The contour blush is one of the newest additions to NARS permanent line of products. I was pretty intrigued by it when I saw it at the NARS counter – a contour – a blush?
I was a bit confused because contouring products and blushes are two different things. Contouring products are for defining areas of the face and are a few shades darker than the individual’s skin tone, while blushes (pink/peach/etc.) are for adding color to the cheeks, for mimicking a natural flush.
I checked the NARS website and found a how-to video for this product. In the said video, the makeup artist brushed the Paloma Contour Blush on the hollows of the cheek, then applied Orgasm Blush on the area above it. So, Paloma is pretty much a contour shade. I still tried applying Paloma as I would a regular blush, but it looked too dark for a blush, and I didn’t really find it flattering. I was kind of expecting that I would like it as a blush because some of my favorite NARS blushes – Madly and Luster, are nude/bronzy shades.
Now that we have established that it works more as a contouring powder than a blush (or at least for me it does), let’s talk about the actual product.
The NARS Contour Blush includes two shades: a deeper one for creating definition and a lighter one for illuminating. It’s in a compact that’s slightly bigger than regular NARS blushes and has a big mirror inside.
The contour blushes are available in three shades. There’s Olympia, which is the lightest; Paloma, the middle shade; and Gienah, the darkest. My skin tone is warm, with yellow undertones – NC30-35 at MAC. Olympia was too light for my skin, Paloma showed up just fine, and with Gienah, I could actually use the darker shade but it would make for a more dramatic contour. I prefer a subtle contour so I chose Paloma.
NARS describes the darker color in the compact as a “deep rose,” which isn’t inaccurate. It’s a matte light brown with rosy undertones. It’s different from most contouring shades that I have seen, which often have an orange tone, or bronzers, which are more golden. I see the pink in it when I have applied it and my cheek area happens to be flushed. My cheek ends up looking more pink.
You’d think it being cool-toned would clash with my warm skin tone, but since it’s sheer, it ends up looking natural and subtle as a contouring product, which is just how I like it. It’s great for subtle, everyday contouring. Not that I contour my face everyday, but if I wanted to, this product would be efficient for that because the color applies softly and blends easily on the skin. The powder feels silky and smooth.
Now as for the highlight shade in the compact, it’s kind of a mystery to me. It’s a sheer light beige with a pink undertone that looks totally matte when applied. No shimmer, shine, or sheen at all. When I put it on my face it pretty much disappears. In the hand swatch photo, it looks like it could work, but in person the finish of it looks flat. I don’t understand how it’s supposed to highlight. I wish Nars had put in something like NARS Nico (one of my favorite highlighters) instead of this.
Paloma lasts on my skin for several hours and doesn’t oxidize. It gives me more defined cheekbones while remaining natural looking. I find that it nicely melds with blush shades, especially pinks and corals.
Pros of NARS Contour Blush – Paloma:
- Sheer, soft, buildable color.
- Both powders have a silky, smooth texture.
- Blends easily on the skin.
- The darker shade is matte, so no worries about looking too shiny.
- Gives a natural-looking contour to the cheeks.
- The rosy undertone of Paloma melds nicely with pink and coral blushes.
- Long wear time.
- The colors don’t oxidize or turn orange-y.
- Doesn’t turn patchy on the skin.
- The big mirror in the compact is pretty convenient.
Cons of NARS Contour Blush – Paloma:
- The lighter shade doesn’t highlight effectively, it’s too flat.
- The darker shade can’t be used on the rest of the face, unless your skin is very cool toned.
- The high price.
Would I Repurchase NARS Contour Blush – Paloma?
I think if you’re looking for a product that can give more definition to your cheeks, without looking fake or too obvious, and with no worries of looking orange, you should look into the NARS Contour Blush. However, it should also be noted that this product is rather cool-toned, so those with warm skin tones should test it in-store before buying.
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