Tuesday, December 6, 2011

NARS Hanamichi Kabuki-Inspired Eyeshadow Palette - Review Pictures Swatches

Back in the beginning of November I told you all about the NARS Modern Kabuki Holiday 2011 collection.  Part of the NARS Modern Kabuki Holiday 2011 release was the Hanamichi Kabuki-Inspired Eyeshadow Palette.  Translated from the Japanese Hanamichi means “flower path”.   It is a Kabuki theater walkway that extends into the audience from the stage.  This "path" was the inspiration for Francois Nars for this eyeshadow palette. It features a Kabuki-themed design and is accompanied by a mini Kabuki Eye Brush.  The colors are reminiscent of shades found in Kabuki theater: an icy white background with flowers in rich shimmering deep rose and gold and matte black.

I am a Limited Edition Ho.. If you say it's Limited Edition (LE) the item instantly becomes more attractive to me.  Now I am proud to say that LE MAC items don't do it for me any more (Thank Goodness!) but every so often I fall in love with a LE item that I have no business owning.  The NARS Hanamichi Kabuki-Inspired Eyeshadow Palette is one of those items.

Now let me get something clear.  This palette is expertly crafted. The look and feel of the palette exude luxury.  The quality of the shadows are impeccable. The pigmentation in the red and gold shadows is excellent, the white is a beautiful pearl and the black, while matte, is very rich. The red shadow can also be used as a blush with the white or gold as a highlight for the cheeks.  It's a multi-tasking for sure!  The Kabuki brush is expertly made. The packaging exquisite.  In fact there is nothing about this palette this isn't worth every penny I paid for it.

The problem is IO error.  If you are a techie (specifically int he Help Desk Arena) you know that an IO error is.  IO error means "Idiot Operator Error"  In other words. There is nothing wrong with the hardware (The eyeshadow palette) it's the operator (me) that has no idea how to use it.  I am an IO. I have no idea how to apply the colors of this palette in a flattering way so as to look like I know what I'm doing.  I'm a big fan of instructions. I like to RTFM. (Read the F**KING Manual). I like to get an idea from the manufacturers what the intended application is for the product I purchase.  I'm also not that creative when it comes to eyeshadow. I'm a base, crease, highlight kinda gal. So when I'm presented with colors where I'm not sure what is what I am confuzzled.  I asked on Twitter a few times but so far no response from the NARS twitter gal...and that's no fault of her own...she's bombarded with questions all day long. It's got to be impossible to answer every one of them.  I tried looking for inspiration on other blogs but the examples I was shown were not that clear or applied in a way that I just couldn't do for my eye shape.

So why did I buy this?  Well a few reasons.  The LE factor as mentioned above. And the colors. Believe t or not I'm a big fan of red shadow. I don't really wear it because I have yet to figure out how to wear it, but I am drawn to it like a moth to flame. I love the stark contrast of red and black and gold and white. I love the theatrics of the Kabuki. I thought I could borrow from some of the masks I had seen. Sadly my limited skills in application coupled with my limited patience resulted in a look that was more clownish than Kabuki.  I'm going to keep trying to figure out something...unless you all have any ideas.

Do you NEED this?  Of course not.  Unless you are skilled with application and don't mind using a palette that is a work of art on its own.  That was the hardest thing for me to do...swatch this palette.  But I purchased it with the intent to actually use it.  If you want to get it because it's just pretty to look at, feel free...but if you get it to use it, better know HOW to use it before you shell out the cash for it. You can purchase this palette for $65 USD from NARS, Nordstrom (where I got it) and other retailers.

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  1. It would break my heart to use it! And it would break my heart not to use it if I owned it, so I just won't buy it!

  2. It is not often that I get grabby hands over a palette but HOLY WOW. I'd get all Gion District of Kyoto with this. It's gorgeous.

  3. Heyyyyy :) As much as I love experimenting with colors and placement and trying new things, I very much enjoy sticking to what I know. And if you're a lid-crease-highlight kinda gal, I would recommend you wear it just like that. The gold shade all over the lid, the red in the crease, the black in the outer v and on the lashlines, then the white as a brow-home and inner corner highlight :) You can also mix the colors together to create new eyeshadow colors- red and gold to make a gorgeous copper, the black and gold to make a deep, almost bronze-y black, mix the black and white to make a dirty grey, the red and white to make a rose pink, etc :) And of course you can wear the red as a blush, either on its own or mixed with the white, and the white can be worn as a highlight, either on its own or mixed with the tiniest amount of gold. I really loved this holiday collection from NARS- I'm still head over heels for the Danmari Cheek Palette and the Arabian Nights trio :)

  4. I love this, I would go, gold all over, black in the crease, white to highlight face, brows, inner eyes and red for cheeks!

  5. I got this too and still haven't used it, it's so pretty I feel bad touching it! lol If I ever feel that I can use it I'm going to test out Nikolas' ideas! :)

  6. Very drool worthy! However, I cannot make red work on my eyes!

  7. This looks so gorgeous! I am just not a fan of shadows that are separate yet in the same pan.

    About red shadows, I love them myself. I actually have found that red on the lid with a bit of orange on the edge to blend and dark brown to smoke it out works really well. Gold or a very light gold toned color works as a tear duct highlight.

  8. This is so beautiful. I'm not often swayed with LE products (unlike you, I run the other way when LE is added on to an item name. If I can't get it next month, I don't want it today), but this is just gorgeous. I don't know if I could bring myself to use it, and it seems silly to purchase something that wouldn't get used.

    Sure is purdy to look at. :) Thank you so much for swatching it. :D

  9. While I would find it hard to use such a detailed beautiful palette, I would probably go gold on the inner 2/3 of the lid blended out into the red on the outer 1/3. The white of course to highlight and and the black as a smoky liner on top and bottom lashline.

  10. WOW. That palette is really too pretty to use. I'm really surprised that the colours in the swatch look so smooth, though.

    I honestly think there's no way to wear red eyeshadow without being dramatic...BUT, if I were to wear this palette, I'd probably place the gold on the lid, blending the red into the crease and a bit into the outer v (without going under the eye at all), and then placing some of the frosty white lightly on the brow bone and more heavily on the inner corners of the eye. Then I'd smoke and wing out the black shadow on top as liner, and probably go back over it with pencil or gel liner to make it darker.


    Whenever I wear pinks/purples/reds around my eyes, the one thing that keeps it from looking like an infection is crisp, bold, black liner.

  11. I'm old hun. This is the first time I've commented on your blog but I read every single entry and enjoy your reviews.
    So the reason I said I'm old is because I'm going to make a suggestion that is out of the early 80's (I'll be 50 this month). To get yourself used to wearing the red eyeshadow (or hot pink or any other color similar) do a smokey eye with your choice, blacks or dark greys and put the red on the center of the lid. Below the crease and above your eyeliner. I add it last. I center it over the pupil of the eye. Start slowly and then as you get used to the look, add as much red as you are comfortable with wearing.

    I use pink eye shadow in this way. Deep dark hot pink but layered over a smokey chocolate brown eye. Just an old technique that I have a lot of younger women asking me how to do when I wear that style of eye.

    I own this palette. I don't use it as an all in one with the eyeshadows, you know--creating only a white, gold, black and red look. I use them as accents with other products. It is a great multitasker. Enjoy and thank you for your blog!

  12. I love your blog.
    I read about this palette on The Non-Blonde's blog, shortly after her review of Chanel's blusher "Rouge" (sadly not available in Germany). Then I saw this palette and jumped with joy, red for my cheeks, wow.
    Wwhen I bought this palette in Nov I had the same problem: How to apply this? Mostly I do:
    Gold on the lid (flat brush), red in the crease, using the brush of the palette very lightly, then the black as liner, used dry (slanted liner brush. The white goes under the brow.

  13. I would have snatched this up in a heartbeat but the red e/s stopped me. I know it can be used as blush, but I'm sure I would ruin the palette trying to grab the blush while not messing up the rest. *sigh*

  14. Hey E,
    It is a very pretty palette but I am glad to say that I can just walk away from it. I think I'm over wanting to own palettes that I just want to look at and that's exactly what I would end up doing if I actually bought this!

  15. THANK YOU ALL for such awesome feedback and suggestions. Your comments mean a lot to me and I intend to try out as many of the suggestions that I can. Who knows. I might even hit pan! You all rock!

  16. IO is the exact reason I didn't buy it. Both the packaging and the inside design are beautiful, but I don't think there's any flattering way I could wear this palette :(.

    I would use the brush though!

  17. Hallo! Have you seen the new Lisa Eldridge tutorial on red eyeshadow? It's a gorgeous and perfect (albeit not everyday) look to achieve with the Nars palette!
    Greetings from Italy!

  18. Stunning! Annnnnnd I'm no help either.

    You, yes YOU are the reason I learned about "backups" and LE's. YOU are the reason why I bought TWO of the Lancome Maison blush because it really is too pretty to use (both). I stopped myself from buying a second Guerlain Parure de Nuit. But I sure am going to photograph the heck out of it.

    This one is totally calling to me (also your fault....hey you're the Pink Sith--the dark(pink) side....can't I blame it on you?).

    You'll figure it out--because you are gorgeous like that! And I can't wait to see your photos! NOT just swatches ;) (which are glorious btw but ouch that had to hurt a little).

  19. Your review is hilarious... I've been gazing longingly at this NARS palette but just can't justify it because I don't know that I'd know what to do with it either! Those lip paints are another story though...

  20. I think I'd have to buy one to stare at and one to use *____*

  21. Look at how the geishas / maikos do their eyes. Line with the black, apply the red to the outer upper lid, and gold on the inner side. :)


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