I simply couldn't wait to dig into this. I've had it for about a month and a half and I feel like I've had a decent amount of time to play around with it. Admission: I never owned a NARS shadow before this set. Honestly, the reason I wanted it so badly was because it contains 6 of their most popular shades and was much more affordable than buying them all separately. It also comes with a deluxe sample size of the NARS eyeshadow primer and a ridiculously adorable mini eye brush.
The peachy-pink color included from the Alhambra duo is very pretty, but you most likely already own a dupe. It's very similar to MAC's Naked Lunch, just a tad less pink than Bootycall from Naked 2, and slightly less champagne-y than Stila's Kitten. My favorite shade in the palette is probably the greige-taupe shade from the Bellissima duo. It's a fantastic crease color and it's a cool-toned matte, something that was missing from my collection. It's significantly cooler than Tease from Naked 2, the closest color to it that I own. I thought I would easily be able to dupe the shade from Kalahari between my Naked palettes and my plethora of MAC browns, but I honestly couldn't. It looks very golden-bronze and metallic when you look at it straight on in the pan, but when you look at at angle or apply to the skin, the base appears cooler while the shimmer is clearly warm and golden. Everything that I thought might be similar in my Naked palettes (Sidecar, Suspect, YDK) came out looking warmer/redder on my skin than Kalahari, especially when tilted so the shimmer wasn't as apparent. My favorite look from this palette is to use Alhambra on the inner half of the lid, Kalahari on the outer half, and run Bellissima through my crease with a MAC 224 brush to add definition. While you probably could use Alhambra as a brow highlight, I'd rather reach for something like Mylar or Shroom from MAC to sweep across my browbone.
I'm glad I got to try out the NARS primer, but I honestly can't tell much of a difference from my UD Primer Potion. It actually creased badly on me the first time I used it, which really surprised me - every blogger and YouTuber seems to swear by NARS as the end-all-be-all primer for oily lids. I'm going to use this up, but I probably won't repurchase as I honestly find it doesn't work better than UDPP for me.
The eye shader brush is good quality (incredibly soft, with dense bristles) but is waaaaaay too big for my eyelids. It's way thicker than anything I would imagine calling a "shader" - it doesn't seem like it would lend itself to precise color placement (and based on my usage of it, it doesn't). I can't see this being used in the crease either, but it works well for a brow bone color and to blend out the edges of my makeup.
Overall, I like the set, but I wouldn't classify it as an "OMG MUST HAVE." I travel a lot (probably 6+ days a month), so I feel like I can justify owning several different neutral palettes. (Hey, it helps me sleep at night.) It's less than half the size of a Naked palette, and therefore doesn't take up much room in a makeup bag.
See? It is smaller than my baby hands, so you know this thing
is travel friendly!
You won't have the diversity of looks you get with a Naked Palette with this, but if you want the same no-brainer eye look every day with the option to darken it up for night, this would work for you. If you've been looking to test out NARS shadows, I still think this was a great way to try out a lot of popular and oft talked about shades without shelling out hundreds of dollars. I don't regret buying this palette at all, and may actually buy full sizes of Bellissima and Kalahari when (if?) I finish them in this palette.How do you guys feel about NARS shadows? Do you like the palette? What other looks have you been able to create with it? Lemme know in the comments below!