NARS Narsissist Unfitered Cheek Palette Review

NARS has two new cheek palettes called the NARSissist Unfiltered Cheek Palettes I and II ($59 each for 0.12 oz / 3.5g x6). These launched early at Sephora for as a Cyber Monday sneak preview for spring launches and I ordered them sight unseen. Update: back in stock now at Sephora but you can enter your email for notification for when they are back in stock. Right now you can find both online at NARS Cosmetics. They launch officially at other counters starting February 1st.

I’ve been a long time NARS fan and I love blush and highlighters. Both of these palettes have good-sized pans, pigment and texture is very good across all colors, and the color options in each are excellent. That being said NARS has released quite a few cheek palettes this year so if you already own other palettes or individual shades I suspect you will have a lot of similar colors or dupes and may want to shop your stash. Each palette has a mix of matte and shimmers shades for blush along with a few lighter colors that can be used as highlighters. These have a colorful tinted cover and come in a very sturdy mirrored compact.

NARSissist Unfiltered Cheek Palettes Packaging

Unfiltered I has deeper and darker tones with a bold vibe. The top three shades in the palette are easy for me to wear for my medium-toned olive skin (for reference I mix NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tints in Groenland and St. Moritz). The bottom three colors are really dark and bold on my skin and I have to use with a super light hand or blend like crazy otherwise they are too dark for my complexion. Colors include:

  • Watch Me a shimmering light gold
  • Me First a shimmering soft peach
  • Takeover a gorgeous bronze nude shimmer (can they please make this in a single?!)
  • Out There is a matte deep reddish brown
  • Chic is a matte plum
  • Exhibit A is a bright vibrant red

NARS NARSissist Unfiltered Cheek Palette I Review via The Beauty Look Book

NARS NARSissist Unfiltered Cheek Palette I Review via The Beauty Look Book

Unfiltered II has lighter cooler tones. Pigment is good but if you are tan to deep these may not show up on you as the colors pull on the lighter side. For me this palette is easier to wear for everyday. Colors are:

  • Conquest a matte baby pink that darkens after it sets
  • Undefeated looks like a medium babydoll pink in the pan, on my skin it applies more like a highlighter
  • Power Play is a medium matte cool pink
  • Hot Sand is a champagne shimmer highlighter (also reviewed here)
  • Fame is a satiny peach
  • Candid is a raspberry shimmer

NARSissist Unfiltered Cheek Palette II review and swatches

NARSissist Unfiltered Cheek Palette II review and swatches

For size comparison, here is a full size blush pan shown below from the Pro Palette Format, the NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette from Spring 2016, a Chanel Blush Brush and Charlotte Tilbury Powder Sculpt Brush.

NARSissist Cheek Studio Spring vs Unfiltered vs Full Size Pan

Two quick looks:

NARSissist Unfiltered Cheek Palettes I and II reviewed by Sabrina of The Beauty Look Book

One last look:

NARSissist Unfiltered Cheek Palettes I and II reviewed by Sabrina of The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line both are solid performers. In previously released NARS palettes the texture can be hit or miss with some shades, but with both of the Unfiltered Cheek Palettes colors and highlighters have consistent quality, pigment and are easy to layer/blend. If you already splurged on other NARS palettes this year you may want to shop your stash. My personal favorite this year is still the NARSissist Dual Intensity Cheek Palette (you can still find it at Nordstrom reviewed and swatched in this post here). Still both of these new launches from NARS have a good mix of colors and finishes in a palette which make them convenient for travel.

Both are limited-edition. I ordered mine from Sephora but you can find them now at NARS Cosmetics. Launching everywhere else later this spring starting February.

Did you try these yet? What did you think?

Tom Ford Winter Soleil 2016 - The Beauty Look Book

The Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil collection has been on my radar for weeks now and I finally caved and splurged on the Soleil Eye and Cheek Palettes in Warm and Cool ($155 each for 0.45 oz / 12.8 g) and four of the Lip Foils ($53 each for 0.1 oz / 3 g). I’m getting this post up quickly for those who are Sephora VIBs in case you want swatches to help you decide on purchasing decisions for the sale so I haven’t been able to do extensive testing. This is going to be more of a first impressions post but having used Tom Ford beauty products for years I can pretty much tell how they will perform right away. Everything is cased in the white and gold packaging with a glowy shimmery feel for holiday. 

Up first are the Lip Foils which are ultra shimmery lipsticks. They have ultra fine mica to give them a reflective look and feel making them almost like foil. If you don’t like frost I’d recommend you try to see if you can swatch before buying sight unseen as these are pricey. I find adding a clear gloss or balm on top helps soften the foiled look (I do it with a lot of MAC Frost Lipsticks). I swatched these at the counter and wanted all six of the colors but limited myself to four.

Tom Ford Winter Soleil 2016 - The Beauty Look Book

Private Life is stunning warm gold foil, Spanish Flame is a peachy metallic, Venus Rising is a cool pink frost, Seadragon is the most stunning metallic plum I’ve ever seen. Pigment is excellent and smooth with easy to build color. Texture is smooth but since these are very metallic they look frosty on the lips. They have a comforting smooth feel on the lips and while they aren’t hydrating they don’t dry out the lips. My heart belongs to Venus Rising and Seadragon but as I know shimmer might not be your thing these won’t be everyone.

Tom Ford Winter Soleil 2016 Lip Foils - The Beauty Look Book

Tom Ford Winter Soleil 2016 - The Beauty Look Book

All four shown on my bare lips, for foundation I’m wearing the Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation in Bisque reviewed and swatched in this post here.

Tom Ford Winter Soleil 2016 Lip Foils - The Beauty Look Book

Two sets of comparisons, note that the Lips and Boys I have were from previous years so some of the shades you might not be available anymore.

Set 1:
Dior Diorific Matte Lipstick in Golden (review here)
Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Rory (from 2014, review here)
Tom Ford Lip Foil in Private Life
Tom Ford Lip Color in Guilty Pleasure (review here)
Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer in Skinnydip (review here)
Tom Ford Lip Color in Spanish Pink
Tom Ford Lip Color Matte in First Time (review here)

Set 2:
Tom Ford Lip Color Shine in Quiver (on lips here)
Tom Ford Lip Foil Venus Rising
Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Ansel, Jake, Jude, Drake, Daniel (from 2015, on lips here)
MAC Frost Lipstick in Plum Dandy
MAC Frost Lipstick in “O”

Tom Ford Winter Soleil 2016 - The Beauty Look Book

Up next are the Soleil Eye and Cheek Palettes which I completely love – 100%! It’s hard to pick a favorite as both are very good. The texture of the blush and highlighters are silky smooth and buttery soft. The blushes have a lovely natural looking glow on the complexion while I find the highlighters to be more shimmery. The pigment is soft but impressive. Eyeshadows have a mix of shimmer and glitters and are also incredibly soft and well pigmented. They apply on the lids effortlessly for a lovely glow. Both are on the glowy shimmery side.

Both are cased in white and gold rectangular compacts that have an almost clutch-like look to them. They are well made even though they are plastic and have a magnetic closure – for some reason I really like the way the compacts close.

The Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette in Cool has a cool pink blush, cool light pink highlighter, glitter light pink, glitter light lilac, shimmery violet grey, deep plum shimmer. If I were forced to pick just one I would pick this one which surprised me as I usually prefer warmer tones.

Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil 2016 Eye Cheek Palette Cool - The Beauty Look Book

Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil 2016 Eye Cheek Palette Cool - The Beauty Look Book

The Soleil Eye and Cheek Palette in Warm is simply stunning. It only has 1 glitter eyeshadow color. Shades in this are a yellow gold, warm tan gold glitter, soft sandy champagne tan, satiny brown and a soft champagne highlighter.

Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil 2016 Eye Cheek Palette Warm - The Beauty Look Book

Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil 2016 Eye Cheek Palette Warm - The Beauty Look Book

Palettes next to each other so you can see the undertone difference:
Tom Ford Beauty Winter Soleil 2016 Eye Cheek Palettes - The Beauty Look Book

As many of you might be wondering how the shadows in these holiday palettes might compare to existing Tom Ford Eye Color Quads I pulled three to compare including Orchid Haze, Seductive Rose and Nude Dip.

Tom Ford Orchid Haze, Soleil Eye/Cheek Cool, Seductive Rose, Soleil Warm, Nude Dip

All of these made a significant dent in my wallet but I’m thrilled with everything. If I had to narrow down my picks I would skip two of the lip foils in Private Life and Spanish Flame simply because I have similar shimmery colors in my current stash.

I think both palettes are must haves but I am a die hard Tom Ford Beauty fan and love all things glowy that come in pretty packages. These fulfill all of my makeup dreams in terms of palettes and while I do think they should be priced at lower price points, given the price tag of their quads I think it does make sense. I think my readers are split in how they feel about shimmer. I do think everything in this collection is more on the shimmery and glowy side, but I really love the palettes and the lip foils can be toned down easily with clear gloss.

There are a few more items in the Winter Soleil Collection including 2 more Lip Foils in Creme Conque (gorgeous light pink) and Aperture (stunning bronze), Soleil Blanc Dry Oil Spray, Face Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 50 and a Soleil Brush Kit. All are very spendy and as I already have the Soleil Blanc perfume I decided to stick with it (although I haven’t tried the spray, I forgot to check at the counter).

The Winter Soleil collection is limited-edition. You can find all items at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Net-A-Porter, Sephora, Selfridges and other Tom Ford Beauty locations. If you’re a Sephora VIB don’t forget you can save 20% off your orders with code 20VIB through 11/14.

These have been out for a few weeks now, did you check out anything yet?

NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Picks: Give In Take, Indes Galantes, Impudique and Isadora

NARS partnered with French fashion photographer Sarah Moon to create his holiday 2016 collection. There are a lot of beautiful limited-edition palettes and sets. I bought four of the items:

Up first are the Sarah Moon Collection items. There are individual colors for eyes, lips and cheeks. The lips are all in the Matte Lipstick Formula so I passed. Indes Galantes Eyeshadow Duo is a shimmering gunmetal and matte cranberry plum shade. Together they make for an interesting smoky eye but I can’t wear them alone. I need an additional color like a light neutral such as NARS Himalia or any of the lighter neutral duos to help blend and create a full eye look. Pigment and texture wise both shades are excellent.

For the Sarah Moon Blushes I bought them as an impulse buy at the counter. I have an extensive blush stash and probably did not need either of these but I was really impressed with the lovely soft rose almost mauve tone of Isadora. It’s rare for me to find pink mauve blushes with that kind of sheen/shimmer. It has some warmth in the shimmers so it doesn’t pull muddy on my complexion. Impudique is a brighter warm raspberry shimmer which I tried at the counter and fell in love with as well. Both are smooth and have a natural sheen and are not overly shimmery. Pigment is rich but easy to blend and apply on the skin.

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Picks

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Picks

The Give In Take Dual-Intensity Eye and Cheek Palette is a Sephora exclusive. It has six Dual-Intensity Shadows and three Dual-Intensity Cheek products. All the colors are exclusive to the palette and are different from the existing full size color options. This is a beautiful soft and smoky kind of palette but it turned out to be completely different from what I expected. I ordered this sight unseen online (as of last week I still haven’t seen it at my Sephora stores). I expected full pigment rich colors and shimmers as I experience with most of the dual-intensity products. The colors in this palette are a lot softer with a more muted finish that isn’t really intense as the product name implies. The blushes are extremely sheer – I can build them for a soft natural glow but on my medium olive skin it’s very very soft.

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Give In Take

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Give In Take
I had to swatch with a very heavy hand to get the colors to show up on my arm. I hope this shows how you can build and layer the colors. These were applied with a dry brush, to get more intense color apply with a dense damp brush.

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Give In Take swatches

For the eyes you have a soft grey ivory shimmer, a dove grey satin, a gunmetal shimmer, white opal, soft grey taupe satin, warm black satin.

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Give In Take

For the cheeks you have a shimmery ivory, a super soft peach and a soft baby pink shimmer.

The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016 Give In Take

Here’s a look with the Dual Intensity Eyeshadows used from the top row, Indes Galantes Duo, all three  Dual-Intensity palette blushes swirled and applied on cheeks. Lips are Louboutin Altareva (reviewed here). Foundation is NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland and concealer is NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Macadamia.

Shop the look below:


One last look:
The Beauty Look Book NARS Sarah Moon Holiday 2016
Overall some lovely items for holiday that are nice but not must-haves. If I were to narrow down my pick to 1 item it would most likely be just the Isadora Blush. All the colors are made extremely well with high quality and with good color payoff. The palette is a very good one – it was just different from what I expected. If you like soft looking glowy makeup and find most shimmers too shimmery you will absolutely love this one. I like the looks it can create – I just expected something more intense and dramatic for holiday.

You can find the Sarah Moon collection items now at all NARS counters. The items are limited-editino. Online at NARS Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Don’t forget today 11/7 is the last day for Sephora VIB Rouge Members to receive 20% off purchases with code 20ROUGE at checkout.

If you hauled anything let me know in the comments!

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush - The Beauty Look Book

Surratt Beauty is one of those harder to find beauty brands that I’ve played with here and there over the past few years. It’s a makeup line designed by artist Troy Surratt and I discovered it a while back when it was exclusive to Barneys New York and am thrilled that products have expanded to Sephora and Space NK. I’ve liked most of the products I’ve tried from his line, in particular some of his lip products like his Prismatique Lips, Lipsliques and Lip Lustres. Today I have a review of his Artistique Blush ($32 each for 0.14 oz/4g, made in Japan). I bought several last year but never got around to reviewing them. There have been some new additions that I ordered online sight unseen and they arrived last week just in time for me to test them out to review for the Sephora VIB Rouge Sale.

I have 10 shades to review today and most of them are very light in color. I ordered the newer shades sight unseen and did not know what to expect color-wise but they are excellent in color, pigment and texture. First a few notes on the blushes themselves. They are made with a unique Japanese technique called “slurry” which makes them super lightweight and fine in texture, almost making them feel like a soft silk pillow. They come in individual pans and there are separate compacts you can purchase to put the blush inside. At $32 each they are extremely pricey – to fill a larger compact with 3 blushes costs $118 ($32 x 3 + $22 for 1 compact). The ones I ordered last year were 6 g each and the ones I ordered last week indicate the product amount has been reduced to 4 g. Update – I just received an email from the Surratt Team informing me that the weight of the blushes has always been 4 g and was not reduced, the original ones were labeled incorrectly due to a typo.

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush - The Beauty Look Book

The products are not magnetic – they have an adhesive sticker which I’ve kept on to make the pans easier to interchange in compacts. Given the price points I do think it would be nice to have magnetic pans.
Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush - The Beauty Look Book

Overall they have a very soft natural looking finish and feel. They are among the most natural looking finish blushes I’ve tried. They meld unlike anything else on the skin. There are a number of great blushes on the beauty market. The ones from Surratt Beauty are unique in their finely milled texture. Even the shimmers look incredibly natural on the face. I do believe there are some more pigmented options but the ones I have are so natural they are impossible to overdo.

Colors I have include matte, satin and shimmers:

Top Row, left to right:

  • Coup de Genie is a perfect peachy champagne highlight, it has the prettiest shimmer and warmth to it which is just perfect
  • Cherubique is a warm pink rose shimmer
  • La Rosee du Soir is a satiny nude pink with a matte finish
  • Angelique is a shimmering beige peach champagne
  • Chaleur is a tan peach matte

Bottom Row, left to right:

  • Grisalle is a light taupe grey nude matte
  • Duchesse is a super pale light peach matte
  • Aureole is a white gold shimmer
  • Parfait is a peachy cantaloupe matte
  • Guimauve is a sheer cool baby pink matte

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush - The Beauty Look Book

Per the Surratt Beauty team, the ones I bought last year with the 6 g labels were labeled incorrectly and the weight has always been 4 g. Hope this clarifies any confusion if you have older ones labeled differently from the current ones.

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush - The Beauty Look Book

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush Swatches - The Beauty Look Book

A few more close ups shot at angles to show the texture and shimmer:
Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush - The Beauty Look Book

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush - The Beauty Look Book

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush - The Beauty Look Book

The artists I’ve spoken to at the Barneys counters have said the line is inspired by Japanese beauty which is usually very natural. The one word that comes to mind with these is just that, “natural.” The textures are so soft and they don’t really feel like powder. For me the color payoff is better on the face than the arms. Any blush brush will work – I’ve used ones from MAC, Chanel, Marc Jacobs and they all work perfectly.

The mattes are the sheerest on my skin. Grisalle is a super soft contour but on the sheer side. It shows up in a noticeable but natural way and it is what I wanted the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powders to be. Out of the finishes I prefer the shimmers – the pigment is just incredible on the skin and super fine shimmer is very very natural looking.

The quality and finish is excellent but the prices are extremely high for the amount of product you get. That combined with the expensive price point of the compact to house them all is the only thing that has prevented me from buying more and the only reason I bought the ones I did was because of the Sephora sale (from last year and also I was lucky to get an early access last week).

For the ones I picked I think they would only show up on light to medium skin. I do think the shimmers perform better for pigment so if you’re medium tan many of them will probably still show up on you. There are quite a few deeper shades now – I haven’t been able to check them out yet though.

Bottom line excellent quality and beautiful textures but extremely expensive. I’ve found colors that work for me and as I’m getting a bit lighter I can wear most of them now.
You can find Surratt Beauty at Sephora, Space NK and Barneys New York.
If you’re a Sephora VIB Rouge, use code 20ROUGE at checkout for 20% off your orders through 11/7. Sephora VIBs will have access 11/11 to 11/14 with code 20VIB at checkout.




Have you tried Surratt Beauty before? What did you think?

Marc Jacobs Beauty launched five shades of blush called the Air Blush Soft Glow Duo ($42 each for 8 g / 0.282 oz, made in Italy). I bought three of the shades back at the end of July and have been obsessed ever since. It was literally love at first swipe. I was just about to post my review when a surprise press box of all the colors arrived so I re-photographed and re-swatched everything all together for a comprehensive post. There are five colors total and although not new, they recommend the Angled Blush Brush ($38, reviewed here) for application.
The Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush has a similar concept to that of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes (reviewed here) in the sense that both contain two colors in each compact, one being a lighter softer shade and the other being a deeper or brighter blush color. The Hourglass blushes all have a highlighter color swirled in so they have a more luminous shimmer on the skin while the Marc Jacobs Beauty ones have a more satiny finish with less shimmer.

At $42 each I was expecting to be slightly disappointed because they are very expensive and I thought there might be a chance that they would not live up to my expectations because of the price. After testing these though I am pleased to report a thumbs up. They are indeed everything others have been raving about. The texture is indeed silky soft like they claim with a finish that looks like skin (not powdery) and they add a nice radiant natural glow to the cheeks. If you’re one who avoids shimmer blush at all costs but have been wanting something that glows this is it. It has a similar finish on the skin to that of Chanel blushes (US versions) that have a soft shimmer. I’m still not really thrilled about the price but I have no complaints as the quality, finish, packaging and colors are really superb.

The three shades I picked out were Kinks and Kisses, Lush and Libido and Flesh and Fantasy. After testing out the other two shades, I still think my first picks were the best ones for my skintone. These are striped with alternating colors which makes blending the two shades perfect. I really love the fact that each end has a slightly larger area of color so you can actually customize the intensity or color. Swirl the brush more on the left side for a lighter finish or dip it into the right side for more pigment and deeper color.

Colors described as I see them:

  • Kinks and Kisses is the perfect peachy pink mix
  • Flesh and Fantasy is a neutral nude, it has enough warmth so it’s not like a contour powder
  • Night Fever and Hot Stuff is the deepest option, I thought it would be too dark but it’s a very pretty plum with hint of cherry pink
  • Lines and Last Night is a peachy tangerine glow
  • Lush and Libido is a cool-toned orchid pink
Swatched side by side:

A look at each shade individually, up first is Lush and Libido. First two swatches are individual colors, last one is swirled. This is the same for all the other swatches below:

Lines and Last Night:

Kinks and Kisses:

Flesh and Fantasy:

Night Fever and Hot Stuff:

A few comparison swatches to show the difference in pigment, undertone and shimmer. What I like about the Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush is that they look soft and luminous on the skin, but the luminosity is diffused unlike other glowy products so if you photograph with a flash there’s no glare like with other strong shimmers.

  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta (reviewed here) is warmer than MJB Lush and Libido (I have a very slight preference for the Hourglass one just because I like warmer colors, but both are very pretty)
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Incandescent Electra (review here) is lighter, cooler toned, and more glowy than MJB Lines and Last Night or Kinks and Kisses
  • Becca Luminous Blushes in Foxglove and Dahlia (reviewed here) are a lot more pigmented and intense and offer a more dramatic glow 

Two looks, left shows Lines and Last Night on the cheeks, right shows Lush and Libido:

Other makeup worn:

Bottom line thumbs up. These have the perfect in between mix of satin and shimmer. They are luminous in a very natural sense so there’s no glare from shimmer or frost, yet there’s enough glow to give the skin that soft sheen. They are powdery so there is kick up like with most powder blushes. There’s no detectable scent in these which is a huge plus for someone like myself who has a sensitive nose. Even better – these don’t emphasize pores or imperfections on the cheeks. No irritation either. They do warm up on the skin very slightly but don’t darken a lot. In terms of lasting power I found these did stay put from morning to late afternoon without fading or sliding. I still am unsure how I feel about the $42 price tag but then I have paid more for Chanel, Tom Ford, NARS Dual Intensity Blushes to name a few. In my mind I still think of blush as something that should be in the $18 to $35 range at most but I like the decent sized compact and the fact that they don’t waste compact space on a mini brush which I usually find useless in most powder or blush compacts.

In terms of the brushes to use, any blush brush will do. I tried this with the recommended Marc Jacobs Beauty Angled Brush (which I had from holiday) and this gives the most sheer and natural finish on the cheeks. The bristles are soft and while they do pick up color, they dispense a sheer wash of color. I also tried this with the Chanel Blush Brush and MAC Angled Contour Brush #168 (both my most reached for blush brushes) and both worked equally well. They did pick up more color than the one from Marc Jacobs. I like those two because the size is perfect for my cheek shape and face size.

Although these are spendy I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you splurge on one. There’s nothing bad I can say about these. Formula and packaging are both on point. There seems to be a wide range of colors to suit anyone’s taste and I do think they are shades that are versatile no matter what skin tone or undertone you have.

You can find the Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duos at Marc Jacobs Beauty, Sephora, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

Blushes and brush gifted by the Marc Jacobs Beauty team for review, although I did also purchase three of the shades to test out long before I discovered a press box was on it’s way.