Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Blush Tag

No, nobody tagged me, but I've seen this poll all over creation in various versions, and it looked like fun. Besides, it's about blush. We love blush.  We really really love blush, even if I suffer from a permanent fear of over-blushing and use a moderate hand. Surprisingly, the questions weren't as easy as they look, mostly because I have a very large collection of well-loved blushes. How can I choose a favorite brand or the prettiest color? It required some good and hard rummaging about the drawers (I have one for powder blushes and one for creams) to figure it out. Also,  I did some digging and also edited the questions a bit to make for a more meaningful list

1. Best Packaging

    Charlotte Tilbury Norman Parkinson. Nothing is better than Norman Parkinson photos on your beauty products. NOTHING. That was easy.

2. Prettiest Color

    Kevyn Aucoin- Helena. A glowing medium pink that's both warm and a bit plummy.

3. Most Pigmented

    Becca Nightingale. I never had anything like it.

4. Everyday Blush/Most Used/Most Practical

   Youngblood Blossom, Lancome Aplum, Benefit Dallas. This question appeared in several variations and I have several contenders. Blossom is a wearable cheerful warm juicy pink peach, Aplum is a muted mauve thing that appears very neutral and casual on my green undertones, and Dallas is a magical bronze plum, an American classic in more ways than one, and between my mom and me several boxes are consumed each year, so I always have a fresh backup waiting.

5. Best Blush Palette

    Laura Mercier Bonne Mine. It's a limited edition cream palette that is usually being released every couple of years or so, with all profits going to charity. But what makes Laura Mercier's Bonne Mine so awesome are the wearable and blendable looks I can create from the five colors it includes. You don't need to do the bronze/contour/blush/highlight thing. Instead, mix the highlighter with the blush to get a glow effect, or deepen the coral with some bronze to create drama. It's kind of brilliant.

6. Regret Purchasing/Least Used

   Chanel Alezane (Fall 2015). The color was fantastic, but the glitter bomb texture was shockingly horrendous. I re-homed it before that week was over.

7.Worst Packaging

    Ellis Faas. Beautiful colors, excellent textures, and perfect finish, but the pen applicator, as cool idea as it looks, ruins the experience. While the pens have been reworked and improved, like all Ellis Faas pens, if you don't use them at least a couple of times a week each, the part closest to the opening will still dry out, and the pressure of the liquid will make the pens burst open all over your hands, your clothes, and working surface. It will also be ruined for good, unless you scoop out all the remaining cream product into small jars with a tight lid. More trouble than it's worth.

8. Favorite Blush Brand
    If I really have to choose (and I don't want to) it comes down to NARS and Lancome. NARS has an amazing range of colors with different finishes, including some of the best mattes around. Lancome makes the most wearable and reliable blushes season after season, and I've been using Lancome blushes consistently since my late teens.

10. Least Practical

      Youngblood Loose Mineral. Funny how that goes. Youngblood's pressed mineral blush is among my most practical, but their crushed pigment version, as beautiful as it looks (and applies) is incredibly messy and gets everywhere and on everything, cats included.

11. Most Expensive

     La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush ($70). I have it in Plum Glow and would love to get Rose Glow and Berry Glow. The price is insane, but this is so beautiful and luxurious, so no regrets.

12. Least Expensive
     I have four Milani blushes. I'm not crazy about the shimmery baked ones ($7.29 at Target), but the matte rose blushes ($7.99 at Target) are very pretty and easy to wear. I have Tea Rose and Romantic Rose, both on the neutral mauve side of things. They're made in Italy, and I'm curious to know what high-end brands are manufactured at the same facility (and in the same high-quality formula).

13. Special Occasion

     NARS Dual-Intensity blush. The pigmentation intensity, bright colors, and metallic formula require a careful application and some thought before dipping the brush, damp or dry. It's a high impact look that isn't for every day as far as I'm concerned. But on a perfect night where I want to shine nothing is quite like this.

14. Best Blush Brush

      Hakuhodo 210. I have so many blush brushes it's not even funny. I adore my various Yachiyo brushes, my Suqqu cheek brush, the Tom Ford one. They're all amazing. But this one is perfect: the perfect size, the perfect density, the perfect shape for buffing and blending. Hakuhodo 210 works for most blushes, including the insanely pigmented, because you can pick a tiny amount and then diffuse it evenly on the cheek. It's also magical for soft colors making them appear flushed and pretty. I have three of these brushes in constant rotation.

I'd love to hear your answers to the questions you like best, so consider yourself tagged if you feel like it, or comment here.


  1. I suffer from a fairly extreme case of blush phobia. I find myself always wanting to buy blushes (can't resist the colors) and use them, but when I do actually end up purchasing them, I usually end up only admiring them on the back of my hand. Anyway, really enjoyed reading this. Very informative.

  2. I keep my blush collection very, very edited, so I can't answer half of these, but I loved reading your answer! I don't have any specially-packaged blushes, but I'm a sucker for patterned blushes. There was a limited edition Dior release a few years ago, with criss-cross and diagonal hatching, in pink and lilac - I bought that so fast. I also fell for the Burberry Valentine's blush (and bronzer) with the heart-shaped blush and the pale highlighter surrounding it; my first reaction was that it was kinda tacky, but I changed my mind fast on that one.

    ...I think I just answered a question that wasn't asked. Oops.

    My prettiest color would probably be the sadly discontinued Becca Orchid - my most used is one you recommended years ago, Sue Devitt Belize - most pigmented is THREE Emotional Rescue, which is *intense* but applies like a dream - and my favorite blush brush is a Hakuhodo B505. Unless it's the Chikuhodo RC-2. I actually didn't like the Hakuhodo 210 when I tried it; it didn't diffuse the color enough for me upon initial application. But it's an absolutely beautiful blush regardless.

  3. I am back on the Becca Beach Tints! I have it in Lychee/Opal and I used to feel like it was too shimmery and just slid all over my face and had no staying power but I don't know what happened- maybe it dried out a bit? Or maybe I got past a part of it that was more gold than pink? In any case I am loving it these days! Also loving the new for spring (I think?) Nars color Impassioned. For very fair skins only. Also works nicely as a crease color on the eyes. Thanks for your recommendations, I see so many I'd love to get my hands on!

  4. Favorite blush ever: Chanel LE Fleur de Lotus--I bought it after seeing a swatch online and it was a happy blind buy.
    I usually wear it over NARS orgasm multiple.
    I recently started wearing Rouge Bunny Rouge Florita, a warm pink, using a fan brush to keep it from going too bright.
    I am very firm with myself--otherwise I would have blushes galore. They call to me.

  5. I'm a NARS blush fan and have several of their beautiful colors. I'm not home right now, so I can't remember the colors. I want to comment on Chanel Alezane (Fall '15). I love this blush on me. The color is almost perfect for my coloring, and, for some strange reason, the gold glitter disappears from my cheeks in about 10 minutes. I don't know if it falls off (!), or sinks in, but it's just not there anymore. I also really use Benefit Dallas a lot, especially in spring and summer. GREAT post...THANKS. JW

  6. I just went onto the website for Hakuhodo and the 210 is being discontinued :(


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