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NARS Holiday 2014 – Algonquin, Barents Sea and Sherwood Nail Polish Swatches & Review

By on October 20, 2014
in Blue, Brown, Holiday 2014, NARS, Purple
NARS Holiday 2014 Nail Polish via @alllacqueredup

NARS Holiday 2014

The first thing that caught my eye about the NARS Holiday 2014 collection nail polishes, was the packaging. The graphic print, that is an adaptation of architectural designer Chris Kabatsi’s design, feels like a futuristic snowflake. The juice inside is just as captivating. Three unique shades that range from warm and toasty to crisp and cool to sleek and icy. A true mix of everything winter and the holidays have to offer.

Formula & Application

NARS nail polish is 5-Free (Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor). In July 2014, the NARS bottle and formula was revamped. The bottle shape hasn’t changed but the cap is now removable, revealing a round, ribbed inner cap.

The brush is now a flat, wide paddle style with dense, somewhat stiff bristles cut in a slightly curved shape. Being that I prefer thinner brushes, I’m personally not a fan of this change. I find the brush more difficult to use than the old one in that you have to float it over the nail so the stiff bristles don’t drag the polish. Not being able to press makes it more challenging to get a smooth line around the cuticle.

NARS New Nail Polish Brush via @alllacqueredup

NARS New Nail Polish Brush

That being said, the actual polish formula is smooth and well pigmented. The texture is thin but not watery and dries nice and glossy, for the most part. The blue dries a bit satin but comes to life with top coat. The polish looks a bit streaky on the first coat but evens out nicely with a second. So all of the swatches below are with two coats.

NARS Algonquin is an icy violet sparkler. The cool purple base is packed with silvery flecks. I immediately fell in love but kept thinking I had seen this before. However, that’s not the case in my stash. NARS Night Rider has a similar finish but it’s more pink and OPI The Color To Watch is lighter with a blue shimmer, instead of flecks. Maybe I was thinking of bL No More Waity Katie but the finish and pigmentation are nothing like Algonquin.

NARS Algonquin Holiday 2014 nail polish swatch via @alllacqueredup

NARS Algonquin

NARS Barents Sea is a denim blue frost/shimmer. The finish can show brush marks so be careful in application. It’s not quite electric blue, it’s more mellow and I have nothing quite like it in my stash.

NARS Barents Sea Holiday 2014 nail polish swatch via @alllacqueredup

NARS Barents Sea

NARS Sherwood is described as a “violet rose” but I’m not seeing that here so that baffles me. Instead, what I get is a rich, warm, reddish brown shimmer, along the lines of Essie Sable Collar, only lighter with more pink in its base. Like Barents Sea you have to be wary of brush marks.

NARS Sherwood Holiday 2014 nail polish swatch via @alllacqueredup

NARS Sherwood

NARS Holiday 2014 - Algonquin, Barents Sea and Sherwood via @alllacqueredup

NARS Holiday 2014 – Algonquin, Barents Sea and Sherwood

Bottom Line: I can’t get enough of Algonquin. It’s the perfect wintry purple with its glints of silvery sparkle. Sherwood and Barents Sea are definitely unique to my collection but not shades I see myself grabbing for over and over again.

The NARS Holiday 2014 Color Collection is available now at and November 1st at NARS counters nationwide and online at and NARS nail polish retails for $20/ea.

Thoughts on these holiday colors? Which ones are you drawn to? Do you prefer paddle-style brushes or round brushes?

Disclosure: Product samples were provided by reps for NARS. Affiliate links appear in this post. When you purchase through an affiliate link, you help support this site. For more info view my Disclosure Policy
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There Are 12 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Lisa N. says:

    There pretty! I like the packaging on the bottles too.

  2. Hannah says:

    Algonquin looks a lot like OPI Next Stop . . . The Bikini Zone. Love your swatches! :)

  3. Kacey says:

    There is absolutely nothing about that polish that would even begin to make me believe it’s worth $20.

  4. I’m drawn to the blue! The tricky thing I find as I try to be fashionable this winter is matching my nails to my outfit. Matching nails to my mood is so much easier! As always thank you for such a detailed account of application. Especially about the new brush!

  5. This is why I’m so sad about Nars not being available in Austria :(

  6. I’m usually not one to splurge on high end nail polish (already spend enough on makeup!), but these are so gorgeous, I’m so tempted.

  7. Lesley says:

    Algonquin! Gasp! Love it.

  8. Merrick says:

    Love it. Ill be posting my review of them later on today :)