NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio & Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

February 4, 2011

There’s something irresistible about a shimmery palette of neutral eyeshadows for me. I immediately jumped on board for the Calanque shadow trio and Hollywoodland soft touch shadow pencil from the NARS Spring 2011 collection. Perhaps I jumped a bit too soon for the trio, although I do love the new shadow pencil.

Calanque Trio Eyeshadow $45: To date, NARS has released 2 eyeshadow trios, this is the first one I’ve tried. I bought the Calanque Trio sight unseen – my Nordstrom NARS SA was out for the whole week so I used the Order Online Pickup Instore option since there was no tester unit in sight nor were there any NARS reps available. The colors in the palette are:
  1. Pale soft champagne chunky sparkle
  2. Neutral camel fawn with a satin finish
  3. High shimmer bronze
I used this today over NARS Corfu Cream Shadow applying the powders on the eyes in layers with fingers. Step 1: Apply Corfu, Step 2: apply lightest sparkle first, camel second, Step 3: Apply a smudgy bronze liner, Step 4: Apply bronze with finger smudged and blended over the liner.

Thumbs up for the middle and darker shades. The camel color is soft and almost buttery like and blends easily. The darker shade is borderline khaki but has enough brown to be a beautiful unique shade. If you’re looking for that true minimalist look this is lovely.

Thumbs down for the poor layering quality. These colors really need to be layered over creams (cream base, cream shadow or smudgy liner). The powders in this trio do not layer well over each other. I normally layer and blend over creams anyways – these just take a bit more work. I recommend using a denser thicker brush to apply the colors by patting and softly blending. Thumbs down for the price as well (at least for the size and amount of product you get). The cons for me exceed the pros.

Amy from Café Makeup has a lovely review of Calanque for lighter skin. Her photos are phenomenal!

Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24) is a gorgeous shimmery warm beige-gold. I have these pencils in Goddess (soft pink champagne) and Aigle Noir (black with gold sparkle) and like the lighter colors better. They are pretty when applied all over the lid alone, as a base, or just combined with a liner. Lasting power is medium for the lighter shades and non-existent for the darker ones (at least in my experience). Do they crease? I wish I could answer – the only cream product I have had crease on my monolids is NARS’s Eyeshadow Base (and yes I know it has no color, but it still showed crease lines on me). This pencil is gorgeous and right up my alley.

Calanque Comparisons (all swatched over UDPP, neutrals don’t show up well on my arm):

Hollywoodland Comparisons (over bare arm):

Overall – love the pencil, but I could have passed on the trio. I think the texture of Edie and Abyssinia singles are far superior to the Calanque trio. The colors are hard to dupe but not must-haves in my opinion. Perhaps it will take more experimenting for me to really like it. Surprise for those of you who think I’m way too obsessed with neutrals! I have found a neutral palette that is too neutral for me.

Applying with the fingers worked just fine this morning and lasted all day over the cream shadow, but it’s not ideal as the oils from my fingers are bound to ruin the surface texture. I thought I loved it earlier this morning when I applied it, I really liked the result, but after playing around with it more at home this evening with brushes I’ve become less in love, especially after comparing it to the soft texture of the NARS singles and duos. Again, I know this is supposed to give a minimalist effect – but All About Eve, Edie, Silk Road, Abyssinia & Nepal are all minimalist neutrals but give a better payoff enhancing the eyes much better with natural glowy highlights.

On the upside for NARS – you can see they are doing much better in their promotional campaigns with accurate photos! I received a spring flyer in the mail and you can see their photos are pretty darn good. Yay for better presentation to help us get a more realistic idea of what to expect before we get to see the real live product =)

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