NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Adoration Review & Swatches
Following the success of the Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow, NARS has released a new line of cheek colors with the same formula called Dual-Intensity Blush. What's so special about the new line-up is that each compact contains two contrasting cheek colors with a formula that can be used wet or dry depending on the desired effect. It's a rather unique concept and today I have one of the six colors available to share with you. I may or may have not bought this shade just because of the “adorable” name! ;)
NARS Dual-Intensity Blush is housed in a square, rubberized and magnetized compact truly of NARS' packaging style. There is a full-sized mirror inside and a clear insert covering the powder pan. Unliked the NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette (review), the blush version does not come with any applicator.
The Dual-Intensity Blush has similar pattern and texture as the Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow — finely-milled and firmly-pressed. The surface looks and feels stiff upon swatching but it actually applies softly and nicely on the skin without being powdery or patchy. I find that it takes a little work to blend to a diffused finish but it's not uneasy to do so by any means.
The highlighting shade – pale baby pink; frosted finish
Dry: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I love pale pink highlighters in general so naturally I am smitten with this shade. Depending on the amount applied, it can impart anything from a light glow to a softly frosted sheen to a full-on frosted finish on the cheeks. The powder is fairly pigmented and easy to build. It swatches nicely with an almost-opaque coverage but on my medium skin, it goes on quite sheer and will take a couple of layers for the color to show up. It can be used to highlight other parts of the face as well such as the inner corners of the eyes and brow bone. Just be mindful of where you apply as it can slightly emphasize pores and skin's imperfections.
Wet: The coverage becomes fully opaque — almost liquid metallic-like. I have worn it out at night and I have to say I absolutely love the unusual, high-sheen effect! It takes extra work to blend to a smooth finish but the effect is so worth the extra effort. Similar to the dry application, beware of where you place it on the face as using it wet will significantly accentuate pores and skin's texture.
The blush shade – medium hot pink; shimmery finish
Dry: At first I thought the color was going to look sort of hot pink on my cheeks as described but it turns out to be an unpredictable yet balanced mix of pink, red, and coral. It contains fine shimmer but leaves more of a satin finish on the skin. It is nicely pigmented and one pass is generally enough for a lightly flushed look. It doesn't blend as smoothly as I would like but with a soft fluffy brush, I can manage to get a soft and diffused look with ease. It doesn't highlight pores but it does make redness become more prominent. I have some deep acne scars on my cheeks and this shade seems to make them more visible. So only apply sparingly and strategically! :)
Wet: The pigmentation and coverage becomes like “woah”! At first I didn't quite get NARS' description of the wet application: “apply wet for translucent, second-skin finish” because once I wet it, it becomes super opaque and not really skin-like. However, I kept playing with it and found that you only need to damp your brush just a tiny bit and apply the smallest amount — the very same way when you apply a liquid or gel cheek tint/stain. I normally use my damp finger to apply by dabbing 3-4 dots on my cheeks, then I will follow with a stippling or soft fluffy brush to blend to avoid patchiness. It sounds strange but I do feel that I get a more natural and glowy finish with the shade applied wet than dry.
I generally prefer dry application since it's easier and faster to blend to a smooth finish but when I do have extra time, I like to play with the wet application as well. Worn dry and wet, the color lasts approximately 7-8 and 8-9 hours, respectively. Using the powder wet does not harden the surface at all so you don't have to worry about ruining the beautiful texture! :)
Below is how Adoration looks on me worn dry. I hope you are able to see a hint of that soft pink sheen from the highlighting shade! :)
You can wear each shade alone or layer them to tone down the sheen from the highlighting shade and to add a bit of glow to the blush shade. You can also mix the wet and dry application to create your own distinct look. The options are yours and I encourage you to experiment! If hot pink is not your cup of tea, there are 5 other duos to choose from. NARS Dual-Intensity Blush is a product I feel worthy of the price tag and that everyone should give it a try. :)