With the NARS Mandchourie Duo Eyeshadow, NARS Blue It in the Best Possible Way

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

nars Mandchourie Duo Eyeshadow

Don’t you hate it when someone else shows up to the party wearing the same outfit? That’s probably how the neighbor’s Russian Blue felt today when she saw that I was wearing the new NARS Mandchourie Duo Eyeshadow.


I’m all up in your catnip!

You know how cats are… Divas. They think they’re the sh*t, especially when it comes to the color of their coat, and until today, my Russian comrade held the undisputed title of Smokiest Blue on the Block.

But things have changed. Now, with the shadows in this powder duo on my lids, old blue has some serious competition.


The duo, my new go-to girl for sultry, smokey eyes, hails from the new NARS Holiday 2011 collection, a bizarrely cohesive mix of browns, blues, plums, peaches and golds, with a smattering of red, silver and black.

“Its French name conjures the geographical region in northeast Asia, as this golden-infused denim paired with a rich navy delivers a yin and yang effect to the lid. Each hue can be worn on its own, but when applied together — the darker shade in the crease or as a liner; the lighter color on the lid or as a highlight — the result is one of perfect balance.”

— NARS Cosmetics

For me, blue isn’t the first color that comes to mind when I think of quick smokey eyes, because with it there’s usually some extra patting and blending involved (and sometimes extra time for cleanup). But Mandchourie makes blue surprisingly easy.

To my eye the lighter shade resembles a shimmery greenish denim blue with flashes of shimmery gold. I like to apply it with a firm eyeshadow brush, and then buff that out with a fluffy domed brush, which transforms the color into a soft, smokey gray.


The darker shadow, a matte navy, is the more reserved of the two, and I think it compliments its lighter sibling well.

nars manchourie eyeshadow

nars Mandchourie Duo Eyeshadow

nars Manchourie Duo Eyeshadow

Both shades live up to the high standard set by NARS, applying with loads of pigment while resisting creasing and fading for hours. I was, though, a little surprised to find some fallout from this duo. Not a lot, but still.

For a swift, sultry look, I load the lighter shade onto my lids with a firm eyeshadow brush, smoke out the edges with a domed brush, and then, for added definition, line my upper and lower lash lines with the darker denim shade. About 10 minutes from start to finish, which for me is practically light speed for a blue smokey eye.

PRICE: $33
AVAILABILITY: Coming soon to NARS counters and available now online

Strike averted! My roots had been planning to go on strike this weekend, so I stopped by the salon this afternoon for a quick dye touchup and bang trim.

That reminds me — ya know what would be really cool? A salon that combined hair cutting/coloring with socially sanctioned napping. Don’t get me wrong — I love chatting and catching up with my stylist, but if I were able to sneak in a nap too? Oh, that would take the salon experience to the next level.

In other news, I’m off to the airport! See you soon from Santa Monica. Have a great night. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. For more on the NARS Holiday 2011 collection, check out…


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So far, 18 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Chris25 says:

    Haha, the Russian Blue is like “try and stop me from taking your catnip!”. LOL. That’s totally a Rocky n Roll move.

    I love these blues on you. 🙂

  2. Joyce says:

    Both eyeshadows compliment each other very well! <3

    and I hope you have a safe trip. =)
    Joyce recently posted … MakeupByJoyce’s Giveaway (Prize Includes 15 Items)

  3. Nina says:

    that gray looking shade – i must own!

  4. AnieJ says:

    I’ve never had a Nars eyeshadow before but this is both something I don’t own and DESIRE now…I mean, like, right now.
    AnieJ recently posted … Sephora Nano Lip and Eye Liners

  5. Dovey says:

    What a beautiful cat! I can’t wait until my Mandchourie comes in now =)

  6. Let says:

    The duo is so pretty. I’m such a sucker for blues and greys. 😀

  7. Jen says:

    I’m not a big fan of blue or grays, seeing as how I’m a fair NC20, but this duo caught my attention right when they were released. And seeing how gorgeous these are on you, I might have to splurge and buy my first Nars eye shadow!

  8. Naj says:

    Omg, that cat is seriously smokey blue. So pretty. And the duo is nice too.

  9. Nivedita says:

    The eye makeup looks amazing.. but I am more drawn to your sculpted cheeks
    Nivedita recently posted … I am back!! and my experience of Flipkart.com

  10. Karo says:

    Amazingd duo! I like this colours. Nars is so cool!
    Karo recently posted … Geschenke aus Amerika : CHANEL ROUGE CARAT 587 & BURBERRY Lip Cover NUDE BEIGE No.01

  11. artemis says:

    i loooove smoky blue eyes tho that doesn’y really look blue more teal-grey
    i love that cat awww

  12. Vonvon says:

    10-minute smoky eye…gotta check this duo out.
    Vonvon recently posted … Swatches & Review: Famous by Sue Moxley Eyeshadow Shimmer Shade 12

  13. YadiQ says:

    Aww that kitty looks just like my kitty Diva. It’s funny how all cats are such divas but we actually named ours diva says a lot abt her character I guess! Jaz is a diva too lol! Love this shadow duo you look lovely!

  14. Christy says:

    love the pretty shades! Must have 🙂
    Christy recently posted … Sephora Friends & Family Sale Today through 11/2 – 20% off!

  15. Leila says:

    This duo is exactly the colour combination I have wanted for a long time, but now I have something similar, I won’t be getting it.

    I created a MAC quad that contains Scene, Prussian and Deep Truth, so I think the effect is similar. What do you think of these colours as (non-perfect) subsitutes?

    Very pretty look by the way.

  16. Christina says:

    I LOVE your hair in the first shot!

  17. Rene Groyer says:

    Loved your article and the Russian Blue cat picture

  18. gio says:

    What a pretty duo! Love the colors.
    gio recently posted … Product Review: Sleek Makeup Molten Metal in Steel and Ash

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