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.
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.
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It’s summer — one of the best ways to add color to any look with ease is through a good blush. Tangerine is no doubt in this year, but how about some orange? Benefit Cha Cha Cha is the closest you’ll find here for a tamer shade of orange.
NARS Exhibit A Blush ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a fiery orange that’s as pigmented as it looks in the pan. It is an intimidating shade to be sure, because it does go on something FIERCE! even when you are careful. Exhibit A has a matte finish, so it won’t accentuate fine lines or pores, and it can easily be buffed and blended onto skin so it looks natural and not quite so obviously orange.
When I wore this the other day, I used MAC’s 184 Brush, because it gave me the ability to really apply it subtly and softly against the angle of my cheek. The width of the brush allowed me to deposit the initial burst of color onto the majority of my cheek, and then I could feather it out with soft strokes.
It doesn’t pull too red, and it certainly doesn’t pull yellow, which makes it wearable regardless of your undertones. I particularly love this blush on our darker skinned beauties (plus, it shows intensely even on darker skin tones). Don’t let this blush scare you — it can be worn and worn without fear. Just be sure to have your buffing brush and some loose setting powder on hand to blend and diffuse it!
P.S. — U.S. NARS customers can get a trio of miniature-sized lipglosses in Stolen Kisses, Risky Business, and Moonfleet with code TEMPTALIA on orders of $25 or more, expires 8/15.
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Ease of Use: 4/5
RECOMMENDATION: Whether you want a subtle touch of orange or a heart stopping shade of fiery orange on your cheeks, Exhibit A is capable of both.
Substitutes: Making It Easy = Dazzlelight (soft beige), Soft Brown (soft brown), Arena (medium brown); Naughty You = Lustering; Hi-Falutin’ = Enchantress
For eyes, start by applying Smudgeproof as your eyeshadow base all over the eye area with the 249. Using the 239, apply the soft beige eyeshadow on the lower lid. Lightly blend the soft brown eyeshadow on the middle of the lid and into the crease with the 239. Next, apply the medium brown eyeshadow into the crease with the 226, lightly blending onto the outer lid. Blend the soft beige eyeshadow with the crease shade and highlight the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Cassis eyeliner on the lower lash line. Finish by sweeping lashes with Definicils Precious Cells mascara.
For cheeks, apply Exhibit A blush on the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116, then lightly pat Mary Lou Manizer on the cheekbones.
For lips, apply Naughty You lipstick first, and then layer Hi-Falutin’ dazzleglass for a complementing lip.