NARS Tropical Express Eyeshadow Quad Review & Swatches

Tropical Express

NARS Tropical Express Eyeshadow Quad ($52.00 for 0.16 oz.) included an eggplant purple, gold, soft green, and bright purple. Three shades were quite good and easy to use, but the purple was a total disaster–it was sheer, difficult to build up, a challenge to blend, and all-in-all, a poor representation of NARS’ matte formula.

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Tropical Express #1

Tropical Express #1 is a medium, eggplant purple with warm undertones and a satin sheen. It had excellent color coverage paired with a firmer, thinner consistency that wasn’t powdery yet had enough slip that it remained fairly blendable on my lid. It wore well for eight hours on me before it started to fade a bit.

Formula Overview

$19.00/0.04 oz. - $475.00 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have "rich, high-impact color" that is "lightweight" and has "increased blendability." Like most larger ranges, there are winners and losers, and some of how they perform can be related to the type of finish. The mattes are soft, slightly dusty in the pans (or not at all) with medium to opaque, often buildable, color coverage. The satin and metallics tend to be smoother, more blendable, and more pigmented with less effort; NARS does the these lower shimmer finishes particularly well, which just looks "melted" on the skin as they lay down so smoothly and have a great shine.

Most shades applied better on my lid than swatched on my arm, which has been something seen across NARS' eyeshadows for years and didn't change with the recent update to their powder eyeshadow formula. On average, they lasted between seven and nine hours on me without primer. They did apply well over primer and stayed on well for 14 hours with minimal fading.

Worth noting: the updated formula and packaging resulted in a product decrease from 0.07 oz. per pan to 0.04 oz. The single eyeshadows received a more noticeable price drop (from $24 to $19) but the duo eyeshadows could be priced better (from $36 to $35).

Browse all of our NARS Eyeshadow (2018) swatches.

Tropical Express #2

Tropical Express #2 is a bright, medium gold with strong,w arm orange undertones and a metallic sheen. The pigmentation was opaque in a single layer, while the texture was soft, lightly powdery in the pan, but it adhered evenly to bare skin and blended out easily. It stayed on nicely for eight hours before it started to fade on me.

Formula Overview

$19.00/0.04 oz. - $475.00 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have "rich, high-impact color" that is "lightweight" and has "increased blendability." Like most larger ranges, there are winners and losers, and some of how they perform can be related to the type of finish. The mattes are soft, slightly dusty in the pans (or not at all) with medium to opaque, often buildable, color coverage. The satin and metallics tend to be smoother, more blendable, and more pigmented with less effort; NARS does the these lower shimmer finishes particularly well, which just looks "melted" on the skin as they lay down so smoothly and have a great shine.

Most shades applied better on my lid than swatched on my arm, which has been something seen across NARS' eyeshadows for years and didn't change with the recent update to their powder eyeshadow formula. On average, they lasted between seven and nine hours on me without primer. They did apply well over primer and stayed on well for 14 hours with minimal fading.

Worth noting: the updated formula and packaging resulted in a product decrease from 0.07 oz. per pan to 0.04 oz. The single eyeshadows received a more noticeable price drop (from $24 to $19) but the duo eyeshadows could be priced better (from $36 to $35).

Browse all of our NARS Eyeshadow (2018) swatches.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Tropical Express #3

Tropical Express #3 is a soft, light-medium sage green with subtle, warm olive undertones and a metallic sheen. The eyeshadow had rich color payoff that applied evenly and smoothly to bare skin. The texture was lightly creamy, soft but not powdery, and blendable on my skin. It lasted well for eight hours before I noticed any fading.

Formula Overview

$19.00/0.04 oz. - $475.00 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have "rich, high-impact color" that is "lightweight" and has "increased blendability." Like most larger ranges, there are winners and losers, and some of how they perform can be related to the type of finish. The mattes are soft, slightly dusty in the pans (or not at all) with medium to opaque, often buildable, color coverage. The satin and metallics tend to be smoother, more blendable, and more pigmented with less effort; NARS does the these lower shimmer finishes particularly well, which just looks "melted" on the skin as they lay down so smoothly and have a great shine.

Most shades applied better on my lid than swatched on my arm, which has been something seen across NARS' eyeshadows for years and didn't change with the recent update to their powder eyeshadow formula. On average, they lasted between seven and nine hours on me without primer. They did apply well over primer and stayed on well for 14 hours with minimal fading.

Worth noting: the updated formula and packaging resulted in a product decrease from 0.07 oz. per pan to 0.04 oz. The single eyeshadows received a more noticeable price drop (from $24 to $19) but the duo eyeshadows could be priced better (from $36 to $35).

Browse all of our NARS Eyeshadow (2018) swatches.

Tropical Express #4

Tropical Express #4 is a medium purple with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish. It had sheer coverage, did not build up well, and had a drier, almost chalky texture that was difficult to blend out in an meaningful way. It wore well for six and a half hours before fading (from what I could tell).

Formula Overview

$19.00/0.04 oz. - $475.00 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have "rich, high-impact color" that is "lightweight" and has "increased blendability." Like most larger ranges, there are winners and losers, and some of how they perform can be related to the type of finish. The mattes are soft, slightly dusty in the pans (or not at all) with medium to opaque, often buildable, color coverage. The satin and metallics tend to be smoother, more blendable, and more pigmented with less effort; NARS does the these lower shimmer finishes particularly well, which just looks "melted" on the skin as they lay down so smoothly and have a great shine.

Most shades applied better on my lid than swatched on my arm, which has been something seen across NARS' eyeshadows for years and didn't change with the recent update to their powder eyeshadow formula. On average, they lasted between seven and nine hours on me without primer. They did apply well over primer and stayed on well for 14 hours with minimal fading.

Worth noting: the updated formula and packaging resulted in a product decrease from 0.07 oz. per pan to 0.04 oz. The single eyeshadows received a more noticeable price drop (from $24 to $19) but the duo eyeshadows could be priced better (from $36 to $35).

Browse all of our NARS Eyeshadow (2018) swatches.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

NARS Tropical Express Eyeshadow Quad

NARS Tropical Express Eyeshadow Quad

NARS Tropical Express Eyeshadow Quad

NARS Tropical Express Eyeshadow Quad

NARS Tropical Express Eyeshadow Quad

NARS Tropical Express #1 Eyeshadow (2018)

NARS Tropical Express #1 Eyeshadow (2018)

NARS Tropical Express #2 Eyeshadow (2018)

NARS Tropical Express #2 Eyeshadow (2018)

NARS Tropical Express #3 Eyeshadow (2018)

NARS Tropical Express #3 Eyeshadow (2018)

NARS Tropical Express #4 Eyeshadow (2018)

NARS Tropical Express #4 Eyeshadow (2018)

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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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18 Comments

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Doop doop, doop-dee-doo-doop! #3 is really interesting but I’ve got something like 4 dupes of it and several dupes for #1 and 2 as well so, once again, a calm demeanor as I look at this and say “nope”.

Genevieve, I’ve got Made of Jade, Empreinte du desert #3, Humid, Splatter (from the new Tarte palette I got a few weeks ago). I’ve also got Gilded Envy though I didn’t see it listed as a dupe (it sure it a lovely shade and one I was really glad to find).

If *ONLY* that 4th shade had been consistent with the rest of this quad in the quality department, it would have been the one I would set aside to get! It not only has an atrocious lack of quality, but I myself would have liked to have seen a more muted tone of purple in keeping with the more muted, yet rich shades within.

Point. Had to laugh, when the F was the only one not duped in my stash. I’m trying to figure out why I have such problems with provocateur, when I didn’t with fleurs fatales and even danger control. It’s always OMG Howgumitzo messy on?

To give them their due, Nars did that wonderful purple in the Kauai duo (thought it was a shimmery one) and another nice one in Habanera so they can, in theory, make a good purple when they really put their minds to it! A lot of companies seem to have trouble, though, with purples, especially matte ones.

Thank you for the reminder. Kauai was nice, if I remember right. I don’t own that one. Let’s hope they put their minds to it more often.

Matte purples are notoriously hard to get right, but it can be done.

They’ve re-introduced Kauai though I don’t know how it compares to the original (though Christine’s review would “tell the story”). If it is any good, it really IS worth owning. The lighter, golden side is like an improved UD Maui (love that shade but the fallout is unbearable).

The first three shades are beautiful and blend well together, although I do have dupes for the gold and green shade. It’s safe to say that the last shade absolutely wrecked the quad.

So disappointing. The color story really grabbed me. I don’t understand how any cosmetic company, especially one the likes of Nars, can put a product as bad as tropical express #4 on their shelves. Do they have a quality control department? SMH…

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