Well how lucky was I that I didn't get tempted to try the Dual Intensity shadows until recently, when the release of this palette was already announced. Eight shadows, albeit smaller than the singles, for USD 79 at a whopping USD 218 value! Even if you've got some of these shades stashed away in your Muji drawers (or other drawers if you are more original than the rest of us!) this is one that everyone should be giving a second look.
This palette is a stunner. It comes in sleek thin packaging; it's not unnecessarily bulky, there's no waste of space and you get a huge mirror both inside and outside. I've used both actually, applying a quick swipe of lipstick using the outside mirror, so it's not just a gimmick. It does have a tendency to gather finger prints, but it seems Nars' first rule of inclusion for packaging material is it needs to gather finger prints, so I think we should all just accept this as fact now and move on.
Inside you get eight of the Dual Intensity Eyeshadows, all part of the permanent line-up with the exception of one; Ursa Major. From the top left corner you get; Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major, Subra. From left on the bottom row; Andromeda, Lysithea, Glove and Sycorax.
There's a nice selection of colours here. There's no completely matte eyeshadow, Ursa Major is as close as it gets, but not all of them have a super intense shine like Himalia. There are two subtle lighter shades in Europa and Anromeda, more obvious lid-colours like Himalia and Lysithea and then Subra, Glove and Sycorax are dark and great for deepening a look, or perhaps as eyeliner. This palette doesn't have the obvious pairings that jump straight at you when you look at it, but there are a lot of options here still. A lot of us will probably find ourselves pairing this with other eyeshadows, but you can definitely use this alone as well if you want to.
The Dual Intensity eyeshadows are of a new formula that seems to be currently sweeping through all of the brands. It's reminiscent of the Mac Extra Dimension formula, but more "modern" in lack of a better word. I find the Dual Intensity shadows to be less powdery, "flatter" in a way - meaning you get a lot of pigment with little product, that lies very "flat" across the skin (kind of like Armani's foundations that has a thinner texture with a lot of pigment). Burberry has recently come out with a new version of their eyeshadows that has the exact same type of formula, that can also be used wet & dry, so to me it seems like someone's invented some new way of doing eyeshadow, and everyone's basically agreed that this is the way forward and decided to jump on board with both feet.
These can be used wet & dry, yes. I thought I should mention that, but that's all I'll say about it, because I haven't tested it nor do I intend to. I just don't like using eyeshadows wet. I've just gotten semi-used to cream products, though am still struggling to get on with cream blushes. I just prefer powder makeup, and while I know everyone's said adding water to this doesn't damage it at all, there's still that fond memory I have of my wet-makeup loving friend in high school that damaged my favourite Yves Saint Laurent eyeshadow, and so I'll keep the water and my eyeshadows separate for now, sorry to be so boring.
Speaking of application, the brush that comes with this is phenomenal. I ordered Dione prior to buying this palette and loved it, but found it didn't apply as nicely with any of my eyeshadow brushes. I applied it using my fingers, as recommended by a lot of bloggers and youtubers, and this works well, but the brush that comes with this palette is even better. The formula is indeed a bit special, and I find regular eyeshadow brushes didn't pick up the product very well. The Dual Intensity Brush does. It also lays it really flat across the lid and blends and spreads it across the skin really nicely. I was so happy with how this brush works that I've already ordered the full size. If you've invested in these types of eyeshadows, but don't want to buy this palette, I really want to recommend having a look at the brush separately.
The description box on Sephora's website says this is limited edition, and it very well might be, but I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up being permanent after all. Previous super successful limited edition Nars palettes have gone on to become permanent, so we can all cross our fingers. That might not happen though, so if you are keen on this palette I'd get it sooner rather than later.
If I haven't made it clear already; I'm really excited about this palette. The shadows are of great quality, it's a nice mix of really wearable shades, with a few more fun colours in there as well. They all wear well, look beautiful on and even the brush that comes with the palette is really, really good. Adding to that the actual value of this palette is phenomenal. I really can't recommend this enough. If you want to treat yourself with something new this month - get this! I think any fence-sitters that decides to pass on this will regret it. That is of course unless they make it permanent, but I really wouldn't take that chance.
- Get it here -
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