NARS Flowers 1 Eyeshadow Palette
The First of Three Flower Palettes
NARS Flowers 1 Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.45 oz.) features five different shades with a black overlay over one shade (the background shade). The palette is a variation on Warhol’s painting Flowers (1965), and this one is described as a “white, brown rose, dark lavender, and gold against a shimmering lavender grey background and black overspray.”
The first shade is a bright silver-white with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, but it was a bit powdery. There are several similar shades, including MAC Crystal Avalanche (slightly cooler-toned), Buxom Sheepdog, Maybelline Too Cool (a bit cool-toned and more metallic in finish), theBalm Sassy, MAC Forgery (has a grittier texture), and theBalm Tempting Tara.
The shade in the background (which has the black powder overlay) is a gray-ish purple with a pearled finish. The pigmentation was decent, but it was powdery and on the sheerer side. Urban Decay AC/DC is similar but more pigmented and less subdued. theBalm Matt Patel is darker, grayer. NARS Charade is matte and has less gray in it. MAC Joy & Laughter is a smidgen grayer. MAC Winterized is a touch darker.
One flower is purple, and when swatched, it is a sheer violet purple with a soft satiny sheen–it is really quite stiff as far as the texture went, and the color payoff was dismal. I really had to pack it on to get any color to show up on the lid, and it had to have a base used under it to get any visible color. Clarins Enchanted Summer is more intense, stronger red undertone. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is brighter, more opaque. MAC Plush is more pigmented and a smidgen more red-toned.
Another flower is a rusty red with subtle warm, orange undertones and a soft, frosted finish. This shade had the best pigmentation out of the five shades in the palette. MAC Spicy Smoke is comparable. Milani Primary is a bit redder. MAC Raving Mad is more orange. Urban Decay Gash is more burgundy.
The third flower is a bright pop of sunshine yellow with a soft sheen. This had good color payoff, but it was somewhat powdery and loose. It’s best to pat it on, rather than sweep. Illamasqua Hype is similar but matte. Make Up For Ever #24 is a little darker, warmer. MAC Bright Sunshine is a smidgen lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea is slightly softer. Inglot #323 is a bit darker and has a matte finish.
I know a lot of readers are really excited for the collaboration between NARS and Andy Warhol, and I wanted to like the palette, but I didn’t. Some shades were sheer, others were powdery, and a couple of them were less blendable than I’d like (or even expect from NARS). The silver is kind of chunky; it adheres in a way that emphasizes the texture of the skin, while the yellow needs to be patted on to avoid a powderiness (and blending it is difficult, because it disappears). The purple was the most disappointing shade out of the five, because it was sheer, stiff, and dry–it didn’t want to apply (and faded almost instantly), and it was hard to blend it once on the lid. I had to use primer (NARS’) underneath the purple shade just to get color to show up. The best-performing shade was the rusted red, which had good color payoff, fairly smooth texture, and was easy to blend. The wear was all over the map; the purple faded so quickly (even over a primer!), while the rusted red shade was slightly faded after six hours, and the silver-white shade had some post-application fall out (minor but noticeable), and the yellow shade didn’t seem to fade too much after six hours.
NARS gives you plenty of product in the compact, which is over-sized (larger than their blushes), so for your $55, you’re getting nearly half an ounce of eyeshadow, which works out to be ~$122/oz., while a duo works out to be ~$243/oz. (Trios are the worst value at ~$265/oz.) You’re just not getting the highest quality product. For the most part, each color is accessible enough to work with when using eyeshadow brushes, but you will get excess powder kicked up, so you may find that some of the colors mix. I recommend using a large face brush to brush off the black overlay, because it just makes everything kind of sooty the first time you use it.