NARS Modern Love Palette Rocks the Cradle of Eyeshadow Love

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

nars modern love palette

Do you remember being an eyeshadow virgin?


I do. I remember it like it was yesterday, standing helpless and confused at makeup counters in front of rows of eyeshadow pans.

If I’d only had something versatile like the new NARS Modern Love palette ($50) back in the day, I could have saved myself a lot of trial and error.

nars modern love palette 2
First row from left to right: Alhambra, Jezebel, India Song. Bottom row from left to right: Tokyo, Habanera, Pandora

Exclusive to Nordstrom stores, the palette comes with a mix of shimmery neutrals, sexy, sparkling plum and a sprinkling of basic brown and black.

  • Alhambra: shimmery peachy pink
  • Jezebel: shimmery reddish brown
  • India Song: shimmery golden brown
  • Tokyo: shimmery silver
  • Habenera: shimmery plum
  • Pandora: matte black

I love the shades themselves, but what I adore most is that they’re all together in the same place. It’s a well-coordinated eye palette with serious potential.

nars modern love palette alhambra jezebel india song swatches
Alhambra, Jezebel, Indian Song

Warning: This palette may cause semi-pervy outbursts like “Haaay, give it to me!” or “Come to mama!”

After seeing the colors swatched, I pictured a few possible looks…

  • A neutral eye with soft black liner: Pat Alhambra (a shimmery pink) over the entire eye lid. Then, sweep India Song (a shimmery brown) into the crease, finishing by lining the upper lash line with Pandora (matte black) applied dry.
  • A neutral eye with dramatic black liner: Follow the steps above with Alhambra and India Song, but for the liner, use a wet, stiff-angled brush like the MAC 266 on the upper lash line, drawing a thick black line using Pandora along the lashes.
  • Easy purple eye: Apply Habanera (the shimmery plum) from the lid up into the crease. Line the lower lash line with either Alhambra (shimmery pink) or Tokyo (shimmery silver).
  • Simple day eye: Pat Alhambra (shimmery pink) or Tokyo (shimmery silver) over the entire eyelid. Line both the upper and lower lash lines with either India Song (shimmery brown) or Pandora (matte black), applied either wet or dry.
  • Easy smokey eye: Line both the upper and lower lash lines with Pandora (matte black), and smudge Jezebel (shimmery reddish brown) on top.

nars modern love palette tokyo habanera pandora swatches
Tokyo, Habanera, Pandora

I love Modern Love’s flexibility. Every single color in this palette brings a bunch of different looks to mind.

NARS Modern Love Palette

Price: $50
Use: A versatile eyeshadow palette (six colors) for a wide range of looks.
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

Whether you’re a seasoned eyeshadow junkie or a BAT (beauty addict in training), NARS Modern Love brings a lot to the table.

nars modern love palette alhambra jezebel india song tokyo habanera pandora
All of the NARS Modern Love swatches

You might like the NARS Modern Love Palette if…

  1. …you’re new to eyeshadow and struggle to pick coordinating colors,
  2. …you like flexible palettes able to create a wide range of eye makeup looks,
  3. …you’re planning a trip and only want to bring a single eye palette with you.

Stop me before I press play

Yesterday I managed to check off quite a few things from my to-do list, so I rewarded myself with some new music from iTunes.


Have you heard of Estelle? She’s a British R&B singer who did a catchy duet with Kanye last year called American Boy. I got her CD, Shine.

I love it! Think R&B, reggae and funky dance songs. I’ve had it looping for hours.

Do you have any music recommendations for me? I’m always looking for new stuff. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 33 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. YadiQ says:

    love this album !! its in my regular rotation – last weekend i got asher roths album cause its cheesiness just called to me i actually like it alot i also get this song “day and night” stuck in my head by kid cudi – cool song if you listen carefully its got a nice mellow vibe a lot of people tell me that its about the herbal refreshments your bros. bandmates used to enjoy lol > but i just like the song lol

    this palette is calling me i looove me some nars! – as much as i said i wasnt buying get baked by ud i did so now i have an answer for you on the question you asked me the other day ( what was the last thing you bought just for the packaging) answer: get baked palette i already had flipside and the baked and half baked and i had the liner too – it was the packaging that made me do it lol lol

  2. Nikki says:

    ive heard a bit of estelle’s stuff, it’s quite good, haven’t gotten around to getting her full album as i recently rewarding myself with a local band(named autopassion) from my hometown’s album and i’ve been listening to it nonstop for days!

    and im loving those colors in that palette!

  3. So based on your recommendation for my trip and what are some good eyeshadow palette’s question, I got two of the Kat Von D ones and am anxiously awaiting their arrival! Thanks!

    Vampy Varnish´s last blog post..OPI Yokohama

  4. Vanessa H says:

    Those are lovely colors!

    I have had Sara Bareilles on replay for months now! Her voice is so pretty and crisp…Gabriella Cilmi is good too, she’s only 19, but she has a BIG voice.

  5. Merylynmagic says:

    Hey Karen!
    I like this palette although I think these colors are already in my collection.. Anyway I wanted to ask you, do you like using MAC’s “carbon” eyeshadow? I have heard so much about it and bought it but whether its my sad eyeshadow skills or (I hope!!..) my skin tone and eye shape, it turned out looking plain scary on me!!! 🙁 Boo had it to return it!
    What do you think of it? I noticed you rarely use carbon for your smokey eye looks =/ Thoughts….?

  6. Candice says:

    Melanie Fiona!!!! She fantastic!!!

  7. Hafsa says:

    Oh no Karen, why are you tempting me??? This palette is gorg, especially Jezebel, India Song, and Habenera. Too pretty:)

    I love Estelle! Yes, American Boy was a very catchy song. If you like her sound, you might also like another British musician, Adele. Have you heard of her? She has a very soulful sound, you’ll see what I mean when you listen to her:) I would suggest listening to “Cold Shoulder” and “Chasing Pavements.” Cheers!

  8. Luv J says:

    oooh I love this one.. smokey eyes is a staple for me..

  9. Be still my heart – Oh how much I loves me the Nars Cosmetic Line – let me count the ways….

  10. Sal says:

    Hi Karen! How does the black in that palette compare to something from MAC like Carbon? I’m in the market for a velvety dark matte black to pat over my Smoulder.

    And if you want something diff for music, try this song called Montezuma by Cusco. It’s been around for awhile, one of those new age world music types, but this one IS beautiful. Youtube it to check it out. I once performed fire poi to this song, it was a hit! 🙂

  11. tyna says:

    Ahhh, beautiful eye shadow palettes are my downfall! I want them all and have been so good in resisting temptation, but this Nars palette looks almost too good to pass up! Not a bad price for the quality and versatility, I love that it has the ever-useful matte black – smart! Karen, I’m big on packaging, can you tell me if the mirror is nice and how the compact feels? (i.e.: will it survive being lugged around?) Thanks!

    tyna´s last blog post..DRY Soda review

  12. Maggie says:

    the palette looks gorge!
    i really like habenera shadow! it’s looks like a unique color, plus, i don’t have many plums. 🙂

    Maggie´s last blog post..shu uemura Eternal Gold Collection (Summer ’09)

  13. Kate & Zena says:

    The palette is gorgeous.

    I’m not an R&B person, honestly. I like Rihanna’s newest CD and I like Fergie’s The Dutchess (I have to go out and buy the censored version. There’s only so much swearing I can handle and that CD has a LOT of swearing). I like Gwen Stefani’s The Sweet Escape. I consider the last two more along the lines of pop than what my iTunes put them under. I’m picky about my music okay? I’m willing to listen to anything once (except rap. just no) but I’m incredibly picky.

  14. Shiny says:

    That palette is gorgeous! Probably for the best that there is no Nordstrom around here. 🙂

  15. Rachel says:

    Methinks, Habanera is my color

  16. Mishel says:

    Warning: This palette may cause semi-pervy outbursts like “Haaay, give it to me!” or “Come to mama!”


    These colours are so awesome, I love ones that have a rich look to them. I want ’em!

  17. jojoba says:

    And I said I don’tlike NARS and I don’t want to have anything to do with NARS but I WNAT THIS!!!

    So beautiful!!! Should I get it??? I know I shouldn’t but….

  18. Vonvon says:

    OMG! OMG!!! That’s an awesome palette! The fact is I love makeups in palettes, and this palette is obviously calling out my name!!! The colors are pretty and i think very practical too. I like the way they named the colors with an exotic feel. Cool! Oh NARS…..why don’t you come to Malaysia? I hope this is not a Limited Edition palette.

    Vonvon´s last blog post..Bobbi Brown Makeover – In Detail and a Mini Giveaway

  19. Gloria says:

    I’m excited for Black Eyed Peas new album! I have Boom Boom Pow on loop.

    And wow, I want this palette. I have Alhambra, and I absolutely adore it. It looks soo pretty with Indian Song in the crease. =D

    -Sigh… I love NARS, I really do.

    Gloria´s last blog post..I’m Dreaming of Birds – Lucid New York Jewelry – Update 10% Off!

  20. Stephie says:

    Estelle Rocks. I first heard her through John Legend. ‘Wait a minute’ is a GREAT song.

    That palette is seriously rockin’ I wanted the holiday NARS one from sephora too but man, they are quite the hefty dollar.. I’ll just stick to trying to collect those NARS blushes <3

  21. Paris B says:

    That’s a pretty palette but it looks so different in different lighting. I’m glad we don’t get Nars here or I’d be getting it in a flash! hehe…

    Paris B´s last blog post..Maybelline Volume Express Hypercurl Cat Eyes Mascara – meow!

  22. Sara says:

    Any idea when this is going to be available, Karen? I checked Nordstroms Nars counter on Wed. and they had no idea what I was talking about!:(

  23. cloudburst says:

    When I heard about htis palette I knew I wanted it because hell, when do I not want a new NARS e/s palette? Plus I love the plum shade from the Habanera duo.

  24. Cindyrella says:

    Looks like a really verstile palette and I don’t have any of those NARS shades yet so I think a lemming has been created. What’s the launch date?
    Thanks Karen, for the suggestions for how to wear it, that really helps!

  25. lexi says:

    LOVE Estelle – last time i partied in the castro i got to dance to that song 3x – once at the 1st bar i was at and the second time at bar #2 and then i cruised to it driving home because it always makes me groove!

    love this palette – heads up Karen – creator Francois Nars will be making a personal appearance at SF Center Nordstrom to sign his new book and he’s traveling with his runway team to do some makeovers – JUNE 6!!!!

    I hope I’ll see you there!!!

  26. Miss B. says:

    The search for this palette is driving me nutso lol. So, it’s not available yet right? Because I don’t see it on the Nordstrom website or anywhere but makeup blogs for that matter.

    BTW, love love love your blog Karen!

  27. pinky says:

    oh my… i so want this palette… will it only be available from nordstrom? 🙁

    pinky´s last blog post..mascara

  28. Meilily says:

    Beautiful photos of this palette! Looks like a useful set of colors

    Meilily´s last blog post..Product Pick: Pacifica Avalon Juniper Perfume

  29. Erika says:

    This palette is amazing. I LOVE Indian Song–so pretty!

  30. Heidi says:

    is the habanera in this palette the same habanera in their e/s duo?

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