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This is a newly released quad from NARS inspired by one of their cult classic blushes. Taj Mahal blush is described as a “burnished orange with golden shimmer.” NARS now has 8 color variations of these quads, so there are other options if this one doesn’t speak to you. The brand promises high impact color in one swipe, but that has not been my experience with the Taj Mahal Quad**. Let’s talk about it.
This quad has 1 glitter topper (top left), 2 satins (top right and bottom left), and 1 matte (bottom right). The brand describes the shades as:
- Top left – yellow gold shimmer
- While this is a pretty shade, it was not impressive at all. It is flaky and doesn’t stick well to the lid so it ends up all over my face.
- Top right – shimmering light peach
- The top right shade is being described as a peach, but I only see a pale pink both in the pan and when applied. This shade does pretty much nothing on my skin tone. I can barely tell it is there and the satin finish keeps it from shining enough to be noticeable as a bright pop of color. I’m confused by this color selection, if it was actually peach I think it would have coordinated better with the rest of the colors. Worn alone with the matte shade, it looks better, but I didn’t like it paired with the orange.
- Bottom left – burnished orange with golden shimmer
- This shade is described the same as the Taj Mahal blush. It is a nice color, but it doesn’t apply with any intensity and it doesn’t build very well either. It does give more effect than the other satin in the quad, but they are both quite subtle.
- Bottom right – purple red matte
- The only matte shade is actually the most versatile shade in the quad. It can be applied lightly as a transition/blending shade or it can be built up to get some definition in the outer-v. The keyword there is “some.” In my experience, it doesn’t get very deep and to get that definition it is an incredibly slow build.
I’ve tried using this palette with my normal Too Faced Shadow Insurance and didn’t have much luck. So I also tested it with the NARS Tinted Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base**, thinking, surely it will work better with their primer. But the performance was the same. I also tried using the Covergirl Lid Lock Up since it is more of a tacky base and that gave me the best result. However, I still didn’t get what I wanted out of this quad. Maybe the problem is the satin finish combined with the shades being lighter tones. So it is possible that if you prefer a soft look, this may be exactly what you want. Although I did have a better experience with the Bobbi Brown Warm Cranberry Eyeshadow Palette which has 5 shades for $45.00.
My experience with this quad is especially disappointing because I tend to enjoy the NARS eyeshadow formula and I still regularly use their single eyeshadows in Guayaquil and Noumea. Adding to the disappointment, Taj Mahal blush is a very popular shade among woc. So it really annoys me that there isn’t more depth and saturation to this Taj Mahal eyeshadow squad.
Overall, I think that this is decent quality, but there is nothing here to justify the $52.00 price tag. If you want saturation and impact (and you are medium deep and darker) this quad just doesn’t deliver. When there are only 4 shades, every shade really has to hold its own. Unfortunately, the dark matte is the only shade that I’d be happy to use again.
What do you think about this quad? Have you tried any NARS eyeshadow quads? Let me know in the comments section below.
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