Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

NARS Nico Highlighting Blush
NARS Nico Blush

NARS Nico Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “natural glow.” It’s a lightly warmed-up, pale beige with a subtle sheen. When I tried thinking of potential dupes, I wasn’t finding any. The closest I could come up with was theBalm Solid Gold, which is really much yellower and frosted.

I actually think Nico was one of the first few NARS products I ever purchased, and it may have been one of my first NARS blushes. It was recommended to me as a brow highlighter, actually, and as a light wash of color for lids. As a blush, it doesn’t quite work on my skin tone. Nico is a shade that you’ll love or never have a use for, and it’s really going to depend on your skin tone and how you want to use it. It’s categorized as a blush, but I think it might be better suited as a NARS “Highlighting Blush.”  As you can see on my skin tone, it’s very nearly my skin tone–just with a sheen, so it does give me a slight “glow” when worn on the cheeks.  I do prefer it (on me) as a brow bone highlighter, because I feel like you can see it better, and it sometimes looks a bit powdery when I’ve worn it on cheeks.

The texture is very soft and finely-milled, and I’d recommend using softer bristles with it, as it can be powdery with a denser blush brush (the “scratchier” the brush feels on your skin, the more powder gets dislodged from the pan).  Nico lasts seven hours on my cheeks, and then it starts to look a bit patchy towards the eight-hour mark.  I’ve worn this of and on throughout the years, and when my cheeks are more normal, it can be quite nice, but it definitely isn’t as flattering if my cheeks have any dryness. I think for those with oilier skin types, it might work well as a highlighter as it shouldn’t look too dewy or glowy (which can sometimes make oilier skin types look oilier).  The sheen does not emphasize pores, which is the best part about it, though–it’s all sheen, no shimmer or frost.

The Glossover



The texture is on the powdery side, which can make it look less flattering on drier skin types as well as be easy to over-apply. It is soft and very blendable, so if you apply too much (and it looks powdery), it can be smoothed and blended away.











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NARS Nico Highlighting Blush
NARS Nico Blush

NARS Nico Highlighting Blush
NARS Nico Blush

NARS Nico Highlighting Blush
NARS Nico Blush

NARS Nico Highlighting Blush
NARS Nico Blush

NARS Nico Highlighting Blush
NARS Nico Blush

NARS Nico Highlighting Blush
NARS Nico Blush

NARS Nico Highlighting Blush
NARS Nico Blush

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

NARS, $29.00.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

The closest I could come up with was theBalm Solid Gold, which is really much yellower and frosted.

What makeup are you wearing?

On lips: Benefit Fauxmance.

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38 thoughts on “NARS Nico Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. I actually use this as a contour on me! It can work as a blush too.

    • I wouldn’t think it would work as well as a contour, since it reflects light, so it’s good to hear that you like it as a contour!

      • This was basically one of the first products I picked up to contour, before I found the Nyx Taupe blush (which is matte). It’s also nice when combined with NARS Silvana :)

  2. Grlnxdor

    I’m glad you did an update review on this Christine. I bought it several months ago and really love it. I’m about a NC15 and I use it lightly as a finishing powder. It just makes my skin look better than if I don’t use it. My oily forehead does get a bit “glowy by the end of the day though. I’m going to try using it as an eyeshadow.

  3. I like how subtle this is – I bet you could even use this as a finishing powder very lightly applied (you specifically, or anyone with the appropriate skintone).

  4. hmmm, too light to be a blush, but still uber pretty!

  5. artemis

    i love the glow it gives 😀 a shade like this would actually be too dark as a highlighter :)))

  6. My sister uses this and it does look good on her. But she’s a bit on the pale side (think geisha, no kidding) and I’m more of a light tan so the color just fades into my skin. She uses it both as a blush and a highlighter and it looks great both ways.

  7. Liz

    I don’t see anything on your cheeks in the full face shots.

  8. Paddychat

    Do you think that Douceur is near Nico ?

    Thank´s !

  9. Oooh this really does look like it’d make a gorgeous brow highlight. It’s so natural but has that gorgeous sheen! I’ve never heard of this shade but I will definitely be checking it out now!

  10. Veronica

    I’ve considered this blush several times when I’ve passed by it on the counter. I’ve somewhere between an NC10 and 15, so I think it would make a nice, subtle blush/highlighter. I might have to grab it the next time I hit the NARS counter. :)

  11. EvilStepQueen

    I have combo/oily skin and I love how Nico looks as a highlighter! Other highlighters are too frosty on me and they accentuate the shine. This has a soft subtle shine that compliments me well. I would definitely purchase again!

  12. I love this one as a very natural daytime highlighter on me (about NC15). I agree there aren’t a lot of skin tones that can wear it, but it does provide what it promises- a natural glow.

  13. That is so pretty on you! I wonder if color shows up on pale skins?

  14. Zainab

    I am curious to try this. I was going to have a look at Albatross for a highlighter, but I was worried it would look to shiny, oily and… yellow, on me. But this might work. I’ve been told that Nars Kilimanjaro (the yellow side, which I have) is basically the same as Albstross, if so I can’t imagine it looking good all over my face, though it’s beautiful as an eyeshadow. Thanks for pointing this out, it’s subtle and tasteful, so I’d have probably ignored it if I didn’t know better :)

    • Veronica

      Albatross wears more white-gold than yellow gold on me. I was hesitant to buy it myself, since I didn’t expect the golden sheen to look right on my fair, cool-toned skin, but it’s become one of my favorite highlighters.

      This being said, it’s definitely a brighter highlighter. Not quite as in-your-face as Copacabana, but it’s definitely more of metallic sheen than a subtle glow. :)

  15. Selena

    This sounds exactly like Wet n Wild’s Reserve Your Cabana bronzer! The blogging community recommended this as a highlight and it has absolutely the most subtle sheen. Plus it’s only five bucks! I often use only liquid/cream products on my face so this may just be me, but I found it a little powdery as well–not overly so, but it noticeably catches in the fuzz on my cheeks. I wonder how these two compare.

    • xamyx

      I haven’t tried the WnW (although now I want to-I’d love to find an inexpensive dupe for “everyday”), but I find Nico to apply smoothly, without emphasizing any flaws, including facial fuzz. I find it sort of just melts right into the skin.

      Again, thanks for the WnW tip; I’ve passed it up so many times in the store because it doesn’t look the same in the pan, but I’ll pick it up next time I see it.

  16. I think this is a really pretty product, but I do wish it had more of the color that it appears in the pan

  17. Hmm, Nico doesn’t seem to be not enough color for a blush for you, and I don’t think it would do much for me. Interesting other uses that you mention, e.g. brow highlighter or shadow. I love your lipstick. It looks great on you. What is it…or did I miss that?

  18. That looks really pretty. I think it would work well with a nicely contoured face, i.e. heavily contour under the cheekbones then dust it over the cheekbones and voila, instant chiseled face!

  19. xamyx

    Nico is a product I plan to *never* be without, as long as it’s available. I use it for *everything*: daytime highlighter, finishing powder for more formal occasions (especially if I’m wearing a heavier foundation), and to add dimension to a matte blush, or diffuse more pigmented ones.

    I’m in the NC15/Ivory range, and while this blends into my skintone, it does make a difference in my makeup application. Also, I have larger pores, along with some minor acne scarring (the indented kind), and not only does it not emphasize these things, it actually helps them appear less noticeable.

  20. Adelita

    Finally you reviewed Nico, I love this for ages!
    So true, it looks good on my oily skin.

    BTW, this is off topic, but I’m thinking to buy either Guerlain Meteorites Voyage or Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. Which one of those that you think will more suitable on my oily skin w/o making it looks oilier and won’t emphasize my pores? I can’t compare both in person because we don’t have Hourglass counter here (I’m planning to buy it online).

    Thanks! 😉

    • Hourglass has more of a powdery texture, so I think that would be better for your oily skin – the Meteorites Voyage does more to add glow/finish but I don’t think it’s your best bet to mattify. Neither should emphasize pores, though!

      • Adelita

        So I guess I have to get both of them to have the best of both worlds, huh? *LOL*
        One more thing, I just realize that you once said that the Hourglass is more like Guerlain Meteorites Illuminating and Mattifying Pressed Powder, so which one of those that you think would be suitable for my skin type better? Thanks!

  21. Oh.


    Now I need this. I love nude blushes, plus my nickname? Why haven’t I got this yet?

  22. I really like that, but I think I’d fall into the “don’t have a use for it” category.

  23. Erica

    Christine, would this pass as a highlighter blush for NC 55 skin tones? It seems so pretty as a subtle neutral matte highlighter for darker skin.

  24. I think this is so pretty. Fair and light but still has that nice glow to it. I don’t know about wearing it as a highlighter or blush but honestly, I think I’d wear this as an eyeshadow.

  25. cncx

    Another NC15 here…I really like this as a highlighter or as an eyeshadow for a “no makeup” look.