NARS Cosmetics Zen

NARS Cosmetics Zen
ZenNARS zenNARS Zen

4.5

123 reviews

83% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$$$

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on 1/26/2006 9:16:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Ok gals, this is my 2nd(!) review of Zen blush but I just couldn't help myself. This is without a doubt, the staple of my makeup wardrobe. It is my DESERT ISLAND PRODUCT. I love it so much, I wonder what I did without it. What blush did I use? A garish pink maybe? Something vulgar and glittery? I don't know, but the point it is that for a long time I was on the hunt for a 'no makeup-makeup' blush to go with my 'no makeup makeup look' (making amends for high school I guess). I was also inspired by Angelina Jolie, who, if you'll notice, always puts the emphasis on the eyes, with a nude lip and clean (read: almost blushfree, or so it would seem) skin. Zen is perfect for this look, it takes a backseat and lets your other features shine. However, it's not Nico, it's not nothing...rather it is a subtle enhancer that warms up your skin in a muted kind of way. I especially recommend it for girls like me, who are midtoned and olive, with a tendency towards sallowness. Zen brightens up your skin and gives you a look of health. And when I say 'health', I mean 'health', not china doll, hooker or Diana Vreeland. No, if you want to look ROUGED, Zen is not for you. But it is a amazing, it is a godsend....it is the minimalists answer to BLUSH.

P.S.- If you don't have NARS near you, the only thing that I've seen that's comparable is MAC Strada, but it's more opaque (it kind of visibly sits on the skin) has a bit of gold in it, and some shimmer.

15 of 15 people found this helpful.



on 3/19/2012 1:17:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I own a pretty full spectrum of blushes in shades ranging from pinks, peaches to neutrals. This is my firm favorite, and I anticipate that its HG status will endure for a long time. The powder itself is buttery soft, and the color is just a classic stunning neutral. If a Chanel quilted camel handbag has an equal in the blush department, this would be it. This color to me just screams elegance, class and sophistication. This is not like those juvenile pubescent pink blushes that can look tacky. This is for grown sophisticated women.

12 of 12 people found this helpful.


on 1/27/2010 9:52:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Oily, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Hmmmmm. I love NARS blushes for their pigmentation and the fact that they are so finely milled, but I am very conscious of which shades I can and cannot wear. Because I have reddish tones in my skin, any red blushes are a big NO for me which means I can't wear Outlaw, Mounia, Taos, Dolce Vita and Exhibit A.



As neutral as Zen appears in the pan, it DOES have a rosy undertone to it. Some of you are saying orange, but if you swipe it with a white cotton ball, rub it on your skin, and see what color is left on the cotton, it's a rose color (great trick to know the undertone of a blush by the way). I tried it on anyway, but it's true that the color is too rosy for me, like a rosy bronzer.


If I didn't have red in my skin, I might like this blush. But as it is, it's not very flattering on me. I much prefer Madly, the most perfect neutral blush on earth for my skintone, which has a cool pink undertone but goes on more neutral than Zen (may not be good for all skintones however).


NOTE: It is so rosy, I can't imagine using it as a contour, regardless of skintone


So I will pass on this color.

9 of 9 people found this helpful.


on 5/2/2007 6:31:00 PM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Other, Other, Warm

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I kept on hearing raves for this blush on the boards so as a result I was lemming this fiercely. But then I got to try it out at the Nars counter today and I wasn't impressed. It was placed on the display next to Sertao and Madly, so I swatched all three to compare them. Madly is slightly peachier than Zen and is slightly shimmery whereas Zen is matte. Sertao is slightly more golden and more shimmery then Zen. On my NC30 complexion, Zen is very similar to Laguna bronzer and Madly blush, both of which I already own, so I didn't buy Zen. But if you don't already have a similar face product Zen would probably be a good investment.

*** UPDATE 4/20/2008 - I ended up swapping Madly away because it would get these weird pumpkiny/orange tones instead of the dusty pink I wanted, and re-tried Zen. It looks milk chocolately brown in the pan but is truly neutral on the cheeks. This is a better nude blush than Madly, so try Zen if nude blushes have a tendency to turn orange on you. continued >>

8 of 8 people found this helpful.


on 1/7/2007 9:36:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

LOVE this blush. Looks very blah in the pan- matte beige/brown. However, on my NC30ish, med. yellow toned (Asian) skin, this instantly contours my cheeks and applies as a browned pink/beige. This is NOT a blush to be applied to the apples of the cheeks but rather swept up the cheekbones for an instantly polished look. I personally love the matte finish- for a shimmery version of this color, I would recommend Cargo Topeka. HG blush to be used with any color smokey eyes (which happens to be my favorite eye look). As with any NARS blush, this is very pigmented so the price is justified. I will DEFINITELY repurchase.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.


on 5/9/2012 12:46:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

The perfect neutral for a fair skinned redhead!! So hard to find brown blushes, but when brown mixes with the pink in our skin you get the perfect, natural flush. This is very light, which is great. I can quickly swish it on for a very natural look and barely have to blend, or I can add a "pop" of a brighter color on the apples of the cheeks. It might look dull on a darker or olive skintone, but if you fit the category described, you will love it!! I can't believe Nars makes such loud colors with rather "descriptive" names, and then makes this perfect little neutral and appropriately names it "ZEN"!! I don't know why Sephora doen't carry it, I got it at Lord and Taylor' s Department Store. They occasionally have 10 -15% off on cosmetics, so I bought a second one long before the first was gone (it is now)! This is the first Nars blush I have tried. I then bought Madly, which they describe as a seashell pink, I think its just a shimmery, muddier version of Zen!

6 of 6 people found this helpful.


on 5/9/2012 12:15:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I have given up my beloved laguna for this. I have used laguna for years and just decided it was no longer working for me. I just felt like it looked over done and got more orange throughout the day. I decided to try Nars Zen as a bronzer and then apply Nars Gaiety on the apples of my cheeks. I read online that this was a combo being used by Nars or some runway show.... It is a beautiful natural combination that I have been using the past few weeks. Its a very classy look.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.


on 1/31/2008 11:01:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Really love this. And only bought it due to the reviews here. This is the perfect slighty pinked beigey brown matte bronzer for a PPP/LLL who has ruddy cheeks. I never would have looked at this on my own because it looks too warm and slightly orangey in the pan, but on it's great. This on the cheeks, a little bit of gray brown liner, and a little Zen on the lids and a slick of lip balm and it's the perfect casual day face. Love this and have worn it every day since I bought it 3 weeks ago.
Me: strawberry blonde, green eyes, Nars Deauville, Mac NC20

6 of 6 people found this helpful.


on 8/27/2007 11:16:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I completely agree with lisa_67 in her review below. I avoided buying this for at least a year and a half, purchasing every other beige/nude blush I could get my hands on. I was convinced that Zen would be too brown and warm (and thus muddy) on my NW 15-20 skin (red hair, blue eyes). It looks darker in the pan than it applies on the skin; it's subtle but still provides some "oomph" (more than Shu P Amber 83 and about the same as LM Crushed Hazelnut). I apply this in layers with a skunk brush (MAC 187). Staying power is superior. I still love LM Crushed Hazelnut, but this is a slightly different look, which is why I'm keeping--and using--both. I have a lot of pink in my skin and this helps add structure and glow to my face without looking ruddy. Very, very nice, and recommended.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I LOVE!!!! this blush. I use it for my contouring shade as well as a blush/bronzer. It is absolutely gorgeous!!! It is a matte finish. It doesn't have a bit of any orange in it. It's a true matte medium brown. If I want a heavy contour, I do use a couple of more swatches than I would normally do compared to my bronzing where I only swatch it a few times.

Just so I don't confuse anyone, contouring and bronzing are completely different in my opinion. When you contour, you go for a sharper look to your face..sculpting it and shaping it to your liking...when you bronze, you're going for more a subtle tanned bronzed look to your cheeks...(right above the contour line). Hope this helps.

Anyway back to the product..I love this Zen shade because you can achieve so many looks with just one shade...contour..bronzing..blush..I mean that in itself saves you $$$. Absolutely wonderful color for any season. Def going to buy backups of this just in case NARS has an inkling of discontinuing this beauty.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.


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