NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette Review & Swatches

Patience pays off. I reviewed NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Phoebe back in August 2014 and as much as I loved it, I held off on buying any more colors due to the price (US$29 for a single eyeshadow is rather steep). But you know, good things come to those who wait! Earlier this month NARS released an eyeshadow palette that contains 8 colors of the Dual-Intensity formula! I was beyond ecstatic and practically added it to my cart the moment it became available online. What's even sweeter is that Phoebe wasn't included in the palette so every color is new to me! No doubles. No repeats. Yay!

NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

The new NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette (limited edition) sports a rather different look than their usual rubberized casing. It has a full mirrored top with the word NARSissist engraved on it in white. It's a nice change overall with a minimalist design but the mirrored surface attracts dust and fingerprints like a magnet! It was fun to photograph, though, since it reflects the design of the backdrop nicely.

There is a full-size mirror inside as well as a travel-size #49 Wet/Dry Eyeshadow Brush. The brush is not too small at all and is actually usable with soft and flexible synthetic bristles that pick up the right amount of pigment both wet and dry. It is only great for packing on the color, though; not so much for blending since it's a flat shader style.

NARS travel-size #49 Wet/Dry Eyeshadow Brush
NARS travel-size #49 Wet/Dry Eyeshadow Brush

The palette features 8 shades of Dual-Intensity eyeshadows ranging from light to dark (left-right) and neutral to smokey (top-bottom). I consider the color selection to be on the safe side with the additional darling blue as a bonus color. It is neutral enough to wear to work and smokey enough to wear in the evening if you wish to amp up your look a little (or a lot) for a night out. What makes the palette even more special to me is the inclusion of black shade. I find the palette more complete if it comes with a black color because I use it almost all the time in my eye look. :)

The colors come in smaller pans than the single format (0.03 oz/1 g versus 0.05 oz/1.5 g full-size). Seven of them are permanent and one (Ursa Major) is exclusive to this palette (they know how to get us!).

NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows can be used dry or wet/damp (by dampening your brush). When used dry, the colors are extremely soft and subtle which you may or may not like. I personally don't mind subtle colors as long as they are buildable — and luckily these are — but I know some people prefer their shadows to be well-pigmented from the get-go and if this is the case for you, you may consider the formula to be weak. However, you can always layer them over a good cream color base to enhance the color payoff. When used damp, the color intensity is amplified dramatically as you will see in the swatches down below. They become brighter and much more opaque with a high-impact finish. I normally prefer to use my shadows dry but with these, it's so much more fun to use them wet!

Some people may avoid using shadows wet to avoid blending difficulties but for me, I didn't find these to be more difficult to blend than when I use them dry at all. Also worth mentioning: the surface doesn't seem to glaze over or become hardened after it has returned to its dry state so don't worry about using them wet. Go ahead and experiment! :)

NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

The texture in general is soft, smooth, and finely-milled. The lighter colors are a little light for my skin tone so I have to use them wet for a stronger color payoff. The darker shades work nicely right off the bat even without dampening them. Every single color contains some type of shimmer, one more than the others, that becomes much more apparent damp. I don't notice any fallout with the shadows regardless of the application method but the staying power is slightly increased when they are used wet. I do get about 7-8 and 9-10 hours with the dry and wet formula, respectively.

NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

Whole palette swatches

NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
Top – L-R: Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major, and Subra
Bottom – L-R: Andromeda, Lysithea, Giove, and Sycorax

Shade breakdown

L-R: Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major, and Subra
L-R: Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major, and Subra
  • Europa – pale pink peach; shimmery to frosted
    Really, really sheer and barely noticeable on my skin when used dry but the color payoff and visibility greatly improves when used wet. The formula is soft and blendable but try not to over blend as it tends to sheer out easily.
  • Himalia – brown topaz; shimmery to metallic
    This color is just the bomb dot com. I love its strong metallic sheen so much! And you probably don't even need to wet it to get a good color payoff on the lids! However, when wet, the metallic sheen becomes so much stronger and is therefore perfect for a statement lid color. The texture feels soft to the touch and is so easy to blend to a diffused finish.
  • Ursa Major – chocolate brown; satin
    The exclusive shade of the palette. It's such a beautiful and versatile chocolate brown. It's the “middle” color between Himalia and Subra so it makes for a nice crease/transition color. The satin formula is smooth, buildable, and blendable with little to no effort. The undertone shifts slightly when wet as the shimmer becomes more apparent.
  • Subra – burgundy brown purple; satin
    It's like having two colors in one for Subra. When dry, it looks sort of brown but when wet, the burgundy-purple tone really comes through and shifts the undertones towards purple. Such a unique shade. The color payoff is great, too, as well as the consistency and blendability. I don't notice any fallout or patchiness with this color at all (which is a norm for most dark shades).
L-R: Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major, and Subra
L-R: Europa, Himalia, Ursa Major, and Subra
  • Andromeda – pale beige-white; shimmery
    Very similar to Europa in terms of color payoff (sheer) and texture (soft and blendable). On my medium skin, I am forced to use it wet most of the times especially when I use it as a highlighting shade under the brow bones and inner corners of the eyes.
  • Lysithea – gray silver; metallic
    I usually don't do well with grey or silver shadows but Lysithea looks surprisingly good on me! So good that I decided to create a look using this shade as a main color! :) When used dry, it looks sort of sheer and slightly greenish but the strong metallic sheen really gets amped up and comes through better when used wet. Such a beautiful shade and the formula is a dream, too. Finely-milled, easy to blend, certainly a pleasure to apply.
  • Giove – darkened navy; matte to satin
    I am not thrilled with this color dry as it shows up very close to Sycorax when applied on the lids. When wet, the blue undertones thankfully become brighter and stronger but it's still not quite the same bright blue color seen in the pan. I am slightly disappointed with how the color turns out. The formula can also be slightly patchy at times and requires a bit of blending for a smooth and even finish.
  • Sycorax – black; matte to satin
    The color is more true-to-pan, which is slightly grayish, and opaque when wet. To me, it looks great either way and I've been using it both ways depending on the look I am creating. When used dry, though, it has a tendency to become just slightly patchy and produce a little bit of fallout. When used wet, I don't notice any fallout at all and it actually blends and layers so much better than dry.

The eye look

Wearing NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
Wearing NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

For this look I applied Andromeda (dry) all over the lid up to the brow bone as a base then I packed on Lysithea (wet) up to the crease area. I darkened the outer corner with a mix of Giove (dry) and Sycorax (wet) and highlighted the inner corner with Europa (wet). I used Ursa Major (dry) lightly as a transition color and finished with a soft touch of Andromeda (wet) as a brow bone highlight color.

Additional makeup worn (click to open)
Brows: Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette (review; buy) + Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Granite (review; buy)

Eyeliners: (inner) Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Cobalt (buy) and (outer) MAC Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner in Petrol Blue (review; buy)

Lips: NARS Catfight Semi Matte Lipstick (buy) and NARS Yu Satin Lip Pencil (review; buy)

Cheeks: LORAC Unzipped Cheek Palette (buy) and Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01 (buy)

Wearing NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
Wearing NARS NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

If you have been wanting to try NARS' Dual-Intensity formula, there is no better time! With the palette, you get 8 colors that are both versatile and wearable. Not only is it a great deal, but it is also a great starter set to experiment with the option to buy full-size versions once you run out. I compared the performance between the palette and the single Phoebe that I have and found no differences so these are indeed the same quality shadows as the singles.

Well, I hope you liked the look and found my review helpful! As always, I appreciate any feedback you may have!


US$79 at NordstromSephoraNARS

฿1,050 (single) at Sephora

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      1. says: Cindy

        Oh gee we’re such enablers xD its actually in my cart but I’m going to hold out another week or so to see if the lemming is that bad

  1. OMG, that Petrol Blue eye liner is so pretty with the rest of your make-up.
    You look so stunning and you can wear metallic shades so good! I love the photos as usual but surely you are tired of hearing it lol. Where did you find the painting? You did it?

    1. says: Jaa

      Hey Sara! Thanks and nope! Never get tired of hearing it! Say it more! LOL! It’s my boyfriend’s painting. He let me (ab)use it. ;)

  2. says: Agata

    Jaa, this palette is so beautiful! I only have one Dual Intensity eyeshadow and funnily enough, it’s Phoebe too! And I love it. This palette is still a little expensive, although it is a good deal! Probably I wouldn’t use the black shade, I never use black eyeshadow in any palette.

    The eyelook you created is gorgeous. I love the pop of blue underneath your lower lashes! So pretty! Hope to see more looks using this palette!

    1. says: Jaa

      Maybe you can score one when the next Sephora sale comes around? :) I agree it’s still on the expensive side but I think the formula is so unique and unlike anything out there. Plus you get so many colors to go with it! :)

  3. says: Sunny

    Oh God, I love this look on you! I’ve been staying away from silver all my life, but this look is SO great! That liner especially is AWESOME!

    I’m going to skip the palette because I don’t think I’ll use the bottom row much, but at some point I’ll pick up a single or two :)

  4. says: Xuvious

    Overall I love all the colours but that blue is so disappointing! It looks so rich in the pan! Love the eye look you’ve created. :)

  5. says: Natasja

    You are such a beauty, Jaa. You can make any product look amazing! I am absolutely loving the swatches of this palette and the shades you wore look so intense. Just… *admiration* all so pretty!

  6. says: Jen

    I swatched this in-store and it really is gorgeous! Love the finish of these. The look you created with it is absolutely stunning :)

  7. says: Lena L

    So gorgeous!
    The eye makeup look you created looks super chic and refined. <3
    I think I'd really appreciate this palette. The size and the composition, even the price seems quite perfect. Question I really need another eyeshadow palette..?? ;)

  8. Oh man, I wanted to hate this so much! BOOOO. It’s pretty. Very pretty. And I’m terribly curious about the texture of these eyeshadows… but I think I’ll be a good girl and give it a pass since I’m trying to save up some money.

    The eye makeup looks amazing on you, Jaa! Already told you on Instagram, but it’s really a beautiful look. :)

    1. says: Jaa

      Hey Carla! Thank you so much, girl! Means a lot to me! :) Maybe you can find a shade that you really like and buy a single of that one? :)

  9. says: Liz

    Love the look you came up with! That touch of blue undereye is fabulous.

    I just knew they were coming out with a palette so I didn’t get any of the singles. But the shades are kind of on the moody side. If there’s one with brighter colours coming out, I’m standing in line!

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks, Liz! I was really hoping the blue would be a bit more vibrant! Oh well. Hopefully they will make another palette with more colorful options! I’d totally be standing in line with you! ;)

  10. says: Erin

    I like the mix of blue liners you did for the look! I like the palette but I haven’t bought it because I don’t love it 100%. It’s got a few colors I want but a few I’m not sure will work.

    1. says: Jaa

      Then perhaps it’s better to buy a single of the shade that you really like? Have you seen anything that you like from the line-up?

        1. says: Jaa

          Hahahaha I so know what you mean! ;) How do you like the Dior Nude Air foundation, Mo? I saw your IG pic. I’m thinking of picking it up later today. :)

  11. says: Sylirael

    I was so pleased when they came out with this palette! I haven’t given in and bought any of the shades from this formula/line yet (much as I want many of them!!) but this palette seems like really good value. The shades are amazing when wet!

    As usual, your look is spot on. Like Sunny, now I feel like I need to go take another look at some silver shadows! :-D

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks so much my blog BFF! <3 Do you like any shade in particular? You can just buy that one to start experimenting with!

  12. says: Kimmy

    Love the looks you did with this! I picked up the palette myself and reviewed it this past weekend. But you photos put mine to shame, hehe. And I completely agree with you, although the shades are safe, the selling point is the formula – I found it so easy to go from using the shadows wet or dry with no negative impact on the formula’s performance! :-)

    1. says: Jaa

      Ooo gotta check out your review! Yep! The formula is quite unique! Hopefully they will release more palettes like this but with some brighter colors. :D

  13. Love your portrait pictures, and your swatches of this are the first time this palette has ever been interesting to me! I thought all of the colors looked kind of boring and chalky, but they look pretty great on the skin. I’m the opposite of you when it comes to black shadow – I find they’re almost always included in palettes and it’s the one shade I never use. Maybe I should go crazy and do an all-black smoky eye look and see what I think! It’s been awhile…

    1. says: Jaa

      Do it do it do it! Come to think of it, I have never seen you in intense smokey eyes! I bet you’d look stunning! Yeah.. I guess I’m in the minority here since I love using black shadows. ^_^

    1. says: Jaa

      Aww thanks so much, Gyudy! I’ve been so into colorful backdrops lately! :) Looking forward to seeing your eye makeup look using the palette!

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