One item I’m discussing today is a bronzer, but the rest are cream blushes. Cream, liquid, and balm blushes have become extremely popular this year and while I have held off on getting some (and even returned one from Tower 28), these were too tempting to resist.
This is the first Black-Owned “Clean” beauty brand at Sephora. I watched a fantastic interview with the brand owner where she describes the type of products she wanted to make, why she chose certain ingredients, and the overall uplifting message behind the brand: Love YourSelf. Clean Beauty products tend to be on the expensive side, so it’s amazing to see how relatively affordable the products are.
Lys Beauty No Limits Matte Bronzer in Strength $18
Niacinamide is a popular skincare ingredient, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen it in a makeup product. The brand uses it in the primer, bronzer, and setting powder. Every product within the LYS line has some skin benefiting ingredients added to them.
Strength is the 4th darkest shade. I ran into the issue of this particular color looking very subtle on me, yet the Worthy shade appears as though it would be far too deep, so I settled for this one. I also chose to show what the pan looks like with and without flash because the flash-off photo is more accurate to how it looks in person, but the flash-on photo better demonstrates the depth of color when actually applied to the skin.
I like that it’s a neutral tone. Product picks up easily on my brushes, but I have to spend a lot of time getting it to show. When it does, it can be uneven at times. It’s not patchy in the sense that there are gaps with no color, but in order to get a solid section, some spots are deeper that others and sometimes looks unblended despite how long I spent on that area. I’ve used multiple brushes and techniques, but it’s still a time consuming process to get it to look nice on me. For this reason, I think the bronzer is okay but I wouldn’t recommend anyone rush out to buy it.
The blushes, however, I highly recommend! There’s a reason they’ve been going in and out of stock on Sephora’s website for nearly two months! The formula is incredible!
Lys Beauty Higher Standard Satin Matte Cream Blush in Self Love and Confidence $16
I’ve tried so many cream formulas lately and this easily surpasses them all. They’re easy to use, smooth, blendable, natural looking, pigmented but not overly pigmented. One could still build up the color or sheer it down. They’re long lasting on me. They dry down so I’m not left with a sticky, greasy, or creamy feeling when I touch my cheek. I don’t have to warm them up first to use them. They’re my perfect cream blush formula!
There are six shades in total. One lighter, two brighter, and one deeper than the shades I own. Because these are mid-toned, I can use a very heavy hand with them and not worry about overapplying and looking crazy. On the left sides of the photos are my preferred level of product for in-person blush. The right side shows what it looks like built up to near maximum opacity to make it easier to see on camera.
There’s a slight difference between Self Love and Confidence when on the skin, though they look nearly identical with a light application. Confident has a warmer undertone and is a touch lighter than Self Love, which is more on the rosey mauve side. Self Love leans a little cool, but not so cool as to look unflattering on me.
I’ve only heard good things from others who have purchased these blushes. The one concern I’ve seen from those who haven’t seen them in person is whether a brush would fit in the compact because of the triangular shape (which I love). LYS accounts for the shape by making it bigger than the average blush. Below are photos to compare the sizes. I could fit the entire Fenty blush in the center. It’s bigger than the cream blush portions in the ND Bloom palette and Patrick Ta duo. For anyone concerned about using up the last bits of product, which honestly that would take a very long time get to, a cosmetic spatula would be helpful in scraping out what is in the corners and spreading it into the center of the pan. It’s not just that the LYS pans are wider. They contain 6.5 g of product for $16 compared to 4.5 gram for $22 from Melt, 4.5g for $20 from Tower 28, and 3 grams for $20 from Fenty. Even the Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Cream Blush is 5g for $21.
With the LYS blush, I’ve tried this using my fingers, a brush, and a sponge. They’re all nice methods, but my favorite is using a brush, and particularly the Sonia G Mini Base brush from the Keyaki set. I can spread the color on my cheeks, but I like stippling it on the most.
Melt is most known for their eyeshadow stacks and palettes, but I only own blushes from them, if you count the Digital Dust Duo Blushes as actual blushes and not highlighters.
Melt Cream Blushlight in Daydreamer and Polished
The cream version of Blushlights comes in eight shades, though only six are available at Sephora. Sephora doesn’t carry Daydreamer or Cali Dream. There’s also a powder version of Blushlights but only Lynx and Sundown exist in both formulas. Cali Dream and Honey Thief are also available in powder versions but in the matte blush formula. Daydreamer is a, “rich cinnamon with pink pearl.” It’s the darkest shade in the collection and the others aren’t as easy to see on those with dark to deep skintones, so I was surprised to see it not available at Sephora, despite having arm swatch photos on the website with all eight shades together. I thought perhaps Melt didn’t create enough to give a stock of them to Sephora or that Melt intended for that shade to be a website exclusive. However, when I was scrolling through Melt’s Instagram, I saw a comment where they said Sephora “is taking” certain shades. This reveals that Sephora intentionally chose not to take the deepest shade, which would have made this range a little more inclusive. At least it would be more inclusive as blushes. Melt encourages those with medium to deep skintones to use the shimmer shades as highlighters.
I saw several people inquiring as to why Daydreamer wouldn’t be coming to Sephora (even though the full range is at Camera Ready Cosmetics) and requesting swatches on deeper skin tones.
The only explanation I can think of is that perhaps Sephora didn’t want it because they have a few colors like it available already. It’s close to Fenty’s Rose Latte, which makes it also similar to Tower 28’s Power Hour based on a video I watched comparing Tower 28 and Fenty blushes, both of which Sephora has. Among my collection, it’s also similar to Glossier’s Cloud Paint in Storm. What makes Daydreamer stand out is the fact that it’s darker and it has those specks of shimmer.
In addition to Daydreamer, I also bought Polished, a shade that’s “grapefruit…with a warm golden pearl.” I can get the color to show in person if I stipple on a heavy application of the blush. However, I prefer to wear both colors together with Daydreamer more towards the back and Polished towards the front on the apples of the cheeks. I have tried mixing the two shades together equally, but Daydreamer is such a darker color that it doesn’t look any differently.
For me to get as close to what Polished looks like, but with enough pigment to show up more easily, I have to use a mixing ratio of 3 parts Polished to 1 part Daydreamer. However, mixing is more time consuming (and messier) than applying to separate areas, so I just prefer to do that.
These blushes have a very noticeable vanilla-like scent, but the smell doesn’t linger for too long on the cheeks. I like the product’s creamy texture and the way it looks on the skin. At some angles, I like the glowing effect this blush has, but it’s at the cost of having very spread out random glitter particles, which I’ve mentioned ad nauseam is not a preference of mine. For those who don’t like shimmer, Honey Thief, Sandy Cheeks, and Cali Dream are the three shades without it.
This formula doesn’t dry down. If it doesn’t get set with a powder, it will remain emollient to the touch. When I have set this with powder, it felt dry for a short time and then eventually the cream and natural oils broke through that layer and felt creamy again. The only success I’ve had for setting it was to apply a little powder blush on top and then set it with translucent powder as well. This does, however, defeat the purpose of having that particular shade of blush and it essentially functions as a cream base in this way. I don’t mind using these blushes unset for photos, but I wouldn’t try to wear one in public where it could transfer onto my hand or mask.
The Blushlights are described as being intended for eyes, cheeks, and lips, but on the card that came with my order it specifically lists only Lynx, Sundown, and Sandy Cheeks as being usable around the eyes. On the back of my actual blush box it just says, “apply on face as desired,” but on Melt’s website in the “about” tab you can click on each individual cream Blushlight to see which ones they say to use on cheeks and lips versus the ones that have all three areas listed.
Polished shows a bit on the lips, but I can see all my discolored spots through it. I think Daydreamer looks nicer on me. My upper lip is darker than my bottom lip and is very hard to cover, which demonstrates the lack of opacity and pigmentation. My main issue is that I don’t enjoy the slippery feeling on my lips and I can smell the vanilla much stronger when it’s under my nostrils as opposed to the sides of my face. Also, although the texture the creamy, my lips feel even drier than before I put them on (and yes my lips are in a poor state in this photo). Sorry! I know it’s not the cutest thing to look at.
The “Both” photo has Daydreamer on the lips with Polished in the center.
I have also used these blushes with a brush, fingers, and a sponge. I don’t have a preferred method of application between a brush and my fingers, but I dislike the look with a sponge. It starts off depositing a lot of color, but by the time I finish blending it evenly, it becomes sheer to the point of looking like a tint. If the undertone of a blush doesn’t suit my skin tone, it makes a tint (where you can see my skin through the blush) that much more unflattering in my eyes. My goal for blush is to look naturally flushed and while a tint can sometimes do that, the wet sponge makes the shimmery sheen turn more metallic looking, which is a dead giveaway.
That’s everything I could think of to mention! Thank you for reading!