Thursday, September 22, 2011

Red Blush

MAC Love Thing (source)

After recently reading many blog posts and online reviews about Chanel's limited edition Joues Contraste Rouge blush, I wondered why more blushes are not red or why I hadn't thought to look for a red blush for myself—always being shepherded toward the dusty roses.

Perhaps my coloring is in the minority at retail counters. I continually struggle to find a realistic blusher, as most are too bright or too warm for my "roses-and-cream" (aka pink) skin. Adding more rose on top of a naturally rosy complexion seems redundant, but there are times when I need a hint of color on my pale face. How nice it would be to find something that looked as natural as the result of pinching my cheeks.

It was perfect timing when Chanel introduced a red blush and the reviews were positive. I was a little taken aback by its intensity, but I also felt drawn to it. However, I have made too many mistakes with that brand, which is overall, too warm for my skin tone. So, I dipped my toe into the Red Sea by ordering what appeared to be an a near-identical color: MAC Mineralize Blush in Love Thing.

I nearly fainted when I pulled the compact out of its box. That blush was RED! And deeply pigmented with fine gold shimmer. I used a small duo fiber (MAC 188) brush and barely touched the synthetic tips to the blush surface. Then I swirled the tips around the inside of the lid to remove excess pigment and push the color into the bristles. Then I barely brushed the tips against my skin. Instant flush, and it looked good. Really good.

I wore Love Thing for a while and decided to also try Chanel Rouge. Who could look at the images on Front Row Beauty and not want this blush?

Chanel Rouge blush


For the next few weeks, I wore red blush exclusively. Quite honestly, I need never look at another color. I have found the perfect match(es) for my own blush color.

Below is a picture of the Chanel Rouge blush next to MAC Love Thing. They are both very red and very pigmented. Although they look similar, Love Thing is slightly cooler, with plum undertones—which is ideal 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. I see no glitter on my face with either, only a diffuse glow.

Natural light
Direct sun

Bottom line: Both are beautiful, but I prefer the color and value of MAC (plus, it's unscented).

What do you think of red blush? Is it for you?

First image from maccosmetics.com. All others taken by me.

27 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link darl! I can't agree with you more, red blush gives the most natural flush of color if it's applied sheer.
    Btw I just bought the ellis faas concealer based on your review, it's amazing!

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  2. Was desperate for the Chanel one but gave up trying to find it in the UK so I've just bought the bottom middle one here http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EUYAeTzl6_4/TiD2Fjo-IMI/AAAAAAAAJpg/SLJsQ3mCSVY/s640/YSL+Blush+Radiance.jpg and love it...it's not the same and I still want the Chanel, but this one is beautiful!

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  3. Yes, they look odd but I think they look very natural on skin. Sleek in "scandalous" is a more pure red, but still looks very good. Love thing is beautiful indeed. This kind of "berry red" reminds me of some liquid cheek stains that look very very natural and beautiful.
    I'm very fair, and they look scary sometimes, but I found out they are the kind of product that instantly take away some years from your face. Nice!
    (and now I think I need this Chanel)

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  4. I never got the Chanel one, but maybe I should have!

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  5. "Quite honestly, I need never look at another color." REALLY? I have enough blushes to last for 3 lifetimes so I need no more but I think it will be hard to resist.

    I have a Shu red blush that I find difficult to wear but after reading this I'll bring it out and try it, ever so lightly.

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  6. Martha, this blush was made for skin like ours!

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  7. Wow, this really gives me something to think about. I also am very fair, cool-toned. In order to wear any blush that doesn't make me look like a clown, I have to create that "tabula rasa" and obliterate as much of my natural "ruddiness" as possible. I've steered clear of really strong colors and red-leaning colors thinking I would be adding to the problem. I'm going to the Chanel counter today perchance so maybe I can check it out!

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  8. Oh how I am tempted by this blush. Is it a baked Euro-style JC? or the more powdery US type? I did purchase a red blush from BB called Poppy which is a slightly warm red. Not bad, but not as pretty as this. Which would you say goes the best with the Armani 1 bronzer, Z? I'm guessing the neutral JC red...

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  9. Absolutely! I love red blush. Jouer makes a nice cream one also.

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  10. Pansy, I don't remember Rouge being especially powdery, but remember I *barely* touched down with the brush tips! It would be hard to kick up any dust at that rate. I believe it was made in France. I'll check when I get home. As for Armani ... hmm. I seem to recall a very faint mauve undertone in that bronzer, so the red might clash. I will swatch them together and post it up on the forum.

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  11. Oh, the MAC is lovely! I love that plummy color. I have a MAC red that is matte and not shimmery, which I do like a lot...I've really been loving bright cheek colors lately. Thanks for walking us through your blush journey!

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  12. Interesting! I've always avoided red blush because I thought it made me look ruddy all over (even though I'm not).

    The MAC "Love Thing" swatch color reminds me of Cindy Joseph's Boomstick a bit (without the sparkle). If you want to try a cream/gel formula, I *still* highly recommend it!

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  13. I had a red Chanel blush back in the 80's and that was the last of the red blushes I had seen in ages. After that, the blushes turned into muted tones of rose, pink, peach. It was a nice change but I miss colors that were actually a lady's "rouge" color. I hope those blush colors come back. My favorites are from Sula at the moment because they look like "rouge" colors.

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  14. Veuve, facial ruddiness was the first thing I thought of when reviews started to come out, but I managed to convince myself that on my paler days, a barely-there dusting of red would be just what I needed. I was still skeptical, so looking good was double the pleasant surprise.

    One of these days I will try the Boomstick. I promised myself no more purchases for while, though, especially blush. Even though you'll see lots of 'new' product in upcoming posts, I am just woefully behind.

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  15. Olivia, exactly! Muted roses are pretty, and they are the blushes most often recommended to me by SAs, but it always felt like a wedge of pink on top of my skin. I am really enjoying this old-time lady's "rouge" color and hope the reds stick around. It won't matter much to me, as the Chanel and MAC together would last a lifetime (as long as they don't harden, which they very well may do), but I wouldn't mind a non-shimmery one--even if the shimmer doesn't show up much.

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  16. There is one by Revlon, the color is beautiful and the quality is surprisingly good.

    Let me tell you one thing I do from time to time: I take a red lipstick (dryer formulas work better) and put some on the back of my hand. You can add a liquid/cream highlighter if you like. Then lightly wet a brush with some Fix + and dab the brush lightly. Duo fibers work fine.
    Not as simple but believe me, the results are great. And you can have your perfect color and the perfect kind and amount of shimmer you want, anytime :) It works.

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  17. Renata, thanks so much for the reminder! I experimented using lipstick as blush about a year ago and completely forgot about it. Talk about a complementary look when wearing the same shade on lips and cheeks! I now have to think about which are my most suitable reds (I have a LOT of red lipstick.) Thank you!

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  18. Those colours are gorgeous! I love the subtle shimmer in them. I cant wear red blush because i have very red cheeks already, so it just makes me look like a clown :(
    Grace xx

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  19. Love this post! I've recently become very interested in red blushes too. I agree, the color is more natural. The ones I've been trying are RMS lip2cheek in Rapture (more of a brown red, but I LOVE it for my medium warm skin tone) and Tarte Amazonian clay blush in Natural Beauty. After seeing this post I want to take a look at the MAC one, the plummy tone to it looks like what I'm after! Thank you!

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  20. I dont think I own a read blush but I definitely blush pink...patchy and pink. blech

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  21. Thanks for the swatches and it's a lovely color BUT I can't do red blush! I have tried a few over the years and they all look odd on me. I'm so happy you found something you love though =)

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  22. Well, you know I love red blush! That MAC looks really nice as well. I think this year I may have bought more blush than any other kind of makeup (aside from nail polish). I can't wait until my tan fades and get some good usage out of the red blushes. The flush of subtle red against clear pale skin is one of the loveliest things.

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  23. If you have strong undertones, then it will distort the natural red/pink color of a flush beneath the skin. So if you're quite yellow, you do indeed blush peach, if you're very olive, you do indeed blush mauve. If your skin is more transparent, as yours is, an unadulterated red is more flattering. There is no such thing as a universal shade of blush, but red does come close.

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  24. Red blush works for me, and I really love this Chanel "Rouge!" It should be part of their permanent collection. But then I apply it so lightly, I may never run out! As per our High/Other End products conversation, I'm an NC45 with yellowish undertones. I apply "Rouge" with lightest touch of a fan brush, then blend carefully if necessary.

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  25. I love this blush too. I found it remarkably easy to wear. Red is how I flush. I always get so frustrated when I apply a pretty peach or coral blush and then an hour later I'm blushing underneath and wonder what the point was. Dain must be right. My skin is pretty damn translucent so red it is!

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  26. I am a first time reader of your blog and have enjoyed this one as I love red blushes. They look the most natural on me. One that I have used for years is by Paula Dorf. It was at one time beloved by make-up artist everywhere. It's call Candy Apple and she has since come out with a stick version. Give it a try. :)

    ~kim

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