Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Julie Hewett Cheekie Palette & Brush

Cream blush is everywhere. Pans, pots, sticks- they come in several formats and sheerness levels and are winning even reluctant hearts and faces including mine. Three or four years ago I had a hard time finding even one cream/gel blush I liked. Now I have several in my regular rotation and I can mix, blend and choose.

Speaking of mixing and blending, the Cheekie Palette from Julie Hewett has become a favorite (despite one big flaw. See below) exactly because of the endless customizing options it allows. The four Cheekie colors look intense in the pan but they apply sheer enough and blend well, so you don't end up with clown cheeks. You can wear them alone or blend two or more, which is what I usually do. Jami, the neutral rose-mauve is the only one I wear on its own because it looks very natural and the color is easy and as unfussy as it gets. I mix  Rosie or Peachie with Natural to bring them down a notch or two and get a color that has just the right amount of red or coral for me and adjust the levels of each shade according to mode, time of day and the other makeup I'm wearing.

The final effect is very nice natural flush. Just like Scarlett O'Hara biting her lips and pinching her cheeks in preparation for some flirting. Cheekie can also be used on the lips, but I prefer not to do that- most of the colors are too sheer to do anything for my pigmented lips.

The funny looking brush is very effective. It grabs enough color, blends it easily and isn't abrasive on skin. It covers just enough face space so you don't go overboard (blend well to avoid streaks).

The one big issue with this Julie Hewett product is longevity. The texture is pleasantly thin, but it also tends to fade and disappear within 6 hours if you don't do a meticulous job of cementing it into place between two coats of face powder. Otherwise it just melts right into your foundation. So this is certainly not a touch-and-go   blush, and it requires that you take your time doing your face and find the right combination of products that work for you and for these cheeks color (some HD powders tend to mute these blushes a little too much. I prefer a finishing powder that has a little yellow pigment).

Another thing of note: I own several other Julie Hewett products (lipsticks, balms, eye shadows and liners)- all of them are made in the US. The Cheekie palette is the only one made in China. I've noticed other brands that do the same- most of the line is manufactured in the US or Europe, but a handful of items are outsourced to China. The annoying part is that you usually don't have this info when ordering online (QVC is the only place I've seen that discloses the country of origin).

Bottom Line: Great concept, less than perfect implementation.

Cheekie Palette ($52 with brush, $42 without) is available from juliehewett.net (in the Palette section of the site, oddly missing from the Face category. The colors can also be purchased individually ($24 in a pot, $18 as a pan in a mirrored compact).

All photos are mine.

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