NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

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.

NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

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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

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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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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.

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.

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!!

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?

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?

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)

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.

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

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 🙂

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 😉

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

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 🙂

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!!

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!!

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