Cactus Flower came on my radar not long after a trip to visit family in Tucson, Arizona. I love the Southwest, and when I stumbled upon Cactus Flower in my Sephora the color brought back all the feelings of being in the Sonoran Desert. The shade lives up to its name, but happens to remind me most of the fruit that grows on the Prickly Pear cactus (pictured below, on the right).
In principle, NARS Cream Blushers are perfect for the Sonoran Desert though I haven't yet had the occasion to wear one while there. The cream to powder formula is ideal for an extremely dry, hot climate. The product remains on the cheeks and leaves a dewy glow behind.
In the pan Cactus Flower bears an uncanny resemblance to the fruit depicted in the drawing of the Prickly Pear. The color is an exceedingly vibrant tomato red with a hint of pink. Though barely noticeable Cactus Flower contains very subtle gold shimmer that adds to the dewy effect when applied to the cheeks.
Many "illuminating" cream blushes I've owned have been disappointing as the shimmer ends up appearing more like glitter when applied. Glitter certainly has a time and a place but on a day to day basis I don't want large particles on my cheeks. Shimmery NARS blushes (with the exception of those that are meant to be very glittery, e.g. Super Orgasm) are successful because the illumination is very subtle. As a point of comparison, Cactus Flower is quite a bit like a creamier and deeper version of Orgasm.
Cactus Flower is the type of blush that makes me wish it were socially acceptable to wear it full force. The creamy red and gold glitter are absolutely stunning and truly evoke the feeling of being under the sun in the desert. The shade of this blush is ideal for this time of year as it adds a natural warmth and illumination to the cheeks. Though I'm not one to tan, I can imagine that this would look as good on sun kissed skin as it does on my pale winter complexion. I also think this would be stunning on deeper skin tones.
I've always found NARS Cream Blushes to be a breeze to apply. Some of my first experiences with cream products were Stila Convertible Colors which simply didn't work for me. The consistency was difficult to work with and blend to an even finish. I then tried the old formulation of MAC Crème Blushes which were almost too creamy. The NARS Cream Blushes I've tried (I also own Penny Lane) are the happy medium between those two worlds. Though they apply best with a stippling brush, the cream to powder texture mean that they aren't difficult to apply and blend with (clean!) fingertips.
Blush is my absolute favorite cosmetic and I'm often very fickle. When something new and wonderful comes along I forget other items that I've been wearing and raving about. Cactus Flower is the exception to that rule. It has been unseasonably warm here, and this blush is the perfect every day item for such ideal spring weather. I can't get enough!
Have you tried NARS Cactus Flower? Are there any products that remind you of your favorite places?