| Review | NARS Summer Lights & Hot Nights Face Palettes

| Review | NARS Summer Lights & Hot Nights Palettes

Hot damn! Summer is here and it's hotter than ever with these sexy summer palettes from NARS. It's been a long time since I felt that a brand so fully encapsulated summer into a palette but with these, I feel like it could be summer year-round! I said it before but I have to reiterate how much NARS is killing it with their launches this year. Everything they have come out with this year had me drooling and running to get these as soon as they released.


The NARS Summer Lights & Hot Nights Face Palettes retail for $59.00 USD and are available at Sephora and other retailers. These summer face palettes are beautifully housed in a hard plastic case with a beautiful sandy gradient image on the front, which is repeated on the embossing on the product inside. The rippling-sand design is so beautiful and paints a very serene image of sandy beaches in my head. The Summer Lights has the nude to bronze gradient, while the Hot Nights palette has the rosy-toned gradient, which well represents the shades contained in each palette. 


Summer Lights 

Swatches from left to right: Rainwater, Hibiscus, Papetee, Hei, Paper Flower, Destination Unknown 

Eyeshadows from left to right:

Rainwater - This soft shimmer beige has a taupe undertone and hints of gold and bronze in it. It is a very complex shade that plays to both warm and cool tones. 

Hibiscus - This shade is a very warm caramel shade with a yellow undertone and a soft gold pearl. 

Papeete - This soft satin warm light terracotta shade has a very soft sheen. It is a great defining crease shade to add more depth. 

Hei - This shade is a deep cool shimmering brown with a taupe undertone. This shade adds a lot of depth and complexity to the overall look.

Cheek Products 

Paper Flower (Highlighter) - This shade is a very soft glimmering gold. It is highly reflective, more so than the lightest shadow in the palette and the finish is like glistening water in sunlight. This gold shade will suit most skin tones. 

Destination Unknown (Bronzer) - This soft matte bronze has a very slight cool undertone but still offers a lot of warmth to the face. It is on the lighter side and will most likely only suit fair to medium skin tones. However, it is also a lovely crease/transition shade for the eyes. 

Hot Nights 

Swatches from left to right: Pacific, Paradis, Maeva, Black Sand, Tautira, Manini

Eyeshadows from left to right:

Pacific - This shade is a soft satin rose champagne shade with a slightly gold-toned shimmer. 

Paradis - This shade is a complex mixture of bronze, rose gold, and copper. This shade is very multi-dimensional with flecks of rose shimmer. 

Maeva - This rich cranberry shade has a warm base and flecks of pink shimmer. It is a very flattering and wearable red shade that will suit most skin tones and it really compliments all the shades in the palette. 

Black Sand - This shade is a very deep and rich shimmering purple shade with a brown undertone. It adds a lot of depth and smokiness to the overall look. 

Cheek Products 

Tautira (Highlighter) - This highlighter is a glimmering rose-champagne with a gold undertone. Like the highlighter in the other palette, it has a finish like glistening water in sunlight. 

Manini (Bronzer) - The bronzer in this palette is a soft slightly yellow-toned bronze shade. It adds a lot of warmth but can also sculpt the face. Again, the tone is quite light, so it will most likely only suit fair to medium skin tones. 



The eyeshadows in these palettes are creamy, soft, and so blendable! The softness does create a tiny bit of fallout but if you lightly tap your brush off, you should not have issues with fallout. I have used these shadows without primer and they adhere and blend beautifully on the eyes, wearing beyond 8 hours in some cases! The shadows are all very pigmented and very buildable. The variety of textures and finishes, along with the balance of colors, makes these palettes very complex and beautiful.

Cheek Products 

The highlighters have the creamiest and silkiest texture! They are very buttery and pigmented. They seem to just melt into the skin. You really don't need to pick up much because these offer a super intense highlight. Like I stated in the color descriptions, these highlighters have a stunning glistening finish that looks like water reflecting in the sunlight. It is a very unique finish and it looks stunning! The shimmer is also very fine, so it doesn't emphasize texture for the most part. These highlighters have one of the best formulas I have ever tried and if this is an indication into all the NARS highlighters, I may need to get some more!

The bronzers are nice but the formula is lacking, especially when it sits next to the stunning highlighters. The bronzers have a soft and buttery texture but not nearly as creamy as the highlighters. They also seem to be lacking a bit in the pigment department. While I like a buildable bronzer, these can take a little bit to build on my medium skin tone. However, they do apply very evenly and smooth. They offer a very natural and healthy looking tan. I love the soft texture but I'd just like to see a little bit more pigment out of these.


In my Summer Lights look, I used the bronzer, Destination Unknown, as a crease/transition shade and added more definition with Papeete. I place Hibiscus all over the lid and used Hei to add more depth and smoke out the outer corner. Finally, I brightened and highlighted the inner corner with Rainwater. On my cheeks, I am only wearing Destination Unknown and Paper Flower as a highlighter.

For my Hot Nights look, I placed the bronzer, Manini, in my crease and blended it upwards. I used Maeva to define my crease even further and I placed Paradis all over the lid. To smoke out the outer corner, I used Black Sand and highlighted the inner corner with Pacific. On my cheeks, I am only wearing Manini and Tautira as my highlighter.


I have reviewed a lot of NARS this year already and all of them have been positive because they are really knocking it out of the park! I mean, these palettes are gorgeous inside and out! I love the shades that both palettes include. I think that the Summer Lights palette has a beautiful balance between warm and cool toned shadows, which offers a complex overall look. The Hot Nights palette has a beautiful blend of rosy and bronze tones,  which will suit most skin tones. The texture of the eyeshadows and the highlighters are heavenly! They are all pigmented, buttery, and creamy! They are easy to layer, blend, and work with! I think the only product that isn't as exceptional is the bronzer but I still find the bronzers to be very nice and creamy. I would just prefer the bronzers to have more pigment. The other unfortunate part is that they come in quite light shades so tan to deep skin tones will have no use for the bronzer, except for maybe to use as an eyeshadow or possibly a powder? It is hard to create a face palette that will suit everyone but I think NARS came pretty close with these shades and the formulas are so pigmented, they will definitely show up on most skin tones. These are a MUST-HAVE this year! I think NARS has really improved upon their formulas and have created some beautiful palettes for the summer. The shades are so wearable, I will be wearing these long after summer. I already took these traveling with me and they are the perfect travel companions! I really didn't need anything else I packed and in fact, I didn't end up using the other products I packed with me! I highly recommend these summer palettes! This is a good year for NARS products and I think both of these palettes are equally exceptional!

Shop NARS: