Sunday, July 15th, 2012

NARS Exhibit A Highlighting Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “matte vivid red.” It’s a brightened medium-dark orange-red with a mostly matte finish. MAC Out for Fun is lighter, less red. MAC Modern Mandarin is lighter, more orange, less red. Benefit Cha Cha is more orange, slightly lighter. NARS Liberte is darker, rustier–not as bright.  On the cheeks, it can look as bright as the pan, or if applied more softly, you’ll get kind of a orange-coral look almost.

Exhibit A is famous for its pigmentation–it is wow! in the pan, because it’s truly a fiery sight to see in stores, but it’s just as intense when used. Using this shade absolutely requires a feather-light touch and the proper tools (I like a fan brush) as a result, particularly if you are really light in coloring.  Because of its excellent pigmentation, it will show up as readily on darker complexions as it will on lighter ones. Even though NARS describes it as red, there’s a lot of orange and not as much red in it as you’d expect.  Still, there’s red, there’s orange, but there’s not a lot of yellow–it’s only barely warm in tone.

I think what really makes this shade sing is the texture.  It’s soft, silky, and applies smoothly; it’s not too soft that it becomes powdery, but it’s not too dry that it becomes a pain in the behind to blend. It strikes a balance between softness and blendability that is really required with a shade like this.  I wore Exhibit A to see how well it would wear, and it lasted a full eight hours and started looking a bit faded after just under nine hours.

The Glossover

P
product

Exhibit A

A
Because of its excellent pigmentation, it will show up as readily on darker complexions as it will on lighter ones. Even though NARS describes it as red, there's a lot of orange and not as much red in it as you'd expect.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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See more photos & swatches!

NARS Exhibit A Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush

NARS Exhibit A Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush (Diffused Flash)

NARS Exhibit A Blush
NARS Exhibit A Blush (Studio Lighting)

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

Sephora, $28.

Is it limited edition?

No.

Any dupes?

MAC Out for Fun is lighter, less red. MAC Modern Mandarin is lighter, more orange, less red. Benefit Cha Cha is more orange, slightly lighter. NARS Liberte is darker, rustier--not as bright.

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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50 thoughts on “NARS Exhibit A Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    Beautiful on you, Christine, but I think, going by the description and your comparisons, that it would be too orange-toned for me.  My best red blush is Frankly Scarlet and I don’t think anything more orange-toned would work for me.  What are you wearing on your eyes? It is lovely.

  2. Ana

    I have this color and it’s so gorgeous!! 

  3. Avatar of Kafka Kafka

    Makeup doesn’t usually scare me on sight. THIS blush scares me on sight. I know it shouldn’t because, like most NARS blushes, it’s all about application but somehow it does. Probably because I fear its orange aspects wouldn’t work well with my olive-yellow undertones. But Crikey, it looks good on you! It really does. Somehow, it looks even milder, softer and less intense on you than Desire or some of the less overtly intense colours did!!! Even in the photos on my phone, where colours usually look brighter and more intense, I see only a subtle colour on your cheeks. I’m amazed, especially as I know you build up blushes a lot for the photos so people to get a really good sense of the colour.  I bet this it would look glorious on a dark/darker-skinned beauty or someone with no serious yellow undertones. Or someone not scared of orange. lol

    • Avatar of Amy xamyx

      @Kafka I think this would look *amazing* on someone with serious yellow under tones.

      • Avatar of Kafka Kafka

         @xamyx  @Kafka  I think the intensely orange colour of the blush would turn even more orange on someone with very heavy yellow undertones. Or emphasize their yellowness. I know that, for me on my olive-yellow skin, blushes that are too orange in composition can make me look positively jaundiced. Or else, very, very orange. It’s not super flattering and I don’t even have very heavy yellow undertones!  But perhaps someone with such a skin tone who has tried this can let us know. 

        • Miss J

           @Kafka I’m lighter than Christine, but I’m significantly more yellowy with green tinge, and Exhibit A pretty much looks the same on me as it does on Christine in these photos. It’s actually probably the closest blush I have to my natural flush. I wear this a lot on “no makeup makeup” days.

        • Avatar of Kafka Kafka

          @Miss J   Sweetie, you said you have pink tones on your cheeks, so I think that is probably why the combination looks great on you. Same reason why Gilda’s intense pigmentation worked out for you. Me? I feel malaria-olive these days, thanks to the Texas sun getting through even my sunscreen. Gilda made me feel orangey-yellow-brown. (What’s worse, I didn’t feel particularly pretty with it on.) I think Exhibit A would be even more orange on me.  BUT…. seeing how unexpectedly stunning (and unexpectedly mellow) it looks on Christine, I’m definitely going to swatch it next time I’m in Sephora. I’m truly intrigued by it now.

      •  @xamyx  @Kafka interesting.. you think so, huh?  I’m with Kafka on being afraid of this one, and I was pleasantly shocked at how many people really love this shade and how amazing it looks on Christine!  You just never know until you try!  

        • Avatar of Amy xamyx

          @wwendalynne @Kafka Because it’s such a warm color, I think it would compliment warmer tones. For me, it’s not the intensity of the color, but because it’s so warm, I don’t think I could pull it off. I literally have no warm or cool under/over tones, so I stick to very neutral blush, which are next to impossible to find. I do find it interesting that even those with cool tones love this, as well. I’ll take a look at it the next time at the mall.

        •  @xamyx  @wwendalynne  @Kafka I actually think orange looks far better on cool skin than warm skin.  It’s the contrast that appeals to me.  I bought a bunch of orange things for this spring assuming they would look amazing on me and they just don’t.  Blech..like seriously blech..  I was so disappointed.  Now I know there are different shades of orange, but they really do not work on me..  I’m guessing Kafka is in the same boat.  

        • Avatar of Kafka Kafka

           @wwendalynne  @xamyx   Yeah, I’m with you, Wendy. I think those with dark skin, cool tones or any bit of pink in their cheeks would look gorgeous with this. For me, pure orange is pretty much the gateway to feeling and looking hellaciously unattractive.  But I confess to being very intrigued by this blush now and I’m definitely going to swatch it.  I simply cannot get over how stunning it is on Christine and how unexpectedly demure it is. Demure…. this blush…. who would have EVER guessed?! 

        •  @Kafka  @xamyx You know we are going to expect a full report :)

    •  @Kafka Hahahah..I killed myself laughing again at your post.  This is the only NARS blush I have ever been afraid of and I haven’t even tried it either.  I have the same sense that this would not work so well with my skintones either.  I think fairer cool skintones could probably pull this off.  

  4. Miss J

    I remember seeing this blush in the store and being SO attracted to the color, but at the same time thinking “bozo the clown!!!” I kept swatching this blush over and over each time I saw it, but when I had this applied by an SA, I was temporarily traumatized and scared off, LOL. This chick took a huge, dense kabuki brush and just kept rubbing it in this shade despite my pleas for her to stop. It was awful! The entire side of my face was covered in this unblended blob of orange-toned red. :( I was still super attracted to the color in the pan, and the next time an SA tried it on me, it still was applied too heavy handed, but I could tell it was a beautiful color that *I* would be able to get the right amount for me on the brush. I absolutely LOVE this blush on me. I will have the same compact of it til the day I die, though, seeing as I only need the *tiniest* dab of this on my brush. It’s really not nearly as scary as it looks in the pan when applied.

  5. beautifulllll color and stunninggggg you “C” … :D :D ….
    i dont like to say this but let me tell you one thing …
    am soooooooooooooo loving your reviews on these .. i have most of the blushes and absolutely digging your ratings on these … :D am so glad you are doing these fast fast …. :D
    pls suggest me one thing dear ….
    should i buy Liberte ?? i am not sure it it is that greattt ???
    i read some readers said “Outlaw” can be purchased now so not sure which one to go for ??
    And “C” …. you always look like a Bride to be … you have that extra glow .. how come babes ???still have ample time for wedding am just imagining how much more glow you will have as the time approaches ??
    rub some luck here as well

    •  @rashmidev I don’t love Liberte, because it’s a little dry and stiff, so it’s harder to work with!  I’m not in love with the texture of Outlaw either (same – dry and stiff)!

      • Miss J

         @Christine (Temptalia)  @rashmidev Nooo! Outlaw is dry and stiff? Boo! That’s unusual for a shimmery NARS blush.

      • Avatar of Kafka Kafka

         @Christine (Temptalia)  @rashmidev  Outlaw is dry and stiff??? I’m with @MissJ : Noooooo, say it isn’t so!  See, this is why I should never, ever buy blushes until you review them first.  Drats.  Well, let’s hope the colour compensates for the texture in a small way at least.   

      • Miss J

         @Christine (Temptalia) Christine, when you say Outlaw is dry and stiff is it similar to other NARS microshimmer blushes like Sin and Taos, or is it different/worse?

        • I haven’t swatched either in a long time (and the ones I have for the series haven’t been photographed, so I can’t touch them yet).  Review for Outlaw goes up tomorrow!

        • Miss J

           @Christine (Temptalia) Thanks for the heads up! I will keep an eye out for that review. I’ve already ordered, and I’m expecting it at the end of the week, so guess I’ll find out the comparison soon enough, lol. I think the driest NARS blush I have happens to be Gilda, which color-wise is actually my favorite, so I think I’m most curious to see if you will think that one is dry when you post that review.
           
          As always, thanks for all your hard work!

  6. Avatar of Amy xamyx

    While I can see this looking absolutely stunning on deeper skin tones, or even those who are lighter, but warm, I’m going to have to pass on this one. I would just look like I’ve spent *way* too much time in the sun. It is wonderful to see mainstream, higher-end makeup brands including products in their main line, though.

  7. Pheeeew, that’s one very orange blush! The color looks quite intimidating in the container. But it looks great on you.

  8. Avatar of Kristina KristinaC

    Ever since Kevyn Aucoin long ago stated that every woman needed a bright red blush, I have been using them religiously. I am NC43-45 and my SIL is NC 20, we are both very yellow based and we both look amazing in Exhibit A. I use a mini skunk highlighting brush from Vincent Longo which applies and blends these highly pigmented blushes beautifully. 

  9. I love this blush! I am very pale, NC15-20 depending on the time of year, and this blush (when applied with a light hand) is like instant pretty; it just perks me up and looks gorgeous without making me look ruddy. 

  10. Avatar of tzwiggy t_zwiggy

    I love the way Exhibit A looks on my NW20-25 skin. What I don’t like is that I have to use a fan brush. Even with a stippling brush this gives me bright clown cheeks. Unfortunately that means that I rarely wear this blush.

  11. Rosie

    NC 20/25 here! And this is probably my favourite NARS blush (I have 9 for context). I’ve never had problems using a lighter touch with a blush brush so I’ve never felt the need for a stippling (quite frankly I hate these brushes) or fan brush.
    Exhibit A was the blush I missed most when I had to refrain from wearing red/pink blushes because of acne scarring on my cheeks. =/It’s just so beautiful on. Love, Love, Love!

  12. Avatar of Vuthear Vuthear

    I’ve always been scared off by the intense color of this blush (even though I’m NC43), but after reading your review and seeing how lovely it can be when applied lightly, I think this will be my next Nars blush!  Thanks

    • Avatar of Kristina KristinaC

       @Vuthear As a fellow NC43er, I must reassure you there is nothing to be scared of. Mr Nars actually made this shade for Naomi Campbell, so women of colour do wear it impeccably. Although this shade has proven itself universal. I have all my girlfriends, clients and dear mum hooked on this shade.

    • Miss J

       @Vuthear From your pic, I think this one would look beautiful on you! Also, I think Taj Mahal and Gilda would look gorgeous on your beautiful NC43 skin!

      • Avatar of Vuthear Vuthear

        Thanks!  I love Taj Mahal and thanks for reminding me about it… I haven’t used it yet this summer.  I have yet to try Gilda.  Hopefully, someday soon.  Nars discontinued my fav blush of all time and they need to bring it back!  Nars Sex! :D

        • Miss J

           @Vuthear Which blush was your fav? Was it Crazed or Mounia? I wish they’d bring back Sertao!

  13. It’s so pretty on you–but I’ve ALWAYS been scared of this blush and other bright red blushes. I think it would probably accentuate my redder areas and since I don’t wear very full-coverage foundation as it is, I don’t think this would work for me :/

  14. Kisha Mason

    i looooved exhibit a but sadly i took it back cuz i was deathly afraid :( after the regret i settled for mac’s frankly scarlet

  15. CaitlinRobertsonWillard

    it looks gorgeous on you!!! this is my absolute favorite nars blush…and i have a few :) i am quite fair and cool toned but with a light hand it is stunning! people definitely need to see that a bright blush with make you look glowing, not clown scary!

  16. Avatar of Elizabeth bethie m

    This post is so amazing as I am introducing myself to NARS at this time: finally broke down and went to their website to order some shadows, liners, and blushes. I hope I do get to sample my purchases, but something has screwed up the FedEx delivery and it’s sitting in Ohio … I have always shied away from this shade but have loved it at the same time, and cheered on those who have the nerve to wear it. It’s beautiful!! Christine has beautiful cheeks as well as youth’s favor, so she can pull it off- and that she does. Thanks for all you do! xoxo Beth in Pgh ;-)

    • Miss J

       @bethie m I’m sure your package will arrive just fine! It’s probably sitting in Ohio at a facility waiting to be picked up. :)

    • Avatar of Kristina KristinaC

       @bethie m My 65 year old mum wears this shade beautifully. Applied very lightly, it is an instant facelift for her. It defines the apples of her cheeks, and adds a “just came in from the cold” natural flush. She then uses a matte bronzer in the hollows of the cheeks and brought up the temples to contour. This blush also looks amazing with the Cocacobana  Multiple. I say add it to your cart the next time you go NARS shopping.

      • Avatar of Elizabeth bethie m

         @KristinaC I will!! Thanks for your suggestion- gotta say, it is an amazing color … xo Beth in Pgh ;-)

    • Avatar of Amy xamyx

      @bethie m I hope this doesn’t sour you on the whole NARS experience! Just in case of anything, I hear NARS has an amazing CS department, and they’ll fix everything. Enjoy!

      • Avatar of Elizabeth bethie m

         @xamyx  @bethie Thank you for the assurance- I am sure you’re right. I don’t hold it against anyone, we’re all human and sometimes things get away from us. I am eager to sample Nars. Really impatient now!! xo Beth in Pgh ;-)

  17. This is one scary looking blush in a pan for someone with lighter skin!  The results really impressed me and I’ve never even taken a second glance at this colour assuming it was really meant for darker skin tones.  Great review!

  18. amy829

    Ok I took one look at that color and thought “NOOOOOOOPE!” Then I saw it on you, and WOW! Stunning! :)

  19. Avatar of artemis artemis

    so strong, hehe :D

  20. nubian_queen15

    a must-have for women of color especially those with deeper complexions. i looooove this blush. i use it almost every day. i think my fair sisters can atill rock this color, bit with a very light hand, and perhaps a stippling brush !!

  21. Looks stunning on you, Christine! I’ve always steered way clear of this blush in the store…I feel like it would just accentuate my acne in the worst way possible. Kudos to NARS for making such a stunning color for those with deeper complexions! 

  22. Whenever i go into Sephora and swatch Exhibit A i swoon a lot but i just cannot pay 28 for it
    i have no clue why! its beautiful!

  23. Ana Knupp

    I’m a NC15 in M.A.C. and this is my favorite blush, ever! I’m pretty sure I’ll never run out tought, it’s so pigmented, especially for my coloring lol :)