"Skin first. Makeup second. Smile always" - Glossier
While shopping in Williamsburg's infamous outlets, I visited my favorite store, Bare Escentuals. To my great surprise (and pleasure), they had begun selling a few prestige makeup brands in addition to Bare Minerals - think NARS, Laura Mercier, and Buxom. I came across the most compact little palette from NARS which, though more expensive than I was hoping for, I couldn't pass up because of its incredible versatility. I mean, look at how swanky this is:
Blush (left to right): Enrapture, Enthralled, Roman Holiday
Lower level (left to right): Albatross, Laguna
Let's open the top layer...
These three blushes are gorgeous! I've tried to locate them in their full size on the NARS website but to no avail, so sad to say, when they're gone, they're gone. The two on left are neutral roses, very similar in shade to each other. I like the middle one moreso than the far left shade because its pinker tones suite my skin better, but both are just lovely! The vivid cool pink on the right is cute as well, but more suited for a quick pop on the apples of the cheeks. It gives your cheeks the effect of vigorously playing out in the snow for several hours.
The sheer pink gloss is nestled between the layers and would serve perfectly as a buttery topper to a lipstick, but alone, it doesn't offer much color pay-off. Regardless, it's simple, moisturizing, and relatively long-lasting!
And now we've arrived at the bottom where you'll find two pressed powders, one a bright, yellow- (yes yellow, not champagne) based highlighter and the other a bronzey contour. I'm not a huge fan of the highlighter as it possesses such a confusing hue. It looks off-white but applies very golden and sunlit, reminiscent of the glow of an Italian coast sunset. The bronzer is one of NARS' best sellers, Laguna, and has a slight shimmer to it. In my opinion, I find it more ideal for use as a bronzer than a contour. Most likely that's exactly what NARS had in mind too while crafting this compact, although ultimately it would make more sense to sell a contour with a highlight instead of a bronzer with a highlight.
I'm a fan of this little mirrored beauty-in-a-box, and I think you'd be too. If you're traveling and want to pare down your makeup product supply, this is your palette!