The legendary cheek color with the provocative name is worthy of its status as a holy grail among lesser rouge products. NARS Blush in Orgasm ($26) is quite likely the most popular and well-known blush in the cosmetic society. This is demonstrated in the herds of similar products produced by competing companies, hoping to share in Orgasm’s success by marketing their duplicate shades. NARS also tried to expand their cash cow by creating lipgloss, nail polish, and other items based on the Orgasm shade. The blush lives up to its hype. I’ve used it for almost a decade now and no other blush compares – then again, I haven’t a strong motivation to try anything else.

What makes it so great? The peachy pink shade, with a hint of shimmer, is extremely flattering on a person of light-medium olive skin. I’ve gotten many compliments on this blush, from both men and women. It’s highly pigmented, and blends well. Even if one goes overboard on application, it looks more like a radical makeup style, rather than a makeup faux pas. Because it’s so highly pigmented, one buy will last me about 3 years. And that’s only an estimate, as I use each pan for so long that I can never remember when I bought it.

Any cons? It has plenty of preservatives and parabens. This is very unattractive to a person who is trying to have a makeup box that is as natural as possible. Regardless, my cheeks never broke out or got clogged pores when using NARS blush on them. It’s also not as long-lasting as Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blush (to be reviewed later), though it is fairly persistent. And that’s it, those are the only cons, and they’re not very bad at all.

Dupes? In makeup lingo, a “dupe” is a cheaper or otherwise better alternative to a coveted item. The most noted dupes (yes, Orgasm is so famous that even its dupes become famous) are Sleek Blush in Rose Gold, TheBalm Blush in Hot Mama, and Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful or Glisten. Tarte reps say that Blissful is the closest match, but many consumers say Glisten bears more resemblance.

Overall, this blush is cheeky perfection in a mirrored tin. It’s hard to drop it in search of a paraben-free replacement, but I have the feeling that I’ll return to NARS because no other blush has the same je ne sais quoi.

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