NARS Unsung Hero: The Kalahari Eyeshadow Duo

Published in: Makeup

nars kalahari duo

The vibrant blues, greens and purples that make up the NARS Eyeshadow Duo family (hello, Rated R!) make it easy to overlook the gorgeous neutrals in the line.


Case in point: Kalahari ($35).

Part of the permanent collection, it’s one of my all-time François faves. Both of its shimmery shades — the golden peachy bronze and rich cocoa brown — excel at brightening up tired eyes, imparting a natural glow to lids that never looks overdone, and helping me fake a good night’s sleep. 🙂

Without Kalahari in my life, I’d probably look 200 times more tired, LOL!


nars kalahari duo swatch
Shimmery golden, peachy bronze on the left; cocoa brown on the right

These are shades I like to pat on my lids with a flat shadow brush when I’m pressed for time but still want a polished look, and I’ll just use a finger to blend them into the crease. Then, if I have a couple minutes to spare, I’ll line my eyes (both Urban Decay Bourbon and MAC Powersurge play well with these shades), and apply two coats of mascara.

Tada! An easy peasy way to look reasonably well put together. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 37 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Citrine says:

    I kind of prefer the “boring colors” from Nars since they tend to surprise me when I put the colors on my eyes (like tokyo)…
    .-= Citrine’s last blog post… Nars Eyeshadow Single in Fuji =-.

  2. Sarah says:

    Love this duo!

  3. Vonvon says:

    Looks like the kind of shades I could use right at this moment……been feeling ‘burned out’….and not in the mood to put on any makeup…Thanks for writing about this! Another NARS to my lemming list.
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… Busy November – A Month Of Beauty Workshops And Shopping Marathon =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vonvon,

      You’re welcome! I hope you feel less burned out soon. I know how it is to be in that place… hopefully you’ll work through it sooner than later.

  4. gio says:

    I’m not into neutral shades but I have to admit these look very pretty!
    .-= gio’s last blog post… QOTW: Do you wear makeup when you’re not feeling well? =-.

  5. Sarah says:

    Great recommendation – I’ve been needing something to do in 5 seconds when I need to look less zombie-like but have zero motivation/time!

  6. Tiffany says:

    I looove neutrals and these look so pretty! To bad the NARS duo’s are kinda pricey. Do you get a lot of product in there?

  7. Rae says:

    Holy eff, that looks SO pretty! I have a warmer neutral NARS duo and I have to say, it is not even close to being that gorgeous :/
    .-= Rae’s last blog post… A cleanser to cure the “cleanser blahs” =-.

  8. BeckBeck says:

    Ooh, I owned this and actually returned it! I’m paler and not quite as warm-toned as you are and it was just too bronzy/coppery on my eyes.

  9. Toni says:

    Gorgeous colors! I’m kind of wary about spending $35 for an eye shadow duo, but if it’s something that could be worn every day, it might be worth it. How is the color payoff with NARS vs. MAC shadows? Are they similar, or is one better than the other?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Toni,

      The color payoff is fantastic — I’d say comparable if not slightly even better.

      For some reason my NARS products seem to last a LONG TIME… I’ve barely hit the pan on the ones I’ve had for years.

  10. Stacie says:

    Very pretty. I admit, I don’t usually go for neutrals. Too busy ogling the brighter, more shimmery colors! (What can I say, I’m just a crow at heart. Oh look, something shiny!!) I don’t have many Nars products, just the famous blush. Although I’ve been using that forever and barely a dent. Methinks Nars is a good value for the money.

  11. I used this duo on my wedding day! FABULOSO!
    .-= Khalia Bentson’s last blog post… Prescriptives 4-Piece Gift: FREE TODAY ONLY!!! =-.

  12. Marce says:

    I love neutrals. I always use browns and peaches and golds, no fail. When I’m feeling a bit more “adventurous”, I’ll use colour, but only on rare occasions! These are really pretty, I think they’d work well on everyone!
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… Feeling MAC, MAC, MAC! =-.

  13. NC says:

    I usually never wear eyeshadows , till recently when I started experimenting . would love to see a tutorial on this 🙂 . I have brown skin tone , do you think they would be noticeable enough or would they be sheer ? Thanks…

  14. Joey says:

    I love NARS eyeshadows…I have 7 or 8 of the duos and Kalahari is my favorite!

  15. Hazel says:

    Those colors are really pretty! I’m gonna have to check this out at Sephora 🙂
    .-= Hazel’s last blog post… HIKKI COMING TO SF! =-.

  16. Tavia says:

    Hi Karen! The colors are gorgeous, they are among my favorite colors for winter/ autumn. I like that they are a lil bit pearly :)but I have to say that the price is a lil bit higher for me 🙁
    .-= Tavia’s last blog post… Estee Lauder – Blacker Than Black – Winter 2009 Collection =-.

  17. Karen,
    You are hitting home runs with me baby! First UD Bourbon and now NARS Kalahari,. Have you been peeking in my stash? I LOVE Kalahari for a pretty, glowy polished look. I have worn it with a teal –LM turq. black kohl– or purple–Chanel Purple Smoke eyeliner for a little sumthin’ sumthin’ extra too.

  18. shivotra says:

    Def a high-voltage version of like-mink by clinique. love.

  19. Daya says:

    I have had this duo on my list for quite sometime! Thanks for highlighting it should do all of them lol. I don’t own any NARS except one of their blushes.

  20. Trude says:

    Oooo perty! I couldn’t live without my Nars duo in Cordura, shimmering warm browns. I use the darker one all. the. time. As the outer corner color, as powder eyeliner, as wet powder eyeliner…it just goes with everything! And since I’m super duper fair, it tends to look better on me than black. 🙂 Will have to test this one next time I’m in Sephora!
    .-= Trude’s last blog post… Happy Turkey Day! =-.

  21. Catherine says:

    Ooh, this is so pretty! I’ve actually been on quite the neutrals kick lately, wearing Cocomotion + Museum Bronze almost every single day. This looks almost exactly like them!
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… ekimura’s & ekiLove giveaways =-.

  22. Alison says:

    It might just be the way the colors are showing up on my laptop screen, but these colors remind me a lot of the UD colors Sin and Stray Dog, which I LOVE to use together. Are they similar in real-life?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alison,

      I’m not sure about Stray Dog, but this duo does have some similarities to Sin. The Kalahari colors are a bit more gold/bronze though … Sin applies more as a peach on me.

  23. Christy says:

    I almost got this at the VIB Sale. They look like great everyday eye shadows.
    .-= Christy’s last blog post… FOTD: Volturi Twilight Myth, Dusk & Dawn, MAC Nuance & Shimpagne =-.

  24. Danielle says:

    Another great duo is Cordura. I swear by it. I wear it almost every day. Great for a smokey eye or a subtle look. You should look into it, if you haven’t already 🙂

  25. Andreea says:

    I love neutrals fo everyday that make look awake. They have to lie for me, and I am willing to pay 😉
    I have All about Eve and it is perfect for anude look, but though I am really fair you hardly see make-up. Now I am olive-cool toned, is kalahari not too warm? I am lemming nearly every NARS duo so… 😉
    .-= Andreea’s last blog post… FETTE Totes Meer Salz =-.

  26. Danni says:

    So I received a “$20 off a $35 purchase” gift card from Sephora today and decided to spend it on the Kalahari duo. Can I say I LOVE THESE SHADES!! You’re so right, the fairer shade really does brighten my eye, and the colors play so well together. AND I only paid $15 for it. I think I officially have a new HG day-time eyeshadow duo :). Thanks, Karen!!!!

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