Thursday, February 2, 2012

NARS Lhasa Shimmer Eye Shadow for Spring 2012

I was eager to try a couple of pieces from the new NARS Spring 2012 Collection. I had seen photos of the Lhasa Shimmer Eye Shadow ($24) and thought it looked pretty. Once I saw it on my eyelids, it was unmitigated love. This is an eye shadow that's going to work beautifully for everyone - not just pale-face blondes.

Here's the NARS product story for Shimmer Eye Shadow...

Highly pigmented, velvety-matte, ultra-fine powders for shading, creating depth, and lining eyes. Long-wearing, crease-resistant colors glide on smoothly and evenly and blend effortlessly.
  • Can be applied sheer or layered for a more dramatic effect
  • True color application
  • Can be applied dry or with a dampened brush for heightened intensity
  • Multifunction use: shading, lining, and brow color
  • Rich, vivid shade range, from neutrals to high-fashion hues
My photo of Lhasa immediately above was taken in full sun, giving the shadow a lighter look than it has in the NARS photo. The shade is described as lavender grey. I suppose that's true, but it doesn't flatter this stunning shade. I'm thrilled that I can wear Lhasa during the day. It's a dashing color that's unlike any other shadow in my current rotation. Lhasa is much like a Lancome shade that was my go-to eye shadow about 25 years ago, one that I eventually had to stop wearing because I developed an allergy to the red pigment in it. I've waited a long time to find a flattering replacement. Lhasa is it!

I swatched it heavily with a sponge-tipped applicator and took my photos in full, very late afternoon sun. Look at the color! As advertised, it's a lavender-toned grey, but that doesn't tell its full story. I see a cool-toned taupe-grey that leans lavender. It shimmers without glitter - just enough to draw attention to the eyes. I could gush, but it's probably not necessary. If you've seen it, you'll know how gorgeous it is. If you haven't seen it, I think you should. Lhasa is destined to become a super-hit. Fortunately, it's not a limited edition.

We've all had some occasional issues with the pigmentation and texture of NARS eye shadows. This one is absolutely perfect. It applies evenly and easily with any tool you select. For me, it's a new everyday neutral that provides an alternative to brown tones. I've noticed that it blends perfectly with other favorite NARS shadows and any other shadows I choose to wear. You can't ask for more than that.

I'm going to digress from the incredible eye shadow to tell you a little story that frustrated me. As soon as the spring collection popped up online, I tried to place an order in mid-January, using a Gilt voucher I had purchased. The voucher was a great deal: $80 worth of product for $50. Consistent with my recent issues with "certain" online sites, I had a problem. The NARS site wouldn't take my Gilt voucher. It was a weekend, and no one staffs the NARS customer service phone on weekends. I guess NARS assumes that all your needs can be met on weekdays during bankers' hours. So, I waited until Tuesday (Monday was a federal holiday), and no one answered the phone - or returned my voice mails. I finally called the corporate offices, and I was told that the one person who handles phone queries was in meetings that day, all day. She would call me back the next day. She didn't call the next day, nor the day after. In fact, she never returned my multiple messages. Fortunately, on a lark I tried my Gilt voucher again on a weekday, and it worked. However, the site calculated my order incorrectly, overcharging me by charging for shipping. Even though I had spent over $80 and should have received free shipping, I let it go. At some point, you decide you've invested too much time. I gave up.

I did let Gilt know (I knew they would care) about the difficulties I had using their voucher. They are a stand-up company and responded with an apology. My takeaways? If you use the NARS online site in any unusual way, all bets are off. If you place an uncomplicated online order, you'll have no problems. I've been ordering that way successfully for years. If you need customer service? Good luck.

Back to Lhasa (end of rant). The Non-Blonde featured Lhasa two weeks ago. Gaia loves it too. Her coloring and mine are different, proof that Lhasa can suit everyone.
Café Makeup also featured Lhasa. You can find comparison swatches at both blogs.

You can purchase Lhasa at NARS online and at all NARS counters. The weekend before last, I had a makeover at the NARS counter at Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria. This coming weekend I hope to find time to tell you about it. Istvan Hrichak does amazing work. He used Lhasa on me, although he created the focal point of my eyes with Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil, another amazing NARS color. Stay tuned.

Photo at top courtesy of NARS; other photos by Best Things in Beauty


vintageporcelaindoll said...

After seeing another beauty blogger's swatches of this shadow I was skeptical about the color. Your photos are so clear and I like the natural lighting, this really helped me see the color better. I love the cool subtle lavender undertone, it's such a unique shade! Nars shadows are definitely among my favorites, I just might have to add this to my collection!

Resham said...

This is a beautiful color and looks so good in your swatches. Unfortunately, it will make my eyes looked punched...because of the blue based under eye circles...

Thank you so much for the clear swatch pic.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Vintageporcelaindoll!

You have no idea how happy that made me. Thanks! I think you'll like this shade. Please let us know.

Charlestongirl said...

Oh no, Resham! Are you wearing a peach or yellow-toned concealer? Makes all the difference!

Laetitia said...

I like the international names in the spring NARS collection . . . although I'm not sure what about this eye shadow screams Tibet. Maybe the fog rolling over the Himalayas? Oh well, still a great name.

I'm sorry you had such a hard time placing your order online. I frequently experience these hitches on the other sites too. Good on you for pursuing the discount!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Laetitia! Good point. I don't see the relationship to Tibet. I would be just as pretty if it were called "The One." :)

MariaBent said...

This shadow has been tempting me since I've seen the photos at Café Makeup, but I was scared it would be too dark as a lid color (I'm not as fair as you but not the "Mediterranean type" either, I'd say I'm sort of "light").

The promised musical links to my old blog are not forgotten, I'm just on a deadline to deliver some texts to the printers (nothing to do with beauty I'm afraid, but about several changes in legislation introduced by the Portuguese State Budget for 2012).
I'll e-mail you as soon as I have a bit more time.

Mamavalveeta03 said...

Maybe a Lhasa Apso is similar to this color? And it's a Tibetan dog? Or something like that?? Seriously, I have no idea why half of the NARS colors are named as they are (other than the obvious, after movies, designers, etc.). But it certainly is beautiful and I love the taupey nature of it.

Charlestongirl said...


I'm in hysterics at 6:00 am. That was so funny...thanks!

I don't think NARS named this shadow after dog fur, but Charlie thought that was a fine idea.