Is That a Shimmery Plum Mirage? Or Is It the NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Calabria?

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

nars calabria
Wearing NARS Calabria Soft Touch Shadow Pencil softly smudged along the lower lash line

The day I married El Hub was a pretty great day, but the day I try a new NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24) and can say, “Wow! NARS finally made one of these that lasts all day without fading or creasing!” will rank pretty high up there, too.

These multitasking morsels are creamy makeup triple threats! — rock star chic shadows, primers and eyeliners rolled into one — and NARS likes releasing them in gorgeously luscious shades with a glossy, shiny finish.

Thing is, all of the ones I’ve tried before haven’t lasted long on my lids. They’ll look great for about 20 minutes but then start to crease and fade. It’s a bummer, because I love the colors so much that I keep anticipating every new one in the hopes that one of them, one of these days, will last longer.

Will it be Calabria, the new shimmery plum shade released with the Summer 2012 collection? Will it be THE ONE to finally last all day long on my lids? Ah, the places we’d go together… Trader Joe’s, the movies, Petco — you know, all of the glam spots up here in Novato, LOL!

Let’s find out. 🙂

nars summer 2012 never say never calabria buenos aires
Never Say Never Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24), Calabria Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24) and Buenos Aires Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24)

nars calabria swatch

nars calabria
Additional makeup worn in this look: CK One Color Cream + Powder Blush Duo in Happiness and NARS Laguna Bronzer on my cheeks, Becca Anniversary Palette in Dusty Rose on my lips and MAC Zoom Fast Black Lash on my lashes

First things first — I love the way it looks. LOVE the color! I think it makes my brown eyes look like milk chocolate, but just like Tabs at a dog show, it straight up and leaves first chance it gets!

Hungry for more NARS Summer 2012? Noms right here…

Oh, well… I guess the quest for a NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil able to last all day long on my lids continues. For now, though, I will keep using Calabria along my lower lash line. I think it’s actually great for creating a soft, diffused liner look.

Normally, when I want that watercolor-like look of barely-there liner along my lower lashes, I draw dots along my lower lash line, and then blend everything together with a brush tip or sponge, but with Calabria, all I have to do is swipe it once along my lower lashes, blend out the edge with a finger, and voilà! Done.


Added plus? It stays there for 5-6 hours.

PRICE: $24
AVAILABILITY: Available now at NARS counters and online
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: C+/B- (lovely color, but it refuses to stick around on my lids)


To infinity and beyond!

Shoot, I’ll be happy to make it till Friday.

You know what I need? I think I need late-night fro-yo. I gotta hook that up.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. How’s it going tonight? I’m just about to watch Jason Bourne Buys a Zoo. Wait — I think that’s what it’s called… 🙂


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So far, 11 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Summer says:

    Jason Bourne Buys A Zoo – I die! ;D

    I HATE Nars for the quality of these pencils. UD has a similar product that’s pretty, but Nars’s colors are so much more versatile for day to night, work to play situations. They’re really glossy and sophisticated and not glitter bombs. But just like you, I’m always so disappointed at the wear time. I don’t understand why they don’t reformulate these. I just adore the idea of a stick of color that can work as an eyeshadow, highlighter, or a liner. *Sigh*

    On the plus side, I totally agree about the gorgeous effect the color has on your eyes – you look so beautiful! You need (and probably have) a killer plum eyeshadow in your MU arsenal.

    Have a great night doll! Kiss Matt Damon’s biceps through the screen for me while I work on my thesis!

  2. Becca says:

    I’m so incredibly surprised that Nars has yet to reformulate–especially with all the horrible reviews out there! If Make Up For Ever and Urban Decay can release quality shadow pencils, I know Nars can too. What a shame.
    Becca recently posted … The Sample: Make Up For Ever Aqua Black Waterproof Cream Eye Shadow Review

  3. Nina says:

    I reallyyyy wish NARS would already get up and change the formula of these shadow pencils already… I LOVELOVELOVE shadow pencils and I LOVELOVELOVE NARS, and if these stayed on longer, I would snap these up in a heartbeat!

  4. Alison says:

    Dear Karen –
    I’m having some trouble checking my favourite beauty blog! Every time I click the page 2 button, I’m taken to the same page that’s been there since 30 March – same with 3/4/5 etc… Please let me know how I can see the posts I’ve been missing!
    Lots of love,
    Alison. xx

  5. Kim says:

    TGIF! 🙂 I heard JB buys a Zoo was a tearjerker, so I haven’t watched it yet. I was also very bummed about MD not being in the newest Bourne movie until I read “Jeremy Renner, Ed Norton and parallel story, not actually ABOUT Jason Bourne”. Now I’m excited. 🙂

    Not so exciting? That the Hubs and boys chose the 3 Stooges as tonight’s movie. I don’t like to think about sitting through that. HAHA!

    Btw, your Chaka Khan made me laugh. Private joke that won’t be funny to anyone but my little group of besties, but it was still awesome to see it. 🙂

    Oh, and about the makeup, the color is very pretty but I’m sure I’d get the same wear time on my lids as you did. Mine are like oil slicks!

  6. corallista says:

    I love plums and purples but the staying power is a dealbreaker!
    corallista recently posted … Illamasqua SS12 Human Fundamentalism Nail varnish Stance : Review, Photos and NOTD

  7. lelucio says:

    I have the same problem as Alison, nothing after March 30th I can see!!!

  8. I really really really adore the color, but if it’s something I can only use so carefully on my lower lash line, I think I would be better off with a regular eyeliner. It’s a pity really. NARS really should look into reformulating their shadow pencils already!
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … Say What? Mostly Sunny is One of the Finalists for the Belgium Weekend Blog Awards??? This Calls for a GIVEAWAY!

  9. Tracy says:

    This colour is freakin’ gorgeous, but why won’t they fix these to last? I mean, the technology exists now since almost every line has something like these. Please NARS?

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