Makeup has always been a weakness for me but last holiday season it got really bad. So many brands were pumping out amazing sets and palettes that I just couldn’t resist them. Especially all those darn palettes! From eyeshadow palettes to cheek palettes, I was hauling them all and falling in love quickly because they were just oh so good. The only downside is that most of them were limited edition so I had to rush through swatches and reviews like a mad woman so you could get your hands on them too before they quickly disappeared. That’s the one thing I hate about limited edition products!
However, some brands know how to make a good thing last when it comes to limited edition goodies and NARS is definitely one of them. The Despair Cheek Palette released last holiday as part of the stunning Steven Klein Collection and it’s still available today at many places like Nordstrom and Saks. Which is awesome because I got to take my time and really feel it out before rushing you out to buy it. Which is exactly what you need to do. Order it. And order it now!
Lol okay. Not right now but definitely before it disppears because the Despair Cheek Palette is pretty solid. It includes a highlighter and 3 blushes that’ll flatter a variety of complexions from fair to deep. Not to mention, there’s no dreaded Laguna or Orgasm anywhere in sight. Yes!
I don’t hold a grunge against Laguna or Orgasm but I think they’re deathly overrated and overhyped so it was refreshing to see NARS switch it up with Nico Highlighting Blush and 3 new and exclusive limited edition shades that we’ve never seen before. The lineup includes:
Nico Highlighting Blush is a pale warm champagne with a subtle hint of golden shimmer that had me a little worried when I swatched it. Against my complexion, it looked like a pale, washed out white highlighter that was bound to make me look ashy. That’s exactly what happened when I applied it with my MAC 159 Duo Fibre Brush which is a bit fluffy and picks up pigment pretty well. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I applied it with a fan brush. It didn’t pick up nearly as much of the pale base as my MAC 159 Duo Fibre Brush which resulted in a soft pearly champagne sheen that looked very natural. Like a lit from within kinda glow. I didn’t think I was going to like it since I prefer a more in your face highlight but Nico turned out to be beautiful and I can totally see why NARS included it in the Despair Palette. Nico will work well on any complexion and it’s very easy to apply without looking overdone. My dark skin divas just have to be careful not to get too heavy handed with Nico to avoid the pale champagne base. Otherwise, Nico is a very impressive and stunning highlight that’s blendable and wears nicely for such a subtle highlight. It holds up for over 8 hours on my dry skin without losing its sparkle.
Savage Blush is a pinky coral with a hint of peach and a matte finish that’s pigmented but very easy to blend. It makes a wonderful spring blush for all complexions as its soft and reminds me of sunshine and peaches. Savage has a soft, buttery texture that adheres to the skin well (even without foundation) without looking patchy on my dry skin. Some matte blushes have a tendency to be powdery and tricky to blend but Savage applies and blends with ease while adding a pretty peachy-coral flush to cheeks that nicely warms up my complexion. I can easily see Savage becoming an everyday blush for me in the spring and summer because it’s so easy to wear and holds up so well. It lasts for between 8-10 hours before I noticed some slight fading around the edges.
Esoteric Blush is a soft, warm golden-peach with fine golden shimmer that doubles as a highlighter and natural blush. It’s hard to pick a favorite blush in the Despair Palette because I loved all of them but if I had to choose it would be Esoteric. Esoteric has the classic buttery NARS blush formula that makes application and blending a breeze. It has just enough color to work as an everyday blush but also a nice golden sheen that makes it easy to build up as stunning highlighter. Esoteric has a bit more of a kick to it than Nico but they still paired beautifully together without looking too metallic or glittery–just naturally gorgeous with a killer glow. Because Esoteric sports a much softer base it doesn’t last as long as the other blushes holding up for around 6-8 hours before it started to lose its punch.
Ferocious Blush is a muted plum with a hint of pink and silver micro-glitter that was another one of my faves. I actually wore Esoteric the most because it adds a soft pop of color to cheeks without the dreaded clown cheek look. Ferocious also had a nice velvety texture that applied well and blended like a dream which is important since it’s the boldest shade in the palette. However, Ferocious still managed to have a very natural feel and appearance as it’s not super bright or in your face. Ferocious is pigmented but it sheers out easily and layers well for more intensity–but still looks natural. Ferocious kind of melts into the skin with a satin finish that doesn’t look flat thanks to the silver micro-glitter. Instead it simply adds a lovely plum flush of color that holds on for over 8 hours.
NARS cheek palettes are usually rather tempting but I always manage to avoid them because they include shades (like Laguna and Orgasm) that just don’t work for me. I love NARS but they’re good for creating cheek palettes that cater more to lighter complexions but things were quite different this time around with the Despair Cheek Palette. The Despair Cheek Palette is very versatile for a variety of skin tones including dark skin divas like me. I was actually able to get great use out of every shade in the Despair Cheek Palette and I can easily see myself reaching for it time and time again. Including packing it away for travel as the shades even mix and layer well together. If you’ve been on the fence about trying a NARS cheek palette I think the Despair Cheek Palette is certainly worth a shot as it’s one of the more inclusive palettes that NARS has put out in quite some time. I absolutely recommend ordering it online from Nordstrom or Saks before it’s gone!
Nico, Savage, Esoteric and Ferocious
Nico & Savage
Nico & Esoteric
Nico & Ferocious