Sunday, 5 October 2014

Top 10: A/W blushes

These Top 5's have been steadily expanding to include honourable mentions and other poorly-justified additions, so I thought rather than pretending, I'd make this my Top 10 blushes for Autumn/Winter 2014. Any less and it would be like picking a favourite child (though I'm convinced that happens even if we're not allowed to say it).

From L-R, Top-Bottom: Hourglass Radiant Magenta, Chanel Accent, MAC Warm Soul, Benefit Sugarbomb, Tarte Exposed, MAC blushbaby, MAC Salsa Rose. Top right 3 NARS blushes from L-R: Dolce Vita, Madly, Sin.

  1. NARS Dolce Vita: A matte, rosy-berry shade. This blush is super pigmented so care is needed, but when dusted lightly on the cheeks it offers a lovely deep pink-reddish flush.
  2. NARS Madly: A warm-toned bronzy-pink that acts as the perfect neutral blush when you want definition but don't want to distract from a bold eye or lip. It plays the same role as Tarte Exposed or MAC Blushbaby would, but is better suited when wearing a warmer-toned eye look.
  3. NARS Sin: A gorgeous plummy shade with a golden sheen. I wear this exclusively in the colder months, and would look fab on darker and lighter skintones alike.
  4. MAC Mineralize Blush Warm Soul: I wear this all year round because it tends to pull more bronze, or berry, or rosy, depending on what it's paired with and the tone of my skin. It has a slight sheen but nothing too highlight-y, and for that reason is super easy to pair with most looks.
  5. MAC Salsa Rose: This may seem like an odd choice but it's the perfect matte true red blush to give that "I've been outside playing in the snow" flush to the cheeks. Gorgeous with a light shimmery eye and a healthy slick of mascara. It's super pigmented so a light hand is paramount.
  6. MAC Blushbaby and Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour blush in Exposed: As you can see, these are almost exactly the same shade. Even though Exposed gets all the attention in the blogging community, the texture of mine is very hard in the pan and I tend to prefer the MAC version. Regardless, both of these are the perfect shade to give a slightly taupy-pink, slightly contoured look to the face when you need some definition but don't want to add too much colour. (I believe NARS Douceur is in this camp too, but I'm yet to try it since these are so similar).
  7. Chanel Joues Contraste in 84 Accent: A more plummy and glowy version of Warm Soul that is absolutely gorgeous, and would probably be even more so on olive-toned gals.
  8. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta: I wasn't hugely enamoured with this when I first got it but I think that was mostly a problem of managing expectations with all the hype. The colour is a bright magenta made slightly warm by the addition of the veining of radiant light ambient lighting powder. The result is a beautiful glowy 'lit from within' blush that does wonders to brighten the complexion. (In other news, Hourglass is releasing a 3-pan blush palette for Christmas and I'm dying with excitement).
  9. Benefit Sugarbomb: This is light, fairly sheeny, and has an interesting mix of peach, pink and lilac (if you prefer matte blushes I would not recommend this). It manages to be light and slightly muted because of the lilac, and is a nice alternative to a more overtly berry/plum option. It's not one that would immediately come to mind as a favourite but I do reach for it often as a 'no brainer' blush when I don't know what else to wear - and, it covers the tasks of blush and highlight in one. 

The above are in no particular order, but if I had to play favourites, I think I'd prioritise NARS Sin, NARS Madly, MAC Blushbaby, Chanel Accent and Hourglass Radiant Magenta, but really, I love and would recommend all ten.

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