I haven’t seen an eyeshadow palette for a VERY long time that I know I “needed”. I have SO many palettes, eyeshadows, finishes and the rest that I’m a bit meh-ed out by all these hype launches and the rest. *HOWEVER* I clapped eyes on the new NARS Afterglow palette on Cher Webb’s instagram a couple of weeks ago and I was in lust.
My friends over at Look Fantastic (ILYSM) hooked me up big time with the eyeshadow palette, and a few days later the nectar was in my hand and I’ve been trying it out, playing and swatching for just over a week now. So here is my full review, ALL the swatches and 4 different looks I created with this palette.
The NARS Afterglow palette is housed in hard-wearing robust and slightly spangly-looking palette, it has a metal-molten-esque finish on the top, 12 shadows within, a mirror inside the palette and no applicator brush ; just the way I like it! There appears to be 3 different eyeshadow finishes from my self-appointed-expert-opinion (be wary) which is matte, metallic and then a really pretty multi-faceted shimmer. I find the shimmery shades are also REALLY beautiful if you dampen your brush with water and press them on wet for ultimate oomph and payoff. All NARS shadows you can use wet/dry.
When it arrived it was a little smaller that I had imagined. I have quite a few NARS eyeshadow palettes from over the years and they seems to be a little bigger in size. I’ve checked and you still get the usual amount of eyeshadow per pan than most of the other palettes that I have ( about 1.4g per shadow) so perhaps this is just the newer, slimline packaging plus it’s the first NARS eyeshadow palette I’ve had for maybe 4 years now.
I’m a big fan of the NARS eyeshadow formulas and have pretty much….every single shade in my professional kit. Occasionally you get a slightly rogue matte formula and one of them for me was a little ‘off’ which is the ‘whipped’ shade. The other matte shades seems to have a nice pay off and are relatively easy to blend. I say ‘relatively’ as often very flat, matte eyeshadows can be tough if you are applying on uneven skin/ no primer etc, but if you prep the eyes well with a bit of the NARS smudge proof eye primer, they all will work for you and a few of them (crushed / mad love) come off a lot more brighter than they look in the pan.
The shade ‘whipped’ was just a little chalkier in feel for me, and applied a little patchy. I also thought the shade was too similar to ‘shadow hill’ which has a better texture and they could have maybe done with a really nice darker brown like their infamous (and my favourite) coconut-grove kinda vibe.
*For the really deep smokey-brown and gold look, I did use coconut grove to add depth and smoke as there isn’t quite enough in the Afterglow palette alone.
So here are all the swatches. Shade ‘First taste’ looks totally invisible as it’s very close to my pale inner arm colour but it’s a really nice highlight tone and by no means has a bad payoff like the swatch would have you believe. My favourite shades are hot line, crushed, made love, deep cut , shadow hill, push, guayaquil it and bayader 1. Ok that’s like 8/12 but whatever.
All-in-all the Afterglow palette lived up to my expectations. Like I said I haven’t been this excited about a palette for a very long time, so it can be easy to be a little disappointed when you hype it up for yourself like I did (!). I love the colour combination. I love warm tones, I love the brighter orange and fuchsia which are both stunning worn solo and I also really like the more pastel tones in it. I definitely don’t have ANY palette in my stash that is similar and I think it’s a really good palette. £56 : a LOT for an eyeshadow palette, but seems pretty standard for NARS and the premium brands.
I think sometimes, we can get overwhelmed with colour combinations when we have slightly brighter palettes like this, but honestly keeping it simple and sticking just with 2-3 shades with each look makes it work so well. You can get a really fun and quirky eye look with this , your typical smokey brown-golden eye or a flash of eccentric brights.
I love it. It’s doing things for me. It’s versatile and it’s fun. I’d love to know your thoughts on this palette and if you think it’s something that you would invest in? Maybe you have something similar? Let me know which of the makeup looks you like the most ; I’m going to be having a little vote over on my Instagram and whichever eye look is the most popular I’ll film a quick how-to for it.
Available now, priced at £56 from most beauty retailers and of, course Look Fantastic.
Psssst I have a 20% off discount code which has been extended with Look Fantastic ; although unfortunately it won’t work on some of the newer items (including this NARS palette I’m afraid!) but just in case you are picking up any other bits it’s worth a try! LAURA_LF is the code (not affiliate)
*Contains a press sample and affiliate links. See my disclaimer for the full lowdown on this!