NARS Holiday 2018 Collection Review + Swatches

October 28, 2018

NARS Holiday 2018 Collection Review and Swatches

Holiday beauty launches are in full swing and today I have a look at the NARS Holiday 2018 Collection. This is quite the massive launch with lots of palettes and sets. There are individual pieces as well and some of the products are exclusive to specific retailers. In addition a few items are online only so if you’re shopping places like Sephora or Ulta, I’d recommend checking online first and make your list to save a trip to the store! I received a large press package and dove right in to play! Due to the large number of items it has taken me a long time to swatch and test every single piece. There are some products I did not receive so check online for different variations and palettes.

What I have to review today:

NARS Holiday 2018 Collection Review and Swatches

For the cheeks there are three palettes. Hot Tryst, High Voltage and Orgasm Infatuation. I think there are two hits and one semi-miss. Thoughts and swatches below.

NARS Holiday 2018 Hot Tryst, High Voltage and Orgasm Infatuation Cheek Palettes

Hot Tryst has six colors with a texture/finish that reminds me of the dual-intensity blushes. They’re cream to power and all shimmery. Texture and finish is smooth with sheer-medium color. You can build more intensity with layering or a dense brush. Colors include a pale shimmery pink, soft muted pink, magenta shimmer, champagne gold shimmer, soft peach shimmer and a pink-red shimmer. This is my favorite of the three. Lasting power is excellent. I think every single color is perfect! Swatched with a heavy hand below:

NARS Hot Tryst Palette Swatches Holiday 2018

The next two are trios one is a highlighting palette called High Voltage with three pale highlighters in 1977 a pale champagne, Fort de France available individually, and queen a soft light peachy gold shimmer. I did not have time to swatch or pull side by sides but this has an exisiting shade and as a very similar vibe to two previous trios Banc de Sable and Reve Sale. If you have either of those or Fort de France, I think you can safely skip this one. That being said the colors perform well with soft sheer shimmer. If you’re one who doesn’t want frost and needs a subtle glow this is a nice option.

Then there is the Orgasm Infatuation Palette which is sheer on my medium tan skin. I can make it work better by layering or putting it on top of a cream blush. Based on the vast number of positive reviews on this I think I might have a dud or just be too tan. This has the classic Laguna Bronzer and Orgasm Blush, both of which swatch ok on the arm, but on the face apply sheer. There’s also an Orgasm Highlighting Blush which I find very beautiful and pigmented. It’s the perfect soft peachy highlighter which I hope they will consider making individually full size.

NARS Hih Voltage and Orgasm Infatuation Cheek Palette swatches

For the eyes the Provocateur Eyeshadow Palette was a surprising hit for me! I say surprise because at first glance the colors looked like they would be too cool. I was really impressed with the pigment and the mix of colors and the brick red layered make for an incredibly unique smokey eye. Colors include Vinyl a duochrome vanilla with pink shimmer, Endless Party matte deep red, Exploit a shimmering brown with blue-violet flashes, Screech sparkling silver, Smash it Up deep shimmery navy, Not for Sale deep plum. Pigment is smooth and some of the shades are sparkly but I don’t think it’s quite to the level I can call glitter. I don’t think I have anything like it! Scroll to the bottom for a look with this palette.

NARS Provocateur Eyeshadow Palette Review Holiday 2018

NARS Provocateur Eyeshadow Palette Review Holiday 2018

I was completely overwhelmed by all the lip options. There is a lot to process with the sets! Many of these lip colors are retailer exclusive and I have a few missing so definitely do some research before deciding on which one to buy if you’re interested.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Sets Holiday 2018

For the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil there are a few sets I have swatched. Update- lip swatches added! I found all of these performed well on the lips. They can look a little dry depending on what your natural lips look like. Pigment is even and smooth though and I find they apply smoothly.

Swatches below:

NARS Manic Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set with Spike, Chaos, Bondage, Vicious (Sephora exclusive) Riot Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set with Clash, Wasted, Riot and Rebel (Nordstrom exclusive)

NARS Manic Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set with Spike, Chaos, Bondage, Vicious (Sephora exclusive) Riot Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Set with Clash, Wasted, Riot and Rebel swatches

Individually there are new Powermatte Lip Lusters which are shimmery versions of the Powermatte Lip Pigments. I think these are solid winners. The formula is shimmery and metallic but very wearable and lasting power is excellent. Anytime anyone asks for a recommendation on a good budge-proof lipstick I always say most lipstick is going to transfer, but the NARS Powermattes are good.

NARS Powermatte Lip Luster Review Holiday 2018

I’m in love with all but one of the colors which include:

  • Hardcore is a metallic pink gold copper
  • Shredded is a muted brown shimmer
  • Shatter is a shimmering mauve
  • Pierce is a metallic brick red on my lips
  • Combat is the perfect deep shimmery plum
  • Blackheart this is the only color I do not like, it applies and performs well, color is just very scary looking on my complexion


NARS Powermatte Lip Luster Review Holiday 2018

NARS Powermatte Lip Luster Review Holiday 2018

Then there are the Spiked Audacious Lipsticks in three shade options. Each color also exclusive to specific retailers. I do think this makes it a little confusing with all these exclusives. Sometimes it can be fun to hunt them down but for me during the holidays I don’t really want to be hopping from store to store! Online shopping does make it all a million times easier but only if you know what you want. Formula is true to the Audacious formula – super creamy, smooth, not heavy and has a slight sheen for a finish. Every time I wear one of these it makes me wonder why I don’t wear these all the time.

NARS Holiday 2018 Spiked Audacious Lipsticks Sheena, Nancy and Siouxsie

NARS Holiday 2018 Spiked Audacious Lipsticks Sheena, Nancy and Siouxsie

NARS Audacious Spiked Lipstick Swatches Holiday 2018

Then there are the Little Fetishes sets which have minis of cheeks and lips. These make for really cute stocking stuffers! A quick peek at the Laguna/Fort de France Duo and Mona/Rita Lipstick Duo. I didn’t swatch because I’m keeping these as gifts!

NARS Little Fetishes Laguna and Fort de France

Beauty look wearing the following items along with another closer look at my new highlights! Also I know in one of the photos it looks like I’m applying something on the cheeks with an eyeshadow brush – I assure you I’m not! It’s just one of the eyeshadow pictures I took but I was lowering the brush.

NARS Holiday 2018 Beauty Look

Worn on the face, press samples have a *:

That wraps up my NARS holiday 2018 collection review! There’s a lot to look at and as usual I would say my recommendations for palettes should be based on the colors you think you’re drawn to or think you will wear. Quality-wise most everything performed well for me. I would say the misses are the Orgasm Infatuation Palette, Blackheart Powermatte Lip Luster and if you have very dry lips you will need to use a primer under the Matte Lip Pencils but I think some of the colors and really good. My top picks: Hot Tryst Cheek Palette, Provocateur Eyeshadow Palette, Audacious Lipsticks in Sheen and Siouxsie and the Powermatte Lip Luster in Combat.

You can find the NARS Holiday collection out now. Everything is limited-edition. There’s a good portion of the collection you can find at NARS retailers but the exclusives are listed above. Available at NARS Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York.

Have you checked out the NARS Holiday 2018 collection yet? What did you think? Was it a hit or miss?

NARS Holiday 2018 collection provided for review.

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  • Porsha Troost October 28, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Would definitely love to see some lip swatches! Thank you!

  • Truth Lacks Lyricism October 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I always looks forward to holiday releases from Nars! Thank you for this overview 🙂 I’d appreciate seeing lip swatches as well.

  • Corrie Arnold October 28, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    I’m obsessed with NARS, I’m especially loving the palettes this year. they’re isn’t a shade I wouldn’t use in the Provocateur palette. You look you beaut!

    Corrie | Corrie Arnold

  • Arianna October 28, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    The Orgasm Infatuation palette looks amazing! 💕

    Arianna |

  • Anne Capitant October 28, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    I absolutely love their LE Audacious lipsticks this year! I got the mini Rita/Mona set as I’ve been meaning to get both shades anyways, and then I went and got ALL three of the LE spiked ones and each online store (mainly spurred by the sephora sale, and then the retail therapy spirit came over me lol). I’m not as impressed by the lip pencil sets this year as when I swatched them in store a lot of the shades looked almost identical and completely dupable on my skintone, so I got to put the money I would have spent on one of those sets towards the Audacious lineup.

  • Bernadette October 29, 2018 at 6:26 am

    There is so much I want to try from Charlotte tilbury I don’t even know where to begin! The filter primer, pressed powder, loose setting powder and stars in your eyes palette are at the top of the list.

  • Suzanna October 29, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Your hair looks fantastic! Wonderful complement to your skin tone. What a great job.

    I am relieved that I don’t need to buy anything from any holiday makeup, so far. I love Nars but I have the Banc de Sable and various blushes already, plus Wanted palette.

  • Hannelore Gurbet October 29, 2018 at 8:29 am

    The eyeshadow palette is just amazing. Hope it comes quickly to the UK.

  • BlushandPearls October 29, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Gorgeous collection! I love all the lip shades and had a hard time picking a favourite shade out of the bunch.

    Angela at Blush & Pearls

  • Nicole October 29, 2018 at 7:25 am

    Oh wauw, I knew all of the cheek palettes were going to be stunning. But I’m really impressed by how pretty the shades in the eyeshadow palette are. They aren’t as predictable as they can sometimes be, but they are still really pretty and wearable in my opinion.


  • Huong Vo October 29, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    I always look forward to your reviews, Sabrina! Such a great Monday pick-me-up! I had the Hot Tryst palette in my Sephora cart for a few days and decided to wait for your review to make sure I was right about my pick, ha! I was surprised that I liked ALL of the shades of the lip matte pencils, but my favorite if I had to pick are Vicious, Wasted and Zipped. I really liked the lip luster shade in Combat too.

    I must say you look lovely in the deeper plum shades. Makes me want to branch out a little since we have the same skin tone. Waiting for the Sephora sale to dive in to some of these products!

    And side note, your new highlights really show in these pictures and it looks SO good!

    She Sweats Diamonds

  • cpbebe October 29, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Your new highlights are fabulous!!!! Thanks for a wonderful, comprehensive review of all these sets. I am loving the nod to Punk Rock with the names Nancy, Siouxsie, Sheena and the safety pin bags. Stay edgy, NARS.

  • MissDemeanor2u October 29, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Great review! NARS is one brand that I look forward to seeing the seasonal and holiday launches, as each is unique, fresh, and exciting to view. I’m also like you, in feeling that Blackheart is too intimidating to wear on its own. Still, I might purchase to experiment mixing it in with other lipstick colors to see the results. By chance, would you also being reviewing his other eye palette (Scandal), as well as the Ransom Velvet Matte lip pencil set?

  • kelleyhasapis1 . October 29, 2018 at 11:12 am

    I was really looking forward to your review. I love Nars and have bought many things based on your reviews. The lip color Shredded looks great on you.

  • DANIELA DODEL October 29, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    I have recently tried my first Nars product (famous pegadme blush) and I think I might have found my second. The highlighter palette looks amazing! Now I just have to save enough to buy it 😅

  • Holly Keyser October 29, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Your highlights are so pretty!! It looks great on you! New hair is so fun. NARS really did an amazing job on this packaging. I recently fell back in love with the Audacious lipsticks, they’re amazing!

  • Catherine Shi October 29, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    You look gorgeous! Thank you for updating with the lip swatches. I love the packaging on Siouxie and it looks like such a great fall/winter color. I actually haven’t tried the Audacious lipsticks yet, so that might be my first.

  • Marina October 29, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    I really love your new hair. you look gorgeous!
    Pouches are definitely must and Provocateur palette is going on my shopping list.

  • Krupa Patel October 29, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Every year I look forward to Nars holiday items. This year it has not disappointed me, but I do have to say this is very much the packaging. The colors are similar to things I can get in other Nars items. The Powermattes are very different so I am excited about those. The cheek palette is something that I want but don’t need. Nars puts out so many and I just can keep up and or justify. So I many have to pass.

  • Alysha Evans October 30, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Immediately ordered the blush palette and soiuxsie lipstick. Nars always kills it with their holiday releases.

  • lawler || yvettemypet November 4, 2018 at 6:54 am

    Combat is gorgeous! Bookmarking for when I decide which lip crayon set to get. But more than anything, I’m really sad I missed that advent calendar! It was a stunner.

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