An O.K. Product: NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Craving (Review)

NARS, to my mind, has always been the cool kid on the block. He’s got the good looks and the “it factor”, but when you dig down deep and get to what’s on the inside — he’s not all he’s cracked up to be. Laura Mercier, on the other hand, is the unassuming, simple girl who happens to pack a punch despite her plain Jane appearances.

François and Laura are the stars of my imagined world of personified makeup (because the token bad boy and sweet girl figures are the bare bones of any clichè story, obvs), but there’s also Bobbi (Brown) — the clean-cut preppy girl who cares way too much following the rules — and Pierre (Guerlain) — the snooty rich, foreign guy who drives a Lambo and vacations at Turks and Caicos in the summer.

Other than Holy Shit I want it all, I want it aaaallll, this is the kind of stuff that I think about when I’m walking through Rustan’s beauty section. I can’t be the only one… so — care to add some character write-ups in the comments section? I’ve thought the whole set through, including “younger” brands like Benefit and MAC, but it should be fun to her how other people view brands, personified. ;)

DSC01867Anyway, yes. I am primarily here today to talk about a NARS product. The NARS Dual-Intensity Blush ($45 / approx. 2,450 Php) is another one of the products that I picked up from my trip to the U.S. in May. I was seriously considering the dual-intensity eyeshadows as well, but for one reason or another I ended up with this bugger instead.

It looks cool, as is always the case with NARS products, but it’s also got a hefty price tag attached. I’m always hesitant to drop money on NARS’s skin products (only the Audacious lipsticks have fully impressed me), but I thought I would take a chance on the dual-intensity products because they’re relatively new and rated pretty well by other bloggers. DSC01869Product description from Sephora:

These dual-intensity, silky, wet or dry blushes are uniquely formulated with NARS’ exclusive Translucent Prismatic Technology, which allows for multidimensional effects. With a lightweight texture for a flawless finish and true color application, each duo features two ultra-modern shades that can be worn alone or layered together for limitless looks. Apply these shades wet to achieve a high-impact flush or dry to get a natural-looking glow.

There are six duos available and I went with Craving, which more of a bronzer & highlighter combo as opposed to two blushes. DSC01871

Gorgeously stamped product on the inside. Again — NARS knows how to do pretty.

On the left you have the the highlighter, which is described as a “sparkling seashell pink.” On the right is the bronzer, a “shimmering beachy bronze.” The highlighter is quite cool in tone and has a white base, but the pink iridescent flecks are subtle and they don’t emphasise pores.  The bronzer on the other hand is nice and warm (but not too warm) and leaves a pretty satin sheen on the skin. DSC01847Dry application.

I use these dry most of the time because I like the subtlety of it. The iridescence in the highlighter is intense as it is and I always have to remember to use a light hand. The bronzer is more forgiving because of that satin finish. I like to use it in place of blush to give me a sun-kissed glow. Layering the two shades also helps to make it look more like a blush. DSC02686Wet application.

What’s funny is that NARS says wet application should give you a “sheer wash of colour.” You can clearly see that wet application has intensified the pigmentation instead of sheering out the colour. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re talking about an eyeshadow, but in this case — with the product going on the cheeks — it can be more difficult to blend out. When I tried wet application, I accidentally used too much highlighter and it was not flattering. I might use the bronzer as an eyeshadow in the future, actually.

All things considered, this is an O.K. product in my book. I think I should have gone for the eyeshadows, but oh well. They were crazy expensive individually and the palette was also just way too pricey.

I’m kind of losing patience with NARS. I don’t get on well with their foundations and I don’t understand why the line is so expensive when it’s all so hit-and-miss. Does anyone else feel this way about the “cool kid on the block?” Or is it just me? Hehe

14 responses to An O.K. Product: NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Craving (Review)

  1. Maritoni

    I love their Laguna bronzer and am actually on my second one which only happens when I really love the product. I use it as blush and to contour my wide forehead when I have not seen the sun and as my powder when I tanned:)

  2. I do find that Nars products are quite highly priced and would always opt for Mac instead. I think you nailed the Nars persona :P Cool kid on the block, it is but quite underwhelming most of the time.

  3. I agree, the wet application makes this product more intense…I will purchase this shade because I think it’s a pretty one to wear as a highlighter, instead of the ‘typical’ blusher…great post and review!

  4. Rae

    Enjoyed reading this! I haven’t imagined these brands as actual people but I have an image in my head of what type of people they are trying to sell to.

    What do you think of Estee?

    Other than the Audacious lipsticks, none of the newer releases gave me strong motivation to purchase.

    Have only started exploring Laura Mercier. Which products would you recommend?

    • Mariana – Author

      Yay glad it amused someone! haha :)

      Estee is the tita who is totally getting a new lease on life! Kasi she’s making pabata again and it’s actually working for her… haha!

      From Laura Mercier, the caviar sticks are amazing. I also like the eye bases. I have the shade “wheat” and it’s better as a base than any MAC paint pot I’ve tried. Secret camouflage concealer is another fave — and for this one, I haven’t seen any other brand do anything similar. My have Laura product though is the eyeshadow palette I got from their Holiday collection last year. They release a new palette every year and I haven’t seen one badly reviewed.

      • So right about LM Caviar Sticks. Amethyst was such a worthy splurge for me! I want to get the holiday minis again.

  5. I 100% agree with you here. I worked at sephora 7 years ago and I was disappointed when I got to play with everything. You’d think being such a “prestigious” brand that the majority of their products would be great. There are some amazing products in their line, but it’s hard to know which ones those are until you try them and by then you’ve spent a lot of $. It’s funny because they are right up there in reputation/price with Chanel, Dior, YSL etc, but hasn’t quite lived up to them in my opinion. I love their blush/bronzer/highlight products and their lipsticks/lipglosses, but after that I’m just kind of guessing.

    I like to rely on reviews, but sometimes there isn’t one for a particular product. I’ve never seen this product reviewed, so thanks girl!!

  6. I love the whole story. I think you got the personifications spot-on. Nars is the edgy one that makes me unsure. Laura Mercier is the reliable one. (Even their more out-of-the-box offerings turn out lovely.) Bobbi Brown is the somewhat refined/formal one I look to with much reverence. How would you describe Chanel, Benefit, and MAC?

  7. I love the makeup brand personifications! :) So fun. That’s a genre of fanfic I would follow :)) Chanel is the snooty, can’t-sit-with-me popular girl in school a la Regina George. Benefit is the jolly, approachable cheerleader who’s attended too much pep rallies she practically bounces off the walls when she walks. MAC is hard (it’s so wild in terms of makeup collections from Cinderella to Nicki Minaj!! LOL).

    I swatched this in store, I did like the highlighter but it’s no Mary Loumanizer! I like their Laguna bronzer, though. First compact I finished!

  8. Alyssa

    I think MAC is the cool, avant garde art school kid who sits well with the populars and the nerds and the jocks. Kind of like the cool kid Nars but with an artsy, eclectic edge. Tarte is the exotic exchange student with the glowy skin and weird beauty rituals and colorful closet :) Nyx is the fun party girl who likes to thrift shop and DIY on weekends. Haha. I’m enjoying myself to much :))

  9. Michelle

    Loved your review of Nars and you are so on point! There is only one thing from them that is my holy grail and that’s the eye shadow base. It works wonderful for me. I also like their creamy concealer, however the Urban Decay Naked concealer has surpassed it recently for me. I have the Casino bronzer which is nice on my NC40/NC42 skin tone, but it’s not a game changer.

  10. Colourpop personified would be everyone’s best friend– she’s the girl everyone loves (and secretly hates because, seriously, nobody should be that well-liked). She’s the most popular kid in the entire town, but sans the Mean Girls overlay. Her hair is always on-point; she’s yet to repeat a single article of clothing; and people are always making bets on whether or not she’s going to trump yesterday’s look (spoiler alert: she always does).

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