If you’re at all plugged into the “pale person” side of beauty blogging, you will have heard that NYX Blush in Taupe is a must-have for contouring on fair skin. I’ve wanted to try it since I got into makeup about three years ago, but NYX has been historically pretty hard for Canadians to get their hands on. NYX finally arrived in Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix in the new year, which made grabbing this supposed holy grail product a lot less of a hassle. (Previously I’d asked my mom to grab it for me while she was in New York, but she couldn’t track it down. She did get me the Jumbo Pencil in Milk, though, another 2013 beauty blogging favourite.)
Now, NYX has since reformulated their blushes: they are now the HD blushes, and various bloggers and vloggers have deconstructed the differences. (And, yes, they are different.) This is not about that, because all I have is the new version, the HD Blush in Taupe. It was my first NYX purchase at Pharmaprix, because I was really excited about trying it and because my beloved Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow was looking a little worse for the wear. (My only other NYX purchases were from Rexall back in summer 2013, both lip products and both long destashed. Since then I’ve also gained one of the Liquid Suedes, which I’m not entirely sold on. NYX is not batting 1000 for me here, let’s just put it that way.)
I used the HD Blush in Taupe for about a month straight, but ultimately I have gone back to Hollow. Basically, I find it to be darker and a bit too pigmented. Intensely pigmented cheek products are not usually my favourite thing – especially when it comes to a contour product. I’m not into Instagram contouring at all and just like to add a bit light definition under my cheekbones, which means I want a product that is easy to build and blend. And that’s Taupe’s other downside: I don’t think that it’s super blendable. More often than not when I used it, I came away feeling that it was a bit too heavy and slightly muddy.
I don’t think that NYX HD Blush in Taupe is an unusable product by any means. I just think it would work better on someone marginally darker than me, and probably someone who likes a stronger contour than me.
By comparison, here it is (fully blended out) on the left with my favourite contour, Illamasqua Hollow, on the right.
Yes, I know that looks harsh. I promise I didn’t do it on purpose. I lightly tapped my brush in the product and spent a considerable amount of time trying to blend Taupe out. A strong contour in this colour would be better suited to someone darker than me; regardless, I’m not really into that look on myself, anyway. Though Hollow is quite a bit pricier and basically inaccessible for the Canadian market (I had to get mine when I was in Scotland), it really does it for me and I think it’s much better-suited to truly fair skintones.
I wish I’d been able to get my hands on the old Taupe back when it existed – it seems that pale people get along with it slightly better than with the HD Blush in Taupe, and looking at side-by-side comparisons of the two the colour does look more suited to my skin. But such is life; at the very least, this purchase taught me that I really do love Illamasqua Hollow and that I don’t need to experiment with other contours. (I’ll just need to replace Hollow at some point, because it is a cream, and, um, you can see that picture.)
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