I have been looking for a brown shade to replace a discontinued Shiseido product I used for years as a liner shade. From the photos, Nars Mekong seemed ideal.
An SA in Sephora had on, I noticed, a beautiful shadow on her lids that looked like a very dark slate. When asked, she said it was the Nars Cordura duo, which is brown. This seemed unusual given the color of the darker Cordura shade, and this sleight of color wheel has been carried over to Mekong.
Mekong is not brown on me at all. In the pan, it appears to be a dark brown with a russet undertone and small gold flecks throughout. When applied, it takes on the bluish tinge of charcoal and as a liner under the eyes it is indistinguishable from a soft black. I would not associate the color on my lids with the color in the pan and will continue to look for a dark brown liner.
Performance-wise, Mekong does not work as a liner. Even though I applied it slightly wet, it dried into a fine powder and immediately began to turn into dust and flake away. It was more successful as a lid color, even though far too dark for me to have any real call for it. It is also too dark for me to use in the crease and perhaps it will be employed at night solely to give some sort of exciting eye look at the outer corners of the lids. In this manner it would make a decent, if overtly vampish, smoky eye.
I do love quite a few of Nars products (Pigalle, Silk Road, and nearly all of the blushes), so I am surprised at the poor quality of this shadow, tonal issues aside. It is no better than a drugstore shadow in a Maybelline compact, which is something to give this cosmetic-buyer pause.
I am editing this to add a comparison to the darker shade in the Cordura duo. I prefer the brown in Cordura. It is slightly warmer and browner and doesn't read as charcoal/black. Mekong is definitely too black/sooty for me. continued >>
I adore this shadow, it reminds me of Galapagos but with a more plummy look to it. I love to pair it with Circa Plum.
As others have mentioned:
-this is a very pigmented dark brown (as pigmented as Nars Thunderball) that is on the warmer side, with shimmer.
-It is closest to the dark side of the Cordura duo
if you have Cordura you don't really need this single shadow. The darker side of Cordura is perhaps a smidge cooler toned than Mekong.
All in all a beautiful dark brown. If you can't or don't like to wear black shadow, this is a great alternative.
I wouldn't repurchase because it takes me forever to use up eyeshadow and I also have Cordura. The rubber case packaging doesn't bother me.
Overall Rating = 4 >>>> Like all other NARS eyeshadow, Mekong has great pigmentation and staying power. It's very easy to apply and actually can stand on it's own when used for a smokey eye. For me, however, it's a little too dark to use in the day, so I usually use it when I go out for dinner or clubbing. I think with a little larger glitter flecks, Mekong could fit in with the 'Night' series. Actually, I was going to give this a 3.5, but I rounded it up, not down, because NARS as a whole makes really great stuff.
Price = 3 >>>> I usually give all NARS products a 3 in this category, because while it is equally/more expensive that a majority of other brands, NARS products delivers. They charge you a lot, but their products also give you a lot!
Packaging Quality = 2 >>>> I hate NARS' plastic-rubber casing. It attracts dirt and even worse, you can't really clean it! But aside from that, NARS eyeshadows comes with a little mirror, although without a brush. I've never really understood the use of a mirror sans brush...but I'm not going to hold it against them. The 2 comes solely from the weird rubbery case!
I wouldn't buy this product again only because it's not a very special color. Actually, the glitter didn't show up much when I applied. It's just a dark brown tinted with red that's rather interesting, but not amazing. I think NARS has more amazing eyeshadows in its arsenal, or will release more soon, and I'll go check those out!
i am so glad that i succumbed to my MUA's suggestions. i love how rich the color is, the pigmentation is fantastic.
you can create such a dramatic eye, you have to be have the fabulousness to keep it up!
i was surprised how it turned out matte and vivid.
I agree with the reviewers color description below. This is very warm toned and in the pan almost looks like it has flecks of red (similar to night fever) but it doesn't, its just the way the light catches it. This is great as a liner but also creates a FABULOUS smokey eye. I paired it with Ondine as a wash and then copacabana at the brown bone and it was to die for. Love when NARS comes out with new stuff!!
This is a really rich, very dark chocolate brown with tons of iridescent shimmer. The quality is on par with what I expect from NARS-- incredible pigmentation coupled with smooth application. Though I probably wouldn't use it as a normal shadow color (being as I'm fair-light), I bought it to use as a liner color. I think the beautiful shimmer would show up best when used as a liner, wet or dry. The closest color to this in NARS' current line up is probably the right side of the Cordura duo, though I think the shimmer in Mekong makes it a prettier choice. The Galapagos single really isn't similar at all, as that is much lighter brown with only gold shimmer. Darker toned ladies will probably love Mekong as a crease color, and even us pale gals can use it as a liner color. Would definitely buy again!