Life’s a Beach of Champagne Peach With the NARS Hot Sand Collection

Published in: Collections, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

nars hot sand collection

Ouch! Hot Sand! It’s the new NARS Hot Sand collection…

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)

nars hot sand illuminating multiple

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)

nars hot sand duo

NARS Hot Sand/Laguna Blush/Bronzer Duo ($42) on the left and NARS Hot Sand/Orgasm Blush Duo ($42) on the right

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)

nars hot sand lip gloss hanamachi kabuki brush

NARS Hot Sand Lip Gloss on the left ($26) and the NARS Hanamachi Kabuki Brush ($42) on the right

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.

nars hot sand orgasm blush duo

The NARS Hot Sand/Orgasm Blush Duo

nars hot sand laguna blush bronzer duo swatch

The NARS Hot Sand/Laguna Blush/Bronzer Duo ($42)

nars hot sand illuminating multiple

The NARS Hot Sand Illuminating Multiple

nars hot sand lip gloss swatch

NARS Hot Sand Lip Gloss

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,



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So far, 16 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Katie says:

    Oh, I really REALLY want the Hot Sand/Laguna duo… I have a feeling I won’t be able to resist!

  2. India says:

    I’m always so weary of cream products because they almost always lie strangely on my skin but otherwise the collection looks great!
    India recently posted … Mini Sephora haul?

  3. Allysa says:

    I love NARS to death, but I’m personally getting tired of them including Orgasm and Laguna in every palette/duo that they launch. I’m sure everyone owns one or both shades by now, and it seems pointless to keep ramming them down our throats. Like, this illuminator could’ve been really cool with a contour shade from their contour palettes, or it could’ve been sold alone in the regular sized pans like you said. Hot Sand looks so beautiful, but it’s such a bummer that I can’t buy it individually in powder form.

  4. Erin says:

    Whoohoo more Orgasm and Laguna *sarcasm*
    Erin recently posted … Layer Cake 2011 Garnacha

  5. Lulle says:

    Ah, Nars and their legendary obsession with Orgasm and Laguna… Yeah I wish they had released a single version of the powder Hot Sand instead! It does look nice paired with Laguna though, I have to say.
    Lulle recently posted … Review: Physicians Formula Cushion Foundation

  6. Pretty as they are, I don’t think I’ll get the duos. I don’t think Hot Sand is my kind of shade per se. And I even gave Orgasm away to my mom when she forgot her blush when she was visiting. So yeah, not too attached to it 😉

  7. Nothing too exciting for me here. I am not that into highlighters anyway, I do own Orgasm already and I am not into wearing frosty lipgloss. Or cleaning dirty toilets or trying to fit into skinny jeans, no matter the lighting.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Deep Conditioning – My recipe of choice

  8. jessica says:

    Oh, I LOVE the kabuki brush!!
    jessica recently posted … Featuring Furball

  9. Kim says:

    Even *I* have multiple pans of Orgasm and Laguna. That should tell NARS something. 🙂 I do think that Hot Sand is pretty, though, so it would be nice as a stand alone. Up here in the arctic, we don’t get a ton of literal hot sand but I do recall the one time I thought my feet would burn off, carrying a kayak down a VERY long beach on a super hot day. Miserable, as you noted!

    Hope all is well with you and BG. Heading into the weekend – yay!

  10. Heather L says:

    I would walk across hot sand to get to this! I even like the lip gloss, and I hate lip gloss! I do agree that Laguna and Orgasm resurface too often – as much as I love them I’d rather see new release shades rather than ones I have already… But the highlight stick and gloss: yes please!

  11. Lauren says:

    I was so beyond excited when I saw your pics, and so sad (as everyone else is) that Laguna and orgasm are included…I have enough of these for a lifetime! I would love the Hot Sand though!

  12. Georgia says:

    I’ve loved Hot Sand since NARS first brought it out as a liquid illuminator. I recently ran out of Laguna and NEEDED another one and LOVE Hot Sand so I got the duo. The Hot Sand powder highlighter is very subtle on my skin (NC 20/25) – nice for when I don’t want to glow like a disco ball. It just makes me look healthy. And Laguna is Laguna – it never fails me. And now I will need that lipgloss too!

  13. Icequeen81 says:

    It is really pretty

  14. Tatiana says:

    I saw this in my local Nordstrom. Nothing thrilled me and since Dear Husband is urging a “No Buy” 2016 I passed on it. Although, I didn’t see that kabuki brush, so maybe I need to go back to check that one out.

  15. CrystalCandy says:

    How is the Hot Sand Illuminating Multiples compared to the original Hot Sand liquid illuminator? I kinda want it but if they are too similar in color I will skip it!
    CrystalCandy recently posted … BITE Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks (Spritzer, Chai, Black Truffle, Beetroot, Honeycomb and Gazpacho)

  16. Susan C. says:

    Having avoided Orgasm for lo these many years (wait, that didn’t come out quite right), I may finally take the plunge and go for it with the Hot Sand/Orgasm combo platter. Those colors look so delicious together, resistance may prove futile!

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