Saturday, June 2, 2012

NARS 413 BLKR Eyeshadow Review, Swatches & Comparison

I finally received my long-awaited NARS 413 BLKR Shimmer Eyeshadow, and it really was worth the wait!
As I had mentioned in my initial post, 413 BLKR is "currently unavailable" at NARS online, however you can wipe away your tears because it is still available if you call the flagship store at 413 Bleecker Street in Manhattan (see phone number on receipt above- click to enlarge). Save yourself the heartbreak of trying to find it at your local NARS counter- it's a 413 Bleecker Street exclusive, as the name suggests.
For a brilliant review comparing 413 BLKR & Lhasa- please be sure to visit Zuzu*s Petals at Everyday Beauty. Her review of these two shadows is the most insightful and nuanced comparison that I have read to date. I opted to juxtapose 413 BLKR to NARS Lhasa and MAC Satin Taupe in order to illustrate just how cool-toned 413 BLKR is.  As Zuzu rightly points out there is no color description for 413 BLKR on the NARS website, but I agree with her that the NARS color description of Lhasa as a "lavender grey" more fittingly describes 413 BLKR, and that Lhasa appears to be a more "plum-tinged taupe." 
Indoor Lighting
As you can see from my swatches 413 BLKR is indeed a cooler grey lavender especially when swatched next to Lhasa. Because Lhasa is often described as a card-carrying member of the taupe family I thought that it would be instructive to include MAC Satin Taupe (taupe with silver shimmer) in the lineup. What becomes evident to my eyes is that while Lhasa and Satin Taupe are indeed, well, taupe- that 413 BLKR is not really taupe at all. 
Outdoor Lighting
Because 413 BLKR is a light cool lavender grey it may be too cool for beauties with warmer toned skin, and it may appear to ashy on those with medium to dark complexions unless used very sparingly. If you have pale cool-toned skin this color is divine for an all over the lid wash of color, and for some added depth Lhasa in the crease works beautifully. I can see this becoming a go-to color accompanied by a simple black winged liner when I don't want to spend any time applying makeup. For me, NARS heaven would simply be the addition of NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 in Alaska,  NARS Gaiety Blush and NARS Downtown Lip Gloss, and a stroll through the streets of Paris! 
Outdoor Lighting

Overall assessment: Merci, Monsieur Nars 413 BLKR est très très jolie! 413 BLKR celebrates the NARS flagship boutique in Manhattan, but my little NARS ensemble is making me nostalgic for Paris!

What popped into my mind as I was writing this was Woody Allen's phenomenal opening scene from Midnight in Paris- if you have not yet seen this movie you really must- it's pure magic.


  1. I love your post and pictures! I had completely forgotten about MAC Satin Taupe, which really looks warm compared to NARS. I hope you are in love with your new baby.

    I think my current favorite lid/crease eyeshadows are NARS 413 BLKR and D. Gorgeous, RBR Sweet Dust, and Chantecaille Agate. They are all just light and cool enough for summer!

    1. Thanks- I'm so glad that you like the post!!!! I am MADLY in love with 413 BLKR. I think that I will have to pick up D. Gorgeous next time. Every time I have swatched it makes me swoon! I have RBR Sweet Dust, and just wish that your beloved Chantecaille Agate had not been discontinued- your swatches made me drool! They are just perfect for summer! I think that I'm going to pick up RBR Bashful Flamingo!

    2. I forgot to mention that I have been wearing 413 BLKR all day and love it so much that I keep running to the mirror to look at it. It is such a GREAT color for pale cool-toned skin!!!

  2. I'm tempted to dash downtown tomorrow to swatch both NARS Lhasa and MAC Satin Taupe and buy one of them. I think 413 BLKR is too cool for me. The unfortunately thing about following the blogs of so many cooler toned beauties is that I'm invariably drawn toward cooler toned shadows. I need to figure out what works for me!

    1. Hi BooBooNinja- I know just what you mean-- I'm am quite often drawn to warmer colors!! I still wear them, but am careful how. For instance I tend to keep away from warmer colors on my cheeks and lips, but because I have hazel colored eyes I do indulge in some warmer shadows. I think that it is likely that you would find 413 BLKR far too cool for your warm skin-- it is REALLY REALLY cool, but I think that you will likely find that Lhasa and Satin Taupe would work. In either case you will find both nicer than the Revlon taupe colors that we have discussed before. I would definitely swatch them before buying them to see if either work for you. Both are really beautiful. Let me know what you think of them if/when you check them out-- I'm very curious to know if either work for you. I know that you still have a taupe-free stash-- so I think that the first one that you get should be a good one!!

    2. Hi Lola,
      I had a great reply composed, but I force-quit Firefox to update my Adobe thing before I published it. Booooo. In short: 1) I agree -- in a world of glorious taupes, my first taupe must be a good one; 2) thanks for eliminating residual curiosity about the Revlon quads; and 3) I'll keep you in the loop about what I get. :)

      Also, Spring Cleaning paid off! -- I found a long-lost MAC empty that, combined with the 5 empties I have collected from swaps, will garner me a MAC eyeshadow! That means I'll be able to get Satin Taupe. However, my gut tells me that it's got too much red in it for my taste. I'll have to swatch ST and Lhasa side by side. Maybe even put it on my lids. (I can only imagine how crazy I'll look walking between the NARS counter and the MAC counter with different coloured lids...)

    3. ps I hope there weren't too many grammatical errors and/or run-on sentences in my previous comment. It's hard recreating stuff I wrote a day and a half ago. :P

    4. Hi BooBooNinja- I hate when that happens-- it's so frustrating!! I have had lost what I was writing enough times that I cut and paste it into another document now in case it happens!!

      I won't be surprised if Satin Taupe isn't quite right for you- I have heard some warmer toned people say that it doesn't work for them. However, it does seem to work for a great many cool and warm toned people. The warmth in the taupe is offset by the subtle silver shimmer- so it cools it down for cool toned people while the taupe itself has a good deal of warmth to it therefore offsetting the coolness of the shimmer-- making it work for lots of warm-toned people. That said, some people find it a touch muddy once applied- you won't know until you swatch it. It certainly would be fantastic if it worked and you could B2MAC to get it for free. I suspect that you will find Lhasa to be a gorgeous shade in person-- again it will be a matter of swatching to see if it really works for you. Plus if you are in a department store you can scope out taupes from the various lines and you might find just what you are looking for! Swatching them side by side will definitely be extremely helpful in deciding which, if any, are must-haves for you!

    5. Lola, are there any other brand's Taupes you think might be good for me?

    6. Funny you should ask- I have been on a taupe quest. One line that Zuzu swears by, as you know, is Chantecaille. She LOVES Meteorite and Granite. Meteorite might be a touch too cool for you though.

      But I think that Granite might work nicely for you:

      Delicate Hummingbird thinks Chantecaille Sel is the perfect taupe shadow-- though Zuzu says that one is too warm for her-- which means that it might be perfect for you! Note in her swatches that she compares it to NARS Ashes to Ashes, and Laura Mercier Topaz-- both of which would likely be lovely on your warm skin.

      You might also look into Burberry eyeshadows-- I haven't gotten any yet, but the texture is buttery soft- Sabrina at the Beauty Look Book has some amazing swatches. The colors that come to mind are Taupe Brown, Midnight Brown, & Rosewood:

      The other choices that come to mind are Rouge Bunny Rouge Solstice Halcyon (mine is en route):

      Also Rouge Bunny Rouge Eye Shadow Duo A Major (I have and love this, but haven't reviewed it yet) The Non-Blonde has a great review of this:

      I will let you know if any others pop in my head. Remember that Beautyhabit is having a 20% off sale on all things British-- so RBR is far more affordable right now.

      OHHHH- I almost totally forgot-- Rouge Bunny Rouge Caress of Mink is a GORGEOUS taupe-- it's a really magical color too!

    7. Oh Lola.
      You are incredible. Thank you for your recommendations!

    8. You are so very welcome, BooBooNinja! xo, L

  3. Lola! I checked out the taupes! Everything except Burberry and RBR. The fiancé was with me so it was a bit of a gong show :). Both of us liked Chantecaille Sel. I think it's more versatile than Granite (also gorgeous) because I can approximate Granite with Sel and something I own. I think Lhasa is pretty and Satin Taupe works on my eyes! Despite all the swatching and testing on my eyes, I might get MAC Vex with my B2M and try to swap for ST. I brought my eyeshadows with me and somehow. Vex is compatible with most/all of my shadows. How can I pass Vex up? :)

    Ok. Going to post this so I don't lose my comment. I'm still thinking about Sel. I think it'll be my next splurge.

    1. WOO-HOO!!!!!!!!! I saw swatches of Sel and am DYING to swatch it myself. Zu finds it too warm for her, and while I also have cool-toned skin I can get away with some warmer colors on my eyes because they are hazel. Granite looks gorgeous, but I can't wait to see it in person! You can buy some of the Chantecaille shadows in the pan refill, and Sel is one of them!!! That way it is $22.00 instead of $30.00!! Why waste $8.00 on the compact- especially when you are going to depot. I'm glad that your fiancé like it as well. The visual of the gong show is absolutely hilarious!!

      I'm thrilled that Satin Taupe worked on your eyes!! OMG- Vex-- I LOVE VEX!! It's awesome for the inner corner of the eye, and you should check out MAC Patina e/s-- they look FANTASTIC together (pure magic). That was so smart of you to bring your eyeshadows with you-- now that is a super smart way to shop. It's amazing that most of your stash works with Vex!! Definitely don't pass on Vex- you will get a lot of use out of it.

      Be sure to swatch Patina next time you are near a MAC counter. I have all three of those shades and love them all. PLUS-- go to a MAC freestanding store so that you can buy the pro pans instead-- they cost $11.50 instead of $15.00 (though I am sure that you already know that) :D

      Now you have me so excited about visiting the Chantecaille counter. I really want to go see the Burberry eye shadows soon too!

    2. I swatched Sel, Granite, Meteorite, and Perle. You were spot on in thinking that Meteorite would be too cool for me. I swatched Perle to see why ZuZu loves it so, and to compare it to my own go-to highlight, MAC Too Chic. I'm not sure if you remember, but Too Chic was originally released with Play it Proper. (I picked up my Too Chic when it was rereleased a couple of months before the Chen Man collection. Too Chic is as wonderfully creamy as you described Play it Proper.)

      Did you know that Patina is on my MAC e/s short list too? (with ST.) It's so purrrrrty. I've almost bought Patina so many times. :) Anyway, if you love MAC Patina, I think you'll really like Chantecaille Sel. For some reason I have a feeling they are similar. (Would you do comparison swatches when you visit the Chante counter? Or let me know if my memory of Sel deceives me?)

      If I could, I'd get Satin Taupe, Patina (then have a party with them and Vex), Sel, and Granite. I'd win the lottery first. And then buy you Sel and Granite too. So we can party with them together.

      By the way, prices suck in Canada (but not as much as they do overseas). Did you know Chantecaille refills cost $26, and $36 with the compact? And our potted MAC eyeshadows cost $18 before tax? :(

    3. ps the Burberry eyeshadows are incredible. While there is fine, multi-coloured glitter in Chante shadows, Burberry ones give off a glowy, complex, artful sheen. They have the best texture I have ever experienced. Set yourself a budget before you go or get someone else to hold your wallet because Burberry is hard to resist.

      I skipped that counter today because I couldn't let myself be tempted.

    4. pps
      One thing that held me back from picking up Chante Sel today was the glitter. It's very fine and not over-the-top ... but I tried it right after trying Lhasa. I love the finish on Lhasa. But then again, the glitter in Sel also gives it beautiful luminosity.

      Oh, and one detail about the me+fiancé gong show: the poor guy was a little lost when I asked him which eye looked better (the Sel eye or the Granite eye). To him they looked the same. When I pointed out that Sel had more champagne-y undertones while Granite had hints of mauve, his eyes went all googly. I think he was worried he would say the wrong thing. He's a sweetheart for sticking it out with me. Those may have been the longest 15 minutes of his life.

    5. Ohhhhh you swatched all of those Chantecaille beauties-- she drools! I suspected that Meteorite would be too cool for your warm skin-- no need to wear something that will be that austere. HAving warm-toned skin allows you to wear such fantastic colors-- anything that cool can easily be replaced by something rich and warm instead. I completely remember Too Chic from Stylishly Yours- that was the GORGEOUS pale white gold Beauty Powder-- scrumptiously beautiful as I recall! I remember it being every bit as creamy as Play it Proper (both from Stylishly Yours and Chen Man). I didn't get Too Chic (though I wish I had), but I do so LOVE my Play it Proper! Was Perle similar in color?

      Well, I'm not in the least bit surprised that Patina is on your short list-- if you love Patina then you should add MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl to your short list as well (if you don't already have it). THat color makes me so happy-- I am amazed by how much I continue to love this shade. I most often smudge it into my lower lash-line-- it is simply divine! I even did a post on it:

      It's funny that you are comparing Patina to Sel-- because the moment that I saw Sel I thought of Patina. I can tell right now that will want Sel! I will definitely do a comparison. In fact I will try to remind myself to bring Patina with me to Barneys next week when I stalk the Chantecaille counter!! My guess is that your memory served you well!

      Satin Taupe, Vex, Patina, Sel and Granite sounds like a winning hand to me.

      I can't believe the prices that you have to pay in Canada. I actually find it on the verge of offensive that Canadians should have to spend more than Americans on MAC. Estee Lauder owned or not, that was a Canadian company and you have always had to pay more- RIDICULOUS!!

    6. Ohhh no-- Burberry is really as creamy and delightful as they say?? So do you like them better than Chantecaille? That they are often compared to RBR for their creaminess has me terrified!! One of my readers literally got rid of the rest of her eye shadows once she started using Burberry!!! She suggested Midnight Brown, Pale Barley & Rosewood! I'm quite afraid to dip my toe into that pool!

      I prefer a sheen to glitter, and the creamier and more refined the texture, the better as fear as I'm concerned! Before you jump and buy Sel-- you should really spend a little time at the Burberry counter and see if any of the colors really speak to you. But if Sel is that refined- it could be a real contender as well!

      The gong show with you and your fiancé is HILARIOUS!! What a good sport he is-- you've got to love a guy that is willing to be a total deer in the headlights. I can just imagine how googly his eyes got. I don't even bother taking my husband when I go shopping-- especially not when I am spending time at makeup counters. He has a total male short attention span, and his eyes glaze over, and I'm pretty sure there is no brain-wave activity going on. It's as though all of the blood goes from his head to his feet and he stares as though I'm speaking to him in Martian!! Trust me, even when I am swatching at home and ask his opinion- he just doesn't seem to see the subtle differences between a pinkish mauve and a mauve with a touch more lavender-- to him there is no difference, and if there was a minor difference it would be meaningless to him?? :D What a sweetheart for being so far out of his comfort zone at a multiple makeup counters to be supportive!!

  4. In my opinion, the texture of Burberry shadows supercedes that of Chante shadows. This is not to say that Chante shadows are not good. They're simply different creatures. Hmmm... I wonder if Burberry has its own version of Sel. I do adore Burberry Pale Barley, but I think Chante Sel has an x factor that's lacking in the former.

    Ack. What should I do, Lola?

    1. That makes perfect sense to me. I would say before you take the plunge and buy either- take the time to go to the Burberry Counter and really swatch to see if there's anything that really grabs you. Be sure to check out Burberry Rosewood-- several people have told m that it is to die for. The online swatches are pretty fabulous too. I say take your time. If you are going to continue with your thoughtful and methodical (read: smart) approach to finding the perfect color(s) to introduce into your well-edited collection-- rather than a smash and grab haul approach-- then I think that you should look and swatch a little longer before buying. It's a very sensible approach- and since none of these are limited edition (including the 3 MAC shadows that you want-- Patina, Satin Taupe & Vex) then there really is no mad rush to buy. I would also revisit each counter and swatch the shades generously on a cotton ball or pad- so that you can take them home with you and look at them in varied lighting at different times of the day-- and then also swatch against your stash in those varied circumstances as well.


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