NARS Taj Mahal Blush Review & Swatches

When I first saw Taj Mahal in person, there were opposing thoughts going back and forth in my head: (1)Woah! It's so bright, so orange, I'd never wear it!” and (2)But my goodness, it's so pretty, so unique! I have nothing like this in my collection. I have to have it!“. The SA sensed my hesitation so she asked if I wanted to see it applied on my cheeks. As soon as I saw how it looked on me, my first thought was a lost case. Taj Mahal, when applied carefully and strategically, is such a magical color that gives your complexion a beautiful, golden sunkissed glow that you will fall in love with instantly!

NARS Taj Mahal Blush
NARS Taj Mahal Blush
NARS Taj Mahal Blush
NARS Taj Mahal Blush

I suppose there's nothing much left to say about NARS' iconic rubberized black packaging! Sleek, modern, lightweight, but also a dust and fingerprint magnet! At least it's pretty easy to clean with damp cloth (or scotch tape). The compact comes with a nice-sized mirror and a clear plastic protective sheet (not shown).

NARS Taj Mahal Blush
NARS Taj Mahal Blush

Taj Mahal is a super vibrant, burnt orange shade with ultra fine golden flecks. It is incredibly rich and pigmented so it is one of those blushes that requires a feather light hand and a loose-bristled fluffy brush to apply for a soft, non-jarring result. I find it a little tricky to sheer down the color once you over apply so I'd start slowly and then gradually build up the intensity until the desired effect is achieved.

When applied lightly, Taj Mahal leaves a light orange tint with a soft golden sheen on the skin. I wouldn't say the color looks “natural” on me (since obviously, my natural flush is not orange) but it certainly gives my complexion a unique shade of youthful and healthy golden orange glow. It's so unlike anything I've tried before and that's what makes it so special and addicting!

NARS Taj Mahal Blush
NARS Taj Mahal Blush

Besides having insane pigmentation, Taj Mahal also has one of the best blush formulas. It feels soft, smooth, and super silky to the touch, plus the powder is extremely finely-milled and doesn't create any powder excess or fallout. A little truly goes a long way since a light touch of the brush will usually pick up more than enough color for both cheeks. Good thing the powder is easy to blend and trust me, with Taj Mahal, blending is key!

NARS Taj Mahal Blush
NARS Taj Mahal Blush

In the picture above, you can clearly see the gorgeous “golden” sheen on the right. I barely touched the surface of the blush to do this swatch and that should tell you how incredibly rich and pigmented Taj Mahal is! :D

Another great thing is you will never need to touch-up! At the end of a 9-hour work day, Taj Mahal still looks just as vibrant as when I apply it in the morning though I'm pretty sure it lasts much longer than 9 hours!

And here's how it looks on me:

Wearing NARS Taj Mahal Blush
Wearing NARS Taj Mahal Blush

From what I know, Taj Mahal is among the more popular cheek colors for brown-skinned girls. However, I do think this shade can be universally flattering regardless of skin tones as long as you apply it strategically and pair it with complementary eye and lip makeup. I've seen fair-skinned girls wearing it with desirable results so don't shy away from the intimidating color without giving it a chance. You won't realize how stunning and special this shade is until you try it! :)

Purchase

US$30 at NordstromBeauty.com

฿1,250 at Sephora Thailand

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36 Comments

  • You look great Jaa! You know, I’m convinced we need more orange in our make up overall. The Korean make up brands have all sorts of nice orange blushes I’m dying to try! I’ve found that most American versions (aside from Taj Mahal) tend to be red orange, which just doesn’t seem to give that GLOW. Great post!

  • I love bold blushes. Of course, I have some sheerer blushes for days I don’t have the time to be careful with application. I need to take a look at this – and Exhibit A!

  • OH HEY! I think you have convinced me with the way it looks on you! You’re right about this shade being rather unique. Not every brand does something like this. It’s one stunning blush and it looks really really good on you!

    • I see where you’re coming from, Agata! It looks scary in the pan but do give it a soft swatch next time you’re at the counter. You might end up liking it like I did! :)

  • I actually think it looks fairly natural! Having a yellow-er skin tone, it looks like you got a little sun and saw some hottie looking at you from across the room and you were slightly embarassed!

      • It’s totally plausible–that look is stunning on you!

        The color makes me think of wandering through a market in India and seeing really colorful scarves.

        I’m super pale, but I think this could make a gorgeous shadow too…one more thing to add to the wishlist, haha

        • Oh I bet it would look just as stunning on the eyes! :D Thanks so much, Alex! <3 Have you been to India? I hope to visit one day!

  • I love this blush! I have to be SO, so, so, sooooo careful with it due to my skin tone, but it is so unique to anything else in my collection that I don’t even mind. I was actually thinking this weekend how I needed to use this more often! Taj Mahal is a perfect example of the top notch blush formula that NARS is capable of.

    • Oh I can imagine how careful you have to be with this blush given your pale complexion! Even though the application is tricky, I still think it’s still a nice piece to have just for the uniqueness of the color! I have a feeling it will outlive us given how pigmented it is. Haha.

  • So gorgeous on you! I’m surprised to see how harmonious it looks with other makeup.
    I think the NARS formulation does make a difference. For example, Nobody could pull off this color if it came in the buttery soft formula regardless of the skin undertones.

  • I have this blush as well, it’s just so damn pretty! I need to be very careful using this. Nars Taj Mahal + black smokey eye + nude lip is perfection! :)

  • Every time I’m at a NARS counter, I always look longingly at Taj Mahal because it’s stunning but I’ve never considered buying it because I assumed my complexion is too cool/pink to pull it off. Maybe I’ll have to try it!

    • Hey Jeannie! You won’t see its real beauty unless you try it on the skin! :D You might have to be super light handed, though, since you have paler complexion. :)

  • DAMMIT! This is so pretty on you! >_< The golden sheen is really beautiful too! I have no fear of bright or unusual blush (if I were to get a NARS blush, the first one would be Exhibit A), and I have a suspicion that this would set off my eyes rather well. You are so rocking it in the picture – the turquoise scarf is just perfect with it.

    But seriously… that golden sheen. It's making my rogue sense tingle!

    *bzzzzgooooldbzzzz*

    • Oh I think Taj Mahal on you would be… exotic! ;D Seriously now I want to see how it looks on you! I have had my eyes on the Exhibit A as well but maybe I should have it swatched first. I usually don’t do well with red blushes but man, Exhibit A is truly an exquisite color! Thanks, Syl! <3

  • Wow, what a beauty! I think this color will look great on light-skinned girls (like yourself) too.. perhaps more so than brown-skinned girls (like me) because the color will be more visible on lighter skin.. Nevertheless, I so want to try this now :D

  • Sooooo pretty!! wow 9 hours huh. The only one that I have like that in my stash is one of TheBalm’s instain blushes that I love sooo much ! Decades of my life spent in India and Ive never seen the Taj Mahal in person either..go figure!

  • I have this for the SAME reasons – OOH so stunning, but WHOA, that color! However it’s beautiful on the skin! I LOVE it on you, possibly one of my favorite blushes I’ve ever seen on you. Need to bust mine out, thanks for the reminder, Jaa! Glorious photos as always!

  • Interesting bright colour there to perk up sluggish Monday morning. I like its almost bronze colour and its instant highlight effect on the face.

    I still can reminisced the tagline “Sexy Orange Forever” by Kanebo back in the 1980s. That was while I was a small kid tagging along with my mum to the departmental store to buy some cosmetics. Back then, I can remember the big promotional poster featured a Japanese model with orange jacket, eyeshadow and lippie. Smiling without showing the teeth. Anyway I read that orange shade is a big no, no for lippie as it can highlight the yellowish tone of your teeth. One must have absolutely white teeth and confidence to be able to carry off orange lipstick.

    • That’s what I think, too, that orange lipsticks tend to make your teeth look yellow. I’m still rocking it from time to time, though! Thanks for sharing with us your nice memory of you and your mom. :) I miss mine even more now. :(

      Orange jacket, eyeshadow, and lippie? Uhm… I’d love to see the poster, lol.

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