Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting Ready for Fall: Red Blush

The temperature here has definitely cooled in the mornings and nights. Fall isn't imminent; by Toronto standards, it's kind of already here. When I find myself reaching for a sweater or something with sleeves when the sun goes down, it's time to face the music.

Just as I've bid the juicy bright nail colours a fond farewell, I'm starting to do the same with the orange/apricot blushes that coordinated so well with a summer tan. As my complexion starts to lighten, I look forward to sporting a natural flush that looks like the result of exposure to cold winds.

With my aversion to pink, it's no surprise that I turned to red blushes instead. I managed to find four from my stash.

Missing: Joe Fresh Cheek Tint

Maybe "managed to find" isn't exactly the most accurate phrase to use, considering that all four were purchased within the past year. Oops.

Joe Fresh Cheek Tint - Cherry

From the four, the one I currently use the most is the Joe Fresh Cheek Tint in Cherry (see previous review here for swatches). I'm still big on cream blush as it's easy to apply and carry around. Plus it's only CAD$4 at Loblaws. If I lose it or damage it, I'll have no problem replacing it.

What it looks like new:

Cherry is a great name for the shade, as it really mimics the colour of a cherry popsicle. Luckily it doesn't apply opaque on the cheeks so I get a nice, natural flush if blended carefully. In fact, I'll go so far as to say it's like a creamy version of Benefit's Benetint. The effects are pretty darn similar. While I like Benetint, I can't stand working with liquids so I've decided to ignore it for a while. This Joe Fresh Cheek Tint is the perfect replacement for it.

Stila Make Me Blush

The second "red" blush I picked up is actually not entirely red. But I think the highly pigmented effect of the blush is from the red patches.

This was a winter offering from Stila at a great value of USD$14. It came out just before the Physician's Formula Happy Booster blushes did, and when I compared the prices, Stila turned out to be the cheaper option. So I scooped one up on a blah winter day when I needed a pick-me-up.

The hearts are rather irresistible. It was the first prettily designed makeup I purchased, so I had a hard time working up the nerve to use it.

When it released, there was a lot of complaint about the powdery gold shimmer, but to me it's a part of the appeal of this product. I didn't pick this for anything other than the fun factor.

In any case, the gold can be dusted off with a kabuki brush so that you can get straight to the colours. While I usually abhor shimmer and shine on my face, I don't hate the gold dust and how it looks. The gold in conjunction with the pale pink work like highlighters while the darker pink and red patches provide the flush.

Being highly pigmented, all I need is a slight touch of the brush to the pan, and then I have to blend, blend, blend! After overcoming the design obstacle of the MAC My Paradise blush, I feel like I can really dip into this one now and enjoy the hell out of it.

Sorry, I believe this was a limited edition release and no longer available.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Long-Wear Blush - Natural Beauty

After hearing so much about these Amazonian Clay blushes and resisting and resisting, I finally caved at some point in spring. I like the colour so I'm glad to have it, but I still don't get what the big deal is. But then I usually don't experience blush-fading issues. Therefore, the long-wearing promise of the blush is difficult to assess.

The plastic packaging makes it rather difficult to swallow the inflated price difference we Canadians are forced to deal with. Cute but zero sense of luxury here.

Tarte is a brand that I want to like more than I actually do. I've had some real duds from Tarte but they always manage to reel me back in with interesting new stuff and I keep falling for them.

This blush is available at Sephora for USD$25/CAD$33 in 8 different shades. I was torn between this and a few other shades, but a part of me was forecasting even way back then to this moment: I needed red blushes for fall/winter. A red powder blush without shimmer.

This is more of a strawberry red rather than cherry. It's also highly pigmented and require just the lightest touch with the brush.

I'm looking at the embossed design for the first time right now. Tarte is paving a path through the Amazonian forest. I'm not sure what to make of that.

Again, it requires a lot of blending and take up an extra few minutes in the morning in order to avoid the clown face effect. But I get the feeling I'll be getting a lot of mileage out of this beauty in the next few months.

Chanel Joues Contraste - Rouge

I finally bit the bullet a month ago and purchased my first non-nail polish product from Chanel. Yep, I'm merrily skipping down the road to makeup heaven/hell, depending on your point of view. My intention was to completely ignore the Byzantine collection and go nuts with the Fall 2011 collection. The promo pics for the Byzantine didn't really call to me. I barely noticed the deep red blush in the pic.

But then I saw swatches by Kristie of naturalNchicmakeup and fell in love. Check them out here. I thought it was one of the most unique blushes around. Plus it was limited edition. That set off my hunter's instinct and the decision was made once I swatched it in person. 

I think you know what it's like to deal with your first Chanel makeup. You keep it in the box or velvet pouch and barely take it out for fear you'll damage it. I'm afraid to even put fingerprints on it!

I was amused/scared to find that there's another level of protection for this blush once you work up the nerve to open the compact.

 When I lifted the protective screen, I just stared for a while. Beau-ti-ful!

 Despite the scary intensity of colour, I did manage to wear the blush on several occasions.

As you can tell from the fallout around the rim, the texture is rather powdery. But that in no way takes away from the pigmentation or effect of the blush.

I'm never going to run out of this blush since the barest whisper of a tap of the brush will give me more than enough flush to stand in competition with the most rouged up of rouged whores. But... I kind of love it!

Frankly, I think Nicole Kidman could have used some of this Rouge Joues Contraste in Moulin Rouge. Girlfriend is looking rather too pale.

You might ask what the point of a red blush is if I'm wearing just the slightest of amounts to the point it's barely discernible as a red blush. Well, I like it because it could have the effect of a pink blush without actually looking pink on the cheeks. And as someone who looks much younger than her age, I like to avoid things that look obviously pink since pink connotates youth. I'll probably take a dive for the pinks once I hit 40. To me, red is stunningly sophisticated and well worth the effort to practice pulling off. I love all my red blushes, from the little Joe Fresh to grown-up Chanel.

Have I convinced you yet? What's your take on red blush?


  1. I do like the red blush. However, I am not sure what all the fuss is about with the tarte amazonian clay blushes.

    Cream blush I'm still on the fence about.....

    The Chanel is going to be a purchase. Never need a reason to buy some Chanel ;)

    Great post.

  2. Thanks, meredith! Why the resistance to cream blush? It's fantastic! Hope you can still find this one at Chanel. :)

  3. I love ANY colour blush!
    When I swatch a Chanel blush I just don't like them! Me-the blush fiend does not own a Chanel blush. Not sure I ever will. But that one is really pretty! I have the Tarte Natural Beauty-it was my first Amazonian Blush. LOVE it. Must try the Joe Fresh one-it looks great.

  4. Liz, I say this to you, that I Danielle, have searched my arsenal of dozens, nay hundreds, of beauty products and have not a one red blush. (Wow, that was a dramatic statement. You know I am not necessarily a blush person, but when I saw that Chanel blush a few months ago I thought I want that. But I held my credit card and did not get it. And of course I wish that I had.

    I think a lot of us Asian gals look younger than our years. I was just thinking about it last night. That when I was 18 I looked about 14. And in my twenties I looked about a teenager for while, but now in my thirties I feel a bit older. But I think I finally look like a woman, so I think I can be friends with red blush. And that Joe Fresh looks like an interesting brand. You Canadian girls have such great toys, this California gal is a bit jealous.

  5. I think the only "red" blush I own is that Stila one...not sure if I thought of it as red prior to this post and now I will have to search my stash and see if I have any others. Also I love those tarte blushes but do not like how inflated it is here...+$7, just ridiculous, I own 2 and both were not purchased in our beloved overpriced country!

  6. Omg Liz, this post was hilarious. I also don't get what the big deal is with the Tarte blushes, even though I do like 'em, but I think I don't usually have blush fading issues either. And I never realized that they are paving a way through the Amazon Forest. Thank you for that.

    Do you have MAC Frankly Scarlet? It is redder than red, and it is beautiful, and you should have it.

  7. There's that freaky ESP thing with us again! What am I talking about? Why, none other than the Chanel red blush, of course! When I heard the first whispers about this collection, I raced to pick up the gold highlighter & the eyeshadow quad. Then I knew, after reading about them, that I NEEDED to have the other two items as well...and so, I caved once more (I'm such a wuss!) ABout the ESP part -- I'm preparing my post on the entire collection right now! And you're so right about the blush....it's INSANE!! I've never owned a red blush, and now I wonder how I ever applied makeup without one in my collection...lol!! The eyeshadow quad? I can honestly swear that I have NEVER tried anything like it and regret that I didn't get a backup as I use it almost daily (darn it!). Love this entire collection, but most of all, I love this review of yours...who knew red blush was so popular? Thanks for all this info, Liz!!

  8. @Tracy - *in a terrrrrible French accent* Quelle horreur! *normal voice* If I found their regular blush to be as amazing as this, I might have caved sooner, so maybe there's something to this lack of Chanel blushes in both of our arsenals!

    @D - Well. Now you must realize I really REALLY want to dig through your makeup collection! You know, I kind of did look my age in my early 20s. The thing is I haven't changed much since. So I sit in my undergraduate classes with the 20-somethings and they have no idea that I'm an entire decade older than them. Also I think they're influencing me. I dress less professionally now than I did a few years ago. But going back to grown-up makeup, I say red blush FTW!

    @Christine - Which 2 Tarte blushes do you have? I wish I could go to the States more often. *grumble grumble*

    @Larie - Tarte is supposed to be environmentally friendly so I don't think they're mowing down trees there, but who really knows. That picture is rather puzzling. And yes, I was just looking at Frankly Scarlet and wondering if I should add it to this collection. I need to go back to MAC and try on my cheeks. I agree, it's gorgeous! (But I should really be saying, "My dear, I don't give a damn.")

  9. @Eugenia - Freaky!!! My rational explanation for it is that we're both hoarding a bunch of new things and can only slug through so many reviews before they catch up on us. ;) But I think I knew that you had bought some of the items from this collection though I didn't know which ones. I love that you love the blush, too! I'm not much of an eye makeup person so I can definitely live without the shadow quad, but I did see a lot of great reviews about it! Can't wait to read yours! xoxo

  10. heh i have to agree with Larie. I think a lot of makeup products i have i want to like them more than i actually do. but i find tarte's blushes to be long wearing. i find blush usually fades after a few hours but the tarte blush lasted alll day (for 12+ hours) so i was still impressed xD and ur so lucky fall is coming >_< it's still summer here T_T it was 99 degrees today so i'm still rocking the summer trends ;D on the other hand, i now want to invest in a red blush xD

  11. @sweetkiss - Thanks for verifying the lasting power of the Tarte blush! I guess it's popular for a reason. :) I'm so jealous you still have summer. Isn't it terrible how we always want what we don't have, ranging from seasons and climates to makeup??? LOL

  12. I once thought to post it, but then I felt embarrassed, it would have been like exposing all the naughty things you've done. But you're more than welcome to delve into the sheer and utter madness. I have a nice train case and I bought this dresser to house some of it too. Ugh, I've been attempting to pare down. I sometimes have these teenagers and twenty somethings hitting on me. But then there are days when folks call me ma'am, I hate the sound of that word. I actually think I look alright, not old not young, but then that's the thirties isn't it? Not old not young. I also find that my dress code has relaxed as I got older too. When I was a kid I was in suits and heels. And lately less so. I miss school maybe it's time for a PhD or something. Or maybe I should teach...

  13. Don't be embarrassed, you're among friends here. My train case is in no better shape than when I first started this blog. Perhaps it's even worse now. :/

    I think we were eager to be taken seriously when younger, so we tried extra hard to project a mature image. I still try when I go to work but nowhere near as much as before. And "Ma'am" should just be outlawed as NOBODY including the elderly likes to be called that anymore. And 16 year-old salesgirls also need to stop addressing all their customers as "sweetie" and "honey."

    Finally, yes, I think you should do a PhD! I can live vicariously through your musings and you can live vicariously through my lazying around. ;D

  14. I tried the Joe Fresh Cheek Tints when Joe Fresh make up first debuted and loved Peach. Cherry always felt too bright for me but if it's easier to play with than Benetint, I may just give it a try.

    Though, I'm reaaaally pissed that I missed the Stila Make Me Blush blush. I wanted it so bad but I never saw it in stores.

  15. I like Peach too but lately Cherry's been getting more play. Just dab very lightly at first and blend away!

    I remember Stila Make Me Blush arrived late (as everything does in Canada) and then stuck around for quite a while. Of course, if it was only $14 like it was in the States, it might have sold out faster. Sorry you missed out. :(

  16. Nice collection. I really like that Chanel. it looks baked, though, and I am not a huge fan of the baked textures.

    I totally get the point of red blush. It's the color my skin turns when I get hot or angry or .. (x rated). My cheeks don't turn pink--they turn red.

  17. @Zuzu - Good point about the colour of hot/angry/x-rated cheeks! It must burn you that NARS named a peachy pink blush "Orgasm." LOL

    I don't like baked textures either but I think this is one of the better ones.

  18. I used to have a red blush wayyyyy back in the day from Cover Girl and I loved it! I finally tossed it a couple years ago and then never really bought another, until I acquired 'Turkish Red' recently (as you know). Red blush has been on my mind a lot lately, and I think its time I get into it - like you, I love that windblown look, especially for the colder months!

  19. Ahhh, I can't wait until you show me Turkish Red. I've also been eyeing that along with MAC Frankly Scarlet. So many pretty reds when you stop to think about it! The windblown look would look fantastic on you!

  20. Hi Liz, I fear I could only ever look at a Chanel blush if I ever owned one. It's just too posh and too much for me to use. Meanwhile I'll be trying one of the Joe Fresh cream blushes for sure!

  21. Hi, Tracy! I know, isn't it funny how the very thing created to make us feel good can give us anxiety attacks instead?! I'm afraid I've gone over to the dark side and there's no coming back, but at least I can love all my makeup equally still. Do try the Joe Fresh tints! They're super cute and there's really no complaints to be made, given the affordability.

  22. Having some natural pinkiness (is this the word?) in my cheeks all the time - I am very pale and my skin reacts to anything - I have difficult relationship with pink blushes. I would really want to love them and have quite a few, but I usually look sweaty and sick after a while despite applied very lightly - my cheeks just go pinker and whoa there you have the clownish look. So red is an amazing option for me and there is nothing better for autumn/winter.
    For summer, I love orange/apricot and brown blushes.

  23. Oh, that's interesting about pink v. red! You would think a colour that mimics your natural flush works best. Red works for me because like Zuzu said, it's the natural colour of my cheeks when I blush. Clown face occurs with any shade when we apply too much, though. The other day I was asked why my face was so red. Obviously I need to tone it down!

  24. I am so jealous of your Rouge blush!

    And I also felt the same with my first Chanel purchase. Am not at all dainty and often break things because I tend to have 'heavy' hands, but I honest-to-god handled that compact like my life depended on it! lol I guess it's a "Chanel" thing because I have bought a Dior compact before and don't recall treating it any better than all of my other stuff. Or is it just me?

  25. I guess it's a Chanel thing! I don't have a lot of Dior either but somehow Chanel manages to feel a lot more luxurious and precious. I still keep this in the velvet pouch and try not to put finger prints on it, which is kind of ridiculous.

    Sorry you didn't get in on Rouge while you had the chance!


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