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NARS x Sarah Moon // Dual-Intensity Eye & Cheek Palette

NARS x Sarah Moon // Dual-Intensity Eye & Cheek Palette

I love the dual intensity line by NARS. The colors are so rich, and the formula so much fun to work with, wet or dry. But, since I don't actually own that much of the line - one single eyeshadow and one blush - I took this chance to really up my collection.

The packaging is really beautiful. The compact has the same image as the box, and without the typical black rubberized coating this case will be much easier to keep clean. There's a frosted overlay with the text "NARS Sarah Moon" printed on it and then the desaturated photographic image is underneath. It's not holographic, but there's definitely a dimensional effect.

The shape of the compact is perfect! You can hold it like a compact and with such a large mirror you can see your entire face. It makes me wonder why all larger palettes aren't longer than wider. I find the wider palettes more difficult to hold with one hand, or that I'm always jabbing my thumb into one of the pans.

Anyway, onto the good stuff! There are six eyeshadows and three blushes. This is limited edition and exclusive to Sephora and retails for $69. I had stopped by the NARS boutique in NYC and wasn't drawn to the products they were featuring from this collaboration. IMHO, this eye & cheek palette is definitely the piece d'resistance of the collection. The top row of shadows are what you've come to expect from a dual intensity shadow. They're incredibly silky in feel and very pigmented dry, and even more so used wet.

 Top Row of shadows, each color swatched onto primer - dry on the left, and wet on the right.

Top Row of shadows, each color swatched onto primer - dry on the left, and wet on the right.

The bottom row of shades are more of a demi-matte finish and I think a little less impressive. The first two shadows did not work well for me wet. They were very streaky and patchy. The last color becomes very dark and muddy and while the pigmentation and application are great, I fear most people would make a mess instantneously.

 Bottom Row of shadows, each color swatched onto primer - dry on the left, and wet on the right.

Bottom Row of shadows, each color swatched onto primer - dry on the left, and wet on the right.

But, these eyeshadow shades are perfectly aligned with Sarah Moon's infamous photos. They give you a subtle, sultry, aged-photo, out-of-focus kind of smokey eye with the cool toned beiges, grays and browns. The navy shade (darkest shade on the top row) makes for a wonderful liner shade, giving drama and depth to the eye without using harsh black. 

After flipping through some of her photos, I noticed that the eyes and lips were the main focus for most of her portraits. But there were a some photos where an orange blush was used high up on the cheekbone, or on the eyes.

The blush options made much more sense to me after understanding Moon's aesthetics a bit more. These shades are very subtle and will give a little life and dimension to the face without taking the focus away from the eyes and lips. 

 Blushes swatched onto bare arm with brush.

Blushes swatched onto bare arm with brush.

While the matte lipsticks were a little too drying for me, I understand now why they're included in the collection.

I've long admired Sarah Moon's photography and her contribution to fashion photography. But looking at it from the makeup point of view, was a lot of fun and allowed me to really study the faces and expressions when previously I focused on the poses, clothing, mood and general effect.

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