This product also goes by the name of the Armani Beauty Neo Nude Color Melting Cream Blush. “Balm” is a less accurate description because it implies there’s a glossy or sticky texture, which this blush does not possess. It’s creamy to the touch and reminds me of a putty texture (but softer) or a Colourpop Supershock Blush (but with less slip). Tara Lynn on YouTube was the first to accurately described the consistency as being similar to Natasha Denona’s cream-to-powder eyeshadow formula. I began working on this post in July and overall, this has been one of the strangest product launches I’ve seen.
Other than the initial sneak peek from Trendmood1’s Instagram page, I saw barely any mention of this blush around social media or on Youtube. Two weeks after it released, there were still only four videos I could find. There was very little promotion for it across other platforms as well, including from Armani themselves. It released first to Sephora and Armani’s US site in only five of the nine blushes. Then Neiman Marcus got seven of the nine. Then it disappeared off Neiman’s website and appeared at Saks Fifth Avenue in the full range, but as a pre-order for July 17th. By July 19th there was no trace of the blushes on the Saks website. Then on July 22nd, all the blushes returned to Saks’ website as yet another pre-order, but with a note on the page that they were, “not shipping until August 17th at the latest.” They also returned to Neiman’s at some point. On July 24th, Sephora joined the other retailers (including Macy’s and Dillard’s) in having seven shades available and by July 29th, Sephora had the complete range listed but with the last Shades 51 Peach Pink and 60 Warm Plum still unavailable. By September 13th, the only retailer I found that had those last two shades actively in stock was Selfridges.
Production and Formula Issues?
When the Melting Color Balms kept going back and forth between being available and then wiped off websites entirely, I wondered if they were merely behind on production and could not supply everything to all retail partners at once. That explanation would at least account for the severe lack of promotion for the launch on Armani’s part. The fact that my 30 Warm Coral shade arrived with the blush pan separate from the compact and 60 Warm Plum was partly dried out and hard led me to suspect the delays might be due to flaws in the manufacturing process and a quality control problem with the elusive missing 51 Peach Pink and 60 Warm Plum shades. I can’t think of other reasons it was unavailable from the rest of the line, including Armani’s own website, for nearly three months. I even tried searching for it online while I was in Germany in case it was available in Europe.
Regarding the detached pan, when my order arrived, I instantly took it out of the box to begin taking photos. I noticed it felt very warm to the touch. It was a hot Florida day and it was likely even hotter in the delivery truck. When I turned the compact over to take a photo of the back, I heard a clink sound and opened the compact to see the pan plop out onto my hand. Glued products when left in a hot vehicle can melt enough for pans to detach. Then when it cools down, if the pan isn’t touching the glue anymore (as the ring of blush on the mirror of my compact suggested) the glue can dry back up and leave you with an unstuck product.
I noticed a hole at the bottom of the compact (the sticker on the bottom is peeking through from the other side), which usually indicates the product is recyclable and/or refillable. So, I thought if it’s refillable then the pans should attach to something on their own. I cleaned off the bottom of the blush pan and put it in a custom magnetic palette to see if it would stick, but it did not. Then I wanted to see if the compact would hold the pan without glue, so I cleaned off the glue bottom as well as I could, but it wouldn’t stay in. Because this isn’t a powder product and I don’t have to worry about it breaking, I figured I could keep using the blush while loose in the compact as long as I was careful with it. I’m not sure if the pan suddenly adhered to the remnants of the glue again or if the pressure from my brush hitting the pan into the compact got it to attach, but it somehow stayed within the compact again, even when I held it upside down!
As for Shade 60 Warm Plum, my experience with it was completely different to Shade 30, but I’m willing to bet Shade 30’s consistency and performance is the way the line is actually intended to be. Unfortunately, what I got with this one was a blush that took quite a lot of effort to get product onto my brush and even on my fingers. The blush was so hard that I could barely scratch the surface with my nail and what I was able to scratch away broke off in a hardened chunk. I contacted Selfridges inquiring about a possible batch issue and they informed me they were unaware of one but would look into it. Then they refunded me, which is nice considering the level of dryness and difficulty to work with it will only get worse with time. So with the refund, perhaps I’ll buy it again in the future and hopefully it’ll be in the beautiful creamy formula that 30 Warm Coral has.
This photo demonstrates the amount of product that gets picked up with one swipe of the Plum shade versus a single swipe of Coral.
30 Warm Coral Review
This product is so pretty on the skin! It’s described as, “a lightweight oil-in-powder formula that seamlessly adds color to cheeks and eyes for a natural matte makeup look.” The shade range is quite unique, seeing as how there aren’t any true pinks. The blushes are on the warmer or cooler sides of brown, with the most colorful pops leaning orange and plum. Specific shades in the line are intended to be contour shades. Because these tones are so natural, there’s a limit to how much you can build them. I can make Shade 30 fully opaque on my cheeks, but the color is somewhat camouflaged against my skin tone, so it still appears a bit subtle in person and on camera. I do like that it’s impossible for me to go overboard with this shade, but I only enjoy it on days I’m specifically in the mood for a warm-neutral look.
I love how this melts into my other products. It embodies the best that a cream product can offer in terms of the finish and application process. This doesn’t leave a wet or heavy feeling on this skin, but it transfers heavily and easily since it does not dry down. Powder helps to minimize the transfer, but this is the type of product I only suggest to those who don’t touch their faces a lot.
This product looks great when blended with a brush or a sponge. When I apply with my fingers, it looks alright, but it’s not as perfectly smooth on my skin as it would be if I used tools. The formula is likely the reason because it’s prone to transfer, so the fingers simultaneously smooth the product with each tap and also picks some of it back up.
Multiple layers with a brush is easily eclipsed by 1-2 dips into the product with a sponge, so the sponge will give the most color payoff in the quickest amount of time. My guess is that it has something to do with the water in the sponge and the oil in the blush repelling each other and preventing the blush from getting too soaked into the sponge, therefore applying more product onto the skin.
The Melting Balm is long-lasting and wonderful when applied on top of foundation, but on bare skin, the product got absorbed within hours! I reapplied during the first non-foundation wear test to see if I just didn’t apply enough at the start of the day, but the same thing happened! On day two of testing, I skipped foundation again, but applied setting powder all over my face to see how the blush would perform on top of it. Once again, my skin soaked up the product within hours! Realistically, I wouldn’t want to wear these kind of shades on a minimal makeup day anyway. If I’m going to wear nothing but blush, I prefer for it to be a color that stands out a bit more. But it’s important to note that those with dry skin should wear this over a cream or liquid foundation. Then there should not be longevity issues.
Besides the cheeks, this can also be used on the eyes. It looked fine when I tried it in the crease, and lasted all day as well, but when I tried to use it all over the eye without any other eyeshadows, I could see that it settled into the lines of my eyes. This happens regardless of whether I apply the product onto my bare eyelids, on top of set or unset concealer, or over a MAC Paint Pot. This also happens even if I try to set with power after applying. If I were to continue using this on my eyes, I would keep it in the crease only.
Shade 30 is around the entire eye in the top half of the photo. In the bottom half of the photo, it’s applied only in the crease with Natasha Denona Metropolis shadows.
60 Warm Plum Review
Whatever happened with the formula of this particular shade caused it to feel significantly less creamy, which also gave it a drier feeling on the skin. When I finally get the intensity of the blush that I want, which is still relatively subtle, I would say that it dries down. It still transfers like the Coral blush did, but the transfer is minimal and it is just as long lasting on my skin when applied on top of my usual liquid foundations.
Because of how long it takes to build up the color, using my fingers to apply the blush is impractical. The formula issue makes it prone to patchiness. With a brush, I have to use hard pressure in order to get the product onto my cheek and the force needed to blend it can disrupt my concealer and also where I put bronzer if I’m not careful. Just like with Coral, a damp sponge will give the most pigmentation with the least effort. I actually like how this looks when it isn’t applied intensely, so I put on the blush with a sponge and then use what’s left of my foundation brush to sheer the edges and get a deep pink on my cheek since it only looks plum-purple when heavily applied.
When used on the eyes, I have the same creasing issue. Technically this is worse because of how many layers I have to apply to get it to show up. No matter what I do, the creasing happens within five to ten minutes. Then within an hour it moves, breaks down, and fades in places. With Shade 30, it will last longer in the crease of the eye but not the lid. With Shade 60, it doesn’t last anywhere.
Regardless of all the complications associated with these blushes, I don’t regret buying them. They aren’t my favorite cream formula, but something about the particular tones stand out in my collection. The packaging is also aesthetically pleasing and makes me so happy to see them on my dresser. Judging based on Shade 30 alone, I’m still not certain they’d be worth the price to everyone, but somehow I still really like them. The benefits are so special to me that they outweigh the negatives I normally wouldn’t want, especially for such pricey blushes.
One extra bit of information left to note is that according to the packaging, these should last 24 months after opening, which is quite a big claim for a cream product. We will see if that holds up with Shade 60 if I continue to use it with a sponge.
That’s all for today! I’ve certainly tried my hardest to give the full picture of the best these blushes can offer, along with potential issues. I hope this has helped!