blush

Review: YSL Creme de Blush in #8 Red Agate (Spring 2013 Collection)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was my other purchase from the YSL Spring 2013 collection (the Glossy Stain in #29 Rose Fourreau was reviewed yesterday). Although I still gripe about how vastly overpackaged they are, these cream blushes are IMHO some of the best of their kind, though I could see that the texture may not appeal to everyone.

If you are looking for a cream blush with a waxy base, turn away, for these little guys are almost entirely silicone. They feel velvety soft going on, and because they have so much silicone content, they also feel dry rather than moist. There really is no “cream” to them at all, in the way that you might see with a Stila convertible color or a Korres cheek butter or an Almay Smart-Shade blush. There is a short window of time for blending, and then the product is mostly set. Fingers and brushes both work with these, though I almost always go with a brush. Once set, these have a velvet-powder kind of finish, more of a glow than anything else. I love these, but if silicones are not your skin’s thang, or if you have trouble with silicone products melting off your skin, you might want to pass.

The selling point of these blushes is that because they are so full of silicone, they are able to deliver incredibly bright colors incredibly sheerly. I own this in a couple of other shades — in the pot, they are Fire Engine Red and Radioactive Orange, but on skin they are respectively sheer poppy and light peach.

There are three new colors out for the YSL Spring 2013 collection: #7 Rose Quartz, #8 Red Agate, and #9 Baby Doll. Rose Quartz and Baby Doll are both very, very cool pinks. #8 Red Agate is a lovely dark-but-sheer brick color. It looks unappetizing in the pot, but on the skin it’s quite nice.

I managed to snag the very last one in this shade at my Nordie’s counter, so if you have a hankering for this shade, I’d suggest checking it out sooner rather than later.

Swatch!

YSL Creme de Blush in #8 Red Agate

In the pot:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On the hand (I used my right hand this time, the left having already been swatched with other things. Sorry about the dry skin and elephant wrinkles):

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

YSL Créme de Blush in #8 Red Agate: $38

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Excellent. I now own four of these and have barely made a dent in them. They are pricy, but they last a long time and have a beautiful finish.

Purchase again? Definitely.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

 

 

 

Review: MAC “Tres Cheek” Powder Blush in Immortal Flower

Buy it. Buy it right now. Skip the rest of this review and buy it right now.

What? Are you still here? BUY IT RIGHT NOW.

There’s not a whole lot of MAC that I squee about. Pearlglide eyeliner pencils, Fluidline eyeliner gels, and Paint Pots are pretty much the only things that I follow. If a MAC collection (any one of the approximately seven billion they put out every year) doesn’t have any new shades of those, then I’m likely to skip it. I think I own three MAC lipsticks, two longwear lipsticks, and one eyeshadow palette. Oh, wait, two. And Stereo Rose MSF, which I will never ever hit pan on in my lifetime.

Also, both their collections and their products tend to have annoying names. Not objectionable, like some of the UD names, but annoying. I’m pretty sure that most of the MAC fangirl base will not understand the pun of “tres cheek,” nor will they understand that it’s only a pun if you deliberately mispronounce the French. I estimate it’ll be about eight seconds before we see one of the American Idol judges saying that a contestant’s outfit was “cheek.” Of course, this doesn’t happen just in makeup; at a restaurant recently, I ordered salmon roulades, and the waiter had to put his hand on the table to steady himself as he looked at me with his eyes brimming with tears and told me I was his first customer to pronounce “roulades” correctly all year. It is currently April. This is sad. I said, “How do people normally pronounce it?” He said, “Rool-aids. Like Kool-Aid, but with an R.”

I left him a big tip. He must suffer greatly.

MAC “Tres Cheek” powder blush in Immortal Flower ranks up there with NARS Sex Appeal as one of the best peach/pinky-peach blushes for fair skin that I’ve ever used. It’s gorgeously light. Immortal Flower is pinker and more pigmented than Sex Appeal, but they’re both excellent options for fair skin. This has no shimmer as far as I can see, but it’s gently luminous. For a light spring cheek, it’s perfect. I also sometimes use it to set a cream blush or to blend the border between cream blush and foundation. Powder blushes in general don’t wear as long on me as cream or gel ones, but this one lasts a good six hours before there’s noticeable fading. Most of the time, this works out OK for me.

There are six blushes in the “Tres Cheek” collection, which have various degrees of pigmentation and sheen. If your local MAC counter is sold out, they’ve been restocked on maccosmetics.com, and Nordstrom’s also still has ’em.

Swatch!

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MAC “Tres Cheek” collection powder blush in Immortal Flower: $20

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (mid-range: poor/fair/good/excellent): Fair to good. I wish it had a longer wearlength.

Purchase again? Probably.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Review: Clarins Instant Light Blush in 02 Coral Tonic

When I bought the first of the aforementioned squee-worthy Clarins Crystal Lip Balms, I wanted to add something else to the order to qualify for a free-gift-with-minimum-$40-purchase offer. (Side note: Clarins has really excellent free sampling on the website — they have trial sizes of almost all their skincare products, and they are all available to you all the time. None of this “choose from the following 9 products” business that Sephora does.)

These Instant Light Blushes have been all the rage this spring. I vacillated when I saw them at the counter a few weeks ago, but since I was placing an order anyway, I decided to give them a go. They come in three shades: the pink one (Vitamin Pink) was sold out, the brown one (Brown Fizz) was too dark, so I went with shade 02 Coral Tonic.

You know what a sucker I am for a cream or gel blush; this is actually sort of a mousse-like consistency. I dislike the packaging. It comes packaged like a lip gloss: the product is in a well at the bottom of the tube, and the cap has an applicator attached that you are supposed to use to apply the stuff. You can’t get a brush into the well of product, so you’re kind of stuck with the applicator. It’s not bad, but I don’t like being forced to use it. It’s also going to be hard to get every last bit out of the container.

The applicator is similar to a doe-foot lipgloss applicator, but wider and shaped like a paddle. I don’t actually use the paddle on my cheeks directly; I either dab the product on my fingers and apply that way, or I smear some on the back of my hand and pick it up with a brush.

Here is the great thing about this blush, especially for those of you who like a light touch or who are afraid of developing Krazy Klown Face — it is virtually impossible to overapply this product. It is very sheer. You can build the color to a nice respectable glowy level, but it would be really difficult to go too far.

It lasted very well through a long workday; some minor fading by the end of the day, but overall it performed quite well indeed. An excellent blush for anyone, and a particularly good starter blush for people who want to try out a cream or mousse blush.

More pics and swatches!

The paddle applicator:

Heavily applied:

 

Blended out:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Clarins Instant Light Blush in shade 02 Coral Tonic: $28

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): fair

Purchase again? Maybe! The pink looks nice; it was, of course, the first one to sell out.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)


Review: CARGO Color Sticks in St. Tropez and Maui

< — Says it all.

Honestly, CARGO, this is a great product. Really a great product. In really, really crappy packaging.

Cream blush is my favorite. (Well, and liquid blush. That’s my favorite too. And gel blush. Also my favorite.) OK, let’s just say I like cream blush a lot. So when I saw these from CARGO, I had to give them a go.

CARGO Color Sticks come in five shades: Champagne (very light beige-gold; more like a highlighter), Key West (a very light pink), Maui (mid-tone pink), Santorini (bright berry), and St. Tropez (bronzy orange gold). If you buy one, and want to remember what color it is, you should probably take a Sharpie and write the name on the side of the case. The little sticker on the bottom of the tube that tells you what color it is will jump off and fly away as soon as you exhale anywhere in its vicinity, and there’s no other marker on the case itself that tells you what shade is in there (the lid is also opaque so you can’t see the color through it). Because the bottom of the tube is not a continuous flat surface, it’s also really hard to put your own label on instead. I did succeed with one of mine, but I had to wrestle it down and secure it with electrical tape. Not exactly the kind of chic, jetsetting look that CARGO promotes.

Which is a shame, because these are really very nice products! At least, they are very nice cream blushes. I bought the two I thought I’d use most, and the color is vivid but not overpowering. In-store, I found Santorini a little too intense for me, but remember that I am relatively fair-skinned, so if you are a darker-toned beauty, it would probably look awesome on you. The color blends easily — you can apply with a brush or fingers or straight from the tube — and it lasts all day on me.

CARGO says you can use these on eyes, cheeks, and lips. I wasn’t super-impressed with using these as a lip color; I found them drying and they weren’t really attractive on the lips. I haven’t tried them as eye colors. I wouldn’t try Maui as an eye color anyway; I do like pink eyeshadows but this is not a very usable shade. I might try the St. Tropez, just as a lark, but we’ll see. I’m happy that they’re good cream blushes. These all-in-one products never actually function as all-in-one products.

Photo with no snarking, and swatches!

 

Left: St. Tropez. Right: Maui.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CARGO Color Sticks: $28 each

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Poor. I’d have given them a “fair,” since $28 is still a lot for a cream blush, but the crappy packaging brings it down to a “poor.”

Purchase again? Maybe. I own the two colors that I think work best for me; if they were to come out with other ones that would also suit me, I’d have to think twice (at least) about the packaging before deciding whether or not to commit.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Bare Minerals Insider’s Kit (with Cheek Tint and Color-Shift Eyeshadow)

A few months ago, a friend and I sat down at ULTA and had little mini-makeovers, just for fun. This particular friend has a very busy telecommuting job and two small children, so she has had neither the time nor the external motivation to keep up her makeup routine, and I think she misses being girly. Anyhoo, she was fine with getting a little eye makeup done, and a little lip gloss, but when the brave ULTA sales associate advanced on her with a fan brush loaded with a startlingly pink neon blush (Smashbox, I think), she suddenly made a valiant effort to climb out of her skin in order to get away from the brush. Her eyes were as big as saucers! Undaunted, the SA flicked the fan brush over the apples of her cheeks and deposited a sheer flush of color that looked simply AH-MAZE-ING. (Even my friend agreed, after she had calmed down and had a martini to get over the shock.) Although at the time I didn’t end up buying that blush, I kept thinking about how good it looked — so when I saw this kit at Sephora with a super-bright pink cheek tint and a new “color-shift” eyeshadow, I grabbed onto it with my grimy little paws and would not let it go.

Sephora has a couple of Bare Minerals kits on offer right now, two of which contain this mysterious “color-shift eyeshadow.” By the way, the Bare Escentuals store that is about 50 yards away from the Sephora in one of my local malls had never heard of the stuff, which is slightly worrisome. As of right now there are two colors available, and each one is only available with purchase of a kit (in other words, you can’t buy just the eyeshadow, more’s the pity). Fortunately this particular kit had some other stuff I was drawn to, so it worked out.

In this particular Insider’s Kit, you get the following: Cheek Tint (Bare Minerals’ first cheek stain, as they call it) in shade Flirt, a color-shift shadow in Panache (a bright peach, which, upon buffing, acquires a lavender duotone), liner shadow in Twilight Violet (a sort of purple-gray with sparkles), Natural Lipgloss in Cherry Bomb, and a dual-ended brush.

The cheek tint is frighteningly bright in the container. And when I say “frightening,” I mean “sleep with the lights on”, “put a baseball bat under your bed”, “have your teddy bear on speed dial” frightening. Please DO NOT drop this on your carpet, as it will stain. Unless, that is, you already have a hot pink neon carpet, in which case I want to come to your house and see it. I admit that I have not tried applying the cheek tint with the provided brush. This is because I am terrified that I will go from zero to Krazy Klown Face in less time than it takes to say “Krazy Klown Face,” which isn’t really very much time at all. Instead, I’ve been using a fan brush, and this has worked so far. Like the blush the ULTA SA put on my friend, it delivers a sheer pop of bright color. Because it is sheer, it’s wearable for pretty much everyone. If I can pull it off, anyone who has darker skin than me (which is to say, almost everyone) can probably also do so.

The color-shift eyeshadow is the surprise winner here. In general I’m a skeptic about these kinds of things, but Oh My Goodness Gracious Me It Looks Fantastic. There are two things I really like about it: 1. the peach shade by itself is a lovely eye brightener, and 2. when you blend it out into purple, the transition is very nice (it passes through a pinky stage) and the two colors both look good together and are surprisingly easily incorporated into an overall look. Just for grins, I tried it wet to see what would happen, and the peach color turned into a neon sort of pink. In general I think dry application is better than wet here. The swatches below don’t do it justice; I found it hard to capture the purple tones on film. (Well, digital film, but whatev.) I’m surprised by how nice it is on my eyes. There is another shade available in another kit, which goes on a kind of dirty greenish-gold and buffs out to a fairly intense sky blue.

The lipgloss is … meh. It doesn’t do anything for me, but it won’t hurt you. I wouldn’t have bought it on its own. The color in the tube is fantastic, but on lips it doesn’t have much of an effect. Maybe this is just my lips.

The shadow liner is best worked with wet rather than dry. If you use it dry, there is a lot of fallout. Wet, it’s a nice shade of gray with hints of purple, and the glitter stays where it’s supposed to stay. And unlike the color-shift eyeshadow, when you wet this one it stays the same color it was originally. I’m not a huge fan of it, but I don’t hate it either, and I’m sure I’ll use it from time to time.

The brush is nice, but as I said earlier I haven’t tried to use it with the cheek tint. YMMV.

So in the kit, the winners are the cheek tint, the color-shift eyeshadow, and the brush. The gloss and liner shadow are OK but I wouldn’t have bought them separately.

Swatches!

Closeup of the color-shift eyeshadow in Panache.

 

This is how Panache goes on…

 

… and this is what happens when you buff it. It was incredibly hard to capture the lavender tone on my camera; this is kind of a fail.

 

Cheek Tint in Flirt.

 

Swatch of cheek tint in Flirt, with a sprinkle of powder on the left and a blended-out bit on the right.

 

Liner shadow closeup

 

Swatch of liner shadow (left) and lipgloss (right).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Insider Introducing Cheek Tint: $36 at Sephora

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good. Would have preferred to purchase products separately.

Purchase again? N/A, but I’d buy other kits if they had what I wanted.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Review: Chanel Blush Horizons Blush Éclat Douceur

I am so glad to see the return of blush for spring. Not that it ever totally disappeared, but the seasonal focus is so often on lips or eyes that poor blush gets the bum’s rush.

It is Land of Blush in the Voxpartment. There are blushes everywhere. Because you never know when you might be, say, watching TV, and suddenly need to put on some blush. Also, they are pretty and I like to have them around. Anyway, I have a couple of gems from the spring collections. (Did you hear that? SPRING COLLECTIONS! YAYAYAYAY!!!!)

 

 

Watch out for that last one. It’s a doozy. I suggest wearing earplugs.

In the grab-it-while-you-still-can department, Chanel’s Blush Horizon compact for Spring 2012 is flying off shelves. Not by itself, obvs. This is the compact for those of us who were too stupid to rush out and buy Guerlain Blush G Serie Noir blush last year. [whacks self on head]

Like the Guerlain product, Chanel’s compact features several different shades of blush arranged in horizontal stripes. While technically I suppose you could try to get a brush in them singly, let’s be realistic. You’re going to mash your brush up in there and mix all the colors together. Right? Because who has time for being soooo finicky with blush?

Besides me, I mean. What? No other hands up? Barbarians.

One of the very first luxe products I ever owned was a Chanel blush, which I now think was probably the wrong shade for me, but which filled me with frissons of indulgent delight whenever I used it. I want to be more in love with the aesthetics of the Blush Horizon compact than I am, but sadly, I’m not. It’s slightly too “Ladies Who Lunch” for me. However — the product inside is one of the best powder blushes I’ve used in a long time. I love cream and liquid blushes so much that a powder blush has basically got to feed Africa, calculate the square root of 2139, and name all fifty state capitals in alphabetical order before it can tempt me. I went several rounds with this blush in the store, visiting it over the course of a couple weeks and testing it. With a lot of effort, I managed to convince myself it wasn’t worth buying. “Too sparkly,” I said, and “remember you don’t like powder blushes anymore,” I said, and “stupid Guerlain Blush G, being so awesome.” Well, only that last one is really true.

It’s not too sparkly, which is nice. It’s a lovely shade of pink, more pigmented than I thought it would be from the swatch, but lighter in pigmentation than most Chanel blushes, which is a good thing. Still, the first time I used it, I almost ended up with Crazy Clown Cheeks. There is a bit of shimmer, but it’s very subtle — and I am paranoid about shimmer on cheeks, so if even I think it’s OK, you are probably good to go. It wore remarkably well all day, much better than some of my other powder blushes.

Color-wise, it is definitely cool (I’m speaking of the color you get when you mix all the stripes together), but not untenable for warm-toned beauties. There is a bit of melon in the bottom stripes, so if you want a slightly peachier tint you can finagle the brush in there accordingly.

If you want it, get it now. Seriously, FLYING off shelves.

Close-up and swatch!

I had to pile it on fairly thickly for the swatch so that it would really show up.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel Blush Éclat Douceur: $58

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Poor. Come on, I love Chanel, but $58 for a blush is outrageous.

Purchase again? Hopefully I will never hit pan.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

 

Review: YSL Creme de Blush in Velvety Peach

In a recent conversation, Mama Voxy said the following:

“I think I’m going to use up all the blushes I have before I buy more.”

Said I, “That’s a good intention. I never stick to it myself. How many do you have?”

Mama Voxy: “Two.”

No, I am not telling you how many are in my stash, but it is substantially more than two. Because, of course, one needs to have EVERY SINGLE AVAILABLE SHADE of pink, peach, red, orange, terracotta, raspberry, bronze, fuschia, rose, poppy, bubblegum, crimson, apricot, watermelon, cerise, and … well, you get the idea. Not only does one (by which, of course, I mean “me”) need to own all of these colors, one (me) should also preferably have each shade in each available formulation: powder, cream, liquid, cream-to-powder, gel, and stain.

(This is why I have a cosmetics blog.)

There are lots of blushes that I really like. As we saw a few days ago, with the “Fox in a Box” debacle, there are some I think fail completely. There are a lot more that kinda-sorta work well or that fit very specific color needs in my blush wardrobe (MAC Stereo Rose, for instance, which is a shade of poppy that only works with certain color combinations, but when it does, boy is it purty).

This spring I have been fortunate enough to happen upon several fabulous blushes that I adore, and one of which I think I can safely elevate to Holy Grail status. That one is Yves St. Laurent Creme de Blush in Velvet Peach.

Lots of blushes are advertised as “cream-to-powder,” but it seems that few of them actually are. Most of them stay creamy. Which is fine; I love cream blushes. This is one of the best cream-to-powder blushes I’ve used: it is easy to apply with a brush but actually does become a soft blendable powder. Also, the color is fantastic. As a pink-skinned lass, I find peachy blushes can sometimes be difficult (they can look as if I’d slapped a piece of salmon on my skin), but this is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.

You could probably apply this with your fingers, because it is so easily blended it would be pretty hard to screw up. I have to admit that I apply all of my non-powder blushes with a brush — a paintbrush. More precisely, a 3/4″ Loew-Cornell 270 Maxine’s Mop brush that I bought at Michael’s for some outrageously cheap price. Michael’s’ website (? I don’t know how to properly possessify that — the website belonging to Michael’s) is not very user-friendly in terms of providing information on individual brushes, so here is a link and a picture from Amazon:

So yes, this is what I use almost exclusively for cream, liquid, and cream-to-powder application. On the YSL it works a treat, just like it does on most of my other stuff.

So, are there any flies in this ambrosial peach ointment? Tragically, yes. First: DEAR COSMETICS MANUFACTURERS, PLEASE STOP PUTTING TINY POTS OF PRODUCT INTO BIG ENORMOUS WASTEFUL SQUARE CLEAR PLASTIC CONTAINERS THANK YOU. Seriously, I hate this. Are you trying to camouflage how small the pot of product is? Some of your customers may be dumb enough to fall for that, but not this one. Second, and not unrelated: $38, YSL? Really? For a tiny pot? Well, I can see why you would want to make people think the container’s bigger than it is. This is particularly irksome as this is actually a blush I could see myself finishing. Have you ever heard me say that? I don’t think so. I did, in fact, finish a blush once. I think it was back in my high school days, when I, like Mama Voxy, owned a grand total of two blushes.

None of that takes away from the fabulous quality of the product, though. It looks terrifyingly orange in the pot (and the other five shades look pretty frightening as well), but it goes on a lovely soft peach that is pretty near impossible to screw up. I will probably pick up at least one other shade before all is said and done.

Swatch!

So pretty!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

YSL Creme de Blush in Velvety Peach: $38

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Fair. Come on, $38 is a lot, even though the product is amazing.

Purchase again? Yes, dangit, in spite of the price.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Review: Hard Candy “Fox in a Box” Blusher Quad in Spicy & Sweet

 

Well, duh, right? I obviously can’t let this one pass by without a signature Voxy review. So here it is, with my usual apologies to Theodore Geisel:

Fox, Vox,
Fox in Box.
Will this Fox Box
Rock my socks?

Fox in a Box has four blush blocks.
The colors won’t give any shocks:
Coral, bronze, and pink like phlox;
The coral looks a lot like lox.

“Benefit dupe?” says Foxy Voxy,
“Guess Hard Candy’s got some moxie.”
Want this Coralista proxy?
(Warning: you will need epoxy.)

Will it match your summer frocks?
Can you wear it on spacewalks?
Will it look good with Birkenstocks?
What verdict from the jury box?

 

 

More powdery than classroom chalks,
This blush won’t last five city blocks
Unless you’re stubborn as an ox
And wear so much your boyfriend gawks.

Do not wear it tending flocks,
Do not wear it climbing rocks.
Do not wear it darning socks,
Do not wear it to job talks!

I know this is unorthodox —
A warning not to buy, from Vox?
Though its design is cute and boxy,
You should skip it, saith Voxy.

So, uh, yeah. I say give it a miss. You can see in the swatches how powdery and chalky it is. I had to work pretty hard to even get the colors to show up that well. They also include a brush, as you can see in the photo above, but it’s horrendous. It does have pink bristles, which is almost a mitigating factor, but it’s so bad that I can’t justify giving them partial credit for it.

There are two other variations on the blusher quad: “Hot Flash” (redder) and “Smooth Talker” (peachy-bronze). There are also two bronzer duos from the same family: “Truth or Dare” (pink & bronze) and “Skinny Dipping” (orange and terracotta).

(In case it wasn’t clear, the numbers on the third picture were giving the order of swatches from left to right on my hand.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hard Candy “Fox in a Box” Blusher Quad: $6 at WalMart (exclusive retailer)

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (drugstore: poor/fair/good/excellent): Excellent, but don’t buy it.

Purchase again? No way.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Let us know in the comments!)

Review: Korres Zea Mays Powder Blushes in Peach and Pink

Continuing on today with minimalistic product names, I’m reviewing two powder blushes by Greek brand Korres, in the simply-named but accurate Peach and Pink.

These blushes were my first purchase from Korres’ cosmetics line, not counting the lip butters (which I still love). I had been unimpressed with some of the skincare products, so I wasn’t expecting much of the cosmetics going into it. But I bought Peach, and it was Teh Awesome, so I had to get Pink as well (which is what’s pictured at the top of the post).

These blushes are generously sized, well-pigmented, and smooth to apply. They also have a mirror in the compact, which is nice. They do not have a brush in the compact, which is even nicer, as it makes the compact more … er, compact … and there is no space wasted on a silly flat little brush. I am NW20 in MAC and can wear either of them with my cool-toned skin. I think that cool-toned people often have a hard time finding flattering peach blushes, but this one works well. It’s easy to build up the color intensity — perhaps too easy — so you will want to start with a light hand. The Pink shade applies more coolly than it seems like it will based on the color in the pan and might not look as good on warm/olive-toned skin. I’d swatch before purchasing on that one, but both cool and warm skin tones can confidently order Peach. Both of them, but Peach especially, have shimmer in the pan but this is virtually unnoticeable on the skin unless you go overboard. Peach is often described as NARS Orgasm for people who can’t wear NARS Orgasm (like me), and I think that’s probably not too far off. It’s a similar shade but the shimmer is toned way down.

The lasting power is reasonable for a powder blush. You all know that since I discovered cream and gel blushes, my expectations for wearlength of any blush product have skyrocketed, which is probably unfair to powder blushes as all of them tend to fade much sooner on me than cream blushes. Meh. Setting with HD powder helps.

The packaging on these is a little too utilitarian for my liking. They’re square and kind of clunky, and the typesetting/type layout is all very simple and un-glam. You know me, I like my frills and ruffles and rhinestones, so I’d have liked it to be a little more luxurious in terms of presentation, but the product itself is very nice. (I suppose I could always Bedazzle the outside of the compact if I really wanted to… KIDDING.) The use of the “Zea Mays” term is inconsistent: some products contain it in the product name, some don’t. Zea mays is corn, or, more specifically for this product formulation, corn starch. So if you are allergic to corn starch, you might want to give these a pass.

Photos and swatch!

Korres Blush in Pink

Korres blush in Peach. Why is it in a dark brown compact when the Pink is in a white one? Dunno.

Left: Peach. Right: Pink. Pardon the weird shine in the photo.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Korres Zea Mays Blush: $24. Sephora also carries it for the same price but they only have four out of the eight shades.

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good. There’s a lot of product. At 0.21 oz, you get almost twice as much as Bobbi Brown and Smashbox blushes (which are 0.13 oz each) and almost three times as much as a MUFE powder blush (0.08 oz), for comparable prices.

Purchase again? Yes, but I suspect I already have the two shades that suit my fair skin best.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Review: Eve Pearl HD Foundation Cream Blush in Ruby

Meet my new favorite cream blush.

No, srsly. The category of “Voxy’s favorite cream blushes” is well-populated and highly competitive. Stila CCs, Tarte cheek stains, Illamasqua and Becca cream blushes, Redpoint whipped blushes, and even the humble Almay Smart Shade blushes are constantly duking it out for alpha dog status. So for something to at least temporarily be King of the Hill, it’s got to be pretty damn extraordinary — which this product is.

I picked up a few Eve Pearl products during their Black Friday sale. Eve Pearl is a makeup artist who prettifies a lot of famous faces, and is possibly most well-known for being the lead makeup artist for the TODAY show. Eve herself looks just a tiny bit scary, but her work is beautiful: there are so many days that I’ve tuned in to the TODAY show and thought, “wow, Ann Curry and Meredith Vieira look FABULOUS.” Unfortunately, many of her products are painfully pricey, so I definitely wanted to wait for a sale to pick up a couple of items.

Eve Pearl’s cream blushes come in three shades: Rosy (recommended for fair to light skintones), Ruby (recommended for medium to tan skin tones), and Toffee (recommended for dark to deep skintones). I decided to buck the trend and go for Ruby, even though my skin would definitely be best characterized as “fair to light.” So sue me.

Here is what I love about this product:

1. Two taps of the brush are enough to get product sufficient for the whole cheek. It is insanely pigmented, but the pigment is not too bright.
2. The color blends out gorgeously and smoothly and is a completely natural-looking flush that can blend with either cool-toned or warm-toned makeup. It leans cool when I wear it with cool shadows and lippies, and warm when I pair it with bronzes and golds.
3. It looks five hundred percent natural, even though I committed the cardinal sin of using a blush not specifically targeted to my skin tone.
4. It wears beautifully and lasts all day.
5. It is creamy and blendable and not at all sticky, tacky, gloppy, patchy, or any of the other things people don’t like about cream blush.

Here is what I don’t love about this product:

<crickets>

Seriously, I cannot recommend this product highly enough. The only problem with it is that you don’t get so much for the money: it’s $22 for 3.5 g. However, there are other products both better and worse than this: Stila CCs are $25 for 4.25 g, but Becca creme blushes are $30 for 3 g.

The next time she has a sale, I’ll definitely be picking up the “Rosy” shade; the “Toffee” looks quite a bit too dark for me but would be gorgeous on darker-skinned women.

Swatch!

L: Heavily applied; R: blended out

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eve Pearl HD Foundation Cream Blush in Ruby: $22 for 3.25 g.

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Fair.

Purchase again? Yes. I’ll definitely be getting the “Rosy” shade as well.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)