NARS has a “regular” holiday collection of individual items, but they also have several gift sets to choose from. These sets were inspired by François Nars’ travels in Japan, and were all designed in the concept of “Modern Kabuki.”
True NARS aficionados will remember (and probably own) the first “Bento Box,” released in very limited distribution for holiday 2010.
The 2011 edition is the Kudoki Lip Coffret. Like its predecessor, Kudoki offers porcelain cups of creamy, full-coverage lip color, packaged with a hand-spun, wisteria-wrapped lip brush in a keepsake bento box. How could you not feel like a geisha putting these on?
Ougi is a greyed, muted mauve. Botan is a bold lacquer-red. Takebue is a very bright, saturated warm pink. Like the original Bento box, Kudoki is $125 (and because you get three shades instead of two, the cups are smaller).
The original Bento box (containing red Maiko and pink Sakura) is actually still available for sale on NARScosmetics.com.
The Kudoki lip coffret is only available in select stores (Neiman Marcus Northpark is one of them), but everything else is wide-distribution.
For $35, you can have the Kuroko nail polish set, four mini bottles. Senryou is a shimmery gold foil with a few tiny gold and silver sparkles. Shiro-Nuri, Yoshiwara, and Kata are all creams, and they are SO shiny. I can’t remember swatching another polish that was so lacquer-like.
It hadn’t occurred to me, looking at the display — but upon swatching I realized that the Hanamichi eyeshadow palette and Kuroko nail polish set are complimentary. The eyeshadow palette contains a satin white, a bricky, muted satin rose-red (I think Crayola called this color red-violet), a shimmery, buttery gold, and a semi-sheer satin grey-black. The Hanamichi palette is $65, and comes with a short-handled eye brush.
And finally, the Mie Soft Touch Shadow Pencil Coffret. This set of cute little shadow-crayons is $55. I colored them on my arm at maximum intensity, but on your eyelids, you can blend them with fingertips or a brush.
Magic Moon (new) is a lapis lazuli shimmer. Aigle Noir (repromote) is an olive-black-brown with gold sparkles. Tall Tale (new) is royal purple. Ballets Russes (new) is clear with silver/white sparkles (conceptually similar to previous release Queen). Skorpios (repromote) is shimmery copper. Palladium (limited edition repromote of a previously released, discontinued color) is shimmery aqua.
There is one more gift set, but I haven’t seen it in person. The Nagauta brush set is $225 and contains the Botan brush, the Ita brush, the Yachiyo brush, as well as the new Kabuki eye brush (I believe this is a long-handled version of the mini brush that comes with the Hanamichi eye palette), and the Kabuki lip brush (as seen in the lip coffret).
NARScosmetics.com is currently offering free 2-day shipping at any price.