An Unexpectedly Impressive Shadow

Nars Dual Intensity Shadow openNars Dual Intensity Shadow closed

I get really excited about beauty products. If I see an imminent product launch on Temptalia or Instagram and that product tickles my fancy, I often mark the release date (in my mind or my iCal) and hope I don’t die of excitement between now and then.

The Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadows were plastered all over Instagram and blogs for weeks ahead of their launch, but for some reason, I just wasn’t all that excited. Maybe they didn’t photograph well. Maybe I just don’t feel the same about monos as I do about palettes. Maybe I laughed at the whole “dual intensity” gimmick because literally any shadow can be used wet or dry for different effects. (I know that last one is true.)

Well, I should have been excited.

So here’s me hopefully compensating for that with some retroactive excitement.

I was in Sephora returning the tragic Cream Lip Stain and, of course, I ended up spending more money than I got back. Surprise. I was playing with the new Nars shadows and found myself seriously impressed by them.

For starters, the formula rocks – they are buttery soft. Some of the traditional Nars shadows, particularly the light shades, can be a little chalky and stiff. Not so with these. A quick swatch of the whole line proved consistently smooth and downright delightful. Impressive.

Then there are the shades. I don’t think there’s a single shade in this range that I wouldn’t wear in some capacity. Some are more daytime appropriate than others – like Himalia, which has quickly become my everyday shadow. But every shade is interesting, gorgeous, and unique – the last one being an especially difficult feat in today’s saturated beauty market.

Nars Dual Intensity Shadow swatches

Himalia offers a dense, foil-like finish whether applied wet or dry. Obviously, a wet application yields more impact. In either case, here’s the caveat: ditch the brush. Yep, I find this shadow to apply best with my fingers. I smooth a primer onto my lids, then rub my ring finger in the product and dab it on. You could stop there, but for my own perfectionism sanity I like to blend things out with a brush – something fluffy like a MAC 217 or Sigma E40 works nicely.

As for a mono being less exciting than a palette, I’ve gotta say that that holds true. But I’ve found it to be quite liberating. Sometimes I feel like my palettes have too much choice; with this as my go-to, I can just reach for this tiny little square and be done with it. Not to mention that its size makes it seriously travel-friendly.

Oh, Nars. I’m sorry I ever doubted you.



  1. These look amazing! I have my eyes on phoebe, subra, and callisto . They swatch so nicely, and temptalia and you are recommending them, so I have my quality guarantee 🙂 I hope they come out with some purple ones.

  2. Rachel R. says:

    I really want Phoebe, Callisto, and Cassiopeia. Great blog!

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