NARS Eye Liner Pencils Review, Photos, Swatches (Manon, Parrot Cay, Kitty, Kaliste, Black Moon)

NARS Eye Pencils
NARS Eye Liner Pencils: Manon, Parrot Cay, Kitty, Kaliste, Black Moon

NARS Eye Liner Pencils for Lightweight Lining

NARS Eye Liner Pencil ($20.00) is a richly pigmented pencil eyeliner that is available in sixteen shades: Black Moon (dense black), Iceberg (crisp white), Kaliste (teal), Kitty (turquoise blue), Kyoto (olive green with shimmer), London (foggy gray), Mambo (chocolate brown), Manon (violet), Parrot Cay (mint green), Patmos (khaki green), Istanbul (sky blue), and Sandstorm (gold leaf).

I test-drove five shades over the past week, and NARS has some really stunning shades available. They’re just so rich and intense without being bright. Though the pencil tip is a little on the sharper side when you initially get them, after doing swatches on my arm, it whittled away enough that it was soft, smooth, and easy to use on my lower lash line.

It’s not ultra creamy but not dry either. I wouldn’t describe it as creamy so much as smooth. It easily glided on my lower lash line without any pulling or tugging, so that’s enough softness for me. I also didn’t have to layer in order to achieve true pigmentation, either.Β  Sometimes with pencils, the initial use can be a little rougher, but since I always swatch on my arm first, it helps to wear down the tip, in case it’s too sharp.

  • Manon is a blue-based violet purple. There’s no shimmer, just pure purple.
  • Parrot Cay is a minty green. I’m surprised it doesn’t look super chalky, being so pastel, but it’s an interesting way to open up eyes with color rather than a white or flesh-toned eyeliner.
  • Kitty is a rich sky blue. This one felt and looked the creamiest of the five I tried. It also felt like the most pigmented–very rich.
  • Kaliste is a darkened teal–I want to call it a forest teal, because it’s so dark–and it looks lovely with a neutral eye.
  • Black Moon is a blackened brown. I’m not sure why it’s described as a “dense black,” because it’s definitely not black–there are significant brown tones to it.

But there is one huge problem that renders these eyeliners amongst the worst I have ever used: they have no lasting power at all. I can’t even express to you how much I wanted these to work, because they are truly beautiful shades, and they do look amazing on–but I can’t even go twenty minutes without it starting to smudge and migrate all over the place. I don’t have an oily lash line, and I’ve never had major issues with an eyeliner going all over the place. But these took smudging and migration to a whole new level.

NARS Eye Pencils
After just one hour…

After an hour of wear, I had liner that was on my lower lash line… on my upper lash line (say WHAT?!), all faded and smudged every which way on my lower lash line, crept up to my waterline… it was not a pretty sight in the least bit, but I couldn’t resist capturing just how smudge-tastic these were on camera.

But anyway, the point is I loved the shade range and the feel of these pencils so much that I tried every single liner multiple times. They all performed the same. I was secretly wishing and hoping that maybe just Black Moon or Kaliste were poor performers, but even the lighter shades like Parrot Cay and Kitty played me for a fool. Not to mention, when I was checking for reviews of these online, I just did not find that many negative reviews.

So, I have these, and I do really love the shades. After I get over being totally laughed at by these pencils, I’ll probably use them, but set them with an eye sealer (like Benefit’s She-Laq or Make Up For Ever’s Eye Seal) and/or set with powder eyeshadow. But this is NARS we’re talking about, and even worse yet is it’s supposed to be a long-wearing pencil.

I give it points for being incredibly pigmented, smooth, and looking lovely on, but I took away the majority of points for its complete miss on long-wearing power and how extreme the fading, smudging, and migration is.Β  I would really love to hear from those who have used this product, because I’m totally sad over their performance after reading so many glowing reviews online!

Have you tried NARS Eyeliner? I hope your results were better than mine!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! πŸ™‚

  • Product: 15/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Unless you’re able to try these first in-store, I really can’t recommend them. I had such a terrible experience with them fading, smudging, and migrating that there’s no way I could feel good about saying, “Try ’em for yourself!” There seems to be plenty of positive reviews on these, so maybe I’m the rare exception. But how I wish I wasn’t!

Availability: NARS

NARS Eye Pencils

NARS Eye Pencils

NARS Eye Pencils
NARS Eye Liner Pencils: Manon, Parrot Cay, Kitty, Kaliste, Black Moon

NARS Eye Pencils
NARS Eye Liner Pencils: Manon, Parrot Cay, Kitty, Kaliste, Black Moon

NARS Eye Pencils
NARS Eye Liner Pencils: Manon, Parrot Cay, Kitty, Kaliste, Black Moon

NARS Eye Pencils
NARS Eye Liner Pencils: Manon, Parrot Cay, Kitty, Kaliste, Black Moon

NARS Eye Pencils
I’m wearing Kaliste on the lower lash line… See, it’s so pretty!

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About the Reviewer


Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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I have a couple eye liner pencils that do the same thing… I’ll put a line right above my lash line and it will end up above my crease! @[email protected] However, I’ve always thought that was justified by the fact that they were ULTA brand or some other eye liner that can be purchased for relatively cheap. But wow, that’s super sad that they’re such a nice brand and they do the same thing. πŸ™ Thanks for sharing your review with us and not going with the flow and just saying that they’re great! Your honesty is appreciated. ^_^

that colour is beautiful on you, the last picture is stunning!
Ii does actually look nice smudged, so maybe they’d be great for a sort of smouldering look or something!
beautiful colours

Is this the 1st time I see a D-? And it’d be less disappointing if they’re not pigmented or the colors are not beautiful. Kaliste looks really pretty on you πŸ™ And for $20!

Wow, I have had a completely different experience with these. I have four of them, and they wear rather well on me. On the upper and lower lash line.

Nope, I am truly jealous that you can wear any lipstick shade under the sun. I would give anything for that.

Eyeliner, Schmi-liner.


wow they look so gorgeous! and all of the colours sound so amazing… but then they smudge so bad. =( i REALLY was hoping for these to work

wow those eyeliners are horrible !!! Christine I think you should check bourjois metallic eyeliners, they are pigmented, gorgeous colors and long lasting. I strongly recommend # 54 Bleu Clinquant =)

I’ve had better luck with these – lasting 4 or 5 hours except for maybe the water line. I have Kaliste, Parrot Cay, London and Kitty and of those, London and Kitty last the best. I don’t have oily skin and I usually use them over some kind of primer on the upper lid at least (usually a MAC paint pot)

Funny enough, it seems to last longer on the waterline than the lash line (but they both cause smudging everywhere, lol)!

Wow that’s really disappointing. What’s with Nars and their cream formula/ products sucking? Their cream eyeshadows do not last, neither do the cream blushes or the thicker shade pencils. I’ve learned that expensive lesson and won’t buy any of those things from Nars again.

Wow, I wish I had read your review before I bought this. I got Black Moon about a week ago and I really regret it because it doesn’t last long at all, it fades really quickly! I have never been dissatisfied by a NARS product but I guess there is a first for everything.

Oooh… Thanks for the review. The photo and beautiful colors caught my eye, but the info about your trial with them was disappointing. Thanks for the heads up.

Wow, I can’t believe it! That sucks! I have this problem a lot, but if a product does it on other people, it’ll for sure do it on me! Whatta waste too, because they’re gorgeous colors!!

I used these before I have 5 shades of it and they were WORSE on me, if you could believe it! I have more oily lids but I didn’t put it on until after I used UDPP and I powdered it and it still smudged and migrated from the top lash to the whole lower under eye area. Terrible! I have to use She-Laq to keep it in place. Kaliste is my all time fave of the colors but I’ve found it’s better as a liner for only my top lid and if I wear it, I smudge it up to give a really pretty sexy look to the eyes..It’s pretty that way but I can’t wear it as regular liner…just does NOT work for me!

Wow, I’m actually surprised. I wear them and I really love them. They stay put very well on my lashline and I love the 2 colors I have, Kitty and Kaliste.

BTW, the smudged pic looks like it could be a cool look to wear. Very pretty! πŸ™‚

the colours ARE pretty, esp. manon and kaliste…
i might try out one of them anyway…maybe for a smudgy look? kind of reminds me of the 80’s.

Wow, how unfortunate! I was so excited to see this post; I have Manon and Kaliste, and I’ve never had any migration or problems of them wearing off. Like a previous poster said, they actually wear quite well…I’m sorry for your experience =[

I guess it depends on people, because I have the London pencil and it stays on just fine, it doesn’t smudge or fade. But that’s the thing with make-up, right? Different people, different experience… πŸ˜‰

oh my goodness, how craptastic! that sucks! i cant believe it migrated to your upper lashline! i kind of had to giggle about how odd that is.
NARS what the hell?! lol. im bummed because Manon looked like the purple ive been looking for!

Sounds like others have had WAY better experiences, though, so maybe it’s still worth checking out if you can return it πŸ™‚

I wrote a review about this eye liner on MUA about 2 years ago, and I completely agreed with you! I can’t believe they haven’t changed the formula πŸ™

It sounds like we’re in the minority, Annie! There have been several readers who have had great results with these — wish we were among them! But it’s good to know I’m not the *only* one.

OMG! I had that same experience when I tested Moon at the counter. Except it was even LESS than an hour–after about 15 minutes of popping around to every counter, that’s when it was all smudged and faded. Super disappointing.

Seems like a whole lot of work just to make an eye liner stay in place in my opinion. For $20 bucks, I don’t want to have to go spend another $30 for something to keep them where they should be. ha. I have a mix of drugstore brands that work just as well for a fraction of the price, lol. I think I’ll stick to Rimmel/Gosh,Annabelle, etc.

Would it possible using a very good base and then used something like manon all on the eyelid and then topped with a exact match eyeshadow? that usually keeps anything in place, for me anyway.

Look at it this way… It might have taken a makeup artist HOURS to get the smearing and smudging and slipping JUUUUST right. And you did it all without touching your face! GOOD JOB! Haha

Seriously, it IS too bad though because hose are some GORGEOUS colors! Ah well… Maybe NARS should subscribe to Benefits mailing list. Then they’d know how important a good review on is! πŸ™‚


I’ll probably layer She-Laq on top when I want to use them, since I do *really* like the shades, but at least now I know what those with oilier lids/eyes experience with most eyeliners!

Thanks for reviewing these! Black Moon looks so pretty and I’ve *almost* bought Parrot Cay a few times… but with the lasting power being so poor, I won’t waste my money. Thanks again!

I have the grey one, London (I admit, partly bought for the name) and I have the same experience – it smudges like crazy. I like it for a smudgy, smoky look, but it’s no good at all for a precise line.

I bought Kitty a few months ago as I was in the only city that stocked Nars in my country. Used it the next day, and it smudged all over the place. Disaster. Haven’t worn it since. Pity since it’s such a gorgeous colour!

It is a relief to know that even if we’re in the minority, there are others who have had smudging issues with these!

Awwww that sucks, the colors are super pretty! But I have this problem with every single eyeliner I’ve ever tried… I’m pretty sure it’s because of my eye shape (I’ve noticed it’s a problem a lot of my Asian friends share with me!), but I always have to set it with a powder shadow in the same/similar shade =/

I’m not sure why you’re having such a rough go with these pencils. I’m sorry that they’re wearing off on you. I use Kaliste religiously (still my favorite teal pencil) and it never goes anywhere. Have you tried Urban Decay 24/7 pencils? The glide is silkier and they never go anywhere on me or my clients. You might have better luck with those…

Yes, I have all of UD’s 24/7 pencils — I actually don’t have a lot of problems with liners smudging or migrating — I’ve never had an eyeliner look this bad on me *ever*!

The colors are AMAZING. I really like how Kaliste (omgosh my name’s in there) looks with your eyes so it’s really too bad about how short-wearing the pencils are. I was also wondering if She-Laq will really make this budgeproof.. I really love the colors.

Christine, you are not the only one with a bad experience with these eyeliners. I tried them out when I was getting into make up and the lady at Sephora recommended me this and it was the WORST! In less than one hour my eyeliner was all over the place and I looked like a raccoon! I really hate to have hate on these eyeliners cause they have so many beautiful shades but the product really sucked.

Oh man- what a bummer!!!

I have this liner in London and do like it, but have never worn it on my bottom lash line.
It seems whenever I line my lower lash line, everything smears— Urban Decay, all MAC Make up Forever.
Are there any secrets other than setting with powder? I don’t want to cover up a Pearlglide’s color with shadow.

i’ve used these pencils for years, and i don’t have your smudging issues. i just wear it on my top lid though πŸ™‚

I’ve had polarizing experiences with this pencil. Kitty works amazingly on me: no smudge, no migration, and minimal fading after a day of wear but Manon is useless. It swatches fine on my arm but it just won’t work at all on my lash lines. Only when I press REALLY hard on my eyelid (to the point of pain and tears), do I get even a bit of streaky, inconsistent colour. I would’ve returned it to Sephora but it was a gift from my mom and I was in another country when she gave it to me.

I just recently got Black Moon as a gift but I promised that after my experience with Manon that I’d never use this product again.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! πŸ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!