Neat and New to Me: NARS Alhambra Eyeshadow Duo

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, NARS, Neat and New to Me

nars alhambra eyeshadow

Neat and New to Me

Unlike my Unsung Heroes series, which features permanent collection products I’ve known and loved a long time, the Neat and New to Me series showcases permanent collection products that slipped under my radar for a while, but then I discovered them! — and now I think they’re neat and new to me.

I wore the NARS Alhambra Eyeshadow Duo last weekend to shop for maternity jeans, and you know what? You know your eyeshadow is doing something right when you’re shopping for jeans (which is usually traumatic enough as it is) in your sixth month of pregnancy, and you feel extra huge, and you’re in a dressing room with the worst florescent green lighting known to womankind, and you look in the mirror and think, “Dayum! My eye makeup looks good…”


Thank you, NARS Alhambra. 🙂

You can make a woman feel good in gold, EVEN when she’s in sickly greenish lighting.

On one side of this warm-toned powder shadow duo lives a metallic rosy gold; on the other, a golden champagne.

They might look a little scary and frosty in that swatch below, but trust! — they aren’t that shiny or brash on lids once they’ve been blended (which is easy to do because they’re both also incredibly soft).

Like a superhero satin, the finish shines, but it’s about six degrees away from “discotheque,” so you can tell your fine lines to chill. Alhambra’s got this.

nars alhambra eyeshadow

I’m still doing my makeup using a 15-minute timer sometimes to stay on task (like on my tinted moisturizer, blush and nude lipgloss days), and Alhambra works great at those times. I’ll pat a single layer of either shade from the duo on my lids with a flat eyeshadow brush (both are very pigmented and last all day on top of primer), or sometimes I’ll mix them together. Then I’ll sweep a matte brown in the crease (usually MAC Cork or NARS Blondie) for definition, then sloosh/blend everything together with a tapered blending brush. Then I tightline my upper lash line and finish with mascara.

POOF! Fifteen minutes and I’m ready to handle those terrible dressing room lights. (Seriously, what gives? Why are they so bad??)

nars alhambra swatch


By the way, my NARS foundation shade is Stromboli, which is a medium with olive undertones, so for me, Alhambra is more of a lid shade than something I’d use as an inner corner highlight. If you’re a lighter lovely, you should be able to use the champagne gold as a defining crease color, among other things.

Alhambra hangs out in the NARS permanent line, and it’s $25 for the Pro Palette refill shown in this post; a duo with a compact case and mirror is $35.

You can find Alhambra now at NARS boutiques, counters and online.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 12 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Rachel R. says:

    Gorgeous! Even though I’m a brights lover, I have a thing for shimmery nude eyeshadows. They’re always perfect for one-shade easy-peasy yet still beautiful looks. I’d be tempted to use these on my cheekbones, too.

  2. hanna says:

    These are both so pretty
    hanna recently posted … Vegan Pumpernickel Bread Recipe

  3. Jen says:

    Ah, this duo has been on my wishlist for ages- looks so versatile and- as you say- perfect for a quick daily makeup! Hope you have a fabulous weekend, Karen! xo
    Jen recently posted … Sephora VIB Sale Haul!

  4. Yes, why are changing room lights always so unflattering? As if it weren’t hard enough already, standing there partly exposed, with mirrors showing you angles you most certainly didn’t want to see without having the chance to improve your posture before you do.
    Anything that can make you look flattering there is a huge win.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Old wives mill – The Body Shop Nutriganics Drops of Youth Concentrate

  5. Jane says:

    As if shopping for jeans isn’t depressing enough for most women, the lighting doesn’t make it any better. Those are such nice eyeshadow shades. I have a similar cream shadow stick which I use as my weekend “don’t wanna be bothered” look. I am currently loking for a crease shade in a warm brown to compliment half-baked. I have an upcoming event and have my standard LBD. I am also on the hunt for the perfect red lip shade. Any suggestions for an over 50 light to medium toned gal with dry lips?

  6. jessica says:

    More meh neutrals. Give me GREEN!
    jessica recently posted … Box Challenges

  7. I have the Isolde duo and think it’s one of the best formulas I’ve ever tried!!!
    Carol in a Page recently posted … Chocolate Beauty

  8. Melissa Mazzur says:

    How beautiful! My daughter just turned 16 and is experimenting with beauty products! I would love to give her a gift card and set her loose!

  9. Pretty duo! Perfect for pretty bright-eyed looks.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column | What is your most memorable makeup mishap

  10. denise S says:

    I love go to looks like this! You can quickly look refreshed and cute,lol. I have Nars Thebes cream shadow duo that is kinda similar a yellow gold and a pale silver. I keep it in my travel bag to use as a inner highlight or quick eye look. Nars Isolde duo is a my go to quick brightening eye look.

  11. Sakura says:

    I love shimmers. Looks nice, gold eye shadow is my thing! Somehow it makes me look more awake and looks good with hazel eyes. I’ll have to check this out!

  12. Jennifer says:

    I’m glad you discovered this. The pink side has been my ride or die daily brow bone shade for years. I find it gives the lids the illusion of being lifted.

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