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NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is more of a highlighter/blush concept, as the lightest shade is most similar to other gold highlighters we’ve seen in the past. The formula is a lot easier to work with dry, as it blended nicely and just didn’t take nearly as much effort to work into the skin as a damp application. If you wear foundation underneath these, I would recommend great care and some brush experimentation when using the formula damp, as using NARS’ Wet/Dry Blush Brush lifts the color and doesn’t blend the color well at all. I think this duo was a lot more flattering on the skin, as the texture wasn’t emphasized terribly (compared the first one I reviewed).

If you missed my initial review of this formula, you can find it here, but it went into more detail about the formula. As a recap, NARS is touting these as a wet/dry formula with the wet formula yielding a “translucent wash of color,” which is really the opposite of my experience, as applying either shade with a dampened brush intensifies both the color and the finish (if it has any shimmer)–this would have rated a B+ if it was described as most wet/dry formulas were (including their own Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow formula, which is damp application yields greater pigment/intensity).

Frenzy (Left) is described as a “sparkling soft pink-gold highlighter.” It’s a brightened, true yellow gold with warm undertones and a metallic finish. I don’t see any pink in the pan, whether from afar, up-close, or when swatched (wet or dry). The texture is firmly packed, and this was a shade that yielded only so-so color coverage with brushes but will yield better pigmentation if you use your fingertips. It had a luminous finish that gave the skin a sheen (and didn’t give me much color, but I’m medium in color) without emphasizing pores. It wore well for seven hours. When I applied it damp, it was more pigmented and significantly more shimmery, but it only slightly emphasized pores and wore well for eight hours. Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is very similar. Dior Transatlantique (LE, $58.00) is darker. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer (P, $24.00) is lighter. MAC Whisper of Gilt (LE, $30.00) is similar. Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder (LE, $70.00) is darker. Chanel Mouche de Beaute Illuminating Powder (LE, $80.00) is similar. Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder (LE, $80.00) is yellower. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Frenzy (Right) is described as a “shimmering bright tangerine orange.” It’s a medium-dark orange with warm, yellow-red undertones and a soft, pearly shimmer. The texture was softer while still being smooth. Applied dry, you’ll get semi-opaque coverage with a softer quality to it, while the finish appears more satiny on the skin. I was able to get seven and a half hours of wear when I applied it dry. When I tried using the blush damp, the color payoff was deeper and richer with a more pronounced shimmery sheen. It was harder to blend and work with when used damp, though it lasted for nine hours. MAC Style Cast (LE, $21.00) is lighter. MAC Seduced at Sea (LE, $25.00) is slightly redder. MAC Modern Mandarin (P, $21.00) is darker, redder. Sleek MakeUP Pink Mint (P, $6.99) iis darker. MAC Bad Girl Gone Good (LE, $21.00) is more muted. NARS Soulshine #2 (LE, $29.00) is similar. NARS Luster (P, $29.00) is lighter, yellower, more shimmery. MAC My Paradise (LE, $28.00) is similar when mixed. MAC Shape the Future (LE, $30.00) is darker, more orange. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Duo Frenzy
Frenzy
Frenzy
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ColourPop Rebound Super Shock Shadow & Pressed Pigment Set

ColourPop Rebound Collection
ColourPop Rebound Collection

ColourPop Rebound Collection ($20.00 for 4 x 0.07 oz.) includes four shades for spring/summer 2015. Those who tend to prefer more matte finishes may like that this set includes three more matte shades and one sparkly shade. There’s something to be said about reading carefully, though, as this set includes three Super Shock Shadows and one Super Shock Pressed Pigment (Ex); with the latter being “not intended for use in the immediate eye area.” I missed that until I sat down last week to write-up the review, so you’ll see it included in the eye look with the other shades, but I tested it as a blush (and it is only be rated as a blush) after that.

One & Done is described as a “soft butter cream ivory with a matte finish.” It’s a light, subdued yellowed beige with warm undertones and a semi-matte finish. There’s a little sheen to the finish that keeps it from being totally matte. It had fairly opaque coverage that could build to fully opaque color with two layers of product. The consistency was blendable, while the formula was long-wearing and stayed on for nine hours before creasing. Hourglass Obscura #1 (P) is powder. Hourglass Monochrome #1 (P) is lighter, powder. Hourglass Atmosphere #1 (P) is lighter, powder. LORAC Undressed (P) is a powder. Kat Von D Damned (LE) is less yellow, powder. Tarte Breakfast in Bed (LE) is darker, powder. Makeup Geek Mirage (LE, $5.99) is darker, brighter, powder. Make Up For Ever M510 Vanilla (P, $21.00) is darker, powder. bareMinerals Pacific Sands (LE) is powder. Kat Von D Entomology (P) is powder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Too Soon is described as a “golden peach with pink opal iridescent duochrome finish.” It’s a softened, peachy-orange with warm undertones and pink and pale gold sparkle. It was semi-opaque and slightly buildable, but I couldn’t get fully opaque color (even with fingertips). The texture is blendable with little fall out during application, and there were a few stray sparkles that drop while it is worn, but it was minimal. The color itself stayed on well for nine and a half hours before creasing slightly. Colour Pop Halo (LE, $5.00) is darker, less sparkly. theBalm #7 (P, $6.50) is darker. theBalm #4 (P, $6.50) is pinker. Tom Ford Beauty Escapade (LE, $42.00) is brighter, less sparkly. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Ex is described as a “bright coral red with a matte finish.” It’s a muted, light-medium coral with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had mostly opaque color coverage in a single pass with fingertips, but with a stippling brush, it was more semi-sheer to semi-opaque buildable coverage. Since the brand released a blush formula, their recommendations were to use fingertips for the most coverage, but advised that a flat brush could be used for higher coverage (but less than fingertips) and a duo fiber brush for a “sheer, air brushed effect.” I haven’t tried their blushes yet (I did order) so I’m not sure how the Super Shock Shadow/Pressed Pigment formula differs, but I tried to use that as my guideline when I went to test this as a blush. When I used it on my eye (again, it is not safe for the immediate eye area), it did require two layers for more opaque color–it’s definitely one that lends itself to fingertip application for best pigmentation. It lasted for eight hours as a blush. Chanel Angelique (190) (P, $45.00) is lighter, powder. MAC Fleeting Romance (P, $23.50) is more shimmery, powder. MAC Sideshow You (LE, $21.00) is lighter, powder. Milani Coral Cove (05) (LE, $7.99) is warmer, powder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Adios is described as a “smokey taupe gray with a matte finish.” It’s a medium-dark taupe with warmer, brown undertones and an overcast of gray. It had more of a semi-matte finish than a true matte–there was a very slight sheen to it. It had mostly opaque pigmentation applied with fingertips or with a brush, so I used a brush to apply it to the lid and had no issues doing so. The texture was lightweight, blendable, and the color itself wore well for ten hours before creasing slightly. Giorgio Armani #08 (P, $32.00) is darker. Laura Mercier Stone Taupe (LE, $23.00) is warmer. MAC Lofty (LE, $15.00) is darker. Burberry Storm Grey (No. 27) (P, $29.00) is cooler-toned. Tom Ford Beauty Unabashed Eyeshadow #2 (LE) is less shimmery. Dior Mirage (761) (P, $30.00) is lighter. bareMinerals Head Over Heels (LE) is cooler-toned. bareMinerals Exec (LE) is grayer. Lancome Volcano (P, $19.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Colour Pop Super Shock Shadow & Pressed Pigment Set Rebound
Rebound
Rebound
A-

Limited Edition

8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
90%
Total
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Also In This Review

A-

One & Done

Limited Edition
Read Review
B+

Too Soon

Limited Edition
Read Review
B+

Ex

Limited Edition
Read Review
A

Adios

Limited Edition
Read Review

NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is one of six duos that will be available on March 4th. The lighter shade was best applied dry, as damp application resulted in such a metallic finish that it was more like a flashing, neon sign that said, “Hey, my skin isn’t perfect! I have pores! And texture!” The darker shade ended up becoming much, much more pigmented when applied damp, but it become too shimmery, and it lasted longer that way. It was easier to apply, blend, and control applied dry, though, and coverage was buildable so greater intensity was achievable with two or three passes. Wear time is fairly good regardless of application method, but I get slightly longer results with a damp application. The texture is firm, but smooth, and it doesn’t feel dry or stiff, but it seems to have a firmer press overall.

The formula is supposed to have a “weightless, luxurious texture” that can be used wet or dry. The wet application is supposed to give a “translucent wash of color,” while dry application yields “a natural glow that warms the complexion.” If you’ve tried MAC Extra Dimension Blush and MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish, the formulas are similar. Estee Lauder, Lancome, and Laura Mercier have all done cheek products with a similar wet/dry kind of formula.

Nearly across the board, there was either negligible color payoff difference between wet and dry applications, but when there was a difference, it was typically much more pigmented. The shades tended to apply with a more metallic/shimmery finish when applied with a dampened brush and emphasized pores. The fact that it was more pigmented applied damp may be great news for some, but it is the opposite of how the formula was described (which is how I rate products), so you will see that have a negative impact on the ratings. It is interesting that it was described as a wash when applied wet, as this is the opposite of the Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow formula.

With the new blush formula, NARS also added a Wet/Dry Blush Brush to their assortment of brushes. I’m trying to give the brush more chances, but I had great difficulty using it with their formula, particularly wet, where it tended to lift the product and leave the results looking patchy, even over bare skin. With enough effort and a very, barely-there touch and some fingertip blending, I could manage fairly even color over bare skin. However, it was impossible to use over a liquid foundation, as it moved and lifted the foundation in places. I far preferred using MAC’s 159 stippling brush, which worked well for both wet and dry applications. Ultra-soft brushes by Chikuhodo and SUQQU didn’t pick-up product well with this formula. Some of the deeper shades do work with those feathery, ultra-soft brushes.

Adoration (Left) is described as a “sparkling baby pink.” It’s a light-medium pink with subtle, warm undertones and white shimmer and slightly larger silver-white sparkle. The texture was firm but smooth with semi-opaque color coverage dry and mostly opaque coverage damp. It had more of a frosted finish when it was applied dry, and it very slightly emphasized pores but for the most impart imparted a high-shine sheen and lasted for seven and a half hours. When I applied it damp, it was much more metallic and emphasized every pore and imperfection, but it wore well for eight and a half hours. The effect can be luminous without being emphasized by patting translucent or flesh-colored powder over it. MAC Just a Wisp (P, $27.00) is less shimmery. Makeup Geek First Love (P, $9.99) is less shimmery, cooler-toned. MAC For Your Amusement (LE, $20.00) is less shimmery. MAC Azalea in the Afternoon (LE, $27.00) is less shimmery, warmer. Physicians Formula Rose (P, $11.99) is warmer. Lancome Moonlight Rose (LE, $42.00) is less shimmery, lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Adoration (Right) is described as a “shimmering hot pink.” It’s a medium-dark pink with subtle, warm undertones and a satiny sheen. Applied dry, it was semi-sheer and buildable, with a more satin-like finish that gave the skin a lovely glow that didn’t draw attention to pores, and it lasted for eight hours on me. Applied damp, it was intensely pigmented with nearly opaque coverage from the get-go, and you’ll want to apply the smallest amount and build-up, or else you’ll have a lot of work ahead of you. The dampened application intensifies the sheen, but it doesn’t turn metallic, so it still gives a glow without emphasizing the texture of the skin, and applied this way, the blush lasted for nine hours. Makeup Geek Love Affair (P, $9.99) is warmer. MAC Peaches & Cream (LE, $21.00) is similar. MAC Sunset Beach (LE, $32.00) is similar. YSL Fuchsia Desinvolte (01) (P, $40.00) is less shimmery. Clinique Berry Pop (03) (P, $21.00) is brighter, cooler-toned. Illamasqua Peaked (P, $26.00) is more muted. Chanel Affinite (65) (P, $38.00) is lighter. Tom Ford Beauty Wicked (P, $55.00) is cooler-toned, more muted. Tom Ford Beauty Narcissist (LE, $55.00) is cooler-toned. NYX Bourgeois Pig (P, $5.00) is less shimmery. MAC Supernova (LE, $27.00) is similar. See comparison swatchesview dupes.

P.S. — I am testing the wet and dry application for each shade, so one duo is the equivalent of testing four blushes, and while I will work diligently through the six, I may not get be able to test all of them before the official release date (it really depends on how long each shade wears and whether I can test more than one shade per cheek per day!)–just as a heads up.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Duo Adoration
Adoration
Adoration
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NYX Beach Babe HD Blush

NYX Beach Babe HD Blush
NYX Beach Babe HD Blush

NYX Beach Babe HD Blush ($6.50 for 0.16 oz.) is a brightened, gold-shimmered brown with warm, reddish-yellow undertones and a frosted finish. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $45.00) is less red. Urban Decay Strip Bronzer (P) is slightly darker. Too Faced Sun Bunny #2 (P) is lighter. Too Faced Sun Bunny #1 (P) is darker. Disney by Sephora Golden Sands (LE, $55.00) is darker. MAC Global Glow (P, $30.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It was nicely pigmented with color that could be applied at true-to-pan intensity. The texture was soft with a fairly silky feel that didn’t get too powdery–the least powdery shade I’ve tested so far from the new HD range–that blended easily on the skin. I also found that despite seeming rather shimmery when swatched, the finish is softer and more luminous than a true frost on the skin. It seemed to buff and diffuse especially well in practice. When I wore this blush (or bronzer), it stayed on well for seven and a half hours before fading.

NYX HD Blush Beach Babe
Beach Babe
Beach Babe
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

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NYX Soft Spoken HD Blush

NYX Soft Spoken HD Blush
NYX Soft Spoken HD Blush

NYX Soft Spoken HD Blush ($6.50 for 0.16 oz.) is a soft, light peach with a hintr of pink and a golden shimmer-sheen. Dior Peach Splendor (LE, $44.00) is less shimmery. Sephora + Pantone Universe Coral Pink (LE) is less shimmery. Chanel Caresse (180) (LE, $45.00) is darker. Benefit CORALista (Palette) (P, $28.00) is more shimmery . Too Faced Papa Don’t Peach (LE) is darker, more shimmery. Surratt Beauty Duchesse (P, $32.00) is lighter. MAC New Romance (P, $27.00) is slightly darker. Makeup Geek Honeymoon (P, $9.99) is pinker. bareMinerals The Many Splendors #2 (LE) is more shimmery. MAC Adored (LE, $30.00) is darker. MAC Amber Glow (LE, $27.00) is less pink. Benefit Sugarbomb (P, $28.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

This is a blush that will naturally suit lighter skin tones the best as a result of being on the lighter end of the spectrum, as it will show up as more of a highlighter on medium and deeper skin tones (as it does on me). The powder was soft, smooth, and powdery, though it didn’t feel chalky. It had semi-opaque color payoff that was buildable to a degree, but it tended to soften more readily than it did intensify to opaque color. The finish is luminous without being too frosted, so it didn’t emphasize pores or the skin’s natural texture, and despite the powderiness, it didn’t look that way on the skin. It wore well for seven and a half hours before fading on me.

NYX HD Blush Soft Spoken
Soft Spoken
Soft Spoken
8
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
81%
Total

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NYX Taupe HD Blush

NYX Taupe HD Blush
NYX Taupe HD Blush

NYX Taupe HD Blush ($6.50 for 0.16 oz.) is a medium-dark, taupe brown with subtle warm undertones and a semi-matte finish. Kat Von D Sombre (P) is very similar but slightly warmer. MAC Next to Skin (LE, $21.00) is lighter. Inglot #504 (P, $15.00) is cooler-toned. NYX Taupe (P, $5.00) is rosier. NARS Douceur (P, $29.00) is warmer, more shimmery, lighter. MAC Taupe Shape ($21.00) is more shimmery. Chanel Notorious (LE, $45.00) is darker, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NYX’s newest blush formula is supposed to be a “high definition, lightweight blush that blends evenly” that is “vibrant and silky.” The consistency of the powder is definitely very soft, but it is quite powdery and kicks up a lot of excess in the pan. Luckily, it doesn’t look powdery on the skin and blended out easily. The color payoff was more semi-sheer to semi-opaque with some buildability, but this particular shade wasn’t intensely pigmented. This seemed even cooler-toned compared to the regular Powder Blush version of Taupe, which may make it an even more suitable contouring shade for fair to medium-dark skin tones, but I wish it wasn’t quite so thin in texture. It also contains slightly more product (0.16 oz. vs. 0.14 oz. but costs $1.50 more) and doesn’t have talc as an ingredient. On me, it lasted for seven and a half hours before fading.

As a note, this product seems potentially extra fragile, as I received three of the blushes I ordered from ULTA completely shattered, and several readers had similar stories–but more worrying was that some readers experienced blushes breaking in their bags on the way home. That being said, I ordered a dozen or so from NYX directly and none of them arrived broken.

NYX HD Blush Taupe
Taupe
Taupe
8
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
81%
Total

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