Saturday, December 10, 2016

What I'm Not Buying: NARS Narsissist Unfiltered II Cheek Palette

Photo: Temptalia 

NARS released two limited edition Narsissist Unfiltered Cheek Palettes. I was most drawn to the Unfiltered I palette, and my post on that can be found here. However, I felt the Unfiltered II palette also deserved a post.

I won't be buying.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I would imagine most people would be drawn to the Unfiltered II palette. It seems a lot more "safe" and obviously wearable when compared to the Unfiltered I. And a few years ago, I probably would have nabbed this palette immediately. But I've learned enough about the undertones in my skin to know that four blushes in this palette would not show up or flatter my skin. I suppose it's good to see some growth.

Whenever I've written a post about a blush or highlight palette, I have mentioned that the vast majority of blushes, especially within the same color family, will look relatively the same once applied and sheered out onto the skin. Most blush palettes—I would think—are intended for makeup artists to have a myriad of colors to work on all skin tones. And that makes the most sense since the average makeup wearer could easily only have one blush. Somewhere along the line, however, cosmetics companies saw the opportunity to capitalize on makeup enthusiasts and started marketing these items made for makeup artists to the everyday consumer. Unfiltered I looks like a palette for a makeup artist. Unfiltered II looks like a palette for the average consumer.

The blushes in this palette are pretty. I like pink, and I like looking at the different hues in this palette. It's nice to look at. But several of these colors would look terrible on my skin. In fact, they remind me of my biggest early makeup "error," which was buying cool-toned pink blushes because most of the women I was watching on YouTube recommended them as a blush that "everyone should own."

These included MAC Well Dressed:

NARS Deep Throat:

Photo: Tempalia

And Benefit Coralista:

I would just like to take a moment to talk about the language used that these are blushes that "everyone should own." All three of these blushes looked like nothing on my light-to-medium warm olive skin. I packed the color on and nothing happened. And it honestly made me feel a little bad about myself. I didn't relate the problem to the color of the products versus the undertones in my skin, I just thought there was something wrong with me. I didn't understand how this could work for "everyone" and not work for me. 

And then I realized that these blushes primarily work for a small percentage of people who have light skin with cool undertones. In addition to me, I imagine that these blushes might not work on many people with medium, dark, or deep skin tones or people who have a warm undertone. And I think that speaks to a general problem with many people who review products. They have a tendency to recommend products that work for their skin tone (claiming it has to work for everyone) without necessarily considering how colors will actually work on the full spectrum. 

And in case you're wondering, all three of these blushes ended up with my friend with light, cool-toned skin. I believe she likes them all quite a bit.

To me, the first two blushes in the top row of the Unfiltered palette look like Well Dressed, Deep Throat, and Coralista. The third color looks like NARS Angelika:

Photo: Temptalia 

Personally, I have zero interest in trying a cool-toned bright pink blush. I already know it will be very unflattering on me. 

On the bottom row, the first shade looks like Becca Opal:

Photo: Temptalia 

The second shade looks like NARS Luster:

Photo: Temptalia 

And the third shade looks like NARS Goulue:

I already own Opal and Goulue and have previously owned Luster, so for me personally, there is really no incentive whatsoever to get this palette. 

I have to say, I think it's a little complicated that so many shades in the Unfiltered palettes look like plenty of blushes within the NARS permanent line. The colors are so similar that it makes me wonder if NARS just slightly tweaked original formulas to make them a little different and then slapped a new name onto the shades. I think this is a tactic to make customers think this is a different product and one they are sure to like because it looks so much like (or the same as) a product that they already love and use. And then they see that it is limited edition and they get panicked and start thinking, "What if I miss out?!" and then they purchase it. And they didn't really realize that they purchased something that when swatched or applied to the cheeks probably looks close to identical to something they already have and love. 

And to answer the question, "What if i miss out?!" nothing will happen. Nothing. There will be more blushes. They will look nearly identically when applied onto the skin. Life will go on. Makeup will be worn. And it will be fine and fun. 

I mentioned this in my post on the Unfiltered I palette, but I feel it deserves to be repeated sine the Unfiltered II palette, especially, will be easy for a lot of people to justify. 

I really like the bright pink and peach shades. And the other pinks are pretty. Super wearable. And I can never have too many highlighters. It'll be convenient since it's all in the same place. And I can travel with this! I know I don't travel often, maybe once or twice a year, but it will be nice to have all these options when I do!

To break these justifications down:
  • If you really like the bright pink shade, buy NARS Angelika or any other bight pink blush. Don't buy an entire palette just because you want one shade. 
  • You probably already have a peach blush. But if not, and if you are set on getting a peach blush from NARS, go with Luster. It's a beautiful blush that many people love. 
  • The other pinks are pretty, but you probably already have plenty of pretty pink blushes. The ones in this palette are nothing unique. They make the value of this palette go down since you are getting shades you already own. 
  • You very likely already have a highlighter that you use and love. When applied onto the cheeks, the one in this palette probably won't look any different than the one you already have. 
  • Is it really that much of an inconvenience to have your blush and highlighter not in the same place? If so, should you just depot them and put them into a palette?
  • How often do you travel? Is it enough to really warrant a "travel cheek palette?"
  • When you travel, do you typically bring five different blushes?

If you are interested in this palette for one blush (because, frankly, the majority of the blushes included wouldn't be considered "unique" by most people), you should just buy one blush. Even though you might look at this palette and think it's a deal to be getting six products for the cost (but not size) of two products, if you weren't planning on buying all six of those products to begin with, it's not a deal. You would just be spending twice as much as you would have if you just got the one product you wanted. And adding six blushes to a collection with one purchase is intense. I currently own seven blushes and find it manageable, but if I added even a couple more, it would be overwhelming for me. This one product contains what is close to my entire blush collection. 

I'm curious to see how the quality of the blushes within the Unfiltered palettes compares to those in NARS's permanent line. I have a suspicion that (like most holiday, limited edition, and "packaged in a set" products) the quality will be subpar. And if so, then these palettes really aren't a deal at all because you're getting downgraded quality. I'm happy with my blush collection as is, and the colors in the Unfiltered palette simply aren't unique enough to really pique my interest. So I won't be buying. 

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