NARS Surabaya Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “brown sugar” and a “chestnut.” This is an interesting duo that desperately needs to be swatched! I can’t emphasize that enough, because it looks very, very different swatched and in practice than it does in its pretty pans. Both shades are much darker–so much so that not only did I swatch this duo twice, but I googled and looked through dozens of other images and saw similar results. In my old school NARS Duo product photos and swatches, the products look lighter than they do when swatched.
The left side of the duo is a rich, orange-red-toned dark brown with a smattering of gold shimmer and finer burnt red micro-shimmer. It has such a beautiful, silky texture with excellent color payoff. NARS Galapagos is slightly darker, more of a yellow-toned brown. Bare Escentuals Pumped is similar but not as red-toned. MAC Roasted Chestnut is similar, just a touch lighter and more metallic in finish. MAC Make Your Mark is not quite as intense or as red-toned. Laura Mercier Cedar is slightly less red-toned. MAC Swiss Chocolate is very similar but matte and a bit browner.
The right side of the duo is a warm, red-toned medium-dark brown with red shimmer. Like the left shade, this has a soft, smooth texture that yields rich, opaque pigmentation. Make Up For Ever #14 is more metallic and a deeper brown. theBalm Tres Moi is similar but more frosted. MAC Take Root is less intense and red-toned. MAC Antiqued is browner. theBalm Racy Kacy is a bit lighter and less brown.
This duo represents what NARS is capable of: soft, silky smooth textures combined with rich pigmentation. Both shades blended out beautifully and with ease, though a little goes a long way. These shades could be used together, but you’ll find they work even better when paired with a lighter shade for more contrast. When applied over the lid without a base, it lasted for eight hours with very, very minimal fading but no creasing; and when applied over the lid with a base, there were no issues after ten hours.
Luxurious textures, intense color payoff, and beautiful colors to boot--NARS really nailed this duo. It's virtually an A+, if you always use an eyeshadow primer, since you shouldn't have any wear issues (NARS does, however, state these are long-wearing and crease-resistant).
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