Tuesday, March 17, 2015

NARS Duo-Intensity Blush in "Frenzy": Review and Swatches

Disclaimer: Product featured was provided for review.
New from NARS for Spring 2015 is the Duo-Intensity Blush ($52 CAD). Available in six duos, the big selling point of these new blushes is their special lightweight formulation that's designed for both dry and wet application. I've never tried applying a powder blush wet so this was definitely an intriguing product for me. To read more, click.......
The Duo-Intensity Blush comes in a square compact with the classic NARS matte finish. The compact has a nice mirror and a convenient magnetic closure. The two shades are kept in individual compartments and they are pressed with a simple geometric pattern.
NARS Duo-Intensity Blush in "Frenzy"
The Duo-Intensity Blush definitely has an interesting texture. It's a very finely-milled, soft powder that's not as compressed as ordinary powder blushes. Although it swatches nicely with fingers, the product applies very sheerly with a brush. In fact, it takes quite a bit of effort to even pick up a lot of powder using a normal powder brush. The formulation is buildable though, so it's possible to vary the intensity even when used dry.
I am not fan of using powders wet because I've always noticed that after using a powder wet, it takes on a hardened, more compressed texture that's difficult to use dry again. I wet spot-tested a patch of the darker color of the duo and it does become more pigmented. However, I am just not used applying blush wet, I think it's just more time-consuming.
NARS Duo-Intensity Blush in "Frenzy"
"Frenzy" features two colors, a satin peach and a pale champagne gold. When swatched dry, they both are decently pigmented. But again, it's difficult to pick up the dry powder with a blush brush.
NARS Duo-Intensity Blush in "Frenzy" (swatched dry with fingers)
I think this is an interesting product as NARS is trying to introduce a new way to apply powder blushes. When used dry, the colors are hard to pick up with a brush and thus applies sheer. It's buildable but it takes quite a lot of layers to obtain a nice flush. The color indeed is a lot more intense when applied wet but I think it's not the most efficient way to apply a blush as you have to wet your brush and then take the time to really blend the color into the rest of your makeup. Additionally, the shade Frenzy fades very quickly when applied dry, mostly due to its super thin and lightweight texture. Overall this was a bit underwhelming, I appreciate the concept but it's just not pragmatic. Additionally, the $52 CAD price tag makes this one of the most expensive blushes I own!

NARS is available online and in stores at Sephora.