From the brand that’s made Orgasm (and even Super Orgasm, for that matter) part of our beauty lexicon, comes two covetable and limited edition blush collections, Unfiltered I and Unfiltered II Cheek Palettes. Each bears 6 shades, five of them brand new and 1 permanent (and no, Orgasm — while iconic — is happily absent here) with one palette leaning cool, while the other is red-hot. Creating exquisite blush is something NARS does very well indeed, and if sporting these lovelies makes me a NARSissist, then so be it.
Housed in coloured mirrored compact cases (yes, prepare for visible fingerprints), Unfiltered I is recognized by its red hue and Unfiltered II by pink — making it easy to grab the one you need. Having a light to light-medium skin tone, I was immediately drawn to the warmer leaning of the two, but it turns out that I’m actually really loving both and have managed to make all the shades work (even the ultra-saturated Exhibit A red hue).
Unfiltered I Cheek Palette, limited edition (CAN $76.00/value of $169.00) | The warmer leaning of the two, all shades are quite pigmented and need a light hand to start with. There is some powdery kickback when brushes are swept across any of the hues — nothing that can’t be solved by a quick tap of the brush before application. The matte shades have a finish that still shows a slight touch of sheen, preventing them from ever coming off as flat, and while I’d hardly call Watch Me a blush colour in the true sense of the word, it works beautifully as a highlighter or even layered over any of the others to create a unique new colour combo.
- Watch Me – opalescent gold sheen
- Me First – apricot sheen
- Takeover – copper rose sheen
- Out There – deep russet matte
- Chic – rich raspberry matte
- Exhibit A – (permanent) red matte
Unfiltered II Cheek Palette, limited edition (CAN $76.00/value of $169.00) | Definitely cooler leaning that Unfiltered I, all shades are nevertheless easily wearable on those with warmer complexions as well. Once again, the texture on each is quite colour saturated so start with a light hand, and build as you go. Hot Sand which was previously released last year as a limited edition shade but which has since become permanent, is the only one in this palette that works ideally as a warmer toned highlighter, although I like mixing it in with other shades to switch things up colour-wise.
- Conquest – pastel peach matte
- Undefeated – pale pink shimmer
- Power Play – vivid pink matte
- Hot Sand – (permanent) peach champagne sheen
- Fame – pink amber sheen
- Candid – mauve raspberry shimmer
With each blush slightly smaller in size as compared to NARS’ individual blushes (0.12 oz versus 0.16 oz), you’re still getting one whopper of a deal with each palette. Another bonus is that barring 2 of the colours, the rest are all original and brand new: so, no repeats. But the ultimate prize is the texture: each shade not only applies like a dream, but wears incredibly well to boot. And while these compact may be slightly bulky to tote around (but seriously, the only products in my purse/makeup bag are lipsticks, glosses and liners — who carries blush?), they sure are pretty to look at, no?
EDIT: Both palettes have been restocked on Sephora’s website — better grab them while you can!
Media samples kindly provided, all opinions are my own