Neat and New to Me: NARS Isolde Duo Eyeshadow

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

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.

OK, so, I was expecting to Google the word, “Isolde,” as in the NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo, and find out that it’s the name of an exotic island in a far-flung corner of the world, because that’s how NARS usually rolls when it comes to naming their colors, but nooo! Turns out that it’s the name of a character in a German opera by Richard Wagner called Tristan und Isolde.

Random! Makeup, you are my teacher, and I’m your willing and eager student. 🙂


Isolde… Aah! Can I just say, “Hello, autumnal makeup jam?!”

Part of the NARS permanent collection, Isolde has recently taken up residence in my Large NARS Pro-Palette. Why I waited so long to try it, I’ll never understand…because it’s so beautiful (especially if your skin has warm undertones)!

You get a shimmery, coppery peach on one side and a shimmery warm copper on the other, and neither side is frosty, which I like.

nars isolde duo 1

These colors force me to think of autumn leaves and cozy scarves. And pumpkin spice lattes. And matte lips and boots. In other words, fall.

NARS has literally dozens of beautiful duos, but I think Isolde deserves a shout-out, first, because it’s intensely pigmented (one or two layers should do you just fine), and second, because of the powders, which are so soft that they almost feel like creams. Using them, I hardly notice any fallout, and they barely fade at all after eight hours.

And then there’s the finish, which comes close to being a frost, but doesn’t quite get there, and that’s one of the things I love about NARS. They play with shine in such interesting ways that I never expect.

nars isolde swatch

I’ll wear either of these shades on my lids separately or sometimes mixed together. A lot of the time I’ll wear them with a warm orangey matte brown in the crease, which I like with the copper (I also bet that orange in the crease would look super pretty as well, if you’re feeling adventurous). Then I’ll do lots of black liner, kinda smudged sloppily on my water and lash lines, followed by lots of mascara, of course, for a simple, but striking, everyday look.

Simple and striking — just like Isolde! I expect to be wearing this duo a lot this fall.

Give it a swatch one of these days (also highly recommended for blue- and green-eyed babes).

The Isolde refill shown here is $25, while the duo with the compact and mirror is $35. You can find the refill at NARS freestanding stores and online at (but not at counters), and the duo with the compact online and at all other NARS locations as well.

About Richard Wagner

I know the guy!


Well, not personally…but I know him from high school band. I played the flute solo in Elsa’s Processional to the Cathedral, and to this day, it’s one of my favorite classical pieces.

I play it for Baby Girl all the time. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 22 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Kwmechelle says:

    Wow, just, wow! These shadows look a bit boring to me in the pan (I am looking at it on my cellphone on dim light). But Holy mother of pearl. They are absolutely stunning! That pigmentation is so intense. Pretty sure I can pull this one off.
    In other news, I’m interested in watching/hearing the YT video you posted. Since we’re both “flute babes” (really, who says that?!) I may also be familiar with this piece. Getting all weepy hearing that you play this for baby girl MBB. Of course, I’m also hormonal & eating a slice of pizza at a disrespectful hour of the morning (just after 1AM here). But at least they’re tears of joy (and my pizza is delicious 🙂

  2. Kelly says:

    This duo looks beautiful! I have so many neutral colors but after seeing these swatches….I think I might need to pick this up. I don’t own any NARS eyeshadows so I think this would be a good option for me.

  3. Lena says:

    where is the eye look for these?!
    i just love your looks karen, so polished and perfect, yet playful most times.
    Lena recently posted … [Local] The Importance of Reading the Ingredient List (or, How Mustika Ratu is Fooling You)

  4. CrystalCandy says:

    Oh man, this duo is perfect!! Why did I read this review?
    CrystalCandy recently posted … Kérastase Chronologiste Hair Care Range

  5. Sofia says:

    Wow these look great swatched on you. I used to have this one and they pulled a horribly wrong dark shade of orange on my eyelids (even though it looked quite nice on the back of my hand, lol).
    Thanks for the Wagner piece, am enjoying it now. x

  6. Hah, love the name they picked for this duo 🙂 Both shades look truly gorgeous.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Best of Urban Decay | Urban Decay Fall 2015 Current Favorites

  7. Gloria says:

    Nars, just take all my money already!

  8. WOW! These look insanely amazing. I love these types of shades on my blue eyes, and this seems like a duo that could be used alone for a simple 2 shadow look. A must have!
    My Beauty Dreams recently posted … 15 Beauty Resolutions

  9. Fancie says:

    I’m so happy you decided to swatch this for us because the colors are so beautiful! They don’t look like much in the pan at all but they seemed to come alive on you lol. I NEED it!
    Fancie recently posted … As I Am Leave-In Conditioner Review

  10. Agata says:

    I actually read Tristan and Isolde back in high school. It’s one of the set books in Poland, it was quite good.

    The duo is very pretty although I agree, at first the shadows might look like your typical nudes. I have never had any eyeshadows from Nars other than the dual intensity ones.
    Agata recently posted … Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column Vol.16: How do you remove facial hair?

  11. Ashleigh says:

    Oh hay, I played clarinet for that piece ^_^

    Also, Isolde has been on my wishlist FOREVER. It swatches so beautifully in stores. If you haven’t seen Tristan and Isolde with James Franco, it’s worth a chilly fall Friday watch 🙂 Maybe minus El Hub, unless he’s into the romance genre. It features breathtaking scenery of Ireland and England though, which is probably my favorite part.

  12. auntymaim says:

    This is one of my all time favorite shadows! And if you love it might I recommend it’s cousin, Cordura? They were both released as part of the same collection, with Isolde being the lighter duo and Cordura bringing the dramz. The four pair to make a monstrously perfect smokey bronze eye.

  13. Erin says:

    I bet that makes a great easy eye look with your coloring!
    Erin recently posted … Famille Perrin 2012 Réserve Côtes du Rhône

  14. denise S says:

    I hunted this down last year . I ended up buying it online at Nordstroms. It’s a great duo and I need to wear it again soon!

  15. kellly says:

    Ooooh, I love these! I love neutral colored shiny shadows and these look like something I’m going to add to my collection! I use Callisto in my inner eye corners and these seem to have that same shine. Thanks for the review of a product that was under my radar, too!

  16. Rachel R. says:


  17. Tatiana says:

    This is so gorgeous. Why have I never played with this one? I need to get to a NARS counter and check this out, pronto! Thanks for highlighting this duo. My wallet is officially in pain.

  18. Trude says:

    So lovely! My favorite Nars duo has always been Cordura (loved it so much I repurchased when I finally hit pan!). This looks like it could make some really pretty looks!

  19. I’ve never tried any eyeshadows from Nars (sadly). I’ll probably remedy that with this duo, it looks so pretty and wearable!
    Carol in a Page recently posted … An Unusual Fall Look Feat. Pantone’s Desert Sage and Stormy Weather

  20. Karen,
    I ordered both from Nars ! They both fit my style and budget !
    I can’t help it ! I am a makeup addict !

  21. Elvita says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with your blog posts…love because you do great reviews and are so likeable…hate because you are an enabler and I buy things because of you! This eyeshadow duo is now on my wish list…

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