Addicted to Blush!

Totally, shamelessly... remember this from a while back? Yep, that's me. Still, when Monika from Rocaille Writes tagged me, I felt rather privileged and honored, I mean someone would actually listen to me yaks and yaks about blush?!?? Besides, I much rather talk and write about subjects I like than something dry like.. sunscreen (I have a post that has been brewing for months, ugh).

O.k. so blush, eh? I think the first makeup item I owned was an Elizabeth Arden lipstick from my Oma that I used mostly as blush and not as lipstick. Oma would use whatever lipstick she has on as a blush as well, that's how I learned about the pinched-cheeks look sans the pinching pain. But makeup was strictly a weekend thing, a visit-to-Oma's house thing. I went to an all-girl Catholic school from kindergarten all the way to high school and back then, the nuns were super serious about their business, namely absolutely no makeup in school, forever and ever!! But yes, I did wear a blush and a smidge of lipstick for my First Communion, thanks to Oma. The rest is history..

1. What color blush suits you the most?

I have three that are most used up: Stila Convertible Color in Lilium (old version) and Canmake Cream no 11 are pictured above. The third one is Becca Beach Tint in Guava, which is now rendered an ugly, half-cut-up tube in a zip-lock baggie that is almost completely used up. They are in the family of pinks but Lilium is a bit peachier, duskier, Canmake is cooler, leaning baby pink, and Becca is probably in between with the clearest tone among the three. 

In general, something of a light pink would suit my complexion best, something clear without much brown in it (albeit the photograph above). I think I can take colors leaning slightly warm/peachy-pink and slightly cool/baby-pink just fine, and I do like to tailor my blush to different eye look as well.

2. Pressed, cream, or loose blush?

I have it in my mind to convert my whole blush collection into creams, but alas, I think there is a virtue in any blush textures so I really can't pick just one. O.k., maybe I'm leaning more towards creams. Speaking of loose blush, I just can't get over how cute a blush packaging is sometimes. These two loose blushes from "vintage" Ettusais are all used up but I still keep them because they are sooo cute!

3. Favorite shimmery blush?

I tend to shy away from shimmery blush but I think these exemplifie shimmer done to perfection. Chanel just does the best shimmery blush, hands down. Charlotte Tilbury comes second to my mind, and by Terry Blush Cellularose Blush Glacé is, like I said many times before, good skin in a pot. They are all glowy, rather than shimmery.

4. Favorite matte blush?

Ugh, they are so dusty! All these pictures were taken in a hurry, as always.

For mattes, I tend to reach a lot for Burberry. I used to own a sizeable NYX blush collection before Burberrys -- don't get me wrong, I'm not at all a high-end snob, but I've owned those NYXs since forever that when Burberry came along, I thought it was time to overhaul my blush. Chanels also make some superb semi-matte/satin finish blushes (Rose Initale, Orchid Rose, Rose Ecrin to name a few).

Speaking of another good mattes, these are from Bourjois. I have had these for years and they are still every bit as lovely.

5. Favorite cream blush?

Oh my... I have lots. My definition of a good cream blush:
  • Has enough slip to be spread around
  • Is not too wet as to lift the foundation beneath it, or worse, to ball up with the foundation
  • Stays put for a while and not migrating around or sinking into pores
  • Has a glowy, dewy finish (because if I want matte, I'd go with powder)
Stila Convertible Color (the old formula -- I haven't tried the new Stila CC, yet, mine are all at least 5-10 years old, don't try this at home, kids!) ticks every single box, followed by Becca Beach Tint. Others that I have, such as Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge, Canmake, Aerin are also decent but they differ in blendability (Bobbi is on the waxy side, Canmake is on the powdery side, etc.). Le Metier de Beaute makes Creme Fresh blush which is a true cream. Although nice and dewy in finish, I found them to be slightly sinking into the pores, especially at the end of the day.

One formula that I don't like is cream-to-powder blush. Cream-to-powder blush is quite a conundrum to me: it does not synergized with my base as I have to rub it of somehow (instead of just patting it on) and it is not quite a powder as application with brush will also scratch the surface of the painstakingly-applied base. I found this kind of blush to be loaded with film-former, acrylics, and silicons that tends to just rub off the foundation that I wear underneath. Examples of these are the ones from Armani and Chanel (sad, because their colors are gorgeous). Mind you, I tend to wear quite moisturizing/emollient base makeup, thus I found oil-and-wax based, gel-based, or anything in softer texture to be better -- anything that can be just patted on and blended with minimal rubbing.

Finally, one non-blush items that doubles for very good cream blushes are Burberry Lip Glows (old formula). They truly have a nice, dewy/glowy finish and colors that flatter the skin!!

6. Favorite drugstore blush?

Definitely NYX. If I lost all my blush as it is right now, I can build quite a nice collection with just NYXs. 

Maybelline used to make liquid blush that rival Becca in terms of the refined shimmer, it has long gone been discontinued. Revlon Photoready also have great cream selection, like above. The texture is a bit on the harder-waxy side, but the colors are vibrant, transparent, and it stays put a looong time.

7. Favorite high end blush?

I really, really love Chanel Joues Contraste -- they are my unsung heros. If I ever got stranded somewhere and only have one shot to buy one blush from a department store, that would be from Chanel. Hmm... I just have an idea of doing various MOTW with all my Chanel JCs much like the Chanel Quad Series.

8. Favorite bright blush?

For bright blush, I much prefer cream, liquid (tint), or gel formula. Becca Beach Tint and Josie Maran Cheek Gelée are super blendable and transparent, suitable for many skin tone and oh, so easy to use. The middle one from RMK is another good option for powder. 

With that said, I never like Benefit Benetint that much. I don't know why, perhaps because, again, my base makeup is quite emollient and water does not really meld well with oil. The addition of silicone or a thicker-gel texture like the JM helps the blush adhere to the moist base.

9. Biggest blush disappointment?

I feel I've tried so many blushes in my life, I'm trying to think of brands whose blushes I have never owned. Just because they are not featured here, it does not mean I have not tried them in the past, e.g. I used to own a few MAC, Clinique, Laura Mercier, Paul & Joe, Shiseido, NYX, Maybelline, Revlon powder, etc. I mentioned above about Benefit Benetint. I also don't get NARS blushes, which are supposedly the star product of the line. I owned Orgasm/Laguna duo that I kept "just in case," well that just-in-case never came, so I happily gave that up and never missed it. 

Another blush line that I don't "get" is from Tom Ford, and not for a lack of trying. Somehow they are either too much or just so-so, or maybe my expectation is unreasonably high? Yet other disappointments are blush from Chantecaille, Hourglass and Jouer.

10. Best blush packaging?

I'm with Monika, I like compact blushes. RMK above is about perfect, so is other packaging that does not have a slot for the obligatory-but-useless brush.

11. Blush wishlist

With so many blush that I currently own, I have very little on my wishlist. I mean, there are always new brands & new things that I want to try, such as from Suqqu, Surratt, Charlotte Tilbury, new Clinique, new Armani, even new Bobbi Brown. I may purchase them when I either use up a blush or feel the need to revamp my collection, but for now, I am happy with what I have.

12. Number 1 Holy Grail blush

Whaaaatttt??? That's like picking favorites among your children, no good mom will ever commit such crime!! O.k... if I have to pick one.. just one? That would probably be Stila Lilium -- I look fifteen again when I wear this.

Thanks, Monika, for the fun tag! Now, I tag Gummy from Gummy Vision for the #blushfiends.


  1. This was so much fun reading! Thank you for doing this tag, Claire <3 You have lots of beautiful blushes in your stash, and now I definitely feel that I have to try a Chanel Joues Contraste. What is your favorite shade? Or... a couple of your favorites?

    1. Thanks for the tag, Monika! I did this post in 2-3 hours that my husband took my son out for a walk. So yeah.. don't know if it is a quality reading. Chanel JC.. so many of them, but knowing your peachy-pink penchant, I'd try In Love or Rose Petale. Rose Petale is leaning brown a bit but a very nice, basic, warm pink. I don't personally own In Love -- I have lots of that kind of shade in my stash, but you may want to try it. Espiegle is my go-to peachy pink in JC but I think that one is LE. Just try a few and see what you like.. some of JCs are more matte and some are more shimmery, although as a whole they have satin finish. Let us know how it goes!!