My very first NARS eye shadow purchase of life was the NARS The NARSissist Eye Shadow Palette, $79.00 which is a limited edition release that showcases fifteen NARS signature eye shadow shades in one sleek, compact palette. One may ask why I would choose to make this my first NARS shadow purchase. Well, I had a very long wishlist of their shadows and, at the price asked, to buy even a few to try and play with I would have been up to the price of this palette. And, I had a discount. So, Beauty Blogger Math Fu kicked in and I figured that fifteen shadows that I could try, get to know then go buy my faves in full sizes in the future made sense to me.
The packaging is classic NARS. Rectangular, rounded, solid and substantial. The palette has a weighty, luxurious feel in the hand. The surface is the typical rubbery finish with which so many NARS fans have such a passionate love/hate relationship. The finish looks fantastic when it first comes out of the box but that grabby texture gloms on to every molecule of free roaming household and makeup dust, anything on your hands, pet hair... And it is a pain in the ass to clean. Whoever thought that this packaging was a good idea clearly never owned/stored/used makeup in a real world setting. Or they just don't care. Yuk. Being the keep - my - makeup - clean - freak- that I am, this packaging drives me absolutely insane.
The lid has an extended, rounded lip that is easy to grip with the pad of a finger to open, no frustration, no wedging small, sharp items to avoid breaking nails! The lid closes and locks down securely with a very satisfying *snap!* Inside the lid is the obligatory full sized mirror. It is large enough to see what you are doing on both eyes at the same time to enable a balanced shadow application.
In the well of the palette are fifteen small 0.003 oz eye shadows in shades ranging from palest ivory to tan, browns, lilac and purple, taupe, soft neutral peach, grey, black. Finishes range from matte to satin to shimmer and even metallic.
Here is a close up of the eye shadows in situ. The layout makes a lot of sense. The shades graduate from light to dark, soft to intense. While the pans are not large, they are sizable enough to fit an eye shadow brush, applicator or finger to pick up product without ending up falling over into the pan next door. I appreciate the thicker plastic bars between the shadows. Not only is it good looking, it is a functional feature, further aiding in keeping colour from jumping from pan to pan. There is no legend telling us the shade names on the palette or on the box.
I want to speak about the lack of attention to detail in the assembly of the palette. NARS commands a high price for their products and yet, the pans in this palette are set in crooked. Why? For the price, the prestige of this brand, this palette should be perfect. There should be no irregularity in the set of the pans, my eye should not be disturbed by a break in crisp, straight lines. Is this nit-picking? Yes, it is. For my husband's hard earned money, I am promised high quality. I don't feel that I am out of line for asking that.
Swatches. *sigh* This is the best of a batch of challenging swatch photographs. I hate swatching on my arm, as I always blow the photos. In person, these swatches looked so much better. The first three did show up! I promise. The middle one is a near match to the skin on my arm, it doesn't lack pigmentation, it just... Blends.
The bottom shade in the first row and the bottom shade in the last row are just bad. Dry, stiff, lacking in pigmentation and patchy. The rest of the shadows are terrific. Pigmented, have very good payoff on the eye and apply and blend out beautifully. A few were a tad powdery or flaky but none were out of line. Overall, I was so impressed with the quality of the shadows. Some are becoming definite favorites. Too bad I don't know their names...
I have read a lot of complaints about the shadows in this palette. That they are not pigmented, give no payoff on the eye, blend out to nothing or are a muddy mess and just plain bad. I would like to offer photographic evidence to the contrary:
Now, call me crazy but these shadows look pretty pigmented, to me. They applied over primer, even the deepest grey shade I used, without annoying fallout. There was plenty of pigmentation, I didn't have to pack them on or go to a lot of trouble to build them up. These shadows blended easily without flying away or becoming muddy or confused. They wore all day without creasing or fading and looked just as vibrant and beautiful when it came time to remove them as they did when I applied them.
Gentle reader, you know me. You know that if this palette were bad, I'd have no problem telling you so. I do have a couple of minor gripes about the NARSissist Eye Shadow Palette. One, is that two of the shadows are just plain awful and they are two shades that should be wonderful. Second, that grabby rubberized finish on the palette. Really, NARS? And why the hell didn't NARS stamp the shadow shade names on the palette, either on the bars that separate the pans or on the back of the palette? That was such a stupid move! There are some shades in this palette that are shaping up to be clear favorites but, because I don't know their names, I am going to have a hard time nailing them down when it comes time to go buy them in their full sizes. Badly done, NARS! You missed a great marketing opportunity.
Anyway, I like this palette. I use it more often than I thought I would and I recommend it. If you would like to try NARS shadows or expand your collection of their shadow shades but you don't want to spend a huge amount of money, maybe give this palette a go. It is available in Sephora stores and online.
Do you own this palette? What do you think of it? Please do tell... I'd love to hear your thoughts.