Oh, NARS Porto Venere Eye Paint. I’m so torn about you.
I love – love – NARS Eye Paints. They are hands down the best formula of creme eyeshadow and liner available on the market, bar none. Most creme shadows or liners are quite dense and solid, but Eye Paints are silky and airy with a featherlight quick drying gel formula that feels like nothing on the eye. Black Valley is my go-to when I need an intense solid black to shape the eye underneath powder shadows without adding bulk or risking the potential for movement that comes with a traditional black greasepaint base (i.e. Nyx Black Bean Jumbo Eye Pencils).
The only downside to the NARS Eye Paint line – aside from the small pot size – is that there’s not a whole lot of neutral or natural colours available. Given that Eye Paints are a combination shadow and liner that makes a reasonable amount of sense, but I’d probably sacrifice a finger for a good soft mushroom taupe and medium buff beige to be added to the line.
Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to Porto Venere Eye Paint. This soft pale ballet pink is something I should theoretically be over the moon about. A paler colour in the Eye Paints line, and a permanent colour at that! It’s pretty and dainty, and unique as far as creme eye colours go: while I can think of half a dozen identical powder eyeshadows, I can’t think of anything in a creme or gel that’s close to this shade of fair pink.
But, and this breaks my heart to say this, I’m not entirely sold on Porto Venere. It’s just a little too sheer and flat to be used as a liner on my fair skin – the trick to pale liner on fair skin is to go hard with a touch of frost, and Porto Venere’s understated classic presentation doesn’t lend itself to a twinkling eye – and it doesn’t have quite enough oomph to work as a good base colour to make other shadows pop and shine.
It does have its uses though, don’t get me wrong here. Priming the eye area first and working wet with Porto Venere along the browline and lid with a soft sheer taupe cream through the crease under a loose powder set creates a sculpted, smooth chiselled eye that nails a ‘no makeup’ makeup brief perfectly, and can be matched with a natural brow and lash or lifted with subtle liner and groomed lashes.
As a utility creme product for makeup artists with a large fair skinned bridal client base, Porto Venere is fantastic. It fills a convenience gap in my kit, given that I normally create that kind of sculpting colour with blends of creme products sheered out with primer. But for the average makeup user at home, I’m not entirely sold on it. Is a pale pink gel eyeliner/shadow something that you’d really reach for?
This item was kindly provided to swatchgirl.com.