Melusine eyeshadow duo is part of NARS 2010 holiday collection, but IS now part of the permanent line.
Melusine is composed of a dark eggplant purple matte, and a frosty silvered lilac.
Would I recommend it? Oh yes. A million times YE S.
What were my main issues/complaints with the product? Matte shadows like the eggplant can be tricky to blend. And the soft texture of NARS shadows sometimes means that you have to pat pigment in to get a more even application of color.
How do I apply it most effectively? Are any specific brushes or techniques needed? Nope! Standard primer and dry brush work beautifully.
What skin types, or shades would I recommend it for? The duo is beautiful on cool skin, but may be difficult to work in with warmer skin tones. The shades show up best on light/medium skin, but darker skins might not show the full lilac tone to the shimmer.
Was it worth the money to me/will I repurchase? I doubt I’ll need to. The pans are a generous size, and I’m not likely to run out. If I did, then I DEFINITELY would. This is one of my favorite eyeshadow duo’s from NARS.
Have I seen any colors that are VERY close to this? MUFE 92 is slightly bluer than the deep eggplant, and MAC Sketch, Fyrinnae Forbidden lover , or Avenging Salem are slightly redder. As for the lilac? Urban Decay Stripped is more of a true blue-silver. MUFE Aqua Cream in lavender matches it fairly closely, but isn’t quite as metallic. It is more metallic than Urban Decay Grifter.
Both textures are quite nice. The shimmery one has a distinctly NARS texture—a bit of fallout, but very buttery, on the whole. The matte one is prey to the matte issues that other brands shadows have—it can apply streaky if not blended properly. On the whole though, the colors work beautifully together.
NARS seems to like including purples in their special collections. Daphne(from their fall 2010 collection) has a good amount less red, and was a bit darker, and less blend-able. Plus, the eyeshadow duo’s are a better value, in my opinion, than their singles. I’m more than a little in love with Melusine.
The Dark purple may need to be patted in for an even look. NARS mattes can apply patchily or sheer due to their soft texture. I had good results applying a thin layer of the shimmery lilac, and then patting the dark color over it, and lightly fluffing outwards.
The silvery lilac can be applied sheerly for a highlight color, though it’s still too gray to look totally natural. On warmer skin tones, the lilac would probably be lost, and the color would appear a pewter or silver. The dark color would be gorgeous on both, but the lilac is easiest to work with over pink undertones. There’s a little fallout from using it, but nowhere near what you see with some Urban Decay shadows, metallic pigments, or mineral shadows. It’s easy enough to just put a layer of powder down below the eye to catch fallout, and lightly brushing it off after application. Failing that, it removes easily with makeup remover, no staining or smearing.
Update for Susan:
Habanera is another duo from NARS, that I will be reviewing soon. It’s not at all like Melusine, though it is a purple/silver combo.
The silver has strong seafoam green notes and is a true metallic. The eggplant burgundy has silver sparkles.
The burgundy is actually fairly close to the lilac shade in Melusine. The base is darker, the sparkle more prominent, the base isn’t frosty. And the Melusine purple is much darker, and is completely matte.
Here’s swatches, over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy. Top row is Habanera, Bottom row is Melusine. Note: the Habanera burgundy is darker than it appears in these photos. The shimmer in the swatch and pan lightens it up considerably on camera.