Tuesday, July 1, 2014

NARS Contour Blush in Paloma review + swatches

         I love the idea of strategic contouring. After all, who doesn't want their cheekbones to appear a little sharper or features a bit slimmer? Typically, bronzers are used for the job. However, finding the right contouring product for cool-toned skin can be tricky, as the vast majority of bronzing products are warm, warm, warm. (After all, that's kind of their point.)

         You can imagine how happy I was to see the NARS Countouring Blush lineup, with three palettes that tended to be more neutral/cool than the average bronzer! I finally picked NARS Paloma, the medium shade of the bunch, as it has slight rosy undertones that work well for my skin.

NARS Paloma, compared to a couple of NARS bronzing / highlighting classics
        I was concerned that NARS Paloma might be too intense for me, as I have light skin (usually CHANEL B20 / NARS Deauville) and delicate features. The color is quite dark, however, I can get around it only the lightest tap of my Bobbi Brown Face Blender Brush. I think NARS Olympia, which is lighter, may have been an easier shade for me to use, however I preferred the rose undertones in Paloma.

        I've compared NARS Paloma Contour Blush to a couple classics in my NARS collection, so you have an idea of what to expect. You can see that NARS Laguna Bronzer (which reminds me, I yet to review this piece) is significantly more golden and shimmery. You may be able to better appreciate how Paloma is 'pinker' via my swatches below. When compared to the highlight in NARS Paloma, NARS Copacabana Multiple (click for review), you can see that it's less shimmery, lighter, and less beige. I love how the highlight of NARS Paloma blends so seamlessly into my skintone!

         I hope the simple swatches below show you how NARS Paloma is quite specifically a contour product to add light and shadow, as opposed to shimmer or warmth. As someone who believes in the importance of undertone, I should mention that Paloma can look quite different depending on the individual. The shades in NARS Paloma swatch as a fairly neutral cream and tan on my skin, as a I have some pink undertones. On bloggers with more warmth / yellow tones in their skin, I've noticed that the rosy tones in Paloma become quite prominent.

Comparison swatches of NARS Paloma taken in full Chicago sunlight!
        Overall, it's love! If I were comfortable with wearing blush/bronzer on my sensitive skin, NARS Paloma would be an every-day kind of palette for me - in small doses of course. I think it's a great shade for those with neutral to cool skin who have trouble finding a good contour shade. For warm skintones, I'd recommend a try-before-buy to avoid a potential ashy effect. While it is awesome for contouring, I wouldn't recommend it as a substitute for all-over bronzer or shimmery highlighter, as not really geared towards providing a healthy glow.

         Thanks for reading! Have you tried the NARS Contour blushes? Which shades (Olympia, Paloma, or Gienah) stood out to you? What are your favorite contouring colors?

Love, Dovey.


  1. Even on my warm skin I've been contemplating a cool contour powder that runs toward taupe. It is helpful to see Paloma next to Laguna and I think I need to revisit it in store for some swatching. I do have Olympia and enjoy it, but I think Paloma could give me even more of a chiseled look.

  2. Hey Dovey! Your photos are incredible! I have been debating between Paloma and Gienah for a contouring shade for my NC 40 skin tone.. but I guess swatching in store is the way forward here~.

  3. AnonymousJuly 13, 2014

    I got this product in Paloma too and I love it! The tones are just perfect for contouring and highlighting. Having Laguna swatched next to it really brings home the difference.


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