Monday, June 15, 2009

The Many Faces Of Lancome Blush Subtil

It wasn't that long ago that most of us only had one blush in our makeup stash at any given time. After all, once we've found our perfect shade, why would we need other colors? We'd go through compact after compact of the chosen blush, getting a new one as soon as we'd hit the pan and not give it any thought until the color or the formula were discontinued (which didn't happen that often back then). Remember those simple days?

I recently looked through my makeup cabinet and realized that blushing has become a serious business. I own blushes from many of the leading brands, but somehow managed to amass the most compacts by Lancome. Probably because I started using them in the late 80s and have kept buying them ever since.

The oldest one I have is Blush Subtil in Bronze Glow. I probably first bought it one summer when I was under the influence of too much sun and self tanner, otherwise I can't explain it. It's even worse to admit that I've gone through at least two. It's an almost metallic medium bronze that is way too dark for me and shouldn't be worn as blush at all. Lightly applied it can function as a bronzer, which is how I use it now (and only on summer evenings). If you're pale, stay far away. It'd give you the infamous muddy look.

Once I've realized my mistake, I turned to Blush Subtil in Cappucine. This one makes a lot more sense with my coloring, but it's very beige and only looks good if I have another color on my face to perk it up. It works best with a red lipstick, when the somewhat pale cheeks look sophisticated and not wilted (and in a dire need for some happy pills).

Next came Aplum, which is still my go-to color most days. It neutralize my green undertones and looks very flattering. It requires a light hand so my cheeks don't look painted, but generally it's almost fool-proof. Aplum is comparable to another favorite, Dallas by Benefit. If you're a Dallas user, chances are Aplum would work for you.

My latest discovery at the Lancome counter was that I can actually go much lighter than I've ever thought. It probably has to do with religious use of sun blocks and completely giving up on self tanners, but I've rediscovered my natural skin and it's a lot lighter than I thought. Cedar Rose is closer to Cappucine but with a distinct rosy pigment, and was my most worn color during the winter. Very pretty, very easy to wear, doesn't clash with most of my lipsticks.

Blush Subtil Shimmer in Violet Sunrise was a GWP. It's more challenging as it's a cooler color, lighter than Aplum, darker than Cedar Rose. Applied lightly it actually works nicely and is less vibrant than expected. It belongs to the "pop of color" department, but the shimmer isn't overwhelming so it's a nice summer color.

Lancome Blush Subtil and Blush Subtil Shimmer ($29.50) are available from every decent department store and Sephora, as well as their online outlets. I buy mine at my local Saks and Bloomingdale's.

Vintage (is 1982 considered vintage?) Lancome ad:


  1. I've used Blush Subtil in Miel Glace off and on for several years. It is a soft, luminous rose-beige that makes my cheekbones stand out. Since I have naturally rosy cheeks to begin with, just a light swipe of Miel Glace gives me a bit more contour without that horrible striped look that was rampant back in the day.

  2. I wore Shimmer Pink Pool for years, then wandered into (Lemming alert!) Nars Orgasm territory. I mostly use Nars Desire; M.A.C in Frankly Scarlet and Prescriptives in Pink Horizon Shimmer.

    The other day I bought two cream blushes - my very first. I'm acne prone, sensitive and a little oily so I was scared. I got the Maybelline Dream Mousse and one by Carmindy. I figured I'd start at the low end of prices to decide if it was something I wanted to explore more. So far so good. I think the Dream Mousse texture is weird but enjoy the Carmindy blush a lot!

    There is NO WAY a girl can get by with a single blush.

  3. I wore Lancome for years (Cedar Rose, Aplum and Miel Glace) but for the past few years I've been on a NARS kick: Sin, Deep Throat, Luster, Torrid and Mata Hari.

  4. Anon, I know I had Miel Glace at some point. Not sure where it disappeared, but I couldn't write about it without having it in front of me. It's another winner, for sure.

  5. Gretchen, I liked the (now discontinued) Lancome mousse blush- it had a great texture. I also like the cream blushes from Bobbi Brown. My only issue with cream blushes is that they look better when applied with fingers, which is fun and all, but a bit messy (and not a good idea while on the go).

  6. Tara, I'll need to revisit the Nars blushes. Orgasm made me look like a mango, so I skipped them altogether even though some of the other colors are very pretty. I just need to find something non-shimmery.

  7. Gretchen, if decide you like cream blushes, give Josie Moran a try. Her cream blush in Sunset and in Sunrise are beautiful. They glide on and leave a sheer veil of color. This is a beautiful, natural day look; not high drama for night. A bonus: they're natural and organic :-)


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