Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow
NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Holiday 2011: Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a limited edition holiday offering described simply as “mink.” NARS describes their cream eyeshadow formula as lightweight, blendable, buildable, and it can be worn alone or paired with a powder eyeshadow for “longer-lasting wear and added dimension.” I’m glad NARS mentioned using a powder eyeshadow for longer-lasting wear, because without a powder on top, I only achieved an hour of wear before it was a creased mess of brown on my lid–and I don’t have oily lids at all.

Admittedly, I was a little torn on how to effectively rate this product, because “it can be worn alone” seems rather ill-advised if you end up with an irreparable makeup faux-pas on your eyes in an hour or less. I decided to meet NARS halfway; I wouldn’t expect or rate with the expectation of eight-hour wear but would expect it to last through a casual dinner at the very least! I also would not recommend wearing this as an eyeliner, because it smudged and migrated into the under eye area.

It’s a complex shade of brown, because it’s a cool-toned deep, dark brown with burgundy and bronze micro-shimmer. MAC Legendary Black reminded me of this color but not as deep or as cool-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone also has a similar shade that’s a bit warmer. MAC Smut is comparable but seems a smidgen darker. It comes together nicely, and there is plenty of pigmentation.

The consistency is extremely creamy, so it glides and applies well, but it sheers out easily. I recommend applying it layers rather than applying a lot at once if you want really rich, opaque color. By building in layers, you’ll also give each layer to set a bit so it will hold together better overall. It’s completely wearable and certainly more durable with a powder on top to set; you can try a translucent powder, which will give it a slightly more muted look, but it will enhance the wear to eight hours without creasing or smudging.

The Glossover



It doesn't work well alone, because it does seem to crease very quickly (even with a sheer layer of product), but if you use it in conjunction with a powder (translucent or otherwise), it holds up much better.











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NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow
NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow
NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow
NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow
NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow
NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

NARS, $23.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

MAC Legendary Black reminded me of this color but not as deep or as cool-toned. Wet 'n' Wild Comfort Zone also has a similar shade that's a bit warmer. MAC Smut is comparable but seems a smidgen darker.

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29 thoughts on “NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Tori

    Such a pretty colour though not a fan of the high maintenance

    • Emma

      My thoughts exactly…I love blackened browns, but my morning routine doesn’t allow for much extra time and effort on eyeshadow.

  2. Avatar of Nella Nella

    Its the brown I’ve been looking for. Do you think it can be worn alone over an eyeshadow primer without anything on top of it?

    • Super sheer layer, maybe, but I needed to have powder over it to get 8+ hour wear!

      • I heard it wears wonderfully over Nars Smudge Proof Eye Primer – not so much over other brands though. Something that has to do with Nars formulation, but I don’t own any Nars cream shadows so I can’t verify that claim. Thanks for the review, Christine!

  3. Avatar of Evelyn Evelyn

    It’s kind of annoying to have to put powder on top to make it last. Powder would change the color which defeats the purpose of buying this shade which looks really nice as is.

    • I agree, u wouldn’t be able to see the shimmers anyway since the powder shadow covers it :s. I’d rather buy a brown paintpt, for example

    • Avatar of Tabi Tabi

      You could always set it with a transparent powder (like a face powder), though that still changes the color just slightly.

  4. I love the color, but I wouldn’t want to worry about creasing or smearing. :/

  5. Avatar of Marina Marina

    GORGEOUS! Why must it crease alone???

  6. Kylie

    I wish Chanel would do this exact shade in their cream shadow formula.

  7. Ponderosa? Like the old chain restaurant that served steak?! Ewwww.

    • JulieD

      Or, like the name of a retirement home? :)

    • With them, who can know? At least it’s not yet another sexual reference. Imagine putting makeup on a 13 year old and mom asks, “That’s a pretty shade, what is it?” “Why it’s Super Deep Throat G-Spot Orgasm by NARS.” That always makes for a festive Bat Mitzvah….

      • Avatar of Veronica Veronica

        I have to admit that irks me, too. I’m hardly prudish, but there’s something that rubs me wrong about all the sexualized monikers. One or two are fine for good humor, but more than that and it gets tiresome. Christ knows most men would throw a fit if their shaving cream was named “The Deep Thrust” or somewhat.

      • Avatar of Gala Gala

        Hah :) you cracked me up

    • Avatar of Veronica Veronica

      More likely, it’s probably a Bonanza reference. Or the Lake Tahoe theme park!

  8. JulieD

    The color is pretty. The swatch is very helpful, it looked so much warmer-toned in the pan, maybe the photograph picked up on the gold shimmer making it seem warmer. =D

  9. I haven’t tried their cream shadows but this one looks great.

  10. amanda

    what colour could we use with it without it changing the hue of it?

  11. Courtney

    too bad on the longevity, this is absolutely stunning.

  12. Jillian

    I bought this product last week and positively love it! I use Stila Smudge Pot in Kitten as a lid color and apply this in the crease, using a primer underneath the creams and a translucent product on top. I have not had a problem with creasing.

  13. Hannah

    Usually NARS cream eyeshadows crease badly, Burn It Blue was the last one I got and it looked a mess. I don’t know what happened with Ponderosa, it didn’t crease at all and I didn’t use a powder on top. Either they changed the formula very recently or it was how I applied it. All I did was use foundation over my lids and two applications of NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base.

  14. alix

    could this be used as an eyeliner?

  15. SS

    Perfect over the Nars primer. Doesn’t smudge at all. But doesn’t work as well as with other primers.