Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cream of the Crop

Along with matte eyeshadows, my other obsession lately has been cream blushes. This isn't anything new, in that cream anything (eyeshadows, blushes, highlighters) have always appealed to me, but the other night I suddenly felt like I absolutely needed one of those Stila Convertible Colours. In a feeble attempt to resist the urge to buy, I pulled out and swatched all the cream blushes and multipurpose products I had, trying to convince myself that I could do without Gerbera or Lillium.



It's no secret that I'm partial to pinks and peaches and any combination of the two, but I was a little surprised at the overall lack of colour variation in my collection and how similar a couple of the shades were (namely Australis Crème Colour in Flirtatious Pink and Bloom Sheer Colour Cream in Coy). Just goes to show that when it comes to cosmetic purchases, most of the time we're drawn to the same things over and over again.


My favourite is NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Natural (CB02). I bought this from a stall at the Chinatown night markets in the middle of last year. It's a medium, warm pink with a creamy, strongly pigmented formulation that's neither too thick nor greasy and slippery. Because of its excellent colour payoff, you only need a very small amount to blend onto the cheeks. I like to use this with my fingers, an Ecotools Baby Kabuki (for a more airbrushed flush) or a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush for slightly more precision.

I also really love Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Zygomatic, an impulse buy that I haven't regretted. It's thinner in consistency and more emollient than the NYX, which makes it easier to blend with the fingers, however it's also less pigmented. It's the most muted and neutral of the blushes I have, and the one I reach for when I want a more nude, dusty pink colour to the cheeks and to add soft definition to my non-existent cheekbones.

On the other side of the spectrum, I have the most vibrant cream blush in my collection, a bright orange from the Revlon Multi-Use Palette. This one distinguishes itself from the other five in that the colour isn't dusty, pastel or otherwise muted. It actually goes on relatively sheer but with 2-3 layers, provides more of an enlivening, summery pep to the cheeks close to Benefit Cha Cha Tint. It's much drier in texture and almost matte. However, it comes in such a tiny, inaccessible square that I almost never find myself reaching for it.


Bloom Sheer Colour Cream in Coy was on my wishlist for a few months before I finally caved. The pastel peachy pink colour was the main attraction, along with the packaging and lavender scent. This one is closest in texture and pigmentation to the NYX Rouge Cream Blush, if a tad drier. On my cheeks, I've always found the colour to be too strong and not that flattering with my skin tone, so I kind of gave up on it. Coy fares better on my lips as a warm, nude-leaning pink.

Australis Crème Colour in Flirtatious Pink was the first cream blush I ever purchased over a year ago. While swatching my blushes, I didn't anticipate it would look almost identical to Coy, as Coy always seemed distinctly more peachy to me. I find Flirtatious Pink to be much more wearable, perhaps because it's a touch more pink and rosy. Funnily enough, it's also scented with lavender like the Bloom and more or less identical in shape and size. It's a little bit drier than the Sheer Colour Cream but about the same pigmentation.

I bought Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush in Pinched (100) from Rite Aid on my New York holiday as I wasn't prepared to spend $26.95 on it in Australia. The other two colours (a bright coral and fuchsia) seemed a bit too intimidating for everyday wear, so I opted for the safe choice — a light peach with fine gold shimmer. The texture with this one was more air-whipped/mousse-like than the thicker, creamier, emollient formulations of the other cream blushes I have. It required several layers to be built up to decent pigmentation, but the major problem with Pinched is that the staying power is close to zero. There's almost no point in wearing it unless you only want it to show up for 2 hours, so in that respect it was a major disappointment.

In sunlight

l-r: Revlon Pinched, Illamasqua Zygomatic, Australis Flirtatious Pink, NYX Natural, Bloom Coy, Revlon Multi-Use Palette

In a way, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with cream blushes. As much as I gravitate towards them for being easier to blend and apply with the fingers, and for a more natural flush that sinks into your skin and gives a touch of dewiness, they can end up being trickier to work with than powder blushes or cheek stains. A good brush goes a long way in diffusing product seamlessly and naturally. I also find that generally, creams don't last as long on the skin as powders. Depending on the texture, it can be difficult to get just the right amount, perfectly blended without any patchiness, and for that reason I often skip cream blush for powder. However, there's something more modern, seemingly effortless and versatile about creams that will always keep me returning to them with renewed interest.

55 comments:

  1. I love the NYX one! Shame about Revlon Pinched though.

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  2. I really need Zygomatic :)

    I ignored cream blushes for a long time but recently I've been loving them. The formulas just keep getting better.

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  3. No kidding, I was JUST thinking about cream blush and Illamasqua Zygomatic! Does it have to be applied in the 'sculpted' way, or can you just wear it like a regular blush? I've been reading Rae Morris' books (Express Beauty and another one, Ultimate Guide to Beauty. I think) and I've been skipping powder and she recommends powder blush on powdered skin and cream blush on non-powdered skin. Mind-reader. :P And you know you're going to end up ordering one of those Convertible Colours from BeautyBay at some point. I was just looking at those yesterday hahaha.

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    1. Dude, done and dusted. Gerbera arrived :p Now I'm tempted by Sweet Pea, the new colour. So bad, I swatched Gerbera and Bloom Coy and they are so similar I was kind of peeved. But at least on the skin it's a little bit different. Or so I tell myself.

      I saw Rae Morris in real life once, at some Expo. She's really skinny! I was too chicken to approach her and say anything, though I was tempted by one of her brushes even though it was like $35.

      You can apply Zygomatic as a normal blush, though I'd go lightly as built up, it tends to look more brown than pink. It's more of a dusty shade anyway.

      Missing your blog! Sad that you deleted it :(

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  4. The colors you have are absolutely gorgeous! What shades of blush would you recommended for someone that has a lot of redness?

    http://ahemitsemme.blogspot.com/

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    1. I'm no expert, but I guess something that's more orange/peachy rather than pink? Otherwise a bit of concealer to tone down the redness first :) I tend to stay away from red-leaning colours (certain corals and pinks, as well as outright red blushes) because of the redness in my skin as well. I think that's why I have so many peachy blushes - because they generally get along better with my skin tone. Maybe try something like Benefit Sugarbomb which is a little bit brown-toned as well?

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  5. wow!cream blushes, I think I need this in my life. great reviews dear! loving every swatch of these products. will find which suit me more:)

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  6. Okay, I have to have NYX Natural, I need it! I have been wondering what their formulas are like forever!

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  7. Ugh, I totally feel you on everything: the urge to buy, shopping the stash, and feeling like there's a slight gap that needs to be filled. I've been lemming Stila Convertible in Poppy (because RED reds are my makeup kryptonite), but having too many cream products make me uneasy because they go bad faster. Resisting for now but who knows when the caving will happen? ;)

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  8. I've been meaning to get into cream blushes... hopefully this will inspire me to try the one I own out :) But I'm absolutely with you on your seemingly peach addiction right now!! I can't get enough of the color on my face :)

    Cassie
    thriftthick.blogspot.com

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  9. I only have one cream blush and that happens to be NYX 'Natural'! I was actually hoping it would turn out to be a colour similar to Illamasqua Zygomatic, but it's pretty nonetheless. I prefer powder blushes because that's what I'm used to but cream blushes are nice every once in a while. ;) xx

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  10. Love the Bloom Coy shade! I was tempted to buy one of the Revlon cream blushes, but after reading your post I think I will spend my money on something else... Interesting post. Thank you

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  11. I honestly have never tried cream brushes before! Ahah. I keep wanting to try them but it's just never happened!

    I would have imagined that creams last longer than powders. Purely because you're rubbing something into your skin as opposed to brushing something onto it.

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  12. I've never tried a cream blush before but I really want to:) what a nice collection

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  13. I have yet to try a cream blush but the Illasmasqua one looks really nice. Is it supposed to be more for contouring though? The Stila blushes come in such beautiful colors! I think I might have to stop by Sephora today & swatch some of those...

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  14. I have Zygomatic and although I love the colour my oily skin means it lasts about 5 minutes on my face. I'm ok with cream highlighters but blush is a no no. It's so sad because I miss out on some gorgeous shades! Xx

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  15. I go through stages of loving cream blushes, and then hating them. I'm still in my loving stage, and I know they're expensive (probably even more so for you,) but Nars multiples are amazing!!!
    Also, I love my lillium blush :/

    xoxo

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    1. I am so irritated I didn't buy that Stila palette with Lillium in there - it was like $14 on ASOS!

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  16. I totally agree with you on the texture front. Half of my blush collection are cream blushers, but it sometimes takes longer to get them looking just right on me...

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  17. I've been avoiding my cream blushers lately due to the hot weather. But I cannot wait to pull them out for the colder weather! Oh you have a great selection of cream blushers by the way :) x

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  18. All those shades are so beautiful! I am loving cream blushes recently and I will definitely get the NYX one; its gorgeous! <33

    I am having an International Giveaway on my blog and I'd love it if you enter! :))

    XO,
    http://www.rosychicc.com/

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  19. i like neutral beige lip colors. the illamasqua one looks fab :)

    Joyce @carouselstreet.com

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  20. I've never tried cream blushes but I use cream foundation a lot! But powders seem easier to control in terms of where everything goes (not huge on the blending with fingers technique :P) but these blushes you have look great!

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  21. I love cream blushes but I hate how sticky they feel right after application.
    I like the NYX rouge cream blush in Glow :)

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  22. i've also been gearing towards cream-everything. i'll be out to get NYX Natural this weekend. awesome post!

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  23. I have NYX Natural and I love it so much too! <3

    Jennie xo | sailorjennie.com

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  24. I'm naturally drawn towards cream blushes as well - though up till recently my focus has been on dolly pink shades ^^
    Right now I'm obssessing over more orange coloured brushes!

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  25. Zygomatic is wonderful *__* I have a cream blush from NYX and i love it!

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  26. Pretty shades! I love the NYX one :)

    Kimberley x

    http://kimberley77.blogspot.com

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  27. Really gorgeous shades :) I have been loving anything peachy pink!

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  28. Ahhh cream blushes!! they are also my love hate girlfriends.
    As much as I love the texture and the creaminess and the natural effortless finish, I am always afraid they will end up looking greasy or accentuate my large pores around the cheeks.
    I have few cream blushes, but I rarely reach for them.. My fave 1 is YSL Creme d blush, because it transforms to powder finish and it blends super smooth!
    your peach collections look gorgeous,Bloom Coy is my fave!

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  29. I have been dying to try NYX blushes in general;)

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  30. Gah I missed reading your blog posts so much! Love how you pull out all of these similar colors from your collection and compare them. And your photos are always droolworthy. I think cream blushes are also a tossup for me. I only have one (Maybelline Dream Bouncy), and I think it's enough for me right now haha.

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  31. You have so much cream blushes and the colours are all very subtle and natural really nice post love it! x

    www.krystelcouture.co.uk

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  32. I'm annoyed at my habit of buying the same coloured makeup from different brands too. But yes I'm in love with cream blushes especially the ones from MAC and Stila <3

    http://lacy-rose.blogspot.com

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  33. I agree with pretty much everything you have said in this post, I go through some phases where I only want cream blushes, but then I'll stick with powders for ages. Usually I apply a similar coloured powder blush over the top of cream for longer lasting blush. I love using my RT contour blush to apply cream blush (and powders for that matter, too), I think it blends them seamlessly. I hate it when they go patchy when I apply with my fingers!
    xx

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  34. I still have a hard time with cream blushes for some reason, but honestly, all of these look amazing. I kinda want them all. xx

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  35. Aww I had to smile to myself when you said you dug out your stash to curb your spending urge. Haha how cute! I only have 1 cream blush but not a big fan of them because I'm fussy; I don't like the stickiness and I hate applying with fingers. I MUST apply with my cream blush brush (full sized brush) which means I won't take it out for reapplication. Still nice having a browse through your collection though! xx

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  36. amazing blush review! love the peachy tones in this collection <3
    would you like to follow each other?
    A
    xx
    http://epiquemoi.blogspot.com

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  37. The colors you have are absolutely gorgeous!!
    Would you like to follow each other? Let me know!

    The Fashion Heels
    Facebook
    Bloglovin
    Twitter

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  38. hello darling,today I discovered your blog and I really like it, now I follow u on gfc and Bloglovin, hope u'll do the same, xoxo

    http://idareyoutobefashion.blogspot.ro/

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  39. I also have something of a love/hate thing going on with cream blushers. I think it's the same problem about applying them, powders just seem much more easier but I do love the texture of creams x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

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  40. I adore cream blushes :) can't wait to pick up some more in America

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  41. it's funny how you picked almost all peachy shades of blushes :)

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  42. Quite an impressive cream blush collection you have going on here Lena ^^ I'm glad this type of products work for you, saddly they're not really for me. I have only one it's a nice colour and all but I can't really apply it over powder and I have to set my foundation so it seems a bit pointless to then top it off with another powder blush. I'm pretty contempt with admiring others' stashes though : ) xx

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  43. Nyx Natural looks gorgeous! I've never tried any nyx products before, I'll definitely be picking that one up.

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  44. Bloom - Coy is my favorite :) i love how u swatch products :)

    x
    http://holaflo.blogspot.com.ar/

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  45. I have no clue how to work a cream blush so I've never tried one!

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  46. The YSL cream blush pots are the ultimate cream cheek product for me, last for an age and blend so easily (I apply all of my cream blushes, and some powder ones, with my Real Techniques Stippling brush) I am so tempted to pick up some of the new shades they just released, but I think I have to hold back and show restraint. I have heard so many good things about Coy but have never picked it up.

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    1. Ooooh, never heard of those. Must Google! I keep forgetting about the RT stippling for cream blush. I'm currently favouring the Expert Face Brush though I think it spreads out the product a little too well such that blushes tend to lose their pigmentation a bit too much.

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  47. i used to stay away from cream blushes but then when I tried them I was instantly hooked! they're so flattering on any skin type and i love the luminosity it gives the cheeks, looks more natural too! great picks, love your choices and thanks for the swatches :) i wonder if MAC cream blushes are any good. have you tried them? xx

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    1. No I haven't, they haven't really crossed my mind that much. I haven't tried any MAC cheek products at all - though I was eyeing Melba and of course Soft and Gentle :)

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  48. I can not really give an experience or talk very extensively about cream blushes as they usually use mineral powder blushes as long as it kept my face matte. Without ebargo after reading your post there are some blushes that have tempted me and I'll try that cream. As recently arrived in my city was the Revlon PhotoReady drugstors will will try that.

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  49. i have and love NYX natural as well. i remember how much i lusted after zygomatic after seeing your review and i forgot about it but now i'm reminded how much much i love the color...i wonder if it is still available D:
    i know exactly what you mean by a love hate relationship with cream blushes. For me some days it just doesn't work for me and some days it just looks so natural and flattering :3

    à la foliee

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