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less is enough in the Nars Eye Opening Act collection visual
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NARS Eye Opening Act_Tilda

tilda swinton for the limited-edition nars eye opening act collection

Actress Tilda Swinton, 54, has one of those amazing faces that invites repeated glances, maybe some downright staring (I would stare). That bone structure, milky skin and cropped hair (ice-blonde here but often auburn or red) -- so arresting. Not your average ingenue beauty or sultry bombshell, she's an atypical choice for a makeup campaign. Thank you François Nars for another inspired casting.

NARS Eye Opening Act_Tilda Swinton's eye

tilda swinton's natural lashes in her campaign photo for nars eye opening act

Even better, Swinton is the face of a collection of eye makeup, yet hers is simple, with a little graphic emphasis on the outer corners. Note the absence of false lashes! (I love that so much.) And in this brow-wow time, her eyebrows are barely visible. Can you say "non-conformist"? Swinton's usual makeup approach really minimal; it works for her. And maybe that's why this resonates. I wish more makeup campaigns were like this -- maybe they'd be kinder to our self-esteem. 

Bobbi Brown's current ads featuring Kate Upton make our Liza Herz sputter. "How old is she anyway? She's 22! Bobbi talks a lot about inclusive beauty, and [previous celebrity face] Katie Holmes is in her mid-30s. But 22 and baby-faced Kate Upton? I didn't know it was a Bobbi Brown counter at first." 

Not that wishing to see more visuals like Tilda Swinton's Nars image is only about age. With its pared-down aesthetic and offbeat model choice (albeit celebrity), it just ain't the same-old makeup sales job -- especially considering the collection includes two eyeshadow palettes of six shades each (oh, and five more shadows in stick form). Instead it's a case of less is exactly enough.

NARS Eye Opening Act_actress Tilda

one more look at tilda swinton for nars

Maybe most other brands feel an image like this is too much of a risk, that it won't sell as much makeup as beauty shots of more conventional faces wearing a lot more makeup. What do you think? 

Before you answer, let's look at the makeup lineup.

nars eye opening act collection

The NARS Eye Opening Act collection is available as of December 26th at Nordstrom; it launches January 1st on counter, at Holt Renfrew in Canada, and at

NARS Eye Opening Act_NARS Inoubliable Coup D'Oeil Eyeshadow

nars inoubliable coup d'oeil eyeshadow palette

The Nars Inoubliable Coup D'Oeil Eyeshadow Palette ($58 CAN/$48 US at is a combination of new and existing shades:
Dalliance (new) -- dusty lilac stone
Pyla -- smoky hunter green
Sidi Bou Saïd (new) -- blackened grape
Pandora Duo Eyeshadow (left side) -- sheer white shimmer
Luberon (new) -- iridescent sand with rose gold sheen
Pandora Duo Eyeshadow (right side) -- matte black

NARS Eye Opening Act_NARS Yeux Irresistible Eyeshadow

nars yeux irresistible eyeshadow palette

The Nars Yeux Irresistible Eyeshadow Palette ($58 CAN/$48 US at nordstrom.comis also a combo of new and existing shades:
All About Eve Duo Eyeshadow (right side) -- flesh-toned neutral w shimmer
Jezebel -- shimmery sable
Thunderball -- midnight grey
Colombo (new) -- vintage gold shimmer
Brousse Duo Eyeshadow (left side) -- sable
Coconut Grove -- deep brown infused with reflections

NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks_Dark

nars eye opening act velvet shadow sticks

Nars Velvet Shadow Sticks ($32 CAN/$28 US each at from top: Dark Angel, Nunavut, Glenan, Reykjavik and Filbuste.

NARS Eye Opening Act_Nars St. Lucia Illuminating

nars eye opening act st. lucia illuminating multiple

This Nars St. Lucia Illuminating Multiple ($46 CAN/$39 US at is a sheer rose.

shop the nars eye opening act collection

Does anything here tempt you? And what do you think about the ad-campaign image of Tilda Swinton? Do you want to see more ads like that? Or do you think they're less effective at selling makeup than the usual images of models wearing more of the collection's colour à la YSL, Chanel or Revlon?