In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, BDG’s executive beauty director Faith Xue is testing Nars’ Afterglow Liquid Blush.
Yes, I am one of those obnoxious people who just got back from vacation — in Italy, no less. I spent a week on the country’s southern coast and I have the flushed, glowing complexion to prove it. Now, my utmost goal is to maintain my post-getaway radiance for as long as possible, so that people can’t help but remark on how well-rested I look — thus, ensuring everyone knows I just got back from vacation without requiring me to say it out loud. (Trust me, this method is much more satisfying than going on and on about how magical Puglia is to everyone in near vicinity — even though, well, it really is.)
My current obsession for conveying that I recently had my OOO auto-reply on is a magical hybrid product from Nars: the Afterglow Liquid Blush. To call this product a blush like calling the Sistene Chapel a church — grossly oversimplified and honestly, slightly insulting. This liquid blush is also a highlighter, a tint, and skin-hydrator in one, and if I were Shakespeare, I would write a sonnet comparing its beauty to a summer’s day. It’s truly been transformative in more ways than one. Allow me to explain why.
- Price: $32
- Best for: Anyone who wants a cherub-like glow
- Your rating: 5/5
- Brand: Nars
- Vegan: Yes
- What we like: The buildable formula and doe-foot applicator
- What we don't like: If you want intense pigment payoff, this isn’t the blush for you.
How TZR Keeps Score: 1/5: Making a return; 2/5: Keeping as a backup; 3/5: Finishing to the last drop; 4/5: Recommending to my group texts; 5/5: Already on auto-replenish
My skin is naturally oily, especially around my T-zone. This means that even though I’m drawn towards cream and liquid products (I like a dewy finish), they usually tend to slip and slide throughout the day, leaving my skin looking like a melted wax figure by sundown. Because this blush formula is so serum-like, it sinks into the skin instead of sitting on top, which means you get a glazed donut-like finish without any fear of transfer.
As I mentioned, I’m trying to look relaxed and rested, honey, in a rich aunt sort of way — softly sun-kissed, like I’ve just gotten back from my second home in St Tropez before another quick jaunt to my third home in Capri. The Afterglow Liquid Blush is the perfect product to help me achieve that look because the lightweight formula lends itself to a super-natural finish and buildable color payoff. It’s made with hyaluronic acid, vegan collagen, and vitamin E, so it really feels more like skin care than makeup, and a few dabs is all I need to make my cheeks look ever-so-slightly flushed and dewy. I love the classic shade Orgasm, which is a light pink with subtle golden shimmer, but Dolce Vita is slightly deeper and works perfectly with my currently tanned skin. Wanderlust is the star of the show, however — a soft lilac shade, it’s flattering on every skin tone and melts in to give the prettiest flush of color. I haven’t seen anything else like it.
Nars’ Afterglow Liquid Blush comes in a compact little rectangular package — about the size of two lipsticks — and dispenses via a fat, fluffy doe-foot applicator. I love this applicator because it allows me to dot the formula exactly where I want it on my cheeks, without having to stick my finger in a pot (I have long nails, and products like this are impossible to use) or pump anything out, which usually means I end up with way more product than I need. I use two dots on the apples of my cheeks, then blend in with my fingers, but if I really want to amp up the pigment payoff, I use three to four dots.
There are many products I try as a beauty editor, and very few that I can recommend wholeheartedly to anyone — this new blush is one of those products. It has a unique serum-like texture I haven’t seen anywhere else, it comes in a range of shades that work with all skin tones, and it’s basically dummy-proof because of the applicator and sheer formula. Whether you have oily, dry, finicky, or perfect skin, it’s the ideal product for adding a healthy-looking flush of color to your cheeks (I also use it on my eyes and lips for a monochrome effect). I’d buy it immediately if you want everyone around you to remark on how “refreshed” you look — which we all know is the ultimate compliment.