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NARS Danmari All About Cheeks Palette

Nars Danmari All About Cheeks Blush Palette

Unlike nail polishes, which I change to a different color every few days, I’m extremely prone to getting into a rut with face makeup. My morning routine would consist of reaching for whatever products happen to be the most versatile or physically closest to me at the moment (likely newest purchases) and I would use those same products over and over again until something new comes along.

One of the worst offenders are blushes. Knowing myself, I now mostly purchase eyeshadow palettes that can create different looks, but with blushes, I become too lazy to pull out various large-sized compacts. There isn’t anything remotely wrong with sticking to a trusty favorites, but hey, I want to have some fun! (But admittedly, without much effort.)

Nars Danmari All About Cheeks Blush Palette Packaging

So when I heard about the NARS Danmari palette, I knew this would be the perfect solution. Housed in a special holiday box, this limited edition palette contains four blushes (Orgasm, Super Orgasm, Desire, Sin), plus a highlighter (Hungry Heart I) and a contour/bronzer color (Casino). I could create different looks just using this kit, much like how I use an eyeshadow palette.

Not only that, but it’s a complete steal at USD $65 for six 0.12 oz shades (75% of full size each), when regular-sized 0.16oz blush retails for $27 each. And with the name Danmari (暗闘 だんまり), derived from the Japanese pantomime form of Kabuki, how could I resist?

Nars Danmari All About Cheeks Palette Size Comparison to Credit Cards

From reading various reviews, I knew the palette is 6.25 inches x 3.25 inches, but I couldn’t quite visualize the size (metric system, anyone?) since I purchased this online and I wasn’t about to whip out my ruler :P. It turned out smaller than I imagined it, basically the same size as 3 credit cards line up as above.

Nars Danmari All About Cheeks Blush Palette Holiday Size with AAA Battery

So of course the pans are also smaller than I visualized as well. If you’re familiar with NARS eyeshadows, they’re about the same dimensions; each one is about three AAA batteries lined up, though it’s arguable whether that description helps anyone. :P

Nars Danmari All About Cheeks Blush Palette Holiday Kabuki Size with Brush

Let’s just say it comfortably fits the head of a standard blush brush (I’m holding a MAC 168 above). If you’ve used NARS blushes, you’d know that you literally only need a light tap to deposit pigment onto the brush and apply to both cheeks. I never need to swipe the brush over them since they’re highly pigmented, possibly some of the most pigmented on the market.

Nars Danmari All About Cheeks Palette Topples

The exterior is the same “rubbery” signature NARS packaging, which I’ve never been too keen on since it easily grips fingerprints, powder pigments, dirt, what-have-you. I also always feel like I have to pry open NARS compacts and I’m afraid my fingers will slip and I’ll break my nails one day.

The compact is “top heavy” because of the large mirror and topples over unless the mirror is perfectly perpendicular to the blushes. I’m mentioning it only because it freaked me out when I placed the palette down and thought it’d fall off the counter and shatter.  And yes, I like to complain about little things. :P I do like the large mirror and you can easily see both cheeks at the same time or your whole face if you flip the palette vertically.

Nars Holiday Danmari All About Cheeks Blush Palette

Ahh, but I can forget about the rubbery packaging because the inside is so beautiful! It contains:

  • Hungry Heart Duo I (highlighter) – sheer ivory with golden microshimmer
  • Casino (bronzer/contour) – warm mid-tone brown with a slight sheen
  • Orgasm - peachy pink with gold shimmer and golden sheen (like an overlay)
  • Super Orgasm – light pink with silvery-gold sheen and large glitter particles
  • Desire – matte, hot Barbie pink
  • Sin – plummy mauve with silvery gold sheen
Nars Hungry Heart Duo I Highlighter and Nars Casino Danmari Palette
NARS Hungry Heart I (top) & NARS Casino (bottom)


Nars Orgasm and Nars Super Orgasm Swatches Danmari Blush Palette Holiday 2011
NARS Orgasm (top) & NARS Super Orgasm (bottom)


Nars Desire and Nars Sin Danmari All About Cheeks Blush Palette Holiday 2011
NARS Desire (top) & NARS Sin (bottom)


Nars Danmari All About Cheeks Palette Swatches Hand Closeup Holiday 2011
NARS Danmari Palette swatches on my medium warm-toned hand

I blended the edges of these swatches so you can gauge how it would look using a light hand. As you can see, most are shimmery, and especially with Super Orgasm, the glitter flies everywhere. If you don’t like shimmer, beware. But even the bright pink Desire can look very flattering and natural with only a single light tap to pick up pigment and blended onto the cheeks.

The color that surprised me the most is Sin. It looks purple-y and quite frankly scary in the pan (which is why I’d never tried it), but it applies a plummy color that’s perfect for the colder season. It makes me look more mature, or (dare I say it) sexy and it looks great paired with smokey eyes.

Nars Danmari All About Cheeks Blush Palette Swatches Hand Holiday 2011
NARS Danmari Palette swatches on my medium warm-toned hand

I only wish Orgasm and Super Orgasm  were replaced with different colors. Orgasm seems to appear in every single set/kit and most who’ve wanted it already own it. Super Orgasm is very glittery and, in my opinion, best for the night time or special occasions.

However, I often hear Super Orgasm being just a more glittery Orgasm, but I disagree — Orgasm is a peachy, coral pink with a golden sheen, like an overlay, while Super Orgasm is more pink without the obvious yellow-gold overlay.

I’m happy with this palette and wouldn’t hesitate to purchase it should NARS make another blush palette. I love that I can just keep this one palette around and create different looks (sometimes by mixing the colors) in the mornings without having to dig through different blushes. It’s great for travel, even if you own most (or all?) the colors, and would also make great gifts for someone new to NARS.

The palette has (thankfully) sparked my interest in blushes again and it reminded me that a slight change in color-use in just one part of your makeup can dramatically change a look for the better.

The Danmari palette retails for USD $65 exclusively at Sephora USA or for £45.00 on NARS UK.

P.S. Speaking of Danmari and Kabuki, I’ve seen several Kabuki performances and really enjoy them. Color me uncultured, but I enjoy them much more than Noh theatre, which I’ve shamefully fallen asleep watching. Kabuki has great story-telling, is dramatic, extremely dynamic, and is often comical. Although it’s not Danmari, I found a clip of Kabuki-style “tap dancing” by famous Kabuki actors that is pure genius! Skip to the middle section for the good parts. ;)

YouTube Preview Image

18 Responses to NARS Danmari All About Cheeks Palette

  1. Oh my god. Your photos. Your photos!

    You make me want to just give up & stop blogging. Seriously: they’re THAT good. And then you have to go and pair them with grammatically sound sentences and all sorts of things that make for a good read!


  2. I happen to have 3 of the shades. Oh wait I don’t. I smashed Desire but it was gorgeous! If I didn’t hate Nars rubber packaging so much (they all melted on me!) I’d run out and get this palette because its an excellent deal :D

    p/s And like Rae, I’m ready to give up just looking at your photos :P

    • The rubber packaging drives me bonkers, too, but I can overlook it in place of 6 colors! I’ve heard of the plastic melting, but it has never happened to me. CRAZY! NARS must be made in super non-humid, cool temperatures. :P

  3. Oh wow… OH. WOW.

    When I first saw the palette, I wasn’t really that interested in it; but your swatches have changed my mind.

    Although personally, I would’ve swapped Casino for Mata Hari :).

    • Hi dani :D. I’ve never tried Mata Hari. It looks like a really pretty pink. Good thing I like Casino, but I know others would have preferred Laguna bronzer.

  4. I wanted to get this palette so badly when it was the Sephora F&F sale, however the locations I went to were all sold out >_< Such a shame. If they restock, I may have to snag it, your pictures started stirring feelings of real regret xD Thanks for the post!

  5. Haha! I’ve also fallen asleep very shamelessly at a Noh performance before….

    Love you blog by the way and congrads on being a contributor on MWS!

  6. I thought I was over wanting this palette (told myself I don’t need it because I have the two middle colors), but looking at your swatches I really want Desire and Sin too. I love the sleek packaging. sigh~!

    • Hi Soo! I’ve been wearing Sin as “base” and layering a hint of Desire or Orgasm on top to make it more berry/pink. I agree with you, it looks very sleek and cool.

  7. Thank you for the post. Very well written and lovely photos! My best read of the day =)

  8. Yum! Never caved for the palette (and I guess, too late for it anyway) but I’m considering getting an individual Sin because of your swatches!

    Then again… It’s so purple I wonder if I’d just look bruised

    • That’s what I was afraid of, but it’s a nice plum with a light hand. I’ve also been layering more peachy/pink colors over it and am loving the look!

  9. Love this palette! I’ve been using it everyday since I bought it.

What say you?