NARS Darling Air Matte Blush ($30.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a brighter, light-medium pink-coral with subtle, warm undertones and a mostly matte finish. It had sheer color coverage, which wasn’t easy to build up in person; if anything, the more I tried to build up the color, the less color adhered to the area as the product lifted up and bunched up in places. It was supposed to be sheer, but it was also supposed to be buildable, which it was not.
It applied best with a fluffy, synthetic brush, but the formula was difficult to work with as it pilled up on itself and was very difficult to smooth out for an even application of color. It didn’t improve by warming it up between fingertips or on the back of my hand. The pressure necessary to really push and almost grind out the pill-like bits was excessive and didn’t really work on my cheeks (which are less of a firm/flat surface like my forearm). The color was hard to get to look even, and it was really the sheerness that made it look passable at all.
It did not apply well over base products as it was prone to lifting and moving foundation/concealer around. It was best over bare skin, though “best” is kind of like “not the worst” in this context. There was visible fading after six hours of wear.
FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).
- Dior My Lady (003) (LE, $60.00) is more shimmery, darker (95% similar).
- ColourPop Interstellar (LE, $12.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar).
- Charlotte Tilbury Summer (LE, ) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).
- Natasha Denona Darya (P, $22.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar).
- Tom Ford Beauty Warm (Winter 2016) Blush (LE, $60.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).
- NYX Summer Peach (DC, $5.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar).
- MAC Spring Flock (LE, $24.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).
- Gucci Beauty Coral Flower (DC, $49.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).
- Charlotte Tilbury Seductive Beauty (Cheek Pop) (LE, $40.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).
- ColourPop Snickerdoodle (PiP, $12.00) is darker (90% similar).
$30.00/0.21 oz. - $142.86 Per Ounce
The formula is supposed to have a "soft matte finish" with "sheer, buildable coverage" that is "perfectly diffused" and "beautifully blends and blurs for second-skin color that lasts." Per the brand, the formula can be applied with fingertips or a brush, and I didn't have good luck with fingertips at all. A brush was marginally better, but I failed to achieve even coverage with any method or tool that I tried.
The amount of pressure one needed to get a smooth application just did not lend itself for actual cheek application; I could get somewhat smoother, more even coverage on my arm, where I could really push and rub at my skin, but it's not practical to do that to one's cheek (which is less of a flat surface), particularly if one has any base products on (welcome to Lift City!).
The texture of the blush felt airy and mousse-like, but it immediately pilled upon contact of my skin, and I just couldn't get it to smooth out in practice. I tried applying the product to the back of my hand to try and warm it up, but it was quick to dry down and still quite pilled, and by the time I transferred product to my skin, there was almost no coverage available. If I tried to build up coverage, the initial layer just pushed or lifted off my skin, so everything looked worse the more I fussed with it.
What little product translated (and as poor as it looked on), it stayed there for six to seven hours before fading. They delivered on the sheer coverage, but they weren't buildable, blendable, smoothing, blurring, or long-wearing.
Browse all of our NARS Air Matte Blush swatches.
DIMETHICONE · HYDROGENATED POLYISOBUTENE · C30-45 ALKYL DIMETHICONE · JOJOBA ESTERS · OCTYLDODECANOL · MICA · HDI/TRIMETHYLOL HEXYLLACTONE CROSSPOLYMER · DIMETHICONE/VINYL DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER · DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER · NYLON-12 · SILICA · PASSIFLORA EDULIS SEED OIL · SORBITAN OLEATE · MAGNESIUM OXIDE · ALUMINA · TOCOPERHOL · PHENOXYETHANOL · [+/-(MAY CONTAIN/PEUT CONTENIR): BISMUTH OXYCHLORIDE (CI 77163) · IRON OXIDES (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499) · RED 28 LAKE (CI 45410) · RED 7 LAKE (CI 15850) · TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891) · YELLOW 5 LAKE (CI 19140)] ·
Disclaimer: Ingredient lists are as available by the brand (or retailer) at the time of publishing. Please always check product packaging, if it exists, for the ingredient list applicable to the product you're purchasing, or the brand or retailer's website for the most up-to-date ingredient list.