Good evening lovelies!
I am a palette addict. I’m not sure if it’s the cheapskate in me, but I am absolutely obsessed with palettes and everything about them. Most women tend to gravitate toward eyeshadow palettes as their vice, and don’t get me wrong, I love those too, but my guilty pleasure is cheek palettes, and particularly those that include all three steps of the contouring process: bronzer, blush, and highlighter.
It becomes even harder to resist when a brand like NARS, which is one of my absolute favorites, is notorious for releasing beautiful cheek palettes throughout the year. Is it any surprise that the Nordstrom exclusive summer 2014 NARS palette “Domination” ended up in my collection?!
“Domination,” compared to past NARS palettes, is actually fairly small; the much coveted “Danmari” and “Joie de Vivre” palettes from a few years back (of which I have both) are nearly twice the size. NARS made that right by pricing “Domination” at $49 instead of their typical $65 for LE palettes, so I didn’t really feel like I was being ripped off.
However, the way this palette is organized makes it very hard to avoid accidently mixing colors together and also makes it difficult to pick up a lot of product, even on the most dense of brushes. “Domination” has four different pans: “Laguna,” which is the bronzer, “Devotee,” which is the highlighter, “Orgasm,” a peach blush, and “Mistinguette,” a blue-based pink blush.
The “Laguna” bronzer is far and away the most popular product created by NARS – it, like the “Orgasm” blush, has been featured in almost every NARS palette to date. “Laguna” is a relatively warm bronzer, that is medium brown with gold shimmer to add dimention when contouring. While I like “Laguna,” I’m kind of sick of seeing it all the time in NARS palettes, mostly because I adore the other NARS bronzer, “Casino,” which is a beautiful, cool-toned, darker shade of brown that looks like natural shadow on my extremely pale skin.
I mean, yeah, “Laguna” IS a very pretty color, but it’s not the perfect color for everyone. For me at least, “Laguna” takes a little bit of extra time to blend out on my skin and really only works as a perfect color match for me in the summer when I am a bit more tan. I don’t have to do all of that extra work when I use “Casino.” Hear that NARS? Give “Casino” its 15 minutes of fame in more than one palette for us pale gals!
“Devotee” is the highlighter in the “Domination” palette, and, from what I know of NARS products, this shade is limited to palettes and hasn’t been released as its own compact. “Devotee” is also a relatively warm shade, and has more of a muted highlight as opposed to its counterpart, “Albatross,” which has a beautiful cool-toned incandescent glow to it. It is very similar to the other, lesser known NARS highlighter “Nico,” which has more shimmer but the same warm base.
I can see this particular highlighter being best for those with a medium to dark skin tone, because of the warm undertones and the fact that “Albatross” is more of a pure white color with cool undertones best suited for those with very fair skin. On me, “Devotee” is simply too yellow – even though it’s a highlighter and should be relatively sheer, I felt like the warm base did not play nice with my cool undertones, and I could clearly see where I applied it. That’s not a problem for me when I use “Albatross.”
Oh, “Orgasm,” how popular are thee? Popular enough to be featured in literally every NARS palette that has ever been made! “Orgasm” was actually my first introduction to NARS blushes, and it’s also responsible for showing me that I, a pale ginger, can pull off a peach blush. To be fair, I do still love this shade and use it all the time. I sort of look at “Orgasm” like an old friend – I have so many pans of this shade in various other NARS palettes that I own, that I don’t think I’ll ever run out!
Since I, like many other NARS addicts, have “Orgasm” in so many different forms, I was kind of irritated yet not surprised to find it in the “Domination” palette. This is a truly universal shade, though, and is a great introduction to the brand, so I can see why it’s always included. Give me the lesser known shade “Sin” in the next palette, however, and I might actually drop to my knees and weep!
I secretly think that the blue-based pink blush in the “Domination” palette, “Mistinguette” is secretly the shade “New Order,” just labeled as limited-edition and resolved to being only released in palette form. I actually like this color a lot – I love pink blushes that pull an almost lilac base, as these tend not to oxidize as badly as those that pull a peach base. That said, I was really irked to see that this shade was really friggin’ chalky and had barely any color pay-off.
Usually with my NARS blushes I only swipe my brush once and have to blend the heck out of them since they’re so pigmented. I had to swipe my brush like 50 times with this! Why, Francois, why?! I was really jiving with “Mistinguette” and was expecting it to have a lot of pigment like the similar shade “Gaiety,” which is my all-time favorite NARS blush, but no such luck.
As much as I love collecting NARS palettes, “Domination” had to go back to Nordie’s. I gave it the good college try, but between the horrible pan design, the fact that three of the four colors weren’t outstanding with my coloring, and the disappointing color payoff of the one color I did like, this palette just wasn’t worth it.