Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow
NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow

NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow

NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “bitter chocolate infused with gold.” It’s a really rich, intense brown with a subtle yellow undertone that adds some warmth but doesn’t take away from the richness of the overall color. The larger gold sparkle doesn’t quite make it to the lid when applied (sometimes it shows up a bit but more often than not, it doesn’t), but there is a finer gold shimmer that is threaded through so it’s not an entirely matte shade.

Galapagos has a nice formula, too; it’s a well-pigmented eyeshadow that blends easily, despite its intensity. However, it is supposed to have this gold sparkle, which doesn’t translate onto the lids, so I had to take that into account. Galapagos reminds me of Bobbi Brown’s Black Cocoa, which had a redder base.  NARS lists these eyeshadows as long-wearing and crease-resistant, and they wear pretty well alone (no primer!), but I get about seven to eight hours before it shows slight creasing–it lasts all day with a primer.

NARS’ packaging is very slim, compact, and even the single eyeshadows include a mirror when you flip it open. Rubberized packaging ensures it won’t slip out of your hand, and it helps absorb any impact if you accidentally drop it. The downside to the rubberized packaging is that it can easily show powder debris if you keep it in your makeup bag. I keep my NARS in drawers, and everything is nice and clean.

The Glossover


NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches


If you thought browns were "boring," Galapagos is such an intense brown that it breathes new life to the color. NARS proves you can have your oomph with your browns.











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NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow
NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow

NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow
NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow

NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow
NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow

NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow
NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow

NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow
NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow

NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase Galapagos? How much is it?

NARS, $23.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

Galapagos reminds me of Bobbi Brown's Black Cocoa, which had a redder base.

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55 thoughts on “NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. NeenaJ

    Reminds me of Shiro’s Everything Is Bears. Gorgeous, sparkly and way less expensive!

  2. It looks way prettier in the pan than in the swatch. I hate when that happens!

    • Your don’t be much of the pearl/frost finish sometimes with shadows if they are mix with a matte based. Inglot Double Shine shadows are matte with frost that you also get just a hint of the shine when applied.

  3. Hepcat288

    Sorry to say this but this swatch does not do the color justice. I guess it’s the angle, but it looks too murky

    • This is how it looks on me :( I double check all my photos for color accuracy!

    • Katie

      I agree. This is one of my most favorite shades and the swatch looks nothing like when I use it.

      • Could you perhaps elaborate on how it looks “nothing like” this? I am ALWAYS checking for color accuracy, and I’ve now swatched Galapagos three times just to be sure, and this is how it looks like on my skin. I can’t fix my skin tone, much to people’s disappointment, but it would be very helpful if you could tell me how it’s completely different. When you say nothing like it, it is important to find out what you mean by that.

        • Jenna

          It looks a lot more similar to your older swatch.
          It slightly lighter and warmer, more sheer, with more glitter.

          • It has lots of glitter, but all the glitter disappears as you blend out the color.

            The older photos were taken in poor Nordstrom lighting and had to be scraped out of the pans because they were so matted down by the oil from peoples’ fingers – again, I compared this swatch against real-life swatch on my arm three times today, and this is what it looks like. :( I don’t know what else to do, I’m really sorry!!

            • Jenna

              Its so odd you say it disappears with blending because with both of mine(have two of them) the glitter stays much more than the color.

              Please don’t apologize, its not like you did anything wrong! Maybe this is a revamped version? Not really sure. But anyways thanks for the swatch lol :)

            • I get these little gold microshimmers but the larger gold pieces that are more like glitter than shimmer definitely don’t stick to the shadow much – wish they did though! I think I got this a week or two ago?

            • Jeanie

              My skin seems like it’s hungry for makeup because it eats it all the time. Like I can pack a color on, do just a bit of careful blending, and suddenly all the complexities and pigment seems to have disappeared!

              I’ve just come to the conclusion that it’s my skin that does it, maybe that’s why it looks different on you Christine?

            • Maybe it’s the primer or the applicator? I know some primers seem to eat color vs. enhance it! Or the brush eats it… LOL!

            • Lisa

              These are the times where I’d love to see people complaining provide a link to a swatch on their arms.

      • amy

        it looks exactly like temptalias swatch on me. maybe u have a dif skin color?

        • Me, too. I’m light-medium and it looks like the pic.
          (I’m glad that my husband couldn’t see me at the makeup shrine, staring alternately at my arm and my smart phone. #crazy O_o)

  4. Katie

    I own this but i find it difficult to blend.

  5. Atanza

    Pretty, but really warm colors like this don’t work on me. :(

  6. The two shades I had to have from NARS were Galapagos and Mekong. They make for an awesome smokey brown eye combo!

  7. Kayla

    I’m so intrigued by NARS products. They’re all so beautiful! I wish I could afford them because this brown is definitely something I would love to use as a shade to deepen the outer V for a spicier every day look.

    • Emily O.

      Check out for discounted authentic NARS, I don’t mean to shill for any business but I’ve had good experiences :)

    • Emily O.

      Ok in the manner of the oddball hysteric on YouTube defending Britney “Leave Christine Aloooone!” it’s amazing how different perspective, product, lighting and even our specific vision view things differently. Christine your swatches have sold me on Galapagos, plus the name is beyond AWEsome :)

  8. Rosie

    WOW, this looks like a way better version of Sparkle Nealy Sparkle. I must get this brown!!!!I wished you had the time to do a look with all the swatches you post. None the less I appreciate you’re swatches, I always browse your site for swatches and what you thought of the product before purchasing. You’re always spot on with your reviews!!! Thanks 😉

  9. Ali

    OMG CHRISTINE! my all time favorite eyeshadow ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you!!!! please do a look!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. jilian

    i’ve been telling a friend to buy this color, I think I’m going to sephora right now to pick this up, i luv this color!!

  11. Alyssa

    Shadows like these always disappoint me and a lot of them exist. I see this deep, beautiful amber leaning towards brown in the pan (I have been looking for a color like this for years!)…. and the swatch is always an intense, dark brown with gold sparkle. Not ugly by any means, but I want it to look like the pan!

  12. Mo

    I’ve been wanting this shadow for a long time now but I seem to be stuck buying MAC shadows.

  13. cloudburst

    How does this compare to Sparkle Neely Sparkle?

    • I’m not making any comparisons to the Bloggers’ Obsessions’ pieces, sorry! You are welcome to view the Swatch Gallery and see for yourself :)

  14. Pawsha

    I bought Galapagos last year and it is great, however with mine you can see gold shimmer on the lid. I have the BB Black Cocoa and they look nothing alike, since BB has a black undercast on it. The BB Black Cocoa is a nightmare to wear.

  15. AnGeLwInGz

    Bourbon 24/7 liner would match perfectly with that!

  16. baby in a corner

    I expected this to be like UD smog when swatched but its much more satin/ matte!

  17. o my goodness that color is so gorgeous!

  18. Diane

    I love this color. I think I may have to pick this up.

  19. Mariella

    I swatched Galapagos next to Too Faced’s Cocoa Puff the last time I was at Sephora (because I was thinking of getting it but already have Cocoa Puff in the Natural Palette) and they were virtually indistinguishable, one from the other, so I saved myself a bit of money and some space!

    • I have reached makeup fanatic status when I am able to pull out the two shades you mentioned and compare for myself! :) I actually own Cocoa Puff in the Natural Palette and in the Honey Pot duo.

  20. Dina

    This is hands down my all time favorite brown.

  21. meme

    funny how much gold it looks like in the pan yet the swatch is much less gold, more matte too. Pretty, but not at all what I expected it to look like swatched.

  22. Jill

    When I saw this review, I just had to go out and try out this shadow. I don’t know why it never caught my eye before. So I ran into my local Sephora and tried and and I just love it! On my skin, it does definitely hold the glitter so it has sparkle to it on my lids. I kind of wish it was more of a sheen and less of a sparkle, but it’s still really fun and pretty. I agree that it doesn’t blend very well. I put it on with a regular sized eyeshadow brush at first, and the edge of it are a little rough looking. I think it will look better if I use the “smudge brush” I have from Ulta, because it’ll make a thinner line of the shadow, and the rough edge will kind of just go into the crease and look like a more natural application. I also got the Stolen Kisses lip gloss to wear on my lips with this shadow.

  23. Rosanna

    NARS neutral eyeshadows showed they didn’t have to look all the same or be boring. I thought a neutral MAC quad was enough but I craved NARS neutrals!

    The gold sparkles does tend to disappear as you blend it out. Just apply it wet or on top of a sticky base like a cream shadow. HOWEVER, the matte colour is still beautiful in itself! It’s so pigmented but you can apply it sheerly if you tap your brush in the pan and blend on your eyelid.

  24. Tamara

    Um this color is amazing I’m not sure why I’ve never noticed it before! I want it and WILL have it!

  25. Wow…such a gorgeous shade!! :)

  26. Olivia

    Ok, that’s it. I’m buying this eyeshadow. Every time I go to sephora I swatch it and think it’s so prett, but I never buy it! Thank you for doing this, I MUST buy it now. :)

  27. Rachael

    sadly, it looks like sparkly smeary poo. i love browns but that swatch just isnt doing it for me.

  28. JaneR

    This is my all time favorite brown shadow!! I’m of Indian origin and I could never find a brown that didn’t make my skin look muddy until this came along. This is my staple brown shadow!!

  29. ak

    This is very pretty!

  30. Mini

    Will you please do a look with this shadow? I’d love to see what if looks like on the crease, to add some depth to the eye. Love your website btw, it has seriously helped me soo much with making purchasing decisions!!

  31. Astrid

    I use this almost exclusively as a liner and it works wonderfully- all the glitter stay and it is just gorgeous!

  32. triana

    Smoky for sure!!