NARS Hardwired Eyeshadows (Fall 2016)

NARS Hardwired Eyeshadow ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a “new,” limited edition formula available in six shades for fall. NARS’ has used the term “Hardwired Eyeshadow” before, though they were more like typical powder eyeshadows and several were matte, and then two of the six shades (Outer Limits and Stud) were released in previous seasonal collections as regular eyeshadows (but were quite different from NARS’ standard powder formula!). NARS’ describes this formula as “high-pigment,” “high-shine,” and long-wearing. It’s a pressed eyeshadow with a high amount of metallic shine and reflective sparkle. The six in the launch are very similar in feel and application, and the two repeated shades are similar to their original launches (Outer Limits was a little lighter/less pigmented to me). The formula compares to MAC Pressed Pigments and Urban Decay Moondusts; they have similar almost-wet, smooth texture with lots of sparkle and shine but adhere better and have less fall out than traditional glitter/sparkle eyeshadows. NARS’ formula is semi-opaque to opaque with sparkle that varies from finer and smoother (like the latter three) to larger, chunkier, and looser, so the wear varies from minimal to moderate fall out.

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NARS Hardwired Eyeshadow

MAC x Star Trek Midnight & To Boldly Go Pressed Pigment

MAC Midnight Pressed Pigment ($23.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “cobalt blue with pearl sparkle.” It’s a blackened navy blue with lighter blue sparkle. It had semi-opaque coverage applied dry, which was mostly opaque when applied damp. It applied more smoothly and evenly when I used it with a damp brush than dry. The color lasted for eight hours with a little fall out over time. Hello Kitty Kitty-Chan (LE) is less shimmery (95% similar). Urban Decay Vega (P, $22.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Chanel Swing (116) (P, $29.50) is less shimmery, brighter (90% similar). Too Faced Bluebird (P, $16.00) is less shimmery, darker (85% similar). Urban Decay Vega (P, $20.00) is lighter, brighter (85% similar). Dior Reveuse (271) (LE, $31.00) is warmer (80% similar). Illamasqua Alluvium (P, $25.50) is less shimmery, lighter, brighter (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

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MAC Midnight Pressed Pigment
MAC Pressed Pigment Midnight
B
Product
8
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
8
Application
4.5
Total
83%
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YSL Golden Glow (13) Couture Palette

YSL Golden Glow (13) Couture Palette ($60.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a muted, neutral eyeshadow palette with subtle, warmer shades. The eyeshadows are supposed to be “intense” in color, long-wearing, and crease-proof. I like the way YSL’s Couture eyeshadow formula looks on the lid, but it is a formula that really needs a primer to last through the day–so if you typically wear primer, and you don’t already have neutrals covered, you might like this one. The eyeshadows are very soft, lightly dusty but “melt” a bit, where they meld with the skin and don”t just sit on it and look dry. Overall, the pigmentation was semi-opaque to opaque with most shades blending easily. They all faded noticeably within six to seven hours on me, though.

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YSL Golden Glow (13) Couture Palette

YSL Rosy Glow (14) Couture Palette

YSL Rosy Glow (14) Couture Palette ($60.00 for 0.16 oz.) contains a mix of warmer neutrals with satin to frost finishes. The eyeshadows are supposed to be “intense” in color, long-wearing, and crease-proof. The palette largely performed as past Couture palettes have, which is with decent pigmentation, softer/dustier textures, and below-average wear but does improve significantly when used over a primer. While I typically like the end result of how the formula looks on the lid, this palette had one major miss–the light gold–that was just sheer and messy to work with, which is not at all the “intense color” promised.

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YSL Rosy Glow (14) Couture Palette

Charlotte Tilbury Seductive Beauty / Dolce Vita Instant Look Palette

Charlotte Tilbury Seductive Beauty Instant Look in a Palette ($75.00 for 0.77 oz.) is a neutral-hued eye and cheek palette that features three eyeshadows and four cheek/face products. I think if you have a good arsenal of neutrals, this will be dupable for you, but they are still a nice set of neutrals that work well together and would be travel-friendly. If you prefer more mattes or less shimmery eyeshadows, though, this one may be limiting. All in all, the palette was easy to use; there was no real fuss, and the more quality-related issue I had was how soft the bronzer was, but it looked great applied, which is where it counts the most.

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Charlotte Tilbury Seductive Beauty Instant Look in a Palette
Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Seductive Beauty
A-
Product
9
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8.5
Longevity
8.5
Application
5
Total
91%
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Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow Palette ($49.00 for 0.16 oz.) consists of eight, new shades of the Moondust Eyeshadow formula housed in a “glittery” plastic compact. It looks like silvery glitter, but it doesn’t feel like loose glitter (so you won’t get a bunch of glitter shedding over time but can appreciate the look of it!). The Moondust formula is specifically designed to be over-the-top sparkly with “minimal fallout” and sheerer coverage dry, more “intense color payout” when applied wet. I like using flat, synthetic brushes (or fingertips, as the brand suggests) that have been slightly dampened by a spritz of just water. If you want extra-long hold, I would still recommend a glitter adhesive, but I get pretty good wear with little fall out without any primers or adhesive, as the formula has a smoother, almost wet consistency. They work better combined with other eyeshadows than using several at once, and they tend to look more impressive in person than in still photos.

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Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow Palette
Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow Palette Moondust
B+
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
8.5
Application
4.5
Total
88%
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