There are three things about my face that I wish I had: perfectly placed freckles, dimples, and rosy cheeks. I used to have a difficult time finding the right blush for my complexion. Where I grew up, there were no specialty beauty retailers and the drugstores only sold blush tailored to lighter skin tones (the main demographic in our town). I was so envious of my friends and their naturally pink cheeks.
Vincent Longo Dew Drop Radiant Blush – Gold Canyon
Retail: $30 at Nordstrom
Color(s): Brown powder with red undertones and deposits of pink and gold shimmer.
Finish: Described as Demi-matte with pearl dewdrops.
For a long time, this was my favorite blush. Everyone who knows me, knows that I love to wear a subtle amount of color on my cheeks. The brown tones don’t show on my skin, so I’m left with a tinge of red and trace amounts of shimmer.
The blush broke during shipping, but I was able to press it back into the pan with isopropyl alcohol. Then a few months later I dropped it, broke the compact in two, and had no choice but to depot the product. I’m happy I was able to salvage the blush, although I had to mix all the colors together in the process. This is why it looks red now instead of brown.
As much as I love this product, it has low staying power.
Frankie Rose Cosmetics single blush – Sienna
Retail: $17 at Frankie Rose Cosmetics
Finish: Described as Warm, matte, brown.
This is another item I discovered through my Wantable subscription. It is almost dark enough to use as a contour color, so I sometimes apply it under the cheekbones and add a lighter colored blush on my actual cheeks. This is the same shade my skin used to turn after a sunburn. Every so often, I place this strategically across the bridge of my nose, the highest points of my cheeks, and the sides of my forehead to create a sun-kissed/slightly burnt look, which I think can be quite beautiful. I learned this tip from an older video on Wayne Goss’s youtube channel. Sienna still looks pretty on its own and lasts slightly longer than other blushes.
Sephora Collection Colorful Blush – N17 Orange Pop
Retail: $15. Shade discontinued but other shades are available.
Color(s): peachy orange
This is one of the oldest blushes in my collection, at 1.5 years old. When I walked into Sephora, I asked them what their most “affordable” blushes were and they pointed me to the Sephora brand section. The SA applied many shades to my skin but I only liked this. She was upfront about the fact that Orange Pop was not as pigmented as the other blushes. This is probably why it was discontinued, but the hint of orange was why I bought it. As a sheer color, it’s no surprise that this blush is the quickest to fade in my collection.
ModelCo BLUSH Cheek Powder – Peach Bellini 02
Color(s): peachy golden pink
ModelCo is an Australian brand that I only knew of through various subscription boxes. This one, I received from Ipsy. It is the only shimmery blush that I feel comfortable using on its own. The gold compliments my undertone which is how I can still pull off wearing such a light shade. It lasts an average amount of time on my skin.
Make Up For Ever HD Blush – 510 Raspberry
Retail: $26 at Make Up For Ever
Color(s): Dark reddish purple
Finish: cream blush
To quote the description page from Sephora.com, “[It is] Formulated with the perfect balance of oils, waxes, and powders, HD Blush combines the second-skin look of a cream with the ease of a powder.” It is the most natural looking on my skin when I have sheered out the color (as seen in the photo below).
It has the longest staying power of my blushes. I’ve had this for over a year and it is still my favorite. I also need so little of the product that I haven’t put much of a dent in the pan!
Jouer Mineral Powder Blush – Peach Bouquet
The Powder is the full size blush on the right. The left is the tint.
Retail: $26 at Jouer
Color(s): peachy pink
The mineral blush is so pretty but it barely shows on my skin. I cannot build any color with a blush brush, only my finger. As soon as I try to blend it into my cheeks it disappears. It came in my Jouer Le Matchbox subscription box, so I wasn’t able to choose this color.
Jouer Tint – Petal
Retail: $22 at Jouer
Color(s): soft rose pink
Because this is a tint, I can still wear this light shade without it looking too garish. I like having such a cute, well packaged sample to keep in my purse for some blush on-the-go. However, I only use it on bare faced days.
I prefer to use this product on my cheeks, although it can be used on the lips as well. It is not uncommon to see dual function blushes. In fact, I have several in my collection.
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Raspberry, Becca Beach Tint in Raspberry, Elizabeth Mott Tints & Sass fabulous lip + cheek stain, LAQA&CO. Cheeky Lip in Humblebrag, and Vincent Longo Lip/Cheek Gel Stain in Magic Potion.
I find it interesting that of the products I have tried, I don’t like any of them for multiple purposes. It’s one or the other. I only use Pot Rouge, Beach Tint, and Cheeky Lip exclusively on the cheeks due to their emollient texture. I also just use Tints & Sass on the cheeks because the gel texture is too patchy for the lips. Vincent Longo’s Gel Stain look much better on the lips though.
My final thoughts are to encourage everyone to experiment with colors and textures. Sometimes the color looks different in the pan than on the skin. It may take a while to find your perfect shade, but when you do, it’ll be worth the trouble.