Monday, May 28, 2018

NARS NARSissist Wanted Cheek Palettes & Lip Kit Swatches & Review

George was auditioning for a NARS mascot role

Unlike the NARSissist Wanted Eye palette that I got, admired, and promptly gave to a friend who rocks these colors far better than I could have ever hoped to do, the two Wanted Cheek palettes were something I knew I'd use and enjoy for a very long time. And I do. Because: blush, highlighters, NARS, no brainer.  It was a huge privilege to get both palettes (they were sent by PR) that saved me endless vacillation before picking out just one, since each palette offers several colors I really really wanted. If I have any criticism at all of the Wanted Cheek palettes is that I suspect I'm not the only person who would have loved to be able to pick the singles myself and put them in the (very pretty) packaging. However, the palettes are edited thoughtfully, well-balanced, and offer five new limited shades each and only one that's part of the permanent collection. This means the value is there and the attention to detail is impressive: the packaging reflects the shades inside, so if like me you own both it's easy to tell which is which without opening the palette.

Palette I
Palette I. The purple at the top right required a bit of building up on my skin so you can see the true shade. 
Palette I is the lighter color story, and it swatches and applies a lot more impressively than the colors appear when resting in their pans. The finishes go from matte to shimmery highlighter, and can be used alone or mixed. That's the reason I adore palettes: they give my inner kindergartener the means to go hog wild with my brushes and blend colors together and create something new and fun.

Top to bottom, left to right: Unlimited (shimmering pale pink champagne, a highlighter that's actually lighter and shinier than in the pan.), Buzzed (matte warm nude-to-orange), Notorious (matte lavender, not my usual color by any mean but mixes well with the warm colors for my own Frankenblush), Kingpin (matte warm rose), Bumpy Ride (permanent. shimmering ethereal pink with a hint of warmth. I love it mixed or on top of Notorious), Crave (matte bright coral, a more muted and less take on the magnificent and long gone Boys Don't Cry).

Palette II

Palette II

Now get your softest most delicate blush brushes for Palette II, because Holy Pigment.  Not that Wanted I is lacking in intensity, but the colors themselves are lighter. Number II is yet another reminder that NARS has always been the go-to brand for colors that show up on every skin tone.

Top to bottom, left to right: PYT (after the Michael Jackson song? metallic warm rose highlighter, rich enough in pigment to wear as a blush alternative on my skin ), Ambition (matte tangerine), Taos (permanent, soft red with a golden pink sheen), Exposed (matte dusty rose, not to be confused with Tarte Exposed blush ), Penthouse (matte raspberry, straight out of the 80s), Queen (matte pink-base red).

All the blushes and highlighters in both palettes are very soft and will kick up some powder especially if you use a stiffer brush (which I wouldn't). You only need a light dip to pick up a good amount, and you'll notice how easily they apply and blend. Blending is key, of course, but that's not exactly news. I like to use a small or medium Yachiyo brush (the NARS one is too large for this, in my opinion) for Wanted I, while Wanted II looks fabulous if you pat the color gently with the flat side of a very soft paddle brush blush and then blend (Korean makeup artist Jung Saem Mool uses this technique in many of her YouTube videos).

Bottom Line: my happy place.

Last, we have NARSissist Wanted Power Pack Lip Kit in Warm Nudes (there are a couple of other kits in Cool Nudes and Hot Reds). These are minis of the Powermatte Lip Pigments, an interesting and wearable but not perfect version of a matte liquid lipstick. I've reviewed the entire line, formula, application, and longevity so I won't repeat it. The Warm Nudes kit includes one permanent color, Get It On, which I've described as a " J Lo beige" and promptly rehomed, and the new Hot Blooded, a terracotta shade that I like much better.

Bottom Line: a decent way to try the formula before investing in a full size.

NARS NARSissist Wanted Cheek Palettes ($59 each, made in Canada) are a limited edition item. Currently available at every store and counter that sells NARS (Ulta, Sephora, department stores,, and I'm probably forgetting a few).

NARSissist Wanted Power Pack Lip Kits ($22, while a full size single is $26) are also limited. It looks like not all stores have all the colors in stock, but Ulta does (yay, points!).

All products in this review were sent for consideration by the brand's PR.

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