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  • MAC CosmeticsEarly access on 12/5 to MAC x Mariah Carey for Obsessed & Devoted members here, starts 12/05 and ends 12/07.
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Best Blushes | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

Best Blushes | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again:  holiday gift guides aplenty!  This year, I’ve broken out my gift guides into best of selections for blush, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick, lipgloss, palettes, and brushes.  These guides feature permanent formulas so that they can be useful anytime during the holiday season or even into next year.  For limited edition holiday products, you can check out our list of the top 50 highest-rated holiday products, which updates as I post more reviews for holiday products.  I hope you find this list of top performing blush formulas useful 🙂

Tom Ford Cheek Color

Tom Ford Cheek Color

Tom Ford Cheek Color ($60.00 for 0.28 oz.) has been a go-to blush formula for me since I first tried it many years ago. As time has passed, I have tried many more blush formulas from brands, but I still go back to this one frequently. I keep a few of my favorite shades (Love Lust, Ravish, Wicked) in my go-to drawer, where I keep products I want to wear again and again (when I’m not testing something!). The formula is soft, moderately dense, and smooth, which results in good pigmentation, a satin to pearly sheen, and easy application–plus, they wear long on me (over eight hours).

Availability

Bergdorf GoodmanNeiman MarcusNordstromSaks

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Blush

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush ($26.00 for 0.23 oz.) is a powder blush with medium, buildable coverage and a more satin-to-luminous finish. I like how the range includes a mix of more “wearable” neutrals along with brighter pops of color, so it’s a versatile range that can work for many skin tones. Some of my favorite shades are Rapture, TMI, Fetish, and Crush.

Availability

Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom

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Becca Blushed with Light Palette

Becca Blushed with Light Palette
Becca Blushed with Light Palette

Becca Blushed with Light Palette ($34.00 for 0.46 oz.) is a medium-size, plastic compact that contains three blushes–a neutral-to-warm pink, orange-brown, and pink-coral. One shade (Wisteria) is new and exclusive to the palette, while the other two shades are available in the Becca’s permanent range. If you don’t mind your blushes more pigmented, then I think you might like this palette–two shades were rated lower because they weren’t as subtle/buildable as described. I wish the texture of Snapdragon was smoother and softer, more like the full-size version, but it looked the same applied to the skin, so the difference isn’t as noticeable in practice.

Value

  • Mineral Blush: $32.00 for 0.20 oz., palette contains 0.33 oz., $52.80 worth of Mineral Blush
  • Luminous Blush: $34.00 for 0.21 oz., palette contains 0.13 oz., $21.05 worth of Luminous Blush
  • Value: $73.85

Wisteria is a muted, medium pink with neutral-to-warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft, lightly dusty but not dry-looking on the skin, and it was easily blended across the cheeks for even coverage. It had medium, buildable coverage–which is what the formula is supposed to have–that can be applied at near opaque coverage. This shade wore well for seven and a half hours on me before fading. Urban Decay Fetish (P, $26.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Tarte Empowering (LE, $28.00) is lighter, cooler (95% similar). bareMinerals Golden Gate Matte (LE, $22.00) is darker, more muted, warmer (90% similar). Tarte Impress (LE, $28.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). Tarte Prim (LE, $28.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). NARS Love (LE, $30.00) is brighter, warmer (90% similar). Kat Von D Piaf (Shade) (P) is lighter, less pigmented, warmer (90% similar). Divergent Misty Rose (LE) is brighter, more pigmented, warmer (90% similar). Laura Geller Boysenberry (P, $28.00) is warmer (90% similar). Makeup Geek Heart Throb (P, $10.00) is warmer (85% similar). Tarte Seduce (P, $28.00) is darker, more muted, warmer (85% similar). Urban Decay Overexposed (LE) is lighter (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Songbird is a medium, orange-brown with warm undertones and a golden sheen. It was richly pigmented (not really buildable, as it is supposed to be!) with a more powdery texture. The good news was that it still applied easily and blended well on the skin, so the powderiness didn’t translate when applied and worked into the skin. On me, the color started to fade after seven and a half hours of wear. MAC Pleasure Model (LE, $25.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Charlotte Tilbury The Climax (P, $40.00) is lighter (95% similar). NARS Fervor (Right) (P) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar). Becca Blushed Copper (LE, $38.00) is darker, more muted (90% similar). MAC Linda (LE, $22.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). MAC Seduced at Sea (LE, $25.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Ibiza (P, $45.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Chanel Canaille (89) (LE, $45.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). NARS Frenzy (Right) (P) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Makeup Geek Ablaze (P, $20.00) is more shimmery, more muted (90% similar). Sephora Passionate (23) (P, $14.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Bad Girl Gone Good (LE, $22.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). MAC Eternal Sun (P, $23.50) is less shimmery, darker, more muted (90% similar). NYX Bronzed (P, $6.50) is more muted, cooler (85% similar). NARS Liberation (Right) (LE) is lighter, more muted, cooler (85% similar). NARS Cheek Studio III (LE, $30.00) is more shimmery, darker, more muted (85% similar). LORAC Unapologetic (LE) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). NARS Luster (P, $30.00) is lighter (85% similar). MAC Cheeky Bronze (P, $32.00) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). NARS Craving (Right) (P) is lighter, cooler (85% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Snapdragon is a bright, medium pink-coral with gold shimmer. The version in the palette is a lot pinker and brighter compared to my standalone, which looked warmer both in the pan as well as swatched. Though this formula is described as subtle and that it can be used as a “blush topper,” it was actually intensely pigmented and a little went a long way. You would need the barest amount to layer on top of a blush, otherwise the strength of the color in Snapdragon would overwhelm whatever blush you were wearing. The texture was firmer and stiffer in the pan, and it felt different compared to the other two shades well (and different from my standalone version of Snapdragon), though the blush looked fine applied and blended out without issue. It wore for just over eight hours on me before fading. Laura Geller Papaya (P, $26.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). NARS Realm of the Senses (Together) (LE, $30.00) is darker, cooler (95% similar). Estee Lauder Wild Sunset (P, $34.00) is more shimmery, lighter (95% similar). NARS Panic (Right) (P) is more shimmery, darker (95% similar). IT Cosmetics Pretty in Peony (P, $24.00) is brighter, cooler (90% similar). MAC Simmer (LE, $27.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Zoeva CR030 (P) is more muted, warmer (90% similar). MAC Sweet Vision (LE, $28.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). NARS Deep Throat (P, $30.00) is more muted (90% similar). Guerlain Smile (Left) (LE, $52.00) is less shimmery, brighter, warmer (90% similar). Colour Pop Jelly Fish (DC, $8.00) is darker, brighter (90% similar). NARS Summer Dual Intensity Blush II (LE) is darker, cooler (85% similar). MAC Springsheen (P, $22.00) is lighter (85% similar). NYX Summer (P, $6.50) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Chanel Malice (71) (P, $45.00) is less shimmery, more muted (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Becca Holiday 2016 Blush Trio Blushed with Light
8.5
Product
8
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
84%
Total
See All Glossovers

Also In This Review

B+

Wisteria

Limited Edition
Read Review
B-

Songbird

Permanent
Read Review
B-

Becca Blushed with Light Palette for Holiday 2016

Becca Blushed with Light Palette for Holiday 2016
Becca Blushed with Light Palette for Holiday 2016

Create endless multi-dimensional looks with this Limited Edition blush palette featuring three universally flattering shades for the ultimate BECCA blushed glow. This beautifully versatile trio of matte & luminous blushes can be worn alone for a subtle flush of radiance, or can be layered to sculpt & infuse light & dimension to every complexion. This highly-blendable palette is the perfect balance of colour & light & delivers a shimmering flush like no other.

Availability

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The Details

Blushed with Light Palette | $34.00 | Limited Edition

Features two of BEFCCA’s best-selling shades, Luminous Blush Snapdragon and Mineral Blush in Songbird, as well as a new shade, Wisteria, exclusive to the Blushed with Light Palette!

  • Snapdragon Coral (Luminous Blush)
  • Songbird Peachy pink (Mineral Blush)
  • Wisteria Delicate rose with neutral, warm overtones (Mineral Blush)

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Becca Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed

Becca Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed
Becca Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed

Becca Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed ($38.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a soft, light pink with warm, yellow undertones and fine gold and rose shimmer. LORAC Moonlight (P, $22.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Jouer Rose Quartz (P, $24.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Lancome Moonlight Rose (LE, $42.00) is darker (95% similar). Anastasia Starburst (LE) is more shimmery, warmer (95% similar). Chanel Perles et Fantaisies (Right) (LE, $65.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). Laura Mercier Devotion (P, $44.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Algenist Rose (P, $38.00) is less shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Tarte Gleam (P) is lighter (90% similar). NARS Devotee (P) is lighter (90% similar). L'Oreal Ice (P, $12.99) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar). MAC Pearl Blossom (LE, $22.00) is less shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Makeup Geek Luster (P, $20.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). MAC Softly Does It (LE) is less shimmery, darker, less pigmented (90% similar). MAC Beaming Blush (P, $30.00) is darker (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The texture was soft, just a smidgen dusty but not actually dry to the touch, with a smooth, blendable feel overall. It applied well to the skin and yielded a noticeable sheen, which didn’t emphasize pores unless worn more heavily. It was semi-opaque, which was easily built up or sheered out for a less intense highlight. I thought it was a bit less pigmented compared to other shades, but it was more forgiving applied to the skin and generally easier to work with. The color wore well for eight hours before fading on me.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Rose Quartz
Rose Quartz
Rose Quartz
9.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Becca Bronzed Amber Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed

Becca Bronzed Amber Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed
Becca Bronzed Amber Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed

Becca Bronzed Amber Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed ($38.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark copper-brown with warm, golden shimmer. Laura Geller Ballerina (P, $24.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Becca Rose Gold (P, $38.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Becca Rose Gold (P, $38.00) is less shimmery (90% similar). MAC A Latte Sheen (LE) is less shimmery (90% similar). Anastasia Hot Sand (LE) is more shimmery (90% similar). MAC Pearl Sunshine (LE, $22.00) is lighter (90% similar). Makeup Geek Ablaze (P, $20.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Makeup Geek Firework (P, $20.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar). L'Oreal Rose (P, $12.99) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar). Stila Kitten (LE) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Bobbi Brown Bronze Glow (LE, $46.00) is more shimmery, warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

This shade is supposed to be a combination between the brand’s Opal highlighter and Wild Honey blush, and it is exclusive to Becca’s website. The texture was soft, lightly dusty but blendable and didn’t look powdery on the skin. I was actually surprised by the resulting finish, as it was luminous without being metallic–this is the least shimmery highlighter I’ve seen from Becca. It’s very hard to overdo, which made it more forgiving, while a lot of their range is so intense that a light hand is necessary! The texture wasn’t as smooth or as cream-like as the permanent shades, though, but I don’t think it looks dry or powdery on the skin, which is where it counts the most. It had good pigmentation that was buildable from semi-opaque to opaque. On me, the color lasted well for seven and a half hours.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Bronzed Amber
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
84%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Becca Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Now at Sephora

Becca Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed
Becca Rose Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed

Achieve a refined glow in any light with this limited-edition Shimmering Skin Perfector™ in Rose Quartz. It’s enriched with ultrafine luminescent pearls that absorb, reflect, and refract light to amplify your natural radiance. The perfect neutral pale pink bring softness and warmth to the skin, this shade is unique in its own way. Like a compact full of crushed gemstones, the multi-toned pigment pearls adjust to your skin’s natural undertones. Perfect for intense highlighting or layering to create a truly unique glow. Unlike traditional methods, the one-of-a-kind formula blends pigments with liquids, providing an unparalleled, creamy application with balanced color coverage. The result is a high-shine, elegant shimmer finish that doesn’t look glittery.

Availability

Now online

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The Details

Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed | $38.00 | Limited Edition

  • Rose Quartz Neutral pale pink

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