NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Adoration Review & Swatches

Following the success of the Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow, NARS has released a new line of cheek colors with the same formula called Dual-Intensity Blush. What’s so special about the new line-up is that each compact contains two contrasting cheek colors with a formula that can be used wet or dry depending on the desired effect. It’s a rather unique concept and today I have one of the six colors available to share with you. I may or may have not bought this shade just because of the “adorable” name! ;)

NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush is housed in a square, rubberized and magnetized compact truly of NARS’ packaging style. There is a full-sized mirror inside and a clear insert covering the powder pan. Unliked the NARSissist Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow Palette (review), the blush version does not come with any applicator.

NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush

The Dual-Intensity Blush has similar pattern and texture as the Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow — finely-milled and firmly-pressed. The surface looks and feels stiff upon swatching but it actually applies softly and nicely on the skin without being powdery or patchy. I find that it takes a little work to blend to a diffused finish but it’s not uneasy to do so by any means.

NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush


  • The highlighting shade – pale baby pink; frosted finish
    • Dry: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I love pale pink highlighters in general so naturally I am smitten with this shade. Depending on the amount applied, it can impart anything from a light glow to a softly frosted sheen to a full-on frosted finish on the cheeks. The powder is fairly pigmented and easy to build. It swatches nicely with an almost-opaque coverage but on my medium skin, it goes on quite sheer and will take a couple of layers for the color to show up. It can be used to highlight other parts of the face as well such as the inner corners of the eyes and brow bone. Just be mindful of where you apply as it can slightly emphasize pores and skin’s imperfections.
    • Wet: The coverage becomes fully opaque — almost liquid metallic-like. I have worn it out at night and I have to say I absolutely love the unusual, high-sheen effect! It takes extra work to blend to a smooth finish but the effect is so worth the extra effort. Similar to the dry application, beware of where you place it on the face as using it wet will significantly accentuate pores and skin’s texture.
  • The blush shade – medium hot pink; shimmery finish
    • Dry: At first I thought the color was going to look sort of hot pink on my cheeks as described but it turns out to be an unpredictable yet balanced mix of pink, red, and coral. It contains fine shimmer but leaves more of a satin finish on the skin. It is nicely pigmented and one pass is generally enough for a lightly flushed look. It doesn’t blend as smoothly as I would like but with a soft fluffy brush, I can manage to get a soft and diffused look with ease. It doesn’t highlight pores but it does make redness become more prominent. I have some deep acne scars on my cheeks and this shade seems to make them more visible. So only apply sparingly and strategically! :)
    • Wet: The pigmentation and coverage becomes like “woah”! At first I didn’t quite get NARS’ description of the wet application: “apply wet for translucent, second-skin finish” because once I wet it, it becomes super opaque and not really skin-like. However, I kept playing with it and found that you only need to damp your brush just a tiny bit and apply the smallest amount — the very same way when you apply a liquid or gel cheek tint/stain. I normally use my damp finger to apply by dabbing 3-4 dots on my cheeks, then I will follow with a stippling or soft fluffy brush to blend to avoid patchiness. It sounds strange but I do feel that I get a more natural and glowy finish with the shade applied wet than dry.

I generally prefer dry application since it’s easier and faster to blend to a smooth finish but when I do have extra time, I like to play with the wet application as well. Worn dry and wet, the color lasts approximately 7-8 and 8-9 hours, respectively. Using the powder wet does not harden the surface at all so you don’t have to worry about ruining the beautiful texture! :)

NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush

Below is how Adoration looks on me worn dry. I hope you are able to see a hint of that soft pink sheen from the highlighting shade! :)

Wearing NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush
Wearing NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush

You can wear each shade alone or layer them to tone down the sheen from the highlighting shade and to add a bit of glow to the blush shade. You can also mix the wet and dry application to create your own distinct look. The options are yours and I encourage you to experiment! If hot pink is not your cup of tea, there are 5 other duos to choose from. NARS Dual-Intensity Blush is a product I feel worthy of the price tag and that everyone should give it a try. :)


US$45 at SephoraNordstromNARS

฿1,700 at Sephora Thailand

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  1. says: Sunny

    Hey Jaa, I absolutely love this on you! I do hope to swatch them before making up my mind tho, as my skin can’t always handle a lot of sheen.

    1. says: Jaa

      Did you get to swatch these in person yet, Sunny? Did you like any of the colors? I think there’s one duo that does not include the highlighting shade. The sheen is not that strong when applied dry, though. I think you should be OK! :)

  2. says: Lena L

    You look adorable! Love the lime accent in the inner corner. So fresh!
    The blush duo looks great, but I doubt if I’d ever want to wet blush for intensified effect especially if it is from NARS. I find their core blush line is already quite pigmented.
    I did think they would make great eyeshadow shades if wet, though. ;)

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks, Lena, and great tip! I don’t see myself using it wet often, either, unless I have extra time (which is rarely ever). It’s already super pigmented dry but the wet effect looks really fresh on the skin!

  3. says: Agata

    I love it, if I was going to get one of these blushes, Adoration would be my first choice too! I love the combination of shades and how intense they are!

  4. says: Jessie

    It looks gorgeous on you Jaa! I love your eye make up too :) It will be awesome if you can do a FOTD kinda post :D
    ps.I’m still a bit skeptical on the applying powder blush wet….. :o

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks for a post idea, Jessie! I’ll see what I can do! :D Just think of it as applying a cheek stain! Same concept! :)

  5. says: Sheila

    Wow that colour is beautiful! I kept wondering if applying it wet would mean that it’s harder to blend out, but you described it like applying a cheek tint so that makes a lot more sense.

    1. says: Jaa

      Yeah, I couldn’t figure it out at first but then I started playing with it and it felt just like applying cheek tint! :)

  6. This is a beauty on you! For some reason, none of these duos really called to me, but your photos are gorgeousness personified. If this puppy happened to end up in my basket at Sephora, it would be primarily due to this post, 555! ;D

  7. says: Alice

    Such a gorgeous shade on you, Jaa! These Dual-Intensity Blushers have been all over my Instagram feed and there’s no denying these look be-au-ti-ful. Applying blusher wet is something very new for me though – I wonder how that will go! :p

    Alice ♥︎

  8. says: Kimmy

    I wasn’t sure about these at first but I do love a pale pink highlighter myself – the sheen doesn’t look too bad. :-)

    1. says: Jaa

      Me, too! I know a golden highlighter would probably compliment my skin better but I’m always fascinated by the pale pink one! It look so unusual against my coloring (in a good way, or so I think, lol) and I like it! :)

  9. says: Liz

    Jaa! Thanks for explaining the wet application because I was so confused about why blushes would need to be applied wet and completely ignored these duos. It looks really pretty and natural on your cheeks. God, I’m in so much trouble now, hahahahaha.

    1. says: Jaa

      Haha yeah, it feels just like applying cheek tint to me. :) Did you do a haul post from the Sephora sale yet? I’d love to see what you ended up getting! :)

  10. says: Cheong MY

    I wonder what is the right way to apply it wet. I would assume you pick the blusher with wet fingers and dab across the cheek.

  11. says: Zeebi Kabeer

    Whoa what pinks!! Can’t wait to check out other shades. I love blushes. Unfortunately I’ve got pits (craters if you will – haha) right on my cheeks from teenage acne and sometimes the blushes “accentuates” them. Nevertheless I still love them!

    1. says: Jaa

      I have so many of those on my cheeks from adult acne! >.< I'm still wearing my blush often, though. I'm just trying to be more cautious of what color will accentuate them. :)

      1. says: Zeebi

        You go gal!!!

        I am going to take a look at the different shades they have. I love the fact that they can be used dry or wet and the option that allows us to experiment!

          1. says: Zeebi

            Hmm let’s see…I was first thinking Fervor (soft pink/coppery rose as per sephora website) but then in some of the swatches, the coppery rose looks too bronzy…so then I changed my mind to Panic (fuschia/coral – I’ll tone it down with some highlight) or Adoration…or both! Nah, I think I should stick to one of them. Adoration is totally adorable!

            What is your favorite NON Shimmery blush? I have to be careful of the shimmer in order not to accentuate the acne pits.

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