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.