Nars x Guy Bourdin Holiday 2013 Color Collection

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday 2013 Colour Collection and Gifting Collection

Here’s a look at the Nars Holiday 2013 Colour Collection, otherwise known as a chromatic high!


Uninhibited glamour. Cinematic intrigue. Evocative innuendo. Guy Bourdin revolutionized fashion photography with unconventional narratives and overt sexuality. His relentless rule-breaking, captured in spellbinding editorials and campaigns, served as the apex of the sexually charged fashion photography of the seventies. Today, he continues to be both an inspiration to and a favorite of designers, photographers, art directors, stylists and tastemakers.

As a child, NARS Founder and Creative Director François Nars discovered Bourdin’s work in the pages of French Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. It was then that Nars was first inspired to become a makeup artist. “The colors in his photographs are like an artist’s palette,” says Nars.

Years later, Nars would create a revolution of his own, daring to tell women that when it comes to makeup, “there are no rules.” François Nars has honored Bourdin’s lasting influence in multiple collections, with colors, shade names, and campaign imagery taking inspiration from the photographer and his work.

NARS Guy Bourdin Red Heart Visual

Now, Nars celebrates Bourdin’s legacy with an entire collection created in the spirit of Guy Bourdin: bold, uncompromising color and high-impact finishes in shades that launch us into his intriguing, high-fashion world. For Holiday 2013, Bourdin’s influence is present in all aspects of the limited edition collection — from products and packaging, to colors and shade names.

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday 2013 Color Collection Collage

A collaboration with the late Guy Bourdin, this collection embodies the distinctive chromatic strength and colour-saturated palette that are found in the legendary photographer’s work.

I find some of his work (‘tabloid tableaux’, as Vogue succinctly puts it) disturbing. Yet even as its provocative nature rips apart the curtain of conservative norms, the richness of colour and the vibrancy of his shots are indubitably stunning.

NARS x Guy Bourdin Cosmetics Pochette Visual

Mr. Bourdin use lighting and perspective in his images like a writer uses ink to create words.

Alber Elbaz (Creative Director, Lanvin, 2005)

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday 2013 Eyeshadows in Bad Behaviour, Wishful Thinking, Rage, Mississippi Mermaid and Cambodia Pink Swatches

In the vividly-coloured collection are:

Cinematic Eyeshadows (S$38)

  • Bad Behaviour (deep pewter)
  • Wishful Thinking (macaw blue)
  • Rage (electric orchid)
  • Mississippi Mermaid (champagne)
  • Cambodia Pink (copper)

While the shades aren’t exactly unique, they do have a beautiful intensity. Collectors of Nars eye colours will be pleased to see these brights, I’m sure. All the eyeshadows are limited edition. Do note that these dry swatches are truer to life than the product photo above them.

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday 2013 Color Collection Lipsticks in Future Red, Short Circuit, Goodbye Emmanuelle, Last Tango, Full Frontal, Roman Holiday and Damage Swatches

Cinematic Lipsticks (S$38)

  • Future Red (cherry)
  • Short Circuit (fire coral)
  • Last Tango (dusty rose)
  • Goodbye Emmanuelle (hot pink)
  • Full Frontal (rose violet)

A new formula created exclusively for this collection, these lipsticks are designed to be glossy and intensely pigmented. Containing Monoï butter and Vitamin E, they promise to offer moisturising and antioxidant/anti-aging properties.  All the lipsticks are limited edition.

Also pictured are Roman Holiday and Damage (swatch #6 and swatch #7), part of the regular range and 2 items in the Nars x Guy Bourdin Gifting Collection Fling Lip Kit that comes with 4 lip products in a collectible lacquered lip-shaped case.

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday 2013 Blushes in Day Dream, Coeur Battant and Exhibit A Swatches

Blush (S$50)

  • Day Dream (peachy pink)
  • Coeur Battant (magenta)
  • Exhibit A (matte, vivid red)

Though the deep raspberry and vermillion look daunting in the pan, they translate prettily on the skin, as you can tell from the swatches. Both the peach and the pink are limited edition, while Exhibit A (the iconic blush shade inspired by the photographer earlier in Nars history) is part of the regular cheek colour range.

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday 2013 Nail Polishes in Union Libre, Tomorrow's Red, Follow Me and No Limits

Nail Polish (S$30)

  • Union Libre (blossom pink)
  • Tomorrow’s Red (scarlet flame)
  • Follow Me (deep fuchsia)
  • No Limits (bright pink violet)

I didn’t swatch any of these nail lacquers at the preview event but I’m fairly certain they will sell well, given how they sit in the popular (aka retail-friendly) red-pink colour zone. All are limited edition.

NARS Guy Bourdin Holiday 2013 Color Collection Stylized Visual

In Singapore, this collection launches on 1 November 2013. As most of it is limited edition, don’t wait if something catches your eye. I’m sure many pieces do – how could they not with their look-at-me colour intensity? Start planning.


  • Jacqueline says:

    Such strong and attractive colours. As much as I’m attracted to the blushes they look too strong for me. I’m afraid of them haha!

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Jac,

      These saturated shades are hard to miss! Hey, the blushes aren’t as scary as they look in the pan; do give them a swatch or two when you see the collection. :)

  • I am VERY intrigued by this collection! :-)

  • Luchessa says:

    Omg i’m loving the Last Tango lipstick, too gorgoues. Great pictures, thanks for sharing!

  • Kate says:

    Such a pity that Guy Bourdin’s work glamorizes violence against women. Other beauty reviewers are choosing not to review the collection due to this reason. I hope you’ll do some research about Guy Bourdin and his work. I love Nars but I honestly cannot support violence against women.

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Kate,

      Thank you for your comment; it made me think about the issue, as well as the unpleasant facets of the beauty realm.

      The brand says that their focus is on how Bourdin’s richness of colour inspired Francois Nars, rather than his subject.

      My detailed response, as well as that of others, can be found here:

      • Kate says:

        Thanks for replying. Well I’ve read the instagram comments and would like to clarify that I have been reading your blog since 2011 so I’m not just a random person. I wasn’t trying to tell you what to do, rather I wanted you to be aware of the controversy surrounding this and make your own decision. I understand where you’re coming from and it’s your decision. It’s all about the individual’s perspective at the end of the day. Did you know Hilter was an amazing artist? You can Google his paintings. Does it change your perception of him now that you know he is an amazing artist? I’ll let you think about it.

        • makeupmag says:

          Hi Kate,

          Thanks for that perspective; certainly food for thought. It reminds me of that comparison between Hitler and Churchill – the alcohol-swigging and philandering Churchill vs the quiet, good-boy Hitler.

  • Natalie says:

    Were these purchased at the Singapore outlet or did you buy them online? I really want the One Night Stand blush palette, but I’m not suer if they’re stocked in Singapore. =/

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Natalie,

      These photos were taken at the press preview. The collection will be out in mid-November. :) The ONS palette will not be here, sadly. :(

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