NARS Paloma Contour Blush Review & Swatches

I'm all about highlighting. Contouring? Not so much. And the reason is simply because I have yet to find a contouring powder with a matte finish that is not too orange or not too brown. It's easy to find a good bronzer to add warmth to your complexion but a contouring powder to create sculpted face that still looks natural? You know how hard it is to find one. So you can imagine how excited I was when I first saw NARS Paloma Contour Blush. But did it meet my expectations? I have the review for you today! :)

NARS Paloma Contour Blush
NARS Paloma Contour Blush
NARS Paloma Contour Blush
NARS Paloma Contour Blush

The new NARS Contour Blush comes in 3 shades:

  1. Olympia (the lightest shade) — a duo of ivory highlight and rose contour
  2. Paloma (the medium shade) — a duo of pink beige highlight and deep rose contour
  3. Gienah (the darkest shade) — a duo of honey highlight and amber contour

I'm reviewing Paloma today. At first I was torn between Olympia and Paloma but decided to go with Paloma since Olympia looks to be too pale for my complexion upon a closer look.

The compact is the exact same size as the full-sized Laguna bronzer. The highlight shade is partitioned on the left and is half the size of the contour shade on the right. You might not be able to see the “pink” hint of the highlight shade of Paloma but I assure you, it is pink-hued, it's just very pale.

Both powders are supposed to give a “luminous finish” according to the information on NARS website, but on my face, I'm not really seeing the luminosity much. Both of them look mostly matte to me.

NARS Paloma Contour Blush
NARS Paloma Contour Blush

The pink beige highlight shade is buttery soft and smooth. It feels like velvet going on the skin and does not feel chalky at all. It is fairly pigmented and completely buildable. I like to apply it on the center of my forehead, under the brow bone, down the bridge of the nose, under the eye area, top of cheek bones, Cupid's bow and chin. Basically on the high points of the face where the light hits to illuminate.

The deep rose contour shade feels a tad bit drier and is slightly powdery. Compared to most bronzers, I'd consider the pigmentation sheer. But as a contouring powder, I think it is perfect. You want to start with a light layer anyway for the most natural-looking result. It is blendable and easily buildable of course, if you desire a more dramatic effect. I like to apply it just right under the cheek bones, on the temple and jaw line, and the sides of the nose to add a little warmth and definition to the face.

Both powders last well on me, approximately 6-7 hours over foundation and an hour or so less on foundation-free but powdered face.

NARS Paloma Contour Blush
NARS Paloma Contour Blush
NARS Paloma Contour Blush (heavy swatch)
NARS Paloma Contour Blush (heavy swatch)
NARS Paloma Contour Blush (light swatch)
NARS Paloma Contour Blush (light swatch)
Wearing NARS Paloma Contour Blush
Wearing NARS Paloma Contour Blush

In the After photo above, my complexion appears warmer, cheek bones defined, and temple and jaw line sculpted. I am not an expert when it comes to applying makeup, let alone contouring, but hopefully from the photo, you will be able to see the subtle difference contouring makes. :)

I think the contour shade of Paloma is still a little too orange for me but with a light hand, it still works. NARS Contour Blush is such a convenient piece because it has both highlight and contour powders in one sleek compact (how travel-friendly!). The somewhat sheer pigmentation is good in a way especially for people like me who have not mastered the art of contouring yet, but with a little effort, I can achieve the contoured look easily.

So do you think you will be picking up the Contour Blush? If not, what is your go-to contouring powder?


US$42 at NordstromSaks Fifth AvenueAmazonNARS

฿1,650 at Sephora



  • Oh wow! Initially I thought that Paloma looked a little too light in the pan but it looks really good on you! The only contour products I have is the Laguna that came with my Guy Bourdin Cheek Palette and the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil.. And I barely use them.. Lol. Sometimes I *contour* with the Ambient Lights Palette? The one with the more bronzey tone..

    • Thought it was going to be too light as well but it shows up pretty well! Doesn’t take much to see the color on my cheeks!

      I really want to try the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil now, after the yummy chocolatey smell of the Chocolate Bar. :D

  • i love the balm bahama mama for contouring and also Nyx taupe blush !

    but for a little bit on the bronzing side i prefer a naked flushed !

    ิbtw i’m quite not sure about they got a bit rose hint in a contouring shade . it doesn’t seen right to me .

    but the result on your picture is awesome . i’m hesitated .

    last night i researched for a nars matte multiples ! did u tried it ?

    • I heard SO much about NYX Taupe!! I think I’m gonna have to try it now! I haven’t tried Nars Matte Multiples yet but I’ve been tempted!

  • Oh wow your cheekbones! ^_^ This is looks so natural yet edgy on you! I wonder if its the application skill or the product which gets the credit!

  • Hey Jaa, I don’t think the contour shade is too orange on you! It looks pretty natural from what I can see!

    I don’t really contour contour. I add some bronzer below my cheek bones (doing the “3” thing that people tell you to do) for a little extra definition and warmth, and that’s about it!

  • Contouring is still a total mystery to me! You make it look so effortless, but with my anti-skills and vampire complexion, I’m convinced it will just look like I got tripped at the door to the dungeon and landed face first in some dirt and mummy-dust…. :-P

  • I really like the results. I think Olympia is too warm for me. I should have picked up that purple taupe LE Chanel contour!

    • Thank, Erin!

      Chanel Notorious? I’m a little bummed that I didn’t pick it up! Although it would be way too cool as a cheek product for me but I think it would look gorgeous on the eyes. :)

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