Unsung Makeup Heroes: NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow

Published in: Eyes, Guest Post, NARS, Unsung Heroes

NARS Galapagos Eyeshadow

Jessica of Getting CheekyAbout the Author
The following guest post was written by Jessica Revitte of gettingcheeky.com. You can also find Jessica on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

I often find myself approaching my makeup collection like a game of Scrabble. I know I have a major point scoring word right in front of me, but somehow I just can’t quite visualize what it is — only to realize later that I passed over a big hit time and time again. The same unfortunate haze sets in when I regard my shadow drawer. I know what’s there and I know the potential that all of the incredible and carefully selected products have; yet I struggle to grasp their individual or collective potential.

Karen and Tabs gave me a straightforward prompt: write about an unsung product that I couldn’t be without chez-Getting Cheeky. I tend to over-think things though (see the Scrabble analogy above), and this prompt ended up becoming an exercise in why I should be more attentive to the capabilities of all the products in my collection rather than a select few. One such much-loved, long term favorite that I shattered and subsequently repurchased is NARS Galapagos eyeshadow ($24). For some incomprehensible reason I allowed this brand new shadow to sit unloved in my drawer until now. I’m left wondering why? It’s a one-shade wonder!


In my book, the mark of a perfect product is something that can be used in many different ways. Galapagos checks all my boxes in that respect. At first swatch it seems quite light on the pigmentation: one might even go so far as to say that it’s a disappointment in comparison to the rich appearance of the shadow in the pan. Like many powder shadows NARS offers Galapagos is a sleeper hit. Don’t write this shade off before you watch it transform before your eyes. Build the color for a complex but diffused soft brown, or apply wet for a rich shimmering fudge. What NARS simply describes as a “coconut bronze with gold flecks” is so much more. In my time with Galapagos I’ve found ways to use this shadow dry, wet, blended, smudged and as a straight line. This shadow shines in every application.


NARS Galapagos swatched heavily dry, lightly dry, wet and as a liner

My signature look and personal favorite way to apply Galapagos is as a quick cat eye using a little bit of MAC’s Fix + and a shadow brush. The gold flecks seem to rise to the surface of the deep chocolate brown base, a liner shade that would look magnificent against any eye color. For a night out, I used to adore applying Galapagos dry and sheering out the shade concentrating the darkest part of the color toward my lashes and blending upward for a hazy smoky look. Feeling adventurous? Applying Galapagos wet makes for one seriously pigmented espresso smoky eye.

The long-running Makeup and Beauty Blog Unsung Heroes series features much-loved permanent collection products from a variety of bodacious beauty brands.

Ultimately NARS products are like art supplies: what you see isn’t always what you get. (And I mean that in the best way possible.) What seems like a lightly pigmented shimmering brown is a multi-use wonder shadow that requires the artist (that’s you!) to realize its full potential.

How do you best like to wear NARS Galapagos shadow? Do you have any unloved shadows in your collection?

Jessica of Getting CheekyAbout the Author
The following guest post was written by Jessica Revitte of gettingcheeky.com. You can also find Jessica on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.


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So far, 21 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Chelsea says:

    I love the bronzy tones I pick up with the sparkles! Gorgeous!

  2. hanna says:

    Fantastic review. I love all the swatches you did. Never would have thought of using this as a liner.
    hanna recently posted … A lot of Cave, A little History

  3. Alison M says:

    I love Galapagos, but have never worn it wet. I really need to give it a try as it’s lovely while so intense.

  4. Ana says:

    How do you use it ‘wet’? Can you give me the steps please. Also, does that harden then shadow at all?

    • Hello, Ana! I’ve never had problems with my shadows hardening. I often choose to use one specific area of the shadow wet, and one dry. The left side of my shadows are for wet application, the right for dry application. The steps I use are as follows:
      1. Dampen a thin liner brush (whichever kind you like best) with water or a fixing medium such as MAC Fix +
      2. Dip into the shadow until you achieve the consistency of liquid liner
      3. Paint on just like liquid liner.

      I hope this helps!
      ♥ Jessica

  5. Arianne says:

    Stunning, Jessica! You sold me on Galapagos. I have to have this shade!
    Arianne recently posted … Wishlist: Anticipating Fall 2013

  6. Katherine M says:

    Great post, and not just because I now want it because it looks so versatile. You have given us all ways now to apply any of our fave shadows and use them in a new way.

  7. Taylor says:

    Oh wow Jessica, this really pops when it’s wet and used as a liner! The gold shimmer is beautiful. I’m sure those who own this palette already will be inspired to create this look. Gorgeous cat-eye!

  8. Tiffany says:

    Wow, Jessica! Galapagos looks beautiful worn as liner! To be honest, I don’t often notice NARS single eyeshadows for some reason, but this one definitely needs to be swatched next time 🙂

  9. Great post, Jessica! Love the way you worked eyeshadow and Scrabble into this! You write beautifully!

  10. BeautyBee says:

    Wow, I’ve never seen Galapagos eyeshadow used wet, and it’s BEAUTIFUL! I’ve just bumped it up to first place on my wish list! 😀 BeautyBee~

  11. Monica P says:

    Oh, that’s just plain pretty (eye shadow as liner!)

    Monica P recently posted … Dinner in the desert outfit

  12. Jax says:

    I’ve never tried my NARS eyeshadows wet, does it work well with other colours too?
    (the swatches of Galapagos are stunning but really not my colour.)

  13. Jodi says:

    As soon as u said “one shade wonder” I was SOLD! That is exactly me, can’t wait to pick up this beauty tmrw! Been looking for the perfect dark brown shadow for smokey eye so thank u!

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