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.