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NARS Fall 2011 Collection — A Charming Chameleon


The genial François Nars tends to derive inspiration from cultural periods, geographical areas, architectural and interior decor styles, or fiercely individualistic art, music, and style icons when creating each of his namesake brand’s seasonal cosmetics collections. Surprisingly, then, the NARS Fall 2011 collection is devoid of any conceptual paradigm or esoteric muse. Instead, the collection vies for avant garde status via the sheer juxtaposition of similar disparate shades.

A muted chestnut-tinged pinky nude, a shimmering peach, and a perky hibiscus pink yield a youthful, understated vibe, which is then rivaled by darker, more mysterious, and decidedly more adult colors ranging from a deep kumquat plum to a creamy stormy gray, a sparkling moss green, and a smoky, taupe-ish gray. And, since no NARS collection would ever be complete without an element of surprise, bold hues emerge unexpectedly — most notably, via the Outremer Single Eyeshadow, an electric cobalt blue that rivals last year’s purple Daphne Single Eyeshadow in terms of its riveting intensity and audaciousness quotient.

Below, you’ll find photos of all the products in the collection, swatches of the standout offerings, and more juicy commentary on how each performs.




When it comes to eye makeup, three is never a crowd — case in point: the NARS Trio Eyeshadow palettes, now in their third season in existence (Cap Ferrat and Calanque being the first two editions). This season, the color palette is moody and posh.The NARS Delphes Trio Eyeshadow ($45 at NARScosmetics.com) incorporates: a shimmering, slightly translucent, effervescent, golden peach pink reminiscent of rose champagne in warm candlelight; a muted gray with cool lilac undertones and a dusky, almost hazy finish; and an olive-tinged moss green saturated with golden pearl particles.

Below, you’ll find swatches of all three colors in the Delphes Trio Eyeshadow:


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Unlike the Delphes Trio Eyeshadow, the NARS Grand Palais Duo Eyeshadow ($33 at NARScosmetics.com) is as perky and understated as a blushing bride on her big day, combining a luminous taupe infused with an all-over sheen with a deep tea rose shade that feels earthy and rootsy. The shades have a carnal feel to them thanks to the fleshy tones, adding a dose of understated eroticism to the collection.

Checkout the two shades below:


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The tour de force in this collection is the NARS Outremer Single Eyeshadow ($23 at NARScosmetics.com), a richly pigmented cobalt blue that makes the tints in peacock feathers look positively timid. The eyeshadow feels moist and velvety on the skin, but it has a powdery, near matte finish. The color is intense from the very first brush stroke, but its power can be amplified with every additional layer.

Here’s a swatch of this electrifying blue shadow:


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Though the NARS Pago Pago Lipstick ($24 at NARScosmetics.com) is billed as a “shimmering pink,” the sheer lip color has more of a tawny nude quality. The lipstick is sheer without lacking in pigment so that, when applied to lips, it appears to give the pout a glaze-like effect. Against the natural rosiness of your lips, the color looks like a slightly peachy nude with just a touch of white shimmer particles.

In terms of its texture, the Pago Pago Lipstick feels comfortable, hydrating lips and allowing them to breathe. You may need a touch-up or two throughout the day, but you won’t have to worry about the color creasing, feathering, or leaving lips dry and flaky.

Take a look at the Pago Pago Lipstick below:


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The NARS Oasis Lip Gloss ($24 at NARScosmetics.com) is described as a “sparkling pink champagne,” but the color packed way more punch, reminding me of a pink macaroon or a watered-down strawberry milkshake. The lip gloss has a sheerness that makes lips appear icy, as if they were coated in vinyl, and there’s only a sprinkle of shimmer that looks like tiny icicle droplets on your pout.

Here’s a swatch of the Oasis Lip Gloss:


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The NARS Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24 at NARScosmetics.com) coats lips with a full-bodied, plum-y, dark berry color that’s reminiscent of acai juice or black currant extract. The color on the tip of this jumbo-sized pencil practically melts on the mouth thanks to the vitamin E in the formula, which also conditions lips and protects them from free radicals. That being said, because this color is so very dark, you should make sure to exfoliate lips and hydrate them thoroughly before applying it onto your pout. Otherwise, the color will seem to concentrate on those raised, chapped flakes and deep creases.

Here’s the sophisticated color which, while matte, appears nuanced and multi-dimensional rather than flat and monolithic.


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We’ve been hearing that gray is the new black for ages now but, given the many iterations of the shade revealed via nail polish lacquers, there may be something to this saying. After seasons of dove grays, asphalt shades, and edgy gunmetals, we’re now seeing creamy dark grays that are vamp-y and dangerous. The NARS Galion Nail Polish ($17 at NARScosmetics.com), for example, has the intense color of a tornado funnel but the milkiness of the formula gives it an added posh quality.

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