When NARS winter/holiday 2011 collection first debuted my initial impression was of mild or polite disregard. It seemed uneventful and the distastefully named ‘G Spot’ Multiple (albeit a lovely shade) left me feelingly underwhelmed. Yes, NARS, we get it, you think labeling things ‘Orgasm’ and ‘G Spot’ is cheeky and clever, but to be frank, I’m over it. /rant.

But then, multiple posts were popping up showing a delightful denim toned duo named Mandchourie (in English, Manchuria). The post that tipped the scale for me was by lovely blogger Dovey of Cute and Mundane, and you can see that post here.

According to Nars this duo was inspired by that region and the shadows are meant to be yin and yang to each other. It’s not hard to see, when looking at pictures of Manchuria, how they drew this inspiration.

Mongolian Steppe- National Geographic Photo

Beautiful, no?

NARS Mandchourie

Once I saw Dovey’s post, I knew I had to swatch if for myself at Sephora. Once I swatched the gold-flecked shade on the left I knew I was going to enjoy this duo. It is a stunning and unique shade!

NARS Mandchourie Swatches

Both shades are smooth and velvety. NARS seems to be on and off with their matte shadows, and while I think this greyed out navy shade could use a bit of improvement compared to other shades I have tried, it’s not a deal breaker either. The shades compliment each other in the best ways possible and I totally get why Nars said that this was meant to be yin and yang.

But with so many things in makeup, it’s really best to see it in action to determine if you think it’s a good fit for you. I created an EOTD (eye of the day) to illustrate what this duo can do.

NARS Mandchourie Duo on eyes

NARS Mandchourie duo on eyes- slightly different angle & lighting

The only other shadow I used was the light gold shade of the NARS Tzarine duo in the inner corner and to buff out around the lower lashline and above the crease. I used the dark shade as a liner as well.

NARS duos currently retail for $33 at Sephora and Narscosmetics.com. $33 is steep, but I feel like if you enjoy shades that lean denim or navy that this would be a perfect duo for your collection. The gorgeous-ness of the gold-flecked shade is beyond, and even if you don’t buy it, give it a swatch the next time you visit a counter or store.

15 responses to “NARS Mandchourie: This Manchurian Candidate Has My Vote!”

  1. Sometimes Danielle, I kind of hate you. 🙂 WHY DO YOU MAKE EVERYTHING LOOK SO GOOD? I have ignored this duo too, but now? How can I? Sigh…. 🙂

  2. lilladylife says:

    absolutely stunning job!!! love how u added in Tzarine

  3. stephanie says:

    theyre such pretty colours, i love the sparkles in it

    tzeyien89.blogspot.com xxx

  4. Kelly says:

    so pretty! I really need to find a good blue shadow. It’s always been a color I’ve stayed away from fro some reason!

  5. Alison M says:

    I adore that gold-flecked shade! Such a stunning tone. What kind of brush do you use for your outer V? I’ve taken the next step deeper into the world of makeup and need to find something that does *that* correctly 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      Hey dear! 🙂 I am trying to remember what brush I used for this exact look… I probably used a combination of my MAC 226 and Sigma E40 to achieve what you see here. But Essence of Beauty (sold at CVS) makes a great outer V brush (sold in a set of two, both are nice). One is a bit bigger and the other a bit smaller. They are budget friendly (I think about $5 for the set) and easy to get a hold of.

  6. styleblend says:

    woops forgot the actual comment lol. I’m new to blogging and came across your blog. Been looking at a lot of the past ones too and LOVE it. This is def. one of my favs.
    Feel free to look at mine and tell me what you think.

  7. Kayla says:

    I bought this as soon as I saw Dovey’s post and I actually haven’t used it yet. I have this strange fear of wearing blue eyeshadow. =/ The look you did is soooooo lovely though so I might have to try to recreate it this week. No fear! =D

  8. I love Nars! The shades are always so great!

  9. Dovey says:

    Oh my goodness, the smoky dusky blue picture of the Mongolian steppe is so ethereal and beautiful. I’m glad you included it— you can really see where inspiration could be drawn from. Wow. One of my favorite things about NARS is how all the product names have an interesting cultural or location association. In terms of the EOTD, somehow your skin tone really is bringing out the gold in the golden denim side.! Thank you so much for the shoutout! I’m honored to have been mentioned on Bloomin’ Beauty 🙂

  10. Beauty Box says:

    I love the way NARS names their eyeshadows…. Gorgeous blues and beautiful EOTD.

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