Review: NARS Dual Intensity Blush in “Panic”


NarsPanicThese new Dual Intensity Blushes from NARS have major pan appeal, am I right? The unique shades, the glowy finish, the geometric embossing…I could go on. Needless to say, I was desperate to get my mitts on one of these from the moment I first saw them in the “What’s New” section on Since they come with a fairly hefty price tag, I’m glad I had the opportunity to check them out in store before buying. I went to Vancouver last weekend and made a beeline for the NARS display as soon as I got there. And then…I almost didn’t buy one! I took a look at the testers, did some swatching and then walked away thinking that these just weren’t for me. I thought the shades were too bright and the finish was too shiny. I like my blushes subtle and matte, and these were just too much for me. What looked gorgeous and wearable on my computer screen, looked garish and glittery under the intense lights in the store.

And yet, something changed my mind. I started to wonder if maybe I need to step out of my comfort zone when it comes to blush. So, I did buy one, and I went with the brightest duo in the bunch! “Panic” comes with a bright fuchsia pink and a deeper, more corally pink. I hesitate to call it coral though, because it’s not your standard coral. It’s a little more red. It’s hard to describe, so I took a million swatch photos until I got one that captures the shades accurately.

panicswatchBoth shades in this duo have a glowy finish, but they’re not overly shimmery. When I swatch them, I can see shimmer particles in both shades, but when they’re blended onto the cheeks, you don’t see flecks of shimmer. Even in direct sunlight, all I can see is a subtle sheen.

Now, the gimmick with these blushes is that they can be applied wet or dry. According to the packaging, applying them dry gives you “sheer color” while using a damp brush gives you a “high-impact finish.” I’ve tried them wet and dry, and I do find that you get more colour payoff with the damp brush. Most of the time I can’t be bothered to dampen my brush, but it is nice to have the option and to know that you won’t ruin the product by getting it wet. (I’ve inadvertently ruined a few eyeshadows that way.)

So how does one justify that hefty price tag? Well, I guess NARS is giving us three blushes in one here. You can wear the shades individually or mix them for a custom blend. (I’m partial to mixing the two.) I only feel bad about spending a lot of money on a product if it ends up going to waste. I don’t see that happening with this one, because it is very wearable and versatile. I’ve used it every day since I got it and it seems to complement just about any look. I would definitely swatch before you buy if you can, though. With these, appearances can be deceiving.

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