The NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio Is Totally Tab-ular

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

nars calanque

CCL |ˈsē ˈsē ˈel|
1 Short for Crazy Cat Lady. One who spends inordinate amounts of time talking to cats, taking pictures of cats, and wearing cat-themed attire: if you wear a t-shirt that reads, “Tabby, or not tabby — that is the question,” you might be a CCL.


This is going to sound totally CCL (what else in new?), but the main reason I’ve been dying to get my paws on the NARS Calanque Eyeshadow Trio ($45) is because the colors remind me of my favorite husky tabby.

That I know I’ll be able to wear each of the three powder eyeshadows — a sheer shimmery beige with silver glitter, a pigmented pearly golden beige and a shimmery brownish khaki — every day is just a bonus (I’m a ho for neutrals).

Yeah, $45… C’mon, Francois, give a girl a break. 🙂 Why so pricey? The darkest of the palette’s three shadows even drops a little fallout when I use it to give depth to the outer corners of my eyes, or when I’m lining my lash lines with it. Granted, it’s not as bad as the fallout from the brown shade in Clinique’s Milly Pretty for Prints Palette, which deposits an obnoxious amount of shadow on my cheeks, but it’s still noticeable enough to make me snarl (“hrmph!”) at the price.

nars calanque

nars calanque in hand

nars calanque closeup

nars calanque ingredients

nars calanque swatch flash
Calanque swatches with the flash; for reference, I’m an NC35

nars calanque swatch
Without the flash

nars calanque eye

nars calanque k2

The two lighter shadows, however, are straight outta my lusty neutral eyeshadow dreams — smooth and soft, like that first touch of skin against skin.

MAC fiends may recognize the lightest shade on the left. Doesn’t it look like a sheerer version of MAC Brule but with loads of delicate glitter? And the middle shade (LOVE IT) reminds me of a slightly taupe-ier version of MAC Ricepaper.

No doubt, NARS is asking a lot for Calanque ($45), but collectors and others who can live with a little fallout from the darkest shade might still want to take a look.


PRICE: $45
AVAILABILITY: At NARS counters and online

You might like NARS Calanque if…

  • You love NARS and neutral eye looks
  • You can stomach the steep price
  • You’re a die-hard fan of the brand

For more on the NARS spring 2011 collection, check out…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. It’s Friday night. Do you know where your felines are? 🙂 Are you doing anything fun tonight? Come hell or high water, I am getting frozen yogurt tonight. That’s all I have to say. It is decided. THE END.


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So far, 93 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Heidi says:

    Shopping based on a cat inspiration? I see nothing wrong with that!

    Those do look like gorgeous neutral shades.

    Missy is currently waiting for me to light some candles. During the Christmas season I would light some candles on the coffee table every evening after dinner, and she would be absolutely fascinated by that ritual. Now she sits in front of the coffee table as soon as she sees I’m done with dinner and waits for me to come and light those candles! She is soooo weird!

  2. Meghan says:

    Oh that look is gorgeous, but like i said I wish it was a little more afforbable
    Meghan recently posted … New products from NYX- 2011 Spring collection Part 1

  3. stacie says:

    I;m loving that trio it looks like one you would use daily xoxox
    stacie recently posted … Leopard print and hearts

  4. Tasha says:

    Whahahah TABS!!!!

  5. Lucie says:

    Boringgggg. I’m a total NARS hoe but this trio just isn’t doin’ it for me!

  6. Tasha says:

    Oh is there any vid of Tabs??? would love to see him in action!

  7. Rae says:

    LOL! Oh my god, the last photo makes my day 😀

    The trio looks cute (alright, *super* cute), but for the price (and with the fallout), I’m not really feeling it. Any dupe rec’s for the darkest shade?
    Rae recently posted … GIVEAWAY- Five February Favourites!

  8. snoopysteph says:

    Love it! But I’m on eyeshadow restriction…and after buying the Naked palette I don’t think I can justify buying any more neutrals anyway. 😀

    Happy weekend, Karen!

  9. AnieJ says:

    Sounds like it would be more cost efficient to go pick out several MAC shades. Recently became addicted to Paint Pots, so I’m in!
    AnieJ recently posted … Face of the Day 242011

  10. Tiffany says:

    lol, love that Tabs let you rest the box on his head 🙂

    I decided today I should stop buying eyeshadows. I have enough for an army and don’t even wear it most days 🙁

  11. mela says:

    Hero and I are enjoying a quiet Friday night cuddle 🙂

    Calanque is gorgeous, but too similar to a lot of things I own, but I plan on checking out the new NARS boutique next weekend when I go up to NYC for a job interview! I can’t wait to play with Okinawa trio…blue, white and gray? looks like Hero!

    CCL <3
    mela recently posted … love-hate- betsey johnson

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mela,

      Good luck with the job interview. I’m so jealous that you get to visit the boutique, btw.

      Give Hero a kiss for me! She has the best kitty eyeliner…

  12. Erin says:

    Thanks for the great swatches! I have been loving this since the first picture I saw, so I am going to get it. I have a Sephora gift card from Christmas, so when this shows up at Sephora, I’ll pick it up. Then I don’t even have to feel guilty!!
    Erin recently posted … Purple Spam- Zoya Mimi

  13. Nazih says:

    Karen you look great with your hair up! 🙂

  14. Nazih says:

    Btw Tabs is sooooooo adorable

  15. Crystal says:

    I am laughing so hard…”I’m a ho for neutrals”. You are so funny, I feel the same way! Thanks for the review, I’ve been waiting on this eyeshadow, that other one they came out with at Christmas wasn’t for me but this is!

  16. Tracy says:

    “Lusty neutral eyeshadow dreams” hahahaha You are hilarious!
    Tabs wears that NARS box well!
    I so want this, but I’ve been such a bad girl this past month… 🙂
    Tracy recently posted … New Blushes To Tempt A BLUSHaholic me

  17. Instant Karma (formerly L) says:

    Aww, Tabs-themed eye shadow! My cats always get excited whenever I wear black eyeliner. They think I’m trying to look more like them (I am).

    The shadows are really pretty, but not worth it if there’s fallout. Ah well!

    • Karen says:

      How are Aisha and Tigger doing? Give them both a big hug for me.

      Oh — I watched a movie last night and totally thought of you called “Nowhere Boy.” It’s about the John Lennon’s teen years and the founding of the Beatles.

      The kid who plays Paul McCartney looks just like him!

      • Instant Karma (formerly L) says:

        They’re good! Tigger was super snuggly today, and really happy because I gave him some of my chicken at dinner. Aisha spent the day on her cat bag being lazy. Okay, she’s lazy every day, but she has to adhere to a strict training schedule for the upcoming 2011 Sleep Championships if she wants to win gold this year.

        Oh man, I’m jealous! I have wanted to see that so much, but I haven’t gotten the opportunity to go. Only one theater in DC was playing it, and it disappeared really quickly. Was it good?

  18. Amee says:

    hmmm… interesting colors…
    Amee recently posted … Preview of Susan Posnick Product!!!

  19. Have fun getting your fro-yo! The middle shade is my absolutely favorite, mmm I love my neutrals too.
    Makeup Morsels recently posted … Matte It Out With Murad

  20. gio says:

    I usually love Nars eyeshadows but I’m not digging this. I don’t use these colors enough to justify the price..

    Tabs is so adorable!
    gio recently posted … QOTW- Do You Wear Sunscreen Every Day

  21. Tavi says:

    Just had taro fro-yo from tutti frutti, soo good!

  22. Dhariane says:

    You look gorgeous! May i ask what you used on your cheeks/lips?
    As for the eyeshadow trio, it’s pretty, but definitely out of my budget 🙁

  23. Advah says:

    WANT! The colours look gorgeous on you and I’m a sucker for that fancy sleek Nars packaging. It is super pricey though, might try and get in at an airport the next time I’m flying.

    And boy, is Tabs one gorgeous cat! Can’t blame you for getting matching makeup 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Advah,

      Do you travel a lot? You might want to keep your eyes peeled for some travel exclusives. 🙂

      Tabs is sitting right next to me as I type this and demanding I give him the attention he so richly deserves, LOL!

      Have a great weekend.

      • Advah says:

        I used to visit my parents every 3 months or so, but I’ve stopped that so I can afford 2 big trips a year (SXSW in just a few weeks!). That way I get to take more time off and really enjoy it. 🙂
        And good point about the travel exclusives, I’ll add that to my list!

        Have I said before how I’m fascinated by Tabs gorgeous nose? It’s perfect looking and makes me wish I had a cat nearby to pet every single time. Life would be very dull if it weren’t for cut showing us how to live it.

        Having a lovely Saturday so far, have a great weekend too!

        • Karen says:

          Oh fun! I’ve always wanted to go to SXSW! If you have your computer with you you’ll have to give me the skinny on all the fun things you’re doing so I can vicariously live through you.

          Er, I’m a little obsessed with Tabs’ nose too. I’ll give it a pet for you…

          Hope the rest of your weekend was fabulous. I’m not ready for Monday!

  24. Aida says:

    The colours are ok, but I already habe Brule and the price tag is a bit too much right now as I really want to try the new primer Nars is launching this month, the one you talked about in the blog. I should save for that, I love Nars primers

  25. mint says:

    i think it looks really good on you! and i totally agree, i really don’t understand why these things are so expensive. especially when there’s so much competition and alternatives around.
    mint recently posted … Dolly Style- Dolly Wink make up items scans

  26. Rosa says:

    Forget the eyeshadow, your foundation looks great! Please tell us what you’re wearing!

  27. This combination is gorgeous! Really subtle, yet striking all the same. recently posted … Hairstyles to suit your face shape

  28. karo says:

    wow! amazing!
    I like it!
    karo recently posted … MAC Lightful Serie

  29. Nina says:

    that is lovely! i want!

  30. Alka says:

    Oooh this is lovely but a little too steep for my wallet to be dupes for brule and ricepaper (which I use daily). Thanks for posting the swatches, look and of course the pic of your handsome man, Tabs!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alka,

      I loooove Brule and Ricepaper too. What do you like to pair them with? I use Soba, Sable, Saddle, Soft Brown and Brownscript.

      • Alka says:

        For day I like to pair them with Remotely Grey (limited edition), Scene, or Brownscript. For a more dramatic night look I like them with Sketch, Contrast or Satin Taupe.

        How do you use Soba? I just haven’t felt the love for that one yet. I bought it hoping that it would replace my fave Camel that was discontinued but it just looks like I have dirt on my eye. Not a good thing.

        • Karen says:

          Ah, Sketch and Satin Taupe! I have a love/hate relationship with both (I’m convinced they make me look like I’ve gotten into a bar fight).

          As for Soba, I usually do Ricepaper over the entire lid and then pop Soba into the crease. But if it looks like dirt on your eye, then you probably don’t want to go there!

  31. Sexy Sadie says:

    Boring and expensive.
    Sexy Sadie recently posted … Innflyttningsfest

  32. Kimberly says:

    I love the colors, I love the fact that it’s a Tab-inspired post, but that price? I’m not so much in love with that.

  33. Melanie says:

    I love your hairstyle Karen!

  34. Olga says:

    Tabs looks cute again! aaaww

    xx Olga
    Olga recently posted … Saturday Shopping

  35. Ariel says:

    This looks like a must-have for me. Love neutral colors with shimmer and this will be absolutely perfect for travel!

  36. Bonny Y says:

    What brush do you use to line your bottom lids? I can never get it as defined as you do — the shadow usually goes flying. Btw, these colors look really good on you.

  37. saku says:

    Aww Tabs is sleepy. I thought I would like it, but I’ll pass.

  38. Gilby says:

    You can never go wrong with NARS. This is the perfect trio for a bravo 1950’s style eye. Slap some red lipstick on and a little black gel liner for that cat wing you’re ready for a night out on the town. *Meow*

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