NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches

NARS Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Velvet Shadow Stick ($28.00 for 0.05 oz.) is supposed to be a “long-wearing, crease-proof” formula with a “velvety matte finish” that “glides smoothly” with “high impact.” The formula is certainly an improvement from the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, which were some of the fastest-creasing products I have ever tested. This formula doesn’t crease as quickly, though wear is only five to six hours, which isn’t stellar.

The texture is creamy enough that it doesn’t tug, but it dries down to a “semi-dry” texture quickly and becomes difficult to really smooth out. Consistently, when blended, the shades often looked patchy and uneven. This was least apparent with lighter shades that were closer to my skin tone, as the natural skin makes the patchiness less obvious, while in contrast, darker shades showed just how patchy and uneven the colors blended out. They’re better as eyeshadow bases, as they’ll last a bit longer with powder on top to set and the powder eyeshadow will help even out the base. In order to use these as an eyeliner, I highly recommend using a separate brush to grab color from the stick, because the stick is very rounded and large, which made it a real challenge to get it close enough to the lash line to line as well as keep the color precise (it always gave me a more jagged line).

NARS came up with some really interesting colors, and they’re ones you don’t see as often with this type of formula, but for me, the formula just didn’t perform well. If you’re looking for a cream-based eyeshadow from NARS, try their Eye Paints, which are far superior.

NARS Aigle Noir Velvet Shadow Stick ($28.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “black infused with gold shimmer.” It’s a blackened brown with warm undertones and lighter gold shimmer that almost looks like a dirty taupe to me. The finish is just shy of frost and appears more as a pearly sheen. It had decent coverage in a single stroke but was buildable to full opacity in two layers. The color looked patchy when blended and was difficult to keep looking intense/opaque. It creased after six hours of wear. Rouge Bunny Rouge Olive Violetear (P, $19.00) is lighter. Too Faced Everlasting (P, ) is warmer. Zoeva Infusion (P, ) is darker, cooler. MAC Permanent Press #3 (LE, ) is darker, cooler. Tom Ford Beauty Spring 2015 (LE, $42.00) is lighter. Milani Melange (P, $6.99) is darker. Make Up For Ever D326 Black Bronze (P, $21.00) is darker. Hello Kitty The Original (LE, ) is less shimmery, darker, warmer. See comparison swatches/ compare dupes side-by-side.

NARS Filbuste Velvet Shadow Stick ($28.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “black.” It’s an inky black with neutral undertones and a satin finish. It had rich color payoff in a single stroke as the consistency was very creamy with some slip, which seemed to impact the wear, as it had bled and migrated as an eyeliner after five hours and creased after four. Urban Decay Crave (P, $18.00) is warmer. Urban Decay Blackout (P, $18.00) is less shimmery, less glossy. MAC Carbon (P, $16.00) is less glossy. Sugarpill Bulletproof (P, $12.00) is less glossy. Make Up For Ever M100 Black (P, $21.00) is less shimmery. Makeup Geek Corrupt (P, $5.99) is less shimmery, darker. NARS Black Valley (P, $25.00) is less shimmery. theBalm #9 (P, $6.50) is darker. Chanel Rêve d’Orient #4 (LE, ) is more shimmery. Giorgio Armani Obsidian (01) (P, $38.00) is more shimmery. Milani Bella Black (12) (P, $4.49) is more shimmery, lighter. Smashbox Blackout (P, ) is darker. Le Metier de Beaute Onyx (LE, $30.00) is lighter. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Enigma #1 (P, ) is darker. Colour Pop Roulette (P, $5.00) is cooler. First 15 dupes listed, see more: See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

NARS Glenan Velvet Shadow Stick ($28.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “navy.” It’s a dark, navy blue with fine blue pearl. It had semi-opaque pigmentation in one stroke, which was slightly buildable but was never opaque for me. It had a tendency to skip and “feather” in a way when applied, and it was a shade that easily became patchy when blended. It started to crease after five and a half hours of wear. Clinique Massively Midnight (P, $17.00) is more shimmery. Too Faced De La Mer (P, $16.00) is more shimmery, darker. Chanel Metamorphose (44) #4 (LE, ) is less shimmery, lighter. NARS Dark Rite (P, $24.00) is more shimmery, lighter. Milani Bella Navy (09) (P, $4.49) is more shimmery, lighter. Viseart Dark Matte #10 (P, ) is less shimmery, darker, more muted, warmer. Giorgio Armani Minuit (02) (P, $38.00) is less shimmery. Colour Pop Etiquette (P, $5.00) is lighter. Kat Von D Estrella (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter, brighter. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Parisienne #2 (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter. Urban Decay Heroine (LE, $18.00) is less shimmery, darker. Make Up For Ever ME224 Navy Blue (P, $21.00) is warmer. NARS Giove (P, $29.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

NARS Goddess Velvet Shadow Stick ($28.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “pink champagne.” It’s a pinky-peach with lighter gold and pink shimmer. It is a more frosted shade with semi-opaque pigmentation in one stroke that tended to thicken and apply unevenly when I tried to build it up, so it seemed best used in a single layer. This shade lasted for six hours before creasing. bareMinerals Custom Made (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler. Estee Lauder Pink Zinc (P, $24.00) is darker. MAC Naked Lunch (P, $16.00) is less shimmery. MAC Artistic License (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery. Too Faced Cheers! (LE, $16.00) is darker, warmer. bareMinerals Ball Gown (LE, ) is warmer. Tom Ford Beauty Orchid Haze #1 (P, ) is cooler. Kat Von D Killing Jar (P, ) is less shimmery, darker. MAC Lorelei (LE, $20.00) is less shimmery, darker. Make Up For Ever I520 Pinky Sand (P, $21.00) is brighter, warmer. bareMinerals Future (P, ) is less shimmery. Tarte Rose Champagne (LE, ) is lighter, brighter, warmer. Hello Kitty Apple Pie (LE, ) is less shimmery, cooler. NARS Valhalla (P, $24.00) is lighter. Zoeva Sweeter End (P, ) is more muted. First 15 dupes listed, see more: See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

NARS Hollywoodland Velvet Shadow Stick ($28.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “pale gold.” It’s a brightened, light-medium yellow gold with a frosted sheen. It had mostly opaque coverage in one stroke, and you could layer and blend without too much work. It tended to keep its color without lifting or turning patchy, unlike the other shades in the formula. The color started to crease after six and a half hours for me, so it didn’t wear that well. Chanel Intuition #2 (P, ) is darker. bareMinerals Surreal (P, ) is darker. bareMinerals Surreal (P, ) is darker. Urban Decay Blunt (P, $18.00) is darker. Milani Bella Sand (02) (P, $4.49) is more shimmery, darker. Guerlain Petrouchka #2 (LE, ) is darker. Too Faced Honey Pot (LE, $16.00) is darker. MAC Lithe (LE, $21.00) is more shimmery, darker. Viseart Ceska (P, ) is less shimmery. Tarte Dare to Be Gold (LE, ) is darker. Smashbox Champagne (P, ) is lighter. Milani Drenched in Gold (P, $6.99) is more shimmery, darker. MAC Sweet & Sour #1 (P, $21.00) is more shimmery, cooler, lower quality. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

NARS Oaxaca Velvet Shadow Stick ($28.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “quartz.” It’s a muted, medium-dark taupe brown with warm, rosy undertones and a lighter bronze shimmer. It had sheer coverage in one stroke, and it was noticeably drier than the other shades. I was able to build up the color with three layers, but it was very difficult to blend out the edges. The color lasted for six hours before creasing on me. Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel #2 (LE, ) is more shimmery, brighter. Burberry Pale Barley (102) (P, $29.00) is lighter. Cle de Peau Satin Moon #3 (P, ) is more shimmery. Clarins Garden Escape #6 (LE, ) is lighter, warmer. MAC Quintessential (LE, $16.00) is more shimmery, warmer. Urban Decay Juju (LE, $20.00) is more shimmery, darker, brighter. Giorgio Armani #09 (P, $32.00) is more shimmery, darker. Make Up For Ever D562 Taupe Platinum (P, $21.00) is more shimmery. MAC Era (P, $16.00) is less shimmery, warmer. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

NARS Reykjavik Velvet Shadow Stick ($28.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “grey.” It’s a deepened gray with a cool, bluish tint and satin finish. It had semi-opaque coverage in a single pass, and it was buildable to opaque color with ease, as it was rather creamy. It wasn’t as quick to crease as Filbuste, but it only lasted for five and a half hours. It was more blendable along the edges but still had a tendency to look uneven. MAC Soot (P, $16.00) is lighter, less glossy. bareMinerals Amnesia (P, ) is darker. MAC Nehru (P, $16.00) is less glossy. MAC Cinder (Right) (LE, ) is darker, less glossy. Givenchy Gris Organza (7) (P, $23.00) is lighter. theBalm #26 (P, $6.50) is less glossy. bareMinerals Panorama (LE, ) is darker, less glossy. Tom Ford Beauty Ice Queen #4 (P, ) is lighter. Makeup Geek Paparazzi (P, $6.99) is darker, warmer, less glossy. MAC Typographic (P, $16.00) is warmer, better quality. NARS Transvaal (P, $25.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

NARS Sukhothai Velvet Shadow Stick ($28.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “shimmering peacock.” It’s a warm, plummy purple base with blackened teal shimmer. It’s a very interesting shade to see in a cream-based formula, but this was so patchy and uneven applied. I really wish this shade performed better, because it’s really quite interesting and somewhat complex, even on the actual eye (most eyeshadows lose their nuances once applied). I saw creasing after five and a half hours of wear. Tarte Fingerpaint Art (LE, ) is less shimmery, lighter. MAC Woodsmoke (LE, $16.00) is darker. NARS Malacca (P, $24.00) is more shimmery, lighter. Kat Von D Queen (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter. MAC Deep Blue Green (P, $21.00) is more shimmery, darker, cooler. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

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See more photos & swatches!

NARS Aigle Noir Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Aigle Noir Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Aigle Noir Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Aigle Noir Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Aigle Noir Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Aigle Noir Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Filbuste Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Filbuste Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Filbuste Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Filbuste Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Filbuste Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Filbuste Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Glenan Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Glenan Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Glenan Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Glenan Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Glenan Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Glenan Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Goddess Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Goddess Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Goddess Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Goddess Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Goddess Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Goddess Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Hollywoodland Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Hollywoodland Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Hollywoodland Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Hollywoodland Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Hollywoodland Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Hollywoodland Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Oaxaca Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Oaxaca Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Oaxaca Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Oaxaca Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Oaxaca Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Oaxaca Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Reykjavik Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Reykjavik Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Reykjavik Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Reykjavik Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Reykjavik Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Reykjavik Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Sukhothai Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Sukhothai Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Sukhothai Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Sukhothai Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Sukhothai Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Sukhothai Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Sukhothai Velvet Shadow Stick
Hollywoodland, Goddess, Sukhothai, Oaxaca, Glenan Velvet Shadow Sticks

NARS Sukhothai Velvet Shadow Stick
NARS Sukhothai Velvet Shadow Stick

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Product Availability

NARS Velvet Shadow Stick $28.00/0.05 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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59 Comments

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Oh, how disappointing! I was really hoping these would perform well as I love this type of product. Thanks for the thorough reviews!

No prob, Alice! Well, on the upside, six hours is WAY better than six minutes of the Soft Touch pencils, lol!

I’m heartbroken!! Aigle Noir is such a beautiful mix of black, brown, and shimmer –would’ve made a sultry smoky eye. But these sticks would never last more than 10 minutes on my oily lids. But I should be good –I already have 2 of the dupes (Tom Ford Spring & Hello Kitty The Original) and a bunch of Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks to go through. But I might get that VIP Red lipstick

Same here. That was the one I was waiting to see the review on. I paged down and saw the F and just gasped. Such a unique shade. Disappointing. If it had even just been a C.

I have the “original” formula of Aigle Noir, and I find NARS Night Clubbing to be quite similar. Night Clubbing is a powder eyeshadow, and one of the less finicky shades in the “Night” series.

Thanks for the tip, Xamyx! I googled Night Clubbing, and ooh, it’s a gorgeous color. Very appropriately named 🙂

You just saved me a ton of money, Christine — now I’ll go buy Pasiphae instead, and stick to my Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks!

Ugh, so sad! Some of the swatches looked so promising! My oily lids are prone to creasing, so even with a primer and powder combo, these could be disastrous. Definitely not worth the risk at this price point. As always, thank you for the dupes!

Sad, I had hopes for Oaxaca, it looks so pretty and I think it might pair well with Pasiphae! But a dry shadow stick is the worst thing I can do to my dry eyelids.

I’m in the minority of those who get on well with the Soft Touch pencils, but these look like NARS tried to reformulate for those who didn’t, and as a result these seem almost too “dry”… I’m glad I have a couple of backups of Aigle Noir, and the paler shades look quite dupable, but I’m disappointed about Sukhothai, and that looks the *worst*, although it’s the prettiest & most unique.

I’m on the fence… Because the old formula works sooo well for me, I’m afraid these will be *too* dry! The appearance in the swatches remind me of the MAC shadow sticks from a few years back. Of course, once these hit counters/shelves, I’ll *have* to at least swatch them, LOL!

I’m baffled over how a company with the reputation and price point of Nars can’t get these types of products right, while so many “cheap” brands can. What on earth is their major malfunction?

It seems like a lot of brands get pencils right, but then you definitely have ones that get it wrong, lol!

Just depressing. Especially Aigle Noir and Sukhothai, those would have made for some kick-butt cool smokey eyes! I (just received) have ColourPop Bae, so my guess is that it should be somewhat close to Sukhothai, but I found it VERY difficult to get much of a duochrome from it, it just looked reddish-plum with some bluish-teal sparkles.
I love how Goddess looks, but will wait for that shade until I get to order Visart Paris Nudes.

Oh man. I was waiting with bated breath for you review of these. I’m so sad now. 🙁 I was looking to add some more shadow sticks to my collection. Which ones do you recommend, Christine?

The curse words going through my mind right now could make a sailor blush. I’m not going to disrespect you or your site by putting them on here, so suffice to say that I am so deeply, thoroughly disappointed by these. I mean what the heck NARS?!

The sad thing is these are still an improvement (in my experience) over the original jumbo eye pencils, LOL! I was surprised they didn’t wear longer, as they definitely have less slip than the Soft Touch pencils.

Gahhhhh!!! I don’t know whether to rejoice or be disappointed. I wanted a few of these but mostly Aigle Noir so I’m hurt they performed so badly for you. On the bright side, I get to stick to my budget but I REALLY liked the colors they whipped up. Damn you, NARS!

I was also eyeing Goddess. Majorly sad about the build up issues, but from experience I had the same issue with a few UD 24/7 eye shadow pencil as well so it a pass.

The reviews on this formula seem mixed, which sadly was the case on their other pencils, too 🙁

Oh, boo! I’m such a big fan of cream and cream sticks. The shades are lovely, but too bad they’re so patchy and don’t wear well. Oh well, $ saved.

Some colors look great! Butttt I’m loyal to Laura Mercier’s Caviar Sticks & Mally Beauty has an amazing formula too and Nars’s eye sticks scare me even with improvement .. Milani’s are actually not bad at all and some of Tarte’s have worked well for me. Love Chanel also and good call on Armani eye tints! I’ve worked for them for decades so I’m biased! 🙂

What a disappointment! I’d rather have the Milani Navy for $5 than pay the price for Glenan.
By the way Christine – which is the best eye pencils that you have tried and mostly use? I am looking for some and not sure which brand to buy. Thank you for your honest review once again.

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