My Holiday 2010: Favorite Things (blush)

Once upon a time, I treated blush as an option. GASP… I know! How dreadful of me to think that I could skip the step that gives the face its overall ‘glow?’ Eh, I’ve grown to realize that sometimes the right blush is just the thing to bring an entire face together.

I have a few absolute favorites that have nothing to do with the recent Holiday 2010 offerings. Some are new, some are not so new. But all of them stay in heavy rotation for one simple reason: they work.

PEACH GLOW:

The best peach glow I’ve gotten to date is from Chanel’s Joues Contraste Blush in ‘In Love’:

I’ve already talked about the quest for the perfect peach eyeshadow. It’s no different for blush. They tend to go pink on me… and if they have a shimmer… the result is more gold and less peach. In Love offers the perfect peachy flush for my medium brown skin. The best part is, it can be layered. You can use just a little for a sheer glow, or go over the area two or three times for a stronger color payoff. It blends out beautifully. I really have to give Chanel kudos for this one. In Love is my perfect peach.

For peachy shimmer, I consistently reach for Rock & Republic Blush in ‘Call Me’:

It’s probably not fair that I mention this blush. It’s currently impossible to get (Rock & Republic is phasing out, or at least changing their makeup line. The blushes remain sold out online and go for ridiculous prices on ebay. The store on Robertson is sold out… but may be able to order more from corporate. It’s worth a phone call: (310) 285-0486). This is the easiest blush I’ve ever used. The color payoff is sheer and shimmery… it’s what Nars Orgasm is to fair-skinned girls. Orgasm just goes pink glitterbomb on me. Call Me is a lovely alternative, with three times as much product and excellent blendability and longevity.

PERFECT PINK:

My perfect pink is Rock & Republic Blush in ‘Spank’:

This one is a bit easier to get hold of. It’s a light to medium matte pink. It looks pretty light in the pot, but goes on very pigmented. I’ve had it show up on a wide range of skin tones, and the result is always the same: soft pink flush. Like all Rock & Republic blushes, it’s tons of product with lots of color payout and lasting power. For me, it’s a must have. I keep a backup of this blush…. just in case the line goes the way of the dinosaur.

A darker interpretation of the pink flush comes courtesy of NARS blush in ‘Desire’:

I remember being a bit worried before I used this blush. I thought it would come out clown pink. But no… it blends out to a nice soft flush. It’s got a stronger color payoff than Spank, and works very well on medium to dark skin tones.

And if all else fails, there’s MAC Beauty Powder in Briar Rose:

I told you guys not to sleep on this one! I find this more Blush than Beauty Powder. I am a bit baffled about why MAC would call it such. It behaves like a blush in color payoff and staying power. What I really like about this blush is the packaging. It comes with its own mirror (MAC Blushes typically do not… so maybe it’s good that they treated this color as a Beauty Powder), and features a fabulous stencil of Malificent (Disney’s Sleeping Beauty). This was part of the Venomous Villans collection from MAC. There may be a few of  these still floating around in internet beauty land… I’m pretty sure they’re gone from counters and stores nationwide.

PRETTY PLUM:

For the perfect ‘plum’ flush, I rely heavily on Chanel Joues Contraste Blush in ‘Plum Attraction’:

There’s a LOT of color payoff with this one, so a light touch is key! I’ve used it on a range of skintones from fair to deep, and it wears beautifully on everyone! You can layer this blush; it’ll go from sheer plum to bright prune, depending on how intense you want to go.

If you want to go a little darker, there’s MAC Blush in ‘Dirty Plum’:

It took me a while to get used to this. It came out as part of MAC’s Liberty of London collection. It really is a ‘dirty’ interpretation of plum… and I find that it can go muddy if you use too much. BUT with a light touch and a little bit of highlight, this blush really sings. I had to practice with it before it came out the way I wanted. Now I love it. I also find that it works on darker skin tones that have more of a ‘grey’ undertone to them. This color is less garish than other plum formulations, making it easier to blend out to a more natural cheek flush.

FUCHSIA FLUSH:

My favorite fuchsia comes courtesy of MAC Blush in ‘Full Fuchsia’:

It’s not a scary as it looks. But just know that a little goes a VERY long way. I find that if you use it just on the apples of the cheeks, it’s more ‘glow’ and less ’80’s rocker chic’ — unless of course, that’s the look that you’re going for. Every year, fuchsia blush colors seem to pop up in someone’s collection, but this remains my favorite of them all.

For ‘fuchsia shimmer’, nothing beats Rock & Republic Blush in ‘Kinky’:

Do you really want a fuschia shimmer? Well, why not? This is even more frightening than the MAC variety, but I promise that when used responsibly… the results are amazing. Needless to say, it requires a very light touch. A little goes on and on and on…
This is a must have for darker skin tones. It gives the face a ‘glow’ without looking garish. I use it a lot more than I ever thought I would. It’s a keeper.

Honorable Mention goes to Illamasqua. Their blushes in Expose (peach) and Nymph (matte pink) are noteworthy:

They can be a bit ‘powdery’ though, and don’t blend out as well as my favorites. But the color payoff is great, and they wear well all day.

That’s it! I know that none of them are really new in terms of this year (and this season), but all of them work for every conceivable Holiday 2010 look… or any time of the year!

Ciao for now!

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5 comments

  1. Jasmine says:

    I found your blog last week and so far I'm really enjoying it. We are about the same complexion so I'm learning a lot. These "favorite things" posts are especially good. I wonder if you can make them for products outside of holiday collections. Foundations and powders maybe?And a quick question about peach blushes as I am always on the look out: do you know of a great one that is completely matte. I like the idea of the Chanel one but the current texture of my skin works best with shimmer/luminous/glow-free powders.

  2. ShahadaKarim says:

    Hi!Thanks for following my blog. If you're looking for a matte that'll go 'peach' on your skin tone, then go for the Illamasqua Blush in Expose. Use a light touch, and blend as you go. It's a true matte, and it wears a long time. I really like it. If all else fails, MAC Peaches is pretty universal. It's sheer though, so you have to use a bit more (just the opposite from Illamasqua). If you like sheer and matte, that might be a consideration for you too.Hope that helps!

  3. ShahadaKarim says:

    Jasmine, I'll also do a 'favorite things' post for foundations and powders as we progress through the holiday season. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Raisa says:

    Ooh so many pretties!! Can I come and raid your stash one day? That Mac plum and Illamasqua peach are being added to my wishlist!

  5. ShahadaKarim says:

    Hahaha you can raid my stash anytime. I don't think that MAC Plum is available anywhere. But the Illamasqua Blush is at Sephora.

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