NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new and permanent duo from NARS’ spring collection. Both shades were very, very pigmented with an incredibly soft, almost creamy, texture. The consistency was dense, buttery, and over-the-top metallic. It’s a formula that could also be used wet to bring out the metallic finish even more (though entirely unnecessary, as it is opaque and metallic applied dry). When I wore these shades, both lasted for a full nine hours without creasing or fading. Β This is one of the best eyeshadow duos I’ve seen NARS put out from the intensity of the pigmentation to the feel of the powder itself.

Kauai #1 is described as a “gold lame.” It’s a muted, slightly antique-y gold with a rich, metallic sheen and fine gold and antique gold shimmer and sparkle. It was intensely pigmented, and the texture was smooth, soft, and blendable. Too Faced Tinsel (LE) is very similar–a touch warmer. bareMinerals Gold Medal (P, $16.00) is also very similar. See comparison swatches.

Kauai #2 is described as an “iridescent smokey orchid.” It’s a medium-dark purple with subtle violet undertones and a frosted, metallic finish. The texture was dense, buttery, and so, so soft. I actually found that it can be easy to over-apply or load-up the brush with this product, because it is quite soft, so I recommend using less than you think you’ll need. L’Oreal Purple Priority (758) (P, $7.99) is darker, cooler-toned. Too Faced Jingle All the Way Eyeshadow #6 (LE) is less intense. Sleek MakeUP Romance in Rome (LE, $9.99) is less violet. Sleek MakeUP Bliss in Barcelona (LE, $9.99) is brighter. Urban Decay Voodoo (LE, $18.00) is cooler-toned, more muted. theBalm All the Way Annie (P, $16.00) is darker, less metallic. Urban Decay Freakshow (P, $18.00) is warmer. Urban Decay Vice (LE, $18.00) is lighter. Urban Decay Gravity (LE, $18.00) is similar but slightly lighter. Urban Decay ACDC (P, $18.00) is lighter. MAC Dusty Desire (LE, $32.50) is slightly cooler-toned. L’Oreal Perpetual Purple (P, $7.99) is darker. See comparison swatches.

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NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Kauai #1 Eyeshadow

NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Kauai #1 Eyeshadow

NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Kauai #2 Eyeshadow

NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Kauai #2 Eyeshadow

NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo
NARS: Kauai #1 (inner lid), China Seas #1 (middle of lid), China Seas #2 (outer lid),
Kauai #2 (crease), Khao San Road, Puerta del Sol on lower lash line

NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo
NARS: Kauai #1 (inner lid), China Seas #1 (middle of lid), China Seas #2 (outer lid),
Kauai #2 (crease), Khao San Road, Puerta del Sol on lower lash line

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Product Availability

NARS Duo Eyeshadow $35.00/0.14 OZ.
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About the Reviewer

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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102 Comments

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Softer, denser – closer to formulas like UD’s than I would say NARS’ regular formula, even when they nail it. More like the Cinematic formula from Bourdin, as well (which I actually wondered if this was a reincarnation of).

I was actually wondering if NARS was using the Bourdin collection to introduce a new, permanent formula for eyeshadows. I only have 3, but the formula is quite nice, so I would love to see it pop up again, even if on occasion.

those two duos look great together! i haven’t had much luck with NARS shadows, but if this is one of the best you’ve tried, i’ll at least give it a look.

LOL! I was hoping they would pair OK together, because I’m just overwhelmed by spring collections right now and needed them to work together!

Part of me was hoping you would recommend this – because I love golds & purples. But part of me was hoping you would say this was bad since there are so many other products I want to spend my money on…ahhh I’m so torn! Lol.

I wasn’t too interested in Kauai at first but your swatches and review just influenced me a little. This is a really pretty duo and the quality sounds amazing!

GAH. This shadow duo (as I’ve babbled about in probably too many previous comments) has totally stolen my heart. It has purple, it has gold, it’s cool-neutral…

It’s going on my list, along with Outremer, of NARS shadows I dream about owning!

Love the look you did, btw – kind of looks like an iridescent beetle/butterfly wing! πŸ˜€

Outremer has a fair amount of dupes, if I do recall it correctly, so that one might be easier to find elsewhere, whereas this one is not quite as dupeable!

I was already pretty certain I wanted this duo even from the pictures, but this confirms it. I think I’d pay full price for either one of those shades.

I love this – such a gorgeous color combo! I’m not usually one that can pull off gold on the eyes, but this one looks muted enough to work. It’s definitely going on the list. πŸ™‚

Oh yes, if regular gold tends to not work for you, this is one that might. It’s about as “cool-toned” as gold can get!

This… This is what I wanted when I picked up YSL’s Marrakesh Sunset palette last summer… between that and a rare “Recommends” I may have to come home with this one.

I love Nars eyeshadows! I like that the purple shadow looks a little more muted on the skin. think I’m going to pick this up, it would be a good introduction of color to my basically all neutral collection!

I actually really liked them all together! I would have never thought to do it, as the duos couldn’t be any more different from each other, yet they play nice together! I’m actually even more excited for China Seas…

These shades remind me a lot of a few shades from the too faced Smokey eye palette, fire fly and smoking jacket.. although fire fly is lighter

I have been eagerly awaiting your review since I saw this duo in your sneek peak the other day. Love these colors! So glad the formula is a winner. This is definitely going on my list of must-haves.

I have TF Jingle all the way and I thought No: 2 and No: 6 looks like Kauai Duo…though less intense! Just opened my Fav Things and found that Tinsel and Ola Orchid is a great alternative too…though Ola Orchid is matt.

I’m SO glad this will be permanent, I can take my time buying it! Btw, is it similar to NARS’ Nouveau Monde? That one caught my eye at Nordstrom’s today and they look quite close.

The colors are nice and all but I’m trying to figure out why on earth they named it after Kauai. I have a house there and lived there full time for almost six years. If I had to pick colors I thought represented the island it would be green and rust, not purple and gold. So I’d never be able to buy this just cause the name would forever bug me.

I never really though about it before but it’s funny how simple advertising techniques can so strongly draw people, in or repel them.

Hi Christine,

How do you think they compare with inglot eyeshadows?
When you talk about creamy, easily overload, i immediately think of inglot.
Are they equally good in terms of texture?
Thx!!!

I think these are softer and… creamier? in a way than Inglot’s Pearl finish, which would be the most comparable finish (IMO) to this duo.

How does the gold side compare to MAC Retrospeck? Obviously the texture is totally different but more so the colour? I have a hard time finding a gold that doesn’t turn green/khaki on me. Retrospeck doesn’t do that but I’m not a fan of the texture. Do you think this could turn greenish?

I’m so in love with this duo!! Im a huge nars fan but have never liked their eyeshadows bc of how sheer they are, but I love gold and purple so I swatched this today at nordstrom and had to buy it! πŸ™‚ So surprised by the pigmentation! If they use this formula for the duos from now on I would definitely buy more.

The gold color from Kauai is also a dupe of Mac’s Modern Pewter, which made me soooo happy to see. I love Modern Pewter, and this duo is GORGEOUS! I’m so glad it’s permanent!

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