Adventures in Drugstore Makeup: NYX Blush Dupes for Two Icons from MAC and NARS

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup, Product Reviews

nyx powder blush review

Bargain hunting, blush loving NYX fans, lend me your ears (and cheeks!). Now, for the mere price of two scoops of fancy shmancy gelato, you can dupe (nearly) two more iconic blushes from MAC and NARS.


Meet Red and Pinched, the new summer additions to the NYX Powder Blush line ($6 each).

Pinched, a shimmery golden peachy pink, reminds me of a slightly pinker version of NARS Orgasm, while matte Red could pass for a clone of MAC Frankly Scarlet.

The newcomers are like summer salsa, spicing up NYX’s already wide range of blushes with a price point bound to make beauty bargainistas wanna dance!

This also makes me wanna dance…

The NYX Powder blushes have been around for a while and have gotten mad love on review sites like Makeup Alley. I can see why. Red and Pinched both feel soft to the touch but pack more pigmentation than I expected from them.

Oh, if you’re particular about texture, this may be something to keep in mind:

nyx powder blush review
NYX Pinched

nyx powder blush review

nyx blush review
NYX Pinched (left), NARS Orgasm (right)

nyx blush review
NYX Red (left), MAC Frankly Scarlet (right)

nyx blush review
Swatches from left on NC35 skin: NYX Pinched, NARS Orgasm, NYX Red, MAC Frankly Scarlet

nyx powder blush review
Swatches from left on NW20 skin: NYX Pinched, NYX Red

I don’t think they’re as finely milled as their pricier counterparts… It’s not a huge deal to me, but when I apply them to my cheeks, I can see the powder sitting on top of the skin. Considering the price, though, I wouldn’t call it a deal breaker. Maybe just something to keep in mind.

As for staying power, that’s where I’d love to see these blushes improve. Pinched and Red have a tougher time staying put on my combination dry/oil skin than their cousins at MAC and NARS, and I find myself having to reapply a little more often with these (about every four hours).

But that price tag makes up for a lot. Dupes like these don’t come along every day, ya know? Available at drugstores and Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B+

You might like NYX Powder Blushes if…

  • You’re a self-proclaimed beauty bargainista
  • You’ve been looking for a lookalike for NARS Orgasm and/or MAC Frankly Scarlet
  • You don’t mind having to reapply often throughout the day
  • You’re more concerned with color than texture

Drop Dead Diva!

Okay, if you’re not yet on the Drop Dead Diva train, climb aboard, ASAP! It’s so funny and fresh, kind hearted and interesting (but never preachy); plus, any show that cuts to a dance montage starring Paula Abdul in a jewel-encrusted judge’s robe (and make it look legit) is alright by me!

If you’re already a fan, can I please take a second to gush about Tony in the latest ep? Don’t Tony and Jane have the best chemistry?


I actually “Whooped!” out loud and ran a victory lap around the living room when their cross-examination ended with… Oh, you know what happened. 🙂

Anywho, how’s Tuesday coming along? Quite nicely, I hope. I’m about to have a late lunch and go for a quick walk outside to get my vitamin D on. What have you been up to today?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 59 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. lexi says:

    I haven’t watched Drop Dead Diva but if I did it would be for my love of Margaret Cho – is she still on that show?

  2. Amanda says:

    OmGosh, that newsies clip to Bad Romance is SO FUNNY. I loved newsies *so much* back in the day-I remember seeing it in the theater. I think I may have even seen it on the big screen more than once, LOL. awesome.

  3. pinched just looks like… a blush version of MAC nymphette LG!

    the warm pink with gold sparkles… too bad canada (montreal anyway) doesn’t have NYX, or i’d check them out for sure.

    <3 the blog as always, karen!
    .-= ines + cha cha's last blog post… Le Look Du Jour – Exotic Orchid =-.

  4. Camille says:

    Hi Karen! I was wondering which NYX blush (if there is one) do you think would be a good dupe for Mac’s Blush Baby??

    Btw, I just started watching DDD and I think I want her to get with Grayson since they were soul mates in her former life..But then sometimes I like her with Tony..Oh well…

  5. Hyzenthlay says:

    I definitely like Jane with Tony . . . Grayson is losing my favor for dating Kim, UGH! And I totally love that video. I want to know how the person who came up with it actually came up with it!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Hyzenthlay,

      I like to think Grayson dated her after a bout of temporary insanity!

      What do you think is going on with Fred? Isn’t it odd how they kept putting him on and taking him off?

      • Hyzenthlay says:

        Yes, it’s definitely strange what they’re doing with Fred . . . I wonder why they’ve done that with his character. I hope they make an explanation!

  6. Krystle says:

    I want that Pinched shade, it’s gorgeous! Karen, have you tried NYX’s blush in Terra Cotta? It’s an exact dupe for MAC’s Sunbasque, I’ve heard it’s a dupe for margin but I find it to be a dead on dupe for Sunbasque instead. Oh and I love Drop Dead Diva!
    .-= Krystle’s last blog post… Barbie inspired FOTN =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Krystle,

      I haven’t tried Terra Cotta! That’s good to know that it’s a dupe for Sunbasque, aka one of my favorite MAC blushes. 🙂

      Have you been watching DDD for a while? What do you think of Fred’s character? For a while there I wasn’t sure if he was staying or going!

  7. Tiffany says:

    Ooooh, I want both these shades! Too bad I can never find this brand in a store 🙁

    Happy Tuesday! My day consisted of work, shopping with the hubs for luggage (so thrilling) and then dinner out 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      It seems to be pretty hit or miss around these parts, too. I’ve seen them at certain CVS stores, but not at others.

      Believe it or not, I get great joy out of luggage shopping. I actually bought a new piece of carryon luggage last year before going to Hawaii and I loooooove it. It’s by Samsonite and it’s frickin’ fantastic. The wheels turn 360 degrees and the luggage body is expandable. Ahh, good times.

  8. Nina says:

    Oh my goodness – ive not jumped on the NYX blush bandwagon (I have and adore their eyeshadows and jumbo eyepencils though) … ill probably pick a couple up when I do my grocery shopping this weekend… So pretty! 🙂

    I love that Bad Romance clip adn I hope to watch DDD soon too!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nina,

      Hopefully when you go searching for these blushes you’ll find the new Jumbo Eye Pencils, too. 😀

      • Nina says:

        I hope so too. Im so tempted to order `em online already LOL … I honestly get OCD about stuff like this which makes the Hubs shake his head! 😛

      • Karen says:

        GURL. Better it’s a drugstore pencil rather than a $400 pair of shoes! Well, at least that’s my justification!

        • Nina says:

          I so agree with you! I tell him that all the time too.

          Speaking of shoes, I did find my pair of brown wedges at DSW over the weekend. Its a Kenneth Cole pair called Cabin Days and I got it in the most luscious tan shade ever … its pretty comfy as well, and did not cost $400. They were a tad under 40 bucks with my DSW birthday coupon! Witwoo!

  9. Elle says:

    Umm…that clip MADE my day, Karen. Gotta love C-Bale gettin’ his Gaga on. 🙂

  10. amy says:

    Red looks oh so gorgeous, I would love to try a red red blush sometime.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… A Rosy Romantic Evening with Pacifica Egyptian Rose Bergamot Perfume Spray =-.

  11. Thanks for this Karen! I don’t have many red blushes — might dive in with this one..Now it’s just a matter of finding it at a store near me (NYX is hard to find in my part of Toronto)
    .-= Michelle (LipstickRules)’s last blog post… MAC Sneak Peek: Dare to Wear ‘So Bad’ Lipglass and Alice & Olivia ‘Partylicious’ Pigment =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Michelle,

      Oh, you need at least one red blush in your stash, fo’ sho’. Do you own a good fan brush? I find it helps make application of brights like Red easier.

  12. mill says:

    wow those are serious dupes!

  13. Paris B says:

    I love NYX blushes – I find that if you buff it in a little, the powder doesn’t sit on the skin so much 🙂 Great choice of colours and quality for the price we pay! I saw the pilot ep of Drop Dead Diva and I’m loving it! Can’t wait till it gets here to where I am
    .-= Paris B’s last blog post… Fenling Fenling Quite Contrary : How does it stack up to Ecotools? =-.

  14. marisol says:

    I’ve heard people talk about this show but haven’t seen it. Will have to check if it’s on Hulu.

    I’ve been wanting to try NYX blushes but I can’t seem to find them. I may have to order them online before I go back on my no buy.
    .-= marisol’s last blog post… Haulidays. . . =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marisol,

      They had the entire season on Hulu a few weeks ago. I’m not sure if it’s still on there, but you can find it online. If you’re in the mood for something light and fluffy, you might like it.

      Wait… you’re going to go back on the no buy? I thought the embargo was permanently lifted. Nooo!

  15. vixen says:

    I was JUST looking at pinched on the website this morning thinking it was a really pretty colour.. I love Pinky and Natural. Pinky is a very convincing natural flush and natural is a really toned-down neutral blush for heavy eyes/lips.

    I’ll probably love Pinched- i have Springsheen which is pretty similar to Orgasm but find that it’s not pink enough for me lol. This would be perfect!

  16. Molly says:

    And you just made mine! TWICE!!!! Pinched HERE I COME!
    I’m so excited you liked it so much. I kind of exploded in glee the first time I saw it, and now every time I hear Bad Romance I see Christian Bale dancing around in tweed. It’s glorious!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Molly,

      I’ve watched it so many times in the last 24 hours that I now know the choreography, HA HA HA! Thanks again for sharing it… if you find any other funny vids please send ’em my way. I’m easily amused like that.

  17. vixen says:

    haha I’m such a fan of yours that my eyes totally went O.o when I saw your reply 🙂 tried to find reviews on people who have used it but yours was the only one so far

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vixen,

      You’re too cute! 🙂

      Well, I hope you like the color. If you have trubs with the powder “sitting” on top of the skin, perhaps try buffing it in with a kabuki brush.

      Happy Wednesday!

  18. Agnes says:

    pinched is gorgeousss!! i wished i knew of their new colours earlier so i couldve picked it up along with the other items i got from my cherry culture haul! ive been trying to hold back from visting that site again for awhile because last time i checked.. they had nyx jumbo pencil in milk back to stock and a couple of other products that were out before!! BUTTT.. i need to control myself 🙁
    .-= Agnes’s last blog post… My Cherry Culture Haul !! =-.

  19. Kristin says:

    Oh I want NYX pinched:) Looks very sweet:)
    .-= Kristin’s last blog post… Pakke i posten- Strawberrynet =-.

  20. rachel says:

    ahhh newsies!! i’m in love, my favorite movie of all time

  21. knownever says:

    Pinched does look like a really nice dupe of Orgasm. I’ve never tried NYX blushes but I have some oftheir shadows and I agree with you about the formula. It’s fine for playing around or neutral base type eye shades to incorporate in with other brands, but stand alone they look too powdery. I think the texture might be hit or miss from one shade to the next on all nyx’s powerder products
    .-= knownever’s last blog post… MAC 101: Painterly Paint Pot =-.

  22. Jane says:

    OMG..I just ordred NYX blush in Terracotta and Pinched last week..I am soo glad its similar to NARS Orgasm..Woot ! Can’t wait for my order to come home 🙂

  23. Paperlamps says:

    I love NYX blushes!! Peach is my fave =D … Karen! I swear you are the most HIGHlarious blogger I read. That video made me weak. /goodjob!

  24. Minttu says:

    I am kind of blush addict:).I live in Finland,no nyx,mac,stila,milani,UD,many others here. Now I am looking for a red blush,I have light skin,dark hair&eyes,a berry colour and “a natural glow” blush and something sheen,like you are not wearing a blush,just glowing..Difficult!
    Hope you have some suggestions and maybe some online store advice.
    I am also obbessed about Macs Natural skinfinish,can`t find it anywear.Any product even close to it? Other msfs are just blushes or highlighters,not all over the face? Any favourites?
    Best Wishes,

  25. Kam says:

    Hi Karen! Is NYX Red a dupe for Nars Exhibit A?
    .-= Kam’s last blog post… Make it work- =-.

  26. Bernice says:

    Great post !

  27. Vivian says:

    Hi. Where did you find that PB24 Nyx blush? Everywhere I look it’s a type of brown, not red. And I really WANT IT!!!

  28. Janice Silva says:

    Hi, dear!
    Do you know wich Nars or MAC blush powder the Nyx Dusty Rose is a good dupe for?

  29. kerry price-haywood says:

    Hello Karen! I totally appreciate your reviews and thoughts on all things beautiful! Todays query is ..Any ideas on using mac well behaved shadow…I need ideas to make it work on my eyes..Oh and Im now obsessed with mac waterweight foundation…tried it?

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