Thursday, October 31, 2013

Festive Flush

Rimmel Santa Rose is a blush that I avoided buying for a very long time. After repeatedly seeing Tanya Burr call it her favourite drugstore blush in countless videos, I was pretty much set on buying it, but every time I picked it up at the shop, it just looked so dull and uninspiring that I put it right back. The colour appeared to be such a generic, slightly muted orangey-brown light pink, that I thought to myself, surely I have at least 10 comparable blushes at home? It wasn't until I stumbled across this video from Alix of I Covet Thee where she uses Santa Rose in a Keira Knightley makeup look that I was 100% sold. Never mind the piles of NARS and Benefit and Bourjois I have on standby, I needed Santa Rose and I needed it immediately.

I bought Santa Rose (010) from Boots in London while on my Europe trip. It was such a thrill to be in a Boots (after all, it's mentioned only in just about every second post on all the British beauty blogs I read), perusing all the UK-exclusive makeup brands and checking out items not released in Australia.

It looks like the Rimmel blushes have been repackaged recently, as I remember they used to be in a smaller, much slimmer trapezoidal pan. The product is now housed in a thicker, sturdier-looking square, though I'm guessing the formulation and colour remain unchanged. I'm not sure if the shade Santa Rose has been discontinued in Australia, but the "Lasting Finish Soft Colour Blush" here is different to the blush of the same name in the UK. For one, my Australian-bought Genuine Plum (170) is 4.5g, but Santa Rose is 4g. Genuine Plum also has a rectangular plan and then a compartment for the enclosed mini brush, making the packaging much larger than Santa Rose.

Rimmel Santa Rose is a satiny, soft peachy-pinky-coral. Can't say much else about the colour — it's nothing remarkable. I don't find it particularly glowy or illuminating, but it's not exactly matte either. It looks like it would have almost a golden sheen, but the shimmer isn't that noticeable when swatched or applied to the cheeks. This wouldn't be my pick if I wanted a radiant, healthy-looking flush as the finish is relatively flat and it dangerously verges on ruddy if I apply a fraction too much. That's the main thing that surprised me — how red it is, as I always thought it was a more neutral/borderline 'nude' blush. Despite that, I think the primary appeal of Santa Rose is that it's fairly understated and unassuming, especially if used with a light hand. It's a good choice when you still want to wear a bit of colour on your cheeks, but nothing too tricky, bold or that could potentially compete with the rest of your makeup. The texture is very soft, smooth and easy to blend, though a touch powdery. Staying power is average.

l-r: Benefit Sugarbomb, Rimmel Santa Rose, NARS Luster, NARS Orgasm

Benefit Sugarbomb is probably the closest colour match, but lighter, not as red, with a refined and beautiful golden pearl absent from the Rimmel. Santa Rose in comparison is dustier, more brown-toned, nowhere near as luminous. NARS Luster is more of a sunburned orange with gold shimmer — darker, much more pigmented. NARS Orgasm is significantly pinker (not as orange/peach as the other three), sheerer, and with an inbuilt golden highlight. In my eyes, all three are superior to Santa Rose, not just in terms of the shade but also quality, ease of application and staying power. Did I need Santa Rose? Nope. But it's a safe, non-threatening everyday blush that's affordable and easy to wear. Rimmel 3 in 1 Powder Blush in Autumn Catwalk is still the best blush the brand has put out though.


  1. I'm so in love with this blush! Had to buy it.

  2. This is pretty, but I think I like sugarbomb the most out of the lineup you swatched. You just reminded me to dig Autumn Catwalk out and use it again :)

  3. Maybe I like Santa Rose so much because I haven't got something like Benefit Sugarbomb in my life. I think it's pretty understated and complementary. Swatched next to NARS Luster, it looks very much like what I hoped Luster would be- instead of the burnt sienna that Luster really is. I still like Santa Rose anyhow, the inferior formula just isn't in the same league as the four-times-as-expensive NARS.

  4. What a pretty blush *-*
    Although Rimmel is sold here, their blushes aren't (along with amazing stuff...)
    Maybe they sell this in Paris? I'm thinking about visiting it during Easter next Year (I have a dear friend that lives there) and I might try to get this precious blush *-* (although I actually own Sugarbomb from benefit!)

    Thank you very much for this amazing review. Happy Halloween!

    Please take care, have a nice day!*

  5. Thats exactly why I love this blush, just a gorgeous hint of colour and shimmer that is so wearable !

    Madeline | Its a Mads Mads World

  6. i had this long ago before they repackaged it. although the color is lovely, it did not work on my complexion so i sent it to a friend in korea. she used it up(!) and asked for another one!
    sata rose looks gorgeous on you. jealous! ;O

  7. I honestly hadn't heard of this blush before reading your post… from what you presented here, I'm pretty underwhelmed :/ Shame that it wasn't as dazzling as those YouTubers made it seem to you but I guess at least you didn't spend a ton on it and you'll still be able to get a bit of wear out of it every now and then.


  8. It still looks nice on you! I would look so dumb with that color. I haven't seen the Rimmel blushes look like that before. It reminds me of those eyeshadows they had. I wish that Rimmel would make more blush colors. In the US, there are only three or four to choose from!

  9. I have heard good things about Rimmel blushes, but I never get to buy it mainly for the same reason like yours. and now Rimmel is no longer available in our drugstores T.T
    this one looks nice on you ! I love how peachy it looks!

  10. I quite like the new repackaged version of the Rimmel blushes; looks much less flimsy. Compared to the other 3 shades you swatched, I like how santa rose isn't as luminous and the ease of application is probably suitable for someone who isn't too keen on blushes haha

  11. Ooh it looks like such a pretty & easy to wear shade, which are the kind of blushes I'm gravitating towards at the moment. I'm trying to tell myself I don't need another blush though!

    Jennie xo |

  12. Such a pretty shade! I really like the rimmel blushes, they're really underrated. xx

    Gemma | Miss Makeup Magpie

  13. It swatches gorgeously, but yes, looks so blah on the pan. I don't think I'd ever pick it up otherwise xx

  14. Ah i love my blush, but reading this has made me realise that i don't actually own any drugstore blushes! This looks prettier on then in the pan. Alix from I Covet Thee is so pretty.
    I've been forcing myself to wear my Orgasm these couple of days and i still don't understand the hype! It's too shimmery for my liking.

    à la foliee

  15. Like you I was eyeing this up for a while and I finally bought it when ASOS were having a beauty sale earlier this year and I bought it for about €4. I didn't think much of the colour in the pan and was very unsure if it would suit me but I totally agree with you it's very understated and I love wearing it with 60s inspired make up when I don't want my cheeks being too much. I'm definitely very happy I got it!

    Emma x

  16. Oh my god, I used to use this blush back in the day! It's so beautiful, I only picked it up because it was compared with nars orgasm alot, thank you for the review ;) <33333

  17. Lovely shade, it looks so natural!

  18. I don't know why but I never took much interest in Rimmel blushes. Santa Rose looks really pretty though especially more so on swatch than in the pan itself!

  19. Hahha, we definitely always usually don't need another product that looks a lot like another we already have but we can't resist! I love the shade on you, it shows well on your pale skin but would be too light for me! I didn't think sugar bomb was that pale, I'd thought it would be more mauve!

  20. Hello, awesome post as usual. I know you don't display extra stuff on you blog but I just though i'd let you know i nominated you for the Inspired Blog Award

    I love reading your blog it always makes me want to get so much stuff. Thanks :)

    1. That's sweet of you, thank you! :)

      (Though I tried to go to the link and it says the page could not be found?)


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