviour Eyeshadow

NARS Bad Behaviour Eyeshadow

NARS Bad Behaviour Eyeshadow
NARS Bad Behaviour Eyeshadow

NARS Cambodia Eyeshadow
NARS Cambodia Eyeshadow

NARS Cambodia Eyeshadow

NARS Cambodia Eyeshadow

NARS Cambodia Eyeshadow
NARS Cambodia Eyeshadow

NARS Mississippi Mermaid Eyeshadow
NARS Mississippi Mermaid Eyeshadow

NARS Mississippi Mermaid Eyeshadow

NARS Mississippi Mermaid Eyeshadow

NARS Mississippi Mermaid Eyeshadow
NARS Mississippi Mermaid Eyeshadow

NARS Rage Eyeshadow
NARS Rage Eyeshadow

NARS Rage Eyeshadow

NARS Rage Eyeshadow

NARS Rage Eyeshadow
NARS Rage Eyeshadow

NARS Wishful Thinking Eyeshadow
NARS Wishful Thinking Eyeshadow

NARS Wishful Thinking Eyeshadow

NARS Wishful Thinking Eyeshadow

NARS Wishful Thinking Eyeshadow
NARS Wishful Thinking Eyeshadow

NARS Full Frontal Lipstick
NARS Full Frontal Lipstick

NARS Full Frontal Lipstick
NARS Full Frontal Lipstick

NARS Full Frontal Lipstick
NARS Full Frontal Lipstick

NARS Full Frontal Lipstick
NARS Full Frontal Lipstick

NARS Full Frontal Lipstick
NARS Full Frontal Lipstick

NARS Full Frontal Lipstick
NARS Full Frontal Lipstick

NARS Future Red Lipstick
NARS Future Red Lipstick

NARS Future Red Lipstick
NARS Future Red Lipstick

NARS Future Red Lipstick
NARS Future Red Lipstick

NARS Future Red Lipstick
NARS Future Red Lipstick

NARS Future Red Lipstick
NARS Future Red Lipstick

NARS Future Red Lipstick
NARS Future Red Lipstick

NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick
NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick

NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick
NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick

NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick
NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick

NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick
NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick

NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick
NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick

NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick
NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle Lipstick

NARS Last Tango Lipstick
NARS Last Tango Lipstick

NARS Last Tango Lipstick
NARS Last Tango Lipstick

NARS Last Tango Lipstick
NARS Last Tango Lipstick

NARS Last Tango Lipstick
NARS Last Tango Lipstick

NARS Last Tango Lipstick
NARS Last Tango Lipstick

NARS Last Tango Lipstick
NARS Last Tango Lipstick

NARS Short Circuit Lipstick
NARS Short Circuit Lipstick

NARS Short Circuit Lipstick
NARS Short Circuit Lipstick

NARS Short Circuit Lipstick
NARS Short Circuit Lipstick

NARS Short Circuit Lipstick
NARS Short Circuit Lipstick

NARS Short Circuit Lipstick
NARS Short Circuit Lipstick

NARS Short Circuit Lipstick
NARS Short Circuit Lipstick

NARS Coeur Battant Blush
NARS Coeur Battant Blush

NARS Coeur Battant Blush

NARS Coeur Battant Blush

NARS Coeur Battant Blush
NARS Coeur Battant Blush

NARS Coeur Battant Blush
NARS Coeur Battant Blush

NARS Day Dream Blush
NARS Day Dream Blush

NARS Day Dream Blush

NARS Day Dream Blush

NARS Day Dream Blush
NARS Day Dream Blush

NARS Day Dream Blush
NARS Day Dream Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Follow Me Nail Polish
NARS Follow Me Nail Polish

NARS Follow Me Nail Polish
NARS Follow Me Nail Polish

NARS Follow Me Nail Polish
NARS Follow Me Nail Polish

NARS Follow Me Nail Polish

NARS Follow Me Nail Polish

NARS Follow Me Nail Polish
NARS Follow Me Nail Polish

NARS No Limits Nail Polish
NARS No Limits Nail Polish

NARS No Limits Nail Polish
NARS No Limits Nail Polish

NARS No Limits Nail Polish
NARS No Limits Nail Polish

NARS No Limits Nail Polish

NARS No Limits Nail Polish

NARS No Limits Nail Polish
NARS No Limits Nail Polish

NARS Tomorrow's Red Nail Polish
NARS Tomorrow’s Red Nail Polish

NARS Tomorrow's Red Nail Polish
NARS Tomorrow’s Red Nail Polish

NARS Tomorrow's Red Nail Polish
NARS Tomorrow’s Red Nail Polish

NARS Tomorrow's Red Nail Polish

NARS Tomorrow’s Red Nail Polish

NARS Tomorrow's Red Nail Polish
NARS Tomorrow’s Red Nail Polish

NARS Union Libre Nail Polish
NARS Union Libre Nail Polish

NARS Union Libre Nail Polish
NARS Union Libre Nail Polish

NARS Union Libre Nail Polish
NARS Union Libre Nail Polish

NARS Union Libre Nail Polish

NARS Union Libre Nail Polish

NARS Union Libre Nail Polish
NARS Union Libre Nail Polish

NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette
NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette

NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette
NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette

NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette
NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette

NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette
NARS Sex Appeal Blush

NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette
NARS Sex Appeal Blush

NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette
NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush

NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette
NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush

NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette
NARS Angelika Blush

NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette
NARS Angelika Blush

NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette
NARS Dolce Vita Blush

NARS Splendor in the Grass Palette
NARS Dolce Vita Blush

NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetic Pochette
NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetic Pochette

NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetic Pochette
NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetic Pochette

NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetic Pochette
NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetic Pochette

NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetic Pochette
NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetic Pochette

NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetic Pochette
NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetic Pochette

NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetic Pochette
NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetic Pochette

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Fling Lip Set

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Fling Lip Set

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Baroque Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Baroque Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Baroque Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Baroque Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Baroque Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Damage Lipstick

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Damage Lipstick

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Damage Lipstick

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Damage Lipstick

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Damage Lipstick

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Roman Holiday Lipstick

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Roman Holiday Lipstick

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Roman Holiday Lipstick

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Roman Holiday Lipstick

NARS Fling Lip Set
NARS Roman Holiday Lipstick

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Crime of Passion Palette

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Crime of Passion Palette

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Crime of Passion Palette

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Crime of Passion Palette

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Deep Throat Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Deep Throat Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Deep Throat Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Deep Throat Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Deep Throat Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Jezebel Eyeshadow

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Jezebel Eyeshadow

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Naiade Eyeshadow

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Naiade Eyeshadow

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Pandora Eyeshadow

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Pandora Eyeshadow

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Deep Throat Blush

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Deep Throat Blush

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder

NARS Crime of Passion Palette
NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder

NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set
NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set

NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set
NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set

NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set
NARS Via Appia Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set
NARS Via Appia Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set
NARS Santa Monica Blvd. Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set
NARS Santa Monica Blvd. Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set
NARS Blue Dahlia Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set
NARS Blue Dahlia Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set
NARS Most Wanted Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set
NARS Most Wanted Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set
NARS Via Veneto Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Voyeur Larger Than Life Eyeliner Set
NARS Via Veneto Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Manosque Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Manosque Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Manosque Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Manosque Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Shameless Red Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Shameless Red Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Shameless Red Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Shameless Red Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Dance Dance Dance Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Dance Dance Dance Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Dance Dance Dance Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Dance Dance Dance Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Lost Red Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Lost Red Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Lost Red Nail Polish

NARS Beautiful Stranger Nail Polish Set
NARS Lost Red Nail Polish

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS One Night Stand Palette

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS One Night Stand Palette

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Devotee Highlighting Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Devotee Highlighting Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Devotee Highlighting Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Mistinguette Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Mistinguette Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Mistinguette Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Orgasm Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Orgasm Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Orgasm Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Deep Throat Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Deep Throat Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Deep Throat Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Goulue Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Goulue Blush

NARS One Night Stand Palette
NARS Goulue Blush

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Promiscuous Set

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Promiscuous Set

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS New Lover Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS New Lover Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS New Lover Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS New Lover Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS New Lover Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Sex Machine Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Sex Machine Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Sex Machine Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Sex Machine Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Promiscuous Set
NARS Sex Machine Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

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433 thoughts on “NARS x Guy Bourdin Color & Gifting Collection Photos, Swatches + Commentary

  1. The straw that broke the camel’s back. Anyone that expresses art in the brutal victimization of women, i don’t want to have anything to do with. If Nars is influenced by such a person… I wonder what he has to say to women who have walked in those shoes. Thank you christine.

  2. Zoe

    Thank you thank you thank you for your post on this!
    I fully agree with and respect your stance on this.
    Violence against women and its portrayal in the media impacts us all. Taking a stand on your site is such a great thing, for many reasons, especially for the size of your readership.
    Stay awesome!

  3. Avatar of Carolyn Carolyn

    Thank you for your thoughtful stance on this, Christine! As someone who in the past has been affected very personally by violence against women, I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness. I typically love NARS but will not be purchasing anything from this collection because of this. Thank you for being the most trustworthy beauty blogger out there! I visit your site daily, and you’re always the first makeup blogger I visit, because I trust your candid reviews the most. Happy seven years and here’s to many more anniversaries!

  4. I’m an outspoken and opinionated makeup lover. For once, I am speechless. Nars has a right to sell their products and I have a right to bypass this particular collection and any others that I deem offensive. Kudos to you Christine for your stance and sensitivity.

  5. Kate & Zena

    I’m so glad you talked about Guy Bourdin because I was thinking, “Bourdin who?” Then as I was reading about it, I was starting to remember about someone doing a report on him in History of Art II and I remember being so disturbed and offended. My mom survived incest, abuse and rape (not that I normally tell many most, but considering the topic; she basically is RAINN in one person) and I’m always thankful that I have her as a mom. She raised me to be sensitive of those issues, be aware of what constitutes as abuse, stalking, etc and she taught me those things from a very little age in age appropriate ways, especially since people with disabilities are more likely to be abused or raped. She made very sure I knew about those so I could tell someone.

    Thank you so much for educating your viewers when it comes to controversial collections like this. I don’t think people remember that art is in the eye of the beholder (of course), but violence of women is ever present.

    You may also want to think about watching (and linking) Killing Us Softly III (or IV) by Jean Kilbourne if you are interested in this kind of stuff. It’s about women in advertisements and talks about violence as well.

    http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=241
    (You can watch the whole thing in low resolution by going to the full length preview. I’ve watched 3 and 4 in different gender classes. I watched 3 in a gender literary class and 4 in Sex, Gender and Power, which is a psychology/sociology class.)

    • Your mom sounds like an amazing person! Thank you for sharing such a personal, private thing with me and the rest of readers.

      Thank you for the link – I am definitely going to watch both!

      • Kate & Zena

        You know, people ALWAYS say that, especially since she raised me (and I’m autistic.) To me, she’s just my mom, you know? I thought every mom was like her; the one who would give up her career and education and fight for her disabled kids, one who if she heard the word “retarded” by a fellow adult or a child, she’d stomp on over and give the lecture of a lifetime over the word (in the early 90s!) and why it’s such an awful word, one who’d fight for her children’s education, one who sat with me and helped me with my homework….it wasn’t until I was off military bases permanently and saw other parents not in the same world I learned differently! Blogs exposed different parenting styles even more and I really learned I have a really special mom.

        So, thank you for always reminding how special my mom is whenever I post about her. I always forget how special she is! (In fact, she just went back into the work force and I forget that I got spoiled with a stay-at-home mom for most of my life! I miss her now!)

        • It’s great that lots of people recognize how amazing your mom is, but what’s even better is that YOU do. I did not realize just how utterly amazing my own mother was until my later teens/early twenties, and I wish I had always known it, because I’m sure I was a real snot at 13 ;)

          Congrats to your mom for going back into the work force! And good luck, though with a spirit and courage like hers, she won’t need it.

  6. Avatar of Gena Gena

    Christine, I literally have no words, being particularly ineloquent at the moment; just thank you, and brava! You have true courage.
    BTW, Bourdin was a protege of Man Ray, another well-known misogynist; to me, that’s no coincidence.
    I’m just flabbergasted that in this day and age, not only is violence against women STILL rampant and totally acceptable in many areas, it’s being used to sell makeup to women.
    I especially loathe that if one objects to material such as this, they’re called prudish, or even ignorant, because they fail to view such “art” with objectivity. Also, must we be reminded that woman are also capable of being abusers and rapists EVERY TIME the issue of violence against women is brought up? Yes, I am fully aware that this occurs, but it is a.) not entrenched within nearly every culture on this planet (or any, to my knowledge); nor b.) accepted and justified. This “Yes, but what about the MALE victims?” Is very immature and makes it sound like one act negates the other.

    • I did read bits and pieces about being inspired/connected to Man Ray, which regrettably, I have to admit I do not know much about (and it doesn’t sound like I’ll be happy to know more but will do my research!). Thank you for the reminder!

  7. Avatar of Gena Gena

    Thank you Christine, for your research and hard work; I had no idea who Bourdin was. NARS has a history championing objectification of women. No blush I’ve ever tried looks better on me than Orgasm, but you can bet this pan will be my last. Any ideas Orgasm dupe?

  8. Avatar of Christine Christine

    Prior to reading your post, I had no idea about Bourdin’s work. I usually just buy what I like. Makeup is my escape, something that can put a smile on my face when I’m have nag a blah day. That said, I am a childhood survivor of physical, mental and sexual abuse. I still have many demons around but I’m working on empowering myself to be the woman I’ve always strived to be.

    I cannot support anything that condones violence against any gender. There are plenty of other brands to choose from :) Thank you Christine for sharing your research on Guy Bourdin and for writing such a heartfelt and graceful post.

  9. As a survivor of childhood abuse, I am particularly sensitive to sexual violence against anyone! I, too, was ignorant to the subject matter of many of Bourdin’s photographs. While I respect and embrace that art can be interpreted in many ways, I cannot ignore images of bound, bruised, and bloodied women. I understand Bourdin’s influence in the fashion industry and am not surprised NARS decided to honor him (NARS is known to be risque ), but I wish the company would have decided to not showcase his violent images. It’s a shame that such a beautiful collection is soured by the company’s marketing concept.

  10. Brian McD aka Roulette

    Christine-

    I admire your position and stance on the issue. Your thoughtfulness is to be admired. As a man, I do not see the uproar. Since he has passed, we will never know, but maybe Bourdin shot those photos to bring GOOD attention to voilence towards women? While I completely understood the outrage with the MAC collection that was focused on Juarez Mexico with catchy/kitchy names, I looked over Bourdins photos weeks ago when I first heard about the collection. I was completely unaware of his work previously. I really thought his take was anti-violence. From my vantage point, I really related to come of his photos, and I thought they were calling attention to misogyny and mayhem, perhaps as a warning to naive girls heading into the big city. Most of the photos were taken in a completely different era and can’t be seen in the context of the time. They seem to say to me, ‘look out for men, they can abuse you and they love to look for pretty girls who don’t know better, so know better!’ I realize this perspective is mine only and I don’t expect others to see it. I just think his art is beautiful and I would like to perhaps help some folks see it from a different point of view. That is the beauty of art!

    • Brian McD aka Roulette

      Sorry, I wanted to clarify something. Its not that I can’t understand the controversy this is causing. There are actual survivors of violence and I don’t want to offend anyone and I swear I am not trolling. I just think back to the 70′s, and there were SO many glamorous images in fashion magazines, cigarettes were glamorous, fur was glamorous, cocaine was glamorous, and I think it was pretty revolutionary of the time to show images in fashion magazines that showed that life wasn’t all drugs and sex and fake hair and eyelashes. In my mind, Bourdin was showing girls that there were things to watch out for. There were people that would take advantage of you, there were people and things that would make you -think- you were glamorous, but those things could also be deadly. I honestly see a lot of his work as a testament against materialism and the artificial glamour that was all the rage at the time. I just wanted to add that to my original statement. I appreciate you taking the time to swatch the items. I actually only came here to see your skin from the Ambient Powders review mention LOL. You are glowing!! Hahahah….I really want that Hourglass palette.

    • Thank you for sharing your perspective, Brian! I also appreciate that you’ve taken time to look at his work and interpret it.

    • Avatar of Plurabelle Astrogherkin

      Brian, you really do have a lot to learn about misogyny and male privilege. Your interpretation of what you think is a “positive” message – ‘look out for men, they can abuse you and they love to look for pretty girls who don’t know better, so know better!’ – is pretty much the most misogynistic thing I’ve heard.

      1. Every woman suffers daily, hourly, from misogynistic violence. If you read the comments, you would have an inkling of this. This is not something we need to be educated about.

      2. This statement is victim-blaming, i.e. it implies that the victim is somehow complicit in the abuse and either did something to provoke it or could have prevented it. “Know better”? The only person who can prevent the rape and murder of women is the rapist and murderer, by choosing not to rape and murder. Women “knowing better” (what does that mean anyway?) is not going to prevent the horrific violence we suffer. How can women prevent it? By not going out at night? By wearing “modest” clothing? Or in your words, “Look out for men?” Don’t be “pretty”? What does that mean?

      No. The only people who are responsible in any way are the rapists, murderers, their apologists and people who uphold rape culture, whether intentionally or unintentionally (out of “ignorance”).

      Your statement is an example of rape culture in action.

  11. This post was heartwarming for me to read, Christine, because of the obvious care and consideration you put into the post, the issue as a whole and your subsequent decision.

    I have been an advocate for women’s rights and women’s issues since I became aware that our struggles are far from over. While people are generally accepting of the issues facing women, and most would never openly condone violence, sexual violence, or harassment, the true silencer is in our cultures acceptance of female repression. Women are told need to be careful of how they dress, where they go, who they associate with, in order to reduce their chance of being assaulted, and I believe that is wrong. The message should be: don’t assault people. Placing the onus upon women not to be targets is fundamentally flawed.

    There are other arguments, but I’ll leave those for another time! I find these discussions immensely emotionally draining; I think I’ll go read some of your other posts to recharge, Christine :) I love coming here for that purpose, what another comment said before me is exactly right: Temptalia is a safe place.

    I feel like a tiny voice among all the other comments but I just wanted, again, to say thank you.

  12. Savanna

    Hey Christine,

    Been a lurker on here for a long time lol, but I would like to say I applaud your decision. I wish magazines, and the media ( and society in general) would not degrade women or overlook violence. Unfortunately I don’t believe it, even though I wish it would, will happen because I think too many people generally don’t give a damn about what’s right or wrong as long as they get their quick fix and doesn’t directly effect them. It happens with animals all the time. And as subtle as it may be, women are still perceived as weaker, less intelligent and less overall in comparison to men. Which enrages me so much. I went and posted anonymously about my rape (because I felt like it was my fault somehow) and just because I had a boyfriend at the time and went out with a male friend quite a few people said I was probably asking for it, it was my fault and my poor boyfriend for dating a wh*re, he should break up with me. So yeah, I totally agree that women should not be violently sexualized or shrug off violence because it breeds desensitization towards it. And making it fetishistic in nature also brings a bad light onto the fetish and BDSM community who are actually more understanding, polite and strict with their rules and communities. I had to throw my two cents for them because I am a member of said community and the light it casts on us in general makes it harder for us to develop normal relationships because so many people see it in a glamorized light and assume that abusing a submissive is okay or no is just part of the game. Or you get people seeing it as a statement and an outlet for their violence, that it’s “cool.” I hate that companies do this because it just draws in the wrong crowd and gives them misinformation about the whole situation. Anyways, I am done with my little tirade. Thanks Christine for temptalia and for standing up for your beliefs.

    • Hi Savanna!

      Thank you for coming out of lurkdom for a bit :) I really appreciate you sharing your story, and I am so glad that despite having people say those horrible things to you about you asking for it and it being your fault that you know differently. I can’t imagine how hearing those things must have felt – and it really does show how much victim-blaming is present in our culture.

  13. anonymous

    Since you invited us to comment, I’d like to. I’m afraid my input isn’t valuable, but I have to write this out to someone so my moral compass doesn’t eat me…and that’s that I’m glad I don’t want anything from this collection. Because that means I don’t have to fake some moral debate with myself I’m not actually having.

    Initially, I was attracted to this collection because I liked the photos. I understand the disturbingness behind them, but that almost makes me like them more in some ways. The colors and washed out style appeal to me. Either way, my dilemma is this: I don’t feel the need to boycott this collection. It doesn’t make me angry or disgust me.

    I wish it did. Part of me feels grossly inhuman for feeling dispassionate and having no anger to fight this with. I am tired and I don’t have the energy to be angry. I wish I did. I wish I was really mad. Instead I just feel guilty that I’m not mad and barely care.

    I can’t tell if I’m desensitized or just tired of being mad all the time at all the misogyny and such around us.

    I’m just glad I don’t want anything from this collection, because otherwise I’d have to spend time feeling guilty for not feeling mad and for buying something that I should be boycotting in order to be a proper good person. And that would take a lot of energy too.

    Even if you don’t reply thank you for reading my comment. I feel safe pouring out my feelings here, and I appreciate that you’ve set up a discussion on this instead’ve leaving it the elephant in the room. It’s a discussion that really needs to be had more than once, because people don’t seem to understand it yet.

    Reading these comments has opened my eyes to some of the hidden names and misogyny NARS might contain though. I will be watching their product names a lot closer in the future.

    • I do understand – I really do. There are so many things that take place during the day, anywhere you go, at any given moment, that aren’t good or could be better or are just bad. There are issues everywhere. If we were angry over everything, we could quite easily be angry all the time. Or outraged, guilty, or the like. There are so many worthy causes and issues to fight for, and we can’t all have the energy to fight for everyone. Even if you focus on a single cause, it can be frustrating to fight the good fight and not see results or even feel like it’s backsliding at times.

      At the end of the day, you have to do what’s right for you – whatever that is – and you’re still questioning yourself, still thinking about it, and if you’re wondering if you’re desensitized or just tired of being mad all the time, you’re doing the critical thinking that we all should be doing. That’s what we need – careful thought, open dialogues.

      Thank you for sharing and being open and honest!

  14. Avatar of Chelsea Chelsea

    Honestly, this website was the last place I’d expect to see commentary like this. I logged in like I do everyday to swoon over new swatches and use your reviews to make my ever growing list of products to buy. I am also not familiar with this mans work. I’ve always loved your blog, Christine and always respect your reviews, but this brought my respect of you to a new level. I love that you made the choice to make this more than just a blog with pretty pictures, I respect you for speaking about what you believe in, and taking the time to educate yourself completely about the topic before speaking about it. Thank you and keep up the excellent work!

  15. I really appreciate the time and effort you went to in providing commentary on this issue Christine! I have loved Nars for years and it has always been my favourite makeup brand. I’m disappointed that they chose to use Bourdin’s work as inspiration and definitely feel disheartened by that. I actually already own Exhibit A, bought it about a year ago, and after looking at the website you provided with Bourdin’s work I noticed that he had a series of photos called Exhibit A, which I also am now uncomfortable with.
    Thank you for your honesty and integrity in providing the swatches, full support from me for your choice in not reviewing them! Keep up the great work, your blog is fantastic

    • Thank you, Lydia! Yes, I noticed that connection too, though I don’t know if it is really a tie to Bourdin or a tie to the phrase/usage of “Exhibit A.”

  16. I salute you Christine for not reviewing these. It’s one thing to use dead women’s bodies for art but to use the pictures as a collection for makeup? It just puts a sick feeling in my stomach that these things have been trivialised in one of my favourite brands. It’s funny that makeup is for women (generally) and supposed to be women-friendly but they PURPOSEFULLY chose images to use that are in my opinion, distasteful. It’s a real shame too because looking at these photos, there are at least two lippies and a blush that I really want but will find dupes for and not buy from NARS. It’s funny, I’ve always disliked their use of names like ‘Deep Throat’ etc but this is just a step too far…

  17. Avatar of Jane janechemi

    to be perfectly honest when i read the post i didn’t see what the big deal once since he is long dead but when i actually started looking at his work i immediately understood. good call on this one Christine. i will not be picking anything up from this collection, thats a shame too, so many pretty things

  18. I didn’t expect to receive such an education on a Sunday morning, but I read your post and all of the comments and I’m glad I did :-) I am not familiar with Guy Bourdin’s work, and while I have no idea what motivated him or what he was hoping to accomplish, this conversation does raise some thoughts. I could write volumes, but the bottom line is that misogyny is still way too prevalent and accepted in our culture. The older I get, the more this gets confirmed for me, unfortunately. So, while it’s ‘just’ makeup, I do believe it’s important to take a stand on glamorizing violence in all of it’s various forms, and I thank you for bringing attention to how insidious this issue can be.

    • Kind of my feeling when I first started researching, “Well, that was unexpected!”

      I tried to find interviews with him, because it definitely would be helpful/interesting/add to my research to see what he said of his own work (if he ever discussed it more directly), but didn’t come up with anything.

  19. Avatar of telle telle

    hi Christine!
    thanks for this information! i am at the moment, undecided what to think about this….like you, i am definitely not into fashion photography, so i had no previous associations established to bourdin except for this nars hommage/collaboration. i did look through the website (thanks for providing the link!) and there are definitely some interesting photographs (i have to say i am not a fan of his art, disliking provactively hypersexual imaging; the reminiscent crucifixion with bleeding nipples wasn’t exactly a favorite either….).
    i think what would be most meaningful for me to make a decision is to know what was behind bourdin’s photography/”art”…was it meant to raise awareness and a point about violence against women (at this point, i am very cynical that it was)….or some other artistic point because i suppose, as a person, because ultimately, i think art is very much an extension of the creator. this leads me to wonder about nars, too, because bourdin’s work was so foundational and plays heavily into nars collection (hello exhibit A blush)….

    Thank you for the paper, i will be reading it over the next few days and i have to say i am grateful i have some time to read and decide before this collection rolls out in store.
    this reminds me of macXrodarte collection….it was great that mac retracted the collection and made a donation to an organization (or group of them) that helped with the issue of violence against women in one way or another.

    • If you happen to find anything that you feel is compelling re: his work as raising awareness about an issue, please share the link with me! I’m really glad more of us are researching about someone we don’t know. That’s what’s really important for each of us to do.

  20. Adele

    Christine,

    I really respect the way you handled this situation. I can’t say I’m surprised, because you’ve always been classy and thoughtful – and, from the opposite perspective, Nars has always been about being as “challenging” as they possibly can.

    I hope that the amount of people now determined to avoid the collection will make the company consider a more respectful, thoughtful marketing approach in the future.

  21. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    I may be in the minority here, but I actually find this collection inspirational, and plan to buy a few items (I’d buy even more if my budget allowed). Just reading the comments here, as well as a few other places, just goes to show that sometimes art is intended to be more than just something pretty to look at, an interesting read, or a pleasant song to listen to. Sometimes, the actual intent behind arty is to evoke thought, discussion, or bring awareness to an issue. At the peak of his career, DV was simply something that happened behind closed doors, something not to be discussed. Perhaps he was actually a pioneer of women’s rights. Perhaps François Nars read something completely in his work (we ave no PR on which to go by), or maybe he just wants to get women to think.

    Someone mentioned previously that given the dates of Bourdin’s work, it was fairly “recent”; however, it was not until the 1970s that anyone had even coined the term “domestic violence”. Violence in the home is something that has happened since the beginning of time, but it was not something to be spoken of. Without knowing what Guy Bourdin may have witnessed as a child, we are in no position to presume he was, in fact, glamorizing violence in any way.

    My mother was the victim of violence at the hands of her own mother, both physical & verbal, in the 1950s, at a time there was nowhere to turn. Adults weren’t trained to identify signs of abuse on children, and even if someone did, it was not considered their place to say (or do) anything. If children had no protection, one could only imagine how much worse it was for women.

    Even today, some 40 *years* after DV was brought out of the shadows into the light, there are still many women who stay in these relationships. Sometimes it’s a choice (there are women who believe a man “loves” them if they beat them), but often it’s because they don’t know where to turn, or there is a stigma attatched, or the resources simply don’t exist.

    It seems many who have made negative comments about Bourdin & NARS think it’s enough to simply boycott the collection, but I think the *real* difference would be in doing something proactive in ones own community.

    I also find it disturbing that only the men (Bourdin & Nars) are the ones being called out, if in fact the images were intended to be pro-violence against women, yet noone has stated one thing about the female models who were involved. I personally can’t imagine any brand purposely wqanting to offend its given market by being pro-violence, so I don’t think that’s the case here.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Amy!

    • Anonymous

      I really appreciate your point of view. It made me think long and hard. And you articulated very well something that was rattling around in my mind. Maybe he was bringing to light something that had been in the shadows and not trying to make violence seem normal? Maybe in that era before crime shows and ultra bloody movies no one had seen what battered women really might look like? Maybe he wanted to show the horror so people would realize how truly awful it is? Art can be ugly. As you said art is not always about beautiful images. Maybe he was trying to say something powerful? We really don’t know.

  22. Avatar of Etaoin baby in a corner

    thank you so much Christine, I read a lot of the comments and was heartened to hear so many people agree with your viewpoint. I’m glad you are not reviewing this collection. I hate the normalisation of violence against women that seems excepted in society – in particular the prevalence of extreme forms of porn on the internet that anyone can access. It feels like its unfashionable to speak out against these things so great you voiced your opinions!

  23. Emma

    This was a really great read. Ironically, there is quite a bit of misogyny in the beauty business, but this is one of the more hard to swallow instances. Thank you for handling this with such sensitivity and professionalism. You’re a class act!

    • Oh, definitely – the beauty industry as a whole is rife with plenty of issues! This one, like you said, was harder to swallow – definitely struck different chord compared to some of the other things going on in the industry.

  24. Avatar of Amy Amy

    I totally agree with you. I will not be able to bring myself to buy this collection. I would love the 6 color blush palette but nope!

  25. Jenny

    Thank you for your insightful post. I was witness to habitual domestic violence in my family growing up, and I fully respect and support your choice in not reviewing the products. I do, however, think that posting swatches is next door to reviewing the collection; I think a stronger statement would have been made if no photos were included at all (albeit with potential readership backlash, but certainly not from me!) since swatches serve as promotional material at their base level. For example, swatches can be found using an image search and reposted with no context, or a reader can glance at the photos without reading your thoughtful and respectful words. I’m pleased to see that you have included several dupes for this collection; a text-only description of the products I would have appreciated. Thank you again for your blog!

    • Hi Jenny,

      I appreciate you sharing your perspective. To clarify, this post is about balance, respect, and dialogue as well as highlighting the issue of violence against women and why I’m not reviewing the collection – it is about explaining the process I went through to get to this point, acknowledging that not every reader feels the same way, and let you, the reader, have the resources needed to come to your own conclusions. What I want is people to take a moment to know a little more about what they’re buying, as many (including me) did not know who Guy Bourdin was and really didn’t care to look into it – but once you know, that may change things for you. It might not, and that’s OK, but we’re asking questions about what we’re seeing and what that means to each of us; we are acknowledging a serious issue exists – these are the things that are really important.

  26. Marie

    Have to say that I’m disappointed in your choice to post swatches, even without commentary.

    • Hi Marie,

      I made the decision that felt right for me after a lot of thought and research, so all I can say is I am sorry I have disappointed you.

  27. I’ve been a Temptalia lurker for quite a while, and only recently have started leaving a comment or two here and there (after registering for MyTemptalia!). Your blog is always one of, if not the very first place I go when I am curious about a new product, and you’ve helped me avoid many products that weren’t right for me, as well as helped steer me towards products I’ve come to love; I made the investment into my first container of Meteorites (loose AND pressed!) and I fell in love with Guerlain ‘s Rougue Gs, which were my first ever luxury beauty purchase, and it’s something that I felt secure in because of your honest and informative reviews.

    It’s rare that I use the phrase ‘class act’ non-ironically, but if there was ever a time to do so, it’s now. The way you have handled this collection proves that you a truly a class act, Christine, and even further cements why you are one of my favorite bloggers period, not just beauty-related. I think it’s clear to (almost) everyone that this is not a decision you came to lightly, and in doing so you have explained yourself in a very thorough, well-researched manner (as a librarian’s daughter, I confess to having a particular admiration of good, thorough research!). Your professionalism, honesty, and open-mindedness are indeed something to admire, and they all reveal you as a person of true character.

    I do own exactly one Nars product (Orgasm Blush), and while I never found the name personally off-putting or offensive, I could see why others might, and that’s also a valid feeling to have. That will probably the only Nars product I’d buy, but it’s never been a brand I’ve been particularly drawn to. I didn’t feel interested in any products from this collection, but even if I did this knowledge definitely would put me off. With a degree in Theatre and a minor in Writing, the portrayal of women, and especially violence against women, has often crossed my radar, too often with the ‘justification’ of someone saying, “Well, it’s just art.” Just art? Art is one of the most powerful, transformative forces there is, not the least bit because of the fact that we create it. All art is a reflection of us in some way, whether what we want or what we fear, or even other ways. As said, art doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither is it created in one, and it continues to effect even after it’s creation. Art like Guy Bourdin’s is certainly open to interpretation, but an artist must always be prepared for someone to take a completely different meaning away from their work, possibly the total opposite of the one they intended to portray. I don’t know if that’s what was happening with Bourdin’s work, but it’s something NARS should’ve considered before releasing a collection like this, which, like far too much in global culture, sexualizes violence and portrays violence as ‘sexy’, something which is both deeply troubling and highly problematic. By portraying violence and/or sexuality in a such a way, it trivializes the very real ways women and others are not permitted (explicitly or not) to express any sexuality safely by shaming them, and glamorizing and rewarding violence. Or perhaps they did consider it and just didn’t care.

    I also can’t help but note that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, as well as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I wonder if Nars was aware of this when planning their launch, or if they just weren’t paying attention and it was just happenstance. We can only wonder.

    Thank you so much for making Temptalia the safe space that it is; it’s certainly not an easy thing to do, but is definitely something to be celebrated and embraced. If we take action together against issues like this, we could end up effecting change on a large scale.

    My apologies for the long post – I didn’t think I’d have so many thoughts to share, but I feel safe doing so here. A cookie for you if you read this far!

    • Thank you so much, Sarah, for sharing your feelings on both art, the idea that art is just art, and doing so in such a well-articulated way. I really enjoyed reading your comment – cookie for me, I suppose, since I read every word :) This was a really great thing that you said, “Art is one of the most powerful, transformative forces there is, not the least bit because of the fact that we create it.” I also noticed that October was National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and though I doubt it was on NARS’ radar, I did find it quite the coincidence (really, it just made it seem even worse).

      On a lighter note, thank you for being a reader and trusting my reviews! I am so happy that they have helped you find products to love (and helped you stay away from ones that weren’t right for you). You must tell me your first Rouge G you purchased and if it’s your favorite (or if another shade has taken its place). Thank you as well for your very kind words – all of what I hoped to convey in my bit of commentary – you have assured me you heard, loud and clear, and I can’t ask for anything more.

      • Avatar of Sarah Sarah

        Thank you, Christine! I am always thinking of art, advertising and marketing (my dad works for a small ad agency, so I’ve kind of grown up to think of ads critically and take them with several grains of salt), and especially how women are marketed to. Have you ever seen the series Target: Women, hosted by Sarah Haskins? There’s a bunch of their videos on YouTube, and they’re a very smart, funny look at how women are marketed to and portrayed in advertising.

        My first Rouge G was Garconne, which I actually wore to a post-wedding breakfast – it held up throughout the meal amazingly (hot sandwich and fries, even!); I can’t recall ever see a lipstick last that long while being so comfortable and having the color payoff be that true. I kept checking my lips in my compact from time to time and was amazed it was still so bright! To the actual wedding I wore Giogio Armani’s Lip Maestro in #400 – I felt so fancy. I’m kind of eyeing Gwen as my next Rouge G, but I think a trip to Sephora is in order as I really prefer to see and swatch in person. I’ll definitely have to see the Hourglass Ambient powders in person! Possibly a Rouge Automatique or two. Hopefully Sephora has a sale soon!

        • I haven’t! I’m off go check that out, though. There are soooo many layers, issues, and things exposed by ads, how we’re marketed to today (and it is actually scary to see the ads marketed towards women 20-40 years ago!).

          Garconne — yes, that is a fantastic shade. Still one of my favorites. :)

          Fingers crossed that Sephora does have a VIB/Bi sale soon! My guess is if they do, it’ll be November.

  28. Sophie

    Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I won’t be purchasing from this collection.

  29. Avatar of Christina Christina

    Bravo, Christine! I commend you for handling this topic very graciously and eloquently! It takes true professionalism to do what you did and still post swatches of the products.

  30. I am amazed at your professional handling of this collection. Such a collection does indeed glamorize violence in women. I am really disappointed in Nars for this decision. I am afraid that there is a lot of ambiguity in this situation, however, the ability to stand up for your beliefs is so powerful. I will say that I am very impressed at your ability to remain fair in this. Keep up the good work.

  31. Astrild

    I love this collection. Love the shades. I would buy everything, but I agree with you. Glamorizing violence make us less sensitive to it. We have to be aware not to tolerate any kind of violence. So i’ll pass on this collection.

  32. Avatar of divinem1 (Melissa) divinem1 (Melissa)

    Beautiful, thought-provoking work, Christine. I feel nauseated having perused the Bourdin site to gain a better understanding and to experience the feelings the photos evoked in me.

    After studying four years of Philosophy and choosing NOT to go to law school because I am tortured by my ability to see both sides, I completely understand and support your position on this collection.

    Your choice to swatch the collection but not review it speaks volumes to your ability to remain true to yourself and to support women who appreciate beauty.

    As always, thank you for your [measured] approach to this important topic. I applaud you! <3

  33. layla

    I love you Christine! love you for your dedication to this blog and your readers!
    don’t ever stop!
    i’ve read your blog for years :)

  34. Christina San

    Whenever anyone makes a difficult stand on any issue that they see as unjust or improper, wrong or unfair, I commend them.

    “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” ~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    Thank you for taking a stand, Christine.

  35. Avatar of Sarah Sarah

    Brava! Thank you for being so cautious about trying to keep your personal feelings out of this blog (I truly appreciate that escape as well), but also for knowing and being wise enough to recognize when to speak out, and having the courage to do so.

  36. Avatar of Plurabelle Astrogherkin

    I’m quite new here. I hope I can make a couple of remarks about what I’ve noticed in your comments section, that I find quite enlightening.

    1. The comments on the MAC/Rodarte collaboration was equally split between apologists of the offensive campaign and people trying to explain why it was offensive, if not weighted more heavily towards the former. On this post, nearly all the comments express outrage and disappointment at NARS, and many express an intention to boycott the brand or this collection. Why this difference? I suspect it’s because the issue that Bourdin glamourised (domestic violence, sexist violence) is seen as a white woman’s issue (as well), whereas the former was seen as a Third World issue specific to poor, non-white women. Not only that, but the victims were factory workers who actually produce the makeup and clothes that your commenters wear, so it’s also a case of defensiveness due to the (subconscious?) recognition of their complicity in the violence. I’m not saying one is less offensive than the other, just that I find the reaction very telling.

    2. I’ve noticed that many of the comments praise you by calling you “classy” or “a class act”, which bothers me very much, since it’s very prevalent in the makeup/fashion part of the internet. Do we have to be classist when we are outraged at sexism? Is the former OK?

    Anyway, I appreciate this post very much. I never comment on any blogs or videos usually but this is a pleasant exception, because it makes me feel safe to express my opinion. Thank you!

    • I would expect that this post is less of a debate overall (just in general); that it is less about NARS than it is about what is Bourdin’s doing or what I have said or what I have said and how that relates to someone personally, because if you read the original posts that announced the collection’s gifting/color sections respectively, there is a more divided comments’ section. Of course, everything effects us all, so we will always see things through our own world view, and that will often mean that something that resonates more deeply with us means more, though like you said, it doesn’t mean one is less offensive than the other.

      Thank you for feeling like this is a safe place to express yourself! I very much appreciate you taking the time to share your comments in a polite and respectful way.

    • Emma

      Idk how others think, but as someone who doesn’t speak English as a first language, I didn’t quite realise that saying someone was a “class act” was classist (ha! It’s in the name, duh). I just thought it meant that she handled it with grace.

      Anyway, I totally agree with the first part of your comment. White feminists (which I am) often tend to forget that sexism and racism go hand in hand, and that racism is a feminist issue just as much as sexism is. Thanks for pointing it out!

      • Kate & Zena

        Emma – “Class act” means being exceptional at what you do; however, most people today tend to use it to also mean someone who is able to negotiate a sensitive situation with exceptional grace and dignity. It can also mean someone, something or some place that is of distinctive and superior quality. Finding out how idioms like this come around is hard to find out, so finding out if it has any reference to class is hard (sociolinguists live for this stuff.)

  37. Christine!! you are amazing!! You really motivate me to keep on blogging <3 beautiful pictures and such a lovely big review!

  38. L

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention Christine, and possibly others who had know clue as to who this collaboration with NARS was with, as I wasn’t really looking into it. I’m used to the ideas of controversery in art, for example, Robert Mapplethorpe, who is known for his controversial photography, which I learned about during college. I’m used to looking at both sides of the coin, not being black and white, and although some of Guy Bourdin’s photography may have been great and influenced many It does not change the fact that some of his work is just a blatant glamorization of violence. I feel like some people use “Art” as an excuse to justify some very dark or bad things. As an artist myself I try to be understanding but sometimes I feel like lines are too thin and have been crossed. I wasn’t planning on buying anything from this collection anyway, but now I have more reason not to.

    • No problem, L! I feel like a lot of us didn’t know who he was, and as much as I’d like to remain ignorant, knowledge is always a good thing.

      The lines are definitely thin, blurry, easy to cross, and hard to navigate! Thank you for sharing your thoughts as an artist!

  39. Kerri

    Like everyone else on here I want to thank you for standing up for what you believe in, and what benefits not only women but everyone in refusing to normalize sexualized violence.
    I especially want to thank you for adding a trigger warning in the begining. I have always loved your blog and your honesty, and I can’t say thanks enough.
    I think that some of the items for the two Guy Bourdin collections would have been great, but I will not be purchasing them due to the theme.

    • Thank you, Kerri! I appreciate your understanding :)

      It is thanks to a very thoughtful reader who reminded me early on about the trigger warning – I am so glad she reminded me!

  40. Avatar of Lacey Lacey

    I have followed your blog for a few years now, and though I do not always have the time to be active in comments sections, I wanted to make time to let you know how much I appreciate how you have handled this topic. You have proven that beauty bloggers are not only about superficial consumerism and that you care about your readers beyond how many you can amass. You have clearly put a lot of thought into whether or not to promote this collection and, I think, have found an admirable way to present the collection on middle ground. You have also taken the opportunity to promote an important cause. For what it’s worth, you have earned an even greater amount of respect from this reader! Thank you for taking the time and care in this post–and every post!

    • Hi Lacey!

      Sometimes it’s hard to balance beauty and “real life,” when makeup and hair and all that are, on the surface, as superficial as things can get but also ways to escape from some of the harder aspects of real life – so I really appreciate you finding I reached a good middle ground that you could respect.

      Thank you so much! :)

  41. Camila

    Hi Christine, I noticed that the products are already at NARS.com, but are they going to be selling on SEPHORA.com?

    • Hi Camila,

      Sephora gets them about a week or two later :) NARS usually launches it on their site first – presumably because they don’t have to share any profits with Sephora!

  42. Avatar of Kate Kate

    Wow, Last Tango suits you spectacularly.

  43. Jenny

    I think the collection is beautiful and I know people mentioned the Rihanna collection, she herself glamorizes drugs and she is a victim of physical abuse and went back to her abuser.

    Guy Bourdin like most artists before him pushed the envelope and like most trouble souls had some very dark images however vogue, harpers bazaar and photographers now wouldn’t have the inspiration. I think as a brand Nars is always very artistic and if you look at some images the makeup is very Nars. I think people will always find something to dislike and stir up drama. I don’t see Nars as a line that promotes violence like many artists photographers are inspired by Bourdin even to this day and you and your readers flip the pages of the magazines that have been inspired by Guy Bourdin.

    I respect your disclaimer but why take time to photograph it put on the lipstick color? Paint your nails? Put a lot of work into something you could never support? Could have just done a note contacted Nars and return the collection if you didn’t want anything to do with it.

    • Hi Jenny,

      Would you consider reading my post before making assumptions? I’ve addressed exactly what you’ve asked me above. I also addressed my desire to be respectful of those with a differing opinion, which is why I provided swatches and photos for those readers. I also addressed that I wanted to take a moment to address an issue that is both dear to my heart and very, very real for women around the world. Why not use this collection to also raise awareness and serve as a reminder of a very real issue? I don’t think I wrote a single sentence above that said NARS promotes violence, but I feel that Bourdin’s work glamorized violence against women, which I personally believe is something that contributes to the normalization of violence and women as objects, and violence against women continues to be a major, global issue. A collection designed to celebrate and honor Bourdin, his work, and his legacy is different than merely being inspired by him at some point along an artist’s journey. Even though you may not feel the same way, it doesn’t mean that others are merely trying to “stir up drama” – other people have genuine feelings and opinions.

      Saying and doing nothing is the antithesis of what I felt was right to do. As an aside, I contacted NARS over a week prior to writing this post or even receiving the product to let them know of my feelings and that I was abstaining from review.

    • Avatar of Quinn Quinn

      Please stop victim blaming. You’re contributing to rape culture. Thanks.

  44. Liz K

    I have nothing but respect for your opinion Christine. But I wanted to post mine too, on the flip side.

    RE: Guy Bourdin’s “Violent Images of Women”

    I can take those messages and be appalled or I can ask “what is the artist trying to portray” or interpret it my own way. Are women mutilated by their desire for idyllic beauty (what about all the plastic surgery), in such a way that it ends up killing their own essence? The *extreme* lengths women go for beauty diminishes their unique beauty in many ways…. In my eyes that art could symbolize that…the way some women destroy themselves in search for this fictional “ideal” beauty and sex appeal. It has gotten to the point in Western Culture where the most prized quality of a woman is how she looks.

    That is what I got from the art. I never stopped to think “ew he is trying to glamorize violence against women”. That would be a pretty simplistic interepretation to me…But if that was the intention of the images, Guy Bourdin doesn’t have to do that in Western Culture…films and tv shows and magazines (including beauty magazines we all buy)do it all the time. Perhaps he is pointing to that fact and creating disturbing images to make people less desensitized to it.

    Or maybe I am wrong about his intent. But art IS left up to interpretation whereas historic facts stay true, and yet people buy and idealize Coco Chanel (A NAZI sympathizer)…

    NARS may have interpreted Bourdin’s images the way I did, and may have been inspired for those reasons. It may have nothing to do with a “hatred of women”. I’d rather not assume that about NARS or about the people who buy from this collection.

    • Thanks for sharing your opinion, Liz!

      I did not make any assumptions about NARS or people who want to purchase from the collection – I don’t even think I said anything about “hatred of women,” so I did want to clarify I never said those things since it distorts what I did say.

      • Liz K

        Sorry Christine, I didn’t mean to direct that at you, but I have seen that POV elsewhere. I have nothing but respect for your opinions

        • Liz K

          Also, I meant to note that in most of Bourdin’s images, women are heavily made up like they have just come off the runway or a modeling shoot, or a magazine cover. That’s why I interpret his art to be about the culture of an idealized beauty and what it does to women and how they value themselves.

          Bourdin’s images in my eyes don’t glorify violence- that is just one interpretation. But people are quick to assume that is what NARS is supporting.

          Many people do not stop to think what they “support” when they glorify people like Coco Chanel- they are quick to excuse her Nazi sympathy as one part of her that doesn’t need to be discussed because of her other positive attributes.

          If they can do that, then they should also be able to “discuss” that Nars may have other attributes besides “misogyny” in being inspired through Bourdin’s work…

          (Christine I am not pointing this at you, just at a very odd trend I noticed elsewhere.)

        • No problem – thanks for clarifying! :) I just wanted to make sure!

  45. Last tango really complements you–no lecture, no cheering, just noticing visuals. : )

  46. Nikki

    Thank you for the great review of the makeup collection. I noticed that many of your readers are expressing offense to Guy Bourdin. I read a comment that someone said they wouldn’t be purchasing anything from the collection? Well Francois Nars is from France and Bourdin is considered to be a legend in the Parisian fashion world. Nars has repeatedly stated that Bourdin has been a constant influence in his work. FYI: Exhibit A- a cult classic iconic blush, that I’m sure ALL of your readers own, was inspired by Bourdin’s work. So my only suggestion to those who make grand proclamations about not supporting a collection is…to take your stance wholeheartedly and boycott the entire NARS cosmetics line… Because Bourdin has influenced more than this holiday collection for Nars and will continue to do so. It’s only makeup. I think Bourdin had issues with women, but opened many doors for those in the industry that are working today and that cannot be discounted. I don’t think that purchasing this makeup means you support violence against women. But again, if people take issue with this line, you should really see it through..don’t purchase anything from his line-period. Because you are still inadvertently supporting one of Bourdin’s biggest fans with every Nars purchase…

    • Nikki

      And I would also like to add that my comment is in direct response to your readers-not you the writer. It seems as if some readers are so quick to make a judgement after reading your post and not use their own interpretation of the art speak to them. And my only thought is to do your homework and research ALL of your purchases, not just this holiday collection. If your readers think this whole Bourdin thing is that DEEP, I would recommend that you don’t buy NARS cosmetics. (Just my 5 cents)

    • Hi Nikki,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts! People have to do what’s right for them – what feels right – not what others think is “most right” for them, so keep that in mind :) I don’t think anyone is truly discounting Bourdin’s influence, only that there is a whole slew of underlying issues there and that going as far as honoring him with a collection is too much for some (including me) or questioning whether this is the right medium to pay tribute. There are certainly some readers who will be no longer purchasing from NARS, period, and others who have learned about some of the influences (possibly Exhibit A) and won’t be partaking in those. I absolutely agree that Bourdin has influenced the industry, for good and for bad, and to that end, he has certainly inspired many people along the way. Nars himself is an inspiration for many younger than him as well, and of course, I would imagine that he’s as much as an individual as most people are, so he’s also putting much of himself into his brand while still being influenced by his various inspirations in the big picture.

  47. Courtney

    Excited for the blush palette. I could get less the inspiration. In fact, how many people will be dressed as bludgeoned murder victims this Halloween? What’s the inspiration for that?

  48. Avatar of meganlisa meganlisa

    I commented when this topic was on your site before and I’ll comment again. I used to buy a lot of Nars…and never thought about the names of his products. I stopped buying his line more because I was ready for something new not due to the products. I still use the many I have. This campaign…and I did look at the Bourdin pictures…doesn’t play well with me. Even the names…Crimes of Passion…really? Not my thing. That’s the reality of the free market. The fashion industry and each individual brand can do as they like and I can buy what I like. If I were to ask Nars one question…it would be “who is your customer?” I don’t get this line at all. Ick.
    Christine, you asked that question and look at the support you got. Most women don’t like seeing fabricated dead women used to market products. Thanks for listening.

    • Thanks for popping by and leaving your thoughts again, Meganlisa! (Is it Meganlisa or Megan Lisa?)

      Again, I very much appreciate your support! It made a very difficult decision/time much easier (comforting? in a way).

      • Avatar of meganlisa meganlisa

        Megan Lisa…my middle name…easier for comments when so many have the same name.
        Total support! So glad to see I’m not alone…your audience is totally with you on this issue (or at least most). Thanks for taking a stand!

  49. Aelita

    there were tons of people in fashion industry who exploited so called “attractive violence”, if people have strong opinion on it, then they should not buy anything from lets say Hugo Boss, or start hating Mcqueen)))))) boycotting this makeup collection because of some puritan morality is a little too much, take it easy people its makeup :) but what am I talking about, I’m in love with HR Giger and his works, comparing to him Bourdin is a kid playing in a sandbox, so I guess I can not be a judge here:)))))

    and Christine, thank you for such a great work, this post is really informative and shows a lot of work and dedication, thank you!

  50. Avatar of Clio Clio

    Day Dream blush and the Baroque lip pencil are gorgeous! Too bad I don’t buy anything that glamourizes misogyny.

  51. Avatar of Adena meow

    Aw man. While I completely agree with your decision to not review, I would have loved to read your brutally honest critique of some of these products as they look AWFUL – especially the Manosque polish and the Blue Dahlia eyeliner. yeesh! This looks like it has the texture of a generic crayon.

  52. Here’s the thing about Domestic Violence, it fundamentally changes you as a human being. THE END. You will never be the same. I have seen the photos, and i have been abused before. More disturbing than the photos is Nars a company where im sure 90% of it revenue is generated from women is throwing their (seemingly) full support into this type of photos. Artistic or not, thought provoking or not. It just feels like they didnt really give it much thought or research other than “oh he was quasi-famous in the fashion world.” When someone you love, you eat breakfast with, you share a shower with, you sleep with, you share children with abuses you it robs you of something you can NEVER get back, and thats not fashion.

    I mean “A Crime of Passion” !!!!! come on Nars get your **** together.

  53. Avatar of AS AS1929

    I wanted to say just how much I appreciated and enjoyed reading your commentary, Christine, and the thoughtful discussion it provoked. The comments were really enlightening. For me, first and foremost, Bourdin’s work has communicated isolation and obsession. Obsession with sex, food, clothing, and beauty. It has never been clear to me if they are literal depictions of dysfunction behind closed doors, or really the twisted imagery of the mind, normally hidden from view, but in these photographs violently purged for the viewer. Regardless, I feel the images he produced in the 1970s and 1980s profoundly depict the darker, unbalanced side of sexual revolution of the 1960s and its impact on both men and women.

  54. Mary

    Your skin always looks flawless! What foundation do you wear? Thank you for the swatches and your professionalism! <3

  55. Sonia

    Coeur Battant looks very similar to Sleek’s limited edition Santorini blush.

  56. I’m glad you’re doing what is comfortable for you and what you believe in. It is important to stand behind your beliefs.

    Personally I had never seen his work until you posted the website and I think his work is rather beautiful. It has Dada, Surrealism and lots of Avant Garde themes, I find it very thought provoking. I don’t really see the violence in most of his photos. I clicked on the wikipedia pages of people who inspired him and it seems they painted similar type art. It is strange how when painted with a brush a canvas seems to cause less of an opinion then when done with a camera. I think some photographers today promote violence more. A lot of other types of are do as well. I take art for what it is and tend not to look at its effect on others in certain ways. Art is different for each person.

    This reminds me of the MAC collection that got canceled for it using Juarez as a theme. Oddly enough because of that collection I have become more aware of the violence there and have made a point to study it.

    Anyway, I 100% respect that you and others are standing up for what you believe in. It is important to do so. I am, as most are against any violence towards people in general. I’m glad this is provoking a conversation. That is always important.

    • Hey Megan!

      For me, a lot of it has to do with how his art is positioned, as much as it is about the subject matter, because all of his work (I’m fairly certain of this) was commercial work – published in magazines – to sell clothes, shoes, makeup, etc. I agree that there are certainly other artists, photographers, and mediums that have similar work or “worse” work. Like you, the important part is that it is creating a conversation about a real issue – even if we don’t agree on the interpretation of the art, I know we can tend to agree that violence against women (or people in general) is an issue!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts! :)

  57. Lisa J

    Hi Christine!

    I just wanted to say that I appreciate your thoughtfulness and sensitivity on this subject in your post. As your comment section shows (and several others around the web), this subject provokes some very strong opinions and providing a safe and respectful place to express our feelings without judgement is so crucial and rare. Thank you.

    I am also taking a personal stance against this collection, but came to this conclusion when it was first announced. It seemed like such a silly thing at first (it’s just makeup after all), but giving my money to a company that wants to profit off of products marketed to women while paying homage to an artist like Bourdin just doesn’t sit well with me. I first became aware of Guy Bourdin’s work back in the day when Madonna mentioned him being an inspiration for one of her music videos. Not ever hearing of him before, I did a little research and was left with an unsettling feeling, to say the least.

    Seeing someone being celebrated who had created art depicting violence against women and hearing words describing it as “beautiful”, “captivating” and “inspiring” was quite infuriating to me personally. I’m not sure what the intended context of these works were for the artist, but he didn’t seem to have a great history with women from what I’ve read in the past, including his wife, girlfriends and many of the models he photographed. Surprisingly, I once read that he had no interest in preserving his work, hoping it would be destroyed upon his death. Don’t know how true that is, but I would be curious to know how he would feel about his art being “honored” in this way if that was the case.

    I am quite surprised how many artists mention Bourdin as an inspiration, even today. The most recent example that comes to mind for me is Lady Gaga. His influence is definitely present in some of her live performances and music videos (the video for “Paparazzi” is a perfect example). Though I still respect and enjoy some of these artists (Francois Nars included), I can’t get behind their idea that Bourdin’s work is inspirational and therefore worth replicating in some way in order to be celebrated.

    Just my two cents. I don’t know much about art and wish I was informed enough to analyze it properly, but I feel what I feel and I don’t like what I see. Therefore, my money will be going elsewhere.

    • Hey Lisa J!

      Thanks for sharing! I had no idea the scope of Bourdin’s work or, quite honestly, anything about other than the blurb from NARS initially. Seemed cool and exciting based on the majority of reader responses/also seemed like a coveted collaboration given how slowly info was disseminated (and that just a teaser was a big deal for WWD to have). Like you, though, I don’t know a lot about art, but I know what I feel and what I can’t shake when I go through his work.

      We’re SO on the same page, throughout, Lisa! I agree wholeheartedly with what you’ve said: “Though I still respect and enjoy some of these artists (Francois Nars included), I can’t get behind their idea that Bourdin’s work is inspirational and therefore worth replicating in some way in order to be celebrated.” The key is really celebrating/honoring (and I think without context or discussion on him that includes the good and the bad).

  58. Avatar of Melanie Melanie Y.

    Christine, I don’t even know if you will see this. But I just wanted to say thank you for being so professional in both researching and conveying your point of view, and not just saying “come on it’s just makeup.” While I love photography, I do not condone the methods and insinuations of violence against women in Guy’s photos. I won’t be purchasing anything from this collection. Thanks again for all of your hard work.

    • My pleasure, Melanie! I think that argument is very dismissive (and in any form), and it’s really unfair to anyone who is feeling a certain way. We don’t have to agree, but I can respect someone else’s genuine feelings and opinions.

  59. Avatar of Melissa MJ

    Hi Christine!

    Thanks so much for posting your thoughts and feelings on this collection. Being exposed to new perspectives is always ‘the name of the game’ in life & it is obvious to your readers that you put a lot of time, effort, and passion into your work here. Thank you.

    I wasn’t familiar with Guy’s work, but as soon as I opened up some images I felt disturbed. I could immediately sense what others were saying and what you were discussing in your post. I think my uncomfortable feelings just by looking at his work justify my decision to not look into this collection at all. While I don’t understand people saying “It’s just makeup,” I do respect the differing opinions from mine. To me, we ‘vote’ with our dollars and need to put our money into collections that either resonate with us or our beliefs. It is such a fine balance out there (for ex: animal testing issue and MAC/EL’s decision to sell in China – such a hard one for me personally) and so emotionally and ethically complicated. Thank you for not glossing over the issue here (as I have seen with other beauty bloggers who haven’t even discussed the controversy) and letting your readers see another side to this collection.

    • I hear you, MJ – it is a very fine balance in all things. I think that’s why we have to do whatever feels right to us, whether others agree or disagree or think we should be doing more or that it’s not a big deal, because we have to live with that. I’m with you that we vote with our dollars – and it’s only when enough people start “voting” with their money that a brand will say, “Wait, what’s wrong?”

      Thank you for your comment, MJ!

  60. Avatar of kelly kelly

    I am just now seeing this because I’ve never used NARS products before and usually skip the posts on them. If I was a NARS fan, I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable purchasing from this line. For me, it’s not just an issue exclusive to NARS. There are certain collaborations in various companies over the years that flat out don’t set well with me, so I avoid them. That way I feel okay with myself, and hey, more product for everyone else who is interested. Win win all around.

    You don’t need me to tell you this Christine, but I want to anyway. Staying true to yourself and your beliefs and instincts even when it may not be the smoothest path to choose is the sign of true character. Temptalia is the first beauty blog I ever read, and it is still my favorite. Over the last couple years I’ve managed to learn what will work for me and what won’t mostly by your swatches and pictures, even though our coloring is very different. It has helped me, a still relatively new makeup gal, so much and has helped me find a new hobby I love.

    Reading this post from you, I am even more grateful to have found this site in the first place! Cheers and blessings to you!

    • I’m sure this isn’t the first (and it won’t be the last) collaboration that partners with someone who has some unsavory characteristic to the person individually or their work. Once I knew about this one more in-depth, it definitely was too far/much for me to say nothing about.

      It’s great that you avoid what doesn’t feel right to you – and it’s really lovely of you to respect others for buying it themselves. I’m happy as long as we each take a moment to make a thoughtful decision!

      Thank you so much, Kelly! I’m very happy to have been able to help you find what does and doesn’t work for you – especially since our coloring isn’t the same. Helps me feel like I’m doing a good job here.

  61. Avatar of Ashley Ashley

    Thanks you for the information, but I could care less on who’s name is on the makeup I wear.
    Seriously, If i wear a blush from him, i’m not supporting him in anyway,its not showing.
    Anyways, those lipstick colors and eye shadows are too dieeeee for. I also love the blush kits, i’m a big sucker for blushes.

    • Hey Ashley,

      Totally understand! My concern is more about where my money is going than that a certain color will tell someone what I’m wearing, which is to NARS as well as to Bourdin’s estate, so for me, that’s an issue.

    • But you are supporting him. Anytime a persons name is being used to market and sell an item that person does receive residuals for it. As Guy Bourdin is demised his estate receives the profits from NARS. On a side note, the holidays in my opinion are suppose to be about thankfulness, peace and joy. This collection is anything but that.

  62. Sarah

    Just adding to the large chorus of huge thank yous, here. I also had tears in my eyes after reading this. Your intelligence, sensitivity and strength are SO inspiring. This issue is overlooked or minimized far too often, and this is a very important conversation to have. I respect you very very much. THANK YOU!

  63. Avatar of Deborah Deb

    Thank you so much for truly sharing your thoughts on this collection in context. The scholastic paper you linked was fascinating, and got me thinking, too. I respect your decision and how you handled it.

  64. Eliz

    Prior to learning about Guy Bourdin, I was very excited about this collection. After your very informative commentary, I did a little research of my own about Bourdin and was really quite astonished that Francois Nars so vehemently proclaimed him as his inspiration and chose to honor him by creating an entire line in celebration of him and his work. That stopped me from purchasing anything from this collection. But, I went on to read that Mr. Nars stated that Bourdin’s influence is everywhere in his life and is in the DNA of NARS. So, where does that leave me in regards to NARS as a brand? Sadly, it leaves me knowing I will never purchase another NARS product. My conscience simply won’t allow me to continue to support this brand. Mr. Nars is free to be inspired by and honor whomever he wishes. Just as I am free to spend my money and support beauty brands I feel good about. I realize that everyone has a different opinion about this issue and there is not a “one size fits all” answer. That is what I love about Christine’s commentary – it was thoughtful and intelligent without being judgmental. She used her visibility to start a very difficult, but necessary, conversation. She showed such bravery and grace by being willing to embrace an honest discussion about a controversial issue. As one of the leading names in beauty, I wish NARS would use their very visible platform to promote a positive message. Art does not have to be controversial or dark to be inspiring. And, violence or perceived violence is the very opposite of beauty and glamour. I don’t care how pretty the colors look…if the message behind them is violent and degrading, they are ugliness at its worst.

    • I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Eliz! :( You definitely are doing the right thing – what soothes your conscience is what will work best for you.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughtful response!

  65. Avatar of Jen Jen

    I love love love that you struggled with this and then made it a teachable moment for everyone. It’s another reason why I admire you so much. :)

    I think NARS has made an unwise choice here. All art belongs in a context – particularly art that invokes thoughts of social problems. Bourdin wasn’t trying to raise awareness about violence against women. Was he trying to glamorize it? I won’t speculate on what was in his mind, but I think it’s safe to say that at best, he was oblivious to the effect his work would have on survivors of violence (and those who love them). And this is especially disturbing to me given that he is said to have been domineering with the women in his life, to the point of removing their phones and cutting off their contact with anyone else (virtually imprisoning them) – a classic abuser/serial killer profile. http://www.utata.org/sundaysalon/guy-bourdin/

    I can see the talent. But the mind behind it makes it repulsive to me, and damages the NARS brand in my mind. Were they really that ignorant of how an association with Bourdin would appear to people who know a bit about violence against women? Or were they hoping we were ignorant? I just don’t know, but it leaves a bad taste.

    But you struggled. You have a commitment to share makeup products with readers, but also a larger commitment to the world and humanity and what’s best for us all. There are rights and wrongs to every way you might have approached this, but making it a teachable moment was the absolute best thing you could have done. Bravo, Christine! :)

    • Hey Jen,

      Thanks for sharing! I did happen to read that article as well, though I’m not certain how true some of the purported stories/things he said on set are – I will say I did not find anyone painting a particularly generous picture of him on set. I still really wish I could have read through an interview or something of the like with Bourdin (when he was alive, obviously) to help round out the picture – maybe shed more light on him or what he was trying to do.

  66. Avatar of desiqtie Gabby

    I know I’ve already commented on this post but I just wanted to thank you again Christine. Today I was feeling heartsick while reading another beauty blog that in one post praised this collection (while ignoring all reader comments complaining about Guy Bourdin & NARS’s inspiration) but in a subsequent post complained fervently about Stila’s “political” & “greedy” decision to no longer be animal cruelty-free. After seeing the obvious hypocrisy from someone who I used to think highly of, it was such a relief to come to your blog & be reminded that professional, intelligent, & thoughtful bloggers like you are out there too.

    • Thanks a lot, Gabby! Perhaps the blogger missed them or did not look more deeply into it, or maybe they see the other side of the coin – but hopefully they are not willfully ignoring it.

  67. Sophie

    Well done on your handling of this controversial NARS collection. As a beauty blogger myself, I am on par with you regarding personal opinions on my blog. I avoid crossing that line, because readers come to my blog for the beauty products, and not my personal opinions on social, political & religious topics. However, it is a little unsettling and also difficult as a blogger when topics like these and a topic, like makeup – which normally would have nothing to do with each other – actually cross paths. For me, makeup has always been an ‘escape’ from the stresses of life. So to have one of my favourite makeup brands potentially causing distress to people is disheartening.

    Your commentary and handling of this collection’s background deserves a great deal of respect. I know it must have been difficult, and I guess you would have been worried about potential backlash. I am a relatively new blogger, so I can only imagine the effort and amount of work it has taken for you to get your blog up to where it is. So deciding on whether to and how to feature such a controversial collection could not have been easy by any means.

    No one in their right mind would condone any sort of violence against anyone – male or female. However as you said, each individual should be left to make up their own mind about this collection, and as a blogging community – whether we choose to feature this collection or not – we should take inspiration from your blog by opening up discussion, raising awareness, and making it known to victims that they are not alone and that help is available & where they can get help. Again, well done to you Christine.

    • Thanks a lot, Sophie! Yes, I’m with you – would much rather keep it clean and drama-free and stick to the makeup, so I don’t want or like it when reality does intrude on something designed to be an escape – something fun, creative, easy on the mind and soul.

      Thanks again for your understanding & support! :) Good luck with your blog!

  68. i wanted to comment the first time around, but just thought the better of it. but after reading through this post the first time around, and again now, and reading through ALL the comments so far, and googling Bourdin’s wok, I do agree with the above commentor about you making a mountain out of a molehill. This is not mean to dismiss your opinion, but more of an opinion of about your opinion and stance. And you know when I google ‘nars guy bourdin’, your site is number six in the list. now that you’ve added swatches, I do not doubt it will increase in ranking. So the posts are already promoting the collection, even if people don’t end up buying. And? Promoting Bourdin. Even if people don’t end up liking. So you know those cases where websites steal an image and the rightful owners complain and named the site publicly (and unwittingly) generate traffic to the site? Well this post feels a lot like that.

    • No matter how you feel, telling someone they’re “making a mountain of a molehill” is dismissive – you are invalidating the way I feel by telling me it’s not okay to feel that way – that I should feel otherwise. It is not my place to tell you not to buy or to buy or what to do, but I felt it was necessary for me to raise awareness about Bourdin’s work, what it meant to me, and shed light on an artist that many readers (including myself) did not know much about. Ignoring Bourdin or saying nothing does exactly that: nothing, so you have to address the issue or else it never gets talked about. I did what feels right to me, not what feels right to you, and I’m okay with that.

    • shelley

      I think Christine did a great job at addressing the controversy instead of sitting back and not saying anything. I do not feel that she posted her opinion to gather further ratings and for you to sit there and imply that she did it for numbers is insulting in my opinion. This entire thread has encouraged discussion about the abuse of women in general when its normally dismissed in other public arenas. So what if she is ranked at #6. Good for her because its bringing to light a very serious issue and if one person has been educated and enlightened then we’re that much closer to putting an end to such nightmares (or least lowering the statistics of victims to single digit numbers).

        • What I meant was making a mountain of the collection, not of the opinion. And I have largely left out questioning other people’s motives from my life.

          The alternative for raising awareness etc are plenty, including those that do not contribute to further promotion of this NARS collection nor the artist (and yes, sitting back and doing nothing is an option for some). But yes, it is Christine’s choice after all, and I am here just to comment and gawk at swatches.

  69. Victoria T.

    I really applaud you for this! Not only expressing your feelings but also still remaining professional with product details, photos and swatches. This is why i love you Christine! If only Nars went about this is a different way, maybe giving some of the procceeds to a foundation that spreads awareness and helps try to put an end to all kinds of violence. I do appreciate Bourdin’s art, though i do feel that using it in this way is wrong. Not sure yet if ill be purchasing anything from this collection, but i know ill be checking out the dupes!

  70. Aww Christine! I love you so much. Thank you for writing such an incredible and thoughtful post. I really appreciate you reaching out to your readers on very carefully chosen topics. I personally enjoy the entire aesthetic of hyperviolence. I personally get inspiration from it for the gothic/horror/grotesque/thanatos trajectory of my taste, which gives me release from societal standards and puts me in a mind set where I can challenge and embrace “darkness.” If put in a public policy perspective, it allows me to think about depraved human behavior and the impulse towards it and impetus to redress it. However, aside from any societally beneficial aspect of my consumption of this type of culture, it appeals to me on a very base level that I cannot explain and that I have considered for quite some time. I think there is a place for this kind of culture and thinking and I feel that it’s important to be conscious of violence in media, so that we can make choices conscientiously. However, I don’t want to eliminate this type of media and I will not stop consuming it, because I think that thinking about society from the “dark impulses” and “evil” perspective shines light on the contours of life and reality.

    • To add — just reviewing the comments, I see the rich discussion that Bourdain’s works have generated, and the multiplicity of interpretations, which is precisely what interests me. He created something that sparked that discussion and analysis (some interpretations lauding him as presenting a critical view of media). But of course, it’s important to think “we can have this kind of debate” in the first place, which is why this post of yours is so important. It shows that some people have a strong view against something, shaking people up to remember that there may be a debate in the first place. It’s frustrating that some people don’t seem to see that and jump on you for bringing it up.

      Your website format is perfect for debate because it encourages reading opinion + thoughtful response, and then commenting in a new thread. Otherwise, people feel personally challenged and people take things more personally and take more extreme positions than they would if speaking out loud (i.e. it would result in a flame war).

      • Thanks for getting it, Kira :) I knew how I felt, and I knew that my feelings weren’t the only ones, but what was most important was to create a place for discussion, to not gloss over my feelings or anyone else’s. As long as we each take a moment to consider how we view his work, what that means to us, I’m okay with whatever decision each person comes to. I didn’t know anything about Bourdin prior, and it was a loud reminder not to be so ignorant/complacent with what I’m consuming.

    • Hey Kira!

      Hope you are well! Thank you for sharing a different POV :) It is always good to hear from different sides and from someone who sees through a different lens! I agree that there is a place, but I think that place, or context if you will, is important. I struggled with this because while art is art and all that entails, commercialized art is a little different (to me) and then when this type of art is being used to sell expensive shoes, clothes, and now, makeup, to women, it loses the “art is art” argument for me. At the end of the day, I think we all need to be a little more cognizant of what we see, what we consume, and just what that means – and I think it sounds like you do quite a bit of that when you “embrace ‘darkness.’” That you try to think about the impulse towards it and then how to redress it – sometimes you do have to understand what’s in the “darkness” to make real changes, too.

  71. I found myself recently rereading Judith Butler’s _Excitable Speech_ (which deals with the topic of censorship), and was struck by how apt it was to our current debate. She discusses the difficult issue of pornography a its depiction of women, particularly of domination and violence against women. Though a feminist author herself (though what does that even mean–there are so many different kinds of feminism), Butler critiques the insistence of some feminists on censorship (focusing on the work of Catherine McKinnon). This is not to say that she believes pornography should not be censored; she takes no clear position either way–though she tends to be skeptical of censorship generally)–and certainly she is not an advocate of pornography. Her critique is, in fact, based on a concern that the response of some feminists to pornography tacitly attributes to it a power which we should not grant it. To insist on the power of these images to constitute the feminine position is already to concede an underlying reality and realizability to the feminine powerlessness they depict. She argues that “pornography neither represents nor constitutes what women are, but offers an allegory of masculine willfulness and feminine submission (although these are clearly not its only themes), one which repeatedly and anxiously rehearses its own unrealizability. Indeed, one might argue that pornography depicts impossible and uninhabitable positions, compensatory fantasies that continually reproduce a rift between those positions and the ones that belong to the domain of social reality. Indeed, one might suggest that pornography is the text of gender’s unreality, the impossible norms by which it is compelled, and in the face of which it perpetually fails” (68). In a nutshell, pornography’s anxious insistence on male dominance does more to reveal extent to which men feel threatened by their loss of power within gender relations; the pornographic image would not be so alluring if it not for the fact that it represents the desperate desire of some men (not all) to hold on to a framework of gender relations that is fast slipping through their fingers. What pornography, in fact, actually does achieve is to reveal the “impossible and uninhabitable” status of such fantasies of gender relations, exposing them for the fiction they are.
    She calls for “a feminist reading of pornography that resists the literalization of this imaginary scene, one which reads it instead for the incommensurabilities between gender norms and practices that it seems compelled to repeat without resolution”, reminding us that “what pornography delivers is what it recites and exaggerates from the resources of compensatory gender norms, a text of insistent and faulty imaginary relations that will not disappear with the abolition of the offending text, the text that remains for feminist criticism relentlessly to read.” Suppressing such images will not eradicate the underlying attitudes; rather such images, when recontextualized, can serve to generate awareness and critique. “To read such texts against themselves is to concede that the performativity of the text is not under sovereign control. On the contrary, if the text acts once, it can act again, and possibly against its prior act” (69).

    “” (69).

  72. Not sure if someone mentioned this yet, if so, I apologize for the repeat.

    I was a little disheartened when I was skimming through November’s issue of Allure Magazine and turned to a six page spread honoring Bourdin and featuring Nars’ collection. Of course, the article was very complimentary of Bourdin and states that every time we reach for a bold blush, lipstick, or eyeshadow, we are being inspired by Bourdin. The article states that he was provocative, but never really mentions the darker side of his work. I think what bothered me most is the magazine created a couple of editorial photos inspired by Bourdin’s work. One of the photos features a woman chocking herself, and I swear you can see the color fading from her face (hopefully I’m wrong, and maybe it’s just the way the magazine was printed). Anyone else see the article?

  73. Has Nars released any kind of official statement regarding the controversy surrounding this collection?

  74. Avatar of Brenda Brenda

    I know this is an old post now, and well commented on, but I have read it a few times before deciding to comment. I thank you and admire you for your incredibly thought out post. As a survivor of more than one type of abuse, I have a lot of difficulty with the subject of violence and sexuality as marketing tools – which I know have been used for decades and is a silent but ever present part of popular culture, found in more places than ever, sometimes without us noticing until someone points it out. We could all discuss this for YEARS, I’m sure.

    Nars’ quality is there, I agree and the colours are beautiful, however upon further research and consideration, I cannot bring myself to purchase the brand any longer. I only own 3 products and that will remain so. I hadn’t given much thought to the other names and where they came from for his permanent and longer standing items (deep throat) but always was uncomfortably aware of those with sexual names (my own personal triggers there). I even looked up his nationality to be fair and consider they did not mean what I thought they meant (ie, watergate references) – personally I still think the sexual definitions are what were intended.

    I thank you for your bringing awareness where there may not have been any, the safety to comment respectfully and intelligently yet honestly and the opportunities for education and support in an area that is still kept “behind closed doors”.

    • Hi Brenda!

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts :) I appreciate you reading through my post as well.

      I’m very happy to hear that you’ve been able to move forward from the past and are now a survivor! That is so amazing, and it is uplifting to know you’ve been able to get out of the cycle.