Friday, July 6th, 2012

NARS Desire Highlighting Blush
NARS Desire Blush

NARS Desire Blush

NARS Desire Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “delicate bright pink.” It’s a vibrant blue-based magenta pink with a mostly matte finish. MAC Peony Petal is lighter, more bubblegum pink. MAC Florida is very similar, perhaps a little less pink. Tarte Amused is pinker. MAC Amazon Princess is not as vibrant and more purple. Make Up For Ever #3 is pinker, darker.

This is an intensely pigmented product–you will have no problems getting this to show up your complexion. If you’re light to medium, you may have a wee bit figuring how little you actually need for a moderate blusher. This is one of the reasons NARS’ blushes are so famous (their pigmentation), so this is one of those shades to use a lighter touch with. I recommend using a stippling brush or barely tapping a blush brush onto the pan and then tapping the brush against your wrist to shake loose some excess. I then recommend lightly tapping along the area you want the color concentrated on, and then blend out as desired.  If you really go overboard, pat a little foundation (liquid or powder) over to help diffuse.

Desire was more blendable than Amour, but it is a little drier than some of the more shimmery shades (which is common in a matte or more matte finish).  It was soft, finely-milled, and not powdery.  When I trialed Desire on the cheeks, it wore well for seven and a half hours and was slightly faded after eight or so.  I didn’t experience any separation, though, which I think is much worse than just fading–you might be the only one who really knows the blush has faded (rather than you were going for a subtle look), while you can really see separation, which looks just gross.

The Glossover



If you have trouble finding blushes that show up on your skin tone, this one definitely will. If you love bolder cheek color, Desire is right up your alley. It wears pretty well, packs plenty of pigment, and blends fairly easily.











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NARS Desire Blush
NARS Desire Blush

NARS Desire Blush
NARS Desire Blush

NARS Desire Blush
NARS Desire Blush

NARS Desire Blush
NARS Desire Blush

NARS Desire Blush
NARS Desire Blush

NARS Desire Blush
NARS Desire Blush (Diffused Flash)

NARS Desire Blush
NARS Desire Blush (Studio Lighting)

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

NARS, $28.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

MAC Peony Petal is lighter, more bubblegum pink. MAC Florida is very similar, perhaps a little less pink. Tarte Amused is pinker. MAC Amazon Princess is not as vibrant and more purple. Make Up For Ever #3 is pinker, darker.

What makeup are you wearing?

On eyes: L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows in Liquid Diamond, Glistening Garnet, Perpetual Purple; Burberry Trench Eyeshadow; Make Up For Ever #26 Aqua Cream, Tarina Tarantino Spark of Envy Eyeliner. On lips: Bobbi Brown Sunset Beach.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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55 thoughts on “NARS Desire Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Yay, I done good.. :)  This one I picked up recently and it’s on its way.  I think I will be quite happy with this choice.

  2. This is absolutely beautiful! I need to look at this in-store to see if I want to pick it up or not!

  3. Alison Cole

    Yay! Looks like Dolce Vita is up next. 

  4. Kafka

    This is one of the NARS blushes I reach for on a frequent basis. For some reason, Angelika is something that appeals to me mostly in Spring, while I wear Desire more all year round. Perhaps because it’s warmer than Angelika. Softer, too, maybe?  And, though you’ve obviously built it up a bit to show up in the photos, it’s *still* not as “in your face” as one might think from just looking at it in the pan! I’ve concluded that most of NARS’ blushes really should *never* be judged merely by the pan (Luster which looks boring, Cactus Flower which looks alarming, Desire which is shocking in its pinkness). That’s why I am so grateful for your plans to review the whole line. Your incredible attention to lighting and accuracy in swatches is without compare, imo, and it will give a lot of us a *true* idea of what these blushes are like in person. Given that few places carry all the 28 NARS (powder) blushes and given the horrific lighting in most stores, it’s really hard to get an accurate idea by oneself. So, again, THANK YOU!! 

  5. amy829

    I think that’s a great color but I have to say I don’t like it on your yellow skin tone, it makes you look clownish. :(

  6. Mariella

    This is pretty but I’ve got something so close that it would be pointless for me to purchase. And since trying Tarte blush for the first time, I think I will be sticking with Tarte from now on (though I’m so fickle, who knows!).

  7. Nicola

    I think this packs way too much punch for my extremely fair skin! It is a beautiful colour though and I wish I could pull it off.

    • Miss J

      Maybe you can! You’ll never know until you try it out! :) If you use a fan or stippling brush, I find it easy to get a sheer wash of bright pink with Desire. I just tap my brush in, no swirling, and voila!

    • I agree with Miss J! I have extremely fair (NC15) skin, and I love Desire; I find it very wearable. When used with a light hand, it looks very much like a natural flush, since it’s such a “pure” pink! 

    • Daniellenm30

      I am fair (NW 20) with red hair and Desire looks amazing. I use very little and blend it.

    • CiaraAinsleyFears

      You absolutely could wear this! I am extremely pale, and this is the BEST blush on me. The way she’s wearing this in the photo is not how you would wear it in real life. With a light hand, it is the most natural, gorgeous blush I’ve ever seen, and the best for pale skin tones.

    • Kafka

      @Nicola,  I looked at the swatches and photos on my phone and…… whoaaa! The colour is three times as bright and intense as it looks on my laptop monitor. So, I can see why you would think it carries far too much punch. Perhaps you can try looking at the photos on a diff. device to see if it still looks as bright to you? Either way, I promise you that it’s not hard to put it on so sheerly that it looks nowhere near as intense as it does on the photos.

    • Veronica

      When I viewed this in person at Sephora today, I was surprised to find it didn’t swatch quite as neon-y as it does on my monitor.  It’s still quite bold, though not to the extent that it can’t be blended out gently for a flushed look.  If anything, having fair skin just means that the product would last you longer, since it would take so little to show up on your skin. :)

  8. Lydia

    Is this blush dupable by any of the Studio blushes from ELF?

    • Due to copyright violations by E.L.F., I do not purchase, accept, use, or review their products, so I’m, unfortunately, not familiar with their line of products.

    • I don’t own the NARS, but based on the swatches it looks very similar to ELF’s Pink Passion. The ELF seems a bit warmer and it’s somewhat chalky (although still very easy to use), but if an almost-dupe is good enough for you I think it’d be a great lemming killer.

  9. Whitney

    I have this blush, and its my go to everyday. I use a small angled blush brush and a light hand, and it actually looks very natural and close to a natural flush. Christine obviously used a lot to show the color, but if you use a light hand and layer it to your liking, you will love this blush. I honestly haven’t use any of my other blushes since buying this one, and would be happy to use only Desire for the rest of my life. That sounds dramatic, but it really is a beautiful natural flush when you don’t use it so heavily! I highly recommend!

    • xamyx

      @Whitney I say if you found something that woks, stick with it. I can’t begin to tell you how much money I’ve spent over the years trying to find the “next” thing, but going back to the *original*. When it comes to blush, eyeliner, & mascara, I rarely stray, unless it’s something far different, or I haven’t found one that works.

  10. Now THAT is a pink blush! Gorgeous. Gotta hand it to NARS — their colors are fantastic, even if they do look scary in the pan!

  11. StephanieT

    How similar is this to gaiety?

  12. Miss J

    I LOVE this blush. It’s definitely one of my more used and loved NARS blushes. It’s a pigmented shade, BUT, it really can be worn extremely sheerly. Also, if you have this blush, try mixing it with other NARS blush shades. I’ve found myself liking DT + Desire, Dolce Vita + Desire, and Sex Appeal + Desire.

  13. CaitlinRobertsonWillard

    i am IN LOVE!! the texture and pigment are reminding me of my personal favorite nars blush, exhibit a. the super pigmented blushes can look beautiful on any skin tone in my opinion…i obviously use a light hand since i am NW20..but they can look gorgeous on a dark skin tone too! so glad you are reviewing nars christine-they are my absolute go to :)

  14. Victoria Thatcher


  15. JasmineSmith

    Good blush for warmer undertones and dark skinned girls?

  16. Sol

    Looks lovely!
    How does it compare to Her blooming cheek from Tartan Tale?

  17. Veronica

    In the pan, it reminds me of Revlon’s Photoready Flushed cream blush, but it definitely goes on a lot stronger in one stroke.  (Don’t get me wrong, Flushed can be built up, but as you said, NARS is the brand that packs the pigment!)  Very pretty blush, though.  :)  I’m going to have a NARS addiction by the time you finish reviewing all of these.  😛

  18. It looks like what Pam is wearing in True Blood!

  19. It’s so gorgeous, but it would never work with my skintone! Thanks for the review and swatches, Christine! :)

  20. I justtttttttttttttttttttttt picked this 3 days backs , and when i saw the heading of the post and was moving my cursor i was hoping a rating of “A” + – and thank godddd … 😀 i wish it will show on my NC 40 skin otherwise i will dieee … 😀
    it is looking soooooo lovely on you 😀 cant take off my eyes from your cheeks and the spark you have in your eyes .. i am not talking about the flash light here …
    thank you soo much dear for doing reviews , constant reviews …. and making us buy the things which actually makes sense …. i still am and will be BIGGESTTTT ” C” and “T” fan ..:D 😀

  21. artemis

    pretty but so intense! it would look good as an eyeshadow, tho 😀 tee hee

  22. I have this from the Danmari palette and love this sort of pink on me :) It’s beautiful on you!

  23. dukbokki

    Can you focus on upcoming collections and swatch those out instead of doing something karlasugar already did? I mean the majority of us count on you to give us access to that and rely on your reviews and swatches so that we don’t waste our money on products with terrible quality.

    •  @dukbokki There were numerous requests to review NARS blushes ever since I posted swatches a few years ago. Based on my readers’ requests, I felt this series was worth doing. If you’re not interested in the review, don’t read it! :) Plenty of content goes up everyday, so there should be something for everyone, and of course, not every post is going to appeal to everyone.  It’s not my desire, and it’s never been something I’ve heard from readers, to only review the new – there must be balance.

      • Neha

        Please for God’s sake don’t ever get demotivated by negative comments. I know so many who eagerly wait for your reviews especially for permanent products.After all, how many of us get access to LEs. Infact, many a times I have myself requested you to do swatches for permanent products from MAC, NARS, and other popular brands. I have two Nars blushes (Exhibit A, Taj Mahal) only because of your reviews. In fact, 90% of my stash comes from your blog.I was a total no makeup person before I came across your site. Now, whenever I am buying any kind of makeup, I become you instantly, looking at tiniest details :). Your blog is so great that one day, it can be compiled into one of the best selling makeup books. You know women’s psychology ..and your hard work shows up everywhere. Keep it up!

        • Thank you so much, Neha! :) We keep track of all of our posts through various metrics, from number of comments to number of views, and for instance, the original NARS Blush posts I did (where I took photos and swatched them all at the counter) were and continue to be popular. I’ve also learned to accept that not every post will appeal to everyone and well, we both gotta deal with the consequences, LOL!

    • xamyx

      @dukbokki First of all, Karlasugar is of a completely *different* skin tone & coloring, so Christine’s swatches will appeal to different people. Second, Christine shows the product on the *face*, not on the inside of her arm. Third, Christine provides not only swatches, but a full review of each individual blush. Fourth, Christine’s swatches tend to the most “true-to-life” than many of the other blogs out there; I would rather wait as Christine goes through each of these, one at a time, than see them all at one time, if I’m going to get truer colors in the pics. Finally, as far as the quality of new collections, most of the quality is consistent, as far as major brands go, but once in a while there is a “dud”, and by rreading Karlasugar, we won’t know that. Just as you want to see the new reviews, there are those who want to see the “Classics”. Just as you don’t want to “waste” money, neither do I, whether it be with a new collection or a permanant item.

  24. Miss J

    KarlaSugar already did this??? No, she did not. 
    I’m not even going to finish my comment considering @xamyx said it all quite well along with Christine’s own comment.
    Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate what KarlaSugar does, but #ChristineDoesItBetter.
    Again, thank you Christine for your hard work on the blog and listening to reader/viewer suggestions.

  25. Miss J

    Ugh, totally face palming myself right now. My comment was in response to @dukbokki .

  26. I appreciate your readership and loyalty! Know that we’re not competition with other blogs – we all bring something different to the table :)  

    • Miss J

       @Christine (Temptalia) There’s no such thing as too many reviews, product photos, swatches, etc.! I apologize if I came across rude at all. I just meant that it’s great to see NARS blushes being reviewed, swatched, and shown on the skin since that’s not something I’ve seen done, yet. At least not with the whole lot of the permanent ones.
      To each and every beauty blogger and YT beauty guru (Am I the only one who hates that word, lol?), I salute you! :)

      • Not to worry :) I just didn’t want comments to get out of hand, but I very much appreciate your comment!
        Even for me, it’s helpful – a lot of readers have asked in the past if so and so new blush looks like so and so permanent blush (particularly for NARS and MAC)!

      • Never liked guru – forever categorized myself as something else on YT but we had to change for search purposes, lol!

    • xamyx

      @Christine (Temptalia) I didn’t mean to imply there was any sort of “competition”, and I apologize if my comment came off that way. I read *alot* of different blogs and videos for different reasons, but I have to say you are my “go-to” for swatches, though there are others who are closer in skin tone & coloring, and I simply compare & contrast.

      •  @xamyx  @Christine Not to worry! I just didn’t want the comments to get out of hand, so it was preemptive :)
        Thank you! It is really an honor to be a go-to for someone. 

  27. corallista

    Just like Angelika, this one looks quite cool to me in the pan but its so lovely on the cheeks! 

  28. GG_3189

    @RynroseG that blush is hot!! So my kinda color!!

  29. Sophia

    christine is this similar to sleek flamingo???

  30. Rachael

    I’m so glaaaddd u did this. I have been wanting milani shocking pink and now for the 1st time I can see really what color to expect…I haven’t been able to find it at my cvs stores so I would have to order it. I prob come to ure page at LEAST once a day, so I know ure swatches and since I have this blush I can compare because it’s from the same person and somebody that takes such care in getting the color as close to what it actually looks like as she can in an image. Just another reason it’s appreciated that u swatch and review a color so many people have done. Your site is impeccable when it comes to swatches, and no matter who else has done it, I know I can count on ures to be on point always. U are appreciated.I can’t imagine how it would feel to make such an effort to do what u think viewers want and people still complain.