NARS x Man Ray Collection for Holiday

October 20, 2017

NARS Man Ray Holiday 2017 Review + Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

NARS has seriously outdone themselves with their NARS x Man Ray holiday launch this year. This season they’ve launched a collection of individual colors, palettes and sets inspired by modern artist Man Ray. This is one of the first makeup launches that has me really excited about holiday – they’ve created a nice range of options so I think there is something for everyone. The collection launched exclusively at NARS online for the first part of October and now items are starting to trickle in at other counters. There’s quite a bit in this collection and I’m thrilled to be able to feature a lot of the items, but do note there are other sets and items available exclusive to certain retailers like Nordstrom and Sephora. You may have to do some shopping around to find the color sets you have your eyes on.

I’ve split my review into product category: eyes, cheeks and lips + one set. For the eyes this season we have shadows and pencils:

  • Duo Eyeshadow in Debauched ($36) is a richly pigmented duo of cool-toned plums. There is a smooth plum shimmer and a blackened purple with tiny violet glitter flecks. Both have good smooth pigment, the deeper shade is probably best applied in a patting motion or liner.
  • Duo Eyeshadow in Montparnasse ($36) has a smooth texture of shimmers with a soft warm pale gold champagne shimmer and maroon shimmer. Both swatch well with good pigment, but on my eyes the plum shade applies on the semi-sheer side once blended. To get more pigment you either have to pack it on over a cream shadow or with a dense brush.
  • Velvet Eyeliner in Nagoya ($24) is one of the most beautiful violet cream shades I’ve ever seen but it’s a color I don’t see myself wearing on the eyes. Application is a bit sheer but the color is so pretty!
  • Velvet Eyeliner in Santiago ($24) is a sheer shimmering auburn color, it makes for a good subtle liner for the lower lash line to add definition without looking harsh. However formula is sheer which I find a bit odd for a liner where I usually think you’d want more intense pigment.
  • Eyeshadow Palette Glass Tears (not shown)

NARS x Man Ray Eyeshadows | The Beauty Look BookNARS Man Ray Debauched, Montparnasse, Nagoya, Santiago Man Ray Swatches | The Beauty Look Book


For the cheeks we have beautiful highlighters, blushes and a stunning palette:

  • Powder Blush in Fetishized ($30) is a bright warm reddish pink, but once applied it’s not quite as warm or red as it looks in the pan. It has a subtle sheen to it but the pigment overall is very intense. I could not pull this one off alone but it looks amazing as a layering or mixing color, especially if you soften with a highlighter or warm it up with bronzer.
  • Powder Blush in Intensely ($30) is a very smooth matte semi-sheer orange cream color. Texture is dreamy and soft with flawless application. I often find orange blushes surprising because they can actually be quite flattering and different than what you’d expect. On my skintone alone this one just looked like orange candy, almost like Tic-Tacs. Again this is a great one for layering to warm up colors or even mixed with a highlighter. That’s the beauty of a lot of NARS colors – you can layer and mix and the result is often really pretty.
  • Overexposed Glow Highlighter in Double Take ($42) is a stunning highlighter, it’s all kinds of gorgeous with the warm gold with slight peachy tones. It has a smooth almost creamy feel with intense shimmer that you can blend out or layer for that super shimmery highlight. Swatch comparisons below to the Banc de Sable shades and some from Dior.
  • The Veil Cheek Palette with Laguna, Lovesick, Surreal ($49) is another beautiful color and if I had to pick one thing from the entire collection it would be this palette. Laguna is the Sun Wash formula which is a stiffer almost hybrid kind of formula. The full size ended up being a bit muddy on me, but as most NARS fans know – the Laguna individually (regardless of formula) isn’t always the same as the ones you get in the palettes. The palette Laguna is still very stiff and sheer, but it’s not quite as muddy. Lovesick is like a dual-intensity blush formula and is a rich coral with a sheen. It’s almost identical to the powder blush Fetishized but the formula makes it more wearable. Surreal is a similar formula to the Banc de Sable palette and the Overexposed Double Take Highlighter. It’s intense with a pretty peachy tan shimmer.

NARS Man Ray Cheeks | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Man Ray Cheeks | The Beauty Look Book

Beauty breakdown:

NARS x Man Ray The Veil Cheek Palette and Montparnasse Duo with Barbara Lipstick

Some highlighter swatch comparisons below. If you own Banc de Sable the new holiday highlighters have a very similar effect in terms of formula, texture and shimmer. Colors are close and similar but not identical. I’ve also included two of the Diorskin Nude Air Luminizers (all on my face here). The NARS vs Dior both have that intense shimmer but smooth almost creamy feel (yet they are still powders).

NARS Man Ray vs Banc de Sable and Diorskin Nude Air Luminizers

Update 10/21: I re-swatched the comparisons with a denser brush. The original comparisons above looked a little washed out due to the curve of my arm combined with blending using a larger brush. A more dense application shows that Surreal is closer in color to Embruns than it looks when it’s blended out more. Same order below just swatched with a MAC 239 brush.

NARS Man Ray vs Banc de Sable and Diorskin Nude Air Luminizers swatches

This year the Becca x Chrissy Teigen palette has been my favorite face palette launch (review + beauty look here). It’s wearable, easy to layer and I love the color combinations. At first glance I thought the NARS might be exactly the same, but it’s deeper, warmer and a bit more intense. If I had to pick one it would be a tough call. Both are extremely versatile and you can increase or soften intensity depending on what brushes you use or how much you layer product.

Becca Chrissy Teigen vs NARS The Veil swatches


For the lips, the Man Ray collection has four glosses in a new formula called Photogloss Lip Lacquer then there are lots of sets with a mix of colors:

NARS Man Ray Photogloss Lip Lacquer, Velvet Glide Pencil Set, Audacious Lipstick Set | The Beauty Look BookNARS Man Ray Photogloss Lip Lacquer, Velvet Glide Pencil Set, Audacious Lipstick Set swatches | The Beauty Look Book

There’s a new formula called Photogloss Lip Lacquer ($26 each) which is super opaque and glossy without being thick or tacky-feeling. These have serious pigment and smooth finish. Lasting power is excellent for a gloss and there was no color bleeding along the sides.

  • Photogloss Lip Lacquer in Zambeze is a yellowed-beige cream
  • Photogloss Lip Lacquer in Off Limits is a bright sparkling fuchsia purple
  • Photogloss Lip Lacquer in Kiki is a blood-red semi-sheer, the sheerness made it a tiny bit streaky looking, it can be smoothed out if you apply over a liner or lipstick
  • Photogloss Lip Lacquer in Muse is a shimmering gold, the color and shimmer was a bit patchy looking once applied but there is no gritty texture and you can blend it out for a smoother finish

NARS Man Ray Photogloss Lip Lacquer Swatches

  • The Kiss Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set ($49, Sephora exclusive) has four full-sized Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, I really love this set – they look better in person than in these photos. Pigment is smooth with a soft matte finish. They have a very airy feel to them and glide on the lips nicely. Lasting power is about average for a lipstick, they will fade after a few hours and transfer to cups if you drink, but I don’t mind reapplying. This set comes in a shiny gold zippered pouch:
    • Endangered Red is a soft muted deep vampy red
    • Spellbound is a pretty shimmering pale pink
    • Toundra is a muted plum-brown with shimmer
    • Wild Ways is a shimmering soft tan bronze

NARS Man Ray The Kiss Velvet Glide Lip Pencil Set Swatches Sephora

  • Audacious Lip Coffrett in Noire Et Blanche, not shown ($55, Sephora exclusive) with Lee, Dolores, Josephine and Charlotte Audacious Lipsticks
  • Audacious Lip Coffrett in Les Amoureux ($55, Nordstrom exclusive) with pretty neutrals that aren’t boring. I had forgotten how much I loved this formula of lipstick, Barbara was a staple for a long time for me. I need to use it more often. The lipsticks in these sets are miniature sized. The coffretts come in a round dome case.
    • Ady light peachy orange cream
    • Ardon medium rose
    • Jane coral
    • Barbara perfect nude pink beige

NARS Man Ray Les Amoureux Audacious Lipstick Coffret


Then there are a number of duos with minis called Love Triangle ($24 each). Different color combinations are available at different retailers. I have the Deep Throat + Barbara duo which is available at Sephora. These aren’t full-sized, they’re minis and I think they’re great options for stocking stuffers or something under the $25 mark.

NARS Man Ray Love Triangle Barbara + Deep Throat NARS Man Ray Love Triangle Barbara + Deep Throat


That wraps it up for my look at NARS x Man Ray for holiday. There’s a lot to pick from! My top picks include The Veil Cheek Palette trio, Double Take Highlighter, Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set and the Audacious Lipstick Set. Quality and pigment is on point for everything except the two Velvet Eyeliners (a bit sheer) and the gold lip gloss (just a bit patchy-looking on application). The blushes are excellent quality but for me require layering to work, alone they don’t quite look right on my olive skintone but they are beautiful if you mix them.

All the items are limited-edition. You can find them available now although you’ll have to do some hunting to find all the pieces as some are exclusive to certain places. Online now at NARS, Nordstrom, and Sephora. They should arrive at other retailers very soon.

Have you tried anything from the collection yet? What did you think?

NARS x Man Ray items provided courtesy of NARS for review.

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  • bisbee704 October 20, 2017 at 11:12 am

    This looks nice…but I decided to no longer patronize NARS when they decided to do animal testing in order to expand their market.

  • Pumpkin Lemonade October 20, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    This is the holiday collection I’ve been most excited to see. I’m gonna have to get my hands on Double Take – it looks so beautiful!

    Pumpkin Lemonade

  • Kyla Ewing October 20, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Oh My!! What a beautiful collection!

  • Alix October 20, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Great write-up. Never even noticed the Barbara color before — will have to check it out!. How would you say it compares to the Vanessa shade?

    • BeautyLookBook October 24, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      Vanessa is cooler in undertone and more pink/mauve while Barbara is more beige/nude.

  • thineownself October 21, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I got Fetishized, Intensely is way too orange i think for most everyone. I am going to get the Nordstrom exclusive coffret (or face regret and trying to find it on ebay a year from now). i skipped the h/l as i have Banc but now i see they are different enough. i would like the Veil but darn it, how many times are they going to put Laguna in a palette?

  • Yvonne Ashon October 21, 2017 at 11:35 am

    The colors are absolutely gorgeous.

  • Frankly Flawless October 22, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I love Nars and their collections never disappoint. The lip colours look stunning, especially Kiki – it’s a beauty x

  • Carolina October 23, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I love this collection! For now I only bought the Double Take highlighter and I can’t wait for it to arrive, it looks gorgeous! xx

    Carolina’s Makeup Life

  • tasa October 23, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    It has been a long time since I’ve been tempted by Nars, but Double Take may just be mine ๐Ÿ™‚

    • BeautyLookBook October 24, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      It is a pretty one ๐Ÿ™‚

  • inkchick October 23, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    The entire collection looks simply stupendous! Thanks for swatching because that makes it even more desirable than ever!

  • missjbn October 23, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Oh men, nars been killing it on their new releases. And now a new limited collection?! I need that veil cheek palette ๐Ÿ˜

  • Maria Luiza Fatahi Bandpey October 23, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    That highlighter looks gorgeous! Would you please review La Mer pressed and loose powder and foundation, if you can? Thanks for your beautiful blog!

  • Shelby October 23, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    I will definitely be getting the Audacious Lip Coffrett from Nordstrom. The Off Limits lip lacquer is really calling my name gorgeous. The mini sets are perfect for gifting. Thanks, Sabrina!

  • Anne Capitant October 23, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    I have my eye on the Audacious Lip Coffrett and the Veil Cheek Palette, but I’ll have to check my stash for dupes first. Gotta pay down some medical bills (but I FINALLY got a diagnosis after 5 1/2 years!) so have to take that into account.

    • nic October 24, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Congrats on finally getting a diagnosis! I know it sucks to congratulate that, but I know how it feels. Treat yourself!

  • Shelly October 23, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Trying to resist but Toundra and that highlighter are calling my name!

  • Megan October 23, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    You are rocking this NARS Sabrina. I like this collection but then I tend to like NARS’s collaborations. I wonder, have you ever done a post on your most used makeup in different categories? For someone who tries as much as you do, it would be interesting to know what stands out to you. BTW if you like the NARS and Dior highlighters, you should pick up the Make Up For Ever ones– the formula is basically the same as the Dior ones.

    • BeautyLookBook October 24, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      I have not done a post like that in a while. This year has been a tough one for me as I’ve moved a lot, by the end of the year I’ll have moved 5-6 times. I had to put a lot of things in storage as we’re living a nomadic life and haven’t been able to have immediate access to a lot of things (not just makeup).

      Maybe next year or once we settle down!

      • Megan October 24, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        That makes sense, sorry it’s been a hard year! I hope things get less tough for you. It’s brave of you to embrace what life has for you in terms of living a more nomadic life. Your blog is always a bright spot in my day x

        • Renae Evans October 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm

          Me too! Be blessed Sabrina!

  • Kristy Michael (WalkaboutKrist October 23, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Those little love triangles are calling my name! Such a great way to add variety to my kit for less money.

  • Lori Cinar October 23, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    I already had my eye on the Barbara/Deep Throat Love Triangle (what a weird scucession of words lol) but these swatches sealed the deal!

  • Nga Nguyen October 23, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    I love all 3 triangles and the highlighter. Thinking of getting the lipgloss and blush palette

  • Kim October 23, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Thank you for the comparison swatches of Double Take! It’s so stunning!!

  • Linda S. October 24, 2017 at 12:07 am

    That blush palette is calling my name.

  • Joni October 24, 2017 at 2:16 am

    I really love Montparnass + that second liner, and two of the color trio sets I saw on the nars website were also calling my nameโ€” Iโ€™m hoping they end up in stores as well so I can order things all at once!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • BeautyLookBook October 24, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      They should be at counters now!

  • Olivia October 24, 2017 at 5:02 am

    The cheek palette is stunning and going straight on my holiday wishlist!

  • Cory Hitt October 24, 2017 at 6:14 am

    barbara looks lovely. thanks for such great content, as always!
    x cory

  • Laura Siniscalchi October 24, 2017 at 8:06 am

    So pretty…

  • Megan Harrington October 24, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Santiago seems like such an interesting eyeliner shade – dupes aren’t immediately coming to mind for me? I guess that means I have to have it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • BeautyLookBook October 24, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Me neither, quite unique! Although I want to say Marc Jacobs might have a similar color?

  • Kate Rebmann October 24, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I love the Love Triangles! Those would be great presents!

  • Melissa.rva October 24, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    All the collection is amazing, so beautiful !! I can’t make a choice between Ardon and Jane !

  • Gail A October 24, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Haven’t purchased NARS in a while – what a deal those Matte Pencils are – think I will have to check them out and the lip bag is just too darn cute.

  • Roxana October 25, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Seen the new collection and I might give a try next time I’m out for shopping! The lipsticks look amazing!

  • Laura Schmaltz October 25, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Wow – great swatches! I donโ€™t think there is one item in this collection that I wouldnโ€™t wear. โ™ฅ๏ธ

  • Renae Evans October 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Girllll! I thought I was the only one that felt that the BECCA X Chrissy Teigen was the palette of the year!
    I must have this one too!!!
    Donโ€™t you agree!
    Can you do an Instagram post with the single highlighter on, please?!
    ๐Ÿ™ thanks

  • Bretagna2232 November 5, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Thank you so much for posting! I swear you are the only one who has reviewed the pencil set. ๐Ÿ™‚