Us beauty junkies are well aware by this point that Nars has opened its doors in Pavillion. Needless to say the store draws me in like a moth to a flame, and the results tend to be equally as detrimental. Not this time however, as my Easter bunny turned up bearing gifts this year in the form of Nars' Paloma palette! I'm positive you can sense that I was practically squealing in delight when I got my hands on this!
[Nars' Paloma Palette]
Can we just take a moment to appreciate Nars' packaging? LOOK AT IT NOW! It's so sleek and beautiful. It helps that what's inside is always a pleasurable experience!
So, what is Paloma? It's a duo of a bronzer and highlighter, but depending on your skin tone, it could actually work as a powder.
[Nars' Paloma in Vibrant Lighting]
The pictures above are actually picking up the red undertones very strongly (it's just prettier this way...the colour brown is difficult to portray in an attractive light, unless you enlist the assistance of chocolate), so the pictures below will give you a more realistic idea of what the colours are like.
[True to Colour]
There are around 3 varieties of this duo ranging from a shade lighter (Olympia) to a shade darker (Gienah). Paloma is the middle shade, and since my skin tends to run towards the middle of the spectrum, I'm all too happy with this. However, if you're a shade or two darker than I am, this would work better as an all over powder to warm up the skin with foundation shades that are too light for you. For my purposes (as you will see), this works as a very natural, defining contour, as opposed to a dramatic means of re-shaping the face.
As you can see, the bronzer is practically the same skin tone as I am, with a touch extra brown thrown in there. It's also a matte shade, which is how I enjoy my contouring products. As the face tends to be lighter than the hands and arms due to the daily abuse it undergoes at the hands of cleansers and skincare products, happiness ensues from this shade!
Now, where Nars is concerned, their bronzer in Laguna has the more epic cult following on the planet. I don't think a bronzer has received so much obsessive love. So, for comparison purposes, here are swatches to show you that there is quite a bit of difference between the two, despite the fact that they look almost similar in the pan.
[Paloma Palette & Laguna/Orgasm Palette]
[Left: Paloma; Right: Laguna]
As you can see, Laguna has some shimmer to it, though when you blend it out, it by no means turns up shimmery. It just gives a lovely glow to the skin. Paloma on the other hand provides a more subtle, natural look to the skin by giving you shadows, sans the accents.
So, how does Paloma wear?
[Foundation + Undereye Concealer + Mascara for a natural look]
For contouring, I like using a fluffy, tapered brush.
[My fluffy, tapered brush]
First off, let's see how it works as purely a contour. In the picture below, it was applied to the hollows of the cheek (under the cheekbones), and along the jawline as traditional contouring goes.
[Contouring: Hollows of the cheeks & Jawline]
Then, as a means of warming up my skin, I added bronzer to the high points of the face (where the Sun would naturally hit), and along the sides of my nose to slim it slightly. This means that I swept a light dusting along the top of my forehead, as well as blending the contour up over my cheek where blush would traditionally go.
[Shading the high points of the face and the sides of the nose]
If you're going this route, your face can get a little lost in bronzer, so it's always good to whip out the highlighter. As I have an issue with pores, as well as oily skin, I prefer highlighters which don't contain any shimmer. With Paloma this is a definitive plus in my books. My preference for application of a highlighter is to keep it light, so I enjoy the use of a fluttery fan brush.
[My Fluttery Fan Brush]
The points which you would traditionally highlight are between your brows, the tips of the arches of your brows, the centre of your nose, your cupid's bow (the dip between your upper lip), and your chin.
[Highlights on the 5 points stated above]
And to complete a reasonably natural look, a bit of blush is always welcome! Here, I've picked my favourite Nars shade in Deep Throat. I know everyone says that Orgasm is a universal shade, but I don't find that to be the case. It's actually a little to light and looks powdery on my skin tone. If you're around my skin tone, go for Deep Throat instead, because it's the perfect shade for those of us who are medium-skinned.
[Nars' Deep Throat (Please pretend you don't see the border!)]
If you have an issue with pores or you're getting a little older and don't want your blush to make your face look like its sagging, don't put the stuff on the apples of your cheeks! I put some between my contour and highlight, omitting the centre of the face.
[Top: Before; Bottom: After]
Of course, you could very well leave the blush out of this, but I love the stuff, so I wouldn't! Paloma, and the other 2 palettes, retail for RM135 and they are of excellent quality so happy times with this palette ahead!
If you guys would like a comparative review of Orgasm and Deep Throat, do let me know!
[Special thanks to the lovely, ever-charitable ShopGirl for giving me the white background on which the pictures were taken. As always, her picture-taking tips make everything better!]