Nars Penny Lane Cream Blush Review, Photos and Swatches!

Nars Penny Lane Blush

Nars Penny Lane Cream Blush

Nars Penny Lane Blush ($28) is described on the Nars website as a nude pink. It’s a very soft and delicate bridal pink with neutral undertones. If you look closely, it has a little bit of a white pearl, but it looks mostly matte on the skin. It’s a great every-day blush that you can’t really do wrong with. It’s very subtle, yet it gives your skin a hint of color that your cheeks need to look healthy and lightly flushed. It’s very similar to the effect MAC Cubic Blush would give me (one of my favorite neutrals).

Nars Cream Blushes are a cream to powder formula, and are very soft and creamy to the touch, but they blend into a seamless powder finish on the skin.

For Penny Lane in particular, I’ve used a few different methods – a small stippling brush, a foundation brush and my fingers. Because the color is so light, it’s not a shade that you can easily overdo. So, I don’t find a stippling brush to be necessary, as it doesn’t apply enough color to the cheeks unless I pack it on the brush. Although I rarely like using my fingers for application of makeup, I find that the fingers give me the best control and color.

To be completely satisfied with the color, I usually apply two layers. I think this blush is best suited for light skintones, but can also work well for light-medium and medium skintones. I’m around the MAC NC35 coloring right now, and I can tell if I were any darker, it may start to show up ashy. If you’re darker than the MAC NC40 coloring (medium-dark/tan), you may want to skip, otherwise you can use Penny Lane as a base for a neutral blush that suits your skin better.

Nars Penny Lane Blush

Wearing Nars Casino Bronzer all over my face, with Nars Penny Lane on my cheeks and MAC Superb across the top of my cheekbones.

Nars Penny Lane Blush

Nars Penny Lane Blush

Nars Penny Lane Blush

In this photo I’m only wearing Penny Lane on my cheeks.
nars penny lane swatches
I often pair this blush with a pink highlight along my cheekbones and it looks gorgeous. I feel that it almost needs that little extra pop. I’ve been pairing it with MAC Superb Extra Dimension Highlighter, and have been loving it! I’ve also been using it as a base for Nars Madly Blush, and they seem to work really well together.

The lasting power is decent, but it’s not particularly long wearing. I find that it lasting power sometimes depends on the foundation I’m wearing. For instance, after 4 hours it has almost completely faded when I’m wearing Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, but it stays in tact much longer when I’m wearing Estee Lauder Double Wear.

Overall, I’m happy with Penny Lane and I know because of the light color and pigmentation, this is a blush I’ll reach for often, and I’m pretty positive I’ll easily be able to finish it up.

If you’re on the lookout for a soft natural pink “no-blush blush” for every day, Penny Lane is a great choice. For a cheaper alternative with a similar effect, I like using L’Oreal Cherubic Magicsmooth Souffle Blush.

To read additional reviews for Penny Lane, check out Makeupalley.

The Round-Up

  • Very creamy, blends easily with the fingers
  • Natural, powdery finish
  • Gives the perfect amount of understated color to the cheeks


  • Lasting power could be better when worn solo – I typically need a touch-up mid-day.
  • May not show up on medium-dark, tan and deep skintones.
  • Because the blush is pretty sheer, I need a couple of layers on my medium skin – with daily use I can see myself finishing this blush quickly.

Price: $28, Nars (Sephora no longer carries Nars cream blush online).

40 thoughts on “Nars Penny Lane Cream Blush Review, Photos and Swatches!

  1. You look gorgeous! I love it! I know it would show up on me because I am just a tad lighter than you (I usually reference which shades you wear of a certain foundation if I can't swatch it in person).


  2. Penny Lane does look pretty sheer with one layer but turns out gorgeous when it's builded upon! The colour looks stunning on you and I will be on the look out for this one as well 🙂


  3. I almost bought this the other day. I'm kinda glad I didn't now cause I'm not sure if it would show up well on my skintone. It looks really good on you though. I need to pick up Casino.


  4. I agree. I love everything that NARS makes, but since I'm a blush addict.. I have an extra soft spot for their blushes. Yep, they have a small selection of cream blushes, and I really like the formula!

    Thank you so much!


  5. Hi Dovey!

    I originally thought so too – Because of the yellow tones in my skin, it does morph a little bit into a warmer shade, but it's most definitely very neutral. I really like it!


  6. It really is beautiful once layered! I wish it were a bit more pigmented though.. but I like the fact that I can be a bit more free with it. I typically avoid using my uber-pigmented blushes.


  7. Yeah, because it's so neutral, it doesn't really deepen on the skin. It stays pretty much the same, so it's really best suited for lighter tones. Thank you! I just got Casino recently and it's quickly becoming my favorite bronzer. I think you'll really like it!


  8. Hi Natalie,
    this blush looks gorgeous on you. i think it's nice and subtle but still noticeable enough. I do have a question, you and I are more or less the same coloring (I vary from NC25-NC30) but, how do you keep your foundation from not looking oily/shiny? or do you have any recs for oily skin?….would love to know

    thank you


  9. Nars Penny Lane is exactly what I have been yearning to get,and your reviews made me want it even more! Its my kinda blush. Too bad Sephora doesn't carry it anymore? Bummer! I will check out Sephora now just to be sure. 🙂


  10. Your skin looks amazing (it always does but something about this pic). Did you use self tanner and what foundation are you wearing? Do you have any recommendations for foundation for dry skin?


  11. Thank you!!

    I'm wearing a combination of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and Estee Lauder Double Wear. I do have a light self tan (Fake Bake Flawless) and a little bronzer buffed on my neck/chest.

    Laura Mercier Silk Creme is lovely for dry skin. Have you tried it?


  12. Thank you Monica!

    I have very balanced skin so I rarely get oily, but my holy grail setting powder is Guerlain Meteorites. I swear by it – it helps keep my makeup in place all day long without looking powdery. What are you currently using?


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