Baby's first Nars: Habanera Eyeshadow Duo

It's a tricky thing, balancing the magpie in me, the one that wants all the sparkly things, with the unabashed cheapskate. I never like to buy anything at its full price. That's not to say I'm thrifty; I've been known to buy a bunch of stuff that's A MILLION PER CENT OFF! when I would have done much better to save the cash and splurge on one really nice (but eye-wateringly expensive) eyeshadow palette or something. But where would the fun be in that?

nars habanera duo closeup

So I watch, I wait, I bide my time until the odd treasure pops up for just the right price on Trade Me. That was how Habanera, my first Nars product, came into my possession. It so happened that Auxiliary Beauty had also blogged about the very same duo a couple of weeks prior, a post that didn't exactly dissuade me from it. I mean, look at the sparkles! (Also it was $15. Thank goodness for people de-stashing.)

Edited to add: I'm an idiot; this isn't my first Nars product. That would be the blush/bronzer/highlighter trio I got a few years ago. I'm a dumbass.

nars habanera face front

Photography corner: can we just talk about how bloody hard it is to take pictures of makeup when it's on your actual face? Or even just sparkly eyeshadow on your arm? Ugh. Something I need to work on, definitely. The shots I took of my face with my DSLR were just muddy and unattractive and did NOTHING for the eye makeup, and in the end I took one with my phone that at least captures a little of the complexity in these shadows. Excuse the blotchiness. All of the product shots were taken with a macro lens which has a single shutter setting, and I think next time I need to use a different lens and use a higher f-stop.

nars habanera maybelline bttb art deco eyeshadow base.JPG

Nars describes Habanera as a pairing between a "mint frost" and a "sparkling charcoal plum", which is a fairly accurate representation of what it looks like on my bare eyelids. The light minty-green has a tinge of blue to it, and is smooth and buttery. The charcoal plum side reads more smoky than plum, and doesn't have as great colour payoff when compared to its companion; if I'm honest, I was kind of disappointed. On their own, the plum gives a wash of colour, and the mint gives an eye-catching pop of sheen, whether blended into or on top of the plum.

ARRRGH SORRY FOR THE OUT-OF-FOCUS-NESS

ARRRGH SORRY FOR THE OUT-OF-FOCUS-NESS

Applied on top of a primer or cream eyeshadow, however, is where Habanera really shines. I tried layering the duo on top of both Art Deco's eyeshadow base, and Maybelline's Bad to the Bronze. On top of the eyeshadow base, the two shadows were much more true to pan. Delightfully, Bad to the Bronze really brings out the plum, while the mint blends effortlessly and gives almost a duochrome effect. I've been wearing the mint on the inner third, the plum on the outer half, and popping a bit of extra BttB mixd with the mint in the centre. I'm kind of an eyeshadow dunce, so this is all done with fingers with a bit of blending using a fluffy brush.

nars habanera arm swatches

That's all, I think. I'll leave you with our favourite busty cigar roller, singing Habanera. Props to Ana Caterina Antonacci for doing this entire scene with a hint of nip-slip and not giving a toss.

Actually, one more thing: I have a second Nars duo coming, also courtesy of Trade Me! Wanna guess which one?