Sunday, February 6, 2011

NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio

I was prepared to love the NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio ($45), introduced with the Spring 2011 Collection. It's a trio of sun-washed, neutral shades that NARS told us could be mixed and matched to supply a limitless range of sophisticated eye looks. "Each is rich and blends effortlessly."

I ordered it the moment it was available, and I admired it when it arrived. It wasn't until I started playing with it that I realized it wasn't love.

NARS describes the three shades this way. On the left, there's a gold-infused platinum with silver flecks. In the center is a light, matte caramel. On the right, a rich, antique bronze completes the look. My photo at right is truer to the shades than the NARS photo above. Forget the little NARS color swatches.

The bronze and caramel shades in the trio are very pretty. Had this been a duo, I would be raving about it. I like the two shades. You can see them on my arm below - the top two shades.

Unfortunately, the "gold-infused platinum" is fairly useless. It has no color. It lays down a sheer sparkle and nothing else. I swatched with a sponge-tipped applicator, and I took my photo indoors in morning sun. The sponge-tipped applicator should have punched up the color. It didn't. So, I swiped my finger across the platinum shade, and what I learned was disappointing. There is no color, just an uneven, crumbly sparkle - seriously uneven. I couldn't even get a finger pad photo. Then I went and got a shadow brush. It was worse. No matter what I did, I couldn't get the platinum shadow to leave an even application of color on my skin (and it was even harder on my eyelid). That means that 40% of the trio is relatively useless, unless you want to struggle to apply a sparkly sheen evenly on your eyelid. I have better uses for my time.

So, as much as I love NARS, the Calanque Eyeshadow Trio gets a mediocre grade from me. I know it's hot, but I can't recommend that you purchase it. Definitely don't do it sight unseen. There are so many gorgeous neutral shadows available, why spend $45 on one that doesn't please?

Don't take my word for it. Wait for it to arrive at NARS counters and take a look. Please let me know what you think.

Photo at top courtesy of NARS


inkxaviary said...

bwaaaaa, that's dissapointing :(

you should try this out if you havent yet.

I got a chance to play with this yesterday and all the shades are awesome. The Naked Eye pallet is good too.

Laurie said...

Sad! I still haven't received my NARS order...really irritated with their shipping. I know we had a blizzard, but it's been in Chicago since Monday and still hasn't been delivered.

Too bad that shade is a glitter bomb. The other two do look beautiful though.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi inkxaviary,

I can't use your link easily on my iPad, so I will check it out on my next "trip" to my desktop.

It is disappointing!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Laurie,

Some of my NARS orders have been delayed, but they ship to me via USPS, which is slow.

Even Sephora orders are taking longer to arrive. I don't think they ship as quickly as they used to.

Glitter bomb is a good description. Amy got a good swatch (I read her review today after I wrote mine), but why work that hard?

I do like the other two shades a lot.

MarciaF said...

I'm so glad I've been reading your blog along with Cafe Makeup and Beauty Look Book. I wanted this trio but you three lovely ladies have convinced me to save my $45 for something else.

Charlestongirl said...

Pretty depressing, huh, Marcia? We all flipped over the photo, but we were all disappointed with the crumbly texture and difficult application of the one shade - and came to our conclusions independently. What's interesting is that the other two shades in the trio don't share the problems.

Eileen said...

I love neutrals and adore my UD Naked Palette, but I was underwhelmed by this uninspiring trio of colors and the androgynous look on the model. As the old song goes, "I enjoy being a girl." Even though I wasn't won over by the advertising, I did go to take a look at it because, as we all know, a product's advertising can be quite deceptive. But, alas, the palette was quite a disappointment. As you and other reviewers have pointed out, it's a shame that the "glitter bomb" is the largest color in the palette. I'm not in the least bit anti-glitter, but I want it to stay on my eyelids; not end up all over my face. Too bad Nars.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen,

Lucky you! Had I had an opportunity to try it before I bought, I wouldn't have. I'm sure Amy and Sabrina feel the same way.

I never reviewed the Naked Palette, but I love it! Think it's too late?

Anonymous said...

Once again, thanks to your swatches, I'm removing something from an online shopping cart. I have so much makeup (you make me feel better about indulging this particular new addiction) that I don't need a colorless shadow with tons of glitter, and I have lots of caramels (matte and satin) and bronzes. Now I can buy something I'd rather have and will actually use! Thanks so much for this blog and for faithfully rubbing the cosmetics on your arm for us!


Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Emily! I don't know anyone who liked this trio. It's too bad because two of the shades are pretty, but the "major" shade is worthless.

Definitely spend on something better!