If there’s one blush in my entire makeup collection that I believe would last me my entire life? There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s NARS Exhibit A – a punchy warm red matte blush that looks good on every skin tone. Yes, a bright red blush.
I recently featured this blush in my Half Drugstore ($145) vs Half High End ($400) video and I showed a close dupe to be Sleek’s Bon Fire which can be found in the Sleek Flame Blush Trio palette (awesome palette by the way). Want to know how close they are? Keep on scrolling 🙂
In the picture above you can see them side by side – pretty good dupe visually but lets look at swatches because I love a good swatchfest!
NARS Exhibit A ($38 CAD) – is a warm toned bright red matte blush. It looks quite intimating in the pan but with the right brush and a light hand this can easily be the blush of your dreams. It’s smooth upon swatching and blends like a dream – this gives a very natural flush to the cheeks. It’s such a diverse colour as well, it looks fantastic during the summer when you’re tan and it gives that ‘just got out of the cold’ flushed look on a cold winter’s day.
It’s super pigmented in one easy swipe – buttery, smooth and finely milled this packs a punch but very blendable onto the cheek. I would recommend a duo fiber brush to apply this blush as it’s easier to control the pigmentation. As you can see in the swatch above it applied smoothly with zero patches and it isn’t as alarming out of the pan.
Next up, the Sleek Flame Blush Trio (19.39 CAD) – ‘Molten, Bon Fire & Furnace’ (from left to right). Let’s take a moment to appreciate this palette *swoon* – they are all red tones with different finishes. The dupe in this palette to NARS Exhibit A is ‘Bon Fire’, a rich bright matte red blush – in the pan they look identical and when placed on the cheek they’re very very similar however when swatched you can see the subtle differences.
‘Molten & Furnace’ contain a refined gold shimmer however ‘Furnace’ is brighter in colour and contains a coral-red undertone although it applied patchy, meanwhile ‘Molten’ is a more subtle version but is less pigmented and has more sheen when swatched (it look a few swipes to build up the colour my hand).
‘Bon Fire’ is rich, pigmented and bright! It is not as smooth as the NARS Exhibit A blush but as you can see – it’s super vibrant in colour. My beauty addict eye can detect a slight blue undertone when compared to ‘Exhibit A’ which leans more warmer when next to ‘Bon Fire’. Want to see how they swatch side by side? I’ve got you covered!
So, while both are great red tone blushes, there are slight differences – hopefully you can see the slight bluer tone in ‘Bon Fire’ vs ‘Exhibit A’. The NARS blush is much better in texture and application however if you’re on a budge and you really want to try a red blush (and get 3 blushes in one palette) I’d suggest the Sleek Flame Blush Palette however if you’re a true beauty addict like myself and you have a warmer undertone I’d say save up or add NARS Exhibit A to your wish list – you won’t ever regret it and it very well might be the only blush you ever need in your collection. I think it’s fantastic for all skin tones, skin types and for any age.
Thank you so much for reading, I’ll talk to you very soon.