Saturday, October 29, 2011

NARS Mandchourie eyeshadow duo review

          NARS Mandchourie eyeshadow duo is a part of the current holiday 2011 collection. The colors include a golden denim and an indigo blue. Those colors seemed a bit 'safe' for a NARS duo and I felt as though I've seen enough blue from last season. However, ordering NARS duos is pretty much on autopilot mode for me, so I decided to give NARS Mandchourie a whirl. You can see my review, photos, and swatches below!

          When I first opened NARS Mandchourie, I was most struck by the golden denim color on the left. It's quite complex and beautiful in the pan and on the eyes. I would describe the color as having a little sheen, however it is not overly shimmery. You can see swatches below. The color on the right is a matte indigo blue. This means the blue has the most miniscule hint of purple, which is similar to jeans. Both colors are well pigmented with a good texture. I prefer the texture of this blue to the blue in NARS Dogon.

         The colors in NARS Mandchourie are quite difficult to photograph effectively. Mandchourie looks quite different lighting, as you can see from my photos. In particular, the matte indigo blue is the more difficult to photograph of the two. With all due respect to my amazing fellow beauty bloggers, I haven't seen a 100% accurate depiction of this duo in the pan or in swatches. Most photos/swatches depict the matte blue as a rich dark cobalt blue. In reality, the color is more of a dusty medium-dark denim blue. Even with my best efforts over the course of a few hours and several different lighting locations, I can't declare my photos to be completely accurate either. My sunlight photos are a good depiction of how Mandchourie looks in bright light. The lower light photos, however, have the issue I described above. They should be a bit more dusty denim colored.

NARS Mandchourie in full sunlight
NARS Manchourie indoors with flash

         In case I haven't hammered the point home already, here's a pair of jeans for visualization!

          Finally, here is my swatch comparison of NARS Mandchourie to other blues in my collection. The lighter golden denim has a grey character when compared to MAC Parisian Skies. Christine at Temptalia mentioned that it also reminded her of MAC Blue Spruce from the MAC Holiday 2011 Ice Parade collection. I wondered the same thing, since Blue Spruce and Mandchourie have a similar beautiful complexity where warm shimmer is added to blue toned colors. However, you can see from the swatches below that the two colors are vastly different when swatched. Blue spruce is considerably darker and has a green tone. I compared the dark blue side of NARS Mandchourie to the dark blue in NARS Dogon. You can see how Dogon's blue is significantly darker and blacker.

         Overall, I'm pleased with this duo. In particular, the lighter color is beautiful. As you may know, I do like grey and blue tones. I find that a full eye with these colors appears very jeans-like. I haven't been a very "blue" mood lately, but I have applying both colors in NARS Mandchourie along my lashline with my new Sephora Professionel smoky eye brush for a nice effect. I'm certain I will warm up to this palette as the season progresses deeper into winter.
Thanks for reading!

Love, Dovey.


  1. NARS Mandchourie is a really beautiful dark and intense eyeshadow duo. Having it on my wishlist now! :)

  2. Oh this eyeshadow duo looks lovely. Great review.

  3. This is gorgeous. I've always had a soft spot for blues with golden shimmer. Hard Candy used to have an eye palette with a baby blue that flashed gold. I think that was my first duochrome, but it was nearly 15 years ago so...

  4. IT DID HAPPEN. I so need this. You have the power to make me do very bad things with my credit card!

    Must buy. I've been going through a heathered blue phase myself.
    ♥ Jessica

  5. this duo looks so nice! I was gonna skip this one but now I feel like I should get it!

  6. It's on my list now - thanks!

  7. I love these colours! Muted blues look amazing on brown eyes.

  8. gorgeous denim shades! Really love them! Thanks for the great swatches.

  9. I don't even wear blue shadows but now I feel like I NEED THIS! ;) Great review and photos!

  10. i thought that arabian nights was the eyeshadwo palette that i wanted from this collection but i was definitely wrong. mandchourie looks amazing!
    thank you for the swatches!

  11. Beautiful photos! I got this duo as well but haven't had a chance to use it yet. I couldn't resist the lighter blue/gold shade. It's quite unique! :)

  12. The light shade is indeed pretty! I don't wear blues that much, but I really want this duo!!!!

  13. Your photographs are always so beautiful! I was interested in this palette but wasn't sure how much use I would get from it as I don't always wear blue on the eyes. I think these shades are different to anything else in my collection, though, and so may give it a whirl

  14. Thank you everyone for your kind comments! I really appreciate them =)

    Sarah- wow, good memory--- 15 years ago for a shadow is quite a long time! I remember when Hard Candy was a pretty cool brand.

    Jessica- I think you'll like it (although I will now consider putting "warning: do not read" at the top of posts in the future jk=P) I hope my swatches are accurate! <3

    Amanda, I've heard Arabian nights can be tricky! It's definitely a try in-store product

    Makeup Magpie- me too. I think that color is what makes the palette purchase worthy.

    Emmabovary- thank you! I didn't realize blues were wearable for me until recently either

  15. Ah. Your post is the second I've read about this duo. It's quite the pretty combo and would make a lovely fall/winter smokey eye.


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I truly enjoy hearing your thoughts!

Comments are moderated to prevent spam. Please note that links, promotions, and offensive / irrelevant / questionable comments will be deleted at my discretion.