NARS holiday collections are where Francois Nars go all out there. Recent years have brought us collaborations with the archives of Nars' biggest icons. While I doubt anything will ever top the NARS + Andy Warhol 2012 collection, this year's partnering with Steven Klein is definitely getting there. I've never felt comfortable with Steven Klein's work. You're not supposed to, really. It's supposed to be disturbing, subversive, and make you feel slightly ashamed. This quote from a New York Magazine article about the photographer is spot on:
"Mindlessly glam fashion photography is a dead or dying form, and Steven Klein, the anti-fashion fashion photographer, helped strangle it."I don't know if I'm okay with it, but I can't stop looking.
The actual combinations of Klein's work with NARS products is only available in the gift sets and palettes of the Fantascene collection. The single items have a simple black/white graphic carrying his name. I have to admit that I'm kind of fine with that. I'd rather have a little more serenity when I open a makeup drawer.
The items I've picked from the collection are exactly that: classic, elegant, serene. The two single eye shadows, Stud (a shimmery pewter that will get taupe lovers to hyperventilate) and the dark murky olive Never Too Late fit in with any neutral wardrobe. And who can resist a high pigment classic red lip gloss? Killer Shine Lip Gloss in Special Force is similar but more red than last year's Burning Love that had a berry undertone. The wand is different: a small pointy brush instead of the doe-foot sponge, and it allows for a very precise application. Always a good thing with intense colors. The gloss is free of scent or taste, and is similar in texture and performance to the recent NARS gloss formula: not too sticky, nice color payoff, average gloss longevity.
The eye shadows are also typically NARS. They're not the softest to the touch, but they perform beautifully on the lid and blend well over every kind of base. There can be a little fallout, depending on the brush you use (and the amount of product it picks). NARS shimmer formula is among the most reliable in terms of texture and pigmentation. Most of us have already plenty of experience working with it, and even NARS newbies will not experience much of a learning curve. They work, they look pretty, and these particular colors work well with each other.
Bottom Line: what's not to like?
NARS Fantascene Steven Klein Collection Holiday 2015 is available from narscosmetics.com. The products you see here were all made in Canada. Stud and Never Too Late are $25 each, Special Force is $28. The gloss and one of the eye shadows were sent to me by the company's PR. I bought the other eye shadow.