Some of the most unique collaborative collections in the world of beauty come from NARS, and this latest in homage to celebrated American visual artist Man Ray, is a perfect example of that. With lush textures and a mix of contrasting shades, this is the brand’s Holiday 2017 offering — and one that I suspect will sell out quite fast (just wait until you see the Holiday gift sets and palettes … but I’ll save that for another post). Kiss. Play. Man Ray.
When I hear the name Man Ray, I can’t help but think of Woody Allen’s movie ‘Midnight in Paris’ (if you haven’t seen this yet, you need to) and how perfectly cast all the literary & artistic greats were represented in that film. Born Emmanuel Radnitzky, Man Ray was a significant contributor to the dada & surrealist movements along with being a prominent painter and artist, however he was best known for his thought-provoking photos as well as being a sought-after fashion and portrait photographer. Don’t you just love it when beauty and history ties in so well?
Double Take Overexposed Glow Highlighter (CAN $52.00) | It’s actually quite difficult to tear oneself away from staring at the pattern of this highlighter, no? Bearing Man Ray’s iconic lips motif, this highlighter comes in a brand new & limited edition texture from NARS, one that is an incredibly fine-milled powder that feels almost gel-like in nature, laying down buttery smooth along the skin and has mega-watt radiance built in. The hue is a cross between gold and rose-gold that makes it suitable for a broad range of skin tones, and can be worn either as a sheer veil of colour (use a fan brush and light pressure), or amped up to more blinding proportions.
Intensely and Fetishized Blush (CAN $38.00/each) | NARS has become synonymous for creating not only some of the best blushes in the business, but in totally original colours too; case in point are the two shade of this collection. With their ultra-fine texture, these also blend seamlessly and last beautifully (especially over primer/foundation) for hours without fading or oxidizing. The vivid orange-ness of Intensely initially threw me off, but turns out to be surprisingly wearable — particularly pretty against a light tan while also working as a great eyeshadow transition shade. The coral/melon colour of Fetishized is truly STUNNING and one that pretty much guarantees that healthy glow to the skin — just go easy with it and make sure to build it up to your preferred level.
Montparnasse & Debauched Duo Eyeshadow (CAN $43.00/each) | Eyeshadow duos are a hallmark of this brand, and both of these are not only utterly wearable, but created with excellent textures as well. Montparnasse makes for an effortless daytime pairing while Debauched can work as a totally originally smokey eye duo (that said, the darker shade here is not as intense as seen in the pan, but can be applied with a dampened brush for more depth of tone). I really like how both can be layered and/or blended to create entirely new ranges of colour, while staying power over primer is spot on until removed.
- Montparnasse – shimmering gold/iridescent orchid
- Debauched – black violet/smokey charcoal with red shimmer
Santiago & Nagoya Velvet Eyeliner (CAN $31.00/each) | In my opinion, NARS makes some of the best eyeliners out there, and the formula on these is perfectly named: velvet, as in how smoothly they go on without any harsh tugging or pulling along the sensitive skin of the eyes, as well as how lush each colours is. You can even use these pencils as an aching base for eyeshadow by applying them along their side (versus the tip), and blending the colour out — although I suggest working one eye at a time to avoid them setting too quickly. Safe to wear along the waterline as well, either shade works as a unique counterpart to the eyeshadow duos.
Photogloss Lip Lacquer (CAN $33.00/each) | A new and limited edition formula, these are next-level glosses, bearing a high-intensity shine & ultra-saturated colour. There are two versions; brilliantly glossy (Zambese & Kiki) and metallic (Muse & Off Limits), and all can even be mixed or worn over liner and/or lipstick for even more payoff and unique colour combos. I should note that Kiki looks more opaque in person than how it appears in the swatch (below) while Muse is as close to gilding as you’ll get in gloss form. As a long time neutrals-lover, Zambeze sits well within my wheelhouse, but Off Limits was a surprise, in the sense that I’m actually really loving a hot pink lip — and with shimmer, no less. Who would have thought? The texture on all is rich but not overly sticky and they last beautifully while keeping lips feeling nourished throughout the wearing. Note that the two metallics will have some shimmer spread upon removal, but nothing that can’t be easily dealt with.
We all know that I’m a fan of this brand, and the reasons for that are many. For starters, I love that there’s such thought behind each collection and with such close ties to the worlds of art & photography. Secondly, NARS releases some of the most unique shades and while there have been some totally out-there colours, no one can ever say that this brand is predictable (i.e.: boring). The Man Ray Holiday 2017 Collection is one that I was anticipating since the first whispers began circulating and I’m so happy to say that it does not disappoint; oh an by the way, I’d suggest grabbing that highlighter while you can because it’s almost surreal. See what I did there?
Media samples kindly provided, all opinions my own