Nars Grand Palais Eyeshadow Duo ($33) is a part of the Fall 2011 collection.  The combination is named for the Parisian landmark built just after the Eiffel Tower, reflecting a similar vision in its open latticework structure.  A landmark in its own right, the interior has vast open spaces and has been a frequent backdrop to many couture fashion shows (including Chanel), as well as prominent location for numerous artistic events.

Nars describes this palette as “silver taupe/dusty rose.”  After comparing different colors, that’s a very accurate description.  The silver taupe is an unusual mix of shimmery pewter, silver and taupe.  The dusty rose is a soft deep rose mixed with soft gray tones with a faint hint of mauve.  Both are nicely pigmented and very smooth. The matte is impressive–the fallout was very minimal and the color went on very strong (although not uncontrollably so).

 The shimmer on the silver-taupe was very nice.  Although not as luminous as a metallic, it’s not promoted as such.  Those who enjoy a good, smooth wash of shimmer will be pleased.

 For the left silver taupe of Grand Palais, here are comparisons with a true silver (Shu Uemura ME Silver 950), a silvery grey shimmer (MAC Swan Lake, limited edition from the Danse Collection), and a true taupe (Shu Uemura ME Silver 945).  You can see that the left side of Grand Palais is more silver / lighter than a true taupe but more brown than a true silver or gray.

 

I wondered whether Grand Palais’s silver taupe was similar to a pewter tone, but found that Grand Palais is more firmly in the silver taupe category.  You can see that some pewter shades in my collection (here, Shu Uemura ME Brown 851 and Bobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter), lean much more warm metal with a touch of silver and green.  By comparison, the left side of Grand Palais is quite brown/taupe.  (Karlasugar’s swatches of Bobbi Brown Pewter show the warm greenish tone as well).

Just as in the rest of his line, Nars develops colors that don’t seem to have exact duplicates anywhere else. In other words, NARS Grand Palais includes a shade that you could drive yourself crazy trying to find.

The next question is, how does Grand Palais work as a duo?  If your coloring is just right, Grand Palais is going to deliver a unique modern vision–really, I imagine it might be very striking on some.  You can see a lovely look here on Messy Wands. 

Personally, I found that Grand Palais took a fair amount of work to create a wearable eye on me.  I have no colors comparable to the dusty rose because this is not a flattering color for me to wear in the eye area.  I tried every lid/crease combination that I could think of, without success, washing the colors next to each other.  My recommendations to make this duo wearable:

  • Layer the colors –The top swatch pictures swatch (far right), shows how the shimmery wash changes the dusty rose.  Later, I found that this was the solution that Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog derived as well.
  • Use with a soft neutral brown — Using a crease or outer corner deep brown tone (similar to MAC Espresso) seemed to neutralize the combination and add a pleasant depth and contrast.  It is important the brown that you use have no red undertones, or it will just become worse.
The quality of NARS Grand Palais is excellent. The formula is lovely, and I love that the palette has a contrast of shimmer and a great quality matte.  Unfortunately, this color combination is very tricky for someone with my skin tones.  As a combination, I know that I will not reach for this very often.

 

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