Made Up in Boston

"A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction." -Oscar Wilde

Friday, March 23, 2012

NARS Cairo and Lhasa Eyeshadows

Over the past few months, I've found that I really love everything about the NARS makeup line: the quality of the makeup, GORGEOUS, fun colors, and the overall aesthetic it projects is more often than not my style. That said, I often avoid buying anything from NARS simply because it's a bit pricier than I find I can indulge in. The two eyeshadow duos I currently own (Kalahari and Kuala Lumpur) were bought after months of deliberation; it's not a "just buy it and damn the consequences" kind of brand for a teacher.

However, I recently celebrated my 29th birthday AND graduated from my master's program, so I felt these two events warranted a little bit of guilt-free makeup shopping. So last weekend I bit the bullet and bought two NARS eyeshadows I've been lusting after for months: Cairo and Lhasa.
Cairo has long been a part of the permanent eyeshadow lineup. It's described as a "shimmering champagne rose", and I can definitely see the rose undertones in this shadow. It looks so much like the sandstone buildings that make up the city's landscape. It's a wonderful neutral that actually really matches my own skin color. It's totally "MEBB" (my eyelids but better); it blends in beautifully and just gives my eyelids are really finished look.

NARS Cairo
The texture of Cairo is total jackpot. Heavily pigmented and super powdery, you really don't need a lot when applying it. I wore it without primer and got about 6 hours of wear before it started to crease. With primer, I managed about 10 hours of creaseless wear.

Lhasa, named for the Tibetan city (side note: I love that NARS names their eyeshadows after world sites!), is described as a "lavender grey". Inspired by the colors of the mountains surrounding the region, you can really see how close the color of the shadow is to the landscape. There is the obvious lavender color of the shadow, but there are also very faint blue and brown undertones. It's simply stunning.
Image Source

NARS Lhasa
Lhasa's texture is a lot different than Cairo's. It's way more sheer. You can wear it swiped once on the eyelid for a sheer hint of color, or you can build it up to really show off the color as it appears in the pan.

Both shadows swatched:
Cairo (L) and Lhasa (R)
Typically, I have a penchant for buying eyeshadows that pretty much match a color I already have in my collection. However, I had a bit of a hard time finding dupes for these two eyeshadows.

(L to R)
Urban Decay Virgin 
(no brown undertones, too cool, too shimmery)
Stila Bliss 
(a close match, but matte and a hint too light)
MAC Banshee 
(more pink than brown, with silver glitter)
NARS Cairo 
(champagne rose with shimmer)

(L to R)
Maybelline "Lid" color from Charcoal Smokes quad
(Too cool, more grey, similar satin finish)
NARS Lhasa
(Lavender Grey with a satin finish)
MAC Scene
(Too blue, no purple undertones)
MAC Shale
(More purple than grey, too warm, similar finish)
Elizabeth Arden Velvet Plumtones quad
(Closer to Scene than Lhasa, too blue)

All together now! (In low natural light, no flash)

In case you couldn't tell from the rather blatant tone of this review, I definitely recommend these two individual eyeshadows.

Do you have any NARS products that you love? Are you a fan of their eyeshadows? Let me know what shades you like!


  1. Pretty! I want to see it on your face :)

  2. I'm wearing Lhasa today, so you'll get to see it in person! :)