We had previously taken a look at NARS’ holiday sets; the weather has finally permitted me to finish swatching their “regular” holiday collection.
Arabian Nights is (as you might have surmised from the name) a night-series eyeshadow trio. The shadows are black-based with sparkle, and (in my humble opinion) perform better wet. I actually swatched this palette “backwards” from the way it appears in the compact, because the tester pan was in the unit upside down.
Swatched dry, the shades are sheer black with silver sparkle (I built up the dry swatch, and the black is prone to fallout), black with blue-purple sparkle, and sheer grey-black with a red-purple sparkle that tends to blow away. Swatched wet, the first shade is a charcoal-black with multicolored silver sparkle. The second is still black with blue-purple sparkle. And the third is grey-black with dense red-purple shimmer (the sparkle is smaller in this shade, so it translates into shimmer). The trio is $45, limited edition.
I talked to one of my favorite NARS associates about Arabian Nights. He said it’s his favorite piece of the collection, and lamented that swatching doesn’t really do it justice. I asked him to explain his devotion, and he said the shadows look like gemstones on the lid (which sounds quite lovely).
Ponderosa is a cream eyeshadow single. It’s cool, dark brown with gold shimmer (very pretty!) — $23, and limited edition.
Mandchourie is a powder eyeshadow duo ($33, permanent). It is fascinating: a complex green-grey-blue with shimmery gold tones, paired with a muted, faded, dusty, matte, semi-sheer navy-indigo blue.
There is also a happy assortment of holiday lips and nails. Joyous Red lipstick ($24, limited edition) is not exactly red. It’s a muted (slightly browned) coral/red, bricky on my lips. It’s great for the season, and not too dark for my skintone.
Albatross lipgloss ($24) is also limited edition. It’s a shimmering pale gold.
There are two limited edition nail polishes ($17). Space Odyssey (the color created for Fashion’s Night Out) is a cool silver foil (looks shimmery/slightly gritty but feels smooth). Endless Night is a sheer grape in one coat. The color is so dark that it turns black-plum (really black plum) in two.
And the holiday season introduces two new (and permanent) shades of the Larger Than Life eyeliners. These mechanical eyeliners are absolutely fantastic at staying put — they’re one of the few things I’ll trust on my lower lash line. Campo de Fiori is an antique gold shimmer. St. Marks Place is a low-shimmer bright blue-purple. (Check out the other LTL eyeliner shades here and here. They’re $23 each.)
And finally: the cheeks. Sin (powder blush, $27) is a repromote, a berry-wine with gold shimmer/sparkle. In a heavier swatch, you can see it’s actually pretty purple (red-grape, I’d call it).
Miss Liberty is new but permanent. It’s a “highlighting blush” (a.k.a. not a blush but a highlighter), a sheer peach with very fine silver sparkles. It’s also $27.
And finally, there’s a new Multiple stick (these can be used anywhere: lids, cheeks, or lips). And because “Orgasm” and “Deep Throat” weren’t scandalous enough, it’s called G-Spot. Sensibilities are different in Texas than they are in New York, and mostly I’ve heard G-Spot referred to as “the new one.”
G-Spot is blush-wine with a very subtle gold shimmer (my sales associate didn’t even realize it had shimmer ’til she saw it on my arm). It’s more red than Sin, a berry red. It’s a pretty, ruddy flush for cheeks and lips this winter, I definitely approve. Like all Multiples, G-Spot is $39 (and it’s permanent).
This entire collection is actually up for sale in the BeautyBloggers.org charity auction (and it’s currently going for WAY less than retail).
NARScosmetics.com is also offering free two-day shipping through the end of the year (and today only, they’re adding a free sample of Orgasm Illuminator to any cart).