NARS China Seas Eyeshadow Duo swatch & review

NARS China Seas Eyeshadow Duo

NARS China Seas Eyeshadow Duo

Hola amigos! Yesterday I posted a quick eye look using the new and permanent NARS China Seas eyeshadow duo and promised to post a bit more about it today. Lay your eyes upon this bold combo of turquoise with golden pearl and metallic plum, out now as part of the NARS High Seize Spring ’14 colour collection.

The turquoise shadow is a medium metallic teal with a whisper of golden frost, albeit not enough to pull the shadow noticeably gold. I’ve been trying for days to work out what it reminds me of, and I keeping landing on an old discontinued Too Faced eyeshadow duo called Fantasy Island. It also reminds me of a slightly bluer version of MAC Steamy. The pigmentation of this shadow is fairly middling when applied dry, but it quickly layers up into a glistening foil effect when applied with a damp brush.

The plum shadow in China Seas is easily my favourite of the duo. It’s an iridescent plum that isn’t much chop when applied dry, but a little labour with a damp brush provides a glorious lustrous plum shot through with touches of iridescent pink. It’s stunning. I tend to have issues wearing plummy tones because I have pale grey eyes and cool-toned fair skin that can look bruisy against warm purple shades, but no such issues with this shadow. It looks clean, bold and has an excellent depth of colour that doesn’t look flat or deep. Gorrrrrrgeous.

Both shadows can be layered and combined together to create a duotone dirty blue-tinted taupe-ish colour when dry, or layered wet plum-over-blue or blue-over-plum to create an eye look with a unique depth of colour.

NARS China Seas Eyeshadow Duo swatched

NARS China Seas Eyeshadow Duo swatched dry and damp

I’ll admit that I’m not wild about the colour combination of China Seas – it’s a little too high editorial and ‘makeup-y’, and it requires a little more forward thought and planning to wear as a combo than I’m really willing to put in at 7AM on a Monday morning. While I can easy imagine this looking all-out unreal on someone like Nyamuoch Girwath as a slash of bold turquoise with some plum shadowing against her stunning dark skin (seriously, she’s gorgeous), it’s not a combo that I can pull off with my eye colour and complexion. Used separately though? Hell yes, sign me up.

That’s not to say China Seas is a bad eyeshadow duo, don’t get me wrong: my attitude to a lot of eyeshadow palettes, NARS included, is to treat them not as a cohesive whole to be used together, but rather as separate eyeshadows that just happen to be residing in the same eyeshadow case. Double the bang for your buck and much less agony about combing two not particularly cohesive colours, you feel me? I like the turquoise, I love the plum. I just happen to prefer them used separately.

My verdict: nice if you’re a NARS collector or you’re looking to plug a few colour gaps in your eyeshadow collection, but not a must-have if you’re looking for a simple, easy to use combo of colours.

P.S. I highly recommend you check out the other eyeshadow duo from this collection, NARS Kauai. It’s a fresh twist on a classic gold and royal purple combo, the shades work together flawlessly and it’s pretty as heck.


What: NARS China Seas Eyeshadow Duo
How Much: AU$55
When: available now
Where: Mecca Cosmetica, Mecca Maxima

This item was kindly provided to

NARS China Seas Eyeshadow Duo

NARS China Seas Eyeshadow Duo

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