The NARS x Erdem 'Strange Flowers' Collection Review (With Swatches!)

By now, if you're into the makeup and/or fashion industry you've heard of this collaboration between world-class fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu and NARS Cosmetics. If you haven't, you're about to be blown away.

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This collaboration is as versatile and well-made as it is beautiful. It's no surprise either, if you take a look at some of Erdem's own fashion collections. He has designed for the royal family, making party dresses for Kate Middleton. He's also supposedly going to design Meghan Markle's wedding dress. His main genre seems to be classic, elegant and slightly vintage everyday wear (for high brow society) and formal wear for every day girl. Especially key to Erdem's style is his love for florals, which explains the whole theme of this NARS collaboration, 'Strange Flowers'.

It's no surprise based on what we see on the Erdem runway that the entire NARS collaboration is adorned in beautiful ornate floral motifs. From the outside packaging to the plastic that protects the shadow pots from scratches, every detail is pristine. It's almost painful to start using these products because you feel like you're ruining a piece of art. 

Now that I've got you fully enticed, let's get into the actual products themselves!

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The collaboration consists of: 

  • 2 eyeshadow palettes (containing 6 shades each)
  • 1 lip powder palette (including 4 powders and 1 lip priming balm)
  • 6 lipsticks
  • 1 multi-use highlighting stick
  • 2 blushes
  • 1 pack of blotting paper. 

The packaging is a light mint blue shade with different florals on each product except for the lipsticks and highlighting stick. The packaging alone would make me buy all of these, just saying.

NARS x Erdem Lipstick Swatches

NARS x Erdem Lipstick Swatches

Starting off with the lipsticks, they are a combination of 5 sheer shades and one classic opaque red shade. I guess Erdem and NARS both knew that everyone needs a classic red for their collection. The colors are all very inspired by flowers and closely mimic the colors on the actual packaging. Although the pinky-nude shades are difficult to see on an arm, on the lips it would create a perfect moisturized tint for your lips. One thing I love about these lipsticks is that they’re super creamy! Sometimes matte shades aren’t for every day use, especially when you’re feeling particularly dry. The moisturizing quality of the lipsticks shows that this collection is all about bold yet subtle and wearable looks.  Each lipstick retails for $28.

NARS x Erdem 'Poison Rose' Lip Powder Palette Swatches

NARS x Erdem 'Poison Rose' Lip Powder Palette Swatches

The lip powders are a velvety set of extremely pigmented colors that closely match the lipsticks. But what makes these lip powders different from regular eyeshadow is the insane pigmentation. It only took one light swipe to get the opacity you see in the swatch photo! This is perfect for making a perfectly, velvety matte pout. Not to mention the versatility you have working with the different colors. It would be so easy to create an ombré type of lip, or use the 'Zira' shade to highlight. This lip palette retails for $49.

NARS x Erdem 'Night Garden' Eyeshadow Palette

NARS x Erdem 'Night Garden' Eyeshadow Palette

NARS x Erdem 'Fleur Fatale' Eyeshadow Palette

NARS x Erdem 'Fleur Fatale' Eyeshadow Palette

The two eyeshadow palettes are appropriately named 'Night Garden' and 'Fleur Fatale'. Very on trend with the season, the shades in the 'Night Garden' palette remind me of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette, yet seem more pigmented and more velvety. (I know I've used this word a lot, but I really think it's a perfect way to describe the feel of these powders!) These shades are also slightly shimmery, with the exception of 'Oleander', the dark brown shade. Overall, this palette is beautiful and the colors are awe-inspiring. However, for the person who doesn't love taking risks with makeup and sticking to more natural or soft looks, it is definitely a little bold. I still think everyone can rock a yellow eye, but I totally get not wanting to show up to the office looking like Big Bird (but like, a beautiful Big Bird).

The 'Fleur Fatale' palette seems to be more of a daytime-glam palette. These shadows are more classic and a little less bold than the 'Night Garden' palette if you're one to stick to subtle, wearable looks. Like the other eyeshadow palette, there are five shimmery shades and one matte shade. I think this palette has a whole other allure to it because the shades are very romantic yet different from palettes like the Modern Renaissance Palette, which is one of my personal favorites. 

These palettes would travel extremely well because they're relatively compact. I'm also a fan of the NARS packaging because it feels super sturdy, so you don't have to worry about TSA manhandling your luggage.

Each eyeshadow palette retails for $49.

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Lastly but surely not least, we have the two blushes, the blotting paper, and the multi-use highlighting stick. 

The highlighting stick is one of my favorites in this collection because it is 'multi use' and the color is phenomenal. I'm a fan of anything iridescent and this product is just about as iridescent as it gets. It would look beautiful as a regular highlight on the cheeks and brow-bone, but also in the waterline or inner corner. Because it's super blend-able, you could pretty much put it anywhere. It retails for $29.

The blushes are pretty much the same story as all the other powders: they're velvety and they're pigmented. The only qualm I have with the blush is the lighter shade. As you can see, it hardly shows up in the swatch on my model, who's skin tone is relatively light, especially on her inner arm. This would not show up great on darker-toned people. Maybe this blush could also function as a highlighter because it is pretty shimmery. Each blush retails for $30.

The blotting paper retails for $30 for 100 sheets. It is a bit pricey but the packaging is relatively sturdy (and beautiful). It's also unscented for those of you who hate the powder-scented kind of blotting papers. All in all, it does its job well and all while looking pretty damn cute.

In sum, this NARS collaboration with Erdem is one that you should definitely consider investing in. The vintage, romantic feel to the collection is hard to come by, not to mention the insane quality of everything in the collection. If you're looking for a new favorite addition to your makeup kit, get it here!

 This summer 2018 collection is live in NARS boutiques and online at TODAY! (April 12, 2018) so get on it!