After reading many blog posts and online reviews about Chanel's limited edition Joues Contraste Rouge blush, I started to wonder why more blushes are not red. Red makes sense, at least for me. I don't blush peach or coral or brown or beige.
I know that those of you with different undertones blush different colors, and maybe you are the majority because I continually struggle to find a realistic color when I shop for blush. Most are too pigmented or too warm for my pink-porcelain (NW15) skin. Part of the challenge is I am naturally rosy, so adding pink or red on top might seem redundant unless I create a clean slate with foundation, concealer, or powder. Still, there are times when I want a hint of color on my pale face, and I have often wished it were an easier task to find the right color, short of slapping myself silly to bring out the heat.
Rather than consider blush colors that appeal to me (I am drawn to pinks and roses), I have been thinking about what I actually look like after I have been outside in the cold winter air, or after I have exercised, or when I am steaming mad. I flush red. Rosy red with fuchsia undertones, but red red red.
On any given, non-cold or non-stressful day (e.g, cool, calm, and collected), I can see hints of pink under my skin, so historically, I have purchased bright, clear pink with red undertones, like Bobbi Brown Pale Pink or Chanel Pink Explosion.
So then I turn to the muted roses (which is what counter people usually recommend), hoping for something that won't compete with my high coloring, something like Bobbi Brown Desert Rose or Chanel Rose Dust.
But these colors often look too muddy, too muted, too warm, and I appear washed out or tired or--worse--dirty. My coloring is fair and soft with muted eyes, but the coloring in my cheeks and lips is clear, which is why so many sales associates make mistakes with me, often pronouncing me an "Autumn" in the 4-season color categories (so wrong).
It was perfect timing, really, when Chanel introduced a red blush and the reviews started pouring in. I was a little taken aback by its intensity, but I was also inexplicably drawn to it, and I began to seriously consider it for myself as being, perhaps, the most realistic color.
I have made plenty of expensive Chanel mistakes in the past, most of which ended up being too warm for my skin tone. Not wanting to buy another flop, I dipped my toe into the Red Sea by ordering what seemed to be an almost identical color: MAC Mineralize Blush in Love Thing, which is also a deeply-pigmented red blush with fine gold shimmer.
I was so encouraged, I read some more online reviews on Chanel Rouge and then ordered it for myself. Who could look at the images on Front Row Beauty and not want this blush?
For Rouge application, I alternate between using the Laura Mercier or Jane Iredale fan brush, which even more softly diffuses the pigment across my cheeks.
I have been wearing either the Chanel or MAC red blusher every day for the last few weeks, and they continue to grow on me. Quite honestly, I need never look at another color. I have found the perfect match(es) for my own blush color.
Here's a picture of the Chanel blush next to the MAC. They are both very red and pigmented, and although they look similar at first glance, the MAC is slightly cooler, with plum undertones--which is actually a more perfect match for me.
Here are some skin swatches, first in natural light and then in direct sunlight. The shimmer is very subtle in both products and is slightly more apparent in sun.
What do you think of red blush? Is it for you?
(2, 4) bobbibrown.com