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NARS Iraklion Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil

NARS Iraklion Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil
NARS Iraklion Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil

NARS Iraklion Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “smoky rose quartz.” It’s a medium, muted brown with warm undertones and a champagne sheen. Tom Ford Beauty Orchid Haze #2 (P) is a powder. MAC Pink Sensibilities #1 (LE, $21.00) is also a powder. Too Faced Amaretto (P, $16.00) is warmer, darker, powder. Urban Decay Liar (P, $18.00) is a powder. Tom Ford Beauty Platinum (LE, $40.00) is darker, warmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Long-time readers will know that this is a formula I struggle with, and while it’s still not a product I’d recommend or reach for, this was significantly better than the last few shades I’ve tested. Instead of being extremely creamy, a little thick, with a lot of slip, it was a drier, thinner texture, which improved longevity but made it less comfortable to apply to the eyelid, lash line, and so forth. It tended to drag, catch, and apply unevenly. I would recommend using a separate brush and applying that way to improve comfort. It had semi-opaque color payoff, but it was buildable to mostly opaque. Longevity on these pencils is usually minutes, not even hours, but this managed four hours on me before it started to crease slightly. The creasing worsened as I wore the pencil until it was fairly significant at the six-hour mark. When used as an eyeshadow base with powder eyeshadow on top to set, I didn’t have visible creasing for five and a half hours.

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NARS Malacca Eyeshadow

NARS Malacca Eyeshadow
NARS Malacca Eyeshadow

NARS Malacca Eyeshadow ($24.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as an “iridescent peacock.” It’s a medium-dark, plummy brown with a cool-toned green shimmer-sheen and frosted finish. Makeup Geek Insomnia (P, $6.99) is warmer, redder-toned. Kat Von D Queen (LE) is similar. MAC Fireside (LE, $21.00) is similar, less of a sheen. MAC I’ve Got a Crush on You (LE, $32.50) is warmer, more metallic. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

When I first saw it, I was worried it was going to be that bluish-teal-brown duochrome that is gorgeous but has been done by a myriad of brands over the year, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it to be something slightly different–it does have a strong resemblance to those shades, but the cooler undertone makes it stand out a little bit. It has a much more mauve-plum-brown base (that gets more and more mauve-y as it is blended out) with a forest green shimmer-sheen on top–this was especially apparent when I applied it to the lid. It had good color payoff with a soft, smooth texture, but one downside was that the shimmer can “stick” in a place and not cover as evenly (you’ll see it on my eyelid, how only part has a strong sheen). Over a primer, I didn’t have that issue, though (something to keep in mind if you always use a primer). The color wore well for eight hours before starting to fade.

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NARS Lost Coast Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Lost Coast Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Lost Coast Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Lost Coast Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new, limited edition duo for summer. It’s an interesting mix of shades, but they do work together. One of my favorite aspects to trying out a NARS duo is seeing how the two work together, because you can discover combinations you never thought about before. I was less enamored with this duo as I was Tropical Princess, as the texture was more powdery in both shades here. The left side wasn’t as powdery as the right side, and the left side still applied more smoothly, evenly, and had better color payoff than the right side. I found the right side to be powdery, a little chalky, and a shade that really needs a base underneath to help it hold. The left side lasted for almost eight hours, while the right side was noticeably faded after six hours.

Lost Coast #1 is described as a “golden pewter.” It’s a warm-toned pewter with a bronzy gold sheen and a cooler, taupe-ish color underneath. It had a frosted finish, while the texture was somewhat powdery, though soft and blendable. theBalm #19 (P, $6.50) is very similar. bareMinerals Golden Pear (LE, $14.00) is lighter. Urban Decay Derailed (LE, $18.00) is darker. Dior Constellation (864) #2 (LE) is lighter. MAC Arctic Grey (LE, $15.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Lost Coast #2 is described as a “lilac snow.” It’s a light, pink-toned lavender with a satin finish–matte with a soft shimmer-sheen. It had so-so color payoff, but it was quick to sheer out as the texture was drier, more powdery, so it just didn’t bind together or stick well to the skin. I highly recommend using a primer or cream eyeshadow base underneath this to get better color payoff and to avoid it looking dry/powdery on the skin. MAC Digit (P, $15.00) is cooler-toned, lighter. Inglot #346 (P, $6.00) is slightly darker, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

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Also In This Review

B+

Lost Coast #1

Limited Edition
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C-

Lost Coast #2

Limited Edition
Read Review
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NARS Tropical Princess Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Tropical Princess Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Tropical Princess Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Tropical Princess Eyeshadow Duo ($35.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new, limited edition duo for summer. If you really liked the texture and application of Kauai, I think you’re going to be pleased with this duo as well! It felt very similar to me; soft, smooth, buttery, and silky with excellent color payoff. Both shades from this duo wore well for almost eight hours before starting to crease slightly (no primer). I would say this duo felt a little softer and not quite as “thick,” and it didn’t wear for quite as long as Kauai, but the texture is really lovely to work with (Kauai was just perfect!). This duo is slated for release on NARS’ website on April 15th, then it will roll out to other retailers beginning of May.

Tropical Princess #1 is described as a “neon lemon lime.” It’s a bright pop of chartreuse that leans green (not yellow) with warm undertones and a frosted sheen. The pigmentation was very nice and true-to-pan, while the texture was soft and buttery and very easy to use. MAC Chartreuse Bouquet (LE, $21.00) is slightly darker, less metallic. Kat Von D Birdcage (LE) is more muted. CoverGirl Lime Light (310) (LE, $4.99) is slightly greener. NARS Rated R #1 (P, $24.00) is less shimmery. Dior Garden Pastels #1 (LE) is darker, greener. Make Up For Ever #304 (P, $20.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Tropical Princess #2 is described as an “icy lavender.” It’s a very light, lavender-tinged white with a metallic finish. It applies a lot lighter than it looks in the pan due to the incredibly reflective, metallic sheen it gives off–it brightened the lid well, but on me, the “lavender” part of the color tended to get lost. On cooler complexions, or if paired with cooler eyeshadows, I think it may be more prominent. The color payoff was great, though, and the texture felt like butter and silk. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk #1 (LE) is darker. Urban Decay Aura #2 (LE, $18.00) is similar. MAC Fresh Ice (LE, $21.00) is less metallic. bareMinerals Flash (P, $16.00) is darker, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

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Also In This Review

NARS Baalbek Eye Paint

NARS Baalbek Eye Paint
NARS Baalbek Eye Paint

NARS Baalbek Eye Paint ($25.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as “bronze.” It’s a blackened-brown with warm, olive undertones and dirty gold and bronze shimmer. MAC Past Twilight (LE, $16.00) is cooler-toned, less shimmery. Sephora Collection Diving in Malaysia (18) (P, $9.00) is less shimmery. Urban Decay Crave (P, $19.00) has no shimmer. Urban Decay Corrupt (P, $19.00) is lighter. MAC Orpheus (LE, $16.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS’ Eye Paint formula is supposed to be richly pigmented, smooth, quick-drying, long-lasting gel eyeliner. I was really impressed with the formula when it first released, because they can also be used as cream eyeshadows and have a consistency that works exceptionally well as an eyeliner and as a cream eyeshadow–and they wear long and hard. Baalbek is intensely pigmented, so a little goes a very long way, and it applies smoothly and evenly. It wore well for over twelve hours and didn’t budge or fade (it could have kept going!) as an eyeliner, and as an eyeshadow, it held up without creasing or fading for nine hours (then it slightly creased). It’s a new (and permanent) shade from NARS’ Adult Swim collection, which launches April 15th.

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Dior Rivage (264) Transatlantique Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Rivage (264) Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Rivage (264) Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Rivage (264) Eyeshadow Palette ($60.00 for 0.21 oz.) consists of five shades ranging from pale gray to navy blue–four of the shades are cool-toned, lean bluish, while one is a warm-toned gold. The palette is part of the Saks-exclusive Transatlantique collection and is available online and in-store. At this point, I feel like I should know better than to buy Dior’s more “vibrant” palettes, because I usually find them disappointing, and true to form, this one is a miss as well. (Unless they bring back last year’s Mystic Metallics formula.) The application is difficult due to the powdery, almost chalky, base of the majority of the shades, so it looks dry, powdery, and gets muddied quickly on the lid. It’s a palette that desperately needs to be paired with a slightly tacky, creamy base (it needs more than a regular, invisible primer), and I highly recommend applying it prior to your base products as there is a lot of excess fall out (and yes, I tap excess off my brush prior to applying). The shades started off more faded applied than they looked in the pan, but it had noticeably faded even more after six hours of wear.

Rivage #1 is a muted, periwinkle blue with a silvered, frosted finish. It had decent color payoff, and the texture was slightly powdery but soft to the touch. Sleek MakeUP Acid #5 (P, $9.99), Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm #3 (LE), Sephora Collection My Boyfriend’s Jeans (19) (P, $13.00), and NARS Rated R #2 (P, $24.00) are all significantly darker. MAC Moon’s Reflection (P, $15.00) is lighter, warmer in a way. MAC Wintersky (LE, $32.50) is darker, more frosted. Chanel Destination (LE, $36.00) is grayer, cream. Inglot #429 (P, $6.00) is lighter with a more metallic sheen. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Rivage #2 is a pale, gray-ish white with a soft, pearly finish. This shade was dry, chalky, powdery, and ultimately, semi-sheer at best in regards to coverage. Tom Ford Beauty Ice Queen #1 (P) is more frosted, brighter. Tarina Tarantino Glinda’s Kiss (LE) is yellower. MAC A Waft of Grey #1 (P, $21.00) is similar. Dior Golden Snow #1 (LE) is brighter. theBalm A3 (LE, $16.00) is grayer. NARS Vent Glace #1 (P, $24.00) is similar. Dior Night Golds #1 (LE) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Rivage #3 is a light-medium, sky blue with a metallic sheen. It had so-so color payoff, but at least the texture wasn’t powdery. Sleek MakeUP Acid #6 (P, $9.99) is slightly darker. NARS South Pacific #2 (P, $24.00) is darker, less metallic. MAC Dimensional Blue (LE, $19.50) is cooler-toned, more muted. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Rivage #4 is a medium gold with warm, yellow-orange undertones and a sparkling, metallic finish. It had fairly good pigmentation, and the texture had an almost wet feel to it, but it had some chunkier glitter, so there was some fall out during wear along with the shorter wear-time of the color in general. bareMinerals Stay Golden (LE, $14.00) is darker, less sparkly. Dior Golden Snow #2 (LE) is chunkier. MAC Until Dawn #2 (LE, $21.00) is more muted. Sleek MakeUP Meet in Madrid (LE, $9.99) is less sparkly. Milani Drenched in Gold (P, $6.99) is warmer. MAC Retrospeck (P, $15.00) is similar. L’Oreal Eternal Sunshine (P, $7.99) is yellower. Lancome Eternal Gold (P, $24.50) is yellower. Dior Night Golds #4 (LE) is less metallic.Dior Fairy Golds #2 (LE) is less warm-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Rivage #5 is a rich, deep blue with a frosted finish. It seemed to have excellent color payoff, but the texture was noticeably powdery, and when I worked with it on the eyelid, it looked incredibly faded and muted. I tried to layer and build the color up in the crease to no avail. The one shade that seemed promising ended up disappointing as well. Sleek MakeUP Acid #5 (P, $9.99) is lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild I’m His Breezey #5 (P, $2.29) is less shimmery. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm #3 (LE) is brighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild I Don’t Do Camouflage #3 (LE, $2.29) is less frosted, more muted. Sephora Collection My Boyfriend’s Jeans (19) (P, $13.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

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Also In This Review

C+

Rivage #1

Limited Edition
Read Review
F

Rivage #2

Limited Edition
Read Review
D+

Rivage #3

Limited Edition
Read Review
C+

Rivage #4

Limited Edition
Read Review
C+

Rivage #5

Limited Edition
Read Review