NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is more of a highlighter/blush concept, as the lightest shade is most similar to other gold highlighters we’ve seen in the past. The formula is a lot easier to work with dry, as it blended nicely and just didn’t take nearly as much effort to work into the skin as a damp application. If you wear foundation underneath these, I would recommend great care and some brush experimentation when using the formula damp, as using NARS’ Wet/Dry Blush Brush lifts the color and doesn’t blend the color well at all. I think this duo was a lot more flattering on the skin, as the texture wasn’t emphasized terribly (compared the first one I reviewed).

If you missed my initial review of this formula, you can find it here, but it went into more detail about the formula. As a recap, NARS is touting these as a wet/dry formula with the wet formula yielding a “translucent wash of color,” which is really the opposite of my experience, as applying either shade with a dampened brush intensifies both the color and the finish (if it has any shimmer)–this would have rated a B+ if it was described as most wet/dry formulas were (including their own Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow formula, which is damp application yields greater pigment/intensity).

Frenzy (Left) is described as a “sparkling soft pink-gold highlighter.” It’s a brightened, true yellow gold with warm undertones and a metallic finish. I don’t see any pink in the pan, whether from afar, up-close, or when swatched (wet or dry). The texture is firmly packed, and this was a shade that yielded only so-so color coverage with brushes but will yield better pigmentation if you use your fingertips. It had a luminous finish that gave the skin a sheen (and didn’t give me much color, but I’m medium in color) without emphasizing pores. It wore well for seven hours. When I applied it damp, it was more pigmented and significantly more shimmery, but it only slightly emphasized pores and wore well for eight hours. Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is very similar. Dior Transatlantique (LE, $58.00) is darker. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer (P, $24.00) is lighter. MAC Whisper of Gilt (LE, $30.00) is similar. Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder (LE, $70.00) is darker. Chanel Mouche de Beaute Illuminating Powder (LE, $80.00) is similar. Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder (LE, $80.00) is yellower. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Frenzy (Right) is described as a “shimmering bright tangerine orange.” It’s a medium-dark orange with warm, yellow-red undertones and a soft, pearly shimmer. The texture was softer while still being smooth. Applied dry, you’ll get semi-opaque coverage with a softer quality to it, while the finish appears more satiny on the skin. I was able to get seven and a half hours of wear when I applied it dry. When I tried using the blush damp, the color payoff was deeper and richer with a more pronounced shimmery sheen. It was harder to blend and work with when used damp, though it lasted for nine hours. MAC Style Cast (LE, $21.00) is lighter. MAC Seduced at Sea (LE, $25.00) is slightly redder. MAC Modern Mandarin (P, $21.00) is darker, redder. Sleek MakeUP Pink Mint (P, $6.99) iis darker. MAC Bad Girl Gone Good (LE, $21.00) is more muted. NARS Soulshine #2 (LE, $29.00) is similar. NARS Luster (P, $29.00) is lighter, yellower, more shimmery. MAC My Paradise (LE, $28.00) is similar when mixed. MAC Shape the Future (LE, $30.00) is darker, more orange. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

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See more photos & swatches!

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy (Left) Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy (Left) Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy (Left) Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy (Left) Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy (Left) Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy (Left) Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy (Left) Dual-Intensity Blush (Wet)
NARS Frenzy (Left) Dual-Intensity Blush (Wet)

NARS Frenzy (Left) Dual-Intensity Blush (Wet)
NARS Frenzy (Left) Dual-Intensity Blush (Wet)

NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush (Wet)
NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush (Wet)

NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush (Wet)
NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush (Wet)

NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush (Both Shades, Dry)

NARS Frenzy (Right) Dual-Intensity Blush
THIS IS TO SHOW THE POOR PERFORMANCE OF THE NARS WET/DRY BLUSH BRUSH USED DAMP.
NARS’ Wet/Dry Blush Brush + Wet Application = Streaky mess
To apply NARS’ new blush formula wet, I used MAC’s 159 with much less fussy results.

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Makeup Look
On face:
  • Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation
  • Urban Decay Naked Loose Setting Powder
On eyes:
  • NARS Colombo
  • Jezebel
  • Brousse
  • All About Eve Eyeshadows
  • Sephora Sun Tan Eyeliner
On lips:
  • NARS Jane Lipstick
About Reviewer
Review FAQ
Reviewer

Christine Mielke is the editor-in-chief and has been reviewing products for over 14 years.

She has normal-to-dry skin with occasional dryness on cheeks and nose. She has a light plus skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones (view her foundation matches here).

Learn more about her review process here.

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71 Comments

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Looks like a nice duo for the summer. The blush color is very “fruity.” It’s settled now that I must have this lipstick. I was scrolling down going “Oooo is that Jane, is that NARS Jane…”

I first thought “DAAAAANG she’s GOOD!” as I thought you guessed the lipstick color, then I dug around a bit and found her list of what else she’s wearing! LOL

I apply the blush on bare skin with no setting or finishing powder over or under it. I keep foundation on my forehead, nose, etc. but I try to leave my cheek area bare, and I don’t put setting or finishing powder over any cheek product I’m showing a swatch of in its review.

Okay, good to know! So it’s not “reacting” to other product, which means if I get one of these, I won’t even bother to try it damp. If it’s that patchy on bare (presumably moisturized) skin, I can just imagine what it’ll look like over foundation, LOL!

It’s workable damp, I just wouldn’t bother with NARS’ brush – it is SO bad with the product damp 🙁 I used MAC’s 159 duo fiber, and it was much, much better, even if I did blush over liquid foundation (tested just to see how it would work out).

I wish they would just market these as normal powder blushes and stop trying to pretend that they could work wet… The wet powder blush application just makes no sense to me

lol! Or they could have at least kept it in line with the eyeshadow formula – more intensity, heightened finish. For testing purposes alone, I certainly wish it was just dry 😉

gorgeous color! and i love that Frenzy is a dupe for Mac’s Whisper of Gilt 🙂 Speaking of Mac will you be reviewing the Bao Bao Wan Collection from them? I want to pick up some things from the collection , like the lipstick and highlighter in particular but havent been able to find any reviews or swatches on it

I couldn’t even out the color at all with their brush 🙁 I’ve been using MAC’s 159 for wet and dry application, and it’s SO much easier to use.

Yep! It’s really hard to use the NARS’ brush for wet application 🙁 I had to complete remove all the product and start over with a different brush to show wet application, lol!

Oh wow, the last picture! That’s kind of what I was expecting from wet application of powder blush, but I’m glad that it works better with other brushes.

Frenzy is only duo in this launch that I thought could work for me, but I just don’t like how it looks on. The tangerine side isn’t very flattering I think, even dry, and I own much better highlighters. Meh.

The lipstick you’re wearing on the other hand looks FANTASTIC. Jane is part of the Audacious range, right?

Eminently dupable, especially since I already have Opal, albeit in the liquid format. The coral one *is* gorgeous, though, and looks really lovely on you – well, maybe not in the wet/dry brush demo picture, lol. That is definitely a bad brush :-(.

When I used the brush, my jaw dropped, because while it wasn’t winning me over to begin with, it sealed its fate with that damp application.

Yep.. I love this one! And Nars Jane just went onto my wish list too! I was going to console myself with Bette since I didn’t get in on the short re- release of the 001 Bite this past weekend. But, wow..you are making Jane look darn good! Decisions,decisions!

I hate that these are turning out to be more on the sheer side. Especially since they don’t apply and blend too well wet. I was looking forward to getting this duo but now I’m not too sure. I’ll have to see it in person

I had to read it a few times and all the comments to realize that the last photo is to portray the BRUSH performance not this blush,.I’m straight on this now right? I was loving this ..then whoa! whoa! I see that last photo and am like whaaat happened to poor Christine’s cheek?lol..Glad I don’t have to buy a brush too!

Correct, it’s to show just how poor the NARS’ *brush* performs when used damp to apply their own blush 🙂 I ended up having to remove and start over with MAC’s brush to apply!

Yeah..I realized that after reading thoroughly again ,maybe twice.Just wanted to clarify as it seemed there was a little confusion.I am honestly not surprised on the brush. I just think Nars needs to give it up in the brush department and focus on color or pass it to a Japanese maker like most of the big names do. I cannot stand any of their brushes to date.Gosh, they are like Brillo pads on a stick..so scratchy! Thankfully, although, not a huge fan of too many of Mac’s brush’s, I do think they did a great job with some. I do have the #159 and actually I have been wanting to grab a back up. It is awesome for cream contour and highlight,blush. I have also heard the Real Techniques contour brush is pretty good too. But ,so far I have only seen it in the “core” set, which I don’t; know if I would use the others and at $18, I could almost get another #159. But, I have been wanting to check out some Hakuhodo or cd Japan,etc, duo fiber brushes..but that research is a weeks long process. If you know of one, please give me a shout about it.Otherwise, i may be lazy and eventually just get the tried and true #159. 🙂

Yes, NARS’ brushes are a disappointment on the whole, and even more so since they revamped the whole line within the past year (so there’s really no excuse), but they seem to be so poorly cut.

I liked the look of this one the most! It’s a skip though, I have a few highlighters I love enough to make this one unnecessary. The blush is gorgeous but I know it would be too full on for me.

Hey Christine, have you got a guide somewhere as to how you “typically” apply products for testing? I saw below that you applied this over bare skin, is that something you’d typically do?

I apply products over bare skin – foundation can amplify intensity of color and/or improve wear, so I don’t use foundation under blushes for the same reason I don’t use primer under eyeshadow. There’s not much to generalize about the process: I just test products as-is unless a brand is smart enough to say “use it with primer for long-wear!” (which nearly never happens).

Holy moly – the application in that last photo is a real indictment of either the brush itself or the wet application process generally. Someone like you – with really vast experience of makeup formulas and application processes – gets a result like THAT? So what hope is there for those with less experience? This colour is a “no go” for me but what the heck was NARS thinking in coming up with this formula and the wet/dry brush to go with it??? I’m still keen on the pinker shades but who in their right mind would buy that brush?

That’s the brush, ALL the brush. I applied the same blush duo wet with a MAC 159 (that’s the regular photo of the blush applied damp), but the NARS brush performed so terribly for damp application that I needed to make sure everyone could see JUST how bad.

Oh my god, the wet application looks like a slap across the face! besides.. i don’t get the concept of these blushes. why the hell would someone wanna apply a blush wet? there’s powder blush, cream blush, HD liquid blush… and now this? unnecessary.

It’s more the brush than the product itself, since it did apply fine with a different brush. I think maybe I need to remove the photo, since it seems to be causing more confusion!

I love orangey shimmer shades and this looks lovely on you Christine! I am not sure if I would apply this on wet. I would have to try this blush when I get a chance but nothing tops my Taj Mahal blush!

I think that gold shade will be a great dupe for macs whisper of gilt (as you stated that they were similar!) being that it’s one of my favorite highlighters I’ll have to check this out. It’s about time a company makes a product like it permanent!

The blush in this duo is very pretty! But the idea of applying a blush wet is something that sounds so weird to me. I mean, normally when you apply an eyeshadow wet is harder to blend, and it’s very important that blush gets well blended… but well, it looks amazing in your pictures so I guess that’s not the case. 😛

I try my best to make products not look… horrible in photos, though there is a certain point where I’ll stop and go, “that’s all folks!”

Thanks for the tip, PJ! I just tried it, but I couldn’t tell the difference in terms of results of that vs. my MAC 159 vs. fingertips (both about the same – fingertips blend better). I’ve tried 10 different types of brushes, sponges, and fingertips over the course of testing these, lol!

Hi Christine, nice review as always! Just seeking your opinion if it’s okay to apply this blush with natural hair brushes (wayne goss’ brushes as an example) to get a more natural hue for a day time look. I just bought this exact shade on a whim and I’m contemplating if I should give this a go or exchange it with Nars Madly.

Thanks!!

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