Tuesday, January 11, 2011

review: nars duo in "habanera"

I usually don't do this, but every now and then I stumble across a product that is just so right and rather than keeping it to myself, I like to share.

I've had my eye on a NARS duo palette for a while - but oddly, it wasn't this one. Instead, I'd been lusting after the Rajasthan palette of a champagne nude and a deep green navy charcoal - something I thought would go nicely with my eyes. I do already have these colors in my collection of random eye shadows, but I thought these would be of a higher quality and it's nice to have them next to each other in one convenient package.

Over Christmas break, my sister and I wandered into Nordstrom. I thought it might be nice to stop by the NARS counter and swatch the dream palette on the back of my hand to lock in where my Christmas money would be going. But, they didn't have it. So I just went to town and started swatching some other random colors on my hand, just to see what they would look like. Habanera caught my eye, but not because it was something I really wanted - it was because the colors, together, looked unusual. On the left was a minty pale frosted blue, and on the right a sparkly gray plum. Both colors were lovely, but I wondered how they came to be in a palette together.

A few weeks later, I find myself in Sephora with a friend. I head over to the NARS counter again, and once more they don't have Rajasthan. So of course I put Habanera back on my hand and start seriously contemplating that this may be what I want instead. At $32,00 it isn't a cheap beauty buy, but the single eye shadows cost $23,00 so you're really getting your money's worth by going for the set. Somewhat of an impulse buy, I decided to get it along with a new eyeshadow brush (finally).

Before ever putting it on, I hopped online once I got home and googled to see what beauty blogs had already swatched it and how it looked on their eyes. Normally one does this before buying a product ... but I guess this time it was more of an impulse than a deliberated decision. To my surprise, Rajasthan's reviews weren't that splendid - the charcoal navy wasn't very well pigmented, and looked muddy rather than deep in color. However, Habanera was raved about - the colors worked strangely well together; the icy blue was placed on the inner eye and the smoky lilac was used as the darker accent at the outer eye. The effect was impossibly lovely. And, the reviews hailed it for being rather universally flattering. Win? I think yes.

So now for the pictures.

The more accurate color portrayal is at the right.

So my review? I absolutely love it, if you couldn't tell. Using the mint and the plum as a stand-in for the usual frosted white and brown or black is an imaginative way to play up a smoky eye. In addition, the overall effect is somewhat lighter and softer, perfect for day - and for someone who typically wears an evening eye during the week AND weekend (myself), this was a wonderful choice for me to still get to play with color but keep my usual look. As for the quality of the product, both colors are amazing. NARS typically produces silky and velvety shadows with a wonderful texture, and these don't disappoint. The color is highly pigmented, especially for the blue, and the violet works equally well wet as when dry (used dry it is a beautiful wash for the entire lid, and when wet it makes a great smoky look for evening - but a little more alluring because of the hint of purple). Would I recommend this to anyone? Absolutely. I can't see these colors looking bad on anyone. And you know what else is cool? Layer the plum over the icy blue - you get this beautifully metallic brown purple that is just divine.

NARS duo in Habanera is $32,00 at Sephora and NARS.

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