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NARS x Man Ray Is The Holiday Collection That Serves The Unexpected

It takes inspiration from the inimitable Man Ray, that means cliché-free colours and INTENSE pigments. Here's holiday makeup to get excited about.

Holiday makeup collections are a dime in a dozen, but the way I see it, the best kinds are the ones that challenge you to go out of your comfort zone. Isn’t that what the holiday parties are for? When it boils down to wardrobe choices and what colour you choose to wear on your lid, at least. It is that one time of the year where you can walk around with gold lips whilst wearing a gold dress, and no one will have two hoots to say about it.

NARS swoops into the season with the glorious, glorious Man Ray collection, inspired by the same-name visual artist and his erotic, surreal images. A cliché-free starting point for a holiday collection? We’re listening.

First on the plate – the eyeshadows. Glass Tears – name after one of Man Ray’s most iconic photos – is a bit of a surprise. These aren’t conventional holiday party colours, but they sort of egg you on to try them, like Cry Baby (shimmery deep green ), Loverly (warm gold) and Tryst (shimmer olive). If you’re looking for something a little less intimidating, try the Duo Eyeshadow Palette in Debauched, where it’s a day-ready mauve-brown on one half and a glittery violet for extra nighttime pomp on the other. The former when you’ve just arrived at the party, the latter when someone busts out the alcohol. The eyeshadows have just that right intensity that pauses from going too over the top, yet gives you room to build up the colour should you want to.

Lips, lips, lips. Has NARS ever made a lip product that we didn’t like? No, ma’am. The Photogloss Lip Lacquer in Kiki – as in let’s have a kiki? – is not a matte liquid lipstick. Sticky is expected with a gloss, but as the shine wears away, it leaves behind a wine-red stain on your puckers and that STAYS. Perfect for all those glasses of bubbly.

If you haven’t tried the lip crayons from NARS, start pronto. They’re smooth, easy to use, light and somewhere between matte and dewy. The Man Ray collection has four colours, but the Wild Ways (copper-gold) sticks out the most. Again – how often do you get to wear gold on your lips? Remember to get your lips super smooth first, though. If you’re more a classic, 1950s girl yourself, Endangered Red is the perfect deep, dark red.

Finally, we arrive at possibly my favourite part of the entire collection – the face. The Veil palette features Lovesick, which I feel is a deeper, peachier and less holo version of Orgasm, Surreal, a bronze-gold highlighter, and the classic Laguna. Lovesick may look a little intense, but as party venues can get quite dark, you’ll need more than just your regular blusher. (You can always use a light hand for a sheer flush.) If your blush fades away as the night wears on, take this slim palette along with you.

The star of the pack is Double Take, and a good name, too, because you’ll need more than a glance to take it all in. It is technically a highlighter, but we’ll go as far as to use this on our lids and even a light dusting on the lips. There’s no need to be intimated by the gold. On the cheekbones, Double Take gives a beautiful glow that will really stand out under a spotlight.

Now, all that’s left is my game. As in, how game am I to wear gold on my lids, cheekbones and lips. I must say, all this gold in the Man Ray collection is tipping the scale to “yes”. Ask me again in a month.

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