Well, this is the blush that broke the camel’s low-buy.
I have rarely seen the interwebz cosmetics community reach such a level of agreement as they have regarding the Make Up For Ever HD blushes. The universal review seems to be: the colors are awesome, they are much easier to apply than you might think, they go on much more sheerly than they appear in the tube, you will get reasonably long wearlength out of them, and oh yeah, the pump is a disaster.
All of that is true.
To me, these products are best described as “liquid-to-powder” blushes. They are definitely a liquid when they come out of the pump, and they spread like a liquid, but when they dry they are completely dry, with no stickiness or weight on the face. You have a little bit of time to work with them before they become dry and immovable, but not really very much. For this reason, it’s easier to work on smaller sections of the cheek and get them the color you want while the window of blendability is open than try to do the whole cheek at once, if that makes any sense — and since you’re only going to be using a tiny, tiny amount, this approach generally works well. I use a brush to apply and blend, but fingers are just as good.
When I say “a tiny, tiny amount,” I mean two or three dots, each perhaps the size of the head of a pin, for each cheek. This is what makes the pump so annoying: you really only want a minuscule amount, but the pump rather enthusastically assumes you want to look like a cross between Tammy Faye Bakker and Bozo the Clown and squirts out what would be a reasonable amount of product for anything other than this product. I have finessed this pump every which way from Sunday and although my pump skillz (!) have gotten better, I still cannot absolutely control it. The trick learned with the Benefit Stay Don’t Stray Eye Primer of tapping the pump head repeatedly instead of pressing it down does work, but it takes forever, you have to be very patient, and sometimes that does not build up enough pressure to expel any dried product that happens to be at the mouth of the pump (which acquires a skin over it like that you’d find if you left blobs of acrylic paint on a palette out too long). If this were not an issue, one bottle of this would last you forever, but there is some waste of product due to dryness and pumping out too much at once.
Because it does go on so sheer, I didn’t find the wearlength to be as long as some other reviewers have said. I apply on top of foundation and MUFE’s HD powder. Cream blushes and gel cheek stains last longest on me (which is to say, all day and into the night without fading), so I admit that I always tend to think other products will do the same and am disappointed when they don’t. The first few times I wore this, it had faded on me by the end of the day — not totally, but noticeably. Then I started spritzing a bit of MUFE’s Mist & Fix spray over it and it does seem to make it fade less. But like I said, my expectations are pretty unreasonable. If you are OK with touching up your makeup midday or before you go out for the evening, you will be in fine shape with these.
I ended up with four of the 14 shades of this, but I can easily see being tempted to get more as we head towards fall and I start wanting something a little darker. Or, heaven forbid, if they come out with new shades. Below, please find, from left to right:#2 (Caught in the Act), #5 (Nip Slip), #6 (Quickie), and #14 (Star Struck). I am considering mixing a tiny drop of Star Struck, which is the lightest peach, with my foundation to brighten it up a little but haven’t tried this yet.
MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Blush: $25, only at Sephora
Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good. I would say “excellent” but the pump bothers me.
Purchase again? Very likely.
(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)