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31 Aug 2014

The Blush Tag

Well here we are again. In the makeup tag territory and spending an agonizing amount of time thinking of the right answer to each question. The focus this time is on blush, a product that I have always had an appalling weakness for as the first picture in this post will tell you.

How many blushes do you own?

I gave up counting at number 70. 

It’s embarrassing. What’s even more embarrassing is that this is my Dubai blush wardrobe – there are a few remaining in the UK. I can’t even pretend all this crap is for “my kit” – not unless a kit is defined as a personal hoarding. No, this is all for my face and my face only.

What is your favourite blush brush?

I am partial to a bit of Real Techniques blush brush action. If you held up a selection of brushes I would choose that one every time. It’s soft. It’s easy to work with. It’s pink. 

Cream vs. Powder

While I don’t discriminate against cream, on a day-to-day basis my reality is powder. It’s less high maintenance and just seems to sit better for longer. I always think that cream looks fresh and glowing but as the day goes on the more the makeup moves and the more “Picasso” my face becomes.

Peach vs. Pink and favourites of each

See the problem with this question lies in the distinction between peach and pink. It’s not that clear cut. What about the peachy-pinks or the pinky-peaches?

I realize that this is a whole other train of thought so I’ll try and keep to the question.

When I am shopping I look at every colour family but in reality I plump for the pinks on a more frequent basis.  My favourite pink would probably be MAC Well Dressed and long-time followers no doubt called that one as soon as they read the question. It’s a little light in pigmentation – not as much as Benefit’s Dandelion – and might look chalky on tanned or darker skin tones but it gives me a gorgeous glow and lift. Plopping this on my cheeks is the blush equivalent of “coming home”.

Now peaches…mmm…this is tricky. Does Benefit Coralista count? What about MAC Springsheen? And Laura Mercier “Lush Nectarine”? They would be my picks from that colour family.

Drugstore vs. High End and favourites of each

There is no makeup law that prescribes paying more equates to getting better and this is especially true for blusher. Sleek and Milani are some of my favourite brands and they are on the lower end of the budget scale. If I am going to go with a high-end option it’s going to be NARS. How predictable. How true.

Most overrated?

Can I replace overrated with disappointing? If we agree to that then there are lots of products I can bitch about.

Number 1 on that would be YSL Baby Doll Kiss and Blush. I bought two of these suckers – in a pink and a peach – and I just don’t think they are worth it. Insipid on the lips and “okay” on the cheeks but the price is just too high for such a median response.

If ever there was something I bought because it looked pretty it would be the limited edition MAC Sunset Beach blush ombre. Beautiful to look at in the packaging and yet almost invisible on the skin.

Tarte’s Exposed. I have whined about this before and the reason it qualifies as disappointing is due to how pink this pulls on my skin. I bought this because I thought it would be one of those neutral sculpting blushes but it just doesn’t translate like that at all on me. I’ll stick to NARS Douceur for that type of look.

Talking of NARS, let’s point the finger at the limited edition Rotonde – or should I just call it lurid orange with gold overspray in a pan? – and the Realm of the Senses Cheek Palette. Both look horrendous on me.

Most Underrated?

There is only one blusher that comes to mind here and it’s Laura Mercier’s Orange Blossom. I hear plenty of chatter about Lush Nectarine but seriously people it’s all about Orange Blossom. You will have to use your imagination when picturing this because mine has disappeared from my drawers but this is NARS Orgasm but better. 

Worth the hype?

How do I answer this exactly? Should I say brand or a particular product? I guess, in the case of the former, I would say NARS. Not everything they do is a success but I would say 8 times out of 10 they get it right.

Top 5 blushes everyone should own

I know top 5 sounds neat and everything but it’s a real pain to have to narrow choices down to such a finite number but okay, I’ll play along. This is what I declare must haves today and as with the lipstick tag that I did, this will change…weekly/daily/hourly J


MAC Well Dressed – it's already been mentioned but I couldn’t leave this one out. As obsessed now as I was when I first discovered it. This will be a companion for life.

MAC Full of Joy – now permanent this is a purple toned pink that manages to lift, highlight and colour your cheeks. There is something really special about this. Well Dressed hints at it in terms of the effect on your cheeks but Full of Joy seals the deal. Don’t be scared by the purple tone but do use a light hand.

Milani Luminous – I am really annoying here because this is a discontinued choice.

I have been using this colour for years and there is a little bit of magic in this peachy/pink number. Milani have a similar baked blusher in their line that is called Luminoso (same, same but different) but apparently it’s a little warmer in tone when compared to the original – thankfully I have a back up of my back up.

Me with Luminous slapped on

NARS Douceur – when I have a bit of a glow this is one of my favourite blushes to use. It’s that neutral tone that magically adds dimension to your face. NARS Madly is similar, if a little more peachy/tan.

Sleek Sahara – this is a scary blush but as with Douceur, if you have a tan then it will be a stunning choice. I wear this extremely lightly on the cheeks and heavy on the eyes. Yep, I use it on my eyes because that burnished terracotta tone brings out green eyeballs like nothing else.  

NB: Even as I write this I am thinking about the blushers I left out. MAC Otherworldy (LE), NARS Love, the By Terry Blush Glace, MAC Nuance, MAC Warm Soul, MAC Dainty….I hope they don’t feel sad about not making my top 5 on this occasion.

EDIT: CRAP! I forgot about Tarte’s Natural Beauty. Okay, that needs to be featured somewhere. It’s amazing. Buy it – you will love it.

What blushes are on your wish list?

It has to be the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Sticks. Now I know I said that I was more of a powder girl but the texture of this has to be tried to be believed. As I mentioned in my wish list post, I want them all.

A few more Tarte blushes also wouldn't go amiss :) 

Final thoughts

I have to say that I quite enjoy these tag posts. I am not sure if you do mind but I like the whole rooting through my collection "thing" that occurs as a result. Maybe I should do an eyeshadow one next....I am sure I have plenty to say :) 


  1. Ahh love that you did the blush tag! Blushes are my favorite and most collected makeup product. Have you tried the clinique cheek pops? My all time favorite blush has to be Melba from Mac, it just works every single time!

  2. Your makeup posts make me happy. That is all. Throughly enjoyed this. By the way, a friend of mine works for Nars and he swears Douceur is being discontinued but I haven't read anything about it online. It's prob my all time favourite blush so that makes me sad. Just a heads up x

  3. Loved this post Laura! I too am a nlush fanatic, it just lifts the face in an incredible way. At the moment my favorites are NARS Madly and MAC Easy Manner. I must get Full of Joy, I remember kicking myself for not getting it, amd was so excited when they made it permanent. As for blush brushes I really love the Wayne Goss ones, have you tried them? The quality and craftsmanship is amazing, defiantly worth the investment. Brush 14 is perfect for uber pigmented blushes like some of the really bright NARS ones.

    1. I have rediscovered Nars Madly this summer and am absolutely in love with it again, too...wearing it today!!

  4. Love the tag posts because it's great to hear about your tried and true favourites (since you do have quite an *impressive* and well-tested makeup collection LOL!)

    I actually love Tarte Exposed - because it's a shade that looks so pretty on every skin tone I've seen it on - I've recommended it to all my friends - it's the best subtle yet noticeable blush to pair with winged liner and a bright lip.

    I always layer a cream blush under my powdered blushes - I think it helps them last longer - and the cream always applies more naturally and looks more glowy.

    How do you feel about Bobbi Brown blushes? I love Pale Pink and I've heard such good things about the Apricot one too...they're very long-lasting and pigmented.

  5. NARS Love is ABSOLUTELY stunning. One of my favorites for sure. I wish they would make it permanent, but with the sheer quantity of blushes that I own, I don't think I was ever going to get to the point of repurchase.

  6. I'm so envious of your blush collection right now! Nars just never get it wrong with blushers imo, although Sleek have been coming out with some great dupes for them. Luminous looks so beautiful on you!

    Tilly Enn // A Beauty and Fashion Blog

  7. Love this post! So nice to see your collection. It's reassuring to know that somebody else has enough blush to last a lifetime! X Alanna

  8. Great post Laura! I'm currently trying to put this post together and embarrassingly enough it's actually a bit stressful and has taken me much too long as it is already. Problems of makeup hoarders I tell ya haha!


  9. Ha loved it Laura! hats off to writing this post and editing and having nightmares that it might not be right and re-editing some more. Mac well dressed might be my favorite.
    Susan | classysusie

  10. Great Post Laura, blushers are my favourite also. MAC full of Joy, Well Dressed and sleek Sahara would also make my top 5 although this is likely to change on a daily basis also. I too would be hard picked to chose from my NARS collection. Would love to see an eyeshadow post along these lines :-) x

  11. Whaaaattt ?!? No MAC Stark Naked? I was sure that would have been in the top 5. You enabled me to getting that blush.

  12. I hoard lipsticks (and lip glosses, lip pencils etc...) and nail varnishes. I have more than I can ever use. Yet, still....I hoard them. And I show no signs of stopping either. So, my friend, hoard away. :D

  13. Aw, but I love the YSL Babydoll Kiss & Blushes! I think the trick might be to try shades that aren't the typical peachy pink. I have #4 (bright orange), #6 (bright red), #10 (deep mauvey nude), and #12 (pinky nude beige). I owned #3 (medium pink) at one point but that one was quite bland no matter how I tried it so I sent it back.

    Love seeing a glimpse into your collection and favorites. I myself own 109 blushes. #noshame #okmaybealittlebitofshame

  14. I've been wanting to try Illamasqua's powder blushes for ages. Hasn't happened yet. I'd also like to find a coral blush that isn't NARS Orgasm (I've owned it before and could buy it again, but I don't want to *g*).

  15. hahahaha this is funny and freaky because i was going to do the tag over the weekend but i keep on getting interrupted but a little person but the whole time i was arranging my blushes, i think "oh laura made me buy this" HAHAHAHA
    love love love the post! xx


  16. Oh, I'm going to attempt this tag too, but only if I gather all my blushes in one place as they are divided between my rented house and my boyfriend's house (oh, and some at my mum's). I love your collection, they look really wearable to me...

    My favourite blush I think it has to go to Chanel Ultra Rose which is a rosy pink tone and smells absolutely divine. Currently on my wishlist are the Benefit's and your recommendation of Nars.

  17. I LOVED this tag. I LOVE these stash-browsing posts. I have a collection not unlike yours in size and I am not even a blogger of any kind, so please keep 'em coming!! have you done the Perfect Palette tag? have you shown us what was in your makeup bag in the Maldives? LOL.

  18. DAAAAAAAAAAAAYUUUMMM gurrrll, that's a lot of blush! But I reallly like the post <3
    My favorites tend to be drugstore, although my go-to everyday blush is MAC's gingerly.

  19. I remember my jaw dropping when I saw the 1st shot on Instagram! I love it when you do these make up tags. Now I need to go hunt down Mac Well Dressed as it seems it's the one blush you can't do without & for me that speaks volumes.
    Hugs xoxo

  20. Loved this! Your collection is huge!! My favourite blush brand is definitely NARS too, can't wait for the eyeshadow version!


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  22. i wish i owned this many blushers!! i'm always overwhelmed by choice and can never make a decision as to which one to buy! this post was a great help!
    alice x


  23. The thought of even contemplating doing this tag post practically brings me out in hives! Bravo for narrowing it down but my mind is currently going about a zillion miles and hour trying to decide what I would include should I ever do the post!! xx

  24. Love this tag and adore your answers! I notice how much of a blush addict I am when it's the first thing I check from a MAC collection and often it's the item I buy. ;) xx

    Gyudy’s Notes Of Beauty

  25. I try to justify my collection by pointing out (to myself) that I do make-up on others! Like my sister. Occasionally. About a year ago. I think that justifies a "kit"...

  26. I have 5 blushes, but I want more. I tend not to keep much makeup and buy as I run out, but at the same time blush is my weakness and I've my eye on some from topshop sleek and all of the nars ones. It's my favorite step and one I don't feel I've perfected yet. I need that real techniques brush maybe that will help.
    Fashion and Happy Things

  27. Terrific collection. I'm trying to tell myself I don't need some of the ones you mentioned. I don't need anymore ..........

  28. ooh nars douceur is so pretty, definitely on my wishlist!!

    Natalie / Salt & Sail

  29. Yikes. I only own maybe 3 blushes? lol. Beautiful collection.

    Maggie A

  30. I always enjoy reading your posts but wow, you really do have quite a blush collection! I'm a Coralista girl myself but have been trying to branch out. I think a Nars will be firmly on my wishlist next as I'm yet to buy one!

    L xx


  31. Wow!!! Huge collection)


  32. Ohhhhh this is like some form of porn for me haha, I am traveling Australia and I have 2 blushers. 2. I used to have around 10-15 which I thought was excessive but looking at your collection makes me swoon. If only I was fixed somewhere for long enough to be able to collect things that aren't absoloutely necessary again. Wahhh.

  33. Amazing post! I am a blush fiend as well, so I think I might need to do this tag! I definitely don't have as many as you, but I've got a fair few!

    CassandraMyee | NZ Beauty Blog

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