Review & Remix: NARS Studio 54 Holiday 2019 Collection

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Read ALL about my review process including how I take swatches, photos, and more here.

nars studio 54 holiday collection

The NARS Studio 54 Holiday 2019 collection. I’m a little slow to post seeing as how NARS sent this collection to me a few weeks ago (a girl’s been busy with travel, work, and just sorting through my office), but better late than never! Let’s quickly get into this thing…

I’ve been saying for years that holiday makeup collections can sometimes be a bit of a let down when you have deeper skin, because a lot of the colors are made for the masses (aka not with our deep skin tones in mind). It’s great for the pockets, but who doesn’t want to indulge in some gorgeous holiday makeup that completely flatters your skin tone? The NARS Studio 54 Holiday 2019 collection has some ups, but it also has some downs. And I have a few I’d remix. See all my thoughts below.

THE UPS…

NARS STUDIO 54 INFERNO EYESHADOW PALETTE

LIMITED EDITION

This 12-shadow palette has a mix of mattes, shimmers, and glitters that can get you a number of pretty eye looks, but to me it’s more of a palette you’d get if you already have a decent array of shadows in your stash. While Rock Freak is a gorgeous crease shade for deeper skin tones, Keep on Dancing is a whitish beige that can sway on the ashy side and unless I’m missing something Shake Your Body REFUSES to show up unless I heavily press into it with my pinky finger or use water or makeup spray to really get it to show out. The other shades are gorgeous—the glitters are amazing (use your pinky to press into them and then tap them onto your lid—they worked well with no extra product needed on top of the other shadows, but if you want out of this world glitter, use a glitter adhesive.

Overall, it’s a pretty holiday palette with two troublesome shades for darker skin. It’s not something I personally would buy, but it’s not bad at all.

Price and where to buy: $59 (find online retailers by clicking any item below)

NARS STUDIO 54 Softcore Set

This thankfully comes in three versions—Orgasm, Torrid, and Dolce Vita. So here’s the thing with Orgasm—it is a universally flattering blush—I’ve used it in the past as more of a highlighter blush, but you do get the hint of the peachy pink as well as the shimmer on deeper skin. Torrid and Dolce Vita both also work nicely on deeper skin, but there are NARS Blushes that do a much better job: Exhibit A, Taj Mahal, Taos, Seduction, 413 BLKR, Amour, etc.

But I still think these are cute gift sets provided they work on the recipient. I would LOVE to see NARS do these in one of the bolder blush shades one year.

Price and where to buy: $24 (find online retailers by clicking any item below)

IN THE MIDDLE…

NARS STUDIO 54 ALL ACCESS POWERMATTE LIP PIGMENT SET

LIMITED EDITION

I reviewed and swatched the NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments here (side note: man, was I ON IT with the swatches back in the day—these days with brands supplying swatches and new influencers giving very artistic swatches that I cannot compete with because I don’t want to compete with it…lol, I shifted my makeup focus on other modes of content like my Youtube channel and IG/IGTV).

Anyway, the NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments are bomb and the reason why I have the NARS Studio 54 All Access Powermatte Lip Pigment Set “in the middle” is because of shade selection. I’m sure NARS put the best selling shades in this set so I’m not mad, BUT I would have loved if this set included more of the bolder colors from the Powermatte lineup. Some people do like lighter matte nudes like Fly Robin Fly and matte rosy shades like American Woman which are both included in this set. I don’t…lol. But perhaps I’m in the minority because tons of people like to take shades like this and pair them with darker lip pencils and add gloss (I prefer to buy colors that work on their own already—I’ll make lip combos but the colors have to already work on their own first, but that’s just me).

I’d consider Funkytown as it’s a bold mandarin shade, but I like my orange lip colors to have some red in them.

The packaging is beautiful though.

nars studio 54 holiday collection

Price and where to buy: $45 (find online retailers by clicking any item below)

NARS Studio 54 Audacious Lipstick

LIMITED EDITION

Love the formula and the packaging is to die for—I just wish there were better lip color choices. Mona is a brownish red that while I commend NARS for putting an unexpected shade like this in a holiday collection, I find it pretty boring. Carmen is a gorgeous true red—no problems with that from me. And Barbara is a pinky mauve—a nice pretty universal shade, but may need the help of a pencil and/or gloss on darker skin.

The packaging is everything—I would actually love to get this as a gift (despite how much makeup I get in throughout the year) had this come with lipsticks I would truly wear often. Maybe a trio of reds of varying undertones and intensity?

I could remix these for days with a number of lip colors, but what I don’t have is the buying data of which shades are bought most often so what do I know? lol

nars studio 54 holiday collection

Price and where to buy: $34 each (find online retailers by clicking any item below)

NARS Studio 54 Past Curfew Set

LIMITED EDITION

This set contains a mini High-Pigment Longwear Eyeliner in Via Veneto and a mini Climax Mascara. I do like sets like this because for $20 (Nordstrom has it on sale for $17 as of the time of me writing this post) you can give someone a really nicely put together gift that doesn’t require knowing a ton about their makeup style as a majority of people will use a black liner and mascara. I’m not the biggest fan of NARS Climax Mascara (it doesn’t do anything super outrageous for me to justify the price tag), but it works as a mini in a gift set like this.

Price and where to buy: $20 find online retailers by clicking any item below)

nars studio 54 holiday collection

THE DOWNS…

NARS Studio 54 VIP Room Essentials Set

LIMITED EDITION

This amount of items you get in this set for the price is impressive, but the color selection is what made this a downer for me. NARS makes some of the best pencil sharpeners in the game so getting one in this set is great. Their Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are bomb as are their blushers and I have loooved the Multiples in the past (I don’t really use highlighter as much now as I used to, so no huge need for them now in my stash), but the shades you get in this set aren’t the best for darker skin tones. I would love to see this remixed with Cruella and Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, Taj Mahal blush, and I would say The Multiple in Siam (a bold orange) but I guess this would need some highlighter so I’d go with South Beach. I’d take the bronzer out completely (NARS bronzers don’t run deep or red enough) and throw in Exhibit A or lower the price…lol.

Price and where to buy: $59 (find online retailers by clicking any item below)

So that’s my take—would love to hear yours!

What do you think of the NARS Studio 54 Holiday 2019 collection? Tell me in the comments!

Note: I didn’t receive the entire collection, so my thoughts here were all based on what I did get.

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas, Allure.com, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.
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