FOTD: Who Needs Hammamet?

You know those products that never quite make it onto your wishlist but inspire a low-key lust for several months? So it is with me and NARS Hammamet, a limited-edition eyeshadow duo for Spring 2016. Hammamet, named after a Tunisian resort town, comprises a light matte peachy beige and the prettiest metallic rosy copper.

That’s a product shot from the NARS website, but I also went to Bluemercury today and swatched Hammamet for the sake of journalistic integrity and nothing more. The two shades on the left are from Hammamet; as you can see, the matte beige looks warmer in person than it does in that product shot. On the right is the limited-edition lipstick in Rosecliff, whose namesake is a historic mansion in Newport, RI. (By the way, if you were looking for a dupe of Rosecliff, Topshop’s Lip Bullet in Motel is almost identical.)

Now, I never seriously entertained the idea of buying Hammamet. NARS duos are $35 each, and for that price I need to be wild about both colors, not just one. The copper is absolutely stunning, but the beige is a bit too warm for my skintone, and I have two similar (but more flattering) matte beiges in my Naked 2 Basics palette. I don’t have a dupe of the copper shade, but this morning I wondered if I could approximate its overall effect with more than one shadow. So I put together a Hammamet mockup using Stark (matte pink-beige) from Naked 2 Basics, Stubborn (frosty warmish pink) from theBalm Nude ‘Tude, and a orange-copper shade from my theBalm custom palette.

After priming, I applied Stubborn all over my lids, Stark in the crease to blend, and the anonymous copper on the outer halves of my lids and on my lower lashlines. Here’s how it turned out:

Not bad! My sense is that the real Hammamet might look a bit darker on the lids, but this combo is certainly close enough. I also wore Sleek Life’s a Peach blush, ColourPop Lunch Money highlighter, and NARS Dolce Vita sheer lipstick. Next time I think I’ll use a bolder lipstick with this eye look. Come to think of it, Motel would be a good choice!

Edit, 3/2: Here’s the same Hammimetic eye look with Sleek Flushed blush and Topshop Motel, a combination I like much better:

There’s just one problem with this eyeshadow combo: the frosted finish emphasizes the deep folds in my eyelids. I could have written this Reddit post I came across a few weeks ago:

TESTICLE EYES. I am never forgetting that. If I had curious_umbrella’s way with words, I might have a job by now. But seriously, what is the deal? Is it a consequence of aging (I’m only 28, jfc) or have I always had testicle eyes? I honestly can’t remember, because I didn’t start wearing eyeshadow regularly until a few years ago, when my lids were already creased like this. I doubt there’s much I can do about it (no one had very good advice for curious_umbrella), but I just needed to rant. This is why I prefer lipstick to eye makeup and always will.


I made two more discoveries during today’s visit to Bluemercury. The first discovery was in the spirit of my low-buy: I tried on NARS Roman Holiday and realized it wasn’t for me. It didn’t show up well on my pigmented lips, and it looked like a couple of cool pinks I already have, particularly Revlon Primrose. Yeah, it was pretty, but not $28 worth of pretty. It felt good to cross that one off my wishlist.

The second discovery, however, was a great threat to my low-buy. Bluemercury now carries Smith & Cult! I’d never seen anything from the brand in person, and was dazzled by the giant shade range and the heavy, luxurious-feeling bottles. Now that Floss Gloss Dimepiece has quashed my lemming for Vegas Post Apocalyptic, I’m tempted by the four pinks and corals in the upper right: City of Compton, Plastic Beach, Suburban Warrior, and Psycho Candy. Any Smith & Cult recommendations for a newbie?

I mean, damn.

13 thoughts on “FOTD: Who Needs Hammamet?

  1. Excellent Hammimicry! My guess about your eyelids is that it's just the way they are. I started noticing things about my face that I never did before after I started to wear more makeup. But I think the shimmery shadow looks lovely. Maybe it's just your close examination that makes you think there's something odd about how it works on your lids (application may be another thing, of course)? I've never tried Smith & Cult. Are the bottles as huge as they look in photos? I keep thinking they would be awkward to use.


  2. Yeah, I don't think anyone looks at me and thinks \”holy shit why are that chick's eyelids so weird?\” I'm sure my awareness of it is just a function of scrutinizing my lids so closely while putting on makeup. (This is why I've never started wearing foundation, by the way: I think it would make me care about a lot of skin imperfections that I'm currently unaware of or indifferent to.)The bottles are pretty hefty! Very wide at the base. I think they're beautiful, but they'd be awkward to store with smaller polishes.


  3. In the past, I would just buy something if I found myself thinking about it for more than a month or two. These days I try much harder to find a dupe or near-dupe in my collection. I enjoy the challenge!


  4. I'm barely conscious in California and choking on tea. Testicle eyes, oh heaven save us.Frosty powder products will emphasize skin texture, but the thing is, shimmer shadows add so much light to your eyes that no one will notice texture but the extremely judgmental magnifying mirror in my hotel bathroom (SO SCARY). I really think a lot of mattes are far less friendly in that respect. I love eyeshadow so much, I don't really stop to think \”does this look weird\” or \”is this color flattering.\” In other news, I'm going to actually take stock of my eyeshadow situation when I get home, so ready your beverage of choice to do a dramatic spit when I find out how much I have.


  5. I feel the same way about lipstick: yes, some shades make my lips look especially dry or aren't ideal for my skintone, but if I like them I don't really care. I think I'm more finicky about eyeshadow because it takes more time to put on, hence more time spent squinting at the infinitesimal textural flaws of my eyelids. I love it when people do inventories of their collections, and I can't wait to see yours! I'll have my g&t ready.Also, I'm excited for your grad school adventure to begin! I bitch about academia, but grad school has been a worthwhile experience for me and I think it will be for you, too.


  6. Speaking of Nars eyeshadows, I've noticed that Lhasa is $13 with free shipping on Amazon right now, so I might have to take the plunge since you've raved about it so much. I also want Hammamet now though… Curse you consumerism! We're talking about Tocqueville's Democracy in America in my political thought class right now. He essentially implies that consumerism is the largest detriment to a democracy. So I've been feeling especially guilty about all my unnecessary cosmetic desires.


  7. Interesting that you bring that up, because I've been feeling increasingly guilty about promoting consumerism through this blog. I just hope that I can promote a thoughtful and critical consumerism instead of a mindless one. Just because I enjoy a certain product doesn't mean that it's perfect or that everyone needs it! At the same time, I don't think it's worth beating yourself up over wanting new makeup. If anything, that's yet another way to attach emotions to material goods, you know? As for Lhasa, it's a great shadow but not particularly distinctive. I'd say it's well worth buying if you don't have anything similar, but not if you do.


  8. Not to worry, I don't have any cool toned eyeshadows and I'm interested in trying one out, so it just seems like a good choice. And I would say I like your blog for that very reason. I first ventured into the beauty world via YouTube, but the upwards of 25 or 50 products that some \”gurus\” seem to buy a week, in addition to what they get sent–that's truly an overwhelmingly obscene level of consumerism. I'm very happy I found blogs like yours with people striving for self-awareness and accountability.


  9. I met a pair of testicle eyes once, and trust me, yours weren't — and they still aren't! I helped out as a faux MUA for a wedding and unexpectedly had to make up more faces than planned. This random woman just had A LOT of excess skin around her eyes, just like the redditor described, and shadow application was really tricky. In the end I just gave her a wash of shimmery neutral which was more than she had ever worn, apparently — and she liked it! You couldn't really tell this was a problem from a distance. It was only when I tapped the brush against her skin and the bristles SANK BETWEEN THE FOLDS that I realized the challenge. I think she was about mid-30s as well. It's crazy how differently we're all formed. My eyes are completely contourless and differently shaped from each other with one creased and the other not. I've been asked if I had a lazy eye because of this.


  10. Haha, that's good to hear! I don't think I'd have the courage or skill to do makeup on anyone else, especially for a wedding. A few years ago, when I didn't have much experience with eyeshadow, I tried to put matte brown eyeshadow on my boyfriend just for fun. He came out looking like a haggard old man! It was terrifying. I haven't tried making up anyone else since then…


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