Feb 15 2015

Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette: YES! YES! YES!


As you can probably gather by the title, this is going to be a pretty positive review of the NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette. But, Kimmy, I hear you say, What are you doing will another new palette? Well, if you caught my review of the Hourglass Modernist Palette, you would know that I basically decided to return that one. But I just couldn’t get my money back and be done with it. I had to get something to replace it. Enter the NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette (or NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette).

In this U.S., this limited edition beauty was released by NARS on 1st January and by everyone else who carries the brand on 1st February. When I first glimpsed the press information last December, I remember thinking I really wanted the palette because it seemed like a great way to test out the dual intensity shadows of which I owned none. However, I didn’t think I would have to chance to snag it as I had no plans to travel (NARS is not sold in The Bahamas). However, as fate would have it, the stars aligned and I manged to work out a way to have my friend return my Hourglass palette and get this NARS one to me within a week. How awesome is that?

The NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette is a little pricier, retailing for $79.00 USD (£45.00). It contains eight (8) smaller versions of the dual intensity shadows from the permanent line. They weigh in at 0.03 oz whereas the full sizes are 0.05 and retail for $29.00 USD (£21.00). With a total 0.24 oz of product, that puts the value of the palette somewhere in the $140.00 USD (£100.00) range. Not bad. It’s worth noting, however, that like the Hourglass palette, this one is much smaller than I expected. I don’t have a comparison photo but the NARS is only slightly longer (though wider, of course).

Nars Dual Intensity Eye Shadow Palette

The packaging is also interesting. The palette has a mirrored lid, which actually functions quite well, with the NARSissist logo etched in white. There is also a full size mirror inside of the palette.


Nars Dual Intensity Eye Shadow Palette Review


The dual intensity shadows offer varying finishes and can be used dry for “a sheer soft touch of sensual color” or wet for “for a high-impact finish”. They promise “creaseless, eight-hour wear eye”. The eight shadows included in the limited edition palette are:

  • Europa: Gossamer Pink Peach, satin finish with some frosty-ness.
  • Himalia: Shimmering Topaz (medium golden-copper-brown) shimmery, metallic finish.
  • Ursa Major: Chocolate Glaze (deep, warm brown), pearlescent satin finish.
  • Subra: Black Orchid (blackened purple with red tones), pearlescent satin finish.
  • Andromeda: Alabaster (golden-beige), shimmery satin finish.
  • Lysithea: Shark gray (pewter grey), very shimmery, metallic finish
  • Giove: Navy, satin finish with some shimmer.
  • Sycorax: Black, satin finish.

Nars Dual Intensity Eye Shadow Palette Review 2

Wet is definitely the way to go with most of the shadows where the intensity level is pretty impressive. Of the eight shades, Himalia, Ursa Major, Subra, Lysithea and Giove performed the best, both wet and dry. Dry, Ursa Major (the deep brown shade), actually comes across quite matte on the eye and much lighter in tone making it a great crease option. The intensity of the black shade, Sycorax, was definitely better wet. Europa (which barely comes across in the swatches) was the poorest performing all around, though I actually prefer it dry, as there is very very slight duo-chrome that comes across better when the shadow is dry. Andromeda was somewhere in the middle being a typical satin finish creamy beige color.


nars dual intensity eyeshadow palette swatches dry

Swatches Dry (From Left to Right): Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major, Subra, Andromeda, Lysithea, Giove, Sycorax

nars dual intensity eyeshadow palette swatches wet

Swatches Wet (From Left to Right): Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major, Subra, Andromeda, Lysithea, Giove, Sycorax


Now onto the “eye looks” (you’ll see why I put that in quotations).

Using the shadows dry, I created a simply “everyday” neutral, don’t have to think about it too much eye. I used Europa (pink peach) on the inner lid and brow bone, Ursa Major (deep brown) in the crease as the transition shade, Subra (purple burgundy) to deepen the crease and a touch of Himalia (copper brown) in the inner corner and on the lower lash line.


nars dual intensity eyeshadow palette eyes dry


Using the shadows wet…I got a little “creative”. Carried away is more like it. I don’t know what I was doing, really. Excited like a 5 year old with new paints. This isn’t necessarily a look I’d sport on a regular, but I decided to feature it anyway as I thought it did well in demonstrating the intensity of the shadows when wet. Also, I’ve included two shots of look. Having asked his advice, Mr. Bear and I were “divided” as to which photo looked best. So, I thought I’d let you guys decide. Let me know in the comment section below. Shades use: Lysithea, Giove, and Sycorax.


nars dual intensity eyeshadow palette eye look


nars dual intensity eyeshadow palette eyes wet


Overall, I’m extremely happy with the NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette! I’ve been really enjoying the shadows (having used it every day since receiving) and it definitely makes giving up the Hourglass palette (which didn’t work for me anyway) much easier. If you don’t have any of the dual intensity singles and have been interested in trying the formula, I’d definitely recommend the palette over purchasing the singles individually.  You can find the palette at Sephora (online and in stores), Nars.com (and boutiques), *Bluemercury.com, Asos.com in the UK as well as other retailers.





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    • Silke Laura on February 15, 2015 at 10:39 am
    • Reply

    Love your eye looks, Kimmy! I bought Europa last summer, when the Dual Intensity shades came out. I can’t really say I’m too keen on it (should’ve picked up Dione or so..) Nevertheless, they’re lovely and it was only a matter of time that they would bring out this palette. I don’t think I’ll be picking it up though – but I’m happy you’re loving it!

      • Kimmy on February 16, 2015 at 11:22 am
      • Reply

      Thank you, sweetie! I remember you featuring that shadow! But yeah, I didn’t hear you talk much about it. Europa was definitely the most disappointing one. Dione is sort of similar to Himalia, right? I think it would look stunning on you if you ever did decide to give the formula another go. xo

    • kirstydowling88 on February 15, 2015 at 11:26 am
    • Reply

    Wow at your ‘playing around’ eye look… you’ve got skills! It’s good to see you’re enjoying your new purchase lovely xxx

      • Kimmy on February 16, 2015 at 11:26 am
      • Reply

      Thank you so much, Kirsty (a.k.a. one of the most hilarious, in a good way, bloggers I know). I suppose I try, hehe. 🙂 It was fun to do something a little different. xo

  1. Ah this is so pretty! I definitely need more nars shadows and these are ideal. I don’t often use shadows wet – need to give that a try as the colours are so intense! x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

      • Kimmy on February 16, 2015 at 11:29 am
      • Reply

      Thank you, Jasmin! I definitely think the formula is very versatile. You can still get a nice look with the shadows dry or mix and match using some wet and some dry. If you’re interested in the dual intensity formula and can swatch somewhere, I say have play. If you like it and it’s in your budget, this palette is a much better value that the singles. 🙂

  2. I’ve never tried a Nars shadow! But this palette looks and sounds amazing!

      • Kimmy on February 16, 2015 at 2:15 pm
      • Reply

      It’s pretty amazing, Julie. This was also my first experience with NARS eye shadows. A definite recommend! xo

    • Kat on February 15, 2015 at 6:27 pm
    • Reply

    Such pretty pretty colours, I love Ursa, Lyisthea and Glove, the palette is perfect part colours!


      • Kimmy on February 16, 2015 at 11:31 am
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      Those are some lovely picks (and, actually, I could seem them working together!). This reminds me that I totally forgot to mention which shades I used in the second look! Though, it’s probably pretty obvious, huh?

    • kpsays on February 16, 2015 at 12:07 am
    • Reply

    This palette is soooo pretty! But I am still on the fence about it. Boy, you can really tell the pigmentation in the wet formula look! I love it. Yes, not for everyday, but hey! It’s good to play around and have fun every now and then 🙂

      • Kimmy on February 16, 2015 at 11:49 am
      • Reply

      Thank you, Karen. NARS is still relatively new to me, with only a few things from the brand in my collection (light reflecting powder, ita brush, two lipsticks, a blush, a gloss). But, I don’t own any of their other shadow formulas, so this was a great way for me to delve further into the brand. If you’re on the fence, have a look at it in store, maybe it will help with the decision. Though, I have to be biased here and say I recommend. Hehe. 🙂 xo

  3. I am soooooo jealous of you right now! This palette really is drop-dead gorgeous, ugh.

      • Kimmy on February 16, 2015 at 11:50 am
      • Reply

      Hehe. Are you considering it, Melissa?

  4. Whoaa that wet look is SO cool!!!

    I think I might eventually pick up a single or two. The palette looks great, but I won’t use the cooler half so much. I really love the softer version you did as well!

      • Kimmy on February 16, 2015 at 11:52 am
      • Reply

      Thank you! I’m glad I decided to take a chance and post it. 🙂 Which singles would you consider, Sunny?

    • Jen on February 16, 2015 at 3:00 pm
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    Oh wow the blue shades are gorgeous! I would love to get this palette.

      • Kimmy on February 19, 2015 at 12:55 pm
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      Aren’t they? It’s one I recommend, for sure. Beautiful! xo

    • Ingrid on February 16, 2015 at 4:17 pm
    • Reply

    I keep going back and forth on whether or not to buy this. It is incredibly gorgeous. I love the dramatic blue look you did with it!

      • Kimmy on February 19, 2015 at 12:55 pm
      • Reply

      That means so much coming from you, Ingrid, as you create the most stunning eye looks! If you don’t own any of the singles and it’s in your budget, I recommend the palette, especially for the value compared to purchasing alone. You know how sometimes when you use shadows wet and dry it messes with the formula (even if they are meant to be used either way)? Well the transition between wet and dry use is seamless with these, in my experience. 🙂 xo

  5. These shades look amazing – the neutral look you created is so pretty 🙂 xx

    Magpie Jasmine

      • Kimmy on February 19, 2015 at 12:51 pm
      • Reply

      Thank you, Jasmine. Loving how these perform wet or dry for sure! 🙂

  6. The blue look is stunning! I actually wore a blue smokey eye made with this palette this morning to try it out, and I’m deeply in love already! 🙂 xx
    Gyudy’s Notes Of Beauty

      • Kimmy on February 19, 2015 at 12:43 pm
      • Reply

      Thank you, Gyudy! Definitely “out of the box”. Ooh, did you happen to take a pic of the blue smokey eye? Is that the one you featured on Instagram the other day? Which combos did you use? I’d love to recreate it! So glad you’re loving your palette as well. xo

    • Lia on February 17, 2015 at 2:20 am
    • Reply

    what a classy shadow palette it is. Loved all the shades from the palette 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Lia. And I’m so sorry I missed this comment before! xo

  7. This palette looks beautiful. I decided not to go for it because it seems too similar to the shadows I already have so I couldn’t justify buying it. 🙂 x

    Renata | Speaking Beauty UK

      • Kimmy on February 19, 2015 at 12:25 pm
      • Reply

      I feel you. The colours are not so unique. Having not owned any NARS shadows or the dual intensity formula, I felt a little more “justified” in my purchase. Oh, the things we say to ourselves, lol. I do think the formula is impressive though. You can go back and forth between using them wet or dry in the same sitting and the texture and performance remains the same. I’ve heard the same about the new Burberry wet/dry shadows which is making me want to try those soon as well! xo

  8. This palette is so gorgeous! Love both the looks you did, although the second one is definitely an extreme look but the colours are beautiful! I think Subra and Giove are my favourite shades.
    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

      • Kimmy on February 19, 2015 at 1:01 pm
      • Reply

      Thank you so much Emma! I don’t know how often I’s sport the second look, lol, but it does show off the intensity of the shadows well, I think. 🙂 Would these palette be one you’d be interested in? Thank you for stopping by, sweetie! x

    • Jaa on February 19, 2015 at 3:39 pm
    • Reply

    Woah! Lovin’ the “creative” look! It happens to me a lot of times when I just keep adding colors without knowing what exactly I’m doing. LOL. I guess it happens to everyone!

    I can’t stop using this palette. It has such unique formula! 🙂

      • Kimmy on February 20, 2015 at 3:29 pm
      • Reply

      Thank you, Jaa! Yay for playing with makeup. 🙂 I’m going to try that silver look with the blue that you featured this weekend. It looked so stunning. Completely agree, the formula is fantastic! x

  9. Well arent’ you clever! The last eye look is amazing!
    I need more makeup play time!
    Nars is such a killer!
    Kelsey x

      • Kimmy on February 20, 2015 at 3:17 pm
      • Reply

      Hehe. Thank you, Kelsey. I have to admit that I have been getting more into NARS lately. xo

  10. This looks so crazy pretty! I haven’t tried any of the NARS shadows, although I have many NARS blushes. I’m super curious about the eyeshadow duos. Have you tried any that you’d recommend?

    1. I’ve actually never tried any of the duos! It’s so weird. There was one LE duo that I really wanted last year…can’t remember the name right now. I’ve also heard good things about Dolomites which I believe is permanent. 🙂

  11. Oh wow this looks amazing, the colours in those swatches! I love the eye look you created using the palette.

    Kristy | thevioletblonde.com

    1. Thank you, Kristy. You won’t regret it, promise. The formula of these shadows is the best part! xo

  12. This palette looks gorgeous but I kinda feel like the formula is not as pigmented as I’d like it to be, unless wet. I love the shade Himalia. x

    Renata | Speaking Beauty UK

    1. I see what you are saying. I think dry, most of the shades work well with the exception of Europa which I just thought performed poorly all around. Himalia actually is the best “all rounder” (working equally well wet or dry). 🙂 xo

    • t on September 23, 2015 at 5:27 pm
    • Reply

    Lovely post as per usual! My purse is definitely going to take a bruising because of this post haha xx

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