Blush is one of my makeup staples. If I don't apply it to my apples, I look pale and sick. The other day I went to work without makeup (except a light dusting of mineral powder) and my boss asked me if I was "feeling okay because I looked gaunt." I was so sad!!! Those of you who have natural flushes are truly lucky!
For us less fortunate ladies, finding the right blush is tricky. Earlier this month, Sephora sent me a free shipping coupon in the email. L'Oreal used to make a cute cheek gel stain, but they've since discontinued it. So when I saw this under the Sephora Brand section (usually where I beeline since everything else on the site is pricier and I try not to purchase too much makeup), I decided to get it. At $10.00 a pop, this stain was inexpensive. The drug store brands would've been about the same price; I think my old L'Oreal stain was about $7.00 and the tube was smaller.
Though this tint is formulated for the cheeks AND lips, I primarily wanted it for my cheeks. I'm not really a lip product gal, but I did try this on my lips. The stain was nice, but it only lasted for maybe an hour. You may have to prep with a lip liner if you want the stain to last throughout the day. Otherwise, the result is a cute, just-eaten-raspberries look.
On the other hand, this product showed up much better on the cheeks. From the site, the stain:
"mimics a flushed look on lips and cheeks, but when applied has a cooling sensation on the skin's surface. Easy to apply and long-lasting, the gel-based formula has incredible body and texture allowing perfect blendability that you can layer to the desired intensity. Made from crushed grapes the Red Wine Extract formula is loaded with anti-oxidants to help protect skin from environmental pollutants and free radicals. Optunia Streptacantha Stem Extract is rich in anti-oxidants, polysaccharides, minerals and vitamins to better ensure healthy skin from the inside and out."
Judge for yourself in these photos:
with flash & without flash
(sorry for any grain...my camera sucks!)
PRODUCTS IN ORDER USED:
Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher (all over face)
Oil of Olay Complete All Day Moisture Lotion SPF 15 (all over face)
Skin 79 Beblesh Balm SPF 15 (on T-zone, wings of nose, chin, under eyes)
MAC Strobe Cream (on cheeks and brow bone)
Sephora Lush Flush Wine Lip & Cheek Stain (on cheeks)
At MAC, my shade is between a NC25 and NC30. Since I don't have an exact match, I don't use MAC.
When I opened the tube, the first thing I noticed was that it contained an applicator, like the white fuzzy tip applicators inside tubes of lipgloss. This allowed for very precise application on the cheeks or lips. I swiped the applicator clockwise, maybe two or three times, on the apples of my cheeks, and then blended with my fingers. The result? A natural pink flush. I credit the luminosity in the picture with flash to my MAC Strobe Cream. (That's a review for another time.)
The product is fragrance free. It is a gel stain (like my old L'Oreal) rather than a liquid one (like Benefit's Benetint, which is made with rose petals vs. crushed red grapes). You won't need to worry about it dripping off your cheek when you put it on, but like all stains, you will have to blend immediately to avoid those embarassing splotches or streaks of color. If you want a more dramatic look, you can add additional layers, though I recommend starting sparingly, and slowly building (less is more!). You can always add more; you don't want to redo your makeup because you applied too much.
Overall, thumbs up to this product. I recommend it to girls with combination, normal, or dry skin. If you have oily cheeks, perhaps you should stick to powder (I don't have oily cheeks, so I can't vouch for whether it works or not). However, the blush DID stay on my cheeks all day even though I piled on moisturizers underneath, so you should give it a shot.