I broke down and bought NARS Outremer last week, even though I've been trying to cut way back on my beauty spending. I had been obsessing over the luscious matte blue eyeshadow since I first saw it on the model on the NARS website. It's the same blue you see medieval Madonnas cloaked in, that eye-searing lapis luzuli; my pictures don't do the shade justice, and I know monitors will distort the color further.
NARS single eyeshadows are packaged just like their blushes and bronzers, except in miniature, in their signature matte black rubberized compact, with their own little mirror on the lid. The packaging is sturdy and easy to open, yet stays shut; my only gripe is that the packaging attracts dust and collects fingerprints; you'll see I already have foundation-finger prints on Outremer's case, after only a handful of wearings. This doesn't really bother me, since the cases are very practical, but if this is a pet peeve of yours, it's something to be aware of. These eyeshadows are $23 and come with .07 ounces of product; I got mine at Nordstrom, and Sephora also carries some of the line, although I haven't seen the Fall 11 collection in stores yet.
NARS matte shades can be problematic; the pigmentation is great when used wet, but the formula can get splotchy when used dry; I find using a brush (as opposed to fingers) helps with this issue. The one positive side to this aspect of the formula is that they aren't powdery, so you don't get too much fallout, which can be a big problem with a color as bright as Outremer. However, when used wet, this effortlessly produces color true to the pan. These are described as being crease resistant; I have worn this shade over both NARS' eyeshadow primer, Benefit's cream eyeshadow, and on top of MUFE aqua creams, and it lasted all day all three times, although I did get a touch of creasing over the Benefit cream shadow (only noticeable when I closed my eye, and even then it was mostly the Wet n Wild shade I had blended Outremer with that had creased, so I can't be sure Outremer would do this on its own).
|Smudges from foundation-y fingers!|
|The shadow! Look at that blue!|
|Swatched with... my finger. See the kind of sheer patchiness? Wait. Wait for it wet on my eye.|
|Outremer, no flash!|
|Outremer dry on the lid, wet as a liner. Sorry the line isn't too precise, I was using a pretty bad brush.|
|Again with the flash!|
|Outremer, no flash!|
|No flash! Outremer|
|More Outremer, with flash.|
|And Outremer with flash!|
|The Look. See, no crazy blue... at first glance!|
|Close-up of my toned-down Outremer look, no flash|
|Flash! (ah-AH, savior of the universe!)|
Rating: 6 out of 10
I can't give Outremer full marks since I did have some minor creasing one of the days I wore it (the third look, for what it's worth) and it has some pigmentation issues when used dry; I really had to pack it on to try to get it completely opaque on the lid when I was using it dry, and then I had to worry about fallout which just looked awful in blue under my eye... I'd recommend putting some tissue beneath your eye when using this just to be sure. Despite being fussy, the color is absolutely wonderful, and I was definitely able to work with this shade after a little bit of coaxing. No, not a perfect formula, but this has still skyrocketed to the top of the list of my favorite eyeshadows.