If you follow me on Instagram you’ll already know that I wasted no time at all in stress-testing NARS’ new Loaded Eyeshadow Palette for Spring 2017 by packing it – and very little else – for my recent trip to Bangkok.
The second I got it, this palette struck me as something that could really be THE perfect travel palette for me. Not only did it have a huge mirror, but within its 12 eyeshadows there seemed to be colours that could easily stand in for other products: matte browns for brows, a peach and a rusty red for blush, a tan and a taupe for bronzer and contour, and even a warm white shimmer shade for highlighter. Here are some swatches so you can see what I mean.
I know that NARS shadows in general tend to be on the drier end of the spectrum, so I was pleasantly surprised by the textures of this palette. The mattes are pigmented but not powdery (they don’t kick up nearly as much dust as my Modern Renaissance palette) and the metallics – especially Splendor and Versailles – were very smooth and rich.
I found that the mattes felt stiff to the touch when I swatched them, but performed beautifully when applied to my lids with a fluffy eyeshadow brush, so in my opinion this is one of those palettes you need to use to appreciate. I’d also like to say that I’ve read some not-great reviews directed at the mattes in this palette and am kind of perplexed. I personally haven’t experienced patchiness, and haven’t had any trouble working with them. And while the paler matte shades are quite sheer, they’re clearly designed to be transition/blending colours which always look better when built up in layers. In fact, if I had to find fault with any shade, it would actually be Newbury Street for not having same buttery texture as Splendor/Versailles.
Here’s a FOTD using the NARS Loaded Eyeshadow Palette for a full face look. I’m wearing Alnwick, Privilege, Castille and Montaillou on my eyes, Foix as blush, Newbury Street as highlighter and I used Montaillou to darken my brows. On my lips, I’m wearing NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Bound which by the way has been in heavy rotation since I bought it earlier this year. It’s such a gorgeous rosy shade, and it’s complimented just about every eye look I’ve tried it with!
My final verdict? After testing this palette extensively, I absolutely love it. I’ve been reaching for it constantly and – to loop back to my original point of this review and FOTD – am happy to report that it passes the travel test with flying colours. It can indeed replace many other products and therefore cut the bulk and weight of your travel makeup bag significantly.
That said, one needs to keep in mind that these powders were designed to be eyeshadows. The dense, pigmented textures reflect their true purpose and therefore require a bit of finessing when used on the face as blush/bronzer/highlighter. If you do want to use them in lieu of face colour, I recommend using them over a smooth, well-powdered base and building colour slowly with fluffy brushes to avoid patchiness. I’ve had great results with this technique and had no regrets at all leaving all my powder products at home on my last trip!
Pricing & Availability: NARS Loaded Eyeshadow Palette (SGD$90) available from April at all NARS counters. Limited edition.
This post features products that were provided as press samples, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.