NARS vs KIKO – Battle of the Wet / Dry Eyeshadows

NARS vs KIKO Wet Dry Shadows Subra

Earlier this month I bought one of the most hyped mono eyeshadows ever – NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow is intense.  A quick perusal of my Instagram page will show you that I am a huge fan of eyeshadow will tell you that love the stuff so after the euphoria of the purchase, a couple of rational, lucid thoughts crossed my beauty junkie mind.  NARS say it can be applied wet… um yes but can’t all eyeshadows? (the short answer is yes)  and in my beauty stash don’t I have a Kiko eyeshadow that makes very similar claims? Welcome to the NARS vs KIKO battle of the wet dry formulas.

NARS vs KIKO Wet Dry Shadows

The Marketing Spiel

NARS:- “Mesmerizing new Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow features a luxuriously smooth transformative texture. Twelve ready-to-wear and rebelliously romantic sophisticated shades to express a riveting range of eye drama. Go both ways.”

KIKO:- “Revolutionary eyeshadow with instant colour release and dual wet and dry use.  A mixture of ground breaking spherical powders for an outstanding colour effect, bringing together extreme coverage, pure luminosity and long lasting.  Its soft, creamy texture enables the creation of a multi-dimensional make up, for colour with “bright” volumes and remarkable purity.  Thanks to powders particular manufacture, this eyeshadow is easy to blend and offers immediate release of perfectly even colour.  The exclusive three-dimensional shape, with a special ergonomic design, facilitates product uptake, making it quick and easy.  Enriched with moisturising, smoothing active ingredients, Water Eyeshadow remains light and imperceptible on the eyelids.”

NARS vs KIKO Wet Dry Shadows


Both are individually boxed and when opened the NARS has the slightly rubberised packaging and a beautiful open / close mechanism which does not require you click it open with your thumb nail.  It closes with a satisfactory click shut.  The compact does not opens to about 130 degrees and because of the size of the compact you can only see one eye clearly in the mirror.  The eyeshadow has a geometric pattern embossed onto it which is demolished after the first use.

NARS vs KIKO Wet Dry Shadows

The KIKO box needs to be clicked open with the proverbial thumb nail. It has a smooth rubber finish and overall it is not as luxe as the NARS, I can see both my eyes (just about) in the mirror because it is slightly larger.  I am a fan of abstract swirly mountain of polish in the Kiko palette which the shimmer in the eyeshadow accentuate.

Score: NARS 1 – KIKO 0 not having to use your nail to open the lid is the ultimate luxury

NARS vs KIKO Wet Dry Shadows

Texture and Pigmentation

Both of them are incredibly soft dry.  If you apply it with your fingers, you pick up lots of product without any fall out.  If you use a dry brush, you will get a bit of fall out, more from the NARS then the KIKO.  When applied to the lid, because of the tiny glitter particles you may get a slight halo of glitter but it is not as much as a standard formulation of a dry glitter shadow.  The NARS is iridescent rather than glittery so the effect is different and much more subtle.

When the shadows are used with a wet brush, the difference is very subtle.  The NARS takes a slightly more metallic sheen and the glitter in the KIKO is very highlighted.  In terms of longevity – they are very long lasting when I don’t prime the eye dry – the KIKO started to crease after nine hours on an un-primed lid and the NARS was still going strong after eleven hours.  Wet, both shadows were still going strong after twelve hours on an un-primed lid.

Both shadows are REALLY pigmented. My NARS shades is Subra which is described as Black Orchid, it is a deep blackened purple, which I have used as eyeliner, smokey eye, outer corner intensifier and is a no brainer for a purple obsessive like me. The Dark Slate Green has absolutely no slate or grey tone.  It is the richest forest green with shimmer.  The shade is beautiful and impactful.  My favourite way to wear it is over the whole lid with lashings of mascara – no liner to detract from the intensity of the colour and the glitter (which is grown up not teenage)

Score:- NARS 1 KIKO 1 there really is nothing in it

NARS vs KIKO Wet Dry Shadows Subra


Weight – NARS 1.5g vs KIKO 3g

Price – NARS £21.00 vs KIKO £8.60

Shade range – NARS twelve colours vs KIKO thirty two colours

Score:- NARS 0 KIKO 1

NARS vs KIKO Wet Dry Shadows Subra


This is a really tough one.  I am a fan of both ranges and both products are very very good.  This means that you can get great product whatever your budget. Fantastic!  In terms of this battle – KIKO wins by a smidge… because it is more product a greater shade range and a cheaper price. Some of the KIKO shades have the iridescence rather than sparkly glitter particles of Deep Slate Green so it is worth checking the range to see the full range of colours and textures. If you are a NARS fan, you will go for the NARS.  If you are intrigued by wet/dry formulations try out the KIKO  – whichever you choose, you are onto a winner.

NARS vs KIKO Wet Dry Shadows
At the top are the colours dry, at the bottom, the colours have been applied with a slightly damp brush

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