ESSENCE | Satin Touch Blush + swatch

REVIEW

I might be a bit of a makeup hoarder but blush has always one of those things I can pick one and be perfectly happy for months on end. And when it comes to options, the drugstore has some hidden gems – like my recent find from Essence which has quickly gained top shelf residency all for less than a cup of coffee.

THE BASICS
Brand: Essence
Product: Satin Touch Blush
Size: 5 grams
Colours: 3 shades (shown: Satin Love, Satin Coral)
Price: $2.99CAD
Availability: Essence online, select Superstore & Shoppers Drug Mart
Would I repurchase: Yes!
Website: www.essencemakeup.com

Ingredients: MICA, TALC, ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE, ISOCETYL STEAROYL STEARATE, OCTYLDODECYL STEARATE, MAGNESIUM STEARATE, TOCOPHEROL, SILICA, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, PEG-8, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, ASCORBIC ACID, CITRIC ACID, PHENOXYETHANOL, CI 15850 (RED 6 LAKE), CI 15850 (RED 7 LAKE), CI 19140 (YELLOW 5 LAKE), CI 77491 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE).

Housed in an easy to see plastic flip lid pan format, the Essence Satin Touch Blush has slightly varying colour options depending on your country as I’ve found 3 shades listed on the Essence international website but only 2 shades online and in stores here in Canada. The names of the colours may also vary but look for the quilted design on the powder. All shades are quite wearable and appropriate for pale to medium deep skin tones. To the eye there’s micro shimmer flecks in the product but on the cheeks it truly just comes off as a sheen. Personally I find Satin Coral to be more flattering on my complexion with both heavy and light makeup while Satin Love is a little too deep and needs to be paired with a more done up face.

L-R: Satin Coral | Satin Love

TEXTURE & APPLICATION
To the touch, this Essence blush comes off quite powdery but packs a strong punch in pigment even with a light swipe. When used with a brush, there very little powder kick and application should be smooth and flawless. The colours are true to pan and I do love how it doesn’t look heavy on the skin and is instead youthful with a slight satin sheen as the name suggests. With this type of pigmentation, I recommend a duo fiber blush brush and a very light hand to build up the colour to suit your makeup for the day.


WEAR & LONGEVITY
Despite not marketed as a long wearing product, I was excited to find out this is an impressively long wearing product for my combination skin and every time I had a chance to check on my makeup expecting the blush to have faded, it was always still there. I would put this at around the 4-5hr mark easily and even a few more hours if you work in a mild temperature environment. Granted I’ve worn this in the crazy snow season this winter in Vancouver and it’s lasted me the whole work day until I was ready to take it off, all with very minimal fading. It seems to work well with both liquid and powder foundations with little difference.

FINAL VERDICT

The Satin Touch Blush by Essence is a complexion flattering, well pigmented blush with a youthful sheen that will be well loved for the casual makeup wearer who needs an everyday staple that can be put on in 5 seconds. I love that while the brand is often marked to a very young demographic, the colours here are actually quite sophisticated and easy to work with. It’s a hidden gem that takes a little hunt to find here in Canada but will surely be worth your time. Go and get it!

 Chat soon,

Review: Topshop | Powder Blusher "Do it again"

Branded as the hip young thing from the UK, Topshop’s arrival in Canada in 2011 was surrounded with much excitement. For a makeup lover like myself however, the real draw was their adorable looking makeup collection that I’ve been lusting from the all too many British blogger raves I’ve watched on Youtube.

Now I must say that beyond the impressive wall of nail polish, I actually don’t think Canadian stores stock the full range of core and/or limited edition beauty products offered by Topshop. Their highly boasted lipstick rack looks a little sparse and the makeup section just looked scaled down overall. Not one to loose a good chance, I did snag a powder blusher for my collection.

THE BASICS
Brand: Topshop
Product: Powder Blusher
Colour: “Do it again” (limited colour selection in Canada)
Size: 4grams
Price: $12CAD
Availability: Topshop stores
Would I repurchase: Undecided.
Website: www.topshop.com

If you’re one for looks, then this Topshop packaging probably had you at first glance. The black cardboard box has a charming doodle of the compact inside and even the font is not your usual serious Serif. The compact itself is surprisingly weighty and is made of off white plastic. A mirror is included under the lid for easy application and quick touch ups on the go.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/16642685770/player/

I was only able to find 2 blushers on the shelves and decided that Do It Again would be a nice perky shade for spring and summer looks. This medium toned peachy pink blusher has a fine light golden shimmer and is very true to colour once applied on the skin. One swipe will give you a soft peach cheek with a dusting of shimmer (which is visible) and a few more layers can warm you up to a nearly sunburnt hue. To me, this gives a similar effect as the Benefit Sugarbomb blusher and is the pink shy girl version of NARS Orgasm (not tonally but they give a similar feel on light skin tones).
The major downfall here is that this feels very dry to the touch. I wouldn’t necessarily label it as chalky but it can accentuate any dry patches if you do have dry skin and with one too many layers you can certainly start seeing the product on your skin. So while the colour is very buildable, it does come at a slight tradeoff.

If it makes up for anything, the formulation is quite long lasting and I can easily go through most of my day without having to touch up. Both the colour itself and it’s layering quality makes this a pretty shade that will flatter a large variety of skin tones.

THE FINAL VERDICT

With this being my introduction to Topshop makeup, I’m not yet quite convinced it’s really “the bee’s knees” as they say (wait, that is how they say it right?). Certainly much of it’s allure is the culture around the hip vibe of the store and the adorable packaging but if we’re speaking solely about this blusher then it’s really just drugstore quality and not a fantastic one at that. If you have full access to the Topshop makeup range, I do think the colour selection is quite unique and even sometimes unexpected so it might be worth adding a few to your collection. Do It Again is in itself a colour that I think many of you will enjoy and it’s a perfectly likeable product. As a whole, while I am slightly disappointed at the moment, I’m not quite ready to give up on Topshop just yet and I’m sure I’ll be back to try a few more things.

STAY IN TOUCH

Review: Guerlain Baby Glow Foundation & Perles de Blush | Spring 2015

LES TENDRES | “Dream of a spring sprinkled with softness. Indulge in a divinely fresh glow….Wrap yourself in discreetly cozy light. Adorn yourself with an angelic complexion. Enhance your skin with an evanescent halo of beauty.” —- Guerlain

Guerlain’s Spring 2015 Makeup Collection is perfectly angelic with it’s soft rosey hue and delicate colour selection. The focus this spring is about creating a youthful radiant complexion enhance by a natural makeup look.

Product: Meteorites Baby Glow Light Revealing Sheer Makeup* SPF25/PA++
Shades:  Light, Medium, Dark
Sunblock: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
Size: 30ml
Price: $60 CAD
Availability: Guerlain Boutiques and counters nationwide
Would I (re)purchase: Possibly.

Let’s start with what I think is the star of this spring release and that is the new Baby Glow foundation from Guerlain’s adored Meteorites range. Labeled as a light revealing, sheer makeup created to fight the signs of fatigue and everyday stressors that can make skin look dull and lackluster. It promises to restore natural radiance and leave you with an even, plump and radiant complexion. In other words, the magic of Meteorites in a liquid foundation form.

Top : #02 Light / Bottom : #03 Medium

The swatches (above) show the 2 lighter shades of 3 total shades offered. While the shades do range quite a bit between each other, it is of course not enough to cover everyone so do try to compare colour swatches and see if you may be a fit or even better yet, stop by a counter for a personal colour fitting.
On me, shade #02 Light still runs a smidgen dark and is slightly too peachy, something that may or may not translate in photography (my camera doesn’t seem to pick up peach very well) but it is evident to my naked eye in real life. Do other people notice? Probably not. While peach is not my undertone, it could be a strategic choice as it is a colour that generally brightens up the skin.
Packaging is a soft tube with a pump on one end that allows a precise amount of product to be dispensed. Simple and function but very well made.
The product itself is a creamy smooth consistency that looks creamy out of the pump but blends easily and seamlessly with my skin and is very forgiving over fine lines and pores, softening them with a blurring effect.

With a name like “sheer makeup”, I was really expecting a tinted moisturizer type of product and in a way it both is and is not. When swatched on my hand the coverage appears to be sheer to light but on my skin it is more of a light-medium. This almost completely evens out my skin, knocks out redness and gives a soft satin sheen. There’s not a trace of noticeable powdery residue on my skin and it just feels comfortable and is very easy to wear without a fuss. Obvious spots, scarring and under eye circles will need the help of a concealer but I think this type of coverage is probably acceptable by most people for day to day wear.

Makeup look wearing only Baby Glow as base (un-enhanced)

What really impresses me about Baby Glow other than the beautiful finish is the fact it manages to look good without the help of a primer or a powder. It’s a one step product you can put on with your fingers and be done with your skin. Lasting power is a good 5-6 hours on my combination skin in the winter weather. No breakouts or other adverse reactions.
Product: Meteorites Perles de Blush*
Shade: Angelic Radiance (Limited Edition)
Size: $67 CAD
Availability: Guerlain Boutiques and counters nationwide
Would I (re)purchase: No.

To bring a fresh kiss of colour to the face, this spring collection also brings a limited edition Meteorites blush. It contains a trio of pressed pearl spheres with fuchsia to revive the cheeks, petal rose to refresh the skin and iridescent champagne to highlight. Packaged in a vintage themed cardboard box with a thick velor puff.

As with all Meteorite product, the combination of colours in each box may vary slightly but it should more of less impart a similar pinky/coral flush on the cheeks. The product is mean to be used swirled together so the highlight really becomes part of the blush instead of an extra step but it’s neither shimmery or glittery on the skin at all. One curious ingredients I found on the box is actually diamond powder! Talk about glow!

I find this best applied with a looser blush brush that would allow a bit of colour to be picked up from each pearl for a more even application. On my cheeks I get an almost translucent flush that can be built up from a sheer innocent blush to a more lively bright pink.

NOTE: As with most Guerlain makeup products, both the foundation and blush are heavily scented. It lingers and can be a bit overwhelming for those with sensitive noses.



THE FINAL VERDICT
Both the Meteorites Baby Glow Foundation and the Meteorites Perles de Blush from the Guerlain Les Tendre Spring 2015 collection are perfectly fitting to created a youthful complexion. The colours and textures are softly illuminating and would be something that works for both younger skins and more mature skin. With that being said, I think the Baby Glow Foundation has to be the more innovative and satisfying of the two with the way it evens out my skin for a natural looking base. While the latter is beautiful, I just don’t feel the blush is worth the high price tag (even for a luxury brand) as the colour and finish can be easily replicated with other products. Of course, if you are a Meteorites collector (and some people are) then you certainly must have both.

STAY IN TOUCH

Review: Sephora | Shimmering Marsala Cheek Blush Trio

Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.

              – Pantone Institute                                   
I don’t know if you’ve caught the colour wave yet but this year’s Pantone colour of the year is making me very happy. The rich earthy hue of Marsala recalls the early 90s love for nude but in an updated and modern way with variations of creamy blush to deep burgundy.                         

THE BASICS
Brand: Sephora (x Pantone Collaboration)
Product: Shimmering Marsala Cheek Trio
Collection: 2015 Marsala Collection (Layering lipsticks, matte lipstick, eyeliner, eyeshadow palette, liquid eyeliner, shimmering colour sticks)
Size: 2 x 2.9g + 4.8g
Price: $35 CAD
Availability: Sephora stores nationwide
Would I repurchase: Yes, if I ever finish it but that might take a long time.
Sephora Website: www.sephora.com
Pantone Website: www.pantone.com
This year’s Sephora and Pantone Collection brings forth a plethora of products to feast your eyes on. A large shadow palette with shades of Marasal and colourful combinations to pair it with, beautiful rich lipsticks that set my eyes sparkling lined the front entrance of Sephora stores. Now I first spotted this Marsala blush palette via someone’s blog post and knew immediately that I had to see it for myself.
capture-20150125-141219-horz
L-R | Spanish Villa, Coral Pink, Marsala

Packaged in the collection’s universal gold and white theme, the plastic casing opens up to reveal a mirrored lid along with 3 coordinating cheek products. Note that the inner part that holds the blush is actually an insert that is glued into the case. Mine is tacked down tight but I have heard a few complaints that some may be a little loose.

On to the actual colours themselves; Spanish Villa is a shimmering champagne peach highlighter, Coral Pink is a pastel tinged peachy pink and Marsala is a warm full bodied rosy-orange pink. The highlighter leaves a fine metallic finish while the other blush shades look satin-matte once applied.

In this photo (above) I am wearing all three shades. First a layer of Marsala, then (attempted) to blend out with Coral pink and then finished with a sweep of Spanish Villa. Let me say that the Marsala shade is intense! So much so that pale skinned ladies should definitely dust off some colour on the back of your hand before putting it on your face. (You can see that my right cheek needed a little extra blending.) The highlighter is smooth and imparts a shimmering look (no chunky glitter here) that also needs to be use lightly to avoid going overboard.

All three shades have beautiful pigmentation, smoothness and are a pleasure to use. My favourite method is to use a small flat blush brush (try looking for some travel brushes for the smaller size) for application as it allowed me for more precise pin-point lay down then buffed out with a large brush for blending. Wear time is pretty much all day and I have not noticed any patching or breakdown throughout the day which is great as well. This is also unscented.

THE FINAL VERDICT

The Sephora x Pantone Shimmering Marsala Cheek Trio is my must have recommendation to start your beauty routine for 2015. The colour combination is truly universally flattering and for $35 this is a great investment. I love the option of two blush shades which allows you to adjust the intensity from spring well into fall so you’ll be able to wear this all year long. It’ll take me some practice getting used to applying such a rich colour but once I’ve got that down I can see this being a regular in my beauty routine!

STAY IN TOUCH

Review: HD Second Skin Blush | MakeupForever

Tis the season for pretty little new things but beyond the looks, you can count on Makeup Forever to bring out something fresh and innovative. Following on the success of it’s previous HD Cream blush, this spring the pros whipped up

THE BASICS
Brand: Makeup Forever
Product: HD Second Skin Cream Blush* #510 “Raspberry”
Size: 2.8 grams
Variation: 16 shades
Price: $31 CAD
Availability: Makeup Forever boutiques, Sephora
Would I (re)purchase: Yes
Website: www.makeupforever.com

If your memory of a cream blusher is the thick, gooey, melt of your face type of product in a pot, think again. With it’s blend of silica powders, lightweight waxes and oils this blush is smooth but also surprisingly dry to the touch. Housed in the familiar sleek black Makeup Forever packing, this line features 16 shades ranging from cute pinks to lush plums and is meant to melt onto the skin for a HD worthy natural look.

Forgoing my usual choice of a baby pink cheek, I opted for a deep raspberry (#510), a lush shade that I can wear from summer all the way through winter. With slightly more red than pink blushers, raspberry (either in a blush or lipstick for that matter) replicates the natural flush from the blood rushing to your skin.

Beauty tip: If you are prone to redness or are dealing with an angry spot, make sure to conceal that with a foundation or cover up as raspberry shades tends to pull attention to other red tones on the skin.

True to it’s artistry roots, this cream blush is packed with pigment and after several attempts I’ve decided the best way to apply this is with a duo fiber brush (I’m using my MAC #130). Anything denser or more compact will pick up too much product because you just need a tiny smidgen to get a lovely colour and the looser bristles allow for better blendability. The finish with my shade is an easy to wear satin-matte which means I could add highlight or contour without disruptions.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/13986970376/player/

The great thing about this cream blush is that it has absolutely no texture on the skin thus achieving that true HD undetectable look. With a deeper shade like Raspberry in particular, the formula even seems to have a slightly staining effect, lasting on my cheeks an impressive 7+ hours until I removed it with an oil cleanser at night.
Sneaky Tip: The case for this cream blush is magnetic, give the blush a firm tap in your palm and the blush pan will come right out for easy traveling. Take it away in your travel palette for the weekend and pop it right back in when you’re home again.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/14010100275/player/

THE FINAL VERDICT
How could you expect any less of a colour product from Makeup Forever. This HD Second Skin blush lives up to it’s name as a weightless, textureless, fully saturated blush product that works just as well in front of the camera as it does in real life. Great for those who dislike the wet formulations of more traditional cream products, this will be especially impressive for those with oilier skin. Beautiful saturation and pigments, just take it easy and use a brush if you decide to venture into the darker spectrum of colours.

STAY IN TOUCH

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/14007192202/player/

Review: BOURJOIS | Cream Blusher

Bourjois is a brand still relatively new to Canada despite making a firm debut a few years ago and even though Shoppers Drug Mart carries a small selection of their products little news of it ever comes around in the flyers. But over in the UK where the brand has more than a century of history, the brand is a well loved drugstore success with a generous offering of beauty products and constant new releases.
 

THE BASICS
Brand: Bourjois
Product: Cream Blush in “Nude Velvet”
Colours: 4 shades
Size: 2.5g
Price: £7.99 (about $12 on ASOS when on sale)
Availability: ASOS (online), select Bourjois booths across Canada
Would I repurchase: Yes, likely.
Website: www.bourjois.co.uk

Being the sneaky beauty snoop that I am, I managed to get a hold of one of these much talked about cream blushers (yes, “blushers” that’s your UK beauty lingo of the day) from ASOS which carries a much more affordable pricing on Bourjois products.

Though dubbed a cream to powder product, these tiny little pots contain a silicone based blush which feels smooth and slightly dry to the touch rather than the more familiar moist versions of cream blushers. Because of the silicone content, the blush blended very easily onto my cheeks whether with a synthetic brush (like the Real Techniques Contour Brush shown) or with fingers and left no trace of patchiness. The finish didn’t seem powdery at all but instead a slightly velvet feel which looked natural even when I’m not wearing any foundation or base products underneath.

Note: This product isn’t labeled as oil free and does contain a few natural butters and oils.

I colour that caught my eye was No. 1 in Nude Velvet, a nudey peachy slightly apricot shade which stands out as an unique choice in my current blush drawer. It’s a softer, prettier version than a bronzy blush but more earthy than my regular choice of bright pinks, a nice medium which I’ve been enjoying as a neutral go with everything option. Pigmentation with these Bourjois blushers are very good and can be either sheered out or built up easily and even on a warm summer day only needed 1 touch up.


THE FINAL VERDICT

Easy to use, smooth but not at all sticky the Bourjois Cream Blushers are a great pick for those who are seeking something with a drier texture without loosing pigmentation and blendability. These are not going to give you glowing cheeks but sometimes a more natural satin finish is what your look calls for. The four shade options available are all pinks to peach and seem pretty adaptable to most skin tones for a soft flush.
STAY IN TOUCH

Ingredients: CAPRYLYL METHICONE, METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, TRIETHYLHEXYL TRIMELLITATE, C30-45 OLEFIN, ETHYLHEXYL HYDROXYSTEARATE, POLYBUTENE, ISONONYL ISONONANOATE, PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRAISOSTEARATE, ISOSTEARYL ALCOHOL, TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE, MANGIFERA INDICA (MANGO) SEED BUTTER, CARTHAMUS TINCTORIUS (SAFFLOWER) SEED OIL, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), PRUNUS ARMENIACA (APRICOT) KERNEL OIL, HYDROGENATED APRICOT KERNEL OIL, PAPAVER RHOEAS FLOWER EXTRACT, HYDROXYCITRONELLAL, CINNAMYL ALCOHOL, EUGENOL, BENZYL SALICYLATE, TOCOPHEROL. 

[+/- (MAY CONTAIN) :MICA, CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES), CI 45380 (RED 22 LAKE), CI 15850 (RED 7 LAKE), CI 15850 (RED 6), CI 42090 (BLUE 1 LAKE), CI 12085 (RED 36), CI 15880 (RED 34 LAKE), CI 15985 (YELLOW 6 LAKE), CI 17200 (RED 33 LAKE), CI 19140 (YELLOW 5 LAKE), CI 45410 (RED 28 LAKE), CI 47005 (YELLOW 10 LAKE), CI 73360 (RED 30 LAKE), CI 75470 (CARMINE), CI 77000 (ALUMINUM POWDER), CI 77007 (ULTRAMARINES), CI 77163 (BISMUTH OXYCHLORIDE), CI 77289 (CHROMIUM HYDROXIDE GREEN), CI 77510 (FERRIC FERROCYANIDE), CI 77742 (MANGANESE VIOLET)].

Review: Dainty Doll Blusher | "My Girl"

Being introduced to Dainty Doll Cosmetics for the first time is like lighting up a disconnected beauty circuit in my brain. Why has this not caught on before!

The line, created by porcelain skinned Girls Aloud member Nicola Roberts, features a artfully selected range of colour cosmetics specifically meant to enhance pale skin. Foundation not light enough? Blush looking too harsh? Dainty Doll is here to save your beauty routine.

Dainty Doll blusher_My Girl-01
THE BASICS
Brand: Dainty Doll (by Nicola Roberts)
Product: Powder blusher in #002 “My Girl”
Shades: 4 shades total
Size: 7grams
Price: £13.5
Availability:  Boots (UK), Look Fantastic (online), eBay (if you are lucky)
Would I repurchase: Yes
Website: www.daintydoll.com

My introduction to Dainty Doll Cosmetics was completely accidental but what a wonderful encounter nonetheless. I had been on my usual monthly eBay browse and was initially smitten with the chic cover art of the packaging. A little digging brought me to blogger swatches, photographs and in no time, I knew I had to get one too.
Dainty Doll blusher_My Girl-03
In it’s matte black packaging with a simple logo, this blush features a round mirror and it’s large pan format makes dipping your blush brush inside fuss free. The entire compact, while made of plastic, has a heavier weight and therefore feels slightly more high end than your average drugstore blusher.
Dainty Doll blusher_My Girl-02
“My Girl” is a labeled as a soft pink which comes off saturated and with a heavy dose of silver micro shimmer. When applied on the cheeks, this can work both as a blush and highlight, the iridescence catching beautifully on the cheekbones that I really didn’t need any extra highlighter at all. The colour itself leans ever so slightly towards a cool tone and is what I would call “princess” than “Barbie”. 
I love how truly buildable this blusher is and can be worn subtly or as a main feature and it’s one that I’ve used frequently for filming. The formulation sits smoothly on the skin without a powdery feel or look, producing a pretty translucent result that is…as the brand stands for, very pretty on pale skin. Wear time is average but it never fades completely to the point where I felt a full touch up necessary through the day.
Overall, a surprisingly beautiful find if you can get your hands on this!
Dainty Doll blusher_My Girl-04

Review: RIMMEL | Lasting Finish Blush

Today’s product review is close and dear to my heart because I have been using this item (in its various incarnations) for nearly a decade and it is still a well loved piece in my makeup collection. The colour was Santa Rose and it was Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Blush, my very first cheek colour and it is something that still brings nostalgic memories every time I pass by it in the store.

Rimmel Lasting Finish blush _01
THE BASICS
Brand: Rimmel London
Product: Lasting Finish Blush
Colour Variation: 4 shades (via Rimmel.ca site, 6 in some locations)
Size: 4.5g
Price: $6-7CAD (often on sale at $3.99)
Availability: Drugstore
Would I repurchase: Yes, already have and likely always will.
Website: www.rimmellondon.com/ca

Rimmel’s single blushers have come a long way since I first saw them in their small brush-less, removable lid containers more than 6 years ago and for the longest time they were the only blushers I owned in my collection. They initially caught my eye because of the wearable shade selection and the affordable price which (when on sale) is actually one of the lowest you can find in the drugstore here. And it was probably a good thing that I started off with these Rimmel blushers because they are so easy to wear (and let me tell you blush can be a dangerous tool in the hands of a beginner).

Rimmel Lasting Finish blush _04
The current look for these blushers include a clear flip top lid and small brush, in a convenient to hold but slim size. While the brush is a bit scratchy (as most drugstore ones tend to be) it does the job efficiently, diffuses the product evenly and I have no qualms about using it when I’m in a rush to get going. The texture of the blush is rather dry though it is neither chalky nor powdery. When putting a finger to the pan you can feel the small bits of shimmer in the product but fret not it blends effortlessly onto the cheeks. I believe all the mono blushers have a semi-matte to satin finish which actually looks quite sophisticated and brings a bright youthfulness to the face. Of the 2-3 shades I’ve used over the years, the colour payoff appears to be quite consistent, right between light to medium and can easily be worn sheer making this a very easy to use products even for beginners. The colour in Pink Sorbet (above) is one that I use frequently on those neutral makeup days because it plays up my complexion nicely without being over the top bright, more of a demure peachy pink rather than my usual loud Dollywink blush.

Rimmel Lasting Finish blush _05
A newer addition to my collection, I’ve noticed two Lasting Finish Blush trios available at select drugstores (this one is from Walmart, USA), a deeper mauve berry and also a juicy pink named Autum Catwalk (above). The shimmer is much more noticeable in this variation, with the highlighting pink coming off as mostly sparkle with very little colour payoff so use this strip cautiously. For this pan, I tend to use the two darker shades or just swirl everything together. I can see the trios being a favourite for younger gals looking to experiment with fun shimmer and sparkles but those looking for a more sophisticated look should stick with the mono blush shades.

Rimmel Lasting Finish blush _03
The quite fabulous thing about these blushers is their wear time (they don’t call these Lasting Finish for nothing), they have never played hid and seek with me and I can just pop them on once in the morning, know that they will still be around by the late afternoon. While they will not stay perfectly immaculate, they will serve you well through a regular school or work day without any fuss. In fact they were my favourite blushers to use during my university years because it was just reliable. Even better none of the shades I’ve used have ever turned or oxidized on my face which might be a winning point for those with oilier skin.

There are many things to love about these blushers and I hope that Rimmel will always keep them around. The universally pretty neutral colours, the long lasting effects and even the fact that it’s unfragranced will make these a hit for anyone seeking an affordable blusher to fill their small (or big) makeup collection.
Rimmel Lasting Finish blush _02
—————————————

Ingredients (basic list, may vary slightly with colour):

Talc, polyethylene, caprylic/capric triglyceride, magnesium stearate, tridecyl trimellitate, PTFE, hydrogenated polydecene, methylparaben, polyglyceryl-3 diisostearate, propylparaben, silica dimethyl silylate, butylparaben. May contain: Mica, iron oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), titanium dioxide (CI 77891), D&C red No. 7 calcium lake (CI 15850), ultramarines (CI 77007), D&C red No. 30 aluminum lake (CI73360), D&C red No.6 (CI 15850), FD&C yellow No. 5 aluminum lake (CI 19140), ferric ferrocyanide (CI 77510), manganese violet (CI 77742), carmine (CI 75470), tin oxide

Review: TARTE Amazonian blush | Doll Face

I never thought a blush could cause such madness but ever since Tarte released it’s Amazonian clay colours, it’s been the it word on every body’s lips. They claim to be extra long lasting (12hrs), infused with natural Amazonian clay which purifies and balances the skin. On a stroll to San Francisco last summer, I picked up a Tarte travel duo consisting of their mineral bronzer (a steal at only $15) and this, a little pan of their famous blush.

Tart Amazonian Blush-01
THE BASICS
Brand: Tarte
Product: Amazonian Clay blush in “Doll Face”
Colour selection: 16 shades
Size: 5.6g (full size), mine is 3.4g (travel size)
Price: $25 USD (full size)
Availability: Sephora
Would I repurchase: Maybe, but in a different shade.

Let’s throw out what this blush advertises to be (glory and all) and talk about what it actually is. This blush in Doll Face is a medium neutral pink with sheer to medium pigmentation buildable blush and although you can see miniscule shimmer in the pan, it applies matte on the cheeks. It’s an easy to wear everyday colour that won’t leave you flustered because it’s nearly impossible accidentally over apply this.

IMG_6872-1
Putting my finger in the product for a quick swatch, I found the texture to be quite gritty and chalky although not powdery. As pretty as this blush was, I had a hard time getting it to show up as anything more than sheer wash on my NC15/NC20 skin tone with a normal brush, I can get a bit of a better colour by layering but it’s a little more work than I expected. The product felt very light on the skin and layered well without looking heavy or powdery so I’d say it still looked very natural. However, looking up swatches of this, I found this shade to look better on those who were a little darker (say light to medium) like Christine from Temptalia as it gave a fresh flush to the face without being too bright.

Tart Amazonian Blush-02

As far as that 12hr claim for long lasting ability? It lasted a good amount of time but it didn’t do any better than my beloved drugstore Rimmel Lasting finish blush (which only costs me $3.99). But those with oilier skin may appreciate the drier texture more than I did. Altogether this blush was pretty average for me, perhaps because I had such high expectations I felt a little let down by the results. It’s certainly not a terrible blush but the chalky texture and the lack of pigmentation from Doll Face (on my skin anyways) left a lot to be wanted.

What I plan to do however it take another look at some of their awesome colours, I think this is something that Tarte did really well. There’s a massive 16 shades in this range and so many of them are quite unique. Sephora is currently offering a limited edition set of 4 travel sized blushes in their Tarte Fantastic Foursome kit which has caught my interest. Estee from Essie Button has also just blogged about a shade called “Natural Beauty” which may also interest those with fair skin.

Do you love the Tarte Amazonian clay blushes?
Which shade is a must have?

Fantastic Foursome
*image via Sephora*

Review: Candydoll Blush | Strawberry Pink

I feel like I should start this post by sharing my love-hate relationship with blush. While I adore blush and have many in my arsenal but choosing colours can be daunting and you run the risk of looking more like a clown than a freshly ripe raspberry (I’ll take the latter, thank you very much). Today’s review item has been my most reached for blusher for the last 6 months and I think it’s just phenomenal.

Candydoll blush_01
THE BASICS
Brand: Candydoll
Product: Powder blush in “Strawberry Pink”
Variation: 6 shades
Size: (can’t find on the packaging)
Price: $16 -20 CAD online
Availability: Ichibankao online (most complete selection), eBay, SaSa online.
Would I repurchase: YES! Yes! Yes!
With everyone swarming over the Candydoll/Dollywink products endorsed by Japanese model Tsubasa Masuwaka since they first appeared a few years ago, I’ve had my eye on this blush. The super girly side of me was immediately attracted to the bright hue of Strawberry Pink and decided I needed this in my life without stopping to consider how this would work with my skin tone. To my surprise this shade quickly became a makeup bag favourite and hasn’t left my side since.

Candydoll blush_02
(This is when I need a DSLR, the swatch is more vibrant/slightly neon in real life.)

The design of the blush is simple yet sweet and makes a great fit into a small purse if you intend to take if for travel. The plastic container is sturdier than it looks and has survived much abuse in my makeup bag. The colour is a crisp lavender based pink with a neon tinge and applies with a slight sheen on the skin that gives my face a healthy pink glow which I love. It contains silver micro shimmer but doesn’t reflect white on the skin, making it a versatile shade for many skin tones.

Candydoll-MAC-NARS compare
(This is an old photo, white balance isn’t perfect but will hopefully give you an idea. In real life it’s )

Highly pigmented, I find this to be less powdery than even my MAC blushers putting this head to head with NARS products (known for their superbly fine texture). The formulation feels quite sheer and has a translucent quality, allowing your natural skin to show through despite the bright colour.

Candydoll blush FOTD
| Strawberry Pink worn on it’s own. Really old photo, excuse the quality. |

FOTD Candydoll blush

| Strawberry Pink layered over a warmer blush |

And on the topic of versatility, this blush can take me through a variety of different situations. Not only do I reach for this in my day to day life, it’s also what I use on camera or filming for a bright, noticeable pop of colour as most shades tend to get washed out easily. I can even layer this over any blush I’m wearing for an extra bit of intensity on film. It’s incredibly buildable without leaving a trace of powdery residue on my skin. Ready for the icing on the cake? This blush is very long lasting as well so I can put it on in the morning and just forget about it.

I can not recommend this blush enough for anyone who has yet to give Candydoll blushers a go, make this shade your first item. It’s reasonably priced in Japan but a bit more expensive over seas however look out for free shipping from websites like SaSa to save a few dollars when purchasing online. It’s a must have in my makeup bag.

Candydoll blush_03