NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo – swatches and review

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I used to have a love/hate relationship with purple eye shadow. I loved it, but hated how it looked on me. Is it any surprise that NARS was the brand to change the script on that one? One fateful I spoke to one of their makeup artists who was at Blue Mercury for the day. We got to chatting and swatching, and when I told him that I couldn’t wear purple shadow he gave me a “gurrrl!” and told me I could absolutely wear purple, I was just picking the wrong shade of it.

Turns out, it was red based purples that weren’t working for me. But blue based purples? They were my friend.

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And the purple in the NARS Kauai duo – it’s my new BFF. (Actually, the gold and I are getting along pretty famously as well.)

Kauai ($35) is part of the spring 2014 High Seize collection. It’s a tidy little launch; two eye shadow duos, lipglosses, eye liners and nail polishes; one multiple, one lip pencil; with colors all over the map (literally, many are named after locales.)

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Inside the infamous rubberized oversized compact with a big, beautiful mirror you will find finely milled, uber-pigmented, long wearing shadows that’s butteriness is stuff of legend. Honestly, you show me a smoother shadow and I’ll retract that. But I don’t predict it will happen.

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NARS describe Kauai’s shades shades as gold lame and iridescent smokey orchid. They’re a sparkling antique gold and deep blue based purple, both in a lush metallic finish. Lush as their namesake, in fact.

They’re the kind of shades that are begging for a modern smokey eye. But as deep, and dare I say mysterious, as they are, they work well for day too.

NARS-Kauai-eyeshadow-5swatches indoors…

NARS-Kauai-eyeshadow-4…and in sunlight

So, because not everyone has the pleasure of spending a half hour dishing shadow with a NARS MA – let me play the role for you and say “Gurrrl, you’re going to LOVE Kauai!”

we heartsters – do lean towards red based or blue based purples?

Stef is many things. Amongst them: co-editor of we heart this, photographer, condiment connoisseur, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie.
skin tone: NC 25/30
skin type: oily with a fear of rosacea
favorite beauty product: high end skincare and lip products

Author

  • Stef Andrews

    Stef is a plethora of things. Amongst them: co-founder of we heart this, photographer, condiment connoisseur, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie. She also has a touch of wanderlust and, arguably, the cutest dog in the whole world... skin tone: NC 25/30 skin type: oily with a fear of rosacea favorite beauty product: high end skincare and lip products

15 Comments

  1. Ooh, I too have mostly a hate relationship with purple, but that one is so pretty, and paired with the gold, that would be a great spring smokey eye for sure!

    1. It’s a winning combo for sure. I love purple with taupe too.

  2. Oh, hues of purple work well with my hazel-green eyes. These are exceptionally lovely, deep and sumptuous.

    1. Oh yeah, purples are crazy beautiful on hazel eyes. Would love to see it on you!

  3. I love how rich and dimensional the colors are!!! They look so luxurious! Purple + gold = awesome. :D This is a great duo!

    I’ve been going for more red toned purples in the last couple years but I still love purples of all kinds.

  4. I think you have just solved my purple problem–I need to go for the blue-based shade! I’ve always felt like I can’t pull the intensity of purple off, but now I’m convinced otherwise. Be right back, buying Kauai.

    1. You could have it solved @Amity! Red based purples tend to make me look sickly, but blue-based is the way to be.

  5. My hubby got this for me as part of my Valentine’s Day gift and he chose wisely :)
    This shadow duo is TO. DIE. FOR. The khaki gold shade is great solo–it really brightens up my hazel peepers–it’s extremely shimmery, but not so shimmery you can’t wear it to work. The purple violet shade is just purple perfection–like others have mentioned, red-based purple is my enemy, but blue-based purples are glorious. This is a true blue-based violet and extremely flattering. I dab a little in the inner crease and a little at the outer crease of my lids and then take a little bit on a liner brush and take it a little bit under my lower lashline. I love the look of this against my green/yellow hazel eyes with pale skin and dark hair. This duo is a must-have, ladies!

  6. Um that duo is super gorgeous and totally wearable. It’s so elegant… I’m kinda drooling over it. I try to steer clear of the red-based purples because they give me that whole rabid/diseased look that just isn’t very attractive ;)

  7. This is a gorgeous duo!! I am a huge fan of NARS eyeshadow. They so often pull off gorgeous, saturated color like a BOSS!! This purple is intense and amazing. It will be mine.

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