Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Spring 2011: Calanque

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a mix of gold infused platinum with silver flecks, light matte caramel, and rich antique bronze infused with gold. NARS does an admirable job describing their shades, because the official descriptions are quite apt.

The largest shade is a part-shimmer, part-glitter sheer overlay of a pale white-gold color. In all honesty, I do not like it at all–it applies unevenly, makes a mess, and the “silver flecks” aka silver glitter get everywhere. To make this shade manageable, try using it over a sticky base and wet, because dry, it proves to have far more fall out than it is worth. It’s more of a layering shade, too, because there isn’t much of a base color so much as a dusting of shimmer and glitter.

In the middle, there is a soft beige-tan with a subtle sheen; it’s not exactly matte–seems more like a satin to me, because of the sateen finish. This shade had a beautiful finish, very smooth and silky, with nice color pay off, too. The thinnest shade is a dark bronze brown with soft bronze shimmer. It has a softened frost sheen; it’s not a true frost finish, but it is a little more than a satin.

my thoughts on the formula: NARS states that you can use their eyeshadows wet or dry, though. The texture is soft, smooth, and very blendable, with the colors being nicely pigmented more often than not.   Here, two of the three shades are true to the NARS formula, but the largest and lightest shade is more difficult to work with than one would expect.  A NARS Eyeshadow Duo contains 0.14 oz. of product and retails for $32, which makes the trio more per ounce (but a better value than the single eyeshadows).

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: Given that the largest shade is also the most difficult one to work with, I’m hard-pressed to recommend this trio, because I only think two shades are worth having.  The amount of glitter fall out from the lightest shade is quite bothersome.

where to buy: NARS

See more photos & swatches!

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase Calanque? How much is it?

NARS, $45.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

The lightest shade seems comparable to NARS Bombshell without the glitter. The middle shade is a peacher version of NARS Egea; similar to MAC Arena. The darkest shade is a lighter Cordura--more like Star sailor and Cordura had a baby and gave up the gold shimmer; it is close to Urban Decay's Darkhorse.

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24 thoughts on “NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. SweetSurrender

    I have this ordered and arriving tomorrow at my doorstep! i’ve been SO excited to get this – Nars never disappoints me and i’m hoping this won’t.. but i’m a sucker for shimmer, glitter and neutrals, so i don’t think i can lose with this one!

  2. Eileen

    Even giving this disappointment a B- is being too generous. That 50% of the pan is taken up by a veritable glitter bomb that leaves lots of fall out in its uneven wake is reason enough to give this one a miss. I love Nars, but the formulation and execution of Calanque is not up to the usual high standards.

  3. Rosanna

    That’s so disappointing that the largest shade is the least worthy of all the shades. If only the other two had larger share of the space! Perhaps I’ll just buy duos that have been on my wishlist because in CAD, the trios are as expensive as MAC per gram (although that didn’t stop me from buying a few single eyeshadows).

  4. Christine

    Are the 2 darker colors warm or cool? I have to watch for browns that often look very orange on my very cool fair skin with pink undertones. What MAC eyeshadow is the closest to the middle shade? Thanks!

  5. Emily

    Am i the only one who really dislikes eyeshadows packaged with drastically different amounts of color like this?

  6. Sophie

    Please do a look with this! Love it

  7. anonymous

    I’m glad I had no plans to get this & I’ll definitely think twice about any shadow from Nars. Nars always puts me off with shimmerville.

  8. Monica

    Christine, you took the words right out of my mouth. The largest part of the trio is the most disappointing. Those glitter flecks fall out everywhere. I tried to use it wet and over a base and I just did not like it at all. I hated it so much that I cut that part out of my palette completely and threw it away. I only use the two smaller colors. Those are really pretty and much more pigmented. I wouldn’t recommend this palette.

  9. Arantzazu

    Don’t know… Maybe is something about me, but I’ve never liked that kind of eyeshadows, three colours all together with nothing separating them… Too messy and useful for me.
    The middle brown is beautiful, though!

  10. yvette

    awww what a shame such lovely neutral colors!!

  11. Maya

    *Sigh* NARS never does well with the glitter, but most of their shadows are AMAZING! Very sad this wasn’t a good buy…I swatched it in Sephora and agree with your review completely. Those last two shades are great but that dreadful cream/glitter color ruins the whole thing (and it’s half the product)! Disappointing because I was looking forward to this trio!

  12. Greta

    looks beautiful. pity about the biggest shade :(

  13. Rebecca

    I can’t justify spending $45 on this when for $10 I can get the whole Urban Decay Naked palette which has 9 more shadows, 2 liners, and a mini primer potion. How big in this in size compared to a regular NARS shadow?

  14. Trish

    Swatched this at Sephora last week and was so dissapointed the biggest part of the shadow had the worst performance. :-( Glitter fallout everywhere and didn’t do much to enhance my NW43 skin. I thought the glitter part would be like their Night Star single shadow–which is gorgeous.

  15. Melody

    I love how this one looks in the pan, so I was so hoping it was work out in function as well! Oh well, the new duos are wonderful enough to make up for it! =D

  16. Angela

    Ugh, what a shame that the worst shade is HALF of the pan :(
    But I absolutely love the other 2 shades… im a neutrals gal (;

  17. Ugh, unfortunately I agree with you… I was excited for this trio, but when I swatched it found myself loving the two smaller colors significantly more than the big one :( Too bad we can’t buy these individually and just skip the loser.

  18. Donna Cooper

    Why does it photograph with pink tones? I had in my head what it would look like, and then saw it in real life. Totally unimpressed. I so wanted to love it, but no.

  19. Steph

    That first shade is just shockingly bad… especially since it’s half of the product!

  20. Joseph Crisp

    The lightest shade reminds me of Night Star, also from NARS. Just the mere thought of that shadow gives me nightmares. It has an UNBELIEVEABLE amount of fallout; I don’t even think any of the shadow actually sticks to your lid, and all you’re left with is a pile of glitter on top of your cheeks. Such a shame, because both colors are so gorgeous in their pans.

  21. Cathy

    They totally made this palette backwards. The bronze should be the biggest, then the caramel, and then there should just be a little sliver of the crap glitter bomnb

  22. DANG! I had REALLY high hopes for this, as it would make for a great everyday (work) look! But, even the swatch on the lightest color totally turned me off! The other two colors are great…but why spend the money!?

    • Rebecca

      I was seduced anyway and just recieved mine today. While I am not at all certain it is technically worth the money, it is very easy to make a subtle, flattering eye with a bit of soft smoke for a pale blue eyed girl. With zero creaing I might add….for me that is rare!