Billed, first and foremost, as a celebration of a NARS cult classic, the brand’s Illuminator in Hot Sand, the new NARS Hot Sand collection is that and more, like, it’s also an opportunity to say, “Oh, hello! It’s you again?” to two popular NARS re-promoted regulars, Orgasm and Laguna, except that this time they aren’t in the same duo…which does make them kindasorta different (I guess?).
The collection also gives us a glossy, creamy highlighting stick in a peachy champagne shade and a good excuse to take the new Hanamachi Kabuki Brush and rub it all over yo’ face like a cat all up in your grill…
Nothing in the collection, however, feels like walking on actual hot sand, which is a good thing, because that, my friend, would be absolute misery.
Because have you ever trekked barefoot across a sweltering beach?? It’s not fun at all… It’s right up there with cleaning a dirty toilet (bluh) or trying on skinny jeans in terrible lighting when you’re feeling extra bloated.
No, this release is all about peachy, highlighted eyes, cheeks, skin and lips. And good old reliable (or, played out, depending on your point of view) Orgasm and Laguna.
So, yeah, I wouldn’t recommend walking across hot sand under any circumstances, but I can recommend giving a few things from this five-piece collection a try.
The NARS Hot Sand Illuminating Multiple ($39)
If someone turned one of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders into a creamy stick, it would be a lot like the NARS Hot Sand Illuminating Multiple. It has that same gorgeous, subtle ability to highlight skin without leaving it looking greasy or frosty, and I think you’ll like it if your pores and fine lines are often an issue (because it doesn’t highlight either of them for me), or, if you just like highlighters that don’t put it all out there, if you know what I mean.
Like, if this highlighter were your secret admirer, it would write you a sweet poem in iambic pentameter and slip it under your door, instead of texting you an unsolicited dirty picture of its naughty bits.
Anywho…for a very subtle highlight, I like layering it beneath my foundation. I’ll swipe the stick directly on my cheekbones, then blend it out with the Hamanachi Kabuki Brush, also from this collection.
The Hot Sand Duos ($42 each)
With the Hot Sand/Orgasm Blush Duo, one side has a peachy champagne powder version of Hot Sand, and the other has an Orgasm blush… I like this one mostly because of Hot Sand, which shines more intensely than the Hot Sand Illuminator, but by no means would I call it frosty. It’s still subtle and on par with something like the new Hourglass Ambient Strobing Powders.
I think it’s very pretty and very beachy, boho glam, and it lasts all day long.
As for Orgasm blush…yep, it’s a classic, and I love how my face looks lively and fresh when I wear it, but how many pans of Orgasm blush does one person really need? I kinda wish NARS had released Hot Sand all by itself, instead of pairing it with Orgasm…
And in the Hot Sand/Laguna Bronzer Duo, you also get the same Hot Sand powder, except with NARS Laguna, instead of Orgasm. Aaand again, I’m still wishing that Hot Sand were sold individually, even though Laguna is a bronzing favorite of mine. It isn’t too cool toned or warm, so I can use it to bronze and/or contour.
The Hanamachi Kabuki Brush ($42)
I think I like the Hanamachi Kabuki Brush more for blending than for applying product… The soft, dense bristles ease bronzer, blush and highlighter edges away, but it’s expensive. Thankfully, it’s also one of the softer face brushes I’ve used from NARS (some of their brushes can be downright scratchy).
Really, the only piece in the collection that I’m not crazy about is Hot Sand Lip Gloss ($26)…
It’s pigmented, quite frosty and not terribly flattering on my lips. In fact, it reminds me of a glossy version of those frosty whitish beige lipsticks that were popular in the ’90s. Right when I put it on, I look like I’m wearing frosty concealer lips, but it probably does look a little more wearable as it settles down.
I dunno, though… I don’t have the patience to wait 20 minutes for a frosty finish to settle down, so this one’s a pass for me.
If Hot Sand is calling you, the collection is available now online and at Nordstrom stores, and then it starts heating up NARS boutiques and the NARS website starting March 1.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,