NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection for Holiday 2013

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

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

The original post is below:

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

Splendor in the Grass Blush Palette ($49.00) (Limited Edition) ( Exclusive)

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

Cosmetic Pochette ($75.00)

Makeup bag with black and red heart design.

Fling Lip Set ($49.00) (Limited Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more photos!

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection

NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection NARS x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection


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Comments on this post are closed.
Karina Avatar

So as much as i love Nars..and i truly truly do….every single time they do their blush or eyeshadow palettes, they use most of their same best loved products in those palettes which is fine but if you are a nars fan you probably already own those blushes and shadows either alone or in other palettes…i truly wish they would come out with a new palette of completely new shades so that we can all feel more compelled to purchase it.

shelley Avatar

Thank you!!! My thoughts exactly. Especially considering I already have the blushes in my collection. I love NARS but now they are starting to pull a MAC (re-introducing permanent and throwing it into a palette.) 🙁

Veronica Avatar

I’d no familiarity with the photographer’s work, so I had to google it and…whoa. 😐 I guess I will wind up having to give this whole collection a pass.

Hannah Avatar

It’s interesting how the general public still finds these images polemic, even though they were produced decades ago. I wouldn’t have anticipated that. Often what’s “edgy” at one time either becomes common in popular culture or is a just accepted as a known reference for an era. And I also wouldn’t have guessed that Guy Bourdin is so unknown. Just observations.

Veronica Avatar

I fully admit that my studies have predominantly been in the sciences and I have only base familiarity with the arts. A few of my friends are photographers, and I’m sure the name would have rang the bell with them. 🙂

My concern is not for Budoir’s personal artistic choices or what public controversy they generate. For my own piece, I have a strong distaste for sexualized violence and generally avoid financing any culture that support it. I have no particularly unfavorable judgement for anyone who feels comfortable purchasing from this line, but it’s an upset of my personal ethics to do so for myself.

FKS Avatar

I have no idea who Guy Bourdin is/was (will look it up after posting this), but the image of the model with her face buried in grass has a strong sense of violence about it. It almost looks like she was shot in the back and left for dead. Just my imagination, of course (or did the photographer indend it that way(.

Tonnie Avatar

Well said, Veronica! I love the all-in-one aspect of the blush palette. However, I’ll pass on it this time. My dollars won’t be supporting this art, as much as I believe he has a right to create it.

Alice Avatar

Why would the photos be given a pass on the subject matter, while the culture’s still deeply misogynistic? I’m an artist, a painter, and I didn’t know the photographer, and I don’t care to. I had to grow up as a girl in that era. An era when men were content in their authority to peddle gendered trauma as entertainment, because they didn’t think women were real humans. It was a threatening time to be alive as a girl. I was never unaware that my physical boundaries were meaningless to a adult man with a whim. The idea that this man profited and built a reputation on this fear and might be considered “impish” or “edgy” is repellent. Time might dull the emotions, but not the substance of the objection.

Jenna Avatar

Ever since I missed out on the Danmari cheeks palette I’ve been waiting for NARS to release a comparable one. I’m hoping the One Night Stand palette performs well, it looks promising. 🙂

dayna Avatar

I was thinking the same thing! But the Danmari palette did have like 3 or 4 shades that I was not interested in, so its actually a good coincidence. Very excited for this one 🙂

Dayna Avatar

That one night stand blush Palette will be mine. Luckily, I have bought the nars best selling blushes yet. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN CHRISTINE! <3

Veronica Avatar

I already own half of the Splendour in the Grass palette, so that’s a pass, but I have a serious lemming for One Night Stand. Thank goodness NARS is a brand that let’s their LE linger awhile so I can check it out before buying. 🙂

Bella Avatar

Nars is my favourite brand EVER, The only one of these sets that might appeal to me, though, is the Fling Lip set. Damage and Dolce Vita are among my favourite lip colours, and I could do with back-ups, while the other two shades are nice too.
All the blushes I either have or am not interested in.
I wish there was an eyeshadow palette but should be grateful there isn’t, since I ended up getting both Ride Up to the Moon and Fairy Kiss just over a month ago.

Kelly Avatar

Thanks Christine! I think that all those lovely ladies who never got their hands on a Danmari Palette are going to compensate with the One Night Stand Palette. I’m excited for that, being one of those who didn’t get Danmari.

Sabriel Avatar

Ugh. NARS is trying to be edgy, and throwing women under the bus to do it. (And with Bourdin, “throwing women under the bus” is a bit too literal.)

Britt Avatar

Whoa…. before reading anything at all, the first picture looked like a woman face down dead in the grass…not really what one envisages when they hear “splendour in the grass.” Having said that the collection looks gorgeous and even though I have most of the shades already it is nice to have them all in one palette when travelling etc. Christine, is it possible for you to clearly label the pictures above with names of palettes and individual shade names etc? It’s a bit confusing…. Thanks 🙂

Amy Avatar

i am beyond confused at a number of the responses on the photos, and i’m fully aware of gender violence issues and the fetishization and sensationalism of violence towards women in media and entertainment.

the dead disney princess series icked me out entirely, these don’t even register, but that could be because i’ve laid face down in the grass for my own pleasure and amusement on ocassion. i’m sure that would weird someone out. perceptions are weird that way.

Sabriel Avatar

Look at her skin tone. The bluish-red around her eyes isn’t healthy at all. I didn’t know why I thought that but I felt strongly that it made her look dead. So I googled around and this is what I found:

Bluish-red or purple skin discoloration is called “cyanosis” and is caused by lack of oxygen in the blood (specifically, by de-oxygenated hemoglobin). Apparently not all corpses look like that, but they can if they bled out. It’s also why frostbite makes your lips and fingers look purple, and why bruises turn blue during healing.

Besides just the skin tone, she doesn’t look like she’s having fun.

If she were relaxed, you would expect her shoulders to be slumped so that her arms were resting on the ground, not pulled up behind her. With them back like that it looks like they were tied or something. Or maybe like rigor mortis has set in.

And if she’s lying there actively holding her arms up in the air, why does her face look so blank?

It’s just very weird. The whole pose looks like she was tossed on her face, not like she decided to take a nap in the grass.

Amy Avatar

Please understand that I’m not negating your take on it (or mocking it, and I hope it didn’t come across that way…if it did, I do apologize), I just don’t get it. What I see in her eyeshadow is the bold colors and exaggerated placement that were trends in the 70’s and 80’s, and as far as the compositions, positioning of the models, etc. I see Man Ray’s Surrealist influence more than anything else.

Sara Avatar

I think you’re looking WAY too much into the picture. She is lying in the grass like that because that’s how she was posed to look. Her face has those colours on it because that’s the colour of the MAKEUP that was applied to her face. It’s an artist picture, not a picture of a girl trying to have fun playing in the grass.

Eyeshadow Addicts Anonymous Avatar

I NEED that blush palette… It will be mine!!

Christine quick question… If someone was borderline obsessed with that blush palette and wanted to make sure to buy it before it sold out when would she try to purchase it? I know you said that the release date is Nov 1st… so should I stay up until midnight the day before like with MAC or do you think it will be some time the next day. I know this I may seem a bit insane, but that blush palette is my dream come true. Any advice you have would be much appreciated.

Christine Avatar

It’s a Sephora exclusive, so your best bet is to check periodically maybe 3-5 days prior to November 1st… you may also call your local Sephora to find out when they’ll have it in stock. I’m not sure how well Sephora adheres to those dates re: NARS (sometimes retailers are great, sometimes they release whenever they feel like it, but it can depend on the brand and how their relationship is with Sephora).

Raquel Evita Saraswati Avatar

I will not be buying a single thing from this collection – nor any Nars product – until they end their glamorization of violence against women. I used a number of their products, until the disturbing images in this collection made me look more closely at Guy Bourdain’s influence on Francois Nars.

I alerted Miss Representation to this collection, and they issued the following response:

A note on Guy Bourdain, the photographer after which this collection was named:

“That casually sadistic treatment of women wasn’t limited to the photograph. His behavior toward his models, his wife, his girlfriends was neglectful and dismissive at best, cruel and abusive at worst. He was often at his worst. Bourdin wasn’t simply unaware of their suffering, sometimes he appeared to enjoy it. On one occasion Bourdin wanted to cover the pale bodies of two models in tiny black pearls. He had his assistants cover the models with glue and attach the pearls. The layer of glue interfered with the skin’s ability to regulate temperature and exchange oxygen; both models passed out. As his assistants hurried to remove the pearls and the glue, Bourdin is reported to have said ‘Oh, it would be beautiful to photograph them dead in bed.'”

There is nothing beautiful or glamorous about the brutalization of women.

Marlys D. Avatar

Thank you so much Raquel for addressing this issue, I am sad that Temptalia has not said her point of view on this. This campaign is not right. The first photo is disturbing, but more disturbing is trying to understand Bourdin’s head. He was a complete misogynist, and to celebrate him now it’s disgusting.

Christine Avatar

Hi Marlys,

You can see my response at the top of this post – I was not aware of Bourdin’s background previously (I am not an avid follower of fashion or photography) – and after hearing from readers, I needed time to do my own research and learning about him. We will be certain to look more deeply into various collaborators that brands work with going forward, rather than simply relying on press releases.

Raquel Evita Saraswati Avatar

I am so impressed by your decision, Christine. Thank you for your principle. I will be sharing your statement with others.

shelley Avatar

Temptalia responded beautifully below and even if she didn’t say anything it would be wrong of us to bash her for remaining mum about it.I wouldn’t take it personal if she did remain silent because her number one job is to review products to fuel our little fetish called makeup and up to us as to whether or not we support a release or not with our pocket books. I already sent NARS a lovely letter voicing my disappointment and I hope that in the future they are more selective in who they collab with.

Tonnie Avatar

You are a classy lady, Shelley. I completely agree with you. Christine, I think you addressed the issue in your updated post at the top of the page beautifully.

Marlys D. Avatar

Thank you so much for your response, Christine. Obviously you know that i made this statement BEFORE your update. And I really thank you for this update. This is information that people need to know at first.

shelley Avatar

I never knew of this artist background (or even heard of him) till you brought it to my attention on here. I love freedom of speech in the arts as I’m a writer but when I looked online at some of his work. It sickened me. As a child/adult victim and now survivor of domestic violence I can’t support this particular collection especially after reading his past comments and viewing his work. Thank you for bringing this to light.

Tonnie Avatar

Thank you, Raquel, for your informative post. I also appreciate that you presented it without judging the host or members of this site. I, too, was unaware of the artist before this thread. I will not be supporting his work with my dollars.

Freedom2Be Avatar

I don’t wear makeup. I will, however, advise every one of my contacts never to purchase from this company. You can retract and recant all that you want, but *one* instance of the glamorisation of violence against women is too many. Ever.


As my friend Raquel Evita Saraswati said, “There is nothing beautiful or glamorous about the brutalization of women.”

Kelly Avatar

After reading everyone’s comments on this post, I respect all the decisions to buy or not buy this collection. But it leads me to think, people are offended and won’t buy this collection, but if you look at the book Fifty Shades of Grey, it also glamorizes sexual abuse of women. There are millions of people (mostly women I’m guessing) that still read it and think these books are amazing. So where do you draw the line?

Robin Avatar

Not everyone has or wants to read 50 shades. I too will not be purchasing anything from Nars. Ireally wanted their lip pencil kit, but I can’t support this campaign or company.

I read romance novels and watch romantic movies, but I don’t read stories or watch movies that deplore it demean women or children.

Misty Marshall Avatar

Wow, I am seriously disturbed by these photos. I love NARS but I will strongly reconsider purchasing from them from now on. Makeup should empower us….not makes us look degraded or dead. The fact that this made it through your marketing department is disturbing and shows a major disrespect for women. Not cool NARs, not cool at all. I spend a lot of my hard earned money on my cosmetics but I don’t know how you could think this was a good campaign.

Lisa Avatar

Bourdin’s purported background aside (which I don’t see any clear evidence of, and which is irrelevant in any case since art should be judged on the art), I don’t notice anything about these images that glamorizes violence against women. The fashion industry treats women like dead things–mannequins, clothes hangers, canvasses. The fashion industry does violence to women, promoting eating disorders that actually do kill many women every year. Bourdin’s photographs serve as a commentary on this aspect of the fashion industry (and on many other aspects of society, including consumerism and gender roles). They seek to make explicit the destructive value systems at work in society, and to do so they must dramatize the destructive outcomes produced by these value systems. Those groups and institutions that benefit from the oppression and objectification of women would prefer that you NOT see images like this–if you don’t have to look at it, you can go on ignoring it, instead of reexamining society and thinking critically about women’s position within it. The fact that this debate has arisen shows that Bourdin’s art is doing what it’s supposed to do.

Raquel Avatar

I hardly think one could look at Guy Bourdin’s actual comments and his body of work and assert, honestly, that his is some kind of feminist commentary on abuses of women in the fashion industry or elsewhere. Sorry, but this reads as your attempt to justify support of this collection.

Indigo Avatar

I actually can understand what Lisa is saying. However, it’s really unknown for what purpose Guy Bourdin made his work so “disturbing.” Was he a crooked, violent individual or was he exposing the darkness of fashion as you have said. We’ll never know. But considering I never found anything about him saying how his work is supposed to reflect the darkness of fashion, I’m more apt to believe the first theory that he was somewhat disturbed to say the least. Guess we’ll never know.

diana Avatar

thank you for bringing up his work. i wouldn’t have seen photos otherwise. had a subscrip to vogue through whole childhood along with elle, harpers. glad his images have not stuck. fortunately i fell in love with helena, linda, christy and gosh knows george michael videos on my “rock and roll tv”. i love crazy art that takes people somewhere else. one of my favorite photos is paulina in a blue fur hood. so simple. so gorgeous. even playboy in the late 80’s. miranda kerr, alessandra, gisele. all of them. i get it. don’t mind beautiful women or art. love warhol. lou reed. morrissey. drag queens. but it seems Guy wants to draw me into crotches. all i see is women in compromising positions, or looking like their mouths are about to be stuffed with things. truly love Dali’s ?seven naked women?. one of my favorite photos. haunting. i feel pretty when i look at it. sexy. daring. feel like coco or marlene. the pics i saw this morning are nasty. they make me feel nasty and well… like women are trash. like i’m going to be gawked by pervs. STRICTLY IN MY OPINION the man made women into dirty things. i don’t like the connection to today’s woman in a makeup collection that is affordable and easily marketable to 20 somethings. i can’t be mad though i was 20 once. it is art. kind of like a Gacy clown painting i guess. in my opinion. and i am a dark person sometimes. but dang. the women are all bent over. yuk.

beck Avatar

I love Nars products. Nars is for sure one of my top five favorite
brands. I had no idea about this collection or who the
late photog is until now. I saw the image of the woman’s
face buried in the grass months back, and thought gee
that’s a little bizarre. It appeared to be the face of a corpse
with bloodshot eyes that was suffocated in the grass,
totally disturbing and gives a really bad vibe.
I have not seen his complete body of work, the world has enough
misery, sadness, and depression to view such images
for me any way. Sorry for typos I’m typing on my phone,
and its a bit difficult.
I fully support your decision. 🙂

beck Avatar

I’m reading articles on this photog, i’m really
really creeped out. Someone mentioned something
about the public appeal and connection with the John Wayne Gacy
art, yeah I can totally see that. This guy is CREEPY.
For this guys content to be resurrected with a 2013 makeup collection
from a highly reputable brand, is really disturbing.
His wife committed suicide makes you wonder if this
man had any thing to do with her decision. I can’t
get behind this collection sorry NARS it’s obvious
where this guy was coming from and very sad
that your brand would support it.
I see a few products I would have purchase
now I’m fully creeped out. Bad vibes all around.

beck Avatar

Hopefully NARS pr employees are reading all of our
thoughts here and taking them into consideration. I don’t find
it “edgy” I find it offensive and inappropriate. I usually buy
a large amount of NARS during the VIB sale, I won’t be
getting anything this time around. I found out
about this disgusting content just in time to make
an unformed decision NOT to purchase. Thank you for
the information on this topic, great job, and you
handled it with grace! Again i’m fully backing you!
You have our love and support!

Mroxy04 Avatar

does anyone know if the color “Goulue” in the Nars guy bourdin one night stand palette is the same or similar to Nars “Outlaw”? They look the same to me.

lala Avatar

Wow this kind of makes me want to toss out the one and only NARS blush I own, but the fact that it cost me twenty something dollars is what is stopping me lol! I feel like the statement from NARS saying “As a CHILD, NARS Founder and Creative Director François Nars discovered Guy Bourdin’s work in the pages of French Vogue. It was then that Nars was first inspired to become a makeup artist.” What disturbs me more than the packaging, is that the “brains” behind the entire brand is into promoting this type of nonsense and was even allowed to view these images as a CHILD. Some of the “provocative/edgy” names(orgasm, deepthroat, sex machine) of some of their items suddenly just seem like they came from a really sick place.

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