Nars Dual Intensity Eye Shadow Palette!

i know what you’re thinking!  another palette?  does this girl ever buy anything else?!?  i assure you i do, and this will be the last palette for a while.  i don’t make any promises for singles and quads though.  eyeshadows are my weakness, especially if they come in palettes.  i just love the huge range of pretty colors available.  after all, green is my favorite, and i’m not adventurous enough to wear it anywhere other than on my eyes.

i’ve been coveting the Nars Dual Intensity Shadows for quite a while now but always passed them over in preference for the reformulated MUFE Artist Shadows.  i figured i had to draw the line somewhere in order to not go bankrupt.  i’m so glad i waited instead of splurging during the Friends & Family Sales madness.  now instead of buying singles for $29 each (.05oz), i can try 8 colors for $79 (.03oz/color).  i’m especially thrilled to see that a lot of the colors i was eyeing individually were selected for the palette – Subra, Giove, Andromeda, and Himalia.  there is one exclusive shade, Ursa Major.  the palette also includes a synthetic brush, but i don’t care much for it.  it’s softer than most brushes included in palettes (ie. UD Naked 2 or Smashbox Double Exposure), but it’s not as easy to use as my Sigma or Hakuhodo brushes.  i found that my own brushes gave a more pigmented look, when used dry, than the included brush.  when damp, the included brush would sometimes splay a little and affect color placement.  maybe it’s my technique though, as i have heard other bloggers liking the brush.  be warned that the compact’s exterior is a mirrored surface, which attracts finger prints and smudges easily.  since i store mine away in a drawer after use, i don’t really mind it looking smudged.  the hinge is stiff enough that you can adjust the mirror to any angle you wish, and it will stay put.

Nars Dual Intensity Eye Palette

Nars Dual Intensity Eye Palette

(L to R) Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major and Subra swatched dry then wet

(L to R) Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major and Subra swatched dry then wet

as you can see, Europa is a bit sheer when used dry, but everything else is well pigmented.

  • Europa is a pale peach with pink.  when used dry it looks more peachy and is somewhat sheer.  when used wet, the pink becomes more prominent and pigmentation more opaque.
  • Himalia is a golden brown topaz shade. dry or wet it had nice pigmentation.  when wet, the finish becomes much more metallic.
  • Ursa Major is a medium chocolate brown.  the color is lighter and warmer when applied dry and becomes more shimmery and cool toned when applied wet.  this color is exclusive to the palette.
  • Subra is a burgundy brown/purple.  when used dry, it looks more brown.  when used wet, the purple tones intensify.
(L to R) Andromeda, Lysithea, Giove, Sycorax

(L to R) Andromeda, Lysithea, Giove, Sycorax

  • Andromeda is a pale beige that borders on white.  like Europa, the pigmentation is sheer when used dry but becomes opaque when wet.
  • Lysithea is a medium shark grey with a hint of warm olive.  the olive is not really so much a color as it affects the tone of the silver.  when dry, it’s a duller darker shade.  used wet, it becomes much more metallic and lighter in color.
  • Giove is a dark navy blue.  when dry, it looks blackened and dull.  when used wet, it becomes more metallic and blue.
  • Syocrax is black.  used dry, it’s a soft black that works well for giving the other shades a bit more dimension and drama. used wet, it comes a full, pigmented black.

now let’s see them in action!

Andro, Subra, Euro Closeup-02504

Europa, Subra and Andromeda

here you see Europa used wet with Subra used dry and Andromeda as a brow highlight and used wet in the inner corner.

Europa, Subra and Andromeda

Europa, Sycorax

Europa, Sycorax

here you see Europa used dry on the lid with Sycorax used dry in the outer third and Sycorax used wet as a liner and Europa wet on the inner corner.  notice how Europa shifts between peach and pink depending on whether or not it’s used wet.  side note, if you tear easily, do not use Sycorax wet as a liner.  it bleeds into a hot mess 😛  now i totally remember why my go-to is a waterproof liquid eyeliner!

Euro Syco dry, wet as enhance context-02542


Europa and Subra

Europa, Subra and Andromeda

here i’ve applied Europa and Subra wet with Andromeda used dry as brow highlight.  see how Subra intensifies and shifts more towards the purple spectrum?  it does look a bit more purple in reality, but my camera is really uncooperative with brownish purple shades 😦

Himalia, Lysithea and Ursa Major

Himalia, Lysithea and Ursa Major

here you see Himalia used wet on lid with Lysithea used wet in the center of lid and Ursa Major used dry in the outer third. Ursa Major was also used wet as liner.

W Himalia Lysithea Ursa Major andro Context-02513

Lysithea and Giove

Lysithea, Giove, Andromeda and Ursa Major

i used all the shadows dry in this look.  Lysithea and Giove with Andromeda on the inner corner and Ursa Major on the lower lashline.  see how much darker Lysithea looks when used dry?

dry Lysithea Giove Context-02528

Himalia, Giove, Lysithea

Himalia, Giove, Lysithea

here you see Himalia used dry, Giove used wet, and Lysithea used dry on the lower lashline.  i love how wetting Giove really intensifies the blue!

Dry Him, Wet Giove, Dry Ly Context-02564

wet Andro UM closeup-02595

Andromeda and Ursa Major

here you see both Andromeda and Ursa Major used wet.

wet Andro UM Context-02591

you can see how when used wet, it really makes a difference in the context pictures.  the lighter shades brighten the eye more and the darker shades become more pigmented and dramatic.

overall, i’m definitely happy with my purchase.  the palette is gorgeous to stare at and pretty on the eyes as well.  most of the shadows were pigmented and easy to work with.  the ones that gave me the most trouble were Europa and Andromeda, but that’s to be expected since they’re close to my skin tone to begin with.  if you like just 3 of the colors, you’ve more than broken even with the singles price.  however, if the vibrancy staying true for 7+ hours is important to you, i’m saddened to report these shadows don’t do as well compared to MUFE Artist Shadows, Lorac, or Urban Decay.  they do fade a little, and i’m wearing them over Nars’ own primer.  i do love how Nars has given us a large range of colors that work well together, and i think the colors themselves are very sophisticated.

if you’re interested in seeing some of these looks under more daylight conditions, please hop over to my instagram.  you’ll also be able to see looks that will eventually make their way into future posts!

Readers, yay or nay on using shadows wet?  are you still loving the dark jewel tones of winter or are you ready to move into spring pastels?

Divergent Multi-Piece Collector’s Kit by Divergent Cosmetics Overview

at first i wasn’t very interested in this, but since my boyfriend is a divergent fan, i forwarded the link for him to look at when i got notified of this by Sephora.  “you should totally get it and review it on your blog!” he replied excitedly.  i wasn’t convinced at first, but as i mulled it over slowly, the idea took hold.  it did seem kind of symbolic in a way, drawing a nice parallel to my life.  like the heroine of the novel, i too, am embarking on a new journey trying to discover different facets of myself while fighting off my insecurities (when do we get to grow out of that?!). ok, that’s enough about me!  onto the makeup! i’m going to break this up into an overview of contents plus an in depth look at the Divergent Cheek palette and lip glosses.  stay tuned for the eyeshadow palettes!


The Collector’s Kit comes very nicely in an outer box with a magnetic snap.  even if you haven’t read the books and don’t understand the significance of the ferris wheel, it’s still makes for a pleasing image.

SAMSUNG CSCopen the box and you find an exciting amount of makeup for $59.50.  there are 3 palettes of eye shadows with a total of 15 shades, 1 cheek palette with 2 blushes, a highlight and a bronzer, 4 lip glosses, and a double-ended angled cheek brush and pointed blending eye brush. just as a brief point of comparison, there’s slightly more eye shadow in these palettes than Urban Decay’s Naked 3.  3 double-sided look cards are tucked into a pocket on the back of top lid.

SAMSUNG CSCclearly all the effort in packaging and design went into the box and palettes.  i haven’t recreated the suggested looks, but my gripe is with how the colors in the look cards are represented.  you can’t tell from a casual look the color difference in the looks between some of the cards.  in fact, i gave them to the boyfriend to look over, and he thought the card with the lighter colors was actually a darker, smokier look.  i mean, what’s the point of a look card if i can’t get a sense of what the look is?  color is a major part of that! if i have to hold the look cards next to the palette and see what colors they’re talking about then you might as well not have bothered with the picture.  please give me a venn diagram type look card with the colors clearly delineated!

SAMSUNG CSCthe palettes stack together to reform the ferris wheel.  not that i’d store them this way, but i still appreciate the remarkable amount of thought that went into the package design.

SAMSUNG CSC the palettes snap out vertically in case you want to take a different transformer (glitter) shade with your favorite faction palette.  before you moan about fallout, the transformer colors are surprisingly high quality. i’ve actually had less fall out with these than some urban decay shades (i’m glaring at you, anarchy face palette!).


L to R: Urban Decay, Divergent, Sigma F40HD, Crown

this double-ended brush is great! it blends just as nicely as my Crown, Sigma, and Urban Decay angled brushes.  it’s softer than my Urban Decay, very similar in density, and the head is a little smaller and more of an elongated oval shape.  compared to my Crown brush, it’s not quite as soft but denser.  shape wise, it’s pretty similar with the Divergent brush just a little more elongated.  the Sigma F40 with HD filament (the bunny ones) is slightly softer with a smaller, narrower head than the Divergent brush.


L to R: Sigma E40, Divergent, Urban Decay Naked2, Sigma E38

i can’t say much for the other end as i’m not skilled enough to manipulate that large of a brush on my small lids.  i’m guessing you can use it as a diffused crease brush.


L to R:Fear not, Temptation’s Choice, Natural Virtue and Supreme Ritual

does the packaging of that gloss look familiar to you?  i thought maybe sephora teamed up with Hourglass to make this line.  i chatted with some of the Sephora makeup artists, and they told me it was designed by the Sephora pro artists who just really loved hourglass’ packaging… in any case, the lip glosses are slightly minty and cooling on the lips (much milder than buxom) and sadly not as pigmented as they look. they’re mostly going to give your lips some shine and some moisture. the texture is light and not tacky.  i swatched them on my bare lips, but you couldn’t really tell one from the other.  thus i’ll save you the unnecessary photo spam.


T to B: Supreme Ritual, Natural Virtue, Temptation’s Choice, Fear Not

in the pictures below, i’ve put lipstick on my lips and layered the glosses only on my bottom lip so you can get a better idea of how they can subtly change the color on your lips.


Fear Not

Fear Not is a mauve brown pink with a tiny bit of gold shimmer in the tube.  swatched, it looks more like a pretty berry.  it gives the barest tint of berry on bare lips.  on my pink lipstick, it’s just adding a bit of shine for dimension.  it’s the most pigmented out of the bunch.


Supreme Ritual

Supreme Ritual is the other end of the 4 lipgloss spectrum.  it’s a creamy, milky, pale, peach nude with shimmer.  you can see that it doesn’t really tone the pink down much at all.

temptation's choice

Temptation’s Choice

Temptation’s Choice has the most shimmer of all the glosses and is a peach champagne gloss.  you can see a bit more of the sparkles in the left corner but like i said before, these are all very natural glosses that don’t have much pigmentation or shimmer and makes the lips shiny rather than glossy.

natural virtue

Natural Virtue

Natural Virtue is a mauve nude.  it’s more pigmented than Supreme Ritual so you can see it managed to nude out the pink on my lips just a little.

SAMSUNG CSC the Divergent Cheek palette is my favorite out of the whole collection. with one sweep of whatever blush brush i pick up, i can pick up the perfect amount of pigment for a good natural flush that blends out easily. sometimes, i dab just a little bit more, so it shows up a little easier on camera.  if that’s case i’m just gently tapping my brush onto the blush instead of sweeping through.  i like it just as much, if not more, as my Tarte Off The Cuff palette, but it may be new toy syndrome.  i love the simplicity of the two shades.  they’re no brainer shades that go with everything.  the radiant glow illuminator in gleaming pearl really lives up to the first part of its name.  it gives a nice, natural healthy skin glow.  i forgot it in my first day of eye looks, and the difference between those pictures and the looks after were noticeable.

SAMSUNG CSC this is me with the Abnegation palette, Obscure Coral, and Intelligent Bronze (is it anal if i felt the bronzer should have been associated with amity and not erudites?).  i used 1 sweep then dabbed on a bit extra because it didn’t show well on my lcd screen and i thought it needed amping, but it didn’t.  this is more pigmented than how i like to wear my every day looks.

SAMSUNG CSC this is me with a look from the Erudite palette (didn’t erudites wear blue? why is there no blue in the Erudite palette?), Misty rose and Gleaming Pearl but no bronzer. overall, i’m very pleased with my Collector’s Kit. i think it has great value and would be a great starter kit for someone’s neutrals collection, a fan of divergent, or a nude collector.  i’d happily pack one of faction eye palettes and the cheek palette for a weekend trip. Abnegation and Erudite eye palettes have nice colors that blend out well and build up nicely, making it fool proof for beginners and versatile for pros.  Dauntless eye palette rounds out the collection with all dark, smokey colors.  please visit back soon for a more in-depth look at the eye palettes and a look from the erudite palette!  i know it’s sold out right now online, but it is going to be restocked.  if you’re in the pasadena area, the Sephora there gets shipments every tuesday and thursday.

Readers, tell me what you think! are you a divergent fan?  do you own any of the Divergent line or waiting to get your hands on one? not a fan? leave your thoughts down below!