Friday, May 25, 2012

NARS Lhasa and 413 BLKR Review, Swatches




I mused over NARS Shimmer Eyeshadow in Lhasa ($24 .07 oz/2.2 g) for months before I finally bought it. I decided to buy 413 BLKR as well, and I am glad I did.

The NARS web site describes Lhasa as lavender grey, and when looking at the product in the pan, I would say yes, but wait until the swatches later in this post and see what you think because I was surprised by how neither grey nor lavender Lhasa appeared on my skin.


NARS Eyeshadow Lhasa


413 BLKR is not described at all, but I had read enough reviews to trust that it was a lighter, cooler version of Lhasa. That much is true, both in the pan and on the skin.


NARS Eyeshadow 413 BLKR


These two eyeshadows are often compared to one another, and the collective opinion is that they are so similar, you don't need both. I disagree. To be sure, you probably don't need both, but they are different enough to warrant a test to see which one you prefer. They might look similar on the surface, but that is where any similarity ends, at least on me.


Lhasa and 413 BLKR


Both eyeshadows contain subtle shimmer that leans toward a satin finish, and both contain at least some grey and purple. Lhasa starts with a brown base, contains barely a smidgen of grey, and has warm red-purple overtones; in fact, I'd describe Lhasa as warm-neutral plum-tinted taupe, not lavender grey. 413 BLKR is more obviously blue based and is, indeed, the lavender grey I wanted Lhasa to be.


Lhasa and 413 BLKR
Lhasa is more pigmented and slightly more shimmery. 413 BLKR is quite sheer; its finish reminds me of Chantecaille Shine Eye Shade formula.

Below I have swatched on white paper (left to right) Lhasa and 413 BLKR so you can see the colors without skin tone interference. Notice how brown and warm Lhasa looks compared to 413 BLKR.


Lhasa and 413 BLKR


I suspect that most reviewers who are calling Lhasa cool are warm toned, or at least warm/neutral. I am totally cool toned, and look how warm Lhasa appears on my pink porcelain (NW15) skin. No prep or primer, just eyeshadow on skin. 413 BLKR, on the other hand, has that dusty lavender-grey tone I love so much. It also has a glowy finish.


By window, indirect sunlight, Lhasa and 413 BLKR


Indoors, natural light/no flash, Lhasa and 413 BLKR


I don't wear Lhasa often, but I enjoy wearing 413 BLKR on the moveable lid all by itself. Sometimes I pair it with Becca Chantilly or Rock & Republic Ciggy and a whisper of NARS D. Gorgeous blended into the crease. Occasionally, I will wear Lhasa on the lid with Chanel Taupe Grisé blended in from the outer corner into the crease, but I really don't love it on me.

Apparently, 413 BLKR has sold out on the NARS web site, but I learned from Lola's Secret Beauty Blog that this eyeshadow is not limited edition at the flagship store, so you can call 646-459-2323 to order.


Bottom line: Nothing earth shattering but no regrets.

For additional comparisons, see The Beauty Look Book, Cute and Mundane and Café Makeup.

Do you own either/both of these? If so what do you think?


All photos taken by me

28 comments:

  1. Thank you for the link Zuzu! I'm so glad to see you finally got both Lhasa and 413 BLKR. I agree that Lhasa is definitely not a grey. It reads quite brown on me, though not as much as you! I've noticed that on warmer tones it looks way more purple. I have some ashy + pink tones (if that's possible) mixed in my skin, so it decreases the purple a bit. It's fine by me since I'm not a purple fan :)

    I'm in the mood to dig these colors out of my collection now and give them a go!

    P.S. I assume you'd never touch Ashes to Ashes?

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    1. Hi Dovey, after I had drafted my post, I Googled to see who else had written about the shadows. I always do this after because I don't want anyone else's review to inform mine, so I was very glad to see you thought the same thing--that 413 BLKR was more lavender grey than Lhasa! What's more is I have no idea how I ever missed your article. I loved your comparison of Lhasa to the Bison on the misty range. So beautiful. And, of course, comparing BLKR to the cool steely grey of NYC was very poignant.

      And yes! Your skin was one of the swatches where both eyeshadows looked warmer. I was surprised at how your arm turned 413 BLKR into a warmish shade.

      I think I had Ashes to Ashes at on point but tossed it for being too warm. It looks practically golden compared to NARS' newer colors!

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    2. Hi Zuzu --- not googling is actually a good idea. I find that it is easy to be influenced by others' reviews, even if I had thought one way at first!

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    3. To be fair, I do read them, as it is usually blog articles that drive me toward a purchase (if I am on the fence), but once the item is in my hot little hands, I try to use my own impressions and adjectives before I look back on others. I was really delighted by your review because we think so much along the same lines ... that 413 BLKR was really what NARS should have called lavender grey. :D

      Your landscape pictures made all the difference, though. Really stunning.

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  2. This illustrates the importance of seeing color on white paper and on skin, not just in the pan. I can see why you love 413 BLKR - great color for your True Summer self.

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    1. Thanks, Emma. I really do like seeing colors on plain white paper now. It makes all the difference in helping me decide. I carry a small 3x5 card with me to department stores now!

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  3. FANTASTIC review and comparison. Your swatches really dispel the notion that these two colors are versions of one another! I am so anxiously awaiting my delivery of 413BLKR- every time I hear what sounds like a truck I run to the window in the hope that it's a lovely little box from 413 Bleecker Street!!

    It is really amazing just how brown Lhasa looks when swatched next to 413 BLKR. You just had to mention the comparison to Chantecaille Shine formula- I think that you are trying to put me in a full eye shadow frenzy! :D

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    1. I actually wore Lhasa on my left eye today and 413BLKR on my right. Every time I saw myself in the mirror I realized how much better the right side of my face looked. Turns out I don't love Lhasa on me, after all. \

      Did your 413BLKR arrive? I hope it comes before the holiday weekend (meaning by tomorrow!)

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    2. Wow, what a revelation about Lhasa!!!!! No, it still hasn't arrived- and I am losing my mind waiting!!

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  4. I just haven't been able to get into NARS. I have had a few disappointments which has me wary. These look lovely though!

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    1. That's too bad, Peeps. I have had very few NARS disappointments. In fact NARS was some of the earlier red lipsticks I started with many years ago. I just steer clear of any NARS eyeshadows with glitter chunks, and I chose my colors judiciously.

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  5. If I had seen 413 BLKR first I probably would have purchased that instead of Lhasa. I do appreciate that you show swatches on white paper so that skin tone does not interfere with the color itself. In spite of liking the cooler leaning 423 BLKR more, I do enjoy Lhasa!

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    1. Oh, good, I am glad Lhasa works well for you. I am sure I could get it to pull more cool on me if I wore an eyeshadow primer, like Paula Dorf, and then a cool base underneath, like Becca Chantilly. On its own, Lhasa looks a bit like a bruise on my eyelid skin, but I am certain it would have looked really pretty 10 years ago, before my lids had taken on that lovely teabag stain!

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  6. I tried Lhasa after reading reviews on few blogs. On my skin it is - unfortunately - reddish brown, something like not very fresh bruise, if you know, what I mean. But 413 BLKR is beautiful, lavender gray, on my lids even more perfectly gray than lavender gray. So there was no surprise that I ended up buying 413 BLKR :)

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    1. escritora, I know exactly what you mean about a healing bruise! That's a bit how Lhasa looks on me, as well.

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  7. Funny, I didn't buy Lhasa because I thought it was a bit warm and too similar to what I had. 413 looks interesting but I wouldn't know if it would look good on me or if I would look bruised. Yet, you say it is sheer so I could wear it yet, I don't know. I will have to put this on my eyeshadow "Think List". Great review!

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    1. Thanks, Olivia, it is, indeed sheer -- at least on me, but my eyelids are more discolored than they were even 5 years ago. My Paula Dorf Primer used to be almost unnecessary because it made the eyeshadow I applied almost too intense, but now I need it to tone down the weird blue-beige skin color so the eyeshadow can actually appear more true. When I wear 413 BLKR without primer, it's really sheer, and I don't get "bruise" from it because there's no detectable red or yellow in it ... but if your lid skin has red in it, it could look bruisy on you.

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  8. Its interesting to see how different they swatch as I would assume them too similar going by the pan, I think 413 BLKR would probably suit me better of the two. Thanks for the great review :)

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    1. Thanks, Replica. Lola and I are doing our best to reinfect people with the 413 BLKR disease again. :D

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    2. well its good to have an aim ;) x

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    3. Yes we are- one household at a time. MUAHAHAHAHHAHAHA! Let the reign of 413BLKR begin!

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  9. Thanks for reviewing 413 BLKR. I've never tried NARS ES before but this one is so pretty I may have to try it. I love your blog because my skin tone is close to yours. If something looks good on you, it will probably work for me :)

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    1. Hi Moushka, that's good to know! It seems there are not many cool-toned beauty bloggers out there, it seems, and the ones that are cool are still wearing many warm colors. I can't wear a shred of warmth, so you if that's similar to you, my reviews certainly won't steer you in any warm direction. :)

      Oh, and some of NARS eyeshadows are exquisite, while others are glitter-chunk hell. If you decide to experiment, consider checking out Bali single (matte, cool charcoal brown), the Violetta duo, D. Gorgeous single (matte light dusty lavender), and Abyssinia single (gleaming duochrome ivory pink, great for brow bone and inner corners).

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  10. You're right about cool-toned bloggers. I love Christine @Temptalia but her colours sure aren't mine!

    Thanks for the suggestions. Those sound like colours I could use, all right! Don't like glitter at all - not at my age, lol. Like you, I don't feel good in anything warm, a result of wearing and loving my summer colours for thirty+ years. Youth can get away with anything but after a certain age, we need all the help we can get! When I lived in France years ago (NARS is a French brand, I believe) the majority of women were what I would call autumns or winters, most flattered by either warm, golden colours or bold, dramatic black, purples, reds, navys, etc., ergo the ubiquity of red lipsticks. I stood out like a sore thumb in my pastels, which no French woman wears past the age of eight. Shopping was a nightmare, and although only a size 9, I was taller than most French women. To try to blend in, I adopted many, many shades of grey and blue, but any Frenchman could still tell I was North American. I could not find a foundation light enough for me, either, although that may have changed since. Today we have such vast choices, it's overwhelming. Thank you for doing the research. It saves me time :)

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    1. So true about French women not wearing pastels, or (gasp) pink lipstick! But we summers can still make do with a mid-toned rose that has blue-red undertones, like Bobbi Brown Rose Blossom, Lipstick Queen Jean Queen, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Fetiche or Romance, and others I am probably forgetting.

      Grey and blue are perfect, my favorite colors! I thought the French loved navy.

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  11. Will check those out. Have been hankering for a Chanel Rouge Coco since it came out. My favourite lippy ATM is Lise Watier's Naturel for the evening and MAC's Sophisto for the day, although it doesn't last at all. You're right, the French do like navy but it definitely comes third after black and brown. Thanks for the suggestions.

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  12. You know, I kept looking at your pictures and thinking they looked familiar, so I went rooting through my obscenely large stash of makeup and found out I do, indeed, have it! I think I've used it all of twice. It looks very similar on me--it's a mauvey plum with a brownish base, and has just enough of a sheen to make it pretty. I haven't used it much because it's such a cool color and I tend to go more with golds and bronzes in the warmer months. Not the best purchase to make in early Spring, I suppose. Now I'll have to remember I own it so I can break it out again in the Fall.

    Thanks for the wonderful review. I love your photos, Zuzu. You have a great eye for composition!

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