Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: NARS Cairo Eyeshadow

Natural Lighting

I was so excited last week when an email from NARS Cosmetics popped up in my inbox saying they were offering free 2-day shipping. I had been eyeing NARS Cairo eyeshadow for a while, but hadn't had any time lately to swing by a department store in order to pick one up. So, with free 2-day shipping, I thought why not just order it online? *Sigh* I will never learn my lesson... 

Don't buy before you swatch!! Trust me, I unfortunately have learned from experience that products look completely different in photos depending on the lighting, computer, etc. than they do in real life. What I thought I was ordering was a "champagne rose with shimmer" eyeshadow (according to the NARS website), but what I received was anything but that.. As I'm sure you can tell I was quite dissapointed when my package from NARS came in the mail.

In my opinion, this color looks nothing like how it is described. On my fair skin, Cairo shows up as a warm-toned medium beige. Although you can see a few shimmers in the pan, the color actually appears quite satin, almost semi-matte on the eyelid. Generally speaking, I am not a fan of matte or satin eyeshadows on the lid (I like them for contouring or in the crease). I do believe however, for anyone with a medium skin tone, this particular color may look beautiful. 

Artificial Lighting

Natural Lighting

I had hoped that this eyeshadow would look similar to my beloved Chanel Ombre Essentielle in Safari, but with just a bit more warmth or rose tones. Safari is a beautiful shimmery taupe/grey color with a bit of purple tinge to it. It is quite light and understated but can be built up, which I think lends to its appeal to me as a lid color. But as you can see from the swatches below, they are really not similar at all. 

On myself, this color is very unflattering on the eyelid. It made my lids look dirty and strange and seemed to enhance any redness I had around my eye area. NARS Cairo made me look tired and almost sickly, which is never a good thing. As of now, I am undecided whether or not I will keep this and see how it works as a crease color, or just throw in the towel and send it back to NARS. 

Here are some comparison photos of NARS Cairo with NARS Duo in Kalahari (this one I love) and Chanel Safari:

Artificial Lighting: Left to Right NARS Kalahari, NARS Cairo, Chanel Safari

Natural Lighting: NARS Kalahari vs. NARS Cairo

Natural Lighting: Chanel Safari vs. NARS Cairo

Natural Lighting Swatches: Left to Right NARS Kalahari, NARS Cairo, Chanel Safari

Do you own this eyeshadow? How would you use it?

Lots of Love,



  1. I don't own this eyeshadow but I have looked at it before.. Now granted my skin is darker than yours, but I won't be purchasing because it's not what I thought it would be either after looking at your post. I personally think you should try it out in your crease and if you don't like it just sent it back to NARS. now of course I'm late with this reply so its probably past the time to be able to send it back and you may have already made your decision but thought I would give my two cents. Good Luck! It sucks when you want something and it's just not what you thought it would be. Especially when it's more than a couple of dollars.

    1. Yeah, I swear I need to stop ordering products before I see them in person! hehe
      I think at this point I would probably just lose money paying for shipping to send it back, so will try to make it work :)

    2. this is true.. who knows you could be like me and totally end up seeing it months from now and falling in love.. haha it's a bit far fetched but hey it could happen!!

  2. Ooh I love that color! Soo tempting, but I must resist going to the NARS website right now, lol.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I know what you mean! NARS is dangerous, especially when they do their "free 2-day shipping". I've been eyeing the velvet gloss lip pencil in Mexican Rose too, but also trying to resist!


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