Everyone raves about the NARS Orgasm Blush, but is it really all it’s cracked up to be? We investigate for our Controversial Cult Faves column.
Lately, we’ve been investigating beauty products that are constantly touted as being the best of the best for our new Controversial Cult Favorite column. This week, we’re talking about the ultimate blush that everybody seems to rave about and nobody wants to describe to their mother: that’s right, it’s time for the NARS Orgasm Blush. It’s a beloved shade of a classic product that your cool older cousin probably recommended you to try as a teen, but is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s investigate.
What It Claims
In its description on Sephora, the NARS Orgasm Blush, a “peachy pink with shimmer,” sounds like a miracle rouge:
Orgasm Blush makes cheeks blush a perfect pinky-peach flush and subtly highlights with accents of golden shimmer. The perennially pleasing, universally flattering shade is repeatedly a makeup artist and beauty editor favorite. Super Orgasm Blush amps things up with a shimmering peachy pink blush with an extra dose of golden sparkle that’s perfect for complementing all skin tones. The super sexy pink flush gives the effect of a radiant afterglow.
It also has tons of fans, with reviewers giving the blush a rating of 4.7 on Sephora and declaring it “very pigmented,” the “perfect summer shade on a tan,” and the “best blush” they’ve ever used.
As a result of the Orgasm shade’s success, NARS created multiple other products with similarly provocative names, such as an Orgasm Nail Polish, Orgasm Lip Gloss, Orgasm Illuminator, and The Multiple Orgasm. All the orgasms all around!
And yet, the blush comes at a hefty price tag: $30, which is more than most casual makeup users (and even plenty of fanatics) are willing to drop on a blush. I personally haven’t tried NARS Orgasm Blush since I was in high school–which in retrospect is a little odd–so I’m unsure of how I’ll feel about it this time. I recall loving it, but I think about 50% of that love revolved around the name, to be completely honest.
What It Looks Like
Here’s the blush and package:
Here’s me sans blush, hanging out at the office and not knowing how to pose:
And in our studio, still sans NARS:
I applied the Orgasm Blush with my trusty It Cosmetics French Boutique Blush Brush. I use it with all my powder blushes to evenly distribute pigment and get an almost airbrushed look.
Here’s me in the studio with the blush on:
And me in daylight with the NARS Orgasm Blush on:
And a few closeups in more sunlight:
For $30, you can get a very pretty blush with a fair amount of shimmer, so if that is what you want, Orgasm might be the perfect product for you if the price tag doesn’t turn you off. It went on pretty smoothly, but I spent a little while blending. In my opinion, it’s a pretty shade that is in a decent formula, and it flatters plenty of skin tones (I tried it on my olive complexioned intern Alana and it looked lovely on her). It would be especially good for women who use luminizing liquids or powders atop their cheeks, so they could just skip that step and grab this blush instead.
The only issue I have here is the price tag. In fact, our reader Jasmine stated that “the quality is terrible” for how much money people spend on it. While I think that devotees won’t be swayed, I will say that there are so many other blushes that cost considerably less and work just as wonderfully. For example, Stila Custom Color Blush ($20), e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzer Powder Duo ($3), and the Revlon Highlighting Palette ($10.99), just to name a few. Head to Sephora and try out the Orgasm Blush for yourself if you are absolutely sure you’re willing to spend that much on this shade, though!
So far we’ve reviewed Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiant Touch, the NARS Orgasm Blush, and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars. What should we do next? Tell us on our open thread or in the comments here!
Beauty Expert & Hairstylist, Contributing Editor
Dorothy has been a beauty fanatic since she was a preteen growing up in a small Idaho town. She honed her makeup and hair skills on her willing mother and she’s a pro with a pair of tweezers, having fixed many a friend’s unibrow in college. Susan believes the true secret to beauty comes from within, but the right application of mascara and lipstick can help.