L-R: Madrague, Portobello
I haven’t seen much online about NARS Duo Eyeshadows in Portobello and Madrague, which is surprising because they’re great basics. NARS describes Portobello as portobello matte ecru and soft matte mushroom and Madrague as matte caramel and matte cream.
While the lighter shades of the duos appear very similar in photos, in Portobello it’s definitely a deeper, yellower brown-tan-beige. In Madrague, it’s more an ivory-beige, along the lines of Mac Brule or Wet n Wild Brule – although not as light or pigmented. The darker shade in Madrague is more of a typical warm mid-tone brown. In Portobello, the darker shade is cooler and leans more towards a grey-tone. It can read almost taupe-y, but still has warmth.
Photos & Swatches:
L-R: Madrague, Portobello ~NC35
L-R: Portobello, Madrague ~NC25
Texture-wise, Madrague isn’t bad but isn’t great. Pigmentation on the light color in particular is so-so. On my eyes, it applies like a sheer wash of powder. With so many great ivory-beiges on the market, there are definitely better options, especially given the price.
Portobello, on the other hand, is super pigmented and has an extremely silky, buttery texture. The shades in this duo blend so smoothly, they almost feel cream-like. It’s extra impressive given that mattes can often go chalky or powdery.
As far as neutral brown-beiges go, the shades in Portobello are actually unique – I can’t think of dupes for them. Both colors apply darker than I expected, especially the darker shade. Despite that one looks lighter in the pan, they’re actually very similar in depth. They’re well-suited colors for brows and should work on a range of skintones, particularly the darker shade due to it’s slight ash tones. These types of colors are also amazing for shaping the eyes – though specifically how you use them could depend on your skintone. For light-medium skintones, they’re great for shading and contouring. On darker skintones, they’d probably be more suited as highlights and neutral washes of color. But of course these are just tips and ideas – in the words of Kevyn Aucoin, there are no rules in makeup!