The NARS Alhambra eyeshadow duo is my first chance to try NARS eyeshadows. While I’ve heard mixed reviews about them, I love this one. (It’s pictured on top of a Julian Dashper painting, The Grey in Grey Lynn, whose work I also love). I was gifted this eyeshadow when I participated in a makeup exchange on Reddit, and my very generous swap partner included it alongside all of these goodies:
So generous! I sent her a bunch of makeup and skincare from brands like Trilogy, Australis and Chi Chi, which are hard to find outside of New Zealand and Australia. We talked beforehand about what our makeup preferences were, and although I mentioned I hadn’t tried NARS eyeshadows before, I wasn’t expecting her to send me such a beautiful duo!
The individual shades in NARS eyeshadow duos aren’t named, so for practicality I’m calling them Alhambra 1 and Alhambra 2. Alhambra 1 is a shimmery pale pinky rose gold, and Alhambra 2 is more of a true gold. (I’ll pop that photo from above back in here, for convenience’s sake).
I pulled out my MAC eyeshadow in All That Glitters, because it looks similar in the pan, albeit slightly darker. I only got All That Glitters at Christmas, but you can see it’s seen a lot of love already – it arrived at the same time as I was arriving at the conclusion that shimmer isn’t all bad. I also decided to swatch two of the shades from the Stila In The Light palette, Kitten and Bubbly, because they’re in the same pale goldy shimmery family.
Can I tell you now how bloody hard it is to get a representative photo of pale goldy shimmery eyeshadows? It’s either all glare or they all look the same. Eventually I had to drag Callum away from the mezzanine where he was playing Final Fantasy VIII and get him to take the photo for me. (I mostly told you that so I could share the fact that my new house has a mezzanine. It’s up a ladder! Callum has claimed it for video gaming, but that’s okay because I’ve got the sunroom to use as a makeup space. More on that soon!)
Stila Kitten is the lightest of the bunch. Stila shadows are also noticeably more powdery than NARS or MAC eyeshadows, although they are still among my favourites in terms of pigmentation. MAC All That Glitters is much rosier than the NARS colours and pulls darker on the skin than it looks in the pan. Stila Bubbly is similar to the second Alhambra shade, but slightly peachier.
So I haven’t uncovered any great dupes, but I still think it’s fairly useful seeing all these side-by-side. I’d love to try some more NARS eyeshadows, as I’m really impressed with how smooth and not-powdery they are. What eyeshadow team are you on? NARS? MAC? Stila? Something cheaper? I’ll try get a post up on that NYC trio you can see above, soon too.