NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils in Corcovado and Celebrate Review & Swatches

Eyeshadow pencils are something I can't never seem to have enough. They are quick and easy to use. Just swipe, blend with fingers, and you're ready to go, all in under a minute! So when I saw these two NARS shadow pencils on sale at Sephora, I didn't think twice. I'm almost always impressed with NARS' makeup quality so I was pretty certain I would be very happy with these. But alas, it wasn't meant to be as there is nothing desirable about these Soft Touch Shadow Pencils!

NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils in Corcovado and Celebrate
NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils in Corcovado and Celebrate

NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils sport a similar look to the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. They are jumbo-sized pencils with color-coded ends. They are sharpenable but you will need a specific sharpener to sharpen them (NARS makes a US$6 dual-blade pencil sharpener that fits both regular and jumbo-sized pencils).

NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils in Corcovado and Celebrate
NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils in Corcovado and Celebrate

The colors I purchased are Corcovado, a bright, metallic 24-carat gold, and Celebrate, a satin matte parrot green. Gorgeous colors, right? These would totally pop along the lower lash line or in the inner corner! I love bright, unusual shades like these so I really had high hopes for them!

They both go on the skin smoothly without tugging or dragging the eyelid. Corcovado is truly a beautiful yellow-gold shade that becomes opaque in one pass. It really makes your eyes come alive! Celebrate, on the other hand, is nothing close to a real parrot green. It's so heavily yellow-based, and dull. It basically just looks awful on my medium, yellow-toned skin. It also goes on semi-sheer but luckily is buildable to almost opaque.

NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils in Corcovado (R) and Celebrate (L)
NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils in Corcovado (R) and Celebrate (L)

But color disappointment isn't the real deal-breaker here. The performance is! I cannot believe NARS still advertises these pencils as long-wearing when they are anything but! Both Corcovado and Celebrate crease and fade within minutes upon application! They never seem to set but rather just sit on the skin. The creasing was so bad that I could not bring myself to take the photos of my eyes up-close. Just plain awful. With the color melting, and creasing, and fading when they were applied all over the lid.

And nothing could save them. I tried applying over a primer (including the brand's own Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base), topping with powder eyeshadow, and setting with loose powder, but nothing seemed to work at all. They would eventually crease and fade in less than a half hour on me. And forget about them being an “ideal base for layering with powder eyeshadow to increase color intensity” when they can't even complete a simple task of adhering to the skin on their own.

NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils in Corcovado (L) and Celebrate (R)
NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils in Corcovado (L) and Celebrate (R)

However, they perform better when used as eyeliners. As in, they stay on longer but you will still see them eventually fading and migrating within 3-4 hours. The only place that they don't crease, melt, or fade is in the inner corner of the eyes where no eye makeup ever fails me. Both stay intact throughout the day so I'm glad that I can at least use Corcovado there to highlight my eyes! As for Celebrate, I'm still trying to figure out where I can use it or what to do with it!

NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils in Corcovado (L) and Celebrate (R)
NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils in Corcovado (L) and Celebrate (R)

Notice how amazingly bright and metallic Corcovado is? It's perfection! Celebrate, on the other hand, looks just way off on me. I am writing from my own experience as a person who has oily lids, though. Your mileage may vary if your eyelids are on the dry side. I'd reserve Corcovado as a pop of color on the inner corner or as a lower lash liner. As for Celebrate, it's a little useless for me at this point. I suppose sometimes you get what you pay for. Hopefully NARS will have these reformulated soon. Until then, I sadly cannot recommend this product to anyone.

Purchase

US$10 at Sephora

At NARS counters

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16 Comments

    • I’m probably the only blogger who didn’t know anything about these pencils. Hence, the disappointing purchase. LOL

  • Hey Jaa, I remember reading a lot of horrible reviews of these on Temptalia so I’ve never looked into them! It’s curious how NARS hasn’t reformulated them yet. I think they should have done that a LONG time ago!

  • I remember reading some pretty awful reviews about these so I’ve always been apprehensive about NARS eye pencils. Sorry to hear it’s just as bad after a few years.

    • This is why I *need* to do research before I buy anything! But who would have thought a product from NARS would perform this bad! >.<

  • I don’t think I’ve come across many reviews on the pencil versions, but the new velvet shadow sticks that NARS released for Fall have gotten luke warm reviews. Which makes me so sad, because I was so looking forward to them. Shadow sticks being my new obsession. I recently scored some Bobbi Brown minis though. :-)

    • I’m a little hesitant to try any more NARS shadow pencils at this point, unless they reformulate them. I love Bobbi Brown shadow pencils. I have also scored a mini from my recent online order. ^_^ My favorite is probably still Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks, though!

  • Aw! I’m sorry these were so terrible! Temptalia never rates these well (I think they always earn an F!?) and I’ve never ventured into the range. I’m glad you figured out a way to make Corcovado work as an inner corner highlight! As for the parrot nightmare, it might be time to make it into an offering to the makeup gods! ;)

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