Inventory: Blush

Posted on April 18, 2017 under Inventory

I wonder if any of you can relate to the consumerist cycle I often find myself in. Once upon a time, my big makeup vice was lipstick. I’d still consider myself first and foremost a lipstick lover, but I hit a certain point where I had so much lipstick that my acquisition really tapered off. Then, my attention naturally shifted towards blush, and I began to accumulate a lot of that. I’ve cycled through a few product categories that get all my attention (and dollars). It’s like I need something to be interested in makeup-wise, and when I max out one category I naturally meander on over to another. I’ve gone through all the interesting categories and I’ve wound up at foundation, currently. But let’s talk about blush today instead, because I love blush a lot more than foundation.

Clearly, when it comes to blush I am a brand snob. At this point I only own two drugstore blush products, and both are from Sleek. I do really enjoy blush, but at this point I don’t feel the need to bring more into my life. The last time I purchased a new blush was 11 months ago and I haven’t felt any urge to expand my collection since then. A gal can only go through so many blushes in her lifetime, and let’s be honest – once they’re on our faces, a lot of the apparent differences all but disappear.

I’ve arranged these by colour family, and I did this by using the very scientific process of “sort according to the colour in the pan”. You’ll see that some of these straddle multiple categories or might fit better in a different one than I’ve put it in, but I think we will survive my shortcomings.

By the way, I’ve slightly underexposed the swatch photos because I think the colour accuracy is a bit better when I do that.

First up, some of my peachy blushes!

Sleek Blush by 3 Palette in Lace

Sleek blushes are very, very nice, and if you live in a place where you can saunter on down to the drugstore and buy one then you should consider yourself very lucky. Some of us have to have to order them online like savages.

The Blush by 3 palette was a Christmas 2013 present from Aisling. I requested it because I was in a phase where I only watched British YouTubers and everyone talked about Sleek all the time. (Uh, does that really obviously date that phase in my life to 2013?) I use the middle shade in the palette, Guipure, the most. Actually, it’s the only shade I really use at all. I don’t normally go for shimmery blush, but this one gives a beautiful glow: just check out the swatch below! The two matte shades are so pigmented that they easily verge on clownish on my skintone, and I definitely would not normally wear straight up orange blush anyway. I take a pretty firm anti-orange stance on most things, generally.

Chanel Sunkiss Ribbon Harmonie de Blush

This late 2015/early 2016 LE blush was one of my absurd Optimum points luxury purchases. You know how it is, or maybe you don’t because you’re a better person than me. I’m not really sure what compelled me to buy it, because I’ve never been interested in Chanel makeup and prefer cool-toned makeup most of the time. As with most multi-tone products, I apply this by swirling my brush around the entire pan, which generally gives me a peachy glow. Sometimes it leans pinker and sometimes it leans more orange depending on what exactly my brush picks up. It’s quite sheer, which I find delightfully user-friendly, and the end result is always pretty. But is it worth $70 CAD? Absolutely not!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush

It’s funny, swatched next to all of these blushes Luminous Flush appears quite pink, but on my cheeks it definitely reads as peach. This is easily my second favourite of my Hourglass blushes, which, as you may know, are my all-time favourite blush formula. In the summer I probably use this blush 2-3 times a week, which is pretty high proportionally.

L-R: Sleek Crochet, Sleek Guipure, Sleek Chantilly, Chanel Sunkiss Ribbon, Hourglass Luminous Flush

These are my two neutral, go-to blushes appropriate for pretty much any occasion.

Benefit Boxed Powder in Hervana

Benefit seems to be a rather polarizing brand: I know people who swear by the line as a whole and who love the kitschy aesthetic, but I’ve read a lot of backlash against the brand for having subpar products masked by cute packaging. Personally I’m not wowed by Benefit overall, but other than my arch-nemesis They’re Real! mascara (which I’ve mentioned so many times that I’m sure you are all aware of how much I despise it) I’ve never had a dud product from the brand. I’ve had several Benefit blushes in the past, but destashed most due to the bulky packaging. I kept Hervana only because it’s the perfect natural blush for me. Swirled together, on me it reads as a soft, slightly warm brownish pink. It’s truly one of those products that goes with everything. Sometimes I forget I have it because it’s not very exciting, but I’m currently going through a phase with it. It’s hard to mess it up, really! I just wish it were more travel-friendly, because I could easily get through a month-long trip with this as my one and only blush.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure

You may remember that Mood Exposure is my favourite of the ALBs, and probably my favourite blush of all time. If you were to simply look at it in the pan, you’d probably wonder how something so dull could possibly be somebody’s favourite. But on the skin it transforms: it’s an incredibly brightening, flattering mixture of plum and brown with the healthiest luminosity. If I lost all my blushes this is the one I would repurchase immediately. Because Hervana is so bulky, Mood Exposure is the blush I always take travelling with me. For a weekend trip I need a minimum of five lip colour options, but I can get through ten days with just Mood Exposure, easy.

L-R: Benefit Hervana, Hourglass Mood Exposure

Bright blushes! Yay!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat

This was my very first ALB, a hand-me-down from Aisling because she found the hot red-coral too intense for her tastes. I’m so glad she passed it on to me, because I don’t know that I would have discovered this formula otherwise – it’s surprisingly unhyped on ye olde internette. Generally I like to apply this with a stipple brush, and it’s more of a summer shade for me, but it’s stunning. It’d look great on darker skin too.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta

I think Radiant Magenta was a bit of a mistake of a purchase on my part. There’s nothing wrong with it: it’s just as finely-milled, glowy, and long-wearing as my other three ALBs. But it’s pretty similar to Diffused Heat (although Diffused Heat ironically appears more magenta on the skin – the tan swirls in Radiant Magenta tone it down significantly), and I don’t think I really need both. As I’ve said, that’s my sole gripe with the ALB line. It’s not extensive, and many of the shades are quite similar. I don’t know if I can bear to part with Radiant Magenta, even so, because I paid a pretty penny for it and I just love the ALBs in general.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Natural Beauty

I first laughed when I saw that the name of this bright pink-red blush was Natural Beauty, but applied lightly it actually does make me look how I naturally do when I’ve just come out of the cold. This formula isn’t my favourite; it’s rather stiff, and I prefer something softer and more finely-milled. However, I like that it’s not too pigmented (with a colour like this that would be a real killer), and the colour is one of my favourites.

L-R: Hourglass Diffused Heat, Hourglass Radiant Magenta, Tarte Natural Beauty

Finally, plums and purples and berries, a category which I love maybe a little too much…

ColourPop Super Shock Cheek in Rain

You know, I bought this to see if I would actually wear lavender/lilac blush, and the answer is no, not often. (Don’t be fooled by the pan you see. This is the result of perhaps five applications.) However, I have on several occasions been very happy to have this on hand, as when I go out with my friends I usually do pretty funky makeup and enjoy applying this with a very heavy hand all the way up to my temples. It’s a fun product! But I’m not going to upgrade it for a more expensive lavender blush, probably.

Sleek Blush in Flushed

This was another Aisling hand-me-down, and it’s one of my favourites for fall and winter. It’s a warm berry shade with a satin finish and very subtle gold flecks running through it. It looks absolutely beautiful and glowing. I think this would look even better on deeper skintones that can take more colour. You’ll see in the swatch that it does come off warmer than it looks in the pan, but that’s also because it really doesn’t photograph true-to-colour. That’s been one of my ongoing struggles with this product! If you’re in the market for an affordable, warm-toned plummy blush… this may be the one!

Guerlain Rose Aux Joes Blush in Wonder Violette

Another absolutely wild Optimum points purchase! This is a soft, warm pinky plum. It’s another one which appears warmer on my skin than it does in the pan. I do not think it’s worth $60 and will not buy another Guerlain blush, with Optimum points or otherwise. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it: the formula is nice and I like the colour, but there’s better stuff out there for cheaper. Speaking of which…

NARS Blush in Sin

Personally, I think NARS blushes are a little overrated formula-wise, but some of the colours are to die for. Sin is the colour of a bruise, which sounds very unappealing but which I adore. I have nothing else like this and I rarely see anything similar on the market. This blush doesn’t go with every makeup look, but I love having it on hand. I doubt I’ll become a NARS blush collector, but if any of the colours call my name I’d be willing to buy another one. (And yes, I felt like I truly belonged in the makeup community when I bought this. I mean, are you a real beauty blogger if you don’t own a NARS blush?!)

L-R: ColourPop Rain, Sleek Flushed, Guerlain Wonder Violettes, NARS Sin

And that, my friends, is the extent of my blush collection. Fourteen total if I count the shades in the Sleek palette separately, twelve actual products. I think that’s pretty manageable, and I don’t think I could realistically trim it down much. I genuinely use and like everything I have here. I can also easily list every product in my blush collection off the top of my head, which I think is a pretty good benchmark.

Next time shall I do a more boring category? I don’t want to exhaust all the interesting ones too early on…

There are 9 responses to “Inventory: Blush”

  • I don’t own a Nars blush! I must be ostracized!

    This is a lovely, versatile collection. I have quite a few blushes, but I still haven’t gone into blush collecting mode like I did with nail polish and then eyeshadow and then eyeliner and then lipstick. I hope I can avoid that phase, because what I have really does fulfill all my blush needs and, as you say, that last forever.

    • Yes! You must give up your beauty blogger license immediately, for only those of us who worship at the altar of NARS blushes can be taken seriously!

      I think my blush collecting was fairly minor compared to some of my other intense makeup interests. It was short, too. I’m definitely in a good place! I’m thinking that for the first time ever I won’t even get the Sephora makeup birthday gift, because I don’t need ANOTHER blush (in a formula that I know I think is just okay).

  • I don’t own a NARS blush either. Am I going to be shunned? I used to have a mini of Deep Throat but got rid of it when downsizing my blush collection. I used to be all about blushes and then wasn’t. I definitely flit from category to category. Right now I can’t get enough lipstick.

    Natural Beauty looks lovely. I’m always looking for that “just in from the cold” flush.

    • Lipstick is always my #1 love, but right now I’m enjoying shopping my stash more than actually shopping. But I would say the allure of lipstick is the hardest for me to resist out of any type of product.

      Natural Beauty is perfect for that! I was a huge skeptic when I first saw it, but it serves a great purpose in my collection.

  • I’m a blush snob as well. I do own three drugstore blushes (two by Sleek and one by Milani), but I’m far more willing to buy lipstick than blush at the drugstore. Seems like we have collections of a similar size: I have 10 blushes currently, and that’s more than I really need, but I do like the variety.

    Your ColourPop Rain looks much squishier than mine! I think my pan must have been somewhat dried out when I first got it, because I’ve worn it at least five times and have barely managed to make a dent.

    • Up until recently the only other drugstore blush I had was from Milani as well. It was actually really nice, but it was a glowy peach and between Sleek Guipure, Hourglass Luminous Flush, and the Chanel one, I just didn’t need another.

      To be fair, I have used it quite heavy-handedly (think 70s Bowie vibes) several times, and the last time I used it I pressed hard because I wanted to see pan. But I remember you saying that you thought yours might be a bit dry. Mine’s more than a year old at this point so it’s past its prime texture-wise, but it’s still useable. I guess I see why ColourPop gives you so little product – at least when it comes to the creams, they dry out so fast that you couldn’t get very much use out of them if they gave you more.

  • I have had Hourglass Mood Exposure on my Sephora wishlist for the longest time because of you and this blog, haha. But I have an Hourglass highlighter + bronzer + blush palette (LE from Nordstrom, I forget what the name of the blush in that palette is but it’s not Mood Exposure) so I don’t know if/when I will ever pull the trigger on Mood Exposure, lol. I have also been eyeing tarte’s Exposed, which I know is not a formula you like as much but I love that color. THEN I heard that Sephora’s birthday gift this year is a tarte blush, and I just cashed in 100 Sephora points for a deluxe sized NARS Orgasm, and, well, how many blushes does a girl need anyway?!

    (All of them. She needs all of them.)

    • If you have the Hourglass palette you prooooobably don’t need Mood Exposure, but it is beautiful if you ever feel like treating yourself! I have vaguely considered Tarte Exposed for awhile because the colour is perfect, but Mood Exposure fills that nude/goes with everything hole for me and I like the formula way more. But yes, WE NEED EVERY BLUSH!!!!

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