Two posts in one day! I’m totally giving myself a high five on that! The latest item on many beauty lover’s wishlists is the new NARS NARSissist eyeshadow palette. It’s just arrived on my doorstep and I wanted to share some initial comparison swatches and my first thoughts.
First, what is it? It’s a palette filled with 15 half-sized eyeshadows (14 permanent shades) for $79. Translation? Deal of the century. Considering that the full sized singles and duos featuring these same shades would set you back $24 or $34 each, you are getting an excellent bargain. It’s a great way for any NARS lover or someone new to the brand to expand their collection or try the most iconic shades.
I’ve seen and read mixed reviews on this palette. I’m offering my initial thoughts here. First, consider the fact that the eyeshadows have been compacted from their original sized pans to fit a much smaller space. I think whenever a powder product is made more compact it can lend itself to being slightly more difficult to use. Secondly, it’s important to understand the NARS brand. It has some stellar products, I mean STUNNERS. Great performers in pigmentation and application. However, like everyone, it has some misses. To say I’ve spent a great deal of time (and money) getting to know the brand is an understatement. I have personally purchased 11 of their single shadows, 9 duo shadows, 20 of their blushes and probably two dozen lip products. I tell you that so can you can fully understand the time I have invested with this brand. I feel like I have a good grasp on their quality, consistency and artistry.
I will be keeping my palette. I love the concept, appreciate the forethought and overall came away feeling that it was executed in a way that will please most and disappoint some. I have wanted to try many of these shades for awhile but haven’t had the inclination to do so because, well, that’s a lot of money for the 10 shades I didn’t already own.
It was upon my comparison swatching that I knew I would keep this gem. I swatched everything with the same brush on unprimed skin. I think it’s important to use a brush and not your fingers when swatching. I have been misled by my own eyes on several occasions because the finger swatch was ‘meh’, only to return to the product later and fall in love with it once applied. After all, I rarely if ever apply powder products with my fingers. Note the difference in size. As I said above, the shadows in this palette are all roughly half-sized. Fine by me as I have never actually finished a NARS eyeshadow before, or even come close to hitting pan.
Swatch Comparisons: Mekong (palette), Mekong (single), Lhasa (palette) Lhasa (single), Coconut Grove (palette), Coconut Grove (single), Madrague 2 (palette) Madrague 2 (duo), Madrague 1 (palette), Madrague 1 (duo)
My thoughts on the shades I already owned in single/duo form:
Mekong: The shades are similar. The single has more visible sparkle and is slightly less stiff (stiffness not as noticeable when using a brush) and slightly more warm toned.
Lhasa: Shades are very similar. Lhasa in the palette seemed slightly creamier. No other differences detected.
Coconut Grove: Shades are similar, but the palette version is better in pigment and texture. The palette is an improvement on the original!
Madrague Shade 2: The shades are similar with the palette version being a hair lighter. Texture of the palette version is slightly stiffer, but not as noticeable when using a brush.
Madrague Shade 1: The colors are similar but the palette version is creamier and an improvement on the original. The shades are difficult to see because they almost match my skin tone.
I don’t have all of the swatches for every shade to show you tonight. I wanted to do the comparisons first for those on the fence about buying or returning the palette.
The question of whether or not this palette is for you I cannot answer. Not everyone will like this palette, and that’s ok. Some will fall in love with it. I can say that, for me, I will enjoy testing out the shades I have been eager to try for awhile and that NARS did something that other brands should follow: they actually listened to what their customers wanted and delivered. In a big way.