TOPSHOP Cream Blushes in “Afternoon Tea” and “Head Over Heels”

Now that’s summer, I’m back on the cream blush bandwagon. If you remember from my previous cream blush posts, I’m picky about the formulas because I don’t like for them to be too sheer, too pigmented, too greasy, too sticky, etc. In the past, very few have surpassed my expectations and I’ve written about those here: NYX Cream Blush in “Boho Chic,” the Le Blush Creme de Chanel – Chanel Cream Blush in 63 “Revelation,” the Illamasqua Cream Blusher in “Laid,” and the Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheeks in 02 “Rose Frivole.”

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The TOPSHOP Cream Blushes are new to me, but so are all the TOPSHOP beauty products. I became interested in the cream blushes when they started appearing in Korean beauty blogs and beauty magazines. Shortly after that, I noticed Korean beauty bloggers in Korea swatching them and reviewing them. Because TOPSHOP products can be readily found at Nordstrom locations, I decided to pop in and give them some attention. I was elated to to see that the popular shades in “Afternoon Tea” and “Head Over Heels” were available, as they were the ones I had seen featured. They’re perfect summer colors and easy to use.

As previously mentioned before, I’m picky about cream blush formulas. However, the TOPSHOP Cream Blushes in “Afternoon Tea” and “Head Over Heels” have met my expectations. The texture of the formula is light and creamy, but it doesn’t feel heavy or sticky on the skin. It’s easy to apply this with the fingers, but I also like to use a synthetic buffing brush as well. The application is smooth and somewhat sheer — but the colors are buildable in a non-greasy way, which is perfect for me. It dries down semi-matte but doesn’t feel dry or heavy; and, most importantly, the color doesn’t rub off like some cream blushes do throughout the day.

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I recommend these blushes and I felt that the price was do-able. The formula is nice and the colors “Afternoon Tea” and “Head Over Heels” are perfect. “Afternoon Tea” is a pretty pop of cool-toned pink that isn’t too harsh or Barbie-like, and “Head Over Heels” is a soft coral-pink that flatters my fair skintone without looking too orange or red. I’ve worn these over liquid foundations and BB/CC creams, but I don’t think they’ll work well on top of powder products since it’s easier to blend cream formulas on top of liquid/cream products. I like that the texture is easily blendable and looks just like powder blushes after application.

Made in Italy.
Retails for $14.00 USD.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in “Flush” & “Fearless”

Ok, I’m super late on the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush wagon, but I’m onboard and thinking, “What took me so long to get obsessed with these blushes?” With the holiday season approaching, there’s 20% off coupons at Ulta and Sephora so I snagged the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in “Flush” and “Fearless” before it was too late! There’s a ton of colors and tones available, so I’m sure you’ll find one that’s suitable for you and your skintone. For me, however, I stuck with my pink and peachy-pink faves.

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These blushes are “long-wearing, solar-baked…that lasts up to 12 hours.” I love how the packaging correlates with the colors inside; and, it’s compact with a sturdy mirror inside so that’s a bonus too. Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blushes are “infused with natural clay harvested from the banks of the Amazon River.” As products that contain clay that is “naturally baked by the sun, this nutrient-rich blush benefits all skin types for a fade-free flawless finish that lasts an amazing 12 hours.” The available “colors range from soft to vivid to suit a wide variety of skintones. For oily skin types, Amazonian clay minimizes oil in and around pores to balance skin and keep product in place. Those with dry skin will benefit from the clay’s nourishing and hydrating properties, which naturally restore skin’s moisture. Combination skin types can rely on its ability to zero in on skin concerns and deliver benefits to restore complexion harmony.”

I know, it’s a lot of fancy claims. And, while I can’t say for sure if the clay within these blushes are “from the banks of the Amazon River” and contain clay that is “naturally baked by the sun,” they do have long-lasting power on the skin. They’re pigmented and can be built if you’re going for a stronger look. They don’t apply streaky or dry on the skin, so it looks natural and the blush is really easy to apply. Lasting power is superb; pretty all-day with no touch ups, fading, or getting blotchy like some power blushes.

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I got the shades “Flush” and “Fearless” and they’re absolutely divine. “Flush” is a “pinkish berry” shade, while “Fearless” is the most perfect “coral pink” — according to Sephora’s website. Again, the color pay-off is outstanding, and they translate fantastically on the skin. Both “Flush” and “Fearless” are a semi-matte/matte finish without looking cakey or dry. They still impart a subtle glow without glitters and shimmers, which I prefer most days. If you haven’t started collecting the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes, I suggest you start! With the holiday season just around the corner, they’re perfect for giving and receiving; and, with holiday sets available, you can get a great deal on multiple shades.

Made in USA.
Retails for $26.00 USD each.

REVIEW: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in “Dim Infusion”

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Happy March/spring!

Not that long ago, I raved about the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in “Luminous Flush” & “Ethereal Glow.” I was itching to get more but reminded myself to maintain some self control. The day I purchased “Luminous Flush” and “Ethereal Glow,” I left “Dim Infusion” behind and couldn’t stop thinking about it since. I returned the next day for it and I’m super happy that I’ve completed my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush collection.

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The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in “Dim Infusion” is a subdued coral shade that is warm and light on the skin. It’s natural with the perfect amount of sheer coral-ness to the skin that’s just pretty and glowy. Out of the 6 blushes in the range, I’d say that this shade is the least workable for all skin tones. While it’s pigmented, the color itself is light. Even on my fair skin tone, I have to layer this shade on twice for the result I want.

For those with medium, tan, or olive skin tones, “Dim Infusion” may not be a good purchase. However, despite that, this is still a great blush and worth the purchase. This is truly a “hybrid product that is unique, contemporary, and revolutionary. Unlike traditional blush, which tends to be flat, Ambient Lighting Blush uses Photoluminescent Technology to exhibit depth and dimension. The airy, lightweight powders contain optically transparent particles that amplify the colors to a multidimensional level—effectively reinventing the way you view blush.”

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Described as a “groundbreaking hybrid” blush, the Lighting Blushes “combine the customized lighting effects of [the] Ambient Lighting Powder[s] with a spectrum of breathtakingly modern hues for seamless, soft-focus, and multidimensional color.” Hourglass claims that these are a new kind of blush since they function like the Ambient Lighting Powders but with a powerful pop of color. Between the three shades I currently own — “Luminous Flush,” “Ethereal Glow,” and now “Dim Infusion” — I’d say I like “Dim Infusion” and “Ethereal Glow” the best. When I want a bright pink, I go for “Luminous Flush.”

Are you obsessed with these blushes too?

Made in Italy.
Retails for $35.00 USD.
Contains 0.15 oz.

Illamasqua Powder Blusher – “Katie”

For the past few months, I’ve only been drawn towards pink blushes. In fact, I’ve neglected to use any of my peachy-pink blushes, coral blushes, and anything that isn’t even remotely pink. Perhaps this is because I think pinks flatter my skintone more — but, regardless, I’ve found a new pink-favorite. While I was on my Illamasqua kick, I picked up a powder blush from their line for a change called “Katie,” and it’s the perfect milky-pink shade ever.

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The color doesn’t appear to be that unique. In fact, the blue-toned, milky pink color is actually quite bright and can look too doll-like if applied with a heavy hand. Illamasqua blushes are already very pigmented and are long-lasting. So I feel like I have to be extra careful with a color like this since it can be chalky when over done. This shade gives you such a pretty glow, even though the blush itself looks quite matte. It’s a very young and innocent kind of pink, and I like to wear it when my eye makeup is a bit heavier or smokier than normal.

However, this isn’t a universal shade and won’t work well for those with medium to dark skintones. Also, with those with olive skintones, this will probably turn out to be chalky and gray-ish on the skin. In terms of skintone, I’m very fair and wear the lightest shades in nearly all ranges of foundations on the market. My undertones are strictly yellow, which is why I think this blush works for me. Asians with heavy yellow tones in their skin may not be able to use this — but I’m not saying that you can’t. I love this shade, but it certainly isn’t the same as my beloved MAC Well Dressed — my all-time favorite, number 1 go-to blush.

Retails for $26.00 USD.

Illamasqua Cream Blusher – “Promise”

I’ve written and complained about cream blushes before. This is only because I was always unhappy with either the application of it or the texture. However, I think I’ve found the most perfect cream blush and I’m itching for more. While I was visiting home, I went to Sephora and came across the Illamasqua section. I have to admit it was exciting to see the display in person! I purchased the cream blusher in “Promise” and it’s to die for. I recommend. HIGHLY.

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I don’t really like the packaging because it’s so bulky and big. The shape of it is odd, so it’s also difficult to store since it’s not really stackable. However, despite that, the snap closure is tight so the product doesn’t dry out. The color “Promise” is described as a “petal pink” shade; and, it runs slightly on the blue side of pink. I think that’s kind of a good thing though — because it has a subtle brightening effect that gives you a glow without being too obvious.

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The texture is creamy and soft — like butter. It’s pigmented, but not so much that it’s difficult to work with. It blends easily and beautifully without drying too fast, so you have time to work with it before it sets. I’ve used my fingers to blend when in a rush and the application was fine. I prefer to use a synthetic buffing brush (Real Techniques) and it does a great job at allowing the product to apply and settle in a natural way.

The color itself is bright but can be tamed, as the product is quite buildable. While I like to apply this on top of a non-powdered canvas, it does well over powder foundation without disturbing the base. Basically, all forms of issues I’ve had with other cream blushes don’t seem to exist with this cream blush. And, I think that’s why I like it so much. The finish is so pretty and I think it will be perfect for the summer, especially with having a dewy, fresh base underneath.

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If you’ve hated cream blushes before, I highly suggest you give this one a try. There are tons of colors available and I will be exploring more options soon. But if you’re looking for something safe and wearable, I suggest “Promise.”

0.14 oz.
Retails for $26.00 USD.

What Makes You Blush

I’ve been on a blush kick lately; and, surprisingly, I’ve recently become interested in colors that I’m normally not attracted to. The reason I started to explore more color ranges is because there’s only so many peachy-pink colored blushes one can own before there’s no reason to keep purchasing them.

Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blushes have been hot for quite some time now, and though I find the “amazonian clay” part to be gimmicky, I discovered the color “Exposed” only after every one their mamas owned it and loved it. Much like many beauty enthusiasts, I obsessively researched beauty blogs online before making the decision to purchase this.

The color is a dusty rose, alomst brown-ish color, that I automatically felt at first glance, to be too dark for my fair skin. Because of my yellow undertones, I was convinced that this blush would look like dirt smeared across my cheeks. Sephora’s website descibes Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blush series to be “a long-wearing, solar-baked blush that lasts up to 12 hours.” The product is “infused with natural clay harvested from the banks of the Amazon River and naturally baked by the sun,” and “this nutrient-rich blush benefits all skin types for a fade-free flawless finish for an amazing 12 hours.” It claims to be good “for oily skin types, [because] Amazonian clay minimizes oil in and around pores to balance skin and keep product in place.” Tarte also claims that those with dry skin benefit from the blushes as well because “the clay’s nourishing and hydrating properties…naturally restore[s] skin’s moisture.”

Like I said, the “amazonian clay” part is gimmicky to me – but, I do admit that the blush does wear well for a good portion of the day. “Exposed” is a natural color that is buildable and makes me look alive and awake when applied to my fair skin. It cannot be subsititued for bronzer because of the rosey undertones, and since the color itself is on the darker side, I like that against my fair skin, it accentuates the color of my skin.

Another color I got from this line is “Blissful,” a candy-pink color that is quite bright. Normally, I wouldn’t purchase such a loud color since I favor the subdued look on most occasions. However, the color in the pan was so pretty that I couldn’t resist. The bright color is in no way natural looking, but I like that it gives my skin a brighter look. I would even venture to say that darker skinned gals would benefit from this color because it could provide that healthy glow. For me, I have to apply “Blissful” with a lighter hand and fluffy brush; otherwise, I’d look like a creepy glass doll.

I’d like to also note that Sephora’s website also says that Tarte’s blushes “features the following Skinvigorating™ ingredients: Vitamins A and E, two natural preservatives that act as anti-inflammatory emollients and protect against free radical damage; Vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights free radical damage and prevents oxidative stress and premature signs of aging, while brightening the skin; and Amazonian clay, a nutrient-rich, multitasking, skin-balancing clay that reduces dryness and flakiness, improves skin clarity, elasticity, firmness, and texture while removing oil from the skin’s surface for smooth application and wear.”

I’ve saved the best for last – my favorite blush: Lorac’s blush, also named “Exposed.” This would be the typical color that I normally would go for – a peachy-pink color with slight shimmers. I feel that colors like this really brightens and lifts the face. It’s tone gives off a healthy glow, and irridescent effect that doesn’t look overdone. Lorac’s Baked Matte Satin Blush “contains a silky-smooth, highly pigmented formula that blends easily and evenly for natural, long-lasting glow.” It applies beautifully, has good lasting power, and even though it’s labeled “matte,” it doesn’t give you that flat-dead look. It’s a gentle color, dare I say, a “safe” color? It’s the perfect blend of peach and pink; and though there are visible shimmers, none that will make you look like you’re a junior high student.

What are your favorite blushes? Any new exciting purchases on your end?

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
*Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in “Blissful” extracted from google images – hence, the different lighting
*Click on images to enlarge.