Review of NARS Exhibit A by J_cool
Upon reading dozens of reviews on NARSí Exhibit A blush, I was really excited about purchasing it. After several days of using the product, I can honestly say that it is, indeed, different than any other blush Iíve tried. Itís negative attributes far outweigh itís positives. Wait - is there anything ď+Ē about this controversial blush, whom many claim to be one of the best things to have happened to makeup in the last decade? Well, read on...
Exhibit A is a very densely packed and hyper-pigmented blush. The initial color in the pan is a bright crimson color, like tomatoes. Yet, when applied to my light-medium yellow-toned skin, it shows up more like a bold, reddish-pink, with pink being more apparent. The color, in a muted state, is a very nice, natural flush. However, this is where the praise for Exhibit A ends.
What is most frustrating about this blush is that it is so difficult to apply! With the lightest touch of my brush, the pigment just annoyingly clings to it. Same thing happens when applied to the skin. It just drags on the skin, clings to it, and is MOST difficult to blend, which results in obvious demarcation (which could easily be mistaken for an extreme case of roseacea). This occurs even on a primed, matted, smoothed foundation surface. The only reason I can give for this is that one of itís ingredients is lanolin, an animal fat of sorts. This could explain why it lacks the blendability of a true powder blush. It streaks and sinks into the skin (people with larger pores take notice, this will severely draw attention to them sooner or later)! Whatís even more frustrating is that because it contains a lubricant (!!), it gradually tends to melt away any makeup it comes into contact with (foundation, concealer). At the end of the day, my foundation is gone but my cheeks are stained reddish-pink; and my pores are also way more apparent. Why? I even primed! Itís a terrible sight!
Iíve used the standard, common approach to applying this blush. Iíve heard that itís takes special tools and techniques to reap the real benefits of Exhibit A. Many of us, however, donít have the time to ďresearchĒ on how to apply a certain blush; weíre not professional makeup artists. We pay NARS a bundle to manufacture a blush that is to be applied with ease and with great results. If they donít want to manufacture practical makeup, then they should only sell to professionals. This seems to be the stuff for photo-shoots and run-ways; it certainly performs that way, itís hardly functional. I like makeup thatís simple to use and effective and long-wearing. I canít stand fussy cosmetics like NARSí Exhibit A that demand too much of your time and effort with very little or no payoff.
As already mentioned, Exhibit A has a comedogenic fatty oil as one of itís ingredients. Why? I have no idea. Is a reputable, pricey makeup line really that stupid? And why include it in a POWDER BLUSH?? So, no surprise that after a couple days, i developed acne bumps under my skin. You know, the ones that hurt. This blush was the only new thing Iíve incorporated into my daily skin regime, so, of course, it must be the culprit. Oh, and when I stopped using it, the acne stopped ďbumpingĒ up.
The reasons I listed above are enough for this blush to be condemned in many circles. But, many still love it and it remains an insider favorite. If theyíre skin is strong enough to wear it, then, wow, I envy them, because the color payoff is nice (after you really ďworkĒ with it, that is) and the color remains virtually unturned after long wear - bear in mind that itíll be the *only* thing on the cheeks at the end of the day. Maybe drier skin types will respond much better to it? But for $26+, I expected much more, especially from NARS. Trust me, thereís much better formulated, affordable, more advanced options out there, many available at the drugstore. In my case, it was very difficult to apply, time-consuming, appeared somewhat patchy, removed my foundation (due to itís heavy, oily properties), exposed pores like nothing else, and caused painful acne. It deserves nothing more than a one-and-a-half star rating.