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I got my hands on the limited edition NARS NARSissist palette. And to be quite frank, this just might be my first and last NARS palette.
Why? Well, I didn’t actually have a great first-time experience shopping with the brand. I know, NARS is high-end (right up there with Tom Ford, Chanel and all), and their products are symbolic of premium quality. Everyone raves about their stuff.
Given such a premium brand, I expected good quality control and equally good service. I didn’t experience either one. This palette is a limited-edition release launched in February 2014. I was initially considering to pass on this palette given its polarising mixed reviews and high price point (retails at S$115). But after coming across countless instagram posts of this palette, I was sucked in.
I was so stoked as I went into the NARS outlet at Tangs Orchard and swatched the sample palette they had in-store and decided that this was something I needed to have so I approached the sales associate and requested for assistance. She came across as somewhat aloof and bo chap (Hokkien for ‘cannot be bothered’). I’ve purchased from designer labels and other premium brands and I know some sales associates come across as snooty. But, bo chap? REALLY? I know of hawkers with better attitudes. Oh, the bane of being a consumer today!
But no matter, I was determined to get this palette and was delighted to know there was stock available (this palette sold out in Australia and in the US on its launch date). I was looking forward to going home to play with it. At the check out, I asked the same sales associate if we should check the palette before I left the store, and she replied, “No need to check, it will be fine.” I took her word for it and left with my new purchase. Here’s my palette.
NARS packaging is great. I was impressed with the black coagulated cardboard protection that wraps the sleek rubberised finish of the palette, giving it a luxurious feel and adding to the overall ostentatious feel of the brand experience. I was liking it so far.
I opened up my palette and *HORRORS*, I found one pan not sitting properly. *HORRORS* Check this out. I knew I should’ve just insisted on checking my item before leaving the store. Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve… Hindsight is always 20/20, huh.
I know it’s a small defect but I was no doubt still annoyed when I saw this. I mean, I just paid S$115 for this and I didn’t get a perfectly produced palette. Everyone else whose post I have come across, seemed to be perfect. I was going to have to make a a return trip to exchange my purchase for a perfectly-produced palette. So lecheh (Malay for troublesome). If the sales associate had just listened to me and let me to check my palette at the check-out counter, I would’ve saved myself time spent on a return trip, a second time paying for parking and what-not. I mean, who reimburses a consumer for all the peripheral costs incurred with doing in-store exchanges? At Sephora, I usually get to check my items before I leave the store.
I’m sure this happens to all brands but surely there has to be some kind of quality control for NARS products? I have seen on Youtube where some consumers have shared how their NARSissist palettes contain eyeshadows that aren’t consistent in quality. Check out this Youtubber’s review of her palette.
Anyway, I went back two days later and asked for an exchange. This time, the two sales associates (different people) had the same attitude – bo chap (Hokkien for ‘cannot be bothered’) and aloof. What is it with these NARS sales people? I mean, you work for the brand, is that the kind of attitude the brand represents? Undeterred, I requested for an exchange, showed them my palette and their response was, “Oh. Looks fine to me.” I insisted on getting an exchange. Both sales people didn’t seem interested to do any sales recovery of any sort, in fact, their body language made it pretty clear to me that I was at fault for not accepting a less-than-perfect palette. To pacify me, one sales associate showed me a new palette and that palette had the same problem of a crooked pan. I rejected it. The other sales assistant then showed me another palette which I found more acceptable. So I took that item and left the store.
I was happy to leave anyway, I couldn’t stand another split second of being on the receiving end of their lousy attitudes.
Here’s the replacement palette I got.
Here are swatches from the palette. Overall, I think this palette is lovely. I love the variety of shades and how versatile it is. Although one or two eyeshadows swatch chalky, I can live with it as they aren’t that hard to blend or work with. The desired effect for both daytime and night-time is still extremely achievable with this palette. I have a few neutral eyeshadow palettes and this one comes pretty close to one of my Holy Grail of neutral eye palettes: the Lorac Pro palette, which has similar shades when put side by side. Here’s a picture of my Lorac Pro palette for reference.
This palette has really lovely shades, and in my opinion, I think it’s a great palette for beginners because some shades can apply rather sheer, which means it would be buildable to the desired effect as opposed to highly pigmented shades which may need to be ‘corrected’ after a first ‘wrongful’ application. I’m happy I have this palette and I will probably use it in time to come. For now, I just need to stop seeding with unhappiness from the lousy sales service I experienced with NARS. I’m convinced they have awesome products, I just wish this awesomeness would cascade and manifest in their sales service too. That, and I really do not need to deal with any more lousy service from the brand.
Here’s a face of the day with the NARSissist palette. So far,I’m liking the eyeshadows in this palette and the way it performs.
Has anyone had similar lousy experiences with other luxury brands? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.